Let’s talk about Monday.

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Hans Baluschek [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

And here we are, back again at Monday, the week as new and fresh as the hint of cool underneath the breeze. Mondays can feel like the end of something sometimes, but they aren’t really.

On Monday morning, you haven’t missed a single item on your to-do list. On Monday morning, there’s a bright, full week of planning, of room, of time. On Monday morning, the coffee is particularly punchy.

We, as humans, have the prerogative to forge fresh starts whenever we need or want them. You could pledge to healthy eating and exercise on a Wednesday, if the spirit so moves.

Yet there’s something about a Monday. Mondays are the days of determination; willpower secrets itself away in Mondays. On Mondays, we face the world with shoulders squared and backs as straight as we can muster. We look the week in the eye.

And we say “I can.”

Hey, did you see a real-life scientist scienced Aunty Ida?

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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Ruling on Rules

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Image result for gif india trafficI’ve always been a rules person. Take a number; hands inside the car at all times; no sweatpants outside. I respect rules.

But sometimes the rules don’t serve us. Sometimes the rules form tiny little parallel fences that keep us on our tight little paths. Sometimes, you kinda want to wear sweatpants outside.

Rules fulfill a purpose by helping us maintain order within our lives and beyond. Imagine a busy fast-casual restaurant where the line had never been invented.

Terrifying, right?

But sometimes rules keep us comfortable, complacent. Sometimes we use them not as guidelines, but as crutches. As bases for “can’ts.”

I’m not an advocate for chaos. I think civilization is one of humankind’s greatest achievements.  Or near-achievements, given that we don’t all seem to be quite civilized.

But I digress.

Once in a while, we need to take stock of our rules. Of our shoulds and shouldn’ts and musts and mustn’ts. We need to look at which rules serve us, and which rules serve as comfortable barriers. As nice, cozy self-imposed limitations.

None of us are planted in pots. We have the freedom to grow out and up and beyond.

We need only give ourselves the permission.

 

You Know That Thing That’s Been Bugging You?

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img_0005You know those little nagging, annoying things in life? Those issues that don’t really matter in the broader realm of life on the planet Earth, but still, they get to you every time you think about them? Get this.

I solved one of those this morning.

We’ll be heading to the Galapagos tomorrow, after I’ve resolved my picture storage issue (so many pictures, so little storage), but today, I want to reflect upon getting that pestering splinter out of your paw. It’s a relief.

Before I tell you about my issue, you have to agree not to judge me. OK, hypothetical reader? Are we on the same web page? No fair keeping your fingers crossed. Are we good? Yes? On we go.

My scanner on my printer mysteriously stopped working. OK, OK, keep it down hypothetical reader, I know. I started out saying it was a minor thing, didn’t I? Yes, minor. I mean the scanner isn’t going to make or break your day, in the scheme of things.

But boy, did it rankle, that every time I tried to use it, the printer said talk to the computer and the computer said, hey, what scanner?

Those electronics can be so cliquish.

This morning, I drew a line in the print queue, and declared “No more!” What’s that, hypothetical reader? No, there was no fist in the air. Why would you think there was a fist in the air? Can we…? Yes? Awesome.

Anyway, I did all the things my depth of knowledge suggested I do. By depth, I generally mean the shallow end. And by shallow end, I mean that glossy layer of water over the steps. I updated drivers.

It didn’t work.

I googled the issue. I tried what they suggested, but it didn’t work. It did, however, lead me down the right path. I had software to download.

I did, and with a grumble as sweet as a choir of super-sweet angels, the scanner worked. It worked!

It’s easy to ignore the thing that bothers you every time you think about it, every time you look at it. You can think away that dull ache of the needle too thin to see but making its presence known.

Or you get hunker down with the tweezers, and get that sucker out.

In or near Chicago in October? Come see “Me Inside Me Presents: Witch, Please,” on October 1, 8, 22 and 29 at Donny’s Skybox Theater at 7 pm. Tickets available at SecondCity.com.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Picking My Way Through the Fog

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100_0812Sheesh am I foggy-headed this morning. Maybe it’s the weather; maybe it was a night of sleep that felt like another life in another place. Maybe I’ve used up all the spark my brain has to offer.

I hope it’s not that last one.

Somewhere, inside the swaddled cotton in my head, there are words and thoughts and ideas, I’m sure of it. They’re just tired now, and my full dose of caffeine isn’t rattling their cages.

That’s not right.

I don’t keep my ideas in confinement. I fully support free-range ideas, they are given complete run of my head. If only they can find their way through the batting.

Through the batty?

Hmm. Something tells me with that kind of transition, Aunty Ida wants a word with me. Let her find me through the fuzz, then, and very good luck to her.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Getting Tougher

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So A-F just sailed on through with little pondering on my part. As the day arrived, the letter presented itself in an easy-open Sesame Street-like packet. But today we hit G and…no little thought present on my doorstep. Mailbox was empty. It didn’t even leave a “Sorry we missed you” sticky with an impossibly far away address to go pick up my blog post idea.

But sometimes no idea becomes an idea. Deep, no?

No? Really, hypothetical reader? It’s not? I thought it was at least kinda deep. Like in a saying over a pretty unrelated picture on Twitter kind of way. What’s that, hypothetical reader? You like those pictures?

Me too.

But I digress. The act of writing as a must instead of a maybe is never an easy thing. But it does act as verbal cardio, increasing your sentence endurance and writing stamina. And we all know that word-bearing exercise is essential if you want to have non-brittle story structure.

Exercise is exercise, whether it’s your brain or your body. Sometimes it’s tough, and that’s when we get stronger.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Remember Writing?

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Uh, hello. Um, hi. Yes, hi.

I’ve apparently joined the ranks of the bloggers who just don’t blog for a while. Why? I wish I could tell you. For the last few weeks, even the small chunk of time it takes to get words from my brain to my blog seemed too scarce to carve out. I’d sit down to do it, something else would beckon, and then suddenly it wouldn’t be done.

But now I’m back. I hope. I think.

I’ve actually been on a bit of a writing hiatus lately. The only writing I’ve been doing is writing for class, and even that has been slow and lumbering.

I’ve got novels to finish, and, yes, blogging to blog, and yet lately, I just haven’t been making the writing happen. That’s one of the things about writing: you can’t leave it to it’s own devices, like a cake turning from goop to delicious in a just-right oven. Though I call patent on that invention.

The one that lets you write that way. Not the oven. I think I might be a hair too late for that.

No, writing takes time and attention, all the way from conception to completion. There’s no “set-it-and-forget-it.”

We learned a technique for writing in class, one which I’ll share on a future date, after I’ve given it a full test run. Maybe that’s the answer. It involves timers. You know how I love a timer.

But whatever it was or whatever it is, why ever the hiatus, I’m back now. Let the writing resume.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Evidence of Tulips

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IMG_6209So I woke up this morning to another round of snow on the ground. We’d had a thaw, though a colder one than they promised, and then last night, on my way home, I caught the glint of snowflakes in the headlights of a cab.

So much for the warm up.

If there’s snow again, you ask, what’s with the tulips? Well, hypothetical reader, thank you for asking. You always know the perfect question to keep the conversation rolling.

I took this photo at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which, interestingly, is not actually located in Chicago, but in a north suburb. It was last year, and though it was still very chilly — there’s a wind that cuts through the garden on cool day that can ruddy your cheeks and redden your ears — there were the tulips. It didn’t matter what the weather wanted, the tulips decided it was time, and there they were, a whole field of them.

Last winter was much worse than this one. It was colder and snowier and grayer and leached the heat from everywhere until you couldn’t be sure how to be warm.

But it ended.

These flowers are proof that you might not see change while it is happening, you might not sense it. It might not feel like much or as though it’s measurably better than what came before. It can be slow, and plodding, and have to fight the cold as though battling to the end.

But still it comes. The tulips were not deterred, their heads bending as the wind blew across the pond. They didn’t have to feel the spring to know it was spring.

If that could happen after last winter, it will happen again.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!