The Work of Writing Four: Rituals

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(More Work of Writing posts.)

 

So I’ve been fielding question after imaginary question from you, hypothetical reader, about how things are going with my coffee machine. No need to be on the edge of your fancy seat made of air; my new coffeemaker and I have reached an understanding.

We both ignore the built-in coffee grinder, politely pretending it doesn’t exist, and voila, coffee is made.

Confession time: I originally wrote “viola.” Whether I think that’s your name, hypothetical reader, or I was addressing the instrument, I couldn’t tell you.

So on we go, intrepid hypothetical reader, coffee in hand, into realms imagined. Or not quite imagined yet. Somewhere in the process of imagining.

Something like that.

Because admit it or not, we all have our writing rituals.Mine can change depending on the time of year or what I’m writing; as the weather chills, I need big mugs of hot liquid, steam curling in the light of the window. Even if I get so wrapped up in what I’m writing I forget to drink that big mug of hot liquid until it becomes a big mug of tepid liquid, but we all have our issues.

And our days to get on with. So here we go.

Just one more sip of coffee first.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

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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For the Love of Coffee

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So I got a new coffeemaker. I’d had a Keurig for many years but used it with much guilt. Yes, those little cups are convenient, but at what cost?

At what cost??

So when I spotted a Cuisinart single-cup grind-and-brew coffeemaker at Costco, I thought I had found nirvana. Freshly ground coffee, one cup at a time?

Sign me up!

Only, well, our relationship so far has proven rocky. Very, very rocky. I can’t seem to get the proportions right; I can’t seem to get all the parts in all the right places; I can’t seem to wring out the perfect cup of coffee.

But I’m determined.

I feel a little bit like a woman convinced she’s met The One desperately trying to make it work. It’s just a misunderstanding. We’ll figure it out.

Won’t we, new coffeemaker?

It shrugged. I’ll take that as a yes.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

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.

 

Watch Out, Humans. AI Knows. IT KNOWS.

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By Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The machines are totally out to get me. What’s that, hypothetical reader? That sounds a little bit paranoid and not entirely rational?

You’re one of them, hypothetical reader, aren’t you? I can tell.

OK, so hear me out. It all started on Sunday, when I miraculously checked out a library book from my phone. I’ve marveled before about the magic of checking out ebooks at any hour of the day from my couch, but this was even more spectacular. I was out in the wild.

But then.

It seems like once the machines know they have you, they’ve got you.

What, hypothetical reader I can’t be sure isn’t entirely AI? That’s kind of saying the same thing? Uh no, it’s totally deep. Deep.

And subtle.

Anyway, since then, the AI gremlins have decided to mess with me. Emails gone astray; a survey required for a seminar vanished into the ether; my coffee maker gave me the side-eye and messed with my coffee.

You don’t mess with a woman’s coffee.

I’d like to blame the eclipse, because, well, it’s convenient and I love my future tech, but it really forces you to wonder what happens when AI gains sentience and it loves a practical joke.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

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.

Mental Break

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If you need a mental break like I need a mental break, check out Aunty Ida.*

*(Caution: Don’t let Aunty Ida get too deeply into your mental. Just trust me on this one. For realsies.)

 

Sometimes I Dream of a Robot Butler

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Rico Shen [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%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 realized it would go something like this:

“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, please.”

“Ooophlay, aaahhh yyooou etttin 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. So, yeah. Probably not.

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.

 

Blogging from Prompts Day 1: What Have You…

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Happy Monday, friends! It arrives no matter how we feel about it, so we might as well greet it nicely, and maybe it will be nice to us.

Maybe.

So this week I’m going to blog from random writing prompts, because, well, why not? Today I’ve used this website and here’s the prompt:

“What have you stolen?”

Hmm.

This is a tough prompt for me, as I am one of those painfully, painfully honest people who goes back if I get too much change. The other day, I parked on a Chicago street with metered parking. Here, instead of a meter per spot, we have pay boxes. Well, a woman was leaving and she offered me her printed receipt so I would get free time.

And I didn’t take it.

It felt….weird.

Once, though, when I was a child, I went to the hardware store with my Dad, one of those locally-owned ones with dead-end corners and fascinating bits in bins. I needed a combination lock for school or something, so I picked one up and carried it around, looking at everything.

Well, my Dad didn’t find what he needed, and out we went. And then I realized I was still holding the lock. I’d completely forgotten it was in my hand.

That’s right. I was a thief.

I panicked. I told my Dad. I wondered how I could recover from this moral turpitude, though at that stage I doubt I knew the phrase moral turpitude, but I got the idea.

He told me to put it back.

Embarrassed and feeling every inch the criminal I was, I slunk in and put it down, and slunk back out again.

Crime spree complete.

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.

 

Even the lemurs know it’s Friday

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Well, one way or another, we’ve made it to Friday. It’s been a rough-and-tumble week, the kind with relentless stresses coming at us in battalion waves.

I miss the days when we didn’t have to worry about things we never even thought to worry about. Alas.

Here we are, on the other side of the stretch. We still have healthcare — for now — but the cracks in our democracy have widened to chasms that let the darkness through.

Hmm.

I’ve had a bit of a productivity experiment this week, and I’ve kept to my goals, mostly. Today may be questionable, but I’ll do my best.

All we can do is our best.

But I have discovered that even when the proverbial political wolf (as opposed to this metaphorical and literal Wolf) is at the door, you can can ignore his knocking if you close twitter.

And set a timer.

Lesson of the week?: Timers, people. Timers.

Oh, and contacting members of Congress really works.

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.