Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Pantser or Plotter?

I’ve always been a pantser. That’s a writer who creates stories by the seat of her pants, just jumping off the cliff and writing whatever happens next. This is a very exciting way to write. You never know what is going to happen next. Because. Well. You haven’t planned anything.

In November and December, I suddenly found myself desiring to plot new stories. I wanted to try being a plotter, a writer who makes a plan before writing. This of course helps with story arc, characters, setting, and all of that stuff. Well, it’s not like I said, “I want to be a plotter,” but one day I noticed my Debbie Ridpath Ohi picture book thumbnails template and thought it would be fun to try.

And wow! Two picture books written by actual plotting. For these two stories, the plotting plan worked perfectly. (Heh-heh, I love alliteration.)

I’m sure I will continue to be mostly a pantser because I love running with a story idea that begins with a title (which happens quite often) or a phrase or a character. But on occasion, I might just dig out that template and put on my plotting pants.

Who’s with me?

Thank you, Debbie Ridpath Ohi! You can find her picture book templates (and tons of other great info) on her website: debbieohi.com

Writing Tip: Always add kitties to help you write. Works for plotters OR pantsers. (Or snugglers.)


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I’m in Love with My New Portable Standing Desk!

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Everyone who is anyone has read about the dangers of sitting long hours. Not that a numb backside, crinkled shoulders, and achy knees will kill you, but sitting and being sedentary just might steal your health and shorten the days you expect to be around to do anything.

As a writer, well, sitting at a computer desk, coffee table, work table, research desk, or any other writerly space is sort of a job requirement.

The challenge is how to stand and write but also be able to access (ergonomically) the keyboard or laptop, mouse, and assorted resources and supplies.

Living in an RV adds additional space challenges. Where would I store a standing desk? How could I use the tiny dining table if a portable standing desk were in place? What about the bump between the slide and the RV floor? Do I need to stand on the hump to work at a standing desk?

After literally spending years contemplating, researching, and giving up the idea of a table top desk, I finally threw up my hands after a particularly long (sitting) writing day. I did a quick Amazon search, found the perfect portable standing desk, checked for size for my 17″ laptop, and ordered it. All within 5 minutes.

I should have done that ages ago!

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This wonderful office accessory arrived a few days after placing my order. It took me a few minutes to figure out the legs, but after that, I realized what a treat it will be to use my new standing desk.

My 17″ laptop fits securely on top of the adjustable angle table, held in place by a shelf. My mouse and pad rest to the right of my laptop and are also held in place by a softened shelf. If you are looking for one for yourself, this is definitely for a right-handed person. Look to see if a left-handed version is available. Coloring is pretty nondescript, but I’m not in it for looks. Purpose is my main goal. It is neutral in color and is sturdy enough that I don’t worry for the safety of my laptop. It does wiggle as I type, but not the kind of wiggle that tells me it’s going to crash down. I love being able to angle the top of the tray, and my wrists appreciate the easy angle when working.

Storage is not an issue either. This tray folds flat. The two shelves that hold up the computer and mouse are a bit raised on one side, while the folded legs are raised on the back. But I found a perfect spot to rest my new work buddy.

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I now have the option to stand and work or sit and work. Hurray!

What took me so long???

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Details of my portable standing desk: [Large Size] Neetto TB101L Adjustable Laptop Bed Table, Portable Standing Desk, Foldable Sofa Breakfast Tray, Notebook Stand Reading Holder for Couch [Personal Computers]

You’re welcome.