Homework to Write? Photos to Blog!

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Well, it’s Wednesday again and I haven’t done my homework. Again. Not to be redundant or anything.

So instead of writing a full blog post, I’m going to post a few pictures. Why? I say why not! Also I need my words for the homework. You never know how many words you’re going to have.

I took these at Chicago’s gorgeous lake front last summer, which was, for some reason, black and white that day.

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Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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The New Keeps Newing

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So the new computer has been ordered. Since last writing about my technological issues, I have had more Blue Screens of Death than I can count, and as I write this post, my fingers are crossed that I will make it all the way through before I get another one.

Typing with crossed fingers is trickier than it sounds.

It’s going to take a few weeks to arrive, because in some twist of modern technology ironic cruelty, apparently it has to be “built,” and cannot be “shipped” to me until it “exists.” In these days of instant click and next-day arrival, it’s tough to wait. They might as well be sending it via Pony Express.

Please don’t send it via Pony Express. That’s a lot of wear-and-tear before it even gets here.

So until then, I will try to meander through with this less-than-trusty steed of a laptop, hoping that it doesn’t get crotchety and buck me just as I’ve written the best sentence I’m ever going to write. Of course, then no one could dispute it when I claimed that the sentence lost was the best possible sentence in all the sentences to ever sentence, so at least there would be a glimmer of an upside.

Change keeps on happening no matter how we might feel about it. I’m a creature of habit in so many ways, but I’m trying to embrace the new. In this case, I really have no choice, because the old is rejecting me, and rather emphatically at that.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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New Again by Necessity

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I’ve been writing a lot about new things lately, and here’s another one because something new is on my horizon.  A new computer, to be specific.  Mine has been BSODing all over the place, and I think it is not long for this world. I haven’t lost any writing yet, but I believe when you’re given the signs you heed them.

So today while I’m running the backup that I thought my computer was running, I am blogging from my phone. That’s right, my phone. I’ve definitely never done this before. New things!

I’m a pretty slow phone typist, so I’m alternating between typing and using the Voice app. And my phone seems to insist on capitalizing Voice app. It also doesn’t like to start a sentence with a capital letter, but I guess that’s a minor issue?

There are so many ways to get things done these days. There is no one way for anything anymore. Is this the best way to do it? I don’t really think so, it feels so cumbersome and just odd. Though  maybe the talking is faster than typing. At least when the app gets it right.

But I guess what I’m saying is it’s okay to do things differently  even if there is one way you’ve always done them, even if the new way feels awkward.  Even if something weird happens and you lose half of the last paragraph. Not that that is what just happened, except it is.

Sometimes new things have kinks to work out. Sometimes we have to feel our way until we figure out what the heck we’re doing. And sometimes we have to sit in that awkward feeling and push through until we are done. Like I am now.

Look at this! it’s a phone blog post!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Try Something New and the New Keeps Coming

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This weekend, one of my writing class classmates had a staged reading of her television pilot. A bunch of us went to support her and to give her feedback on her work, and then hung out afterward with her, her girlfriend, some of the cast and a few of her friends. Two of the members of our class were reading, something I didn’t realize until I saw them there.

While we were sitting outside on the patio, some with drinks, some having just had some food, people talking and laughing as a breeze swirled the humidity, I had a sharp, singular thought.

Taking one risk brought me to that spot so outside of where I would normally be, and that was good.

The thing is that I wouldn’t have met any of the people in my class in the normal routine of my life. I certainly wouldn’t have spent an evening with them; I am definitely the oldest person in class, and have been since Writing 1.

And if I’m being honest, I don’t know if I would have thought I’d connect to 20-somethings in this way, enough to hang out with them on a Saturday night, but I genuinely like and respect them. Maybe the facelessness of the internet has a positive side effect in that you can see the value and essence of a person without the external trappings, and once you adjust to it virtually, you start to change your perception in the day-to-day.

Besides, they’re a talented, mature, grounded bunch. And they’re freaking hilarious.

In life, it seems that we see what what we expect. We have to fight complacency, fight routine, fight inertia before the haze parts, even for a second, and we see a glimmer of possibility.

Odds are I’m not gong to be a sketch comedy writer. But I’ve done more with this course than learn how to fill five minutes on stage, and I didn’t even have to pay extra.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Vikings in the Field

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IMG_9353Honestly, I think Monday cut in line this week. There’s no way it can really be Monday already. Again.

Quite the attention hog.

I had an unusually packed weekend, which included a trip to Chicago’s Field Museum. It’s a definite must if you are ever in town, it’s a gorgeous place packed with amazing things. Less amazing, however, was the Vikings special exhibit.

In the spirit of honesty, it was boring. Very, very boring. Though the text panels and display cases were sleek and gleaming, it was a dusty exhibit with all the exuberance of a book report, meticulously — but reluctantly — assembled. Many of the objects in the cases were copies, which I found disingenuous. I understand the use of copies and replicas if you are going to construct dioramas to put objects into context, to give them life, to connect to the people, but if you are going to encase something in glass, it better be worth encasing.

There was a time at the Field when the special exhibits were, indeed, special. They were immersive and enlightening, with information presented in engaging, novel ways that brought the subject to life.

The exhibit wasn’t helped by the reality that we really don’t have a lot of information on the people we call “Vikings,” or even the meaning of the word itself, so most of the explanations were couched in wishy-washy “probably,” or “might” language.

But what bothered me most about it was the utter lack of the humans behind the objects and replica objects in glass. There was no feel for the people themselves, and isn’t that the whole point of that type of exhibit?

So in all, I was somewhat disappointed. But it didn’t stop me from taking some pictures.

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IMG_9369 IMG_9376Sue, the fearsome T. Rex. Or most of her, anyway. Her real head is located above her on that balcony to the left. Due to the fossilization process, it’s too heavy to mount with the rest of her skeleton. Sue is the most complete T. Rex skeleton ever found.

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Much less fearsome dinosaur than Sue. And as far as I know, he didn’t eat a single person.

IMG_9398And so it began. There were a lot of signs with a lot of text. So much text that they suggested that if if you tend to read a lot in exhibits, you borrow a booklet so you could keep things moving in the exhibit.

IMG_9417I think this is real. Definitely real, though, is my reflection taking the picture. Hi everyone!

IMG_9555 IMG_9560And weapons, because Vikings! (And yes, that does make me sound like I learned nothing from the exhibit).

Now, in retrospect, looking at my photos, I think I may have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, and a little claustrophobic with the crowds. Oh well, I can read my text photos without the woman in the striped shirt ahead of me always making sure she was exactly where I wanted to photograph.

I’d still say visit the Field regardless because it is fantastic. And check out the Vikings if you are so inclined, there is a lot to see.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Seizingish the Day

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So the drillers are back. And back with a vengeance: they’re literally right outside my window. I can hear them talking, rapid Spanish flowing between bouts of drilling. It’s an earplug-and-airplane-runway-director-person kind of a day.

I could go out somewhere, do something relaxing and/or fun, just to get away from the noise, but today I have things I have to do, and writing I want to write. And not homework writing, either. Yes, it was that homework that kept me from my blog yesterday, and now I have a whole almost week until more is due. Yay.

That homework is hard, and I don’t appear to be that good at it. Not as yay.

But that’s enough griping about an entirely voluntary situation. Some of my classmates opted not to do the assignment at all, which I guess is one way to deal with a challenge that feels, when you try it on, much like a sandpaper cardigan lined with flat jokes, but I just took out the old bicycle pump and tried to patch the holes.

Oh, hello, hypothetical reader. What’s that? You lost the thread of that metaphor about halfway in? Why, hypothetical reader, I’m surprised at you.  It’s as clear as a dewdrop’s reflection on a rolling fog.

Anyway, right now I’m hearing nothing, but I can’t tell if it’s my layered sound proofing or that they’ve stopped. Either way, it’s quiet right now, and I’ll take it.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Me? Distracted? Never!

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Well, after two days of luxuriating in glorious drill-free silence, with the blinds open without fear of coming face-to-face with a man far outside where nature intended, the workers are back. Ish, it appears. The drilling is coming in splatters and sputters.

Manageable, though. Definitely manageable.

Which it needs to be today. I haven’t even started my scene for class yet. And worse, last week’s homework inspired the nugget of a new project, and I haven’t had a chance yet to start it. And let us all say together: aaarrgghh.

That’s the way of writing, isn’t it? Distractions, tiny little nuisance distractions find water somewhere and they grow to 10,000 times their original size. The ideas you have are never for the project you need to work on, they’re always for something newer, shinier, blanker, un-used-up.

Sometimes I wish writing was like a spigot, righty-tighty, lefty loosey. Just open that faucet and the work comes pouring out as your fingers move methodically, melodically across the keyboard. And as I wrote that sentence I realized my fingernails had become an uncomfortable typing length and I had to go cut them. I hope you’ll forgive the interruption.

Anybody remember something I said about distractions? It seems like it might be relevant here somehow. If only I could make that connection.

So off to the back-burner, new idea. I’ve got homework to do. And I’m going to do it. I swear. Only I have a couple of things to do first.

Procrastination? What? Why on earth would you say that, hypothetical reader? I can’t see what procrastination has to do with anything. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rotate my refrigerator shelves. Kitchen maintenance never ends.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!