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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Culling Clutter

Thank you for the outpouring of response regarding my flooded office. Although papers, books, notebooks, and other objects that await a new location or new home are still piled high on my tables, chairs, and sofa, I see progress.

Saturday I attended the Atlanta Writers Club meeting and brought with me about thirty books on writing, everything from plotting fiction to writing magazine articles. I put a sign on those books that said FREE. I enjoyed the surprise on the faces of my fellow writers when they found a table filled with free books. Some people stood for a long time, deciding which free book to take, until I said, “I don’t care if you take them all; they need a good home.” Several people then gleefully picked up more than one book.

I also sold a few copies of Write In Style and Ask the Book Doctor, including some copies damaged in the water that seeped into my office. At the end of the day, I came home lighter and with a little extra cash in my pocket, and writers went home with books they can use to make their writing stronger. Everybody won.

To clean up from the flood, I have to pull out all items stored on or near the floor of my office, basement, garage, and two large storage closets. I will have to dry off, examine, consider, relocate, throw away, donate, or sell all those things. I also lost a huge bookcase that collapsed, so hundreds more items need to find new locations, either here or in someone else’s home. With so much less storage space, I must weed out the things I no longer need. When I finish this job, my basement, and probably my life, will be considerably less cluttered; hence the hidden blessing. I look forward to it.

By the way, now that Write In Style is officially out of print, it is no longer available directly from Amazon. Several used-book dealers offer used copies of Write In Style, now considered a rare book, for anywhere from $52.99 to $95.94. You can still pay the original $12.95 price, though, if you order one of the few remaining new copies through my Web site, www.zebraeditor.com. I have a limited quantity, so order today!

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