So Here’s My Plan . . .

I made a lot of New Year’s resolutions last year and I can’t remember any of them which is good because it cuts down on the stress. But this year, I’m getting SERIOUS about this stuff. So I’m going to make a public record, thereby opening myself to ridicule and pity if I don’t follow through. So here goes:

In 2006, I will finish at least one novel and one novella. No, really.

In 2006, I will lose twenty pounds. I’ll still be overweight, but twenty pounds is doable. And I’ll be healthier.

In 2006, I will get my office cleaned. This is my office:

And this is my desk:

I’m showing these pictures to shame myself into getting this done. Then I can post the pictures of the nice clean offic. A goal. So I’ll do it today. Well, I’ll start it today. I have to write in there (see Resolution One).

In 2006, I will be a kinder, gentler person, even while on the road.

In 2006, I will stop trying to do everything at once. Patience, grasshopper.

Five things. That’s plenty. Especially since I just survived the December from Hell, so while I am sure there’s nothing but good times ahead, I’m not going to shoot too high for 2006. Survival, that’s my overall resolution.

And in January, I will . . .

Start my 2006 Journal. I’ve started at least two dozen journals in my life and I always end up wandering off, but this year, I’m keeping one so I can write down all the stuff I delete from this blog because it would get me in trouble. I didn’t put it in the year resolutions because any more than five resolutions is masochism, but goes here. Just try it for a month, Crusie. Nobody will ever read it, so you can just jot things down. No stress.

Start the Dueling Blog for the Don’t Look Down Tour, which is now called He Wrote She Wrote. We actually started it this morning, so that’s one off the list.

Work on Agnes and the Hitman. Today, I’m going to concentrate on one of the supporting characters, Baby Dupres, and try to write a couple of her POV scenes, rough drafts. She’s only going to get about 10% of the book, if that, so if I can get her down on paper, Bob can write her into his scenes. And so can I. I don’t really know who a character is until I see what I write. So today, in the time not spent cleaning the office, I will find the keyboard to my big computer and write some Baby. To let you know how bad this is, I still don’t know if she’s a Southern belle or a mob wife. At the moment she’s a Southern belle mob wife, but I’m not sure I can pull that off.

Work on Mare, the novella heroine, because I am heading to New York in ten days to meet with the other two authors of the anthology. More about that later because that one deserves a whole post, especially since I’m going to be doing the twelve days of Mare here shortly. Only not two thousand words a day. Especially since I’m writing Agnes. Okay, that grasshopper resolution needs some work.

Lose five pounds. This will involve exercise which is difficult because I can’t write while I’m on the treadclimber. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work, I almost killed myself when I stopped to stare into space, trying to think of the right word.

And somewhere in there, I should get the proposal for Charlotte done, but I’ll be damned if I see where.

So there, I’m on the record, now I have to follow through. Probably. I’m starting after I make pork and sauerkraut for lunch because it’s good karma for Germans. I have no idea why, but thanks to my mother, I’ve been eating pork and sauerkraut on Jan. 1 for 56 years, and things have worked out pretty well, so I see no reason to stop now.

Here’s hoping your resolutions are good ones (eat more chocolate, get a puppy, say something nice to yourself in the mirror every day), and your 2006 is terrific.

Happy New Year!

34 thoughts on “So Here’s My Plan . . .

  1. Hmm. A Southern belle mob wife. I’d love the see that one.

    Five pounds? You go, girl! Just remember, 20 pounds for the year is 1.6667 pounds a month (I need to remind myself of that more often! I edited “only” out of that previous statement, because “only” implies it’s easy. If it’s so easy, why haven’t I been able to do it?)

  2. Wow! Your office is as messy as mine. Except I bet you don’t have to share yours with a thieving dog and the subsequent outcries of the 3 children from whom he’s stolen. Someday my office will be my own. Someday…

    I don’t do resolutions but last September I did decide to run a marathon in 2006 and believe me, it’s pretty lofty goal for someone who was topping out at 20 minutes on the treadmill, but progress is being made so I’m pleased.

    And I just finished reading Fred’s Book and wanted to say thanks for putting your words to paper. They always make my day.

  3. Sean wants to know if you ever practiced ballet.

    Because he figures you’d need the foot work to get into that office. And that you probably write while standing on one foot with your other leg over your head.

    Please post pictures of that, as I’d like to see it.


  4. Your resolution list seems pretty ambitious to me. Mine I kept to 2. Drop some weight and exercise. What a busy year you have ahead! Lucky us…two blogs. I already visited HE SAID, SHE SAID. It’s going to be a great year for your fans! ^5

  5. OMG! How do you work in that office? (It would drive me batty.) Hope that you are lucky and stick to your resolutions! Good Luck!

  6. Thank you for posting photos of your office!! I always thought I was the only one who worked that way.


  7. I definitely resolve to lose 20 pounds. I’m with you, kid. And I also fully intend to get another dog.

  8. If you add one cat hanging off the monitor and another knawing on the printer cord, this would be my house, exactly.

  9. Weeeelll….

    My desk looks pristine compared to that. But I still have a mom who’s a neat freak–god help me! LOL.

  10. I have always believed that from chaos comes all good ideas. No wonder you write so well! Nice desk! I love it.

    My mother has always made me eat pork on Jan 1, also. I’d feel like a curse would fall on me if I didn’t.
    Happy New Year Jennie and thanks for making our year brighter!

  11. Sorry I spelled your name wrong. My darling 2 year old niece called me and that is how she spells HER name. Well, really she didn’t call me, her mom did, but she DID talk to me.

  12. Oh good. My desk looks a LOT like that. Makes me feel tons better. My goals are similar: Write daily, continue to drop weight AND get a bit healthier overall. I was curious about me writing on a treadmill, but after reading what you said, I may just bypass that thought right fast. See? Always learning something new when I visit here.

    Happy New Year, Jenny.

  13. That’s my office, exactly. Only, even if I finish rearranging things so my desk looks out the window, I’ll only be looking at trees and the neighbor’s yard across the street. Nice view of the river.

    Are you flooding this year? We’re in the midst of it here. My mom’s in ICU, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to find a way with open roads to go visit. Only one detour going, but two new ones coming back. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    Take care and look out for the high water.

  14. Happy New Year, Jen! And if it makes you feel better, my office has pushed me out and I’m now using the dining table. Shovel time!
    My new year resolution: I can’t make up my mind whether to be more decisive or less procrastinating.

  15. Love the view! Great writing space. All your brain everted all over the desk. Angus ran off with a bra I left on my desk, so maybe I should resolve to keep mine clean too… hrm. And sauerkraut. Nummy. Now I want bratwurst. And beer.

  16. You know…I keep looking at those great windows. Hmmm… It wouldn’t take much more than a quick push to clear that desk. If you did it on a windy day, you might not even have anything to clean up after your sanity returned. lol

    Thanks for the smile.

  17. I’m laughing, but my writng room looks EXACTLY like yours. Scary. Although they say some people work best in chaos. 🙂 Happy New Year, Jenny and best of luck with your resolutions!

  18. I once had a sign that said “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, one can’t help wonder what an empty desk means.” I loved it, but lost it somewhere in …you guessed it…the clutter. My boss actually had a contest for cubes to get me to clean up and gave me the prize! That lasted a week. How dare she! When I clean up I feel better but then I’m not creative. I guess you have to take the good with the bad and the ugly.
    Happy new year every one.

  19. Don’t forget that it’s ok to hire someone to come in and help you clean. Also, it’s often more effective. Just make sure they aren’t they type to throw out something behind your back. I used to think keeping everything out in a pile helped me remember everything, but it turns out not to be more useful to “put like with like” and be able to not have to remember where I put every *@$% thing because I know where I keep stuff like it now.

    I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV shows where they help people clean up and organize and it looks like the only thing that makes people happier than getting new stuff, is getting rid of stuff and seeing how nice life can be without the piles of stuff. In my case, I hire someone once a year to help me de-pile because I really hate doing it myself 🙂

    Good luck with the office!

  20. Since you don’t qualify as a superfund cleanup site, although after that picture I don’t know why not, the cleaner is the way to go. The first time they come you have to be there and put away the stuff they can’t deal with. And thereafter you have to put stuff away the day before the cleaner comes, but it actually helps get things under control. Once a month someone comes in for about 6 or 8 hours of cleaning and you get a life again. And after awhile you actually put a few things away in between cleaning and after a longer while you can have company without going into major melt down mode – or even better the cleaner actually starts noticing where things go and you can trust them to take care of it. And you just schedule the cleaner to come in before company comes. Life rarely gets better than this.

  21. I love your office. I saw Lee Goldberg’s office and wanted to cry because it was clean. And neat. And had things on shelves. But I look at your office and realize there is hope for me yet. Bless you. Bless you bless you bless you.

  22. Okay, firstly not Mark but as I can’t work out and dont have the patience to fill out all the damn bits and pieces required to choose an identity, I’ve swiped my husband’s instead.

    Secondly – just showed said husband your desk photo to prove to him I’m not the only woman in the world whose desk looks like a tupperware cupboard.

    HIs desk is probably more like Bob’s if Bob is as anal about that kind of thing as Mark is. Mark’s not military but did grow up with an obsessive compulsive neat freak mother. Everything in it’s place. Neat piles. Order. Order. Order.

    It’s interesting to watch the shudder that ripples through him when he asks me where something is and I say it’s on my desk. That’s the crazy thing about the chaos of messy desks – I can always put my hand on whatever anybody wants in about 5 secs. So…why be tidy?

    Happy New Year and good luck with the resolutions.

    Alison…not Mark

  23. I was hoping for a Google service on the papers on my desk at work a couple of months ago. Or a GPS locator. Then I cleaned my desk after that project ended and now I can’t find anything, because everything’s on lots of neat piles of paper in plastic folders. I agree with Alison’s comment on finding stuff in 5 secs, I used to freak my colleagues out with that feat. Paperless office, nu-uh. How can you read and check the language of a 200-page user manual on screen…


  24. Hi Jenny –

    Thanks for sharing that picture of your office. I’d be creativly clever and say something about the mess, but it’s my first post, so I’d better be kind. Wouldn’t want to lose priveledges the first day.

    By the way – SEP is sending us all over here to look at your messy office. Please don’t tell her that I told you…(love you and SEP!)

  25. You know, I look at the picture of your desk and all I see is the jar of the eye of newt and the great view. And the calendar. I love that calendar.

  26. I loved this. That desk is a disaster. I’ve had a similar disaster on my desk but I’m proud to say, today I’m good.

    I have a suggestion. A couple of years ago I made a picture collage of my goals for the year–made from cut outs from magazines and images I searched the internet for. It was a visual goals project. I framed it and hung it on the wall of my office. It was a visual reminder of things I care about and want to accomplish. I know you’ve done some art project before and I thought this idea might click with you too.

    Happy 2006 and thanks for sharing your resolutions—you are a hoot.

  27. Are you in that picture? I can’t tell.

    That is THE best work space. Ever. I think you must be the literary equivalent of a mad scientist.

  28. Those sounded like a good resolution.

    You are a brave woman…sharing your office. BTW, you and my Mom must have the same organizational skills…she happen to be “crazy” about Phin from Welcome to Temptation. I gotta give her a link to this blog.

  29. Thanks for posting the pictures of your office! Mine is similar, but since my computer takes up most of my one desk, I have to stack other papers on a second desk (old library table, actually). My biggest problem is with books. I think they get together and breed at night, since I seem to have more and more of them around…

  30. LOL! I’m wondering why no one has mentioned Flylady and her clutter system? I’ve been doing Flylady for about three years, and to be perfectly honest, my desk looks about like Jenny’s.

    HOWEVER, I am not beating myself up about it because I know I could get it clean in a month if I’d devote 15 minutes a day to it. It’s just not a priority right now — and I’m happy to devote my 15 minutes a day this month to learning how to ice-skate with my kids, writing and studying Japanese. (-: And keeping walking trails clear in the rest of the house.

    That’s what Flylady did for me: permission to make my own priorities, and a plan for dealing with stuff when I’m ready to tackle it. We tend to beat ourselves up too often, and that’s been my resolution for the past few years: to do what I can, and let that be good enough.

    Although, I’m looking forward to seeing pics of the clean Crusie office — I have a feeling it’ll be inspirational!

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