A to Z Challenge starts April 1. Yes SUNDAY April 1.

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Taking a bit of a blogging respite to gear up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but just wanted to warn you, if you’re going to play, that April 1 is a Sunday this year. We usually don’t blog on Sundays, but this time, that’s our kickoff!

So that first week will be a marathon of seven straight days of blogging gloriousness. Whew. I’ve included the calendar above for reference.

Hope to see you there.

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.

 

Ah laundry

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I’ve had some laundry issues this weekend. Oh the saga.

Which is probably not the kind of saga you’d enjoy reading, so I’ll spare you the details, but it invovled a mouse, a dryer and a not fresh smell.

Maybe I should have spared you that detail.

Anyway, I’m on Phase Two of Destinkification, and who knew the laundry room would be a high traffic hot spot on a Monday?

Advantage of working from home: 0.

It’s been a thing.

But all of life has its laundry. Editing, for example, is the laundry of writing. Sometimes it involves a not-so-fresh hassle, but one way or another, you’ve got to get it done

#AtoZ Challenge looming

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As we descend into the back-end of March, only one thing comes to mind: the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s a whirlwind of blogging six days a week through the month of April, beginning with the letter A and working your way through the alphabet.

It’s a blast.

Meanwhile you visit other blogs and meet fantastic fellow bloggers. This will be my fourth time around, and as difficult as it can be–six days can feel like a lot–I wouldn’t miss it.

Many bloggers pick themes for the month, though I’m more of a seat-of-the-pants kind of person. Either way, I highly recommend it! You can sign up with the link above. Hope to see you there!

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.

Earworm evolved

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By Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust (http://www.maungatrust.org/news/default.asp) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ever have one of those days when you have ideas in your head but none of them are yours? In my case, it’s a TV show from New Zealand. And in constructing that sentence, I realized I don’t know the adjective for describing something as from New Zealand. New Zealander? That’s awkward. I’ve heard “Kiwi” used, especially in reference to people, but that seems pretty informal and slangy.

Hold on a second. You know I have to know.

Yep. New Zealander. At least for people. Probably for objects as well, and after all that, I’m sticking with the original sentence construction. Ah, the inside of the head of a writer.

But I digress.

Where were we? Right. Other people’s ideas.

It’s a show about a New Zealand pub quiz team, but of course it’s not just about the quiz team. And I really like it.

And it’s occupying the space in my head that is usually reserved for my own weird thoughts. It’s a little bit like getting a song stuck in your head (I’m so, so sorry if that song you always get stuck in your head just popped right on in there at the mention), but with characters and plots. And it’s not even in the realm of my go-to genre, as it’s not the least bit weird.

So how to cleanse the brain? Aunty Ida would know, but right about now she’d be jumping in with a Kiwi accent. A bad one. And some g’days, even though that’s Australia, and lots and lots of “mates.”

Huh. Kiwi does work better.

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.

Primary Day in Illinois

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Primary day is finally upon us here in Illinois. So long to the mailers and the long, long voice messages that only ensure that I won’t vote for that candidate. The only thing along those lines I got that worked were a couple of handwritten notes from a judicial candidate.

And that’s only because there were three equally qualified candidates, so the time she took nudged me over the edge. Wouldn’t have worked if she wasn’t qualified, though.

Speaking of judges, one of the trickiest parts of voting in Illinois is choosing judicial candidates. The Illinois State Bar Association prepares a pocket guide, as does the Chicago Bar Association. The Chicago Bar also has an in-depth guide that’s handy to keep on your phone for those close calls, it tells you more about each candidate.

I found the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening’s guide particularly helpful when there was more than one qualified candidate. For example, one hopeful worked for a gang task force, and was not recommended by the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago (BWLA). That’s something worth noting when considering how a person might rule from the bench.

For other counties or large cities within Illinois, just search for the name of your county or city and “Bar association judicial recommendations.”

Happy voting, all!

 

Spring happens

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It was definitely pretty springy yesterday, with temperatures in the mid-fifties and a very clear, very blue sky. Last fall’s leaves emerged from the snow, crunched and withered where they fell, and the birds sang from all directions.

Beautiful.

Spring is inevitable, no matter how unlikely it might seem. No matter the gloom, spring is inevitable.

Sometimes it might take a while.

I’m not exactly what you’d call an optimist. I like to think of myself as pragmatic; some might see my pragmatism as pessimism.

So be it.

But there’s something about finding a tiny clump of what I assume are crocuses, bravely ready to be the first, even if no other flowers, not even daffodils, are considering poking up their tentative little heads. There’s something about the rhythm of nature, of its impermanence, that reminds you that things are temporary.

One tiny clump of crocuses is all you need.

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.

 

Technological injustice exists. Just ask Puerto Rico.

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By U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos Spc. Hamiel Irizarry/Puerto Rico National Guard (170921-A-JG703-080) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I was without internet or TV for a while the other day. Less than two hours until it was fixed, but when it went out, I couldn’t help imagining the time stretching out, no television shows, no streaming, no blogging, no twitter.

No twitter.

Of course I still had my phone and the data that provides, but there’s nothing like pure, unfettered WiFi. It just wasn’t enough.

Which of course made me think of Puerto Rico and how long our FELLOW AMERICANS there have been without power. Nearly six months. The Army Corps of Engineers claims it’s 90% restored as of about a week ago, but that’s the only recent report I could find.

Six months.

I was unsettled after thirty minutes.

It struck me how technology is integrated into our very existence now, how it is our doorway to connection, how it is our window to the world far beyond. I felt a sense of panic at the idea that I might miss something.

What, exactly, I don’t know.

It was as though I couldn’t envision a world where everything wasn’t available, everything wasn’t instantaneous. Another flag of privilege, I know, because though the world itself is evolving as it steeps in technology, not everyone has access.

Technology, in this odd era in which we find ourselves, is the great equalizer. It’s the great organizer. And denial of access to technology, whether through financial means or with something like the government’s response to Puerto Rico is, in this modern age, every bit as much a form of oppression as barring children from the schoolhouse.

There is social injustice, there is financial injustice, but we also need to keep our eye on technological injustice. Its consequences will be very stark in this AI-armed world.

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 and hold habits

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

No sunny skies this morning, just gray and maybe rain. I should check on that.

Hmm. I checked and we’re still at maybe rain. It didn’t specifically say rain, but it looks that way. In case there was any question, it’s definitely a Monday. Hello, Monday.

But I’ve got my coffee, I’ve had my breakfast (good, by the way. Who doesn’t love breakfast?) and my mind is chugging its way up to full throttle.

The week has begun.

This week I’m going to try to break routine a little bit. To some degree, I have to, I have administrative tasks I have to complete, so that already changes things up. As for the rest, well, why not? It’s a new week, and as a new week a great time to kick an old habit.

(I typed “hold habit, which, when you think about it, is much more accurate. Nothing can hold you in place like a habit. And it sure sounds like Aunty Ida is getting impatient with me as she’s trying to escape the confines of her current manuscript. Whew, that was a long aside.)

Want to give it a shot too? Why not? So long, hold habits!

See? I told you it worked.

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.

Mold

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Apparently it’s a find-mold-on-the-last-corner-of-my-toast kinda day. True story. Just one ugly, insidious dot of mold. I didn’t see more on the rest of the loaf, but is it ever just one spot of mold?

That’s right, hypothetical reader. Never.

I’m working hard at not making it a broader metaphor, as it seems to have the metaphor right there, right on the surface, just like the mold, but not everything has to be a metaphor.

Right, hypothetical reader? Hypothetical reader??

And something just auto-renewed that I didn’t want. That’s mold number two for the day. Great.

Metaphor it is.

So I’m going to go try to undo that, and to hope for an unmoldy weekend ahead. There’s always the opportunity for a new loaf, right? A fresh new loaf of un-auto-renewed service?

Mm.

That’s what I thought.

Oh well, you can’t unmold them all.

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.

Day confusion

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By Pranali009 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been a day behind all week. Tuesday felt like Monday and now I’m certain it’s Wednesday even though it isn’t.

Oh well, time is subjective.

For a while now, I haven’t managed to fight the feeling that time is getting a little unstable, but that probably goes along with the world turning into to a surrealist painting, melting clocks and all. But hopefully not melting clocks, because that would be bad.

Takes a lot to get a clock to melt.

Not my first foray into the capricious nature of time (there’s a book in the links below that deals with just that) but we’re so bound by it, it’s difficult not to keep circling back.

Speaking of circling…

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.