Monday, January 9, 2012

It's the little things, the itty bitty things

It's the note that you leave on the breakfast table
With a list of things to help me plan my day

These are two lines from a Robert Earl Keen song that my husband likes to sing when I'm being overly organized with my lists. I can't repeat the ending lines, but it's obvious this guy is not pleased with his lady.

Brenda Whiteside
I'm a list maker. My life is a jumble, my plate is full, and if I didn't make lists, I'd probably forget to eat or sleep. Okay - a bit of an overstatement, but my husband says I don't know how to relax so that gives you some idea of my schedule. My calendar goes out several months and each day has its list. It's the only way I can keep track of when to write blogs, when to post ads, pay bills, call my mother, balance the budget, etc.

Some scheduled fun in an AZ ghost town.
The weekend has its own list. This is a tablet on the kitchen table of all the things I hope we can get done as a team on the weekend. Hubby isn't impressed. But I even list such activities as go to a movie or take a hike too! Shouldn't that satisfy him? Yes, I even list fun stuff or I might forget to have fun.

Hubby found my chocolate stash.
When it comes to my writing, I'm a totally different person. I'm what you call a pantser - no plotting or outlines for me. Structure doesn't work when I'm diving into a book. The story and the characters have free rein on me to go any direction they please. I can't subject my characters to the same rigidity I need to get through my days. They don't make lists or organize their stories - they just go for it. Once, I tried making a list of what would get written each day. But I found writing goals hampered my creativity, disrupted the flow. I know I need to finish my current manuscript by April, and that's as much as I can plan it out.One thing that is consistent when I write is my afternoon chocolate break. I don't even need to write that down to remember!

You can win a copy of Brenda's latest release, Honey On White Bread, at both of these sites:
Coffee Time Romance and More

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Recently, they moved to prairie country in Arizona and are enjoying the wide-open spaces while tending fruit trees and veggie gardens. They share their home with their dog, Rusty. When Brenda isn’t at her laptop writing, she enjoys hiking, motorcycle riding and the company of good friends.

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs occasionally on her personal blog


Laura Breck said...

Brenda, I agree, lists can save your life some weeks. I love the little notepad on my Google homepage to make my to-do lists. No matter where I am, my list is with me!

Wow, that is one giant saguaro cactus behind you two!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi, Laura. I knew there were more list makers out there!

glenys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda Whiteside said...

It is funny to run across a list you forgot about - oh, yeah, I didn't do that!

glenys said...

You sound so organised (and your DH so tolerant!) I'm so jealous of organised people because they seem to get so much done. And having everything organized frees you up to immerse yourself in your writing. I make lists, too. Unfortunately, they get lost in the clutter :-(

Brenda Whiteside said...

It is funny to run across a list you forgot about - oh, yeah, I didn't do that!

Jody Vitek said...

Great post! I don't think I bother my husband with my list, but maybe my organization does. That's a whole nother discussion. When I went from a Franklin Covey to an electronic device, I only lasted a day or so before I had to pull out the pad of paper. I need to see it in writing and not have to remember to check the device to see what to do. I know there are reminder chirps, but it doesn't work for me. So - Power to the our lists!

And where did that block of chocolate come from? It's huge! lol

Brenda Whiteside said...

I am with you on the printed list, Jody. I too have tried the electronic kind but it isn't handy enough for me. That chocolate was actually a gift from someone a couple of years ago. No idea where he got it. Funny, huh?

Jannine Gallant said...

Lists are great. They give you motivation. It's even better when you can actually cross off the things on the list! LOL You've almost convinced me to make a daily list. I know I'm going to walk the dog (she won't let me forget!) but seeing vacuum in black and white might provide inspiration to get off the internet and do it!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jannine - Ugh to those things on the list. LOL