Sunday, March 29, 2020

What do you wish you'd done ahead of the quarantine?

Starting Week #3
Status: A-ok.

This week's goal: stay sane.

How I plan to do that: try to keep some sort of organized schedule.

Let's see how it goes!

There's a new post at QueryShark. 

Housekeeping: Don't feel you need to apologize for sharing your fears here in the comment column. This isn't a therapy session, but telling the truth about how we're living now is essential.

One of the things I've always said in workshops is "ask questions even if you feel like everyone else knows the answer.  Sure as shinola, at least two other people won't."

Same here.
If you're feeling anxious, I know for an ironclad fact at least one other person is too.

Looking back over the comments this week:

I really liked what Shauna said about trigger warnings. Very cogent. And accurate.
The thing about content warnings is, if I understand them correctly, you put them before something where the viewer may not have a reason to expect the trigger. IE if you link to an article about animal abuse that has graphic pictures, you would put a trigger warning for that. With a book, if the plot is about a triggering topic, that should be clear from the summary and tone anyway. IE the Hunger Games doesn’t need specific trigger warnings because the premise makes it clear what’s going to happen. 

And many many thanks for the outpouring of sympathy for Her Grace and Sleekness the Duchess of Yowl.

As I plan for the week ahead there are a couple things I rue:

1. Not sharpening my chef's knives.
With all this cooking at home, I'm now using dull blades.

2. Not being caught up on laundry.
Sure I can wash smalls in the sink, but sheets? Nope.

3. Missing my last haircut
I'm going to emerge from this looking more like The Shaggy Dog than I'd like.

Things I'm profoundly grateful for:

1. Living in a neighborhood that isn't full of people hoarding things.

2. Being able to shelter at home. One of my friends got caught far from home and is now there for the next couple weeks.

3. This community that buoys my spirits every damn day.

So what do you wish you'd done, or stockpiled?


Luralee said...

When I lived in Park Slope 13 years ago there was a little old knife sharpener truck straight out of the 1950’s that made the rounds, ringing a bell like an ice cream truck. I wonder if it’s still around.

Let’s see... besides toilet paper and flour, I wish I’d stocked up on library books. I am re reading books I’ve read multiple times. Anybody want a beta reader?

RosannaM said...

Well this is going to sound weird, but I wish we had stocked up on jigsaw puzzles. There is something comforting about turning over the pieces, searching for the right shape and color and knowing that it is ultimately solvable. I like solvable.

And I wish we had gotten a barbecue grill (ditched our old one before the move). Just have a craving for grilled meat. Don't know why, but it's there in the background of my mind.

Other than that, I think we are all set for at least awhile.

Blessings? Oh, so many. My family is so far well, we have a safe and comfortable home, and plenty of food.

Music, stand up comedians on YouTube, hot water, a walkable neighborhood, Internet, cell phones, a refrigerator (it took forever for it to be delivered in the autumn), a stash from the library before it closed, blankets, sunshine (although it is missing today), spices, Vitamin C. I could go on but you get the point.

And definitely this site. It is uplifting even if my writing efforts have dwindled. Thanks for all the practical help and advice, Janet, but I also appreciate the humanity that is nurtured here. Your site is like the stone tossed in a big pond rippling outward. Again, thank you.

Emma said...

Ooh, you can sharpen your knives against lotsa stuff in your apartment!

Maybe not the car window or concrete, but, the coffee mug sounds doable. And knife against knife can work if you do it right.

I usually don't use disinfecting cleaning products or wipes because all of us are sensitive to the harsh chemicals, but now I do wish I had a two or three, or a dozen of those handy wipe canisters. Whereas everything else is reappearing on the grocery store shelves, those are done for.

For anybody who might not know, there's an app called Overdrive, or Libby, which you can link to your library card and take e-books out from your local library system. You do need some way to read e-books, but I'm hoping that if you're reading this blog and writing, you at least have some kind of computer. Anyway, it's saving my life right now. I keep taking out books.

Here's to continued sanity in the next week.

CynthiaMc said...

White Castles. With everybody homeschooling,
those suckers are not to be found anywhere.

Other than that, I'm good.

Another gorgeous Florida day. Hot as blazes. We're grilling steaks in the back yard.

Health and healing to all.

Kate Larkindale said...

I'm wishing I'd gone to the optometrist before this all began. I don't have enough contact lenses to last me 4 weeks and my glasses prescription is so woefully out of date I can barely see a foot in front of me while wearing them.

And having the knives sharpened would have been a good idea too. I have a stone, but it's cracked and doesn't work as well as it should, particularly on my very well used chef's knife.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I have a knife sharpening thingy so that's good. I would have had a haircut and raided the library before it closed but I do have the ebooks from our library system. I would have taken out a stack of cookbooks to browse.

I have Pachinko now and the Last Policeman book 2. The e library appears to be adding more books but too many of them are cozies and romance, slightly smutty looking romance which I find funny. (A Cowboy to Remember! )

It would have been really great if I had turned my IRA into cash but did sell some stock for enough to get through for a while.

I do count our blessings here. We go into town before dawn once a week for senior shopping. I have supplies. I have internet. I have books I have not read. Talked to my sister on Cape Cod and she's handling things well, closed the gallery for April so far. Other friends are calling or writing. Watching the ice melt on my frog pond and waiting for the gang to wake up. Waiting for daffodils. The valley is very very quiet and it's peaceful. We had toilet paper hoarders clean out the shelves but our stores are doing a great job and there is plenty of fresh produce. Our local farm market is open and gearing up production. We're good.

I wish I had invited Janet to come stay in our apartment before the quarantine!

Theresa said...

Like Luralee, I wish I'd picked up more library books. I only checked out two and finished them quickly. Luckily I have a sufficient home library so I can reread some of my favorites. (Up now: Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal.) I was also lucky enough to win a copy of Amanda Eyre Ward's The Jetsetters in a Good Reads giveaway.

In all other things, I'm fortunate. I can get enough food and other supplies to meet my needs. I can stay in touch with friends and family, and all my online communities remain active.

I hope everyone is staying well.

Katja said...

A (modest) wedding dress. And rings.

If the world is only going to open a few days before, it's a problem. If the world is only going to open a few days after, it isn't. But it is!

Craig F said...

I wish that I had put a more concerted effort into querying. I also wish I had tied down the sale of the stand up paddleboard I recently finished. The business of making OC-6 and stand up paddles is dead at the moment, so my guys could use the bonus from the board sale.

I am happy for:
the house I live in.
most of my neighbors, there's a jackass on every block.
the effort I put into understanding how to cook.
Kathy, my better half
The Overdrive app on my tablet, it still works and is tied to my local library and more books than the three branch libraries I used to visit.

I use wet-n-dry sandpaper (the silicone carbide kind) to sharpen knives and plane irons.

You can shape and edge with 200 grit and slowly work your way up to 1500 grit to give a polished edge that lasts a long time.

Julie Weathers said...

Stockpile? Nothing.

I have enough food to last until next year this time I think. I have about 50 pounds of pinto beans because when I find them on sale I can't resist them.

There have been several times in my life when I have been hungry. I've been homeless. Now, I make sure the pantries stay stocked.

That being said, I put my heel through my sheet the other night. I like good sheets and towels. I wish I'd bought a couple more sets of sheets when we had a Tuesday Mornings here. I may have to rent a car and drive to Minneapolis to the Tuesday Mornings over there this summer.

My friend gave me some sage advice. "Stop wearing your spurs to bed, Julie."

Nicole said...

I wish I'd made my last hair appointment too! My roots are going to be a mile long by the time I can get my highlights done again.

After reading your post, I'm SUPER thankful that I have a washer and dryer at home. I can't imagine not being able to do laundry right now.

Katja said...

Apologies for this off-topic question:

Since I'm in the process of writing an article on this pandemic and its possible impact on children's mental health, with particular attention to developing OCD because of it, is there anybody who would help out as a parent?

I have interviewed three mums so far (patiently waiting for the two blog reader mums to answer my questions, NO pressure :) ), but I would love one more, if I can find one.

A mummy with a child at the age of, let's say, 8, 9, 10 years old. Plus, minus.
And, a mummy who senses that her child is possibly experiencing worry about this virus. Not that I'm hoping there are, but I know there will be. If not here, I'll search elsewhere. :)

Thank you so much Reef, if you can help. And if not, I take it that your kids are rather worry-free (hm... is this a word...?!) which would obviously be the BEST.

But I'd also be interested if they are NOT worried and you believe it is BECAUSE of the way how you deal with them.

Hm, hopefully I explained myself well enough...

And sorry for using this post for this, Janet. I just prefer asking here first rather than on Twitter.

Lennon Faris said...

Things I rue:
- not recently visiting the library
- missing the trip to see two of my grandparents and my sister

Things I'm grateful for:
- books, movies, & the internet
- my dog, and I suppose I need to include my cats, too (j/k, j/k)
- art
- people showing kindness
- docs and nurses on the front line
- yep, this place. Glad you all are mostly doing OK.

CynthiaMc, what are White Castles? I'm guessing you don't mean the restaurant.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Walking the pastures here at the sanctuary has always been my something that mends. The horses have always countered the noise. I'm grateful I have them, and this land.

I wish I'd stocked up on hugs from my niece and her two kiddos. They live in Greenville, SC, two hours away, and I miss them terribly.

Jigsaw puzzles! I love them, but alas, anytime I try to work on one, one of the cats has to be a jerk and ruin the fun. Unfortunately, there is no surface they aren't allowed. RosannaM I'd be more than happy to send you some puzzles. For real. Reach out to pass along your address, if you want: proudspirit @

Be well, everyone.

nightsmusic said...

I'm not a grocery/pantry horder since I don't have the room, but after the experience I had today, actually since Thursday, with our local Walmart type store and a pick up that I ended having to reshop...*sigh* I wish I had the room to stock way more than I have. I did wear nitrile gloves and used the only N95 mask we have that I promptly sprayed all over with Lysol when I got home, but I was still out. Something I've tried to avoid since Senior Day two weeks ago that wasn't really considering who was there.

Beyond that, I have a Kindle, about 1000 paperbacks to pick from and my WIP that I've been stuck on forever it seems because I have to Make. Something. Happen and I can't come up with anything.

I'm grateful for everyone here, grateful that hubs doesn't have to go into his building since they have international clients, worried about Thing One whose unit is closed and who has volunteered for their COVID unit at the hospital and, in the midst of all of this going on, grateful that Thing 2 secured a new job after being summarily dismissed from her last one with about 100 others in a 'company group chat' without any warning.

As a light aside, during this time, animal rescues are being very hard hit, at least in our area. They're asking for fosters by the dozens. Fosters. If it ends up a fail all the better, but in the meantime, if you have the room and can, please consider fostering. In a lot of cases, they'll even bring the animal to you staying 6 feet from you, of course.

nightsmusic said...


RosannaM and anyone else looking, there's a site called Jigsaw Explorer where you can play hundreds of jigsaws online. You can change the size and quantity of the pieces, the's an awesome timewaste ;)

Stacy said...

Wish I'd stocked up on disinfecting wipes at Costco before everything hit the fan.

Other than that, we are stocked and in a good place. It turns out I picked a pretty good place to land when i moved. Places to walk, etc. I'm researching container gardening. Wish it would warm up.

Mary said...

I don't have anything I wish I would have done. I am grateful that I worked from home for almost a decade. I also just signed a book contract, though they can't really tell me when it will be published. I miss being able to travel. But overall I am doing better than most.

Nom de plume said...

The only thing I wish I had more of was the peace of mind I had in grocery stores a few weeks ago. In the space of a few hours, I lost my innocent faith in the supply chain. Thankfully, we have enough, but it shook me seeing staples I need for my toddler gone or in short supply.

Adjusting to my jaded new normal now, and grateful for all the years I never had to doubt store shelves would be full. I can't stop thinking about places in the world where that isn't the case, even without a pandemic.

I hope everyone on the reef has what they need! And Janet, please be careful with those dull knives. I don't want to hear about any injured fingers.

Also, this whole thing is extra weird for me because I'm a trained medical historian...It does give me some comfort that society, art, and writing survived the Black Plague. They have a good chance of surviving this too. Until then, I'll keep busy by writing a new Decameron haha!

Claire Bobrow said...

I wish I'd re-planted our backyard vegetable beds instead of letting them go fallow. We do have an overabundance of mint, rosemary, and marjorum, so at least there's that. My husband had to bail out on the weekly grocery run this morning due to long lines that stretched down the block at two different stores. Looks like we'll need to work some pantry magic for a while.

I miss our two children, ages 20 and 22, and worry when we'll see them next. I worry about my two siblings, both doctors, one a hospitalist. I worry about my 91-year old mother and 90-year old MIL and pray they'll escape the virus. And I'm very worried about our oldest dog, who has picked this moment to go into a decline after a year+ of failing health.

Thank goodness for distractions in the form of books and wonderful communities like this one.
Hugs to you all.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

I'm out of sugar.

John Davis Frain said...

First, thanks Bonnie Shaljean for such a wonderful truckload/lorryload answer yesterday. Fantastic.

Funny story just before this craziness. I went to get my haircut, which I generally order by number like at a QSR. I asked for a 2-5, code for short on top, even shorter on the sides. When she finished, she gave me a mirror and said, how's that?

"Wow, way longer than usual."
"Oh," she says, "I thought you said you wanted a wave."
I didn't (and still don't) know what a wave is, but I'm always game for something new and I said "absolutely want to try a wave."

My hair grows like a typical garden weed (no comment on resemblance between the two), and is now longer than ever.

Things I'm grateful for:
- Zoom, which connected our family through 7 screens earlier today.
- my wife, who cracks me up, even when she isn't trying to.
- the people at the park who move six feet away whenever we're crossing paths
- my Julie Weathers sand timer that is keeping my writing flowing
Too many things to list 'em all.

Be well, everyone. And keep writing if you're able.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

P.S. What does it mean "people hoarding things"? I've always been a little bit prepper-y, and had basics stockpiled for about a month (except milk, produce, of course). I'm now wondering if this counts as hoarding and how it could possibly adversely affect my neighbors.

Speaking of asking questions that feel like dumb questions ...

RebeccaB said...

Speaking of content warnings, my mom will read anything she can get her hands on, but she is a very "decent" golden years Southern lady who spells out her cuss words in a hushed whisper and harped on me about waiting 'til marriage, etc. So, when I sent her my crime novel (I am 45), I warned her it contained profanity, violence, and graphic sex. Ok, she says. Send it. When she called me back once she was finished:
Me: Hello?
Mom: You call that "graphic sex?" Pfffftt.
Me: Uhhh, yeah? Good Lord, what do you call it?
Mom: It was very...tasteful.
Me: (sighs) I didn't want it to be tasteful. And what the hell have you been reading?
Bottom line: It's really hard to shock people who read a lot. Also, you're never too old to learn your prudish mother has a more liberal definition of what constitutes "graphic sex" than you. Makes you re-evaluate your writing. And your life.

Fearless Reider said...

Just spotted our first mosquito of the season. I mean, really?! It's barely above freezing. Now I regret that I didn't get our dog into the vet for his heartworm test before this all hit the fan. I can't safely refill his preventative med without the test, so I guess I'll have to sew him a little hazmat suit out of mosquito nets.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Katja, I'm a mum with 3 school aged kids. You are welcome to interview me, though my kids don't seem very stressed and I'm not sure I can take credit for that. My first name dot my last name at gmail dot com.

Brigid said...

I wish my mom had gotten cancer surgery. They delayed scheduling for bureaucratic reasons and they won't do it now. She isn't making ends meet and her job interview got canceled due to the pandemic. I'd spend all my faery wishes on her.

I wish I'd gotten rid of all my furniture. We're moving cross country in April...somehow. I'm so stressed, today I got a migraine and my hand went numb, and I'm the executive function one in the family.

And I wish my husband--a nurse--had enough protective gear.

RosannaM said...

nightsmusic, thanks for the link! I had never heard of it.

Melanie, what a sweet offer. But no way do I want you going to a post office. Stay safely amidst your horses!

Jennifer, don't worry about being a "hoarder." The wrath for those people is when they take it all at one time. Stocking up a little at a time is not even noticeable to the other shoppers. You're fine, and I'm sorry about the sugar.

Elissa M said...

My husband and I are super fortunate in our situation. We live on 20 acres on the edge of nowhere and are nearly always well-stocked on everything. (We drive 110 miles one-way for our monthly commissary shopping.)

He's a semi-retired professional musician, meaning he isn't working right now, but we have his military pension to live on. Many of our musician friends are not so fortunate, and my heart is breaking for all the performers who cannot perform (or pay their bills).

We are both introverted home-bodies, and self-isolation is natural for us. My days are normally spent writing, drawing/painting, caring for/riding my horse, practicing instruments, and reading. Oh, and housework.

We've had to cancel an out-of-state family get-together, and it's a little tough not going to my weekly art group or musical performances. Also, my hair isn't going to get done for a while. Those are such tiny sacrifices compared to what others are going through that I've no grounds for complaint.

Craig F said...

Here's another online jigsaw site: Jigsaw Planet

CynthiaMc said...

Hi Lennon - White Castles are tiny little cheeseburgers. I like to take one to work for lunch. The Yankee version of Krystals. Hubby usually gets them at BJ's or Publix but they've both been out for a while. Reverting to peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches in the meantime.

Colin Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Smith said...

I have to say, I feel a little twinge of guilt reading y'alls comments. I'm a home bod who works from home for a "necessary" business. There have been, so far, 15 cases of COVID-19 in our county and no deaths. My kids all work for "necessary" businesses. I do most of my shopping online, and most of my wife's shopping is for groceries anyway. And we homeschool. In other words, we haven't really noticed much difference. And I'm praying it stays that way.

That doesn't mean I don't feel for you. My heart goes out especially to those folks in hard-hit areas, like NYC.

What do I wish I had done ahead of time? Bought some puzzles, jiffy bags, and a account so I can send puzzles to those who need them? ;)

Stay safe, everyone. I'm praying that we turn the corner on this thing soon.

nightsmusic said...

Jennifer, a hoarder right now is someone who buys 12 - 8 packs of toilet paper or paper towel or hand sanitizer when others are just trying to buy one package. I'm guessing, like RosannaM says, you bought over time. These are people needing three grocery carts to get their toilet paper and paper towel to the car.

I try to keep more than I would need, but not more than a couple weeks worth. Some of these people are hoarding a year's worth!

Also, try Truvia. I buy 1000+ packets on Amazon in a giant box but it's because hubs isn't doing sugar with this diet but still likes sweet, really sweet coffee.

AJ Blythe said...

To be honest, there's only one thing that really matters on the rue side of the fence, and that is that it looks like Jeckle's surgery is cancelled (expecting confirmation today).

Otherwise, it's really a bit of an adventure.

Things I am grateful for:

I've hacked my fringe (bangs) myself, but as no-one other than the family have to see me it doesn't matter. But I can see and that is the important thing.

I've discovered an online nursery that delivers plants in pots so I can still garden.

My band conductor is sending heaps of new music via email to practice (some arrangements by Percy Grainger which I hoping will make other musos here groan with me).

The Barbarians are home and online schooling is a bit of a challenge, but I have more time with them so feel very blessed (it won't be that many years before they are all grown up).

We've been stockpiling newspapers so if we run out of toilet paper we have an alternative.

Biggles the dog is thrilled to have so many humans home all the time. Lots of dog smooches.

I've lost my income, but now I have more time to work on my ms, and the 10 page list of things to be done around the house that has been growing since I started the list in 2017.

Plus all the online connections I have, options like Skype for family and friends.

I think I'm probably busier than ever before =)

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Thanks everyone.

nightsmusic, I ran out of white sugar because I have been baking like crazy for me and the kids. I still have some brown sugar and can prolly stock up on white this week, not a huge deal.

I am not super stressed but I guess we have been turning to carbs.

Best to you all!

Fearless Reider said...

Brigid, that all sounds terrifying, frustrating, and horribly stressful. I wish I could give you all my faery wishes, too.

BJ Muntain said...

I'm coming in kind of late on this - I tend to put off going on the computer, because it's getting old and v-e-r-y s...l...o...w...

I'm living in a retirement residence, and we've been under complete lockdown for 2 to 3 weeks. A few days ago, they even stopped the get-together meals - now everyone gets their meals in their rooms.

So, no. Not regretting anything...

I'm thankful I live in this residence/community. I'm thankful I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or going out to stores to get things. I still have the opportunity to socialize with people (one or two at a time, anyway) - I just have to go downstairs. I'm thankful that I can keep my elderly friends here safe just by staying inside.

I am SOOO thankful for the internet. There is so much to do. Even besides games and social media! I've recently discovered a new writer's community - formed by some of the folks who put on the Surrey International Writers' Conference. It's called the Creative Academy for Writers. Right now, they're doing a virtual cruise to make up for the cancelled SiWC @ Sea. You can be as involved as you want to be, and it doesn't cost anything. They do ask you pay what you can, but they don't want writers to miss out because they can't afford it.

I'm thankful for friends and family who text me or call me to ask how I'm doing.

I'm thankful for everyone here, especially Janet, who gives us such great advice and a place to chat writerly things.

I'm thankful I can still order in food from local restaurants, to help them keep afloat and to eat something I can't get here in the residence.

Yeah, I'm more thankful than regretful.

Here's hoping everyone can turn their regrets into thankfulness soon. This may be a rough a time, but we're resilient people. And (((hugs))) to everyone who needs it!

Casual-T said...

I woefully regret not having won that $500 million Powerball jackpot, like I had planned to do just before all this beer virus thing started happening. It just proves the ancient wisdom contained in that old Germanic proverb “Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen,” which loosely translates to “Don’t be an ass, and get shit done before it’s too late!” (I admit, it’s a very loose translation!)

Being a musician by trade, I currently experience what it must be like for a fish to suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, find itself seated in a small, green, denim tent atop Mount Fuji, wearing nothing but a pair of mismatched socks and, perhaps, a cozy, woolen hat—a bit out of my element.

Nonetheless, I am eternally grateful to have Mrs. Casual sit next to me, strumming her Ukulele and humming a cheerful little tune. It’s the small things in life!

Adele said...

I've always been somebody who walks to the store every day - sometimes twice a day - to get the little things she needs. I still do it, but though our local stores are trying hard, they just can't keep everything on the shelves. Never mind TP and disinfectant; everything is just flying off the shelves so fast that the stores can't stock enough of it. Cocoa powder. Ribena. Everything. It's not the supply chain - there's plenty of supply - but each store has only so much shelf space and only so much back-room storage space. They can't get in three times what they would normally carry even if they know people will buy it.

My hair is getting long and I want some Ribena. My job is on hiatus and I won't be able to pay the rent this month. These are really such minor problems that I am almost feeling pampered. I am well and so are my neighbours. There were cases in the care home across the street; one man died but we heard yesterday that a 99-year-old has recovered. Our public health officer is cautiously optimistic that we've flattened our curve, but the next two weeks are critical. I'm taking it one day at a time, like everybody else.

KDJames said...

I tend to be pretty well stocked up year-round. Between hurricanes and winter storms and spring/fall thunderstorms, all of which can result in loss of power for several days and the need to stay home for a while, it just makes sense. This situation almost seems easier because I don't have to worry about lack of refrigeration or heating/cooling or ability to use the stove.

I do regret saying yesterday that I was having "a weak/tough/whatever moment" the night before when I commented about how anxious I was feeling. I want to be really really clear about this: I DO NOT consider it "weak" to be vulnerable about feelings. It actually takes great strength. I'm sorry I used that word and potentially discouraged someone else from sharing.

I'm finding I regret letting myself get distracted by other, less-critical-in-retrospect things over the past few months, and not finishing my current ms before now. I'm trying to apply myself to that now, so I don't have even more stupid avoidable regret when the next damn thing comes along.

I have so much to be grateful for, I'd be here for hours and thousand of words listing it all. No one wants that. I'm grateful for this safe space over here, all the friendships and the community, the shared knowledge and experience on various diverse and entertaining topics.

You all are the best. I'd regret not saying that.

AJ Blythe said...

Adele, if only we lived closer! I would sneak you some ribena poppers when the Barbarians weren't looking.

If anyone is needing some sugar-free baking tips... cream the butter as per normal without the sugar. Then use choc chips, bananas or apple to add the sweetness to the recipe. We've been experimenting and it works a treat. I mean, you wouldn't want to have to enter them into the local cake contest at the show, but for family consumption, perfect.

But if you have brown sugar, raw sugar, icing sugar, golden syrup (really, any other form of sugar), substitute for white sugar and it works just the same.

Timothy Lowe said...

People wash their sheets?

John Davis Frain said...

Oh, the things Mrs. Timothy Lowe gets done when he isn't looking. (Thank goodness.)

Laura Stegman said...

Now you've done it. I'm HOOKED!

Timothy Lowe said...

(For the record, Mr. Frain - I am not sure Mrs. Lowe has washed a sheet since I've known her. I warsh the sheets around these here parts!)

Rachael said...

I'm lucky enough to be working from home and we're in a good spot stock-pile-wise. I do wish that I'd returned my current stack of library books and come home with a new one. Also ice cream, because I finished my last pint.

I'd also like to gently disagree with Shauna that trigger warnings are/should be visibly apparent from the pitch. I recently read a book on high recommendation with an extremely graphic sexual assault/torture scene. The trauma takes place before the book starts but is shown on-page in flashback sequences. The only indication of this in the jacket copy is "torments of his past." Another popular book I read recently depicts both sexual assault and animal death, with no indication of either in the summary.

Content warnings are essential so that people can screen out of material that would cause them psychological distress. Video games and movies both have ratings for similar reasons. I'm not suggesting we should embrace a rating system for books, but providing content warnings for those who need them is the very least we can do. If you don't want content warnings then there's a very simple answer--don't read them.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

If there is a scene in a book where an animal dies I never forget it and I don't forgive the author. I remember one book where a man's cat just disappeared and never came back. I kept hoping and hoping the cat would show up. The sweet man continued to mourn and look for his cat. No cat. And I still remember the author and think, why couldn't the cat have come back? It's a story. Give us a happy bit. I also remember a scene from the same author where an innocent little dog is dognapped and murdered, from the dogs viewpoint. I won't forgive her for that either.

In the TV series, The Night Of, John Turturro is a lawyer who rescues a cat from a murder scene though is he severely allergic. Several times he brings the cat to a shelter and then goes back for it. In the very last scene he is in his apartment, no cat to be seen. He leaves the apartment, shuts the door and...we're both waiting...the cat runs across the hall.

I guess that is Save the Cat and yes we like it. Himself and I would have been very unhappy without that.

nightsmusic said...

Sharyn, do NOT read the first JD Kirk book then. There is a scene that was just horrible with a cat and while it was integral to the story and also while I know he loves his cat dearly, you're not going to want to see that.

While it's gruesome, most of the time I can handle reading a Fictional account because I know it's not real. It's from someone's imagination, for a story. What I can't stand is either seeing it in a movie or on TV which makes it a bit more visceral and real for me, or seeing it in real life. It's beyond me man's cruelty to an animal in real life far exceeds anything an author could put on paper... is a good place to go for movie titles that might have animals that die or are tortured and it's also started listing some books as well.

As far as trigger warnings on books goes, I don't buy a book without reading the reviews first unless it's a repeat author for me and I know what to expect from them. I don't believe trigger warnings are necessary. There's always someone who will write a scathing review if they're triggered by anything from assault to torture to rape to bee stings. So putting a trigger warning on a book, and this is MY opinion only, isn't necessary. We read for thousands of years without them.

Christine said...

I just thought I would share my sister's FaceBook post from a few days ago:

I would like to thank everyone who went out and started hoarding toilet paper and paper towels when the epidemic started. I now have NO paper towels and one roll of toilet paper left. There are no stores I can find that have either of these items. So if you discover a pile of poop on your lawn don't assume it's from a dog owner who didn't clean up after their pooch.

Fortunately, I had some extra TP that I was able to share with her before she lost it completely.