If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.
WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Bringing Order to Chaos
Our house is a crazy mess of conflicting schedules and looming deadlines right now. The other day, in a fit of emotional overload, I told my husband that I feel like I'm trying to hold so many things in my head, I can't add another thing to the mix. Between our son's imminent high school graduation and almost-as-imminent move to college; my day job, freelance work, and fiction writing; and my husband's high school teaching and coaching responsibilities, it's so easy to let things that are not the emergency du jour slip away undone, unnoticed.
But I hold to this idea (fantasy is probably more accurate) that I am always in control, always organized. Consequently, my search for tools to help me stay on track is never ending. A few months ago, thanks to a tip from a friend*, I replaced my laughable "system" of writing to-do lists and reminders on sticky notes and random scraps of paper with Trello, a web-based program that is especially helpful in organizing projects, like my Writers Who Kill blog posts.
Within Trello, I've set up a "board" for each project I want to track. Here's my Trello dashboard, with projects divided into color-coded boxes.
Purple boxes represent family "projects," dark blue is for the day job, light blue/teal boxes are related to fiction writing, green is for freelance work, and pink boards contain book lists for a couple of book clubs. Clicking on any box brings up the Trello board for that box. This is where the real organizing takes place, and it's probably easiest to understand by looking at an example. Here's my Writers Who Kill board:
I've created four columns, or lists, for WWK blog posts. When I have an idea for a topic, I create a Trello "card" and park it in the Topics and Due Dates column on the left. When I click on an individual card, it expands to allow for the addition of more detailed information, including a comment feature that I use to add sketchy notes to help me remember in a few weeks or a few months why I thought this topic would make a good blog post. I can return to the card and add more notes any time inspiration strikes.
When I begin work on a post, I change the label color to purple, which I've designated as "active," and I move the card to the In Progress column. I also add a checklist to the card.
After the post is written, peer-reviewed, polished, and scheduled for publication, I move the Trello card to the Scheduled column.
When the post is live (and I've finished the last few items on its checklist), I drag the card to the Posted/Finished column and change its label to green. I also change the name of the card from "Topic: ..." to the title of the post and add the date it published so I have a record in case I ever need it.
One of the advantages of Trello is that because it's web-based, I can access the boards wherever I am: at work, at home, or on the road.
Another benefit is that I can customize the columns on each board, add multiple checklists to each card, and keep track of all of the moving parts associated with each project. The cards and lists can be as simple or as complex as needed. The WWK board shows a simple progression through four columns. My Short Stories board, in contrast, has seven columns: Titles, Writing, In Review, Editing, Submissions, Published, Rejected/Abandoned. A glance at a board shows the status of each component.
Trello has become my master to-do list, replacing the scattered paper notes that are so easy to misplace. I like the peace of mind that comes from knowing that, even when my head can't hold another thought, the important stuff is all in one place on the web.
How do you keep track of all of life's demands? Do you have any neat tricks I can steal?
* Thanks to my friend Aaron Sumner for recommending Trello. He describes his use of the software to track learning and research goals here.