Charitable Chicks

A trio of my favorite (not to mention egg-ceptionally funny) author friends are hosting a special event this holiday season.   Hop on over to their coop ( to see how you can become an honorary silly chick — and “use chicken power to make the world a better place,” as they put it. You may even spot a few familiar silly faces amongst the flock …

Tech-Free Zone

The beginning of the month is always a good time to turn over a new leaf, right? 


Having failed miserably at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which occurs every November), I am greatly in need of a new leaf. I suppose I didn’t actually fail miserably, but I’d definitely qualify it as semi-miserable finish. I ended up with half of the first draft of a new novel, but nowhere near the 50,000 words required to download an official “winner” certificate and pat myself on the back. Meanwhile, across town my industrious friend Sue is busy patting not only herself on the back but also her eight-year-old daughter. Yes, that’s right, she and her SECOND GRADER both managed to finish their novels! Talk about feeling outclassed.


I’m already plotting my comeback for next year.


But back to the new leaf. I am the Queen of Distractions, which is definitely not a good thing for a writer to be. If there is a load of laundry in the house to be washed, a pan of brownies to be baked, a dog to be walked, a letter to be written, an errand to be run, a bill to be paid, a dust bunny to be hunted down, wool to be gathered or absolutely anything under the sun to be googled, I will leap at the opportunity to put off the moment of truth. It’s not the fear of the blank page that’s the problem. Once I have actually achieved B-I-C (bottom-in-chair), I’m off and running. The problem is focusing.


This past week brought a particularly delightful distraction when our son came home from college for his winter break. It’s great having our eldest chick back in the nest, and getting to spend time with him and find out what’s going on his life. But I can’t blame tanking NaNoWriMo on my son. Nope. I have come to realize that the blame lies squarely with technology. 


I have seen the enemy, and it has a silicon chip. Of all the distractions I cannot resist, the most irresistible come with their own power cords. I’m a sucker for the siren song of email, text messages, blog posts, video conferencing, web surfing, and anything that requires a headset, including my iPod and those free phone calls to family and friends who share my cellular calling plan. And don’t even get me started on Facebook.


So today I’m turning over a new leaf. From now on, I am officially declaring mornings a technology-free zone. No email until noon. No music or text messaging or web surfing or social networking either. The ringers on all phones will be turned off. This holiday season will see an actual reign of peace on earth, or at least peace under my roof until lunchtime. I will gallop into the new year with plenty of B-I-C time under my belt and something to show for all this self-discipline — the second half of that novel I didn’t quite finish, I hope. 

Anyone want to join me in staking out their own tech-free zone?