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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Blog that Almost Wasn't


I’ve been trying to think of a blog topic and have come up empty.  What interests me may not interest to you.  And, my brain is going in so many different directions right now that I can’t seem to remain focused on one topic. 

First and foremost in my mind is Twelve Angry Men.  I love this movie but have to admit that I’ve only seen the 1957 version with Henry Fonda.  I should watch the others, but how can you top Fonda?  Now I find myself thinking about what kinds of pens were used, how thin or thick were the ties, what did the notepads look like and where can I get two identical switchblades (stage version safe).  Some of these things I have accomplished, others I am still working on.  Why such an attention to detail?  Because I am co-directing the stage play and we open on October 5th. This is the first time I’ve directed adults and I must confess, I am a bit nervous. 

On the heels of my show, my mind is thinking about hairstyles and makeup that span Regency to Victorian.  I get to be in charge of hair and makeup for A Christmas Carole with only about 90 cast members (piece of cake – ha!).  It doesn’t open until December so I don’t really need to concentrate on it now, but it is there lurking, along with The Little Mermaid. Another show I am doing hair and makeup for in April.

But I just shoved those projects to the back burner because I received edits back on a story.  These need my attention and I have been working on it a chapter at a time, taking breaks and thinking things through that need to be fixed.  I want to work quicker but I have learned that if I don’t force myself to step away during the editing process, things get missed.

Meanwhile, another story is in my mind and characters are demanding attention. But, I can’t write it until I do research. I am delving into a period of time I do not know much about: 1863.  Why am I focusing on this era? I don’t know.  I blame it on my daughter. I know, not fair. But, if she hadn’t moved to Portland, I wouldn’t have found myself interested in the history and then thinking about stories that could take place there, and for some reason, I want them to be in the 1860’s. 

Of course, my characters had to come from somewhere because if they aren’t Native Americans, they came from (or their parents and/or grandparents) somewhere else.  Did you know a number of Scottish settled in the area? Not only am I researching Portland, but New York as well and how to get from one to the other (my heroine is going to travel from New York). I’ve opted not to go by the Oregon Trail but by ship.  Yep, this leads to more research.  So, last night I put away all thoughts of theater and edits, and read about immigrants to America, tenement life in New York City, the Fifth Avenue Hotel (which was a luxury hotel in New York from 1859 to 1908 and employed 400 servants),  occupations in Portland, New York Draft Riots, Portland Exports, Clippers, Cape Horn, Mail-Order Brides and a host of other things. 

I thought any one of these topics could be a good blog post, but I can’t remain focused long enough to stick with one subject. So, instead of a thoughtful, detail post, you received my ramblings of the blog that almost wasn’t.

Do you ever have trouble focusing on one thing and one thing only?

18 comments:

  1. Amy,
    You have a lot on your plate! No wonder it's hard to focus on only one thing.

    I often feel pulled in different directions, but generally I can focus on one thing at a time. I have to or I wouldn't ever get anything done. I'm not a good multitasker. :)

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    1. Samantha,

      I used to be much better at mutlitasking but recently it has become a bit more difficult. Maybe I am just trying to multitask too many things. Now to decide which needs to be removed - hmmmm.

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  2. Absolutely, I have that problem. When I was getting ready to move, I couldn't stop myself from thinking about all the things I still needed to do for the move, and so I had a very difficult time with writing. I'd even lay in bed at night with thoughts racing through my head. It was awful. Taking Rescue Remedy helped, especially once I started taking their Sleep Melts. It just helped clear away all the racing thoughts at night so that I could fall asleep. Granted, I still had a hard time writing, but at least I could sleep again.

    Good luck! Sounds like, as usual, you have a lot on your plate.

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    1. Catherine,

      I haven't tried the Sleep Melts. I may have to give them a shot. It isn't so much as I have trouble getting to sleep, but I am constantly dreaming and waking up. Maybe an uninterrupted nights sleep will help the focusing.

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  3. LOL, Amy! Only every day of my life. Between my 40+hour day job, my writing schedule, my teenage son, my boyfriend, his daughter, my kitchen being remodeled, chapter meetings, board meetings, workshops, reading salons, soccer games, etc. - I don't know how I manage to focus on any one thing long enough to to it. :)

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    1. You're getting your kitchen remodeled? Fun! And stressful! Well, I guess the fun comes in picking things out...and in the finished product. Not so much in the act of remodeling itself.

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    2. I am stressed out on every possible front, Catherine. (And I'm betting you'll still want a chapter from me tomorrow. LOL)

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  4. Lots of stuff, but lots of fun! All of your activities sound so interesting, I think a little frazzled-ness would be totally worth it!

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    1. Deb,

      It is worth it, I just wish I could organize myself a bit better these days.

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  5. Ava,

    I didn't even think about my day job when writing the blog, but that is another 40 hours a week that can't be ignored, nor did I mention my teenage son, who is currently eating us out of house and home, especially when his friends are over. I swear, there was a pack of teenagers around the tv/playstation/computer from the time they got out of the football game Friday night until they had to go home last night. I used to complain about not having a close RWA chapter (the closest is 3 hrs away). Now, I am thinking that is a good thing because I would be going there too.

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  6. Oh what a busy life—and mind!—you have, dear Amy :) Yep, I am like that sometimes for sure. You should see me clean the house sometime. I get started in one room, move something to another room and start of that one, run something to the next room and go on with the one—it takes me the whole day before any one room is clean!

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    1. Erin,

      When I clean (which I haven't done for awhile - hope they don't come and condemn my house) I have to force myself to stay in one room or nothing gets done.

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  7. Wow... there is absolutely no way that I could keep track of all of that let alone the every day stuff! I'm in awe :)

    But I guess I'm like that with my reading. I'm notorious for reading at least 3-4 books at a time b/c I mood read. Even though it may be an author that I love or book that I've been dying to read, if I'm not in the right mood/mind frame to read it, it'll ruin the book for me if I force it. So I'll read a few chapters and if I'm feeling "meh" than I'll put it down and try another. And I have work reading and home reading. LOL... I'm just a reading Flibbertigibbet :)

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    1. Goodness, don't be in awe because I am pretty sure I am headed for Bedlam - lol. I used to read books like that. I simply don't have time now. Now all my fiction is on an MP3 or CD and I listen in the car. However, I have been known to sit in the driveway for up to 20 minutes because I happened to pull in at a really good part. And, I've been known to sit in my car over breaks and during the lunch hour when it is a really good book.

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  8. Like Samantha said on Twitter, I feel all worn out just from reading your post, lol!

    Instead of admitting that I can be scatterbrained at times, I'll chalk it up to genius multi-tasker. *snort*

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    1. Marquita,

      Oh, I would borrow that genius statement, but nobody would believe me - lol.

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  9. Amy, Oh my lawd, I don't know how you do it. I'd be a boiling mess of venom and chaos! I couldn't handle that many projects in the air. I have to focus on one thing at a time or it all falls apart. Good luck with all your projects!!!

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    1. "boiling mess of venom and chaos" - LOL. As of October 15th I will have nothing to think about but writing until the end of November and my characters can't wait. They are getting rather impatient with me.

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