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THURSDAY'S TREASURE with guest writer LOREE LOUGH

Hello, lovely people, and thanks for spending some of your time with Robin (and me!) today!


Time. It's such a valuable commodity, isn't it? That's why last Christmas past, I asked Santa to give me 48 hours in every day. This year, I have something else in mind (because seriously? Even with the extra hours, it isn't likely I'd cross every item off my To Do list)….


One of the items on that long, unwieldy list? My computer files. Some of that stuff dates back to the late 90s. So I asked myself why I was holding on to it all. And you know what? I couldn’t come up with a single good reason to keep them all.


So I stayed up all night and read every file. Yep, all 100+ of 'em, each at various stages of development. If a story had no hope of selling, I sent it to the trash bin.


That left me with 14 stories, some fully-fleshed out, others just topics I felt could be turned into salable novel plots. I gave each of those a thorough read to determine which might sell in today's oober-competitive market, and which could not. And the Nots sailed into the already-full bin.


Next I gave the final6 a careful read, and filed them in Easiest to Complete and Submit order. Because on January 2, 2012, I intend to sit on my purple exercise ball, fingertips curled above the keyboard, and dig into Tuxedo Bend (working title of the story on top).


Why this mad-flurry to "systemize?" And why now? Well, those of you who know me are aware that I'm organized to the point of being a little, well, wacky, or so says my husband. And kids. The gran-dorables and the neighbors and…you get my drift. If things aren't in order—at least in my head—nothing gets done. Chaos—even a small amount of it—puts me into a never-ending tailspin of 'fix this' and 'do that' until my tiny brain is convinced all the ducks are marching in a tidy row. With my computer files gleaned of useless stuff, I can concentrate on the things that matter. Like salable stories.


I left myself no wiggle room and there's no turning back, because I emptied the recycle bin. (Did you know it actually gets fat when you load it up with junk! But I digress….) Every story labeled "Possible" and "Maybe" and "Could Be" are as gone as my old PE uniform and the hideous bloomers that went with it!


And it feels good. As an avid gardener, I know that when a plant malingers, harsh pruning is in order. Lopping dead stuff off, whacking back to the original plant is the only way to encourage the healthy green chutes and big fragrant blooms that I once enjoyed. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.... Cutting those dead, never-salable stories from my files made room for stronger ideas that will bear (God willing!) publishable fruit!


It might be a tad early for Happy New Year wishes, but I'm praying that 2012 will bring you and all those you love good health and happiness, allow you to meet your most important goals, and let you see your most heartfelt dreams come true.

Blessings to you and yours,

Loree

Loree Lough With more than 3,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and dozens of industry awards. She splits her time between a humble home in Baltimore and a teeny cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her "Identify the Critter Tracks" skills). Loree has more than 80 books in print, including reader favorites like From Ashes to Honor and Honor Redeemed. Her next release, Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina is in bookstores now. She loves to hear from readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and www.loreelough.com!


Loree, you always bless me with your humor and your sweet spirit. Thank you for being a guest writer at the Nest today. You have an open invitation to join us at any time! We get so busy don't we? In the hustle and bustle of life we seem to feel scattered a bit ourselves. I know I sure do. You should see me as I sit before you today. lol How sweet when we take that time to declutter our lives with all the junk that fills the space around us. Space that God wants to use for His glory and honor. If we don't clear out all that unused space we might just miss out on the greatest blessings of all. Those that the Lord is waiting for us to acknowledge and accept.


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