“A deftly crafted and thoroughly fun read … especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections.” —MBR Midwest Book Review

The Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid plans hit a pothole in the highway of life.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article here on how deliberate practice could take your performance to the next level. I followed that up with an article on how to avoid Shiny Object Syndrome. And after that, I was all fired up to smash out my next two books in record time.

That’s when all hell broke loose. We took a planned trip out east to see family, but it started to go wrong from there. I was sure I could squeeze in concentrated writing time around the edges of visits, I even had a plan, but didn’t count on three things – an overheated hotel room that made it impossible to sleep, four hours of driving every day, and dealing with lawyers and real estate agents the entire week because, somehow, we managed to buy a house while we were travelling. The week ended with me stressed out to the max. So much for my best laid plans.

All this is to say that productivity advice is just that – advice. And I had to accept that sometimes the real world has its way with me, chaos is my wingman and it’s okay to take a deep breath and say “No one is going to die if this isn’t done this week.”

This is a tough one for me because I’m a little (okay, a lot) obsessive about meeting deadlines and not letting people down. But I have come to realization that I’m people, too, and sometimes pushing, and pushing, and pushing to get things done is letting myself down.

Meet Emerson

This is Emerson the young elephant seal. He’s famous – written up in news outlets across Canada. He looks pretty tatty right now because he’s going through his annual moult.

A young sea elephant basks in the sun, MacNeill Bay, Victoria BC
Emerson is the poster child for determination and stubborness.

I came across him on one of my walks, happily soaking up the sun and protected on all sides from dogs, children, and idiot adults. One mother was even trying to get her young child to go up to the seal and touch noses with him. What some people will do for TikTok! Anyhow, the kid has more sense than the parent and realized that cute as the seal was, it was a wild animal and had large teeth.

An Author Must Eat

Writers survive on copious amounts of coffee (or tea, if that’s your tipple of choice). But given the chance, we will devour, also in copious quantities, baked goods. This week’s choice is challah

Two loaves of the sweet, braided bread called challah.
Plan to share with friends or I guarantee you’ll eat the entire loaf. Voice of experience, here.

My recipe comes from The Redbook Breadbook, but this online one from King Arthur Baking is very similar. Hot out of the oven and drenched in fresh butter and honey, it’s a little slice of paradise.

What fuels your passion projects? What best laid pans have you made recently that have gone awry?

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