Friday, August 28, 2009

Guest Author - Yasmine Galenorn

YASMINE'S WINNER: Yasmine has picked a winner, and it's Pam K. Congratulations! Please email Yasmine directly at this link to receive your prize :-)
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Today's guest is the talented Yasmine Galenorn, author of the bestselling Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy series. Her most recent release, Demon Mistress, hit #16 on the NYT! Woohoo! She's here talking about juggling life and work, and giving away an Amazon gift cert :-)


Please welcome Yasmine to the blog everyone!

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Life Juggling

I’m in the middle of projects. As usual. Writers, especially those of us working on several books a year, often have times when we’re juggling two or even three projects. For example, I’m currently revising Night Myst, the first book in my new Indigo Court urban fantasy series. I’m also writing fresh draft of Harvest Hunting—the eighth Otherworld book. And I just finished copyedits on both Bone Magic—book seven in the OW world, and Etched in Silver, a OW novella for the Inked anthology. My mind is running in a dozen directions at once and I have to hold the reins and make sure that all those directions get the due attention they need.

I am blessed with being prolific as a writer—I can write quick, and I can write tight. But even I only have two hands and (supposedly) one brain. So what do I do when I’ve got a dozen projects kicking my ass? I organize and prioritize. I do what needs to be done quickest, first, and get it out of the way. Then I go onto the next, then the next. Or—if I have a short project that will take me half a day but isn’t due until after a long project that will take 2 or 3 months, I due the short project first and get it out of the way and off my list.

I use every tool I can think of to keep myself on track. With three books and a novella to write this next year, and having been writing 2-3 books a year for many years, it only makes sense that I’ve developed my particular pattern that works for me. Can you say Day-Timer? Outlook? White Board? Post-It Notes? ~grins~ Good, I knew ya could. I keep a work journal, I create research bibles for each of my series, I keep color coded file folders, I even have a goal-notebook.

Now, it took me a number of years to develop this system, it didn’t just happen overnight. But now that I’m here, I’m grateful that I started in early so by the time I reached the point of writing three books a year, I had it in place.

I think this can transfer over to life, too. Now some people (like my husband) won’t touch a Day-Timer if I paid him too. But he loves his Outlook calendar. Others can’t live without their PDAs (and I’m not talking about necking in public here). Take away my friend’s Blackberry and she’d claw your eyes out. We all have tools that make our lives easier and more manageable.

I’ll be offering a $15 online Amazon.com gift certificate to one commenter who tells me what their favorite organizational crutches are, and why they love them so much.

Yasmine

New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy for Berkley: both the bestselling Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley and the upcoming Indigo Court urban fantasy series. In the past, she wrote mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and nonfiction metaphysical books. Her books have hit the New York Times and USA Today extended bestseller lists numerous times.

Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 28 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Bellevue WA with her husband Samwise and their cats.

Yasmine can be reached via her website at http://www.galenorn.com, via MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/yasminegalenorn, Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/yasminegalenorn and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/yasminegalenorn. She is also the co-founder of the Witchy Chicks blog (http://witchychicks.blogspot.com) and the Between Fire and Ice blog (http://fireandiceauthors.blogspot.com).

59 comments:

InsaneDawny said...

You know those huge calendars? They are like 3 ft long? We love those. We have 2 of them. Everything goes them. Doctor appts, work schedules, dates with my niece and nephews. What needs to be done one daily basis. We love them because all of us(my mom, husband, and I) can go and see what is on the agenda for the fay. And it's easy for any of us to write on. It nips arguments in the bud too. Which is my most favorite thing.

Maigan "Silverstein" Rarick said...

Nice post. :) I love hearing about how other authors organize their writing and lives.

My favorite tools for organization are tied between real sticky notes and digital ones. My laptop came with Windows Vista, with has the Sidebar. I quickly utilized the Sidebar function by plastering four digital sticky notes on it and typing in immediate information I needed to know. Before that, I jotted the notes down on real ones and taped them to the frame of my laptop screen. I ended up with so many notes that I wanted to always be on hand that I resorted to font size 8 bullet lists of all the information that I taped to the sides and folded in when I closed the laptop. I have one set of these notes for every big novel I work on, and use the digital stickies for short stories and novellas.

The reason I like these so much is because the information I need the most is right there in my face at all times. Small details I might forget are highlighted on the lists so I remember them, and if I miss them the first time while writing, I always catch them while editing, when I review the consistency of the novel versus my lists. I find it incredibly helpful. :)

Brandy said...

I use my blackberry calendar and task manager. My google calendar also is synced with my blackberry. I also have whiteboards for lists of thing I need to get. Or at home items such as cleaning or fixing i need to do.

Himeko said...

My favorite organizational tool would have to be my phone because there is a calender on it and so I can always put new things in and I always have with me so there are constant reminders of things to do. A planner never seems to work for me because I always forget at home...he he he

Pam P said...

I'm big on Post-It Notes. Mostly my memory works good, but the Post-Its are my backup - every so often I read through them and refresh the memory, lol. I'll usually type up a list of things to do and look at it occasionally to make sure I didn't forget anything. When working with real estate and deadlines it was mostly my memory (no wonder I had trouble sleeping with all that running around in my head), I'd use a large wall calendar for the various dates to help juggle things around day to day.

Gail said...

Internet addict here. Take away my connection the web and I get twitchy. My calender is online with Google's program along with my e-mail and RSS subscription sorter (love that thing).
With an online calender I can program an entire semester with one entry per class. Gotta love it.

Kristine said...

I love agendas. That way, you can I can see everything for that week clearly written out.

Yasmine Galenorn said...

I find it interesting how everyone has a different method. The important thing is that it all works for us...that we use what tools are best suited toward our natures.

Yasmine

Kimberly B. said...

Great post! I love learning how other people manage their time, because I'm very bad at it! I do, however, thrive on to-do lists, and even when I'm not in school, I love to buy those undated assignment books and day planners that follow the school year.
Great post!

Heather said...

I use day planners for the day to day facts of life, 3 ring binders with color coded sections for goals and ideas and color coded files for bills and other documents in a file cabniet. I also have dry erase boards and cork boards for upcoming events and modivation for things I really want to do or don't want to do at all but have to.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

My favourite organisational tool is a timer! I know it sounds weird but I use it every day, it helps me keep on track. I use it to do housework and when studying. I give myself regular small breaks and I use it for that as well. Since I started using it I've been studying full time and I don't think I would have been able to achieve as much as I have without it. I'm a mature age student so studying has been a challenge but my trusty timer makes it easier.

maered said...

My favourite tool has to be my phone. Put my appointments on it and my various dates with family, etc. But the big wall calender has to be the best thing for the whole family. Can't do without them!

cgirlslife said...

I admit, the calendar on my cell phone has become my go to organizing thing. I tend to use it a lot for remembering to do things later in the day. For example today I was at work and realize I have to send in the mortgage payment, after I got home, my phone rang and I remembered to get the stuff in order.
I love that it buzzes/rings to remind me. Because I usually remember I have to do a given thing, but I tend to forget about it until I'm 9/10ths asleep and won't get out of bed.

Stephanie_S said...

Microsoft Outlook calendar and my purse-sized notebook that goes everywhere with me. :-)

Diane said...

I love lists; I make them daily with all I'd like to accomplish that day and keep crossing off as they get done.I make a list for long term plans and keep track of that too; it's a system that I've had for many years and it works for me.

macbeaner said...

I'm anal about how I keep quilt patterns. I have to clip them out and store them in those sheet protectors. I do that with anything I save from a magazine. And I can't live without a calendar. I'd go nutz!

cait045 said...

I have one giant folder size calender. It has my life in it. What time I work, when I have test and homework due, and my social life. If it isn't written down I won't remember. I also love crossing the days off and I'm kind of crazy and only write in blue pen.

Anonymous said...

I have a 5inx8in notebook, 3ft x 4ft calendar that you can write on w/ erasable markers & post-its. I can't get enough of post-its in all kinds of sizes and colors. ha ha

k i m i k a i o @yahoo.com (no spaces)

Deborah Blake said...

Very low-tech, I know, but I am the queen of the 3x5 card. I write down each writing project on a card, with deadlines if I have them, then arrange them on a cork board in order of priority. The cards also have other info, like the name of the editor handling the project (if there is one), word count needed, etc. I can easily move the cards around, rearrange them and they come in pretty colors :-)
It's good to be queen.

Lynnette said...

I have an Ipod touch and it holdsmy whole life. My calendar,my grocery list, the spreadsheets with the list of all the books I've read and which ones I own. Can't live without that.

Nalini Singh said...

Yasmine, thanks for blogging with me!

What a fun topic - I'm another list maker. I love crossing things off :)

Amy Kathryn said...

I love little moleskin notebooks and other small notebooks that I carry with me all the time. Lists, Lists, lists that get crossed off as I accomplish things. Such a wonderful feeling to draw an X through items!

orannia said...

Hmmmm, I don't have a fancy phone and I'm still on dial-up rather than a high speed internet connection (long story); I have a list. I write everything I need to do on that list and cross it off as I go. When in doubt, I refer to the list.

And although I haven't of late, I usually re-write the list every week. It's not so much needed in my current position, but in my last one, when I was juggling numerous requests from numerous people, I had a binder that I updated each week with the things I had to do (and by when) listed.

Come to think of it...my mother used to have lists...

donnas said...

Thanks for posting. I love the Otherworld series.

I am completed addicted to my Outlook calendar. I use all the features, color coding, messaging, reminders.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Since organization is one of my favorite subjects, I'm thoroughly enjoying the comments tonight! Keep 'em coming, peeps!

Yasmine

Bridget Locke said...

hoo-boy...at work I've got my outlook, sticky notes, lined notes, etc. to try to keep track of stuff. Eesh.

I'm in the midst of finishing my first book. It's (I hope) the first of 5 in a series, so I've been doing my best to keep track of things as I go along. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

One question: How can you write so many things at once? I have a horrible time just staying on track for book 1. Oy! lol

Karen W. said...

You're going to laugh at how old-fashioned and "technologically challenged" I am. :)

My favorite organizational crutches are the calendar by my bed where I jot everything down (birthdays, work schedule, etc.) and plain old sticky notes that I stick by my computer to remember things! I'm also a notorious list maker.

Eshani said...

I really enjoyed your post, and those covers are gorgeous! I've become really dependant on this little planner I carry around in my purse. I can write something down whenever I need to, and I love the feeling I get when I cross out a task that I already accomplished. I also still use a huge whiteboard to write out major plans for the week. I picked up this habit during freshmen year of college, and I still find it extremely useful =)

Mo said...

I used to work for the State of Calif which means a lot of paperwork and keeping abreast of things. I keep a monthy calendar that has appointment notes pages behind each month. I need it almost to breathe because as I get older, I forget. :<( I also keep booklets. I have one of all of the books I have so that when I go to the store I don't buy doubles. I also have one for DVDs, CDs, Albums and records, and To do/go/get lists. That last list/booklet is my most important so I don't loose my mind in grocery, discount, or department stores and get everything but what I came in there for. lol. I'm a crafter so if I have several projects that I'm working on, especially if they are gifts, I have a dry erase board on my wall with a large calendar on the wall of my craft room. I don't think that I am really organized so I call my system my survival tools. Mo

jeanette8042 said...

I would have to say my yearly calendar where I jot down everything and just an ordinary notebook to write down things to do/buy.

Lori T said...

I would love to be as organized as everyone is here. I always have the best of intentions at the beginning of the year and then again when school starts for my kids. I have tried planners and marking stuff on the calendar, but in the end I always become lax and do not keep good records. So, I really just go with old day by day thing where I get up in the morning and remind myself of what I need to do for that day.

dd03 said...

I love the IDEA of being organized like that. I'm just not.

I love to buy office supplies which to me includes calendars & day planners. I just don't end up using them. Well, except the wall calendar by the phone. I put the birthdays on it at the start of each year & if I remember, I put up my work schedule on it. lol

Shannon said...

Welcome Yasmine!

My favorite organizational crutch has to be the little calendars that look like notebooks, with the spiral bindings. I love it when they have a week with enough space to write in your plans, appointments, or book releases. (LOL) I'm very old school in that respect, besides I like things to be written down just in case my phone or computer calendar(s) loses memory!

Blodeuedd said...

I have a great little calendar that I am using, oh and two on the walls where I write up a bunch of things. I am terrible at remembering things and would be lost without them

Sarah said...

I'm really bizarre about my organizing, but my system works well for me. I have a callendar in my phone for appointments and meetings, then I keep a calendar on my musicstand where I write my practice hours for each instrument, and things I still need to learn or do. AT the end of my work day, I go over my to-do list, which is just a word document on the computer. I delete things i got done that day, and add things to the bottom of the list that I need to get done the next day, so I know what's coming the next morning. The first thing I do when i start work the next morning is open the to-do list, and add any new projects that came in my email or phone calls from the night before. Somehow, between all three calendars and lists, I get everything done. Then I keep a planner in my purse that has my grocery lists, errands to run, bills to pay, etc. I have notebooks around the house with jotted song ideas and story plots, and occasionally I'll empty them out and put all the info into the computer. Then there's my PDA... that has stuff in it too. It's chaotic to anyone but me, but it all somehow keeps me on track. I keep mostly performance notes and recording session blurbs in my pda, what we accomplished each day in the studio, what went well, what needs work... etc. I have a good memory, but it helps to write it out.

-Sass

CrystalGB said...

Hi Yasmine. For me, it is a combination of a cork bulletin board, a calendar and post it notes. By posting everything on the board, I can see what I need to do and not forget things.

Maureen said...

I like to write things down. So I have a notebooks where I keep everything organized.

chichaihana said...

For work, I normally use a combination of post its/pad of paper and the Outlook calendar. If its really urgent, there's post it over key spots on my desk/life. For personal, I like the calendar function on my phone, lol.

Christine said...

My monthly Peanuts Love Is calendar that's nailed to the hall wall... with a single glance, I know if we'd planned anything (appointements, social outings, etc.). Plus, the drawings are cute!

KJsGrrl said...

Believe it or not my favorite org tool is just a plain old notebook. Actually I have 2 notebooks. One is for everyday team notes/calls/info and the other is for my special projects reviews. I write down notes by hand instead of on digital stickies or in outlook b/c if I can see it in my own handwriting i'm more likely to remember it, or I can picture in my head what I may have wrote and can easily find it in the notebook. So much for a paperless environment. :)
For everyday appts I use my mobile phone calendar.

Pamk said...

I uses one of the year calenders that has blank paper in the back. This allows me to keep track of dates and numbers and most everything else and it fits perfectly in my billfold that way it's put up and not one more think loose in my purse lol. And I used to get them from authors as swag so there were free but not so much anymore.

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I use planners and calendars. I can't live without post-its and highlighters.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Christina said...

I am a post it girl myself (for everyone who's seen Get Smart, the remake, everyone who knows me says it could have been my apartment with all the post it notes stuck everywhere). Post it notes, and spiral notebooks to jot down my ideas before I forget them. I don't go anywhere without my little spiral notepad in my purse!

Then we add them to the ever-growing, highlighted, color coded, alphabetized digital and paper notebooks.

karima said...

I use spiral notebooks, MS word and post-it notes to capture my ideas,I then organize them into small projects. The progress is documented in a list I update on a regular basis- The post-it notes are for highlighting certain aspects of an idea or just crazy ideas I like in the moment but which don't seem to fit anywhere, yet. Later these little notes proved to be of a great importance as I could develop projects and unique ideas from them. I create specific folders to keep the material on my computer. Also I always carry a small spiral notebook with me in case ideas pop up when I have no computer at hand. It proved very useful.
Thanks and welcome Yasmine. Love your books!

Yasmine Galenorn said...

I love the combinations people use--and how one person's chaos is another person's order.

Yasmine

Vorpaks said...

I keep my work Outlook synced with my Blackberry and home calendar. I put in reminders and to do lists as "free time" at the beginning of the day so that they pop up to remind me.

However, a friend recently gave me a "Field Notes" memo book (google field notes -- they are great) and I've been sucked back into old skool lists... on paper no less! It's fun to see grocery lists, baby names, homme improvement to do lists, and random art projects created by my three yesr old all jumbled together.

Dragon Lady said...

I'm a very disorganized person ... So I would be completely lost if anyone took my PDA away from me. Almost has a heart attack several months back when I thought I had lost it!

Princess Bumblebee said...

Notebooks, notebooks, notebooks! Yes, gotta have notebooks for everything. Shopping list, TBB list, Amazon order list, Greater Good order list, Semi-Fave Authors, anything important like that, I have to have it listed in a notebook, hehe. That way I don't forget. If only I remember the notebook, hehe.

*ina* said...

oh God, my memory is disastrous ;) so my room door is all over cluttered with post-its... but in another way my memory is fantastic - I rightly know were which post-it is *lol*
Best wishes,
Ina

Una said...

Welcome Yasmine! I wonder how writers balance writing and "everything" else.

Outlook is my crutch. If it isn't in there, it doesn't exist. In fact, my work outlook is the "bible" in my family and I send items home to update the "home" computer just so everything is sync and together! It is amazing, each one of us is different so it goes to prove that each of us would have a different way to keep on top of things. Have a GREAT weekend all!

Cathy M said...

I am a calendar girl too. I have a giant 2 foot one in the kitchen to help keep track of everyone's comings and goings. I think I would have developed a twitch by now without it.

Estella said...

The only orginazitaional crutch I use is Post-it Notes.

Sue Grimshaw said...

OMG -- two of my most fav authors in one spot! Just wanted to say Hi & ALL THE BEST TO YOU BOTH!
SueG

LadyVampire2u said...

You have to love those big calendars. They have room to write everything in the boxes/dates and I'm all for that as I have too much going on that I know I'd miss something if I didn't check my posts on that calendar.
And post it notes are life savers. I always write down my thoughts, ideas and reminders on them. Regular paper and lists could work to but its nice to be able to stick a post it note anywhere and have it stay post. This is especially inportant when you have the windows open and that pecky wind blows your notes off the table which has happened a time or two to me.
LadyVampire2u(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Nalini Singh said...

Hi Sue! Thanks for visiting :)

Chelsea B. said...

I write everything I need to know on a good ole' calendar. Hasn't failed me once ;) Also the calendar in my phone. Can't exactly keep the big ole' calendar in my pocket LOL:)

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Sue! HI...thanks for stopping by! and Nalini--thank you for hosting me today!

Yasmine

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks so much for guesting, Yasmine!

Yasmine has picked her winner and it's PamK. Please contact Yasmine directly using the link at the top of the post to arrange the receipt of your prize. Congrats!

the sun sets here said...

Ha, orginization.. whats that? -chuckles- I should use something but I don't I just pop important days in the little box on your standard calendar.