Going the Distance

To get to a large grocery store, a gas station with un-inflated prices, or to pick up a pizza (not from a cafe that incidentally offers pizza), I drive 17 miles to a neighboring town. It boasts a population of 4,348—six times the size of the undisclosed location where I’m enjoying my sabbatical. The drive is gorgeous!

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Hint #11 — Lewis and Clark most likely saw this view when they were blazing a trail through this neck of the woods.

When I arrived with an already-started manuscript, I calculated how many words I’d need to write each day to go the distance; to complete it in three months. It requires 1,000 words per day, not counting Tuesdays, or two short visits from Len when we goof off the entire time.

For many people, writing 1,000 words per day is child’s play. Not for me. Even in a near-hermit existence with solitude as my companion, 1,000 words per day—that aren’t gobbledegook—is quite an undertaking, but I’m going the distance.

What is your most recent “going the distance” experience?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Logging and Writing

Not exclusive to screenplays, many writers create loglines to succinctly answer the question, “What’s your screenplay about?” or “Tell me a little bit about your book.”

Similar to an “elevator pitch,” a logline is a one or two sentence description of the story you want to convey to your audience or readers. For example, here’s the logline for the movie, Titanic:

A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard an ill-fated voyage at sea.

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Hint #10 — Logging is a BIG deal in my undisclosed sabbatical location. In fact, it’s celebrated here!

I’m currently working on the logline for my next book, The Business of Being. Subject to change, here’s what I’ve got so far:

This book isn’t about being in business; it’s about the business of being. Spotlighting the intersection of corporate core values and personal virtues, The Business of Being helps you thrive in business and life.

If your life were a book, what would the logline be?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Sleuth Mode

I don’t know if they’re year-round residents, or seasonal, but a clear view of the side of the neighboring house reveals magpies and a pileated woodpecker vying for the same construction space. Their tactical maneuvers are like watching a Blue Angels airshow.

Hint # 9—If I were a trout (rainbow, brown, or westslope cutthroat) I’d be tickled pink to swim in the river a stone’s throw from my sabbatical location.

My temporary home away from home is glorious. And even though there’s a solid, six-foot wooden fence around it, I had an unwitting guest—a doe—who cleared the fence to get in but was mystified on how to get back out.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve always wanted to be a magician, international spy, and mad scientist. In the blink of an eye, I claimed elements from all three and transformed into sleuth mode.

Mist-like, I slipped out of the house sight unseen, unlatched the gate, and slipped back inside. When the doe took a double-take at the fence, she saw an opening and beat a hasty retreat.

What was your last sleuth-mode escapade?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

A minimalist, not only do I live light, I pack light too. For my three-month sabbatical I brought two pairs of jeans, four 3/4-length sleeve shirts, a down vest, a down jacket, jammies, and under clothing—including woolly pulleys.

My footwear consists of snow boots, snow shoes, and slippers. Serious slippers!

Hint #8 — From in the state, and out, people travel from all over to enjoy the year-round outdoor recreational offerings in my sabbatical location. Good thing I brought snow boots, because hiking (trails are prevalent) is great for clearing the cobwebs in one’s mind before writing.

While hiking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these types of tracks: mule deer, grizzly bear, elk, wolf, fox, coyote, and raccoon.

My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

What type of tracks do you leave?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Murder Mystery

I enjoy writing nonfiction, but I also have fun writing fiction. I currently have a murder mystery simmering on the back burner that I’ll jump back into—with gusto!—once The Business of Being is complete.

The game of Clue offers several options as murder weapons—wrench, rope, candlestick, revolver, lead pipe, and knife.

Hint #7 — A portion of the state where I’m enjoying my sabbatical is considered a paradise for geologists.

Now that I’ve been in my sabbatical location for a while, and my mind’s had ample opportunity to wander, I think death by icicle would make a good way in a murder mystery to eliminate someone (picture me rubbing my hands together with a diabolical glint in my eyes). Unlike a knife used to stab someone, once a spike of ice has melted, there’d be no murder weapon as evidence.

Who is your favorite mystery writer?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Our Words Matter

words, Words, WORDS—I’m up to my neck in words as I craft my next book—The Business of Being. And I’m thoroughly enjoying every minute of it!

During the day I write them. Throughout the evening I read them. I’ve devoured six books since I’ve been here.

A week before I left for my three-month sabbatical, I had the privilege of speaking with a small group of entrepreneurial millennials. One of the topics we discussed was how our words matter.

Hint # 6 — The town where I’m enjoying my sabbatical is one of the few towns in the continental United States that boasts only one—count em, ONE!—drive-thru coffee shop.

My friend Dawn said, “Our words create our world.” That’s one of the reasons I suggest that my clients voice what they want and refrain from stating what they don’t want.

For example, instead of making statements like “don’t slam the door,” “don’t forget your lunch,” and “don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” Remember your lunch.” Speak to me with respect.”

Do you say what you want instead of what you don’t want?

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.“ —Toni Morrison, American novelist, editor, and professor

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Burnt Socks

To extend their life, Len never (ever) puts freshly laundered socks in the dryer. In the summer he hangs them from clip-type hangers and air dries them; in the winter he drapes them over our geothermal registers.

When Len came to visit me in my sabbatical location, he washed a pair of wool socks and placed them on a heating register. When I came in from outside, my nose was assaulted — something’s burning! A quick search led me to these crispy critters. I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

Hint #5 — Log cabin manufacturers, taxidermists, and fly fishing shops are abundant in and around my sabbatical location.

Lots of things get burned in life; some intentional, some not:

  • Burnt toast — the only way I eat it.
  • Burned rubber — a quick departure.
  • Burned finger — forgot to wear the oven mitt.
  • Burned bridges — not a good plan regardless of the circumstance.
  • “I got burned” — a relationship gone up in smoke.

What was the last thing you burned?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”