Scrivener made me do it!

Oh, how naïve was I to think that I had my outline all figured out. A good introduction, a Quick-Start Guide, simple household systems, each with their own chapter, simple methods to pare down the unnecessary, and pow, you’re organized. That’s before Scrivener took over. It multiplied my work like throwing water on a Mogwai.


Once I got it through my thick skull and learned what all the features are called – outliner view, editor, inspector, and the different levels of folders, documents and text (and much more) – I started putting all my ideas into it and attempting to organize them. Oh look, you can rename the folders, color-code them, make subdocuments, and sub-subdocuments, and sub-sub-subdocuments, make separate outline pages with their own summary pages, and important points to research from the outline, and lions, tigers and bears! I really got super-carried away.

Part of it is letting myself get derailed and not being able to focus, often by not getting enough exercise and rest, and by not trusting my schedule. It’s easy to do when you’re having a “Mom-ADD day’, where you can’t focus on anything more than 10 minutes at a time, because everyone and their grandma is calling you or needs something, and throw in laundry, errands, cooking, and maybe a shower, and well…sometimes, I’m just too tired to come up with a brilliant book layout at 11:20 at night. I let myself be led astray.

If you don’t get enough rest and exercise, it’s much easier to live in the moment rather than doing what you have previously deemed most important when you were in a motivated and rational, rested state-of-mind. Living in the moment is not bad, but setting some limits and doing the important things first is much less painful than trying to play catch-up. Much, MUCH less painful than trying to figure out what the heck you were thinking the last time you were in Scrivener. ????

I guess I need to get back to following my own advice. Coming soon to Amazon! Just let me clean out this email inbox first…



My awesome job


Beside me, he inhales 

And exhales twice as long

Sturdy, nimble feet, small thorn scratches, raced so many miles today; now small and still, barely tucked under my leg for warmth

Slender and muscular runner’s legs like his dad’s, jumped many pretend buildings today; now pulled in close like the baby I used to hold

Long, warm arms and little hands with grass-stained nails, teased and swatted sisters today, now comfort one worn, white, floppy bunny

Wide shoulders and chest with new football muscles, tackled and powered through today, now quietly growing in peace

Narrow face, good lines, sticky candy spots and silky toe-head hair, learned and watched and yelled and talked today; now blue eyes are hiding and the old soul is silent.

A man as a child, in my charge to get him there whole, confident, God-fearing, lovable, respectable

I’m the author of this man’s history.


Just some thoughts (well, a poem of sorts, actually) while watching my son sleep. Considering the world today and what a huge job it is to raise a son…how a broken one can grow into a man that will hurt himself and others, cause so much destruction and heartache, tearing things down instead of building them up. But that same son, nurtured and given a soft place to fall at home, a dad to teach him courage and a mother who shows him what a good woman is, can change the world.  

Let me know what you think.


Practice being inspired

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” ~ Pearl S. Buck.

The universe is not very generous with spontaneous inspiration sometimes, so I’m cultivating it myself.  Being very easily inspired, but also easily distracted by life, I’ve made it a point this week and going forward to watch some great how-to videos and to read books and blogs from successful writers every day without fail for motivation.

I’m about 3000 words into my book, although it’s mostly notes and mind-mapping categorized into chapters. A couple chapters have some good paragraphs so far, and I seem to have found my voice, finally.  You think you’re going to write a certain way when you start out, but you can end up going in a whole different direction!

I think that I’ve stumbled upon a way to present my information that I haven’t seen before, and that’s kind of exciting!  Doesn’t mean it’s not out there, but no one is me or has my exact same experiences, so it might just work.

During the course of my work tonight, I gathered up some great quotes on procrastination that I’m thinking of using throughout the book in the sidebar.  As a “recovering procrastinator”, I love reading things like this to keep me on track.

“Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things”. ~ Gene Hayden

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck

“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

And my favorite – (I always thought my dad came up with this…) – “Stop talking  and start walking.” ~ L.M. Heroux

What are you waiting for?

So it finally happened…

I swept a floor that didn’t need it, I cleaned, folded laundry, walked around the house about 14 times, balanced my bank account, ate breakfast, lunch and 2 extra snacks, watched a Dr. Phil that I’ve seen before, drank 3 cups of coffee,  breathing heavy at times with a wild-eyed look in my eyes…and many other things between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  I did all of this while flirting with an anxiety attack, wandering around the house, stalling as long as I could.  You would think I was getting ready to have a root canal, but no.

I finally sat down, opened my trial version of Scrivener, and started my book.  I’ve been “trying” to start it for 2 years now, and after pulling out the poster board holding my old mind map, I panicked briefly when I couldn’t remember where I had been going with all of my scribbled ideas.

Writing it down here sure makes me seem a little neurotic, but instead of deleting everything, chickening out, and closing WordPress yet again, I am forging ahead.  Who knows?  Maybe someone else out there can relate.

Just sit down, relax, and write.  So many emotions over something that would seem to be so easy. SHAME- my hard-working husband who asks next-to-nothing from me and was so excited that I was going to start writing once I quit my job;   INCOMPETENT –  I haven’t written anything, even though all the conditions I swore I needed first before beginning my writing career were met and then some;  PLAIN-OUT SCARED – that my one dream of writing successfully may be as good as gone if I discovered I was a terrible writer with no imagination.  That pretty much sums up how I feel when I think about writing.

But I overcame it today and sat down and wrote my heart out.  The one reason I haven’t given up is because I know how my mind works.  I may not like it, but I know how it works.  Ole One-Track Mind Mandi; that’s me.  If I’m consumed by kids, the small amount of miscellaneous projects I do for my old real estate team, pretty much just regular life, then I am on a totally different wavelength than the part of me that is artsy, a loner, a bookworm, a painter.  I can’t switch between the two at will.  The only reason I’ve made it this far tonight is because I took a Lortab for a terrible sore throat.  Sure helps with relaxing.  Too bad I can’t take it every day.  I’m convinced that a lot of people I know would be so much more pleasant if they had one, too, but that’s another issue altogether.  I know that if I can get my act together, as in everything here at home taken care of, things done that I’ve been putting off forever, that I will be able to allow myself to zone out and reach that other realm that alludes me most of the time.

It was slow-going at first, kind of like a locomotive just starting to move.  But it quickly started flowing along, and I typed my little fingers off for over two hours getting an outline together.  I’m starting with a non-fiction book, since I’m still a little too scared to go the fiction route like I really want to.  I’m a very good organizer of thoughts, and I love details (I swear I should write owner’s manuals for a living), so a nonfiction book about organizing and household management no less, seems very doable to me.  And Lord knows, I’ve bought my share of those kind of books over the years.  Fiction is next though.  Just getting used to finding my voice, learning that crazy Scrivener, developing the habit of sitting down to write every day, reading other author’s blogs, Writer’s Digest, anything I can.

So, for anyone who cares, there will be more to come from me, and hopefully, it will be somewhat interesting.  You have to start somewhere, right?

Nighty-night, fellow bloggers!