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Showing posts from April, 2011

Wait... What? My post is due tomorrow?

So, yes, I left this blog post go until the very last minute.I should wear a crown that says Queen of Procrastination. On any given day, I can put off washing the dirty dishes in the sink, taking the clothes overflowing the laundry basket in the bathroom into the basement, and walk around the dirt my son tracked through the house. I tell myself I'm going to get more writing done if I continue to ignore those chores. Sometimes it works. Mostly, I just don't want to do those things so I don't. Eventually I get around to them. Sometimes my husband gets there first. He has a lower tolerance for squalor than I do. **Smiles** What I hate about my procrastination is when it extends to my writing. I don't have the luxury of losing entire days to solitaire and mahjong. I've learned to deal with my mail box first thing in the morning so I'm not as tempted to keep checking it all morning. Which I do anyway. Just not as much. I also allow myself to play solitaire

Procrastination or Prioritizing? by Tamara Hogan

What is this procrastination of which you speak? I really don't understand the concept. In addition to being the least spontaneous person on the planet, I prioritize. Ruthlessly. My "To Do" list is a short list of Everything Which Must Be Done, the non-negotiable stuff: self-care/health, work tasks, (day job and writing), family and personal commitments, finances, anything with a deliverable or deadline. If it's on the list, it gets done, no questions asked. Anything not urgent or important enough to qualify for the "To Do" list gets put on the "Nice To Do" list instead - and it must be said that at Chez Hogan, home of two adults, two cats and no kids, household chores don't hit the "To Do" list until we're approaching grossout stage. Because really now, on my deathbed, will I regret not having spent more time vaccumning, or scrubbing the stovetop until it shines? I don't think so.  If anything, I'm pretty sure I'l

Deb Werksman will Critique Your First Two Paragraphs!

By Deb Werksman Editorial Manager Sourcebooks Casablanca Post the first two paragraphs of your manuscript anytime today--up until midnight--and I will post my critique by next Friday. Here is what I need from you: Title Sub-Genre (Romance & Women's Fiction ONLY) One Sentence Pitch of Book First Two Paragraphs Looking forward to reading your openings!


We've spent the past month here discussing different takes on procrastination. For me, procrastination comes from exhaustion. In order to feel productive and stay on schedule with work, I have to protect my sleep. That means a solid eight hours a night, especially on deadline. It's an ongoing battle as my house is noisy and I have a tough time settling down at the end of the day. But here are some tips I've found to tip the scales in favor of a better night's sleep. (Now keep in mind I am not a doctor... but I've written about one in my books many times!) SLEEPING TIPS: *When you wake up in the morning or once the sun rises, stand outside in the bright sunlight for 15 minutes to help reset your melatonin cycle so you'll be drowsy at night. *No TV or computer right before bed. *Only use your bedroom for sleep (not writing!) *Lavender scent can help you relax. Scented linen sprays are a nice way to pamper yourself! *Exercise during the day, but not in t

Procrastination IS Me

I do procrastinate. I don't know why, I hate it, but I can't seem to break free. I spend more energy procrastinating than I would have if I just did the darned thing. Sometimes I'll do that. I start to make a list of things to do, then it becomes a game to see how many of those things I can rush and do so I don't have to add them to the list. And can you say distraction...Sometimes I'll have six things going on the computer. Googling something, have a couple of blogs I need to comment on, an interview I need to complete, then I'll suddenly remember something else I needed to check out. I just stack the web pages all up, but then I'll see something interesting and go off on a trail, forgetting where I started, then accidentally hit close google and lose them all. If I'm lucky, I remember and go find them again. If I'm not, I will run across an old email as I'm searching for something and remember that I never finished that whatever it is. It's

Procrastination-->Isolation-->Instant Gratification

I will admit that I am a procrastinator of epic proportions. Unfortunately, while I know this about myself, it doesn't change my tendency to put things off until the last minute. Take this blog for example. Last night, as I was pondering what to talk about today, my instant messenger popped up and my uber -awesome critique partner's picture flashed on my screen. I was quickly distracted--as I always am when my IM pops up--but at the same time thrilled. You see, Joan Swan and I chat at least every day. Sometimes more. (Usually more.) I bitch at her about my characters and plot, stress over never getting everything done that needs to get done, grumble about my kids being too loud or the puppy who ate my favorite pair of heels. She reassures me I'm not a total loser, that somehow I'll figure out what needs to be done and do it, that my kids aren't really Gremlins who need to avoid water, that Zappos can solve my shoe problem, and that tomorrow will be a better day. (

The Illusion of Procrastination

I can't put off writing this blog any longer. As I write, it is 7:05 PM on 4/18/2011. I have a riding lesson in the morning and I work the next three nights. Then on Friday, when this blog will post, I'll be heading to Kentucky to visit my sisters for the weekend--after I've slept for a bit. My sister doesn't have internet service. (HOW WILL I LIVE????) Therefore, this blog must be posted tonight. As I've mentioned in my comments on the other blogs this month, I can't really say that I'm much of a procrastinator. However, if you're looking for a couple of world class examples, my DH and my eldest son are definitely in the running. I could go on about them for days on end, but since I'm feeling gracious and magnanimous this evening, I'll pass on that. Suffice it to say that Mike has a T-shirt that says "Procrastinators of the World Unite... tomorrow." And he wears it with pride. Not being one to put things off (I hate having stuff hangin

Procrastination? Or Productivity?

By Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor It’s really easy to be hard on ourselves for procrastinating. After all, everyone has a mountain of to-dos every day—especially if you’re juggling a full-time job, kids and a writing career. Seriously, I’m in awe of you. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed and beat ourselves up over not crossing off every item on the list. For my day, it could be contracts, revision letters, back cover copy, cover art feedback, author correspondence, submissions, meeting prep, returning phone calls, or any number of other things —even editing when possible! But it’s important to remember that we need some unstructured time. Just because something isn’t on the to-do list doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Here are five things you might consider procrastinating that can actually help improve productivity: reading blogs – it’s vital keep up on industry news and make connections with other bloggers, reviewers, and authors watching YouT

Delay by Shana Galen

This month we’re blogging about procrastination. That word isn’t really in my vocabulary, but I do have a little delay to talk about. First, I want to gush about the cover of my September release, LORD AND LADY SPY. This is definitely a book of my heart, and I can’t wait for readers to meet Adrian and Sophia, Lord and Lady Smythe. You see, the Smythes aren’t your average viscount and viscountess. They’re actually highly specialized operatives working for a secret organization called the Barbican group. Their identities are so secret, they’re even hidden from each other. Their mission? To defeat Napoleon. But what happens when the mission is complete? Meet Lord and Lady Smythe, out of work spies. Lady Sophia Smythe will scream if she has to attend another tea party. Lord Adrian Smythe will hit someone if he's forced to while away another evening in Parliament. What are secret agents to do when the war is over? There's one chance left to get back into the game. The prime minister

Procrastination Station

by Joanne Kennedy, Procrastinator-in-Chief Procrastination? It's my middle name. Why do you think this blog is posting late? Actually, it's more disorganization that procrastination. And perfectionism. All those --isms and --ations keep me from getting a darn thing done. I've got lots of good reasons to procrastinate, though. My charming husband tempts me to go out and play -- or hang out at Starbucks -- when I should be working. And I have a couple of dogs that want lots of attention, too. And the dogs are...unpredictable. For example, Scrape and I were headed out the door not long ago when my Jack Russell Terrier rocketed out the front door and attacked a neigbor's dog for no reason other than the fact that he dared to set one of his furry little paws on our our lawn. The dog was a cockapoo, and when we extricated him from the melee, it became clear she had tried her best to turn him into merely a "poo." Poor puppy! The five minute fight turned into a five

How not to procrastinate

Oh, you're going to hate me. I'm not a procrastinator. It seems as if a lot of people are, and the few of us who don't put things off to the last minute annoy the heck out of those who do. Why is that? When something comes up that has to be done, I simply do it. Yes, right then. If several things need to be done at once, well, obviously that's not possible, so you randomly select something and do that. Next you do another thing, then another. Before you know it, everything is done. I think a lot of what makes people stall is getting overwhelmed. (An aside: My hubby and I were tallking about how underwhelmed now seems to have become a word. But how do you strike a balance between those two? Is there such a thing as being just the right amount of whelmed?) Sorry, that made me giggle and I like to share my giggles with others. Perfectionism is my husband's problem, and that's what makes him procrastinate. But there's an upside. Sometimes, while waiting for him

How Do I Procrastinate? Let Me Count The Ways by Judi Fennell

Actually, right now, there's one MAJOR, HUGE, GINORMOUS, BIG way that I procrastinate. And I'm blaming science. And my mom. And cute little feathery things. Here ya go. Be warned, though, watching birds do almost nothing can get pretty darn addictive! Streaming .TV shows by Ustream I've seen the mama and the papa take turns sitting on the babies (which would get you in sooo much trouble in my world...). I've seen them take turns bringing home the bacon (well, fish, actually, but I'm betting the babies wouldn't mind some bacon. Kind of stir things up in the taste department.) I've seen one of the parents sleeping (head tucked back under wing) all night and the other, God-knows-where. Seriously - the eagle doesn't come home at night? What's he/she doing? Out visiting eagle strip joints? Going on a girls' night? Hooking up with strange eagles of the night? One wonders. Actually, I wonder. A lot. Too much... This morning I saw both parents feeding th

I DO NOT Procrastinate!

by Terry Spear Well, not on writing, or making bears for orders, or working on promotions, but... Okay, so every year I tell myself I'll organize my papers so that by tax time I'm much more organized. And every day, I tell myself I'll put my clothes away when I get home at night after work. And every every week I tell myself I'm going to start weeding the garden. But I have good reasons for procrastinating on THIS stuff. It's because I'm not procrastinating on the OTHER stuff. With working full-time at a job where I can't work on anything but my job, teaching online writing classes at night, publishing my earlier eclectic works from fantasy to urban fantasy and young adults, writing my current contracted books, and ohmigosh, promotions--which since Heart of the Highland Wolf is coming out in June, that means writing a million blogs and appearing on a million blogs and so yes...Procrastination is not something I can do. :) Prioritization is absolutely necessa

I'm Not Procrastinating...

by Olivia Cunning I'm not procrastinating... I'm prioritizing. Earlier this week, I meant to look up which day I was supposed to blog on the Casablanca Authors blogspot, but priorities happened and when I got the email notification on Wednesday that my turn to blog was on Friday, my priorities got rearranged a bit. Right now, I need to feed my family. Left overs. I waited too long to cook dinner. I was prioritizing my blog tour posts for the weekend for Rock Hard . I've been working on them since I got home from work at 4 pm. While I was at work, I graded over 250 papers while simultaneously teaching labs. Why did I have 250 papers to grade? They stacked up while I prioritized writing exams for my classes. Why didn't I have those exams written? I prioritized creating powerpoints for my lectures so I could teach my classes. Why weren't those already complete? More prioritizing. I'll be back later. I need to prioritize this food in the microwave. (7 pm on W

Procrastination!? What Procrastination?

By Danielle Jackson I don’t think I’m alone if I say that once you work in publishing, procrastination goes out the window. There’s literally no time to even think about procrastinating. As many of you know, publishing is a HUGE group effort—from our copy editors to our designers to our web team to our authors, it takes a lot of people to make one book… and Sourcebooks publishes around 300 books a year! Just think about what would happen if ONE person were to push things aside and put even the smallest kink in the process… Luckily, we’re pretty efficient over here at Sourcebooks (and that’s not to say that there haven’t been issues with late books or cover re-designs at the last minute), and even when something does have to be arranged differently, we stay flexible to make the proper changes. However, I do find small ways to procrastinate, in ways that won’t be detrimental to our publishing machine (which is wild and crazy and generally makes no sense): -I won’t answer a

My Secret Affliction

by Amanda Forester Procrastination. I do believe I must be the president of this fan club. My husband’s favorite saying is “things you leave to the last minute, only take a minute”. Not perhaps the best mantra with regards to quality, but a nice attempt at putting a positive spin on my secret afflictions. I have long been infected with procrastination. There are many things I know I need to do at some point, but I put off doing them until the last possible second. Like the dentist. Or paying taxes. Ok, let’s see a show of hands of people who are just now realizing that the tax deadline is looming close. How did it get to be mid-April so soon? Along with procrastination, I suffer from avoidination. These are things I absolutely avoid doing, with no real intention of ever getting around to doing them. My garage is a good example. We moved to our new house five years ago, and yet there are still boxes in the garage I have yet to unpack. Safe bet I don’t really need whatever is in them. Ev

My Old Friend...

Ah, PROCRASTINATION – my old friend. Procrastination and I used to be really tight. (The Jodie ½ of Lydia, that is. I’ve never known Tammy to ever procrastinate.) Sadly, procrastination is an old friend I’ve been too busy for lately. And I kind of miss it. In school, I remember waiting until the last minute to finish a paper or start working on a project that was due the next day. Memories of all-nighters just flashed in my mind. But at the time, there had been too many fun things to do that prevented me from working on whatever I should have been working on. Trips to the mall, gossiping with friends, dances, football games, and my after school job. So whatever I needed to do got pushed and shoved aside time and again until it couldn’t be pushed or shoved any further. Enter the all-nighter. Of course, I could have done those projects with time to spare. *Sigh* I miss those days. Having time, that is, to either goof off or to complete all the work that needs to be completed.

The Procrastination Gene...

By Robin Kaye Procrastination is something we’re all really good at—okay, maybe some are better than others—I have taken procrastination and turned it into a veritable art form. Still, we all do it. Why is that? We seem to have evolved into a society of procrastinators. There must be a reason this hideous trait is passed through our DNA. It must serve some purpose, mustn’t it? You’d think that procrastinators would have gotten so little done in their lifetimes they’d have at least succeeded in not multiplying and would have effectively flushed that nasty little gene out of our genetic makeup. Unfortunately for me, that’s not the case—it seems procrastinators don’t procrastinate enough to become celibate. I should know, I’m currently raising three teen aged procrastinators. I had planned a survey to use for my procrastination blog. It was to prove my hypothesis that procrastination is a genetic trait we all have. Think about it, when was the last time you met someone that said, “Gee, I

Procrastination Will Be the Death of Me

I've been putting off writing this blog. A little birdie (actually an Angry Bird) told me I could do that. He keeps saying, "Why write a blog today that you can write tomorrow?" Well guess what? It's now just after 2:00 AM and here I am writing this blog that I should have already written and scheduled to post at my appropriate time. All this for some silly golden eggs and three stars? Like Tracey and the others, it's not just writing that I find myself procrastinating at. Every task in my life has been bit by the procrastination monster every so now and again. The bill that I kept avoiding to pay, the essay I had to write for my college history class, the incident report for my full time job. I could go on and on. I've often wondered why this habit keeps rearing its ugly head. Do I like setting myself up for failure? Do I thrive on panic as I scramble to finish my taxes? And trust me, that panic isn't good when you find yourself owing Uncle Sam either. M

Not Always Greener on the Other Side by Tracey Devlyn

I have to say I’m in Carolyn Brown’s corner when it comes to procrastination and my work. Any work, not just writing. Many years ago, I learned putting off an unpleasant task or situation doesn’t make it go away and, most of the time, delaying the inevitable just amplifies the problem. After a few hard smacks, where I caused myself more work and more stress, I vowed to meet my problems head-on, no matter how difficult. That’s not to say I tackle every issue with finesse. Oh, no. I tend to hit a lot of bumps in the road before I figure it out. LOL Housekeeping is a different story. Sometimes it takes the threat of company to make me clean my house. Have you ever noticed how quickly junk mail piles up? Or those annoying shopping receipts? And don’t even get me started on the dust bunnies! Another area of procrastination? Shopping. Clothes and shoes, to be specific. Yeah, I know. I’m a disgrace to my gender. If the outfit isn’t on a manikin, I haven’t a clue. The thought of walking

GUEST AUTHOR: Mary Ellen Dennis; The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter

Please give a warm welcome to fellow Casablanca author, Mary Ellen Dennis . Mary Ellen is the award winning author of The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter, which Sourcebooks will be re-releasing in August (originally slated for April, but these things do happen… such is publishing!), along with a brand new novel, Dream Dancer (title subject to change… again, such is publishing!). Today, Mary Ellen shares with us her favorite thing to do… My name is Mary Ellen Dennis and I’m addicted to writing books. Reading them, too. Writing and reading and true love and chocolate—life doesn’t get much better than that. Well, maybe I should add watching The Princess Bride or The Enchanted Cottage while munching crème donuts. When I was in grade school one of our assignments was to read a poem in front of the class. Someone read “Trees” (“I think that I will never SEE a poem as lovely as a TREE ”) and someone recited “Jack and Jill”—or was it “Humpty Dumpty”? I couldn’t decide between Alfred Noyes’ “T

GUEST AUTHOR: Elaine Coffman; The Return of Black Douglas

by Danielle Jackson Please welcome New York Times Bestselling and now a Casablanca Author, Elaine Coffman ! Elaine is an acclaimed author, and we are so excited about her new book The Return of Black Douglas , which hit bookshelves this month! To do something a little bit different for our guest, I decided to do an interview (I once thought I’d be a journalist, so humor me…)! 1. Welcome to Casablanca Authors, Elaine! And congrats on your new release from Sourcebooks Casablanca, The Return of Black Douglas . We know your readers have played a major part in the inspiration for this book—can you tell us a little bit about it? EC: Sophia Loren once said, “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” I can take that one step further and say, “Everything I am writing about, I owe to my readers.” In 1997, when the sixth book of Mackinnon series was published, I wrote in the back of the book a note telling my readers how sad it was to let go of characters I’d spent so many years writing about. My