Saturday, March 26, 2016

Long Term Planning Grasshopper or Ant?

I AM going to tell you a story, sort of.

So  by nature I'm a pretty happy go lucky lark morning person short term planner. A grasshopper in the Aesop's Fable. I freel admit I do a lot of magical thinking about stuff, rather than hard planning. I never used to worry about it too much because my high school sweetie was a very long term planning guy and night owl.

We followed his excellent plan to the letter. Marine Corps (him) married...G. I. school...more work...I graduated...get good job at NASA JPL....he keeps juggling work and first house....he graduates, gets great station wagon....have bigger house close to JPL....have second child....this plan stretched to infinity. I was very happy because I'm NOT a big picture planning person.

Then he was killed in a bicycle accident. I had two children ages 3 and 5. No, I didn't turn into a long range planner but I knew certain things had to happen and they did. I made sure of that. Of course other things also happened but you adapt.

Then one morning at breakfast on a business trip, I choked on a morsel of food and came within seconds of brain death. My life was only saved because the co-worker who I taught to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on me via gestures as I was passing out, continued to repeat the Maneuver fourteen more times before the food dislodged enough for me to resume breathing. So I did a lot of deep thinking and soul searching afterward because if my husband's death hadn't been compelling enough to show that we can all leave this Earth at literally any moment, now it had nearly happened to me.

But you can't just stop making plans. Especially not if you have a family depending on you, and  bills to pay and etc. So I continued to muddle through with my version of planning...

Eventually the family moved out to pursue their own plans and I started hopefully working toward a kind of vague plan to get published, write lots of books and maybe someday give up the day job and become a fulltime writer.

OK, so now that plan has come to fruition. Now my plan is to write lots of good books and enjoy the HECK out of being a published author. Oh, and pay the bills.

I have a fairly solid plan to write specific books this year and release them on target dates. (STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK in mid April - watch for it!)  I have a plan to attend the RT Booklovers Conference in Las Vegas in April and I'm chairing a panel on scifi romance that I proposed and got accepted.

That's it. Probably my 2017 plan is rinse and repeat. And do that again in get the idea.

Along the way fun things come up out of the blue, like recording a line in a Star Trek audiobook (I am Crew Woman. Really.) Or being on a Wondercon panel (which didn't happen because I was replaced by an actress with Farscape credits but she was probably a better fit for the audience than romance writer me.)  Or being in an anthology with New York Times best selling authors (maybe lightning will strike).

I plan to feed the cats EVERY day. (Jake made me add that.)


  1. You had me at the grasshopper and the ant analogy.

    1. It really makes me think of the Pixar movie "A Bug's Life" but I refuse to be related to Hopper the villain! So Aesop it was....