Friday, November 22, 2013

List-Induced Hysteria

I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Why not, you ask? I can't fit it into my To Lo list.

To Do lists are the devil.

I'm an organized person -- I have to be to juggle a career as an author with a fulltime job and family. But this time of year, I have so many lists going, I think I'm suffering from To-Do List Induced Hysteria. The symptoms are awful -- hold on, I have a list of them here.

  1. A compulsion to create To Do lists (plural).
  2. Rapid breathing, increased heart rate when reading To Do lists. (See Nancy Ohlin's post from 11/14 for proof!) 
  3. A tendency to procrastinate actually doing the items on the To Do lists. 

November is a busy time for us. Besides Thanksgiving, which I host every other year, November holds birthdays for both my husband and me, plus our wedding anniversary. This year is my turn at hosting Thanksgiving and not only are two of my guests diabetic, I was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I've been scouring the internet, looking for low-carb and low-sugar recipes we can all enjoy because there's just no joy in watching other people eat while you can't.

I've found recipes for roasted Brussels sprouts with vinaigrette, harvest vegetables, a vegetable platter arranged like a turkey, even faux mashed potatoes. I've got recipes printed out, lists of what gets prepared and baked at what time. Before I can cook, I have to shop, so there are shopping lists for the whole month of November, because some things can be purchased earlier than others. My husband's birthday falls right on Thanksgiving this year, and that means a low sugar/carb deal cake just won't fly -- so I need to serve options.

It's daunting, it really is!

I participated in NaNoWriMo once about three years ago and it nearly killed me. But it did teach me a few good lessons. First, I plotted the hell out of that project. Second, from that plot, I created a scene list. (You knew there'd be a list, right?) I wrote 1600 words a day and thoroughly enjoyed crossing the finished ones off my list.

November is also holiday shopping season, so I have lists for who needs/wants what hot item that all the stores are out of. *sighs*

I started a new role at my day job. That means studying, and learning the ropes. One of my first projects was to organize our chief's holiday greeting. Instead of cards, he's doing a video. I had to write a script, run out to discount stores (plural) to find a tacky holiday tie, coordinate schedules with the video crew, and get artwork approved.

How many lists are we up to now? Right, three. (I think I need a list of lists. *Adds that to list.*)

I'm working on a new YA project. My contract with Sourcebooks is up and now, I'm starting to panic. What if nobody likes this project? I've already had this happen with a ghost story I'd planned and plotted for a year. No nibbles. It's so hard to abandon a story once it's grabbed you around the neck, but you have to, or you won't publish for years. So now I keep lists of ideas in case an editor nibbles on my current project, but wants more than one title. *breathes into paper bag*

Did I mention how daunting this is?

There's a housecleaning list, too. It's not enough to just do the regular chores like laundry or dishes for the holidays. There's extra stuff like making sure the good dishes are washed, the silver polished, the bathrooms have fancy towels, and all the laundry is actually folded and put away, instead of piled on top of the washing machine.

*checks list*

Oh, I almost forgot one! Medical stuff. I save a few medical things for the end of the year to make sure the deductible's met and I can cover the out of pocket expenses. I have to see the gyno and dermatologist, make appointments for Pap smears and mamograms and a laser treatment (I have these tiny cysts on my face like pimples but they never go away unless zapped. Pretty sure they charge about $500 a zap. *gasps*)

Lists for Thanksgiving, lists for Christmas, lists for day job, lists for novels, lists for doctors -- I need a nap. *checks lists* Perfect. I can fit that in right now...


  1. Whew, Patty. I experienced rapid breathing and increased heart rate just READING your list.

  2. Patty, we should form a support group!

  3. Wow, you have so much on your plate! I hope things will calm down after Thanksgiving. The Brussels sprout recipe sounds great!

  4. ooo, spiked nog - yes, please! Nancy, your post inspired my post. :) Happy Thanksgiving, everone :)