Liz here, welcoming back our good friend Cheryl Hollon. (We always love when you come to visit, Cheryl!) And today, she’s talking about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart – procrastinating. I definitely need to try some of her methods below…
If procrastination is my weakness, ingenuity is my strength. I have a lot of tricks to get me out from under those time-wasters that eat into my productive writing time. You know what I mean, like Facebook, where you’re only going to check on a few of your friends. Then, whoosh! It’s been two hours.
Meeting my publisher’s deadlines is a serious matter. My engineering career demanded unfailing compliance with project milestones to keep our government on schedule. I treat my writing business with the same attitude.
However, lofty intensions don’t keep me from wandering off the path, so I’ve adopted some little tricks to keep the words flowing onto the page. The first approach is to have a set routine each morning for starting the day. I am more or less on complete autopilot until I’m sitting at my computer out in my writing shed.
My first trick is to open my writing-in-progress document. Then I sprint for one hour without checking e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. This is the most powerful tool in my box of tricks. The second trick is that when I complete my sprint, I can work the Times Mini Crossword Puzzle ( https://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/game/mini ). The reason I choose the mini puzzle rather than the grown-up version? It takes me less than five minutes to solve.
After that, I get some administrative tasks done. But, here’s how I limit my time: I use an hour-glass. It should be called a half-hour-glass because it takes thirty minutes for the sand to run out.
Throughout the day, I use various other rewards. Lunch is a big one, so is another cup of coffee. Sometimes, it’s a piece of candy or a chilled Coke in a glass bottle. Basically, whatever it takes to get me to my word target for the day.
What are your tricks?
Each book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery Series highlights a particular skill within the broad category of glass art. Savannah Webb will teach and participate in each skill area exploring and expanding her knowledge of the craft, along with her assistant, Amanda Blake. As a subject matter expert consulting with the St. Petersburg Police Department, her close associations within the art community and the unusually keen observation skills of her apprentice, Jacob Underwood, combine to solve crimes. Edward Morris, boyfriend and the British owner of the pub next door, fills out the investigation posse with more than moral support accompanied by coffee and scones. The craft topics for the third book in the series are etching glass and slumping glass to make dishware.
The cover art for Etched in Tears (Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #4) is an image of my favorite museum with the magnificent droopy bench in front. That’s where the body is discovered, so as research, I had to slump myself over the bench to see if it was feasible. I considered it a triumph to get strange looks at an art museum that specializes in surrealism.
My husband, George and I have a glass studio in a freestanding cottage behind our house and we enjoy making promotional gifts for my blog tours. For this book, I will be giving away all sorts of etched items: wine glasses, pendants, earrings and maybe some beer steins.
You can read more about Savannah in Etched in Tears, the fourth book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries, published by Kensington Books. Available for pre-order at your favorite book vendor. It releases on November 28, 2017.
About Etched in Tears:
When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.
Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images into his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.
Meet the author:
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art.