Occupational Hazards


Are you nodding…or shaking your head?

I worked for a number of years in the restaurant as well as retail grocery and non-grocery . I came away with some habits that might qualify me as obsessive-compulsive.

  • Clean out and wash down the refrigerator before each shopping trip.
  • Freezer sorting might be done less frequently and just as thoroughly.
  • At each shopping return trip, rotate supplies by the expiry date, freshest at the back. All bulk goods are divided and surplus stored in bug-proof and, when practical, by air-tight means (gotta love our food sealer)
  • Clear out all cupboard contents about every three months. Wash the walls, base, frame and doors.
  • Dust each item as you organize the area.
  • Over stock by two the paper and chemical supplies.
  • All liquid items are properly disposed of at their expiry date, which includes chemicals and first aid.
  • Unfamiliar products get one chance to make an impression.
  • Whenever possible place items on the menu that are about to expire (in retail, this would be a SALE!).

Okay, so that’s the kitchen and (the start of the) laundry room…. Are you nodding or shaking your head?


Artistic Goal Setting

We can achieve every goal we set for ourselves. Perhaps the timeline can be elastic. Perhaps you had setbacks unforeseen that took priority (I’m about to have my third surgery of the year).

When I was 18, I wrote down goals for what my life would look like at age 25 (I’m now 41). The list made it through a number of moves and messes to find me near age 30. Behold! More than 60 percent of the list had been completed though I had not seen the goals list for years. At that point, I reevaluated. Many things left undone were no longer pertinent or were no longer important to me.

A new list was begun, written by hand and purposely ‘lost’ in my shuffle.

I’m writing in response to Progress Report « Live to Write – Write to Live.

The goal of a poem per week is 52 poems. Fifty-two poems in two years is still ambitious. What is telling is that the goal dropped off the radar, and so it ferments, as MarinaSofia said in her reply.

I think our artistic goals are guidelines. An idea may grab you by the horns and turn you right around. Flexibility and not giving up when a goal remains important to you is as important as not comparing yourself to others.

Let your natural pace guide you and, as Deborah Lee Luskin did, find tools that motivate you.

©2012 Sandra Davidson

Keeping Up with Ideas

My head is always full. Sometimes with useful information. Fridays are my favorite reads at the Live to Write – Write to Live blog (link to story at the end).

It’s ideas for me. Sure, writing ideas as well.

What Didn’t Work:

  • I used to have sticky notes everywhere and then, from frustration, I’d put all the sticky notes in a conventional spiral notebook, trying to create some order. This note had to be cut in half and the other half taped to some other page—agh. No more.
  • I tried tablets. I had one by my desk, another in the kitchen, the car had at least one with several pens. The bedroom, shame, I had three or four, some pulled from other areas of the house. Not working for me.
  • A voice recorder works great for keeping the ideas. That’s just it. The ideas stay there because I’m off working on something else and six months or more have passed before I realize some transcription needs to be done. While transcribing, I get distracted by something on the recorder and I’m starting all over again in six months with transcribing the rest of the tape.
  • Journal…see voice recorder above and realize I rarely reread anything I’ve written in my journal.

What Works

  • Whiteboards. There’s one in the kitchen that’s half whiteboard, half cork. I have one in my office that’s approximately 3′ by 2′, all whiteboard and magnetic. Wet and dry markers are a must for my office. Fine and chisel tip, a lot of colors. If I had enough wall space, every surface in the room would be whiteboard material (you can get it in rolls and sheets), with some dedicated to current writing projects.
  • Cameras. No idea where I would be without my digital camera and plenty of hard drive space on the computer (salute to hubby). See, when the whiteboard gets gapped from projects finished and ideas developed, I don’t have to wipe and carefully rescript the remaining items. I point the camera and take a photo of the few things left on the board.
  • Cameras. No, you’re not misreading and I’m not miswriting. My digital camera is also an extension of my eyes and brain, even my emotions. I take it with me nearly everywhere I go. If I don’t, that’s when something hilarious or magnificent occurs and I miss the photo. “Three elderly men gathered around a single picnic table, bundled in hats and coats against the wind rolling up the river canyon.” Unfortunately, I missed the shot; fortunately, my mind remembered from the blur left in the digital photo set.
  • Two refillable leather notebooks. One brown and one black. Just two. One lives in my purse, the purse chosen simply because the notebook fit. The other is kept beside my bed when there are are times when my mind will not let me sleep until I have emptied it of what it feels are the lists it requires. I use the normal orientation of the notebook for descriptive writing. I turn it upside down and write from what would be the back for check lists and other temporary scribbles.
  • Closet doors. Windows will work if you’re willing to sacrifice the view and light. Here’s where either 3″ by 5″ cards or sticky notes do justice to their existence. Plot and character decisions are perfectly relocatable, repositionable, replaceable and saveable. And that’s the only good use for sticky notes. Otherwise I get myself into a mess again.

Love to hear what you’ve got. ©2012 Sandra Davidson
And here’s that link I promised.

Friday Fun – Fave tricks to sneak writing into your day « Live to Write – Write to Live.