Sitting Zen and Killing Clutter

Sitting Zen and Killing ClutterA Short Story

In Sitting Zen and Killing Clutter, Carol Quinn is reeling after her husband left her. She’s closer to 60 than she feels comfortable with and she is suddenly adrift in a world she cannot accept. Her best friend, Blondie, has a solution. Carol has to get out of her house and out of her slow descent into depression. Carol can become the Chaos Queen and she can begin by decluttering the house of a recently deceased woman with a severe hoarding problem.

In a small rural community on Prince Edward Island, there are no secrets but there are a lot of random pieces of misinformation that become repeated until they become part of the fabric of truth. The truth that Carol reveals is much more than she ever anticipated.

About Being a Writer – Write More, Write Often

It might be due to my career working with computers and computer stuff but I get caught up in the process of how writers work. I have read several books on writing fast. These are the ones that motivated me to write more and faster:

If you really are a writer and want to actually write, these books will at least get you going. I enjoyed seeing how these writers took their level of writing to a new height. In Nicholas Sparks on Writing, he talks about the business of writing and how he writes 2,000 words a day pretty much six days a week.

It’s all about habit. I’ve taught and written about changing habits and finding time. Lately I am loving all the resources on the internet so am reaching out and pulling in the great advice I find there. Like Leo Babuata’s advice on Writing Daily.

How I Write

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 on my desktop and since reading Leonelle’s book, I use Swype on my tablet.  I hit about 5,000 words a day. Recently I had to give up ghostwriting and get busy with my own writing and a bad thing happened. I got paralyzed and could not accomplish anything. That’s another story and this fall, a constant source of angst for me.

About Dragon — I got the premium edition because it lets me record my dictation elsewhere and then transcribes the recording for me. I use my old HTC One V phone with an iRig microphone which makes a nice clear recording. Oh and one thing that helped was getting a good microphone for my computer. I have a Blue Yeti microphone that give a great sound. I also got these microphones because I have a couple of courses on Udemy and needed really clean sound for that.

[Note: I have affiliate links in this post but consider them just a starting place to do your research on any of these things I mention.]



Confessions of a Distracted Woman


Joanne Reid
Joanne’s Journey to Health

I dither a lot and it seems to take me forever to get things done. I had a whole blog about getting healthy and I have this blog and I have another couple of blogs. It is too distracting to get up each day and think about what I am going to blog about today. All that happens is that I never blog.

Then I feel guilty about not blogging. Like here, I was writing about 52 ancestors. I got to eight and then froze up. I went to the health blog and spent all spring and summer blogging about how I need to exercise while being so physically unfit I have to drive a block from the shop to the bridge club.

I’m supposed to be writing a mystery series and I don’t.

This weekend we are packing for our annual October trek to Arizona. It should be easy because we do this every fall but I never remember to make a list so each year I have to start from scratch. This year I am making a list. Even better, I am putting the list in a journal that I am keeping about each day.

The Journal

Even the journal became a dither factor. I have had this particular journal for a couple of years and the blank, unmarked pages were daunting. It was a gift from my old buddies Perry and Cyrille.  I need a sybooksstem to keep track of my income, my to do list, the things I need to buy, the places I need to go and the interesting tidbits I hear each day.

So I made a plan to do something about it. Rather than scrawl notes on loose pieces of paper, I started putting them in the journal. I had two full pages of things to do yesterday.  I got a lot accomplished including last minute grocery shopping. Some of the thing that had been hovering over me for weeks took less than 10 minutes to finish.

If nothing else, I won’t have that confusion next year about what needs to be done here to turn things off and what needs to be done in Arizona to turn things on. This is the journal over to the right.

Speaking of next year, I will be 67 and by that time my father was already suffering from the effects of strokes. There are certain family health issues that are quite apparently part of my makeup too. Such as the propensity for strokes.

The Plan

It’s not in my journal yet but I do plan to continue with the remaining 46 ancestors and also a tribute to my cousin David Reid who prepared the photo of my ancestor Alexander Reid and his son David Reid. He emailed the images to me around the turn of the century and I never credited him for them. I had lost his email address.

Yes, I know. Poor record management.

I’m struggling to overcome annoyance at my fly by the seat of my pants approach to a scattered life. Bear with me.