Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Spring Cleaning In November

Merry, Merry, quite contrary... you read that right, I’m spring cleaning – it seems to be a running theme of late – out with the old, in with the new... and I could probably quote a few more standard ditties to start off this post, but I’ll spare you guys the furious eye rolls ;-)

I always get a wild hair to clean the house very thoroughly right around Halloween or just after – I know this is a spring thing, and I do the whole, throw open the windows and clean up bit in the spring, but I don’t deep clean and organize then, the way most people talk about because, as anyone with children can tell you, spring is too damn busy! I don’t know why it’s done in the spring, except people feel all energetic from the glorious weather... but really, side affect of that season is the addition of baseball and softball to already full schedules, spring break which means homebound and really bouncy kids for extended periods of time, and, egads, have you ever tried to keep three kids inside the house cleaning on a bright and sunny day? We’re not living in the same generation I grew up in. I can’t send them out the door to play. I have to go with them, which means.... Spring Cleaning in November.

Okay, so now you get my reasoning... the other thing is that as the weather turns and the kids are at school all day, the mess drives me nuts... plus, of course, I like the house really clean and tidy before starting the whole decorating for Christmas thing because if you try cleaning as you’re decorating it becomes a big nightmare...

Point? Point? There was a point around her somewhere... oh, yeah, organization.... The thing with this is, I’m not a naturally organized person, I’m one of those people who have to work at it. I have to make lists or I will forget to do things – I used to have a really good memory but somehow having to schedule three other people seems to have lost me some iq points in there somewhere.

So, with this fervent cleaning revolution going on in my house, it’s dripped into my writing... I’m actually cleaning out all my computer files and purging the dead issues to a file disk... holy cow... there’s not a crowded area of little needed or known writing odds or ends cluttering up my desktop, hee, hee... My desk itself is, gads, clean!!! You heard that right, no coffee ring, no dust behind the monitor, no scattered notes and stray hair bands... okay, a few stray hair bands but they add to the ambiance.

I even put fresh flowers on the piano next to my desk... All reds and oranges and yellows and they make me think of crisp apples and pumpkin spice... or maybe that’s the potpourri... anyway, my spring cleaning is about to take over my blog as well.. I’ve just purged a bunch of links – not that they weren’t great bloggers that I loved to visit, but a lot of them were abandoned blogs or just bloggers I don’t really visit much anymore. No offense to anyone removed – I use it as a handy reference to hit the blogs I like without having to search for them, the pr for the blogger is a nice added bonus I’m happy to help with, but really it’s a selfish thing... on the other hand, you know the links on my blog are ones I really enjoy myself.

There were a number of blogs I couldn’t part with, even though I don’t visit them much anymore. I’m thinking of arranging them into fiction writing and freelance writing, because I have a number of freelancers that I loved visiting and got great information from while I was ghosting, but haven’t really stopped in to see in a while...

Sigh... Jersey girl over there I kept up because I love her blog, but I can’t visit it because every time I do it shuts down my darn windows... Jersey, if you’re reading, I miss you.

If you’ve made it this far you realize that I didn’t really have a point... just a steady ramble... but we’ll end with a point just for the hell of it – how do you organize your life and your writing? Do you need a clean environment or does the muse take over ever in a pig sty? Do you spring clean other than in the spring? (That last one’s just geared to make me feel like I’m not the only freak)

16 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

Fun post, Merry, and there are plenty of points here -- not that you need to have them!

I am a natural packrat and slob who has, after over a dozen moves inside the States and almost two dozen international moves and moves within other countries, converted into a somewhat tidy person. It was either that or ridiculous sums paid in shipping, not to mention all the backaches and confusion.

In Japan, the major cleaning is done during December. Most people have finished the really serious stuff by Christmas, and they use the last remaining days of the year to clear away not only unneeded possessions but debts and unpaid favors. I've gotten used to doing two sets of cleaning: once in the spring, around the kids (who are traumatized by it to a degree) and again in the autumn. Given that, you'd think that my house was terribly tidy, but enough of the packrat remains in me to offset my hard-won tidiness and organization.

Mary Witzl said...

And I'm glad to see that I'm still on your blogroll!

Shelly said...

Merry, I can (and do) write just about anywhere, clean or not. But I am super-organized about my own writing stuff... at least in my own mind. It probably looks like clutter to everyone else.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Mary,

That seems like a sensible tradition, clearing out all of the garbage right before the new year... still new year there, right? At any rate, I tend to be a packrat myself, especially with paperwork... I'm hard pressed to even throw out a bill that's been paid.

The last few years, though, I've been far less sentimental about things like knicknacks and old clothes... if it doesn't fit it goes to good will, if I don't like the cute little statue so and so gave me... out it goes... okay, my kids stuff gets boxed for when they're older and will think it's fabulous, but store bought can go... I never used to be able to part with any of that... I even threw out some of my dad's clothes (a few tee shirts I'd wear for bed... the boxes of his old things I packed away are still in the crawlspace, I don't know if I can go through those again any time soon... but it was a huge step to get rid of the tee shirts)

And of course you're still on my blogroll, I stop at your place pretty often and I always enjoy your posts.

Actually, I've left quite a few up that I never visit anymore, but they're such nice people with great blogs, I'd hate to take them down... I can still point to them and recommend them to bloggers who are interested in freelance writing.

Hi Shelly,

"I'm organzied in my own mind" - I think that should be on a tee shirt.

I do feel a little bad that I removed your believin blog (and if you'd like the link love, I'll put it back up) I just figured, since I'm enjoying your regular blog - which is so much like the original believin blog, I'd keep the one link. I haven't been visiting the communati site that often... I stop in to check up on ff&f, silken, and Malcolm but otherwise I'm not really crazy about it... I don't know why.

The Anti-Wife said...

I need to be somewhat organized and have things tidy to write or do anything requiring concentration. I'm easily distracted and will use the need to do a little cleaning here and there to pull me from the task at hand.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Anti-wife,

I can understand the need to be organized completely - I usually try to set aside time to write, regardless of what other responsibilities I have going on, which means I'm often writing with a huge 'to do' list looming in my mind... and it does get distracting.

I have to say, the nice clean desk has made for a much more relaxed environment... I now have my manuscript spread in three piles, but underneath that the surface is dust and coffee stain free.

WordVixen said...

I know what you mean about cleaning out links. Several I leave up because I figure they're good information for my visitors, and so I don't negatively affect their PR. But I kept Sabine up because I so fell in love with her blog during the few weeks it was live... I haven't quite come to grips with her taking it away. Wait. Does that make me a blog addict?

Merry Jelinek said...

Hey wordvixen,

Yes, get thee to a support group! No, I have a bunch of links that I don't visit much, but they're great bloggers... I left up jerseygirl because I adore her blogs, but I don't try to visit there much anymore because it always knocks me offline, or takes forever to page up.

Katherine I haven't been in contact with much, and I'm not sure if those blogs are even updated, I've lost track of where she's blogging now... but I didn't want to take down the links... cuz it's Katherine.

Miss Snark, of course, has ceased blogging, but it's a treasure trove of great information, so why not leave it?

Honestly, if I only kept the links I visit on a regular basis, it would be about half... but then, the ones I don't visit much are still great bloggers...

Okay, I'll be in the support group with you...

Ello said...

I do my best cleaning when that crazy feeling of my life is going to shit hits me too!

I am getting ready to take off for a few days so my blog will go dark from tomorrow til Wednesday. Will look to see you when I get back!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hey ello,

Ah, aggression cleaning, the best kind... and it beats stress eating for the waistline too.

I stopped by your latest post, but have a great trip and I'll see you when you get back.

ORION said...

I can procrastinate for hours (days) if I tried to have my environment pristine. There's always a cat who decides to hurl. Or a hatch failing to close in the rain. Or a head regurgitating it's last few deposits.
I've discovered serenity in the middle of chaos...

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Orion,

Serenity in the middle of chaos, if you could bottle that it'd be worth millions!!! I think that's the key for most of us, though, being able to write through the distractions. Frankly, my house does not stay clean, even if I cleaned all of my waking hours there would still be more to do... so I kind of have to compartmentalize...

I am keeping the desk fairly tidy since this post... there's paperwork but it's all what I'm working on now, rather than the three stories, stack of bills, etc, etc...

Thanks so much for stopping in. Here's hoping the head and the cat will both behave for you today ;-)

Jerseygirl89 said...

I like to be really organized (it's the elementary school teacher in me, I think) and I'm kind of hyper about it. But because we have so much stuff and never enough storage, things still look really messy. It's just that I know where everything is. I "spring clean" before the holidays too, and usually sometime in the summer. Spring is for being outside!

BTW, I just totally redid my review blog and tomorrow I'm tackling the my regular one (so hopefully it will stop crashing your computer and you can come back!).

Shelly said...

Hi Merry,

Don't worry about my believin blog. I hardly touch it. I started out trying to recreate the old believin there, but I am not crazy about the site either. I do know why, but it is more several little things than one big thing, and that makes for a longer comment than is needed on it.

I am enjoying the new place, and I do appreciate the link. Thanks!!
Shelly

Angela WD said...

Oh yeah, fall cleaning is the way to go. Then you're all organized and clean for the holidays, when other people come to your house and mess it up.

Merry Jelinek said...

Jersey girl!!!

See, maybe it's more prevalent for those of us who have seasons, why give up your time during the nice weather when you're stuck in the house in the fall and winter anyway? I'll try stopping by again in a few days - sorry to be such a pain, I've stopped by a few times that I can read and can't comment or that my page just gets stuck and I have to close down... hopefully if you fix it you'll wind up with a lot more readers because it's easier to manuever.

Hi Shelly,

Glad you're not mad about the link. I never built a blog on the site because I've been building this one and because I kind of like this format better. Community blogging is nice because you can immediately see what other people are posting and it's conducive to more conversation... but it excludes other bloggers at large - and while I've met some great writers and bloggers at writing up that are now at the communati site, it doesn't give me a chance to blog with publishing professionals or many of the different writers I get to talk with now.

Like I said before, the links are really for my benefit, so that I can easily get to my regular blogs - so of course I left up your Shelly Bryant blog!

I'll be adding Colleen Katana's today too, she's got a new blog on blogger and stopped by to let me know... I should start doing a spotlight blogger thing again... that was kind of fun.

Angela,

Speaking of blogrolls, I just added your link. That's another good point, maybe I should leave the house messy until after the holidays...