I Keep My Brain in My Office

I am very tired today and I have learned an important thing about myself; I store parts of my brain function in the organizational structure of my house. Once I got the correct desk installed in my office and set up my computer on it, much of my inability to prioritize vanished. This effect increased as I moved my books and projects into their new places in my office. I depend upon visual reminders to help me keep track of what I need to do during the day. I post school notes on the kitchen bulletin board and on my fridge. My old computer hutch was papered with post-it notes. A business card sitting at the foot of my monitor would remind me of an email to send. With all of that stuff packed away in boxes I carried a level of stress and internal confusion. My written to do list has all of those reminders as well, but apparently my back brain requires spacial orientation to the tasks. It is fascinating. I may get more analytical about why this works for me at some other time. For now I am very tired.

In the last two weeks I’ve been to IKEA four times (Howard once), Home Depot six times, Lowe’s twice, and I think there was a Walmart run in there as well. Each time I was making expensive purchasing decisions or returning the results of last trip’s bad decisions. I helped three kids keep track of their work so they could get it done. I kept in touch with my parents (Grandma is better, moved back into the physical rehabilitation facility). The prom dress was altered, not perfectly, but well enough. Kiki was sent off smiling to prom. Gleek is into the middle of her time swap. All of this week’s critical tasks are done all of it despite multiple nights of insomnia followed by mornings where I had to get up early. Next week has a new list of critical tasks, I am not going to think about them tonight. Instead I’m going to show you pictures of my remodeled office, because it is pretty. …

Updates from the Tayler House

Three fourths of my kids are sick today. This is going to significantly change the tenor of my day. I’ve grown accustomed to having longish stretches to focus on work. There are still random phone calls, script aprrovals, and business meetings to interrupt my focus, but on the whole I can work. I was thinking about this the other day after reading a post from my sister who is potty training a toddler and thus having to orbit said toddler pretty closely. After reading the post I swiveled in my office chair and realized that I’d been sitting in that exact chair for over two hours. Such a thing never happened when my kids were little. I was up and around, feeding kids, cleaning messes, negotiating deals. So in some ways today will be a return to that. I expect to be paged for deliveries several times per hour.

LTUE begins one week from today. If you’re local in Utah it is definitely an event to consider. I’ve already begun compiling notes and thoughts for my four panels. The nice thing about pulling together notes for a panel is that the same notes can be used to write a blog post later.

In writing news: My short story “The Road Not Taken” was selected to be featured as a finalist during the Mormon Lit Blitz over on the Mormon Artist blog. This was a cheerful addition to yesterday. Subscribing to the RSS of that blog from Feb 15-29 is probably worthwhile. They’ll be posting one finalist per day. I’m looking forward to reading them. I hope you’ll join me and perhaps cast your vote for any writing you especially like.

To balance out the happy writing news, I got another form rejection on Stepping Stones. My only reaction to this one was the thought “of course” followed by a thin thread of “this is wasted effort. No one will ever want it.” Sometime in the near future I’ll pull up my boot straps and figure out where else to submit. Right now I need to focus on the primary February goals.

Good heavens, it is February. This is the month when I need to finish layout work on Sharp End of the Stick and I need to dismantle and reassemble our shipping system. In theory I’ll get some further work done on my office remodel, but truthfully that project is paused until I can allocate the necessary funds to pay someone for framing, electrical, and drywall. I have ongoing support for kids, homework, and household maintenance. The weather remains cold, but not really wintery. LTUE is a bright spot, but only lasts three days. Hopefully my participation in Letter Month will help me find small bits of happiness in a month that is looking sloggish from this end of it.

And now it is time for me to begin the work of today.

Office Project in Process

I’ve been nattering on about my office and I finally have some visuals to share.
This is the view from my desk chair facing the opposite side of the room.

You can see the serious lack of organization on the bookshelves and the fact that there simply were not enough shelves for the quantities of books. All of that stuff went into boxes. Then the shelves were moved out of the way. It revealed a bare and boring wall.

That’s okay though. Because the next step was to make the wall go away.

From the chaos of debris, you can infer exactly how much fun my kids had helping me destroy the wall. I recommend wall removal as a family activity, but only if you really want the wall gone. For the first time I can actually see what my enlarged office is going to look like. That back wall is going to be covered in wall-mounted bookshelves. It will be my library. In front of it will be a couch. But first we have to figure out how to remove the remainders of the wall and find someone to help us do framing and drywall work.