Keeping Focus

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do” – Steve Jobs

Finding Focus

The meeting on Monday was attended by seven little people.

Grumpy requested an add to staff; he wanted to have Serious join the group. Sneezy sneezed. Bashful turned red. Happy was looking out the window and not listening. Sleepy jerked to attention, adjusting his Ray-Bans. Dopey, raising his hand, wanted to know why we were meeting on a Sunday. Doc rationalized the addition. He was all for Serious, but only if we would hire his friend Curious. The idea of adding Serious and Curious at the same time was intriguing.

I called HR and had the requisition forms filled out. “Curious’ name sounds very familiar, she might have worked here before the last big layoff,” said HR. I told HR: “Serious will have to bring a megaphone to the office. Part of his job description will be to stand on his desk, position the megaphone to face the cubicles, and shout Focus every forty-five minutes. We should never have fired Focus.”

Focus had been fired four years ago, he was missed at the end of the day when bits of ideas were lost. He was missed when the pile of books started and not finished were ankle deep. He was especially missed when the paints were not used or had dried on a few brushes.

Now he would be able to be called with Efficiency (scratch that, Efficiency had been fired too—the very same week). “We really don’t have enough in the budget to go out and look for Focus; the number of incentives and perks he would require will be enormous. He may have moved to some Nordic country where he is more loved. Who would blame him?” HR said.

The question remains: will we find Focus by just shouting his name?

Here are some tips from today’s  Writer Unboxed

Telling Stories


This is a blog about writing, writing my stories, and the journey taken to get to here.

My debut novel The Last Daughter of Elizabeth Light has not found a publisher or even an agent, but that’s not what this blog is about.  It is about what I have learned in the process of writing.  The fictional family tree going back nine generations was inspired by curiosity.  Why did my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother leave their home, their family, and their country to travel great distances to find a new life? My research using newspapers, diaries, journals, and biographies led me to uncover a real history of women struggling to be themselves.

Before 2005 I only wrote business memos, but one beautiful day in San Francisco, after I had left my career in advertising behind, I had an argument with my mother about a plastic ruler.  That was the day I really began to write.

My mother inspired me because she  “embraced life like a bride married to amazement”.   Whether we have had to lean in, or follow another path,  history repeats itself.  We are part of what comes before us, each generation leaving something for the next.

Later edit from 9/16: The novel’s title has changed in this journey, and in October 2016 it was self-publish.