Monday, November 4, 2013

Somebody Stole My Sweater!

                                                HAVE YOU SEEN ME? 
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Well, IT'S not MY sweater, but my guest blogger will explain.

I'm excited to have Heather Raglin Quartetti here today, a fellow kid lit writer, and she's sharing a bit about distractions .... and her favorite sweater. :) I met Heather through the Writers Helping Writers movement, and she's definitely someone you'll want to get to know.

Take it away, Heather ...

Thanks, PK! Great to be here today. I read your post on Distractions the other day, and wanted to share my own take on it:

Distractions in the Form of Silver Linings Wrapped in a Sweater

Somebody stole my sweater. I know, not a big deal. It was just a sweater. (A tags-just-off, never-been-worn, bought-on-sale with a gift card from Anthropologie sweater.) And after a fantastic two days at the SCBWI-Carolinas conference I got home and basked in the inspiration and information gleaned from some amazing writers. But then the temperature dropped and I went to my closet to get my sweater wasn't there. I remember putting it in the closet at the hotel, but I don't remember taking it out. I called the hotel but no one turned it in. I'm obsessed with my lost/stolen sweater.

The first half of October is rough for me. An awful thing happened a few years ago and every October it's brought back to surface. And this year the anniversary of the awful thing coincided with losing my sweater. I got choked up and often cried whenever I thought of the awful thing but do you know what I thought about more? My sweater. A friend and I decided the loss of my sweater was distracting me from the crummier thing that happened, and the crummier things that are happening. (It's a rough year.)

So maybe the theft of my sweater has a silver lining. And it occurred to me that we all do this—use something to distract us from other terrible, or maybe just bad, things. Or things we're not ready for. Like writing a story that's been on our mind. Distractions like Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest are always right there, just waiting for a comment. Or you can just sit back and read for hours what other people are posting. Meeting a friend for lunch, shopping for the perfect gift for someone—these things are necessary, sometimes. But when we allow them to suck too much of our time they become just that, a time suck.

Distractions definitely have their place. They can help us keep our sanity or just get us through a rough day. Besides distracting me from the awful things, my lost sweater offered another silver lining—I could use the idea in a story. A character who gets distracted from something awful by the loss of something trivial. But of course the awful thing is still there, lurking, and must be dealt with eventually.

So allow the occasional distraction. Shiny object! Dark chocolate! I’m trying not to berate myself too much for leaving my sweater at the hotel. It was a mistake. And I’ll certainly double-check the closet the next time I’m at a hotel.

But it doesn't change the fact. Some s***head stole my sweater.

What distracts you? And what do you get distracted from?

Thanks so much for being here today, Heather! 

Heather doesn't have a blog yet, but you can find her on Twitter by clicking HERE. And she'll be quick to return the follow. :)

Also, Sandra Ulbrich Almazan has interviewed me on her blog so check it out by clicking HERE


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Distractions can be good things! Guitars tend to distract me...

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww sorry about the sweater but great that it provided such fab inspiration!

Shiny sparkly things and cats are supreme examples of things that distract me! Hopefully they'll one day provide inspiration too!

Take care

Barbara Watson said...

Everyone needs time away from things--even things they love. Such a bummer about your sweater, but maybe the person wearing it is someone who really needed a brand-new, warm, beautiful sweater. At least I hope so.


I hate sweaters, but I did not take yours!
I get distracted from, and by just about everything. I hate going into a room and not remembering what it was I went in there for. If it is important It will let me know.
*asks wife what I went in there for*

Crystal Collier said...

=( I'm sorry about your sweater. I'm sorry about the other crazy things happening too. I'm always looking for a reason to smile, and I found one in your attitude.

My distraction come in a hundred outside forms, but the biggest ones are the three babblers running about my house ALL DAY. (Because we home school.) It's such a fine balance to be productive when you're not just worried about your own productivity.

HeatherCRaglin said...

Alex-I get distracted too easily by too much. I can't write with music on..
Old Kitty-There's a story in those distractions somewhere
Barbara-I keep hoping it's someone who really needs a sweater, not just somebody who wants one.
David-I don't like sweaters either! I think that's why it bugs me so much that I lost this one. It's like it was made for me. But apparently not...
Crystal-I have two kids but they go to school. I can't imagine trying to write while having kids around all the time. Kudos to you!

Andrew Leon said...

Yeah, that whole transference thing can be a pain.

Music distracts me.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Social media definitely distracts me. And good books.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I let chores distract me from writing. And baking. And maybe a few TV shows and some other things.

SC Author said...

I love distractions many times. They help to calm me down from the initial panic so I can deal with the problem in a more relaxed state of mind later on; but it gets bad when j just don't want to face the problem. Denial sucks!

HeatherCRaglin said...

Andrew- Music is definitely one of mine. I can't have it on while writing and if a song is stuck in my head, forget it.
Natalie-Good books! Yes! But at least it can be called "research"
Susan-I don't get so distracted by chores, but BAKING! Speaking of which, I need to find a dessert recipe for my son's class pot luck party this week. To the recipe books!

JJ said...

I'm not sure it's a good thing, but I never get distracted. I also do not sweat the small stuff.

HeatherCRaglin said...

SC Author-Yes! Sometimes they do help me relax. I hadn't even thought of that side effect. But it's enough to put me in a better state of mind for dealing with what's necessary. Whether that's writing or not.
JJ-I envy your ability to not sweat the small stuff. I try to get into my yoga mind-frame. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.

William Kendall said...

Nice to meet you, Heather?

Shall we dispatch the zombie plot bunnies after this elusive sweater thief?

Leandra Wallace said...

What a great post! And those last two lines completely put a smile on my face(though I'm sorry to be smiling at your pain). =( Maybe the sweater material will break them out...?

Dianne K. Salerni said...

That SUCKS, that someone stole your sweater. :(

Lately, I feel as if I have nothing but distractions, and they're not a good thing.

Schoolwork distracts me from writing. Writing distracts me from schoolwork. No matter what I'm working on, the other career is butting in.


Sorry about your sweater.

HeatherCRaglin said...

Willliam-If you have an in with the zombie plot bunnies and they can find my sweater, I'd appreciate it.
Leandra-I had visions of sitting in the hotel lobby watching for someone in my sweater. But I decided that might be a *bit* stalkerish.
Dianne-It completely sucks. I was so looking forward to wearing that sweater this fall.

Julie Flanders said...

I seem to be distracted by anything and everything lately. I can find a blank wall distracting!
Great post, Heather, and it's nice to meet you.

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Miranda Hardy said...

That poor sweater is somewhere and probably not as appreciated as much as it would have been with you.

Distractions are easy to get lost in. Sometimes it's a good distraction, making your mind work and the creative juices start to flow again.

Anonymous said...

Some distractions can be a good thing. So sorry for your missing sweater.

Cally Jackson said...

Entertaining post! It's great that you got a story idea out of a frustrating situation, Heather.

Thanks for introducing us to Heather, PK. :-)

HeatherCRaglin said...

Julie-I find myself looking at the trees lately. They're so pretty. So many colors... Nice to meet you, too.
Cardsharing Server-Thanks!
Miranda-I doubt anyone would appreciate the sweater like I would have. *sigh* Never even got to wear it.
Suzanne-Distractions definitely have their place.
Cally-I'm glad I was able to find a silver lining in the whole thing.

Donna McDine said...

Thank you for sharing! Ugh, how annoying, but I'm glad it distracted you from other things.

Pk, Thank you for visiting and commenting on Susanne's review of my book, Hockey Agony. Much appreciated!


E.J. Wesley said...

I'm a walking distraction if you're to believe my wife. :D

Lexa Cain said...

It's true that when it rains it pours -- bad things happen in bunches. I once lost a gold locket in a hotel in Chicago. Since that was 35 years ago and I remember how sad it made me, I sure don't blame you for being upset about the about sweater.

Norma Beishir said...

It's funny how just about anything can provide inspiration!

HeatherCRaglin said...

Donna-I guess we never know where we'll find distractions...good or bad.
EJ-That's a compliment, right?!
Lexa-I lost a jacket about 20 years ago and still remember it. I have a feeling the sweater will still be lingering in my brain in another 20.
Norma-Inspiration for a guest post and a story, so not too bad I suppose.