In-habit-ed

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

Yes it’s a title pun and I have no shame about it. I’ve got a cup of tea in the works, and I’m hoping it it will do its tea magic and make it all the way to the top floor. We’ll see.

Some cups are better than others.

For some reason, lately I’ve been thinking about how so many writers depend upon alcohol to get to the work. I can’t imagine that doing the trick for me, the last thing I’d want to do is write. I’d be more inclined to nap, really, and that doesn’t count.

My wildest substance choice is the variety of tea (white today) and possibly eating something with too much sugar. I know, I need to curb my partying ways.

But it does raise the question of habits. Some may help us, may spur us, may inspire us. And others hinder us.

And we don’t always clearly see which are which.

The tea is likely fine. The sugar?

Probably not.

It’s never a bad idea to examine our habits, to look at what we’ve ingrained in writing or in life, and question whether they serve us. Breaking them may be difficult, but living with the consequences even more so.

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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Birdly thoughts

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By Aplaster (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Just saw a flock of geese flying west. I thought they were a strictly north-south species; wonder where they’re going. Maybe there’s a sale somewhere on something geese like.

I assume geese are very frugal.

They’re also pretty mean, and remind me very much of their dinosaur ancestors. If you watch them, you can almost see them, morphed, larger, feathered but less feathered. Perhaps their meanness is a remnant of all that they’ve lost; perhaps they know that that once they were mighty and ferocious. Now all they pack is a mighty mean peck.

And hiss. That hiss isn’t exactly cuddly.

Speaking of long-lost pasts, did you know that the closest living relative to the t-rex is…the chicken?

Now that’s a real come down. But at least we know what t-rex would have tasted like.

And possibly how they walked. Scientist put fake tails on chickens from birth to study their movement. 

Random thoughts like t-rex chickens always spark questions in me, which, in turn, spark ideas. What if? How about? Why?

And that is where stories begin. Like that flock of geese watching their pennies, stocking up on nesting material for the spring. Why not? It’ll be here any minute.

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.

#FridayReads: Spring clean your noggin

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Mind teeming with deep, dark wintry cobwebs? Aunty Ida’s just the one to clean them out.

Perhaps a little too enthusiastically.

So, you know, keep an eye on your brain. 

And if you’re brave enough for more…

The little green men made me not do it

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By User:Crobard~commonswiki (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some days you just have to do the laundry of life, there’s no getting around it. Sometimes that laundry is actual laundry; other times they’re the unglamorous slog through paperwork or forms or other such must-dos that have you checking the date and wondering if they can be put off.

Putting them off never helps. Not that I know from experience or anything. Also I don’t miss deadlines. Not ever, not unless the aliens are at my window and making demands. And even then I’d ask if I could bring my computer and whether they have wifi.

Deadlines are sacred.

Always.

But of course I digress. Why? Because thinking up procrastination-inducing aliens is far more interesting than talking about paperwork. For obvious reasons.

So I’ll share with you an anti-procrastination trick I’ve let you in on before: I give myself a choice between two tasks I don’t want to do but need to be done. Suddenly one of them is incredibly appealing.

Or there’s my favorite, the timer. It probably works for me because I give deadlines such weight; even setting one to myself (this has to be done by Friday, for example) works.

But you may not be a deadline person, and if you watch them sail past with a shrug and wave, it probably won’t work for you.

Whatever your method, the laundry of life is waiting. And if you’ll excuse me, there seems to be an alien politely tapping at my window.

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.

Writing lessons from the extinct vacuum bag

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Can someone please explain to me who decided vacuums have to be bagless? What was wrong with vacuum bags, neat, self-contained vacuum bags, that kept what you vacuumed in the vacuum. Sure, to my fuzzy recollection they were always full, and you never had a spare one on hand, but is that really worse than the multi-phase, dust-respreading alternative now?

Sometimes there are changes just for the sake of change, and they don’t always add anything. Like those new dishwashers with hidden controls, the ones that look like they run on pinched fingers.

Why?

Everyone knows they must have buttons somewhere. They’re not controlled by thoughts.

Yet.

So maybe the people who invent such things don’t have the right kind of imagination. But as a writer, you do.

Unexpected consequences are really the bread-and-butter of storytelling. From choices your characters make to choices about those characters themselves to the details of their lives and environments; every single one offers the potential for a frustrating moment trying to transfer vacuuming results from the “EZ MT” canister to everywhere but the place that they should go.

Great fodder for a reader; less so in dusty, dusty real life.

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.

Turning tides, perhaps?

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“Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Gray again today,  more rain and it’s not even spring, not yet. Though we do seem to be on the upswing.

Yay for that.

Change is in the air, maybe faintly, maybe not quite now, but change is in the air. You can feel it on the back-end of the breeze, something is coming, something different. Things are heating up in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, threads pulled in so many different directions, and like a poorly-made sweater, it’s all coming unraveled.

Perhaps that change should come with seat belts, because we’re probably going to need them.

Maybe he will right this ship. Or, more accurately, maybe he will right this reality. I just learned he’s the one who put a different “Teflon Don,” John Gotti, away for life. Organized crime is kinda his thing.

So we may think it’s Tuesday, but really, it’s history, right here, right in front of us. And should it all be tumbling down, let’s make sure we tell the next generation that eighteen months sounds like a short time, but when you’re living it, it can feel like decades.

Speaking of righting reality, I’ve got to write reality, though probably not this one.

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.

Gray and gloomy Monday

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Paul Cornoyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From ice to mud and probably back to ice; so goes February in Chicago. A gray mist has enveloped the world, and later there should be lightning.

Sounds familiar.

I’m having one of those low-wordage days, those molasses-brain days, but light molasses because I can just make them out beyond the sticky amber boundary. They’re in there.

But I may need some kind of solvent to get them out.

Coffee, perhaps? Already had some, and tea, but to no avail, it’s as though the mist has enveloped my brain as well. Perhaps there, too, later there will be lightning.

That’s usually a good thing for a writer.

You can’t get more Monday than Monday, and this one feels supremely Monday, despite the federal holiday. Of all days, Presidents’ Day. I think that’s the correct punctuation. I’m seeing “Presidents Day” as well, but I don’t know if that’s style or laziness.

Both, perhaps?

Debating whether I need to turn on the lights just before ten in the morning, the gloom is spreading. And has settled in for the day.

This should be writing weather. Let’s see how it faces off with molasses-brain.

The race is on.

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.