Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reading Time Management

We are all busy. We all have a million things to do and (seemingly) not enough time to get them all done. We all say at some point: "I wish I had more hours in the day!"

Well, I got news for y'all: there are only 24 hours in a day, and that's not going to change any time soon. Instead of wishing for more time, we should try to make better use of the 24 hours that we already have. But that's easy to say and harder still to do. How to start the process?

I began my quest to better time management by identifying activities that I engage in on a daily basis that might be wasteful. And the number one activity by far was driving a car to and from work every day. Think about it: all you can do when you drive a car is DRIVE THE CAR. You can't do anything else effectively and that includes such activities as putting on makeup, trimming your nails, or checking emails on your laptop or smartphone. Attempting to "multi task" while driving is a waste of time at best and potentially deadly at worst.

So what if public transportation is not an option for you and you must drive to work every day. How can you make better use of that time? Three words: books on tape. Now know as audio books, these have made my daily commute much more entertaining and informative. Give them a try for your daily commute and you might be amazed to discover how much you enjoy the experience.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Floor Zero

When the air heats up and gets heavy with humidity, my brain turns to mush. I slowly put away the biographies and histories and heavyweight fiction that I normally relish. And then out comes the thrillers and the horrors and other pulpy stuff that makes it onto the NYT Best Selling Paperback list. I used to be ashamed of this phenomenon, but have come to embrace it as I have grown older. Even my late Father enjoyed a literary "amuse bouche" from time to time. Nothing wrong with a little brain candy!

And with that, I offer you the opening paragraph of Floor Zero...

"I was telling my boyfriend the same thing! God, what is it with men?" Sue barked into the phone. She looked around guiltily because she knew g.d. well that the office phone is not meant for personal business. But there was nobody around to bother her, so she continued yakking with Patty for another 15 minutes. And then an odd sound filled the air. Not quite as annoying as a fire alarm, but loud enough to prevent any further conversation. "I'll call you back," Sue said as she hung up. "What the hell is that..." She looked around and noticed that something was blinking in the lower right corner of her monitor. She leaned in closer and saw a small pop up window with the words ALERT ALERT ALERT in red blinking text. She clicked the window with her mouse and everything on her screen vanished. Another window appeared seconds later, displaying what looked like a video feed from a surveillance camera. The picture was slowly sweeping back and forth across a large room filled with lab equipment. Sue blinked and then began to scream. She was still screaming when she bolted from her chair and ran out the front door of the Portland Health Sciences building. The only thing that stopped her screaming was the baton that tapped her on the back of the head as she rounded the corner toward the parking garage.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Well then....

It's been a while. A really long while. Needless to say, lots has been going on. Mostly good, but some not so good. I'll get to all that later.

I'm trying to resurrect my writing, so I'm taking part in The Weekend Assignment. It's a contest of sorts that was started by John Scalzi when he was working at AOL. It's a chance to flex your creativity in a short format. So we'll see how this goes. Click the picture to find out more:

The Weekend Assignment

2010 has already brought many changes to my life. My Father passed away in January as a result of a fall. It was quite unexpected and shocking and tragic and sad and all those other things. But my Sister and I are getting through it, one day at a time. Washington experienced the snowiest February in recorded history, which cut the number of performances of "Amadeus" almost in half. I played the title role, but that's for another post.

I'll sign off for now, but there are many more posts to come. Thanks for sticking around!