On thickening plots with index cards and the Order of Good Cheer (i.e. Canadian Thanksgiving!) — plus links of interest to writers and other creatives, historians and clutter warriors
Sorry, Peeps, I’ve apparently disappeared on you! I was doing my best to post at least once a week, and — voilá — now two weeks have passed.
The plot does indeed thicken: with index cards, the old standard. My extensively detailed Excel plot sheet bombed on me. Excel is complex, and once it stops working, it’s challenging to fix—at least for me. (If I do need a spreadsheet at some point, I think I will use Numbers.)
But for now, returning to index cards is refreshing.
What’s nice about index cards is that you can move them around and clump them up. You can throw them out and add more. You can lay them out, squint at them, and rearrange them. The other thing you can do is stick post-it notes to them. I had piles around: Random Thought Capture I think of them. Sticking them on index cards and putting them in a semblance of order is calming.
What’s eating up my time:
- Pondering plot (puzzling);
- Research (fascinating);
- Taxes (aggravating!);
- Health: getting shots, check-ups, consultations, plus learning how to sleep using a CPAP machine (challenging);
- Fixing things (sigh);
- Finding things (double sigh);
- Gardening (oh, my back!);
- Reading: catching up on many issues of The New Yorker, Renaissance, and The New York Review of Books before we head south (yikes!);
- Preparing for Canadian Thanksgiving (yay!), always a big, boisterous celebration at our house;
- Preparing for a trip west to give a talk at StarFest. (:-) See below!
- Getting ready to fly south for the winter. (What? Already?)
An event coming up …
I’m going to be flying to Edmonton next week to give a talk (with prizes!) at StarFest, the St. Albert Readers Festival in Saint Albert, Alberta, October 16, Friday night at 7:00.
I’ve heard that this is a great festival; I’m very much looking forward to it. Do come!
Sundry Sundae delectable links:
Links for writers …
• À propos to the above: 7 ways to write a plot outline; The Infographic.
• What agents think. :-(
Links for creatives (i.e. everyone) …
• I read—and loved—Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is so gently hectoring in an altogether inspiring way. Elizabeth Gilbert on the perils of ignoring your creative self. Right on, sister!
Links for Napoleonistas …
• I adore Canadian cartoonist and history-loving nerd Kate Beaton: Napoleon wasn’t so short after all: a cartoonist’s take on history.
Links for historians …
Links for just about anyone …
• Who isn’t overwhelmed? I find Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s books on clearing clutter — both mental and physical — inspiring. I’m looking forward to her newest book A Year to Clear and enjoyed watching her three videos on clearing: Reducing Overwhelm, Releasing Stuck Energy, and Getting Spacious.