Mystery...Romance...Sci Fi...Humor... The joy of writing fiction - meeting brand new people in places that don't yet exist.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping Track of When, What, and Where

After writing in a vacuum most of my life, I'm really trying to move out into the big wide world.  I've joined a few writer's organizations which means I'm plugged into quite a few e-mail lists, and I'm receiving a lot of great information.  In fact, I'm receiving so much great information, it's almost impossible to keep track of it all.

One of the real challenges is steady stream of notices on conferences, contests, workshops, etc.  Since my overall gameplan includes participating in some of these, I want to keep this information, but hanging on to all the e-mails gets a little unruly.  Even sorting them into folders doesn't quite work because they tend to get buried.

So this weekend I created a spreadsheet.  I have a section for conferences, one for contests, one for workshops, even one for calls for submissions.  For conferences, for example,  I have the name, place, dates, fees, genre, a couple Y/N fields for my own interests, and the website link.   I can arrange them by date and use that overview to plan what I want to attend this year.  Hopefully, as new e-mails come in, I can quickly add a line to the spreadsheet and keep my inbox from 'runnething' over. 

How about you?  How do you keep track of these things?

Just a note, I updated my website this weekend as well.  It still needs a lot of work - I have no graphics (as in none) to speak of - but I updated the content with some current excerpts and added a couple short pieces.  If you have a chance check it out and let me know what you think.  And I'll let you know when I've added the bells and whistles.  The link is on the upper right of this page.

My current word count: 30,877 (Doing lots of plot revisions.  Unfortunately, that doesn't add to the word count.)

I'm currently enjoying: The Treasures of Carmelidrium by N. R. Williams

Groaner of the day: One day, a man from the Czech Republic came to visit his friend in New York. When asked what he wanted to see, the visitor replied, "I would like to see one of the zoos in America."

To his delight, the New Yorker took him to the Bronx Zoo. They were touring the zoo, and standing in front of the gorilla cage, when one of the gorillas busted out of the cage and swallowed the Czech whole. Shocked, his friend from New York quickly called the zoo keeper. He explained the situation and the zoo keeper immediately took steps to save the man's friend. The zoo keeper got an axe and asked the man, "OK, which gorilla did it? Was it the male or the female?" The New Yorker pointed out the female as the culprit. Quickly, the zoo keeper split the female gorilla open and found nothing of the Czech.

He looked at the man from New York, who shrugged and said, "Guess the Czech is in the male."


Shellie said...

Hi Linda,

I don't have a lot of organizations to keep up with. Just two really. I don't keep a record of contests and conferences either. I just wait for a notice and delete them if I don't plan to attend. I just don't like seeing too much stuff on my screen and I'm not very organized in cyber space.

Hunter's Way is a bit disturbing in its vividness. Sure wouldn't want to meet him on a dark night. Is it a fantasy?

Maria Zannini said...

You're more organized than I am. :)

I use Microsoft Outlook for my email and it lets me set reminders. So when a good email comes through, I'll put a reminder for myself to look at it again a little later on.

Ref: web site
Why do you have the blurb for Hunter's Way underlined?

Linda Leszczuk said...


Welcome back. I was just getting to the point that I had to do something with the clutter. We'll see it this works.

Hunter's Way is a sci fi crime drama with a good dose of romance tossed in. And yes, Vedcar is not someone you'd want to run into in a dark alley.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria -I was getting to the point where I needed reminder for my reminders.

Ref: the web site - I don't understand your question. The only thing you should see underlines on are the links. Are you seeing something else? What browser do you use?

Maria Zannini said...

Ah, never mind. The whole blurb is a link. You might consider only making the title an active link. Linking the whole blurb is a little distracting--to me anyway.

Dru said...

I'm too organized.

I live for my spreadsheet. Whenever I need to sort things, analyze things, I open up Excel and I'll have a spreadsheet to keep track of my stuff.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - You're seeing something other than what I'm seeing. I'll contact you off blog. Thanks for alerting me to the problem.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru - There may be such a thing as too organized but I'll never get there.

Did you happen to check my web site? Did the Hunter's Way blurb and excerpt link look okay to you?

Dru said...

Linda, all your links worked. The only thing that didn't show was your Facebook badge.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Thanks, Dru. So hard to check your own site. Too many variables.