Patience Oaktree's Hidden Past

When I write Patience Oaktree organizing adventures, I’m in another world—a world in which all the characters are very real. They have complete lives, including their pasts, whether or not those details are revealed in the stories. That’s part of what makes the characters believable, and makes the reader care what happens to them.

 Stuffed with Turkey, p.30

Stuffed with Turkey, p.30

Real people all have backstories, strengths, and shortcomings. Patience Oaktree does, too. Sometimes they help her relate to her clients, and sometimes they get in her way. When you, the reader, meet Patience “Pat” Oaktree, she is already a successful professional organizer with her own mantra(1), her favorite four-letter expletive(2), and her dream of writing a book. You find out where and how she met her husband Fred(3) and what she fed her kids for lunch when they were young(4). Little details from Pat’s past influence her work—the brand of sneakers she wore as a child(5) helps her set up a system for a client’s collection of shoes, and an experience with a coworker at Pat’s job right after college graduation(6) helps her decide that she will never arrive early for an appointment with a client, especially a chronically disorganized one.

My college roommate was fond of saying, “we do what we have to do,” meaning that our actions are the result of our experiences up to that point. That’s certainly true for the behavior of all my characters.

Pat’s world is very real, and she and I would like to welcome you into it.


(1) Patience and the Porsche, p.7
(2) Patience and the Porsche, p.25
(3) Photographic Memories, Chapter 9
(4) A Mess of Fish, p.34
(5) Heart of a Hoarder, p.81
(6) Stuffed with Turkey, p.10

Cast of Characters

Hi, Readers! I’m Sally, the chair of the hospitality committee in Heart of a Hoarder. Up until now, I’m the only character in a Patience Oaktree book who has made an appearance outside of the book’s pages. I’m the star in the book’s video trailer, so Val thought I’d be the right person to introduce this section of the blog. I’m not so sure about that — my specialty is really baking bar cookies.

I love that the video is accurate right down to the purple highlights in my hair. And the lemon squares were delicious. But — and I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this — the trailer is a pretty primitive effort. I don’t think I need any expertise to realize that. I do hear Val is working on producing some better videos soon.

One of the big goals of this blog is to present the back-stories and extra stories that aren’t included in the published books. Many of those vignettes will be presented by various characters from the books. So…

Orange-titled posts with the oak leaf thumbnail — like this one — are written from the point of view of the character presenting the post.

Publishing Stuff

The business of publishing is a whole array of things different from the knowledge and creativity of the author who writes the manuscript.

I’m thinking there might be a segment of my audience that would be interested in topics such as formatting, printing options, distribution channels, book metadata, etc., etc. Those factors certainly have a lot to do with readers’ experiences when they delve into a Patience Oaktree adventure. And the significant upheavals in the world of publishing today can make for some interesting conversations, too. So…

Green-titled posts with the Green Square Publishing logo – like this one – are written from my point of view as a publisher.

The Blog Thing

I’m just getting started with this Blog Thing and trying to figure out how it works. At first I didn’t think I’d publish these “test” posts, but then I realized that a primary goal of the blog is to let fans see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, so I decided this would be a perfect way to start.

I’m very happy to have merged all three of my websites – Really Organized, Green Square Publishing, and Patience Oaktree – under one URL. But I also wanted to maintain a separate voice for each of them. So…

Blue-titled posts with my headshot thumbnail – like this one – are written from my point of view as a professional organizer and author.