Friday, February 5, 2010


This is the third installment of my Life Management series. If you missed session one or two, follow the links to catch up.

What is important to you? What must be done immediately? What can wait? What can you skip? If you set up a regular daily schedule you will be more productive. Make time each day to determine what must be done and what items are not as important. Your scheduling time could be done before bed or first thing in the morning. (I do mine in the morning.)

1. Write out your daily schedule.

2. List all the things you must do.

3. List all the things you would like to do.

4. Rank each item. (I rank mine in groups. Example A-urgent, B- important but not mandatory to complete today, C-like to do, but no big deal if it doesn’t get done.)

5. As you go through the day, go back to your list and put a check by each item as you complete it.

You’ll be more productive and have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Obviously, you are not going to get to all of your B’s or C’s. So you transfer them to the next day’s schedule and re-rank them.

Assume you’ve been following your schedule and your life is now more organized. Your self-esteem and productivity are riding high. But then…

A friend calls and asks you to join a committee. What do you do? She’s your friend. It’s for her favorite cause.

First, is the cause important to you? What are you willing to stop doing in order to put this new activity in your schedule? Every time you insert something new into your schedule, you must eliminate something else…otherwise you will become overloaded and in turn be unable to do what’s already on your schedule.

The last tip of the day…Only do things once.

Little things that add up to wasted time. I get the mail and read the envelopes as I walk in. I open what is urgent, and then put it on the counter. The next day, I sort it into junk, bills, financial stuff or letters that need responses. I then put it in the bill pile, the banking pile, the trash/recycling, or on my schedule for me to deal with in the future. I have now touched the mail three times and haven’t dealt with anything except the junk mail. A better plan is to bring in the mail, sort immediately and get rid of the junk, file the banking information, put bills in the bill pile and deal with any other mail immediately.

Other example of wasted time are: bringing in the shopping and not putting it away immediately, not putting laundry away as soon as it is folded and ironed, reading emails and not deleting or dealing with them immediately.

In review:

1. Create a daily schedule and stick to it.

2. When you add something in your schedule, delete something else.

3. Don’t waste time by doing things more than once.

Now that I’m on a formal (written) schedule, I’m getting more accomplished, both in writing and homemaking.

Are you willing to try any of my tips? Do you have an organizational tip to share? (I’ll be unplugged for the next 8 days.) Have a great weekend and week.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


THE NEW BABY NAME SURVEY by Bruce Lansky is one of my favorite resource books. It has approximately 2,000 names in it. It gives you the name’s origin, meaning, famous people with that name, and what people think when they hear that name.

Example: Sharon (Hebrew) desert plain. Image: It’s hard to put your finger on Sharon’s personality. People aren’t sure if she’s a crabby arrogant perfectionist, a fun-loving and outgoing adventurer, or a sweet and soft-spoken introvert. People tend to agree, however, that Sharon is a middle-aged woman who’s busty, homely, and dowdy. (I take great offense to this last sentence…)

Famous Namesakes: Actress Sharon Stone; actress Sharon Tate; personality Sharon Osbourne, actress Sharon Case.

The RHYMING DICTIONARY contains over 40,000 words. You look up a word ending sound and this wonderful little book gives you lots of options.

Example: look up the word fun in the index, it tells you to go to reference number 259 –un

259 –un bun, dun, done, fun, gun, Hun, none, nun, pun, spun, run, son, sun, sunn (East Indian plant), shun, ton, tonne, tun, stun, one, won

Undone, outdone, begun, handgun, popgun, shotgun, outgun, Falun (Swedish city), Cholon (South Vietnamese city), homespun, finespun, rerun, forerun, millrun, outrun, godson, grandson, stepson, Fushun (Chinese city), someone.

The CHILDREN’S WRITER’S WORD BOOK is jam-packed full of lists grouped by grade levels. Another fun feature is the thesaurus of listed words, along with reading level synonyms, and advice on word usage.

Example: fun

Fun (K): cheer (3rd), delight (3rd), jest (4th), mirth (5th), play (K), pleasure (2nd), recreation (5th), sport (1st)

Do you have a favorite resource book?  Do you have any of my favorite books?  Did you notice all the boldfaced words?  What do you think they mean?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Establishing your character’s voice and carrying it through your entire manuscript can be tricky… How old is your main character? Where does he/she live? What is his/her socio-economic background? Does your character use complete sentences? What about correct grammar? Does he/she have a favorite word or phrase? Yesterday, I posted about my new favorite phrase: DON’T BE A SOUR CRACKER. Would your MC say that? I’m posting a short chapter from a beginning chapter book I’m working on…

Based on this chapter, what can you tell about David (the main character)? If you have a suggestion for a better name for my mc, I’m open to suggestions…

Chapter 3
Going in Debt

On the first day of summer vacation David asked, “Mom, can I borrow two dollars? I wanna go swimming with Tyler and I need snack money.”

“What happened to your allowance?” Mom asked.

“I took it to school yesterday. It must’ve fallen out of my pocket, cause when I got home it wasn’t there,” David said. “I promise I’ll do two dollars worth of chores when I get back from the pool.”

“Well, I guess it is the first day of summer vacation. I’ll expect you to do some chores when you get home, okay?”

“Sure, Mom, I promise I will.” David put his right hand over his heart.

David got his pool pass, a towel and two dollars and then left to meet Tyler.

The sun was bright, the sky was blue and the temperature was just perfect for swimming. David and Tyler swam and hung out at the pool all afternoon. David had a hot dog, chips and an orange soda for lunch. It was exactly two dollars. Tyler brought his lunch from home.

At 3:00 Tyler said, “I’m going to get a snack, what about you David?”

“I don’t have any money left.” David shrugged his shoulders, pulled out his empty pockets and looked at the ground.

“I’ll lend you some. I have three dollars.”

“That’s why you are my BFF. I’ll pay you back as soon as I do chores for Mom and get paid.”

Tyler got a fifty cent Kit Kat bar. David got nachos for a dollar fifty.

Tyler and David stayed at the pool until the life guards made them leave at closing time.

On the way home David said, “Let’s go swimming tomorrow, Tyler.”

“I can’t,” said Tyler. “I don’t have enough money left.”

David smiled and patted Tyler on the back., “Don’t worry, I’ll be able to pay back at least part of the money tomorrow.”

“Well, maybe I can go.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010






Isn't it beautiful!

My favorite new phrase is:


Do you have a favorite phrase?  If not, use mine in a sentence...

Sunday, January 31, 2010


This is a segment TWO in my Life Management tips….

Have you thought about what you want people to say about you when you are gone? I’m not talking about vacation…I’m talking about your obituary.

There are probably three groups of people who will miss you: your family, your friends, and your co-workers. What would you like each group to say about you? I’ve been thinking about this. It might mean I need to do something different so these people will feel the way I want them to feel about me…It might mean working on myself...


Family: Sharon loved us. She was a devoted Mom. She helped her husband advance his career and loved him until the day she died. She tried to live her life in a manner that would make God proud.  She could be serious or silly, whatever the occassion required.  She was strong when our family went through hard times. She was a supportive sister and was good to her parents.

Friends: Sharon was fun to be around. She knew how to put on an event. I always left her parties feeling like I was the guest of honor. She was a great listener. She knew when to listen and  when to give advice.   She always remembered to say thank you and she always did favors without expecting anything in return.

Co-workers (including blogging friends) and former students: She inspired me be more than I thought I could be. She always was happy for other people’s successes. She never stopped being my friend, even when she moved away. She was always thinking of me…Out of the blue I’d get an email with a suggestion related to what I was writing, studying or doing in my classroom.

Cats: Who’s Sharon and where's my dinner?

Dog: Who’s gonna take a nap with me in the afternoon?

(Yep, I’ve got room to work.)

Don’t rush into posting a comment. This maybe something you just want to think about it and keep to yourself. The point of the post isLIVE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE REMEMERED. If I haven’t been there for you, yet, I’ll do better…Life is too short to have regrets.