#MAYkingItWork Wrap Up! Tomorrow: #AccountaClub

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Well, that’s May. For some reason, this month went slowly for me, more slowly than the earlier part of the year.

And how did my #MAYkingItWork go?

Eh.

I did make some progress, but not a ton of progress. Forward, but not far.

It’s still forward.

How about you? Life got in the way, in know, for some; inspiration struck for others. How was your May?

I enjoyed the experience of commiserating so much, tomorrow I’m launching #AccountaClub, a weekly post where I’ll talk about how my work is going and you can feel free to do the same, whether in a blog post or in a comment here! It will be ongoing, so feel free to participate as much or as little as you like, it’s as no-pressure as #MAYkingItWork.

AND, for those of us who like an official monthly challenge, our friend Donna B. McNicol at her eponymous blog (second time today I’ve used that word) will be launching #JUkNOWUCanDoIt!

So lots to keep us on track and unfrazzled in the month ahead.

Thanks for hanging with me in May. Hope to see you for #AccountaClub!

Here’s Donna’s final #MAYKingItWork Update!

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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Wednesday Wanderings

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It’s another day of gray, wet gray, though I don’t think it’s raining. At least not now.

After a stretch of impossibly hot temperatures for May, we’re back in the spring zone, and that’s fine with me. Yesterday, there were a lot of sirens; today is quieter, it seems.

I woke up early but managed to go back to sleep, with more condensed, strange dreams. Sometimes it feels as though I leave them in the bedroom, hovering just above the bed, eventually the entire room packed with these brief existences I cannot remember.

In what I do recall, there was a diner; and the diner was completely out of desserts. Given my desire for dessert last night while watching “Below Deck Mediterranean,” as the yacht chef made a dessert buffet, I don’t think there’s any deep meaning lingering in that one.

I just wanted dessert. And didn’t have any. At least not the kind I wanted.

Such is life.

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.

Meet Maximo, the largest (type) of dinosaur ever discovered

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Meet Maximo, who is so huge, his head is at the second level. Is it just me or is he smiling?

Went to the Field Museum of Natural History yesterday to see the new (well, millions of years old but new to us) titanosaur Maximo who supplanted Sue the T-Rex  in the main hall. Sue, who informed me on Twitter prefers the pronouns “they/them,” will now live in the evolution exhibit among their dinosaurian brethren, though, being a T-Rex, a bit on their own for obvious T-Rex-related reasons.

Maximo is breathtakingly huge. I mean so huge that it looked like the teeny tiny little bone on the end of his tail was about the size of my wrist. He was so huge, I didn’t even make it to the height of his top leg bone, likely a femur but I’m no dinosaur anatomist.

I’ve included a picture with the iconic elephants that have adorned the hall of the Field for as long as I can remember.

Those enormous African elephants are mounted on a platform about four feet high.

And here’s my eye level.

And looking up.

So he’s big, is what I’m trying to say. It makes you gape at the thought of all of that covered in flesh and muscle. And Sue seemed perfectly content in their new surroundings, though the room is still pretty bare.

And here’s a giant sloth because holy mammal, that thing was HUGE. Not as big as Maximo, obviously, but wow.

No real cohesion today, just thought you’d be as fascinated as I was. And I was fascinated. Imagining this planet as it existed before we got our mitts on it is fertile ground for inspiration.

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.

 

 

Memorial Day isn’t about sales

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To all the men and women who have served this country, to their families, and to the ones we have lost, my thoughts are with you on this Memorial Day. This day is not about barbecues or beach openings or sales. Especially sales.

But I wasn’t always this clear on the holiday.

I came across this tweet on Friday from a veteran I follow (warning, strong language, though I suspect not a one of you is faint of heart):

And suddenly, like a lens coming into focus, I realized how grotesque it is that we mark a day for honoring our fallen veterans with discounted goods.

Yikes.

Did it just hit you in the gut too? Good, it probably should, as it did me. How blithe we can be; how oblivious. The day before I saw COB’s tweet, I was giddy over what I had gotten for a steal.

In a Memorial Day sale.

Break it down and it’s like something out of a far-future novel, something sprung from the mind of Ray Bradbury, a time where capitalism is so ubiquitous, so domineering that even men and women killed in service to our country are remembered with a hearty 50% off regular price.

So whatever you do with your day today, please take a moment to remember why we really have it. Thank you to the women and men who serve.

 

#MAYkingItWork Friday Update: Tools

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Hey #MAYkers! This is our last official Friday in May, though I suggest we gather next Thursday too, for our final updates! Well, finalish.

Because I have an idea I’d like to float around, but we’ll get to that in a second. I mean I could go ahead with it and see if you all notice that I’m not actually updating my progress, but you’re an awfully astute bunch, so I know better.

How was that for stalling? Not bad?

I made progress on both projects this week, though not as much progress as I would have liked. I did spend some energy on a political piece at Medium; I’ve decided political opinion writing is something I’d like to get back into doing. So if you’re interested, you can check out my work there, I’m planning to publish on a more regular basis.

My new stylus has infinitely improved my editing, since it hearkens (huh, I didn’t know there was an e in there. Neither did spellcheck, by the way, it just knew it was wrong. Thanks Dictionary.com) back to my early habits of editing on paper. I’m on my third round with the completed manuscript, and that tends to be slow-going because there’s so much attention to word choice and sentence structure.

The downside is the incomplete manuscript I’m supposed to be reading is also getting edited, even though it’s not time for editing. Hmm. But I’m going forward. Incrementally. Still forward.

And now my idea. I’m really liking this reporting in on Fridays, and since I never, ever let a pun go unpunned or a portmanteau go unported, next Friday, I’ll launch #AccountaClub. (I did warn you. Didn’t I warn you?)

It’s our little accountability club–or mine, if no one else wants to play along–where you can come and brag or whine or whatever you need to do on Friday. We can also think of it as our accounting club, but not the math kind, the kind where we just talk about the week.

So how’s it going?

#MAYkingItWork Updates:

Donna B. McNicol

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.

A way editing can be fun. No really. Seriously. Please stop laughing.

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Woman Writing a Letter, with her Maid by Johannes Vermeer, National Gallery of Ireland

So a while ago, I had to replace my computer. I was pretty irritated about it, it wasn’t that old, but it had always been a kind of reluctant co-conspirator, not terribly interested in my computer-usage schemes. Even though I got it new, it had a crotchety-ness about it. It groaned and grumbled; it rejected my shenanigans.

We had to part ways.

In replacement, I got one of those 2-in-1 computers (3-in-1? What would the 3 be?) that can function as a tablet. We’re totally besties.

In the morning, as a tented tablet, it streams me my yoga. When I’m writing, it sits up, prim and proper, as though it hadn’t just done the splits. It’s got a much nicer touch than my previous keyboard.

BUT.

Yesterday, I got the best part. The BEST PART. It’s a part so good I had to just yell about it, as you can see. Yesterday I got a stylus.

And suddenly my childhood visions of marking directly into a computer have nearly come true. I don’t think I could write on the screen like a notebook and have it convert to type (though maybe I can, any suggestions? Google would probably know. Google knows all), but while reading though, I can mark a red line through a word and POOF! it vanishes.

IT VANISHES.

I have the benefit of typing on the onscreen keyboard when it’s in tablet mode, so instead of my chicken-scratch handwriting, I can put in something I can actually read later. Mark up a page as I would if I printed it.

You guys know. There’s nothing like marking up a page that’s printed. Except this.

You can circle to highlight. That’s all I’ve learned so far; I’m sure there’s a guide to the editing symbols it will accept. It’s definitely helping as I work through my #MAYkingItWork goals. Only wish I’d done it earlier.

Wow, I’ve gushed a long post. That’s how cool it is. See? I told you.

Editing and fun in the same sentence. Who’da thunk it.

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.

Outside can be nice

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Me, four minutes ago: “I haven’t even started my blog post!”

Me thirty seconds after that: “Maybe I like THIS part for 1 line Wednesday.”

Turns out I did not. Have plenty of lines with “lost” in them; can’t really separate any from context. Alas. And I don’t want to let out any future Aunty Ida spoilers.

No game for me today.

Yesterday I got outside for a little while, in the early evening, and the birds were everywhere. High above the trees, small ones circled and darted like bats do. They chattered and they flitted. At one point I stood eye to eye with a woodpecker, a beautiful black-and-white bird with a red cap on his head. He didn’t stay long.

I didn’t bring my real camera. I went outside to get a walk, that was my intention, so all I had was my cell. It takes remarkably good pictures, but works best as a wide-angle lens. Maybe I got some birdies, but I doubt it.

Hang on, I’ll look. Just one came out, which, given it’s a cell and not my super awesome camera, is surprising.

There were some fat round black-and-white ones (like that guy above) I would have thought were finches but may have been warblers;* there was an all-gray smallish medium bird that looked like a robin but had no color at all. From my digging, it might have been a black swift, but I’m not entirely sure.

They were everywhere and so very, very loud. It was fabulous.

*UPDATE:  on Twitter very astutely identified it as a chickadee! It’s a black-capped chickadee, to be precise! Thanks, Dear Reader!

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.