Will The Robots Help Me Tie my Shoes, Too?

I’m ready for the Evil Robot Overlords to take charge. Then there will be no need to worry about our calendars.

Regular blog readers probably know by now that making decisions (or making myself make decisions) is not my strong suit (About to Get Grounded and Inner Blue-Slapper, for example). You know what’s even worse than making decisions? Putting those decisions on a calendar. Of course, committing something to your calendar sucks you back into the decision-making matrix, often making you reconsider the original decision you’re now trying to schedule. (Well, I know I said I would, but come on–who really does that on a full moon Friday?)Airplane wing by Ross Parmly from stocksnap.io

In my personal life, this indecisiveness is perpetually in play when it comes to scheduling family visits. Living in a rural area on an island in the middle of the Pacific, getting off the rock is never simple. You have to board animals (who feeds the wee fishies? if we leave a food chunk will they all be floating in brown water when we return?). You have to secure your home so no one breaks in (except the rats, who always break in; it’s their superpower) and so your house doesn’t burn down or blow up (the checklist gets more elaborate if you’re off the grid). Among the other random considerations are fruit harvest. This is the first year we’ve had a fully laden avocado tree, more than one orange, and buckets of lilikoi on our fence. After watching them mature for months, who wants to literally miss the fruit of (her husband’s) labors? Not to mention unattended fruit inviting hordes of pigs and helping the pesky rats settle in for the long haul.

First avocado in our yard by Judy K. Walker

Fist-sized Avocado Rock

[Quick Digression: the first small avocado fell from our tree a few days ago. The dogs ran for cover and my husband and I wondered if a bomb had gone astray from a nearby military exercise when it hit the roof. If we get a strong breeze in the middle of the night… It might be wise to leave the house after all, except I fear we’ll return to a kitchen open to the elements, filled with rotten guacamole and battered metal roof sections.]

I’m running into some scheduling resistance in my professional life, too. I’d mentioned a few weeks ago that my next book will not be a Sydney Brennan Mystery, but rather a standalone thriller, probably set in Hawaii (Pity the Writer’s Nightstand, Part II). Yeah, about that… [insert the sound of pages ripping from a planner] 😉

I’d also shared that for my next project, I want to experiment with what I write and how I write it. Well, after that post, I got lucky and a great opportunity came up out of the blue. I’m taking part in a program that will allow me to (virtually) work alongside a group of writers I admire as they create a new project, all the way from market research to idea to launch. I’m really excited about learning their process, and I’ll be writing my own book alongside them and a small group of other writers. My book will be a thriller, but I’m not sure if the idea I had in mind as my next project will work for this or not. I may have to come up with something completely new, which is both exciting and scary. The course just started this week, and I’m already moving outside my comfort zone. By the time I start the manuscript, my comfort zone won’t even be a speck on the horizon, which is probably a good place to write. At least once in a while.

Meanwhile, since I’ve turned my mind to something else, Sydney keeps tapping at the back door. (What, your brain doesn’t have a back door?) Hey, Judy, you know when you were thinking about bringing those characters back? Well, here’s why they show up again… Little bits of Sydney’s future adventures keep popping into my head, little pieces dropping into place (I love when that happens) and subsequently into my Scrivener files. And even though I said I wasn’t going to write it yet, somehow the opening chapter of the next Sydney book made its way onto my laptop this week. Whoops!Person writing in Planner by Brandon Redfern from stocksnap.io

The course I’m doing has a rough monthly schedule, but I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to split my focus between multiple projects (the thriller and Syd) at different stages. That means that at this point, I don’t really know what books are coming out and when. But I’m feeling pretty good about it. We loves the stories, precious!

Of course, if a shiny metal dude shows up at my door, robotic arm outstretched, I am still happy to hand over my day timer. Let him figure it out.

[Airplane Wing by Ross Parmly and Planner by Brandon Redfern, from stocksnap.io; Avocado by Judy K. Walker]