Need Time on Your Side?

I always say I need more time. What I really need is to be more productive with the time I have. I'm also guilty of heaping too many projects on my plate, but that's for another post.

Today, mystery writer Jan Christensen is here to share suggestions on how we can gain more productive time in our day. I've tried a couple of her suggestions, and they work.

Jan has to be doing something right. She's currently writing two mystery/suspense series - one of them about a professional organizer - and several short stories. She also writes an article on reading in each issue of Mysterical-E magazine. I've probably forgotten something.

Anyway, when Jan speaks, it pays to listen.

Jan is also doing a giveaway of the first book in her organization series, ORGANIZED TO DEATH. The winner will have a choice of a Kindle book, a paperback, or a PDF file. Leave a comment before 10 p.m. Thursday, and will choose the winner. I'll post the winner's name at the top of Friday's post.

Oh, yeah ... Jan also happens to be my critique partner :)


Today I'm at Julie Kemp Pick's blog, Empty Nest Insider, talking about A Day in the Life of a Writer. See you there after you take some notes on Jan's post and leave her a comment.


Thank you, Carol, for hosting me today at the fabulous Tiki Hut. Just my style—I even wore my beach hat. Carol suggested I combine my two main interests, writing and personal organization, to point out ways for writers to get more done and be more organized. A large topic, but I’ll try to be succinct.

I think most writers start off believing all they have to do is write, edit, submit their work, and then sit back and let the royalties roll in.

If that were ever true, how times have changed. Now it’s write, edit, submit or publish it yourself, and market our work.

I think many of us are finding out more of our time is spent marketing than the writing, editing, submitting of old took all together. Some writers thrive in this environment, some hate it and some are okay with it some days, and not so much other days.

Is there any way to get a handle on all this, to make it manageable? I do have several suggestions.

The very first is to learn how to use your computer and two basic computer programs—your word processor and your spreadsheet. Learn how to do an advanced Google search. Learn how to bookmark pages, how to send URLs in emails and on groups so that they work (copy and paste and be sure there is no period at the end or other mark or letters that will make it fail), and how to organize your computer files and browser bookmarks. And backup, backup, backup.

Then plan your days by either:
  • Drifting. Do what you want each day when you feel like doing it. Write awhile, socialize awhile, edit some, submit somewhere, see what happens. Sounds rather pleasant, doesn't it?
  • Focusing. For example, plan on an hour for writing, an hour for editing something else, two hours for social media, and quit when your time is up.
  • Micro-managing. Decide exactly how much time you’re going to spend on each activity every day and then at what time of day you’re going to perform those activities. Further, decide if you’re going to try to juggle all four things every day (a balanced life), or concentrate on one thing for several days or weeks or even months (alternate obsessions) before tackling something else. See my blog post about planning a balanced life or using alternate obsessions to boost your productivity here:

For most of us it’s best to decide what to do when and for how long. Otherwise you drift, which works for some, very few, creative people. If you focus without micro-managing, that can also work if you’re not a procrastinator and are extremely self-motivated.

Now for some specific ways to help this happen. You probably use some or all of these already, but a quick review might help or give you new ideas.
  • Master List. Besides your writing and editing plus doing your usual social media every day, you have other things that come up. Make a running list of those items.
  • Schedule. When you’re starting out, it’s best to have a written schedule for your days.
  • Calendar. I like Google Calendar for appointments because it sends me an email alert the day before an event.
  • Log. A log keeps track of what you've done when. Yes, you will forget otherwise. Make one for each project. Spreadsheets are ideal for these. You might mark down how many words you wrote each day on each project, or hours for writing and editing. You could list where you have submitted it for publication, where and when it was accepted, and all the places you marketed it, with dates. You can track your sales, reviews, anything that comes up.
  • Income/Expenses Report. Again, using a spreadsheet for this is helpful.
  • Notes. For each project, I keep a notes word processing file to dump everything about the work as it comes up. When I start out, I have a table with a timeline and a couple of sentences summarizing each chapter.  My research goes in this file (I don’t do a lot—if you do, you might want a separate file for this). Maps, images, anything I can think of. When the work is ready to publish, I input my final log line/elevator pitch and the description at the top for easy access. Then, once the work is published, I put in the date of publication, ISBN numbers, price, buy links, both long and shortened, and anything else I think might be needed. It’s also a good idea to keep a separate document for reviews. Reviewer’s name, date published, where published, URL, and a copy the review.

If this all seems daunting, I agree, it is. The best way to handle it is to set aside about fifteen minutes a day to update each of these. Right after dinner is a good time, or just before bed if you work into the evening.

If you don’t keep it all up, you will panic at tax time, you will panic when you can’t remember if you did something, or you will embarrass yourself by forgetting to do something or doing something twice when you only needed to do it once.

Now, excuse me while I go cross this off my to-do list, and log it in my notes about ORGANIZED TO DEATH. Or maybe take a nap. I've become expert at that. Maybe Carol will invite me back for a post about napping. It would be a lot shorter than this one. Good luck to all! And a tip of the beach hat to Carol for having me here!

Back in her hometown of Newport, RI, Tina Shaw, twenty-nine, is picking up the pieces of her shattered life. She begins her first job as a professional organizer in a house filled with cardboard boxes and clutter, only to discover a dead body in an eerily neat baby nursery. She fears this career move may be a short one until the handsome but spooky new doctor persuades her to reorganize his office left in disarray by the former physician. Ignoring the doctor's obvious interest in her, Tina begins seeing her former boyfriend.

When he protests against her new profession, she realizes what a control freak he is. Then there's another old flame who is making her hotter by the minute. As she works through the office clutter, she learns the doctor has a possible motive for the killing. But when someone else is shot, the doctor has a solid alibi--Tina herself.

Drawn unwillingly into the case, she searches for answers as her list of suspects multiplies. When the killer begins targeting Tina and her friends, she works harder to learn the murderer's identity before someone else is found dead.

Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey and now resides in Texas. Her published novels include Sara’s Search, Revelations, Organized to Death, and Perfect Victim. She's had over fifty short stories appear in various places over the last dozen years, two of which were nominated for a Derringer Award. She mainly enjoys writing mysteries, but every once in a while steps out of that comfort zone and goes for something else, blogging about personal organization and the writing life, for example.

See you at Julie's!

The Goodreads Giveaway for In Name Only 
ends at midnight Wednesday Pacific Time.

Congrats to whoever wins
Organized to Death by Jan Christensen!


I'm somewhere between drifter and focused. I do keep track of everything, especially anything that is scheduled. Never used a spreadsheet but I do use a physical calendar and the one on my iPad.
Thanks, Jan, now I see where else I need to organize.
Mason Canyon said…
Jan, these sounds like good tips that could be applied to various walks of life. I'm always on the lookout for way to be better organized. Wishing you much success.

Carol, I'm off to see what you're up to.

Thoughts in Progress
Anonymous said…
You know, I used to be organized. I don't know what happened.
Shelly said…
Now that I've retired, I probably spend more time drifting. These were great tips, and have helped me zero in on some things I need to implement. Thank you both!
L. Diane Wolfe said…
I have so many thing I'm trying to manage that it would be total chaos if I didn't stay organized. Most people would think it's chaos now, but the chaos is my balance.
Unknown said…
These are wonderful tips! I'm going to keep this blog post in my favourites and look at it from time to time. Hope your book does well.
Jemi Fraser said…
Great post! I'm a natural drifter and don't do too well with keeping lists - but I do love my spreadsheets and they really help keep me organized! :)
I need a written out schedule to keep myself in "check," otherwise I drift off and am often sucked into the furthest abyss of the Internet. So many cat pictures. So. Many. Cat pictures.
Bish Denham said…
Great post! I'm a drifter who keeps notes. I've tried off and on all my life to write down and set goals, but it just doesn't work for me. The minute I do I start really procrastinating...
Hart Johnson said…
I do best if I micromanage a bit... start the day with a list and stick tasks into time slots. But my personality only lets me do that a little at a time... then I rebel...
~Sia McKye~ said…
Some great tips! I'm a mix between drift and focus. I don't do well in micro-manage mode and I hate having my life so regimented I have to check a list before breathing or eating.

I have a friend who swears by spread sheets. I'm still working on liking those, lol! I do make lists tho, and I have a calendar. That's the only way I stay organized.

My writing projects are all very well organized. Files are all there, labeled and updated regularly. When I'm not taking off a month, mostly, I usually dedicate early morning to writing, and allow myself to hit the social media after that and two other times during the day. And part of that schedule has to work around a job.

Like your hat, ma'am!

I really need to be more organized. Like Bish, I tend to procrastinate. Thanks for your great tips, and best of luck with your book Jan!

Carol, We lost our Internet connection during a storm last night, and it's finally up and running. Sorry for the delay with your post.

Unknown said…
Great tips-- thank you for sharing. Now, to implement a few of them!

Carol and Julie, on my way over!
Jan Christensen said…
Thanks to all who have commented so far and to Carol for allowing me to belly up to the bar at her wonderful Tiki Hut today. I’m behind because of an internet outage, so I’m going to play catch-up now answering your comments. I’ll do them in batches. Here’s the first batch.

Alex, thanks for commenting. I see you often here at the Tiki Hut. I hope these tips will help you.

Mason, absolutely, I use these tips and even more every day, or try to. I blog about personal organization and time management on Mondays. I found it much easier to be organized when I worked for someone else, so I need systems now that I’m a writer entrepreneur. (Like the sounds of that, don’t you?)

Delores, you can get organized again. Just sit with pen and paper for a while and figure out what would work for you. Or maybe you’re just a seat-of-the-pants kind of gal. If what you’re doing is working, no problem.

Shelly, glad to help. As you can guess, I really like researching this type of stuff and being my own guinea pig. Good luck!
Jan Christensen said…
L. Diane, lots of folks we now call creatives seem to thrive in a bit of chaos, or even a lot of chaos. As long as you’re not bothered by it, carry on. However, if it IS making you a bit frantic, I suggest just trying one or two small ways to keep on top of it to begin and see if that helps.

Clarissa, it does my heart good to know you’re going to keep this. And thanks so much for the well wishes about my book.

Jemi, spreadsheets aren’t for everyone, but for those who take the time to learn how do them, they can work very well.. Carry on!

To A Beer for the Shower—doesn’t it get watered down? But I can see it would be a time saver. LOL Yes, the internet is a time-suck. All those quotes and cute pictures and YouTube. Then there’s email. And life! Yes, life.
Jan Christensen said…
Sia! Glad you like my hat. I thought it quite appreciate to wear at the Tiki Hut. LOL I understand about feeling too regimented. That’s when habits come into play. Once you get a set of habits going and they become almost mindless, then you can pretty much only make a list of three to five items you want to tackle every day. For example, since you usually write in the morning, that’s a habit, and you wouldn’t have to list it. But if you need to some other things that you don’t do every day, those are what you list. Sounds as if you already have a good system for you. And that’s all that counts.

Julie from Empty Nest Insider, sorry about your loss of connection last night. Interesting the same thing happened to me this morning. Glad you liked the tips, and thanks so much for commenting.

Julie Leuk, thanks for commenting. All these comments do a bloggers heart good, as all of you who blog well know!
VR Barkowski said…
Terrific, much-needed tips, Jan. I am not organized about my writing, even though I'm organized about everything else in my life. I think it's because when I began to write, I fit my writing around my other activities. These days, I fit everything else around my writing—it's made me complacent!

VR Barkowski
Jan Christensen said…
Bish, thanks for commenting. I can see that for some, writing goals and to-dos down would be paralyzing. If you really want to start doing that, though, one trick to try is to tell yourself you’ll only work for ten minutes on the first thing on your list, and then you can stop. Getting started is often the only problem. But that said, we all have to find our own way. I do think choices are good, and as you can imagine, I became interested in time management because I have a bit of a problem with it myself, especially as the day wears on.
Robin said…
Even though I just started writing again, these tips are very helpful. I can see already some things that would make my life easier and other things (down the line) that are critical if you want to remain sane!
Jan Christensen said…
VR, it’s really hard to balance life and writing, especially, I think, for women. We are torn in many directions. We each have to find what works for us. And even that can change over time. I hope you are at least accomplishing what you want to do every day.
Southpaw said…
I do all three. I go back and forth between them to much. :P
S.P. Bowers said…
Sounds like a great book, I love organization and suspense. Right now I have small kids so I'm more of a drifter, fitting in writing as I can around their needs. Some day I'll move to focusing but I don't think I'll ever be a micro-manager.
Jan Christensen said…
Robin, I highly recommend remain sane. Frankly, I wish I'd figured out some of this stuff (especially keeping track of what I was doing for each book on a spreadsheet) a long time ago. Good luck to you!

Southpaw, I think most people are that way a lot of the time. Just do the best you can. I do recommend sort of an overall plan for your days

S.P., I simply didn't have the energy (I'm a low-energy person, which is one reason I think I try so hard to be organized) when my kids were little to do ANY writing. Good luck to you.
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi Jan, hope you're having fun.

No problem, Julie. We're up and rolling now!
Jan: I am a reader rather than a writer - but these tips have a wide application. Megathanks.
Carol: With all that you have on your plate, I think I would velcro myself to the carpet under the bed and refuse to come out. I so admire your stamina.
M Pax said…
Wow, that's organized.

I have a set schedule, but seem not to have time for everything. I need 2-3 more of me.
Inger said…
Writer or not, these were wonderful suggestions for getting things done. Thank you so much!
Carol Kilgore said…
EC - I just don't know when to stop.

Glad to see everyone here today. Jan will be here through Thursday. Feel free to ask her questions.
Stina said…
I already have an informal schedule as to when I do specific tasks. It's working so far. :D
Melissa said…
I can see I'm going to have to learn how to do spreadsheets.

The book sounds great! Hope I win. :)
Helena said…
What? Keep a spreadsheet during the year of income and expenses? But that will take away from all the fun I have every year when I have to organize twelve months' worth of receipts and paperwork. (LOL)

Seriously, Organized to Death sounds like a good read, so I'll be checking it out.
I don't write, I read..........but I am a drifter as in I drift through life without planning stuff
Jan Christensen said…
VR, it’s really hard to balance life and writing, especially, I think, for women. We are torn in many directions. We each have to find what works for us. And even that can change over time. I hope you are at least accomplishing what you want to do every day.

Hi there, Carol. Yes, I’m having fun. I’m delighted to see all the comments. And your smiling face. Now where are these cabana boys you were talking about?

Elephant’s Child, please explain your name to me! Glad you find the tips helpful. I have dozens more on my own blog, BTW.

M. Pax, we all need clones, I think. Or at least assistants. People. Minions. Not enough hours in the day.
Jan Christensen said…
Ingar, thanks so much for you comment. You made me glow. I need to glow more often.

Stina good for you! Schedules are extremely helpful.

Melissa. Once you lean to use spreadsheets, you’ll find all kinds of things to do with them. For example my husband wants to know what our electric bill average for the year is. I can put the info in there and have the program do the math. Since I’m lousy at math, this is quite a boon! I’d say I hope you win the book, too, but I don’t want to tick anyone else off. LOL Of course, I have no control over this—Carol uses a nifty program to do the choosing.

Helena, that’s exactly the right idea. Do it as you go so you don’t got nutso at the end of the year. Sometimes being nutso is a lot of fun. But definitely not at tax time. Thanks for checking out my book.
Janie Junebug said…
I need a lot of sleep. It tends to get in the way of what I want to accomplish. I'm just tired.

Jan: I grew up on a diet of Kipling's Just So Stories. Like the Elephant's Child I suffer from insatiable curiosity. Hence my blog name. (Really not an exciting story at all.)
I fall somewhere between drifting, focusing, and a semi-organized chaos. The more I have to do, the better I manage time and get things done. I suppose that's because I'm kinda forced to stop drifting so I can get 'er done.
Shelley Munro said…
Lists are my savior right now. I totally agree that a writer shouldn't be without one!
Julie Flanders said…
I always need time management tips because I really stink at it. Thanks for sharing and it's nice to meet you, Jan!

Enjoyed your post over at Julie's, Carol. :)
Jan Christensen said…
Janie Junebug, I need a lot of sleep, too. One reason I became interested in personal organization and time management was because I had less time to get things done than other people who need less sleep.

Elephant’s Child, interesting reason for your choice. It sure is memorable.

Susan, I’m the same way, and I think lots of people are. Outside pressure often works better than our own desire to get things done on our own. We have to create our own deadlines.

Shelley, I’ve made lists, at least mental ones, and schedules since I first got married and had to do housework. Like you, I couldn’t live without them.

Julie, there’s lots of time management advice out there right now. I don’t know how much is specifically for writers, so I’ve started doing a bit of that as I find what works for me. Nice to meet you, too!
Linda Kage said…
I think I rank somewhere between drifting and focusing. But I'm pretty sure I made a mental list of things I want to accomplish for the day. But I can ALWAYS use better organization. Thanks for the advice!
Hi, Jan,

You offer excellent suggestions for keeping organized, and yes, I'm paying attention!
Carol Kilgore said…
Jacqueline - Thanks for visiting the Tiki Hut and leaving a comment for Jan. You're always welcome here.
I'm a drifter seeking focus with emphasis on some micro-management. These are great tips, thanks! I'm going to copy and paste them into a word doc and print it out!
Janie Junebug said…
I'm really into organization, too. If I weren't, I'd never accomplish anything because I have a chronic fatigue problem.

Jan Christensen said…
Linda G, first step is knowing who you are. If you have a good memory, a mental list is fine. As you mature you may have to start writing everything down. But strong habits can also help. If we do the same thing at the same time every day, eventually we wouldn’t have to list it.

Jacqueline, thanks for coming to the Tiki Hut. And thanks for paying attention.

Hi, Carol, good to see you here. LOL

Hi, Words Crafter, I like your moniker. And thanks for liking my tips so well that you’re going to print them out.

Janie Junebug, I do hope you’re getting some help with the chronic fatigue. I know it’s a lot harder to get things done if you’re tired all the time. Take care.
LD Masterson said…
I'm a Drifter who keeps trying to move into Focused and probably needs to be Micro-manages. Thanks for this post.
Jennifer Shirk said…
I like those ideas!! Congrats on your book too!
Emily R. King said…
I'm a drifter, until I need structure, then I focus on what should be done. It really depends on what stage of the writing process I'm in. I tend to draft quickly, then revise and edit a few hours a day after. It's interesting how everyone has their own process that works for them!
Jan Christensen said…
LD, you’re not that unusual, believe me. Sometimes I wish someone were standing over me, making me do what, in reality, I want to do but can’t seem to get started doing. Again, this is why I got so interested in time management or personal organization in the first place. I’m better than I used to be, but not as good as I’d like, even yet. I do know that certain things help me, though, so I throw them out there hoping others might be helped, as well.

Jenneifer, thanks. I hope something or even all, will be helpful.

Emily, you don’t sound like a drifter to me. You do have a process that is working. But I don’t think everyone does. I think you are quite focused when you do your draft then your edits. Good for you!
Rula Sinara said…
Very helpful tips! Congrats on your book!
Stephen Tremp said…
I.admit I'm a.drifter. I sometimes have a seriois focus problem. I.will bookmark this post for.future reference.

And I already stopped by Empty Nesters site and said hello.
Unknown said…
I drift and I focus too and have to keep an eye on the drifting. Sometimes two eyes. I don't think I will ever get as focused and organized as you suggest, Jan. Your book sounds like a good one. Thanks for the tips and happy writing.
Elaine L. Orr said…
I was always a better organizer of my time for writing nonfiction than fiction, probably because it was "work" and there were more deadlines. I have slowly become more organized with my fiction, having finally realized that there will never be blocks of time that coincide with blocks of creativity. Thanks for the post!
Slamdunk said…
Thanks for the suggestions Jan.

I like your idea of balancing the activities each day so that one can move from activity to activity before it get boring. I think that the amount of structure would vary with each person--I am pretty boring and like to have as much of a set schedule as possible so that I can be most productive.
Jan Christensen said…
Okay, I’ve been out to lunch—really-- with friends, and invited them to the house afterwards, and am back in my usual position again, at the computer. I will now catch up with comments. If a nap from the delicious lunch doesn’t overtake me. Thanks to everyone for commenting and your patience with my answers.

Rula, thanks for commenting. I do hope the tips will help.

Stephen, the first step in getting organized is realizing that you’re not. And that there are way to become more so. Good luck! I hope these tips help. BSP: there are lots more on my own blog every Monday.

Jan, this is Jan, thanking you for commenting. I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect at this organizational stuff myself. Some days are a lot better than others, though, and that’s probably because I’ve been studying this stuff for years now.

Elaine, I find that one trick that might help is to set our own deadlines. Or at least an amount of time or number of words we want to write every day, or edit every day. That’s really the only way I know how to get it done.

Slamdunk, I have to ask about your name. LOL Because I’m such a tall woman (5’11”) people always ask if I played basketball. Just as your name catches my eye. I am sure you’re not boring. I’ve never met a boring writer. That said, I vacillate between doing lots of different things every day or trying to concentrate on one major thing, like editing a novel. It doesn’t hurt to mix it up as long as you have a plan.
Great tips. Lately I've been drifting a little too much, which means I'm easily distracted and the things that need to get done tend to get pushed to the side... or suddenly the day is over and I wonder what I achieved, lol.
klahanie said…
Hi Carol and Jan,

Nice hat! Some excellent informative tips for actual writers, aspiring and published.

Personally, I don't require time management. I write when I want to write. Or if I cannot be bothered, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, takes over. She's good like that.

Like the title of your book. I'm organised to life :)

Good of you to bring this awareness, Carol.

And with that, my highly cherished comment, abruptly ends!
Carol Kilgore said…
Is everyone organized yet? I'm gonna write down the number of hands I see. Wait...where's my pencil?
klahanie said…
Of course I'm organised. Where am I? Who are you? What am I doing awake at almost four thirty in the morning?

Here, I can lend you a crayon.
Carol Kilgore said…
Gary - You're so funny :)
cleemckenzie said…
There are days when I'm right on target: write, blog, visit others. Do everything just as I should. Then there are days when I might as well go for a swim and forget my list--hey, that's a great idea, isn't it?
Jan Christensen said…
Good morning all. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see all your shiny faces and comments. Thanks so much!

Lynda, I’ve actually found that if I’m drifting and read up on time management in a book or a few articles on-line, that often kick-starts me again. Don’t know why that works for me, but it might also work for others.

Klahanie, I have lots of hats. I’ve always loved hats. Hats can change your whole look. Thanks so much for your delightful highly cherished comment.

Carol, you need more help than I can give, sometimes. LOL Did you find your pencil?

Klahanie, Thanks so much for helping Carol out. I think.

Cleemckenziebooks, Actually, I believe most of us are like you. Good days and bad days. Although taking a swim would make a day good. Hmm. I do think most writers are pretty driven to write. Planning can help make us a little less crazy. Which I think is probably a good thing. We’re already crazy enough, no?
Morgan said…
Loved having Jan here today. Thanks for this, Carol. I love how your posts are always relevant and interesting! :D
Leslie S. Rose said…
Great advice, Jan. You've jumpstarted my commitment to up my organization and self-accountability. Many thanks.
Anonymous said…
I have a weekly to-do list and check things off as I do them. Many times I end up cramming my writing during the weekend if weekdays are hectic. I try my best to get things done by the end of the week. If not, those things rollover to the next week. I will get in that writing time.

Great post.
Jan Christensen said…
Morgan, thanks. I agree, Carol has a great blog.

Leslie, glad I gave you a jumpstart. Just call me the cable gal.

Medeia, I recommend you put your writing first and do the rest in an order you prioritize. Many books have been written by people (especially women) getting up before the rest of the family and doing their writing first thing. Alternatively, set a time each evening or another part of the day, and unless there’s an emergency, only allow yourself to write then. Just one hour is a good timeframe to shoot for. Hope this helps.
Great tips Jan and Carol! Thanks so much for sharing.

Congrats and all the best!

Unknown said…
These are incredible ideas and this post couldn't have come at a better time in my life. Job hunting squeezes the time and energy out of my day, but the time I'm finished the last thing I want to do is spend another minute on the computer, typing! I need a better schedule than this. Also- that hat is fabulous!!!
Jan Christensen said…
Romance Reader, glad you liked the tips. Carol and I love to share.

Raquel, so nice you like my hat. I couldn’t resist buying it. Job hunting is extremely stressful, so give yourself some slack while doing it. Your schedule is not your own, and it’s just a worrisome time. You will get on a good schedule when your life is on a more regular one. Good luck!
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks to all for stopping in and leaving a comment for Jan. You really kept her busy!

Jan, thanks so much for blogging with me. You're always welcome to return.
Jan Christensen said…
Carol, thanks so much for hosting me. It's been great fun reading and answering the comments (more fun than writing the post--LOL). Thanks to each one of you who commented. Y'all made my week!