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  • Writer's pictureCJ Murphy

To Do List

Updated: May 5, 2018

Ittttt's Friday! I AM going to get these Positive CJ Thoughts-PCT's out today. I'm stoked because on May 1, 2018, I turned in and signed a contract for my second novel to Desert Palm Press.

These PCT's won't be long simply because-- I have a list! We all have a list. Something that needs done, steps that have to be made and the lists of things we want to accomplish. We also usually have that mental list of things we like or don't that we just won't commit to paper.

I am a list maker. I have to, or there is no way I can keep my jumbled brain on task. Shiny thing- squirrel!!!

Now where was I, oh yeah, a list…see? I start doing one thing and completely end up doing something else. Don't deny it, you do it too. I hate that I will walk from one room into another to complete a task and get waylaid by seven other things I need to do while I'm doing "said one thing". Half the time I never do the original thing. Worse yet, more than half the time I forget why the hell I went into that room in the first place, only to go back to what I was doing and realize…crap, that was why.

My wife and I used to make a list before we would head out for the weekend to camp. THIS was an important list because it was a hassle when you forgot something important like…a pan to cook in. Once we had the camper in place, the list was much shorter, food-beer.

I have a so many lists, I can't figure out what list I'm supposed to be working on. Not kidding. I looked around my office and was able to collect these "lists" some have check marks and some do not. Trust me, every one of those pieces of paper has a list on it somewhere.

Today's list had: smoke alarm program, grant work, reports, newsletter, blurb, cover document, blog and three names written down that I have no clue why they are on there.

Oh, and there is a spare phone number or two not attached to any name. NO CLUE. ---OH, this is a good time for me to remind you to check those smoke detectors! (Can't help myself.)

When I finished up my work in progress and sent it off to Lee at Desert Palm Press, it generated part of the list I just mentioned and there will be more when the edits start coming in. A list of things that need changed, are okay or just need to go away. The whole book is about a list, a coded journey to find a missing puzzle piece. (FYI- This ISN'T the cover.)

My main character, Jordan, has to find a list, decode it, then travel to it to find the next list that eventually leads to my other main character, Noeul. Thus, the plot of my upcoming novel. Last week I told you about my friend Chris and the list he and his wife Kelly have.

We make lists all the time, some for pleasure and some for work.

Those lists are supposed to keep us focused on a goal. Those of us who are married are well familiar with the 'honey do list.'

My wife is amazing and carries most of the load at our house and farm while I work out in the public. She makes sure I have clean clothes and keeps us from suffocating on cat hair.

I, on the other hand, make sure we don't starve. I'm the cook in our family. She texts me lists, grocery lists, supply lists and to do lists at times.

We have a farm task list, things that have to get done. There is also a planting list that tells us when we need to plant.

I weed, a lot. I sing a little mantra as I do it. 'Just keep weeding, just keep weeding'. I am not the brains of our farm folks, I just am not. I leave that up to the true geniuses of our operation, my wife and her sister. I do what they tell me…and weed. It always needs done and I can't get in trouble for it unless I pull a plant I am not supposed to. THIS I do not need a list for.

I also keep a calendar, one on my phone and one on my desk. It gives me my weekly and monthly to do's. Sometimes they are fun like, on Jun 6th, I have 'twins' down. This means we get to have our wee ones on the farm. I have a reminder set for that because I am looking forward to it and hope we have strawberries by then. Other things I have a reminder for are to do three plank exercises on Wednesday's. (I've been ignoring that one and the video I just watched of myself shows it.)

My point is, we have so many things we need to do. We are constantly bombarded with what has to be done, when and how. Media of all forms tells us we have to buy this, do this, or think this- if we are to live happy lives. You know what, I think we just need less lists. We need large, open blank pages we can fill with the fun things we've done. We need less MUST DO THIS, when it comes to work and more, WE DID THAT, when it comes to play. Find a way to play almost as much as you work.

Find the quiet in a walk with the one you love, or the noisy in a squirt gun fight with your kids. Find a silence in your head where you can block out all the noise of the world and hear what your mind and body are telling you. Less really is more sometimes.

We have a list from our doctor most of the time too. Lose weight, get your cholesterol under control, cut down on your sodium, exercise… you get the idea. Oh, wait, that's my list. Sigh…guess I better stop silencing that plank notification.

I want to laugh and play. I want time to read or listen to a good book. Jam to my music and maybe even sit on the porch in the evening with my wife. Or at least sit on the porch and watch her mow the grass while I drink a beer. Hey now, don't judge. I'd picked up a lot of sticks in the yard so she could mow. :)

I want to shut out the world and erase my numerous lists of what needs done and find the list of what I am doing for myself and my family. I want to write books, watch the sunset and listen to the sound of an owl or a whippoorwill off in the distance. Yeah, I want a list that says, STOP! BREATH! LOVE!

How about your list? Are you doing what you want to do, or are you fulfilling someone else's list? Take the time to evaluate it and find your balance. Tear up a list you don't like and start a new one. Remember, in general, you get one go around in this life. ENJOY IT.

And if you believe in reincarnation, then I'm going to join you and believe I'm coming back as my cat. Someone will feed and water me, clean my toilet, let me sleep all day and pet me once in a while. Yeah, I like my cat's list. I'm shooting for that.

Thank you for letting me make you laugh with my scattered thoughts in this blog. I hope you laughed...once or twice. If not, put that on your list of things "to do".

If you are so inclined, my debut novel 'frame by frame' is available at your favorite online retail outlet.

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Reviews for 'frame by frame'

Absolutely Fantastic 

 I was right there in the story. It has strong characters and the individual personalities are remarkable. I love the deep family bond and Ree is someone I absolutely adore. I really am impressed with this debut novel. An outstanding and exciting romance. Read it and I’m sure you won’t regret it.- Goodreads 11/30/17



If there were 10 stars, I would choose 12

This is a happy ever after story, one we would all use, especially now. This is a debut novel for this writer and all I can say is I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR MORE. If these were 10 stars, I would choose 12.



Beautiful Story

This is the first book I have read from this author and I loved it. I really loved taking the adventure with to strong women that both were dealing with a past.... I definitely recommend this book.



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Purchase  CJ Murphy's novel   'frame by frame'     at the following retail sites:




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