Monday, May 22, 2006

Between Books

Since I'm between books, I'm taking the opportunity to get my office back in order. While I'm writing, especially as I near the end of a book, I don't take the time to file and sort the papers that seem to appear out of nowhere. During this down time I reorganize, clean my desk and bookshelves, and churn book ideas in my head. I'll mention later what story question I'm turning over now.

What collects in my office over the months a book is being developed? Mostly things I've printed from email or off the Internet. Information I thought was important at the time got printed out and put in a "to be filed" stack. Things like conferences I thought I might attend (but never did), contests I might want to enter (but never did), editorial guidelines from publishers I thought would be interested in something I was working on, emails about things I needed or wanted to see or do. Personal letters to answer, phone calls to return, personal business that needs follow up.

Interesting observation about all that- sometimes if I wait long enough the urgency goes away. I tossed a lot of paper.

But I accomplish two very important things while I'm putting my environment in order. First of all, the clutter is gone which is very important to my sense of well being. It clears my mind, allows me to sort of expand into my surroundings and take deeper breaths. Second, it gives me a chance to churn story ideas.

The story question I'm pondering today is - who would murder five nuns living in a secluded Order on a remote mountain top in the heart of the Arizona desert?

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