Cluttered Brain, Cluttered Office

I don’t understand how I became so disorganized. I take that back. If I’m honest, I know exactly what happened. During the COVID quarantine with all of its shutdowns, I craved a little more variety. No, I take that back, too. I became absolutely crazy to have a variety of activities and experiences again. Now my life is more chaotic than ever, and my office shows it.

Take my small bulletin board, for example. There’s a calendar with all sorts of reminders scribbled on it, from trips that I’m taking and happy hour dates with friends to mundane things like putting out the trash and paying estimated taxes. Yes, I’m old school like that. I find electronic reminders way too easy to ignore, especially since I have a tendency to leave my cell phone at home. (Hey, I’m hiking and kayaking and swimming and dancing; what the heck do I need a cell phone for?)

Then I have a couple of photos that make me smile. (Sorry, photographers, I long ago lost the identification for these magazine pages.) I love that image of the white polar bear against the white snow; seeing the black skin of its footpad and toes is such a startling contrast. The little weasel reminds me of wildlife surprises I experienced on hikes. This photo may be an ermine in its summer coat, or a long-tailed weasel. My weasel experiences were in Mount Rainier National Park and along the West Coast Trail (aka Lifesaving Trail) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

FYI: Never trust a weasel. They are cute devils, but sneaky and slippery thieves. Both times I was the victim of their treachery as I was eating lunch and enjoying the scenery while perched on a rock with a couple of food items spread out beside me. A slight rustling alerted me to see an adorable little red furry face appear from a rock crevice, snatch my most expensive food item, and vanish before I could even say “Hey!” I believe my thieves were martens, but all I know for sure is that they were fans of expensive cheese.

(Incidentally, if you don’t know weasels, you should watch the PBS documentary, “The Mighty Weasel,” and you’ll be fascinated, too.)

Also on my bulletin board, I have a list of knots I’m supposedly learning to tie. I did take a class, but now I’m so out of practice that I need to look up each knot on YouTube to even remember what those names refer to.

There’s a fantastic drawing of a gorilla, given to me by my artist friend Avery while I was working on my second Neema (signing gorilla) mystery. And then there’s the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet, which is an outline for screenplay structure but also serves as a great reminder for a suspense novel.

This all helps me to remember that I should be working on my latest novel, which is a crossover between my Sam Westin wilderness series and my Neema series. I look at this little bulletin board beside my desk and think about wildlife and gorillas and how I can get the two stories together. Somehow, this chaos will resolve itself into a readable book, in between trips and hiking and kayaking and dancing and such. At least I hope so.

Most people probably use bulletin boards to organize ideas or events. Somehow, mine just displays the chaos of my life. And that’s only my small bulletin board. You should see the rest of my office.

4 thoughts on “Cluttered Brain, Cluttered Office

  1. What a fun post! Made me smile the entire time. I guess it’s became it is sooooo relatable to my lot in life.


  2. Fun post! I understand the clutter! I’m in the middle of writing a book and a short story for an anthology of which I am the editor, so I also have to keep track of everyone else’s stories. And we also have trips planned this year and all kinds of other clutter on my desk besides my writing. We love watching the weasels in our hay field. They stick up out of their holes in the ground and look like mini periscopes as they turn watching us when we are picking up hay bales. That’s the only time we can see them. When the hay is cut.


  3. You are talking about my life. My head, my desk, my house, my life are all chaotic… and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I read once where psychologists regard a chaotic desk as a sign of intelligence. Looking at mine I must be a freakin’ genius!


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