Posted in From The Editor's Desk

New Year … New & Noteworthy 2017

Timeline: January 12th, 2017

Yes, I know it’s past when the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square for the beginning of 2017. I like to think of this post as the beginning of school for the kids, where if I didn’t get the best “first day of school” photo, I’d try all week until I got the one I loved. That became the memory. No one would know (except methe kids who were tired of Mom saying “just one more” … and now YOU, my readers).

Because I’m a major fan of The Sound of Music, as is my daughter (who I’ve trained well), I watch it every time it is on television and sing as loudly as I can. This is probably the one time in forever that the Sixteen going on Seventeen song sung by Liesl and Rolf will actually be applicable. So, for all of you Sound of Music Fans … here you go. Apologies if you’re not a fan, or  if you have never seen the movie … what are you waiting for? ? ?

In 2017, I want to be more organized … yes, for those of you who know me, I am a major list-maker, and try to stay on deadline. Unfortunately, things happen, and things shift, and other things fall off the radar.

url

This year, I’m trying to schedule things better so I don’t feel rushed to deadline at 3 a.m. the night before something is due. [Yes, I admit it… I procrastinate… sometimes. Or is that procaffeinate ?]

As Robert Burns wrote in To a Mouse  (1785) “the best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley”  [Translated as: ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’ — Editor note: The title of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men came from the penultimate stanza of Burns’ poem].

How am I hoping to achieve my goal and keep it resolute for the new year?  It’s two-fold for me. I am working on my first quarter editing calendar now.  I’ve spoken to my wonderful current client list, and gotten their requirements for making their publishing deadlines. I’ve mapped out the busy months and open time slots on paper- here’s that old-fashioned me again with my trusty big calendar.

I’m also a fan of using digital to keep on track when I’m out with my laptop. Here’s what I’m trying for 2017, after having a long discussion with my husband, who is my tech guru. [Hi Honey!]

Trello

trello-logo-blue.png

I just started using Trello this week. I really like it to keep all the various deadlines and notes in one place. It’s a place for me to make that ultimate “list of lists”!  Want to learn more… take the Trello tour. Check back with me in three months to see if it works the way I want it to, and if I’m still using it, or a different version of the same type of productivity software. I am hoping to get my Trello board to look like this screenshot:

trello-editorialcalendarboard
Trello editorial board screenshot from the Trello website: https://trello.com/about/logo

Bullet Journal

920475_orig

I’ve also started to use Bullet Journal to keep my todo lists from being stagnant and getting the long lists accomplished.  I think it will be a good way to visualize what I need to do and keep on track.

This image from Oak.Tree.Journaling makes me wonder if I should have a mindmap. Adding this to my list to think about. Do you have a mindmap? Or a word of the year? Or words? What are they? What do you hope to accomplish this year?

static1-squarespace
2017 MINDMAP BY @OAK.TREE.JOURNALING

Here’s the “how to” Bullet Journal video, if you want to join me!

For more information, and a great resource with PDFs and other interesting ways to Bullet Journal, check out a Tiny Ray of Sunshine!

Let me know if you have any productivity tips that you enjoy and find useful! Good luck on your New Year’s resolutions!

Until next time,

Dara

Posted in Language, Literary Arts Series, Literature, Words, Writing

Give A Lick: Literary Postage Stamps – John Steinbeck and Dorothy Parker

Inspiration comes from many places. Today’s blog post inspiration came from the Richard Wright quote of last week, when I went looking for an image of Mr. Wright to use as the focal point. His postage stamp led me to wonder what other literary wordsmiths had been immortalized on postage stamps.

The USPS started the Literary Arts series in 1979.  According to the USPS, “These skillful wordsmiths spun our favorite tales — and American history along with them.”

The full list of Literary Arts postage stamps can be found on the USPS website. I will be highlighting two per day this week, with perhaps a second week to come later on.

Today’s highlighted Literary Giants are John Steinbeck and Dorothy Parker.

John Steinbeck 15¢
(1902-1968)

Steinbeck_15_1979
Issue date: February 27, 1979
City: Salinas, CA
Quantity: 155,000,000

John Steinbeck was the first to be honored on the Literary Arts series. Steinbeck’s novels mirrored America’s struggle and victory over the Great Depression. His most famous novel, The Grapes of Wrath won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. Other Steinbeck novels include Of Mice and Men, The Winter of Our Discontent, The Pearl, Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat.

I love the Paris Review’s “The Art of Fiction” interviews. If you haven’t read them, start with Steinbeck, Interview No. 45.

Listen to Steinbeck read two of his short stories, “The Snake” and “Johnny Bear” in 1953.

Dorothy Parker 29¢
(1893-1967)

Dorothy Parker
Issue date: August 22, 1992
City: West End, NJ
Quantity: 105,000,000

Dorothy Parker is 10th in the Literary Arts series.  Famous for her verses and her stories, she worked for Vogue and Vanity Fair, becoming their drama critic. She was published in Vanity Fair, Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Life (when it was still a comic magazine), and The New Yorker, run by her old friend, Harold Ross.

American journalist Vincent Sheean said: “Among contemporary artists, I would put her next to Hemingway and Bill Faulkner. She wasn’t Shakespeare, but what she was, was true.” John Keats in his biography of her, You Might as Well Live (1970) stated: “She wrote poetry that was at least as good as the best of Millay and Housman. She wrote some stories that are easily as good as some of O’Hara and Hemingway.”

A founding member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table, she was best known for her wit. Among her more memorable quotes are, “I don’t care what is written about me as long as it isn’t true” and “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

Read Dorothy Parker’s Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction” Interview No. 13.

Have you heard Dorothy Parker’s voice? You can hear her reading 30 of her poems at The Dorothy Parker Society.


Note: Featured stamp collection image courtesy of Birmingham Coin & Jewelry.

Check out the rest of the “Give A Lick” series:

Flannery O’Connor and Ralph Ellison
Humorists Ogden Nash and James Thurber
[Bonus: James Thurber Cartoon]