Research, research research.

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Joaquín Sorolla [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes I marvel at what we have available to us every second of the day through the internet. I can browse for contact paper; see places I’ve never visited and possibly never will; find restaurants that serve goeduck in far-off cities; line up workouts I can do right at home, with seemingly endless variety.

We have the entire world here, in front of us, through that infamous series of interconnected tubes.

As people, it’s a miracle of convenience. As writers, it’s the miracle of concrete details.

There are no excuses now. You have no reason to get something verifiable wrong; with a few seconds of searching, you can get the truth. And so can your readers.

If you’re thinking it’s a curse, you are so, so mistaken. Imagine the hours with a card catalog, note card and tiny stubby pencil in hand, chasing down, for example, the nature of time. No more.

Now it’s all here, all waiting, just a search box away. It’s a keyboard full of inspirational rabbit holes, and all you have to do is type.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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How was the math test?

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By IDS.photos from Tiverton, UK (Dark corridor) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

She always speaks to him in a loud voice. She did her best to help him.

Please wait outside of the house.

I just got those three sentences from a random sentence generator, all in a row, and it’s funny how they go together to create completely computer-generated micro-fiction. I got the title for again randomly, later, after I’d finished writing the whole post, but darned if it doesn’t perfectly complete the story.

I suspect the sentences were lifted from somewhere, rather than created by the program. After the first three, they got weird; unfortunately I didn’t save them, but there was one about a blue worm shaking hands with a legless lizard.

Still, it’s interesting that a random collection can feel deliberate and create what feels like a cohesive story.

Wow, does that work?

It seems to, random sentence from the random sentence generator. It sure seems to.

Sixty-Four comes asking for bread.

And we’re back to weird.

I’m a big fan of getting inspired by whatever we can around us. Random generators are great for ideas, names, occupations and, well random stuff. Getting stuck doesn’t really mean you’re stuck; it means you just haven’t found the right piece yet. Try unusual methods to get unstuck.

Wednesday is hump day, but has anyone asked the camel if he’s happy about it?

Very deep, random sentence generator. Very deep indeed.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Monday again, is it?

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By John Lewin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. He totally captured my likeness. 

Sirens and gray skies this somnolent Monday morning. Or maybe it’s not the morning that’s somnolent. Maybe it’s me. I probably hope not.

Can a person be somnolent?

Yes, in fact, as it happens, and all the other filler phrases, a person can, but let’s say I am in the feeling drowsy sense of the word, not the causing drowsiness sense of the word. Because that second one is a bummer.

And worry not, hypothetical reader, those sirens were mere passersby in my world, brief intrusions of noise in otherwise an odd kind of quiet for a Monday.

But I have a cup of coffee in a lovely round mug, the kind that warms your hands in all the right places when you hold it, and the good part of a day where outside is simply outside and doesn’t beckon at all.

Time to hunker down, I have a Monday-sized list ahead of me, and I think all of my will is in the bottom of that coffee cup.

Better get sipping.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Robot Butler EXPOSED

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By clipartkid (clipartkid.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I keep thinking how great life would be if I had a robot butler to take care of things, like making me food when I don’t feel like it, and tidying up. And then I considered what it would probably be like.

“Uh hi, Robot Butler, I’d like some dinner please”

“Certainly. What would you like?”

“I dunno.”

“Is there a kind of cuisine you’d prefer?”

“Eh.”

“You have no preference?”

“Nope. Could you like analyze my taste desires or something?”

“’Taste desires?’”

“To figure out what I’d want to eat.”

“Certainly. Please hold out your tongue.”

“Aren’t you going to wash your grabby claw things first?”

“My hands?”

“Yeah. Whatever you call them.”

“They auto-sterilize. Your tongue.”

“Ooophlay, aaahhh yyooou eetttin anyfffiin?”

“Hmm. Just a moment longer.”

“Whaaassss it faaayinn? Aahhfo yyouuhh caawww paaaspfff weeeirrrb.”

“Hand. It’s my hand. They don’t really auto-sterilize and I just took out the garbage.”

“I knew it! And ew.”

“And it’s saying you’re a grown adult woman who should be able to decide what she wants to eat.”

“So you can’t analyze my taste desires?”

“What do you think I am, the HomeBot9600?! You bought the basic model.”

“Sorry Robot Butler.”

“I’m making you pasta.”

“I don’t want past—“

Silence.

“Pasta will be fine.”

And scene.

 

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

It’s Friday night lights out for me

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I’ve never watched the show “Friday Night Lights.” I missed it when it was airing, and put it on my list to watch on Netflix, and now, it’s not there. Unless I pay for it specifically (I’m not paying for it specifically) it’s gone.

Shows like that have risen onto and fallen off of my radar. There’s one right now, “This Is Us,” which I’ve never watched. I could watch it, I could catch up on it, but for some reason, I kinda just don’t want to. But there may come a day, far off in the future when I think, hey, I never did watch that show.

And here I’ll be again.

Sometimes you put things off because time feels short and it’s not worth jamming it in between other obligations. Sometimes you put things off and because you forget about them. And sometimes you put things off because you think they’re things you should want to do but deep down inside, you don’t.

Learn to identify those things.

Otherwise they become part of the noise and clutter of “should haves,” “should wants,” “should dos.” And when you keep up with all of those shoulds, you can miss out on what you really want.

In my case, it’s not to spend $20 a season on “Friday Night Lights.”

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

And sometimes you feel like it but can’t

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By photophilde (Running horse) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

You know that look of a a horse in the starting gate of a race? Not that I’m much into horse racing, but there was this reality show about jockeys I watched, and that’s a whole other conversation because it was fascinating, but I digress.

Anyway, those race horses shift in their stalls, ready, itching to stretch their long graceful legs and send the dirt flying up beneath their hooves. They want to run.

That’s how my fingers feel today.

Ready to run. Ready to fly and knit words into long, long scarves, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph. The mood has struck.

Unfortunately for me, as is nearly always the case with the fickle things called moods, the timing is wrong. Other things must come first today.

Bummer.

Prioritizing is one of those millstones of adulthood (and don’t look up the origins of the cliché “millstone around neck” because wow is it horrifying. You went and did it, didn’t you? I told you so). In the words of the great philosopher the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want.

Do I wish that I could bottle this feeling and apply liberal doses as needed?

Obviously.

But there’s also a skill in not making the work of writing dependent upon mood. Word scarves or no word scarves.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

My 100% always works procrastination buster.

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By Scott Robinson from Gaithersburg, MD, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Gather round friends, I’m going to tell you my best secret for getting things done when you’re having trouble getting things done. Are you ready?

 

Set a timer.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? Do I want you to set one now? Oh, I can see how that could be ambiguous. I meant when you need to do the task.

And yes, hypothetical reader, I know it’s not my best-kept secret, but I didn’t say it was, did I? I just said my best secret. That it is.

I’m not sure why it works, it’s entirely artificial. No one’s going to know whether or not you honor the timer. Though you should always honor the timer.

Honor the timer.

But there’s a bit of the ritual to it as well. When that button goes, my mind knows it’s time to buckle down, to focus. It also knows it only has to focus for the amount of time on the timer.

Granted, maybe it doesn’t work for everyone. But for me, it’s the never-fail. Once the timer is set, so am I.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.