Resolve 2013: Laughing in the face of organization

A note from Jessa: Today’s GET ORGANIZED advice comes from author, mom and perpetual motion machine, Jenna Bayley-Burke. She always has something going on, so I know she’ll have great suggestions on how to keep it all together.

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Jenna Bayley-Burke
Author of Drive Me Crazy

Jenna Bayley BurkeI’m excited to see all the tips everyone else has during the Resolve 2013 tour. Alas, organization is not my strong suit. I’m always forgetting something. And most of my tips have to do with kiddos, not writing. But here goes…

  1. Carpool – Any and everywhere you can. I trade ride duties for the kids preschool, chess team, matholympiad, yearbook club, play practice, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, ballet – if I can get out of driving half the time, it’s beyond worth the work of scheduling. I even carpool to the gym for Zumba because it gives me time to chat with a friend.
  2. Menu Plan – It is boring as all get out, but planning a week’s worth of menus before you hit the grocery store can save time in many ways…you don’t have to think up what to cook and it really cuts down on trips to the store.
  3. Recycle – This is very easy here in Oregon. The recycling goes in a giant bin at the curb that is collected every other week. It gives me the deadline to make sure all the newspapers, junk mail, cardboard and magazines have made a mass exodus from my kitchen counter.
  4. Donate – I cannot throw away a book. Ever. I can, however pass them on to those who need the distraction. I take a bag of books with me every time I visit the hospital. (Sadly, I know where the family lounge rooms are and like to keep the shelves stocked with romances.)  I donate books the kids are done with to the local library. I’ve even been known to sell books back. For more books. Not really helpful with the whole organizing bit.
  5. Bankers Boxes – OK, so this is going to sound crazy. But I bought a pack of bankers boxes for like ten dollars. And when the pile on my desk gets too high…I load the whole mess into a bankers box. And then I date it. And if a year goes by and I haven’t opened it in a mad search for something important…it hits the recycling bin. It’s all paper anyway.

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Another Jessa note: The bankers box idea is brilliant! The clutter builds up in massive, dated chunks, so I should unearth it in massive, dated chunks. Nice. Today I’m posting with Susan Lute on her resolution to reduce stress – find and follow your bliss.

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Getting organized? Hmmm…

Note from Jessa: Today I am hosting my friend and fellow author Susan Lute who is obviously a little too much like me in the “GET ORGANIZED? But why?” department. I guess that’s why we’re friends 🙂

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Susan Lute
Author of Dragon’s Thief

Susan Lute cropped portraitI’m always intrigued by the New Year’s resolution to “get organized”, mainly because I’m so bad at it. But when I’m trying to be good, sometimes I organize too. Here’s what happens.

I say to myself, “I think I’ll organize my office today.”

Good girl, says the little angelic being sitting on my shoulder.

Really?, snorts the rascally companion pulling the tangled hair on top of my head.

Ignoring that one, I dutifully dig in and get about half way done before I realize how thirsty I am…and hungry…and distracted because all these things have to go into their proper places. Before I know it I’m out of the office, with the promise I’ll be right back, and five minutes later it’s a done deal. All interest in organizing the office has evaporated into thin smoke.

The good news is it usually looks better. And I can live with that.

That’s the thing about getting organized. There are some things that must be organized, like household budgets and how to write a novel. There are other things that…well…pick your battles. What’s important and what’s not? What makes life easier? What doesn’t? Sometimes that’s the best barometer.

What organizational tips work for you? Do you have a favorite? Who knows, maybe the next time I organize the office, with your advice, I’ll stick with it to the end.

Where to find me 🙂 Goodreads, My website, Facebook, Twitter and See Jane Publish. Sign up for my newsletter and have a chance to win a gift card to Amazon or BN. And don’t forget to support your local authors by becoming a “fan” on Goodreads.

Another Jessa note: I have to admit, I’m tempted to go with the “GET ORGANIZED-ER” idea here 😉 Baby steps, right? Today I’m over with Jenna Bayley-Burke offering my suggestions on eating healthier. Where I’m probably going to be about as helpful as Susan was on getting organized! #eatmorechocolate

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Amok on Mondays: Guest Jenna Bayley Burke

amok monday guest authorsWhich Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?

Funny you should mention Disney…I tend to type my heroines by Disney princess. Yes, really. It’s part of my brainstorming process. Saskia in Caribbean Christmas is Tinkerbell, smitten and flitting about. I think I’m more Belle…and we all want Ariel’s hair. Right?

Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion? 

I’d beat them with my foam roller and plantar fasciitis braces. My posture brace is practically a straight jacket. Physical therapy for the win!

What do you like best about your current work, published or not?

The setting. I love the Caribbean. Okay, so I’ve only been once, briefly. But I loved what I experienced.

Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?

Beauty and the Beast. Oh, and knowing the difference between a Rapunzel and Cinderella theme. Rapunzel discovered who she always was once she was free, Cinderella gets a makeover to see herself in a new way, but retreats.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?

Sleep. That’s where I borrow my writing time from. I’d also volunteer more, like with my boys’ Battle of the Books team, or teach an art class for my wee small girl. I would read, read, read. I bet I would burn through Kindle’s the way I currently burn through laptops.

Jenna Bayley BurkeJenna Bayley-Burke

Caribbean Christmas excerpt –

Caribbean Christmas Jenna Bayley Burke

‘Tis the season for unwrapping the gift of pleasure.

Under the Caribbean Sun, Book 1

When Saskia snags a last-minute ticket home to the Caribbean isle of Anguilla, she intends to surprise her workaholic father and to reconnect over Christmas. When she finds he’s away on business, there’s still plenty to fill her time while she waits. Sailing, snorkeling…and an unexpected, very adult attraction to her girlhood crush.

Joe Prinsen is certain Saskia has returned to the island only to ask for money. He feels it’s time she learns the truth about her father’s depleted financial situation from the man himself. And he intends to make sure she sticks around long enough to hear it.

Except the girl he remembers has matured into a devastatingly sexy woman. She’s taking all his noble intentions and unwrapping them, one by one, until their shared desire is revealed in the warm Caribbean water. Saskia’s only home for Christmas. And once she finds out the secret he’s hiding, she’ll no doubt leave the Caribbean, and him, for good.

“By the time they got their clothes on and made it back to his truck, Joe knew he’d made a critical error.” Read the rest of the excerpt on Jenna’s website.

Product Warnings: The only thing hotter than the tropical sun is the sex—in the surf, on the water, against the bookcase… Readers will be wise to monitor electronic devices, and themselves, for overheating.

Booksigning at Jan’s Paperbacks

4 Romance Author Book Signing

Saturday, November 17, 1-4 pm
18095 SW Tualatin Valley HwyBeaverton, Oregon
Jan’s Paperbacks will be hosting a book signing with four local romance authors including Jenna Bayley-Burke (Drive Me Crazy), Terri Reed (The Doctors Defender) and Maggie Jaimeson (Undertones), plus me, of course.
Refreshments will be available (Woot! I’m bringing brownies too!) as well as free gifts.  All are welcome.
Jan’s has new and used books and offers ebooks through Kobo, so whatever your reading pleasure you can indulge it at Jan’s!