Before I digress, an update on posts to come:
1. On On Writing: never before have I underlined so many passages in a book, thinking to myself, "Yes, oh, he's so very right." I've loved King's writing since I was in junior high, so maybe I was predisposed to clicking with the book, but still. He is a genius.
2. I do not recommend reading King Rat when one is eating. The book is brilliant, I love Mieville's descriptions. However, I was having lunch while reading about Saul's first breakfast. Eep.
Okay, now I digress.
In part of my crusade to get more things accomplished, I'm trying to keep on top of housecleaning. I live in a perpetual state of clutter - junk mail waiting to be shredded or used as fuel for our chiminea, books that need to be put away, comics waiting for a new long box, clean laundry waiting to be folded, stuff everywhere.
I have in my mind this idea that everyone in the world is neater than I am, and while I know it's not true, going to family parties and seeing spotless houses doesn't help. (Yes, deep down I know that chances are the place was a mess twenty-four hours before, and the host/hostess frantically shoved anything that doesn't have a place into closets and under beds to be dealt with later, but still.)
Which means that this post from Bitch, Ph.D and the resulting flickr community make me feel a whole lot better.
Now, I know that having a neat house won't magically open a bookstore for me, or make a manuscript spring forth, complete and edited, from my forehead, but it's strangely related in my mind. Get the house in order, other things fall into place. Plus, if there's nothing to clean, I won't be vacuuming cats when I should be writing. No, I won't be abandoning that hour of writing I mentioned in the last post, but I will be tacking some extra straightening up onto the evenings.
As a matter of fact, I can tie this into bookselling. At the end of the night, when the store is quiet, you straighten the shelves. Walk around, look for the books that have been shoved back in on top of the others, alphabetize, find the stack of books someone left on a stool and put them in their rightful places. Replace the books that have been bought from displays and fill in gaps. Sweep the floor. Clear away the coffee cup that someone left balanced on a shelf - whether it was forgotten or left because he or she couldn't be bothered to find a trash can, it's trash now.
You do that because it's your store, and you're proud of it. When books are in their rightful places, you can find them for customers without having to cast about muttering, "It's supposed to be right here..." A cluttered store isn't very inviting.
So, without a bookstore to straighten, looks like it's the house. And the same philosophy applies: I straightened one section at a time - what good is it to alphabetize the top shelf and walk away if the six beneath it are still a mess? So. One section at a time, one room at a time.