The suffering of millions—loss, illness, hunger—can overwhelm us, especially in this season. I offer a paraphrase of Norman Cousins’ words to a group of Peace Corps volunteers when they were about to depart for their posts. “Some days you’ll have 200 people in line for food and only have enough for 100. Help those 100 and be satisfied.” He knew that otherwise, they would be so frustrated, they would quit, and go home, and no one would be fed. Do something, however small, whether it’s giving $5 to a food bank or running an errand for someone who’s housebound, and let it empower you. Conversely, if you are one of those who are suffering, don’t be ashamed to reach out. You’ll be doing a good deed for those who help you
So I got a bunch of ♥️s for my Pitmad pitches Thursday. For those not familiar with it*, Pitmad is a Twitter writers contest held 4 times a year.** And if an agent or editor ♥️s your pitch, you get to query them and send a partial or a full of your manuscript, sometimes with a synopsis. And I was THRILLED, until I realized, I’ve never queried this before. I don’t have a blurb for my query. Basically, what I have for my query is “Dear (insert name of editor or agent here)” and “Thanks for your consideration.” I don’t have a synopsis yet. I’m going to spend the next three days writing them, and there’s a chance they’ll still be dreadful and about as interesting as a shopping list.
*Those 3 non-writers who follow me
**This is also true for those familiar with it.
It’s been a little while (if you define “a little while ” as Paleozoic Era) since I’ve posted. I’ve been absorbed in the issues of the fate of our country, our world, and the proper use of the past perfect tense and, can I just not use it ever, because I’m writing YA, and hardly any teen uses it if they can possibly get away with past tense.*
But I thought my readers might worry that I’d been cryogenically frozen
until the government changed hands and/or there was a vaccine for COVID. So I’m back. Now I must return to the grim task of fixing some major continuity issues in my current WIP.
Be well. Stay Well.
*Also hardly any adult
On one of our two-mile “keep from going crazy” jaunts, I remarked to Arnold, “We have never walked down this streets before.” Also, we’d never driven down them. And they’re all within a few blocks of the junior high our sons attended. And they’re all beautiful. Also they have cool signs.
So house arrest has proved reasonably pleasant. We take long walks and photos of beautiful flowers and little green men. We cook A LOT. I actually make a menu for the week because running by the store to get a missing ingredient ain’t happening in this house. We read a lot. However, I don’t write a lot. It’s so much easier to be productive when you only have a little time. So here’s the sort of thing I’ve been producing.
You can’t control the Pandemic, the economy, the state of the world in general. So stop agonizing over it. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m talking about preserving your health, mentally and physically.
Focus on what you can accomplish (any or all of the list below)
1. Clean your house.
2. Cook a real meal
3. Read a book
4. learn a song or listen to a new one
5. Take a walk if you’re able to do so safely
You get the idea.
And do something for others.
1. Call, email, or mail a card to someone you know who might be lonely
2. Donate a few dollars to a local food bank
3. Order food or goods from a local merchant and forget about Amazon. They don’t need your business.
4. Post something funny or beautiful on your social media accounts.
These are just a few of the hundreds of ways you can empower yourself and do good for yourself and others.
Our sons have put us on house arrest because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Technically, it’s of the honor system variety, but they do text, call, FaceTime, etc. at least once a day. If they catch me at my favorite coffee/writing spot, there will be hell (or at least, heck) to pay. So I’ve made a list of the several positives.
- I’m blogging for the first time in weeks.*
- I’m writing more.
- I can watch every single season of Project Runway All Stars without feeling guilty about it.
- I have the time to take two long walks a day.
- I can order groceries online, which is way more fun than I thought it would be.
- Also, I can contemplate the very nice view outside out breakfast room window
*If you don’t see that as a positive, pretend you do.
The very lovely and clearly bright young woman behind me at my coffee/writing spot is doing a job interview. She’s used the word “like” twelve times in two sentences.* Although she’s also using words like “protocol” and “robotics,” she’s coming off like a refugee from Encino. I am sad.
*Yes, I counted.
I don’t read. I devour. Unless I don’t like the first 15 pages. Then I shelve the book in my “TBR”* collection.
In the last two weeks I’ve inhaled the first two books in Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow series. I hope she takes time writing the third, because I seriously have to read something else occasionally.
Now I’m half-way through a memoire, which is odd since I hate them unless they’re hilarious, and I like plot, (lots of plot) and believe there should be a legal limit on the number of adjectives you can use per page. **
So when I tell you to read Four Seasons in Rome, by Anthony Doerr, you know how fabulous it must be. It has only a sliver of plot and it’s definitely over the legal limit for adjectives.
*This is a euphemism for “I’m never, ever going to open this book again, but it has a nice cover,
**I also love run-on sentences. This isn’t going to be one.
I will have to write a novel set in Madrid, so next time I go there, I can claim it as a tax deduction.
Queen Carol and King Arnold incognito at the Puerta del Sol