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Here are all the books I’ve read from September to the end of the year. I’m still working on a presentation format. I don’t know if 2015’s will be split like it was in 2014.

  1. Killed by Clutter by Leslie Caine; A Domestic Bliss Mystery
  2. Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; #11 of the Pendergast series
  3. Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; #12 of the Pendergast series
  4. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
  5. White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; #13 of the Pendergast series
  6. Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson
  7. Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
  8. Knit 1, Kill 2 by Maggie Sefton; #1 in Knitting Mysteries
  9. Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton; #2 in Knitting Mysteries
  10. A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton; #3 in Knitting Mysteries
  11. A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton; #4 in Knitting Mysteries; Eh. Moves the storyline along, but doesn’t do much else.
  12. Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton; #6 in Knitting Mysteries
  13. Dyer Consequences by Maggie Sefton; #5 in Knitting Mysteries
  14. Dropped Dead Stitch by Maggie Sefton; #7 in Knitting Mysteries
  15. Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton; #8 in Knitting Mysteries
  16. Unraveled by Maggie Sefton; #9 in Knitting Mysteries

Unless marked otherwise, all titles are recommended.

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[part 3 of the Cori Planner Pieces series]

To my knowledge, no one else uses the term Jotter. A jotter is any notepad or notebook that can be carried around in the pants pocket so one can jot down anything they need to immediately. No random pieces of paper floating around, risking getting lost. Now all random thoughts, To Dos, lists, important information, etc. is all contained in a single (sometimes more than one) notebook.

Here are the ones I’m currently using:

Cori's Jotters (1) Cori's Jotters (2) Cori's Jotters (3)

As you can see from the inside peeks, sometimes my writing is neat and organized, and other times I’m writing very hastily so I don’t lose a thought.

When a jotter is filled, I go back through it, cross off anything that’s been taken care of, transfer any important notes to their respective places, and add anything remaining to The Master To Do List. Yes, that includes everything that is left undone in the Jotter.

(The Master To Do List will have its own blog post later.)

Now, here’s a picture of my Waiting in the Wings Jotters:

Cori's Jotters (4)

From the left:

  • Cori's Jotters (5)Sanderson box set: 2 lined and 2 plain paper notebooks; gift from a family friend
  • Cori's Jotters (6)Small spirals: Stonehenge one was bought at the Stonehenge gift shop in Salisbury, England; Mickey’s Philarmagic was a clearance bin find
  • Small bound: Keep Calm & Carry On and the British Stamps notebooks were both bought during a trip to England.
  • Cori's Jotters (7)Small Pads: a set of three I grabbed while out shopping one day. Paper is lined only on one side, so I have a choice of which way I want to use them.
  • Cori's Jotters (8)Larger notebooks: these were cheap and I won’t be using them as proper notebooks but as jotters because the paper quality isn’t that great.
  • Cori's Jotters (9)Smaller booklets: these are the remaining 3 of a set of 5 my husband bought during a trip to the Tower of London when he was kid. They were recently refound during a cleaning out old boxes. So, of course, I appropriated them.
  • Cori's Jotters (10)Even smaller ones: remaining 2 of a set of 4 Jane Austen notebooks I bought in England. I was lacking in notepads to write on, so I had to buy some. The full set was one from Manifield Park, another from Emma, and 2 from Pride and Prejudice.

© Cori Large December 13, 2014

How do I stay Organized?

[part 2 of the Cori Planner Pieces series]

I use three main items to stay organized: my jotter notepad, my Franklin Covey planner, and my Mead Flex Binder notebook.

3 piece org. system

Jotter Notepad:

I’m always coming up with ideas and need to take notes on one thing or another. Jotter isn’t a brand (or at least that I know of), just a term I use to refer to any notepad I can stuff into my back pocket and carry around. (There will be a separate post just on my jotters.)

Mead Flex Binder:

If you’ve never used one of these items, I recommend getting one. A combination of binder and spiral notebook. I use mine for my writing—fiction, nonfiction, spotlights, blog posts. It is organized in the Bullet Journaling style. (I’m planning separate, more in-depth blog posts about both the flex binder and bullet journaling later.)

Franklin Covey  planner:

I recently upgraded from a DayTimer Avalon desk size planner to a Franklin Covey Sierra planner. I say upgraded, meaning I got the storage space I wanted, even when I decreased the size of the planner. The reason I switched is because DayTimer didn’t have a larger ring option for the compact size, but FC did. Also, the 7 ring system in a desk size planner just made punching papers for it difficult. (I’ll go more into that in another post.)

The FC Sierra doesn’t have as many pockets as my DayTimer Avalon did, but I don’t mind. It suits my purposes wonderfully.

So there are my top 3 organizational items. Each will have its own post later on with more pictures.

Quick addition:

I use three different colors pens: blue, black, and red in my systems.

Blue: preferred ink color; comes from the notion that I’d always be able to tell an original from a copy.

Black: my backup if I can’t find my blue pen or if the blue pen runs out and I haven’t gotten/found another one; don’t use it for underlining though

Red: during the year, anything related to my outside-the-home job gets written in red; also used for finishing notes and underlining. Finishing notes are marking a written piece with the date written, typed, and posted to blog.

© Cori Large December 12-13, 2014

[part 1 of Cori’s Planner Pieces Series]

I first stumbled onto Passion Planner via a shared link on Facebook. This piece was not about Passion Planner, just mentioning it because of the kickstarter video was a gateway.

After the kickstarter video, which was hosted on YouTube, recommended videos came up, as they do. One was titled “March 2014 Planner Review” by MyPurpleyLife. I thought to myself “That can’t be about what I think it’s about!” So I clicked on it.

That video spawned more recommendation of other planner review videos. I was in shock over these videos for awhile. I couldn’t believe these videos existed. They were quite informative actually, so if you’re stuck on how to organize or decorate your planner, check ‘em out!

There is a category for these videos: Organizers/Planners/Agendas. As of today (12/22/2014), there are 89 videos in that list. Now this may not be all the videos available on YouTube, just the ones on the list.

Here is the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMXGTwB_QGgJaEzP-7_rQ_S3uMxIB32hf

I’m slowly working my way through them. It’s wonderful to know I’m not the only one who loves their planner/organizer/agenda.

© Cori Large 12/11/2014

Back Story: I have had some professors throughout my college education that seem to think that the letters behind their name make them an authority on a subject, when in the real world they wouldn’t last five minutes.

So that got me thinking of a fun way to describe the different types of post-secondary degrees.

A.A. Degree: getting your Gen Eds out of the way for a lower price at community college before going on to a much pricier university to complete your B.A. /B.S.

B.A. /B.S. Degree: a half-started degree (if you came in with an AA) that you’re being pressured to finish even though you’re not sure if you like the subject matter anymore.

Master’s Degree: the degree you may actually enjoy getting because you have more electives than require classes. (Well, this was the case for me!)

Ph.D.: the degree to justify an obsession by near killing yourself with stress and research, and nearly destroying all personal relationships you have, all for a fancy piece of paper.

Author’s Note: This was meant in jest. I know several people who have worked hard to obtain their Ph.D.’s and I would never insinuate that they wasted their time.

Back Story: <A/N: The author encourages any and all ways to save for college, unless it endangers retirement funding.> I overhead a grandmother collecting Georgia State quarters for her granddaughter’s college fund. The granddaughter’s name was Georgia.

I think this a really neat idea. Especially if the parents are die-hard fans of a sports team or alumni, i.e. University of Florida Gators or Harvard Law, you would collect Florida state quarters and Massachusetts state quarters respectively.

Or if the child has a city name: Cheyenne or Dakota, you could collect Wyoming and North & South Dakota quarters respectively.

Another idea is for those that are able to: for the 1st birthday, contribute $1 toward the college fund. At the 2nd birthday, contribute $2, and so on for each birthday. If you could get people to do this instead of buying a bunch of toys, you could end up putting away a nice amount for your child’s college fund. The same can be done with coins (100 pennies, 10 dimes, etc.), if the parents want to have a physical reminder around at all time.

Another idea: collecting loose change. My aunt and uncle, when my cousin was born, had a little piggy bank in his nursery where any and all loose change was deposited. My cousin is getting ready to graduate from high school, so this will hopefully help towards paying for his schooling.

© Cori Large 9/25/2014

Writer Robert Benson says it beautifully, “But listening to someone else describe the tricks she uses to keep herself digging every day reminds us of what works for us, and what does not, and helps us remember to be attentive to the things we already know to do” (pg. 9). And he is so right. I love reading books by writers about how they write, and this book, Dancing on the Head of a Pen, is one of those books.

Benson takes you through his process, never shying away from the negatives, and is completely honest about it all. I’ve bookmarked a lot of good quotes to use. This book will definitely be one of my books in my office that I turn to when I’m stuck.

If you like reading about how writers write, I recommend this book!

© Cori Large 10/30/2014