Monday, April 13, 2015

A Writer's Spring Cleaning, Featuring Fabio

Not long ago, I read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

"Oh, great," said my husband when he saw the book in my hands. "Now you're going to want to organize everything."

How well he knows me.

See, I tend to work better when the things around me are organized. Maybe it's because the inside of my head is already a chaotic place. Maybe it's because I'm easily distracted. Most likely it's a combination of both.

Whatever the case, Mr. R has learned by now: if the story ideas aren't flowing, or if a deadline is getting near, I'm probably going to start going through clutter.

In the past month, I've completed a quick revision on one book, turned in another, and am now working on a deep revision of the first book. (If at first you don't succeed...) I've also made an embarrassing number of to-do lists and poked through corners of the house I hadn't looked at since we moved in almost ten years ago. And yes, I've drunk a lot of coffee to keep me going.

The best finds of my declutterathon were:

*a fancy cheese slicer that Mr. R had received as a gift from a work client, then stashed in a bathroom drawer because he "didn't know where else to put it" (My suggestion: the kitchen, which is where it now lives)
*a box of paperbacks I'd kept from the late '90s, including Christopher Pike novels and little books about the Spice Girls (I gave these to Twitter friends I knew would love 'em)
*a signed picture of Fabio, which I won from RT Book Reviews a while back (squee!) and had put in a safe place. You know the sort of place--so safe you might never find it again. I'm sorry, Fabio.

Thank goodness I found the picture, because it's great. It might just be the Fabio-est picture that ever existed. Check it out:


Now I get to decide what to do with it. And The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up would encourage me to pass it on. It made me smile to know that such a picture existed, gold-marker signature and all. Would it make one of you smile to own it? Let me know if you'd like a little Fabio in your life, and I'll pick a winner at random. And if you've got any organizational tips, or funny stories about odd stuff you've come across in your own home, let me know that too! I'd love to hear about it.

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest. Find her at theresaromain.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

21 comments:

  1. I am in the process of organizing and de cluttering, too! Starting with my closet! Then I'll work my way down to the basement where all sorts of treasure (!) lurks. First, is to put items where they belong, then the pile to donate, and last is the pile which should be recycled or trashed! Sometimes it feels like our possessions possess us! As for the Fabio print, perhaps looking at him would inspire me to finally write the novel I have promised myself I have inside! He has certainly graced many a cover of my favorite books. Good luck to all of us aspiring writers and cleaners!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel, that's well put--sometimes I feel like my possessions are taking over too. It's a fortunate problem to have, I know! Good luck with your organizing and de-cluttering. Wonder what you'll find in your basement?? Surely something even more exciting than a fancy cheese slicer. :)

      Delete
  2. Did you like the book about tidying up? I have thought about buying it, or getting it on audio. I know the author has a unique way of folding items in drawers. As for Fabio, I remember when you won him on twitter. I don't know if I would be strong enough to pass him on . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gayle, I did like the book. I admit that I did not adopt the author's method of folding clothes, but the idea of going through items by category (for example, all clothes in the house) rather than space (room by room) made a lot of sense.

      I actually won TWO Fabio pictures on Twitter! The other Fabio has been given to my brother, who as a teenager had a fantasy football team called The Fabios. He also called his unborn child Fabio before he and his wife learned that their baby was a girl. Lucky for her? :)

      Delete
  3. I recently became a home-based network engineer. My home office is now a combination of keeper romance novels and tech reference materials, so I am working on some reorganization here to make the worlds co-exist. I recently found my Fabio mouse pad while looking through a box in my office closet! Fabio and Cisco Networking manuals. Works for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, that is a great combination! Congrats, and good luck with the office reorganization.

      Delete
    2. Laura, random.org picked you to win the Fabio picture! Please email me at theresa @ theresaromain .com with the best address for sending your prize.

      Delete
  4. I have decided to unclutter before I am too old to do it, and my daughter is stuck with the world's largest collection of only socks. However, I have a great place to hang Fabio, so bring him on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the collection of only socks. That's one of the things I couldn't quite bring myself to get rid of. Where ARE those other socks? They're coming right back, aren't they?

      Delete
  5. Love the feeling spring cleaning brings--accomplishment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It feels really good to get it done, I agree!

      Delete
  6. I always love seeing Fabio on my mom's romance novels which I stole and secretely read. I think most heros were based on Fabio back then. As for decluttering I'm more of an out of sight out of mind person.
    -Kristine R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristine, that's my husband's method too. It works well for him, except for those moments his wife finds a cheese slicer gift set in a bathroom drawer. :)

      Delete
  7. That is pretty coll and very Fabio-esque.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?? Hair blowing in the breeze and everything.

      Delete
  8. I don't organize. I actually work better with the clutter. But, I'm ruthless when I get in a spring cleaning mood. I LOVE. Fabio !! That picture would go on my wall, I'm serious!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gpangel, I think that kind of ruthless mood is what my husband was afraid of. But I did *not* touch his stuff; only mine.

      Delete
  9. Congratulations. My hubs is the same.
    Just moved and treated my stuff with the maxim, if I'm not going to use it in six months, and it's under 50 bucks, it gets tossed. Now if I can get the hubs to do it we might have a garage again (not).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally, that's one thing I wish the book had covered in more detail: how to motivate the people you live with to go through their stuff too. Author Marie Kondo swore my housemates would start decluttering once they saw me doing it--alas, no.

      Delete
    2. Sigh. If you find the answer, please let me know. :D

      Delete