Thursday, March 19, 2020

Can we start the weekend now?

Claudie's guest cat Precious, and isn't she just?

I spent most of yesterday curled up on the couch reading Jennifer Hillier's forthcoming book Little Secrets (April, 2020)

I needed some down time, escape time, not-reality time.

It's not that I've run out of things to say (cause that will mean Hell needs ice skates) but I didn't have enough time to form cogent thoughts.

Plus, yanno, worrying about my boyfriend Idris Elba.

Everyone holding up ok?


E.M. Goldsmith said...

Do take time to decompress. This is scary time. I hope you have a cat to pet or something. My pug is a life saver for this weird experience. Thanks to everyone with their reading recommendations yesterday. Loading up on more books and a jigsaw puzzle to keep my sanity during my downtime.

I told my daughter last night to keep a journal, detailed of this time. It will have historic value. These will be tales for future generations. They will want to know how we survived. How we fell and stood and endured. They will need to know how fast things can go real bad. How much we took for granted. How fortunate we were to be as technically evolved as we are.

I was able to write a little last night which was good. How are others doing? I hope Reiders will check in here and let us know that they are surviving. We have that darkest before the dawn phase coming up. Be kind everyone. Be strong.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

All this time to write and not a word seems worthy,
(And Janet will like this)
I'm having an affair with Sherwin Williams. Brushing aside the consequences of such a multi-hued relationship I have decided to roll around in my bathroom (we did it in the bedroom a few months ago) with my most colorful friend Sherwin.
Step outside your box people and embrace that which fills a one gallon can.

french sojourn said...

I think we are living through, what will in the future be regarded as a historic event.

As writers, we may have read with fascination events like the Plague of Europe. I'm thinking "The mask of the Red Death." Or being on the sideline of a common struggle, where we have the opportunity of helping those around us. This could be a defining moment in our life where we search out helping others. I certainly wouldn't want to be remembered as being the Toilet paper king.

Stay positive, keep healthy, and focus on the good.

Sequestered on 50 acres in Southwest France, with tons of work to keeps us busy. Missing the States.

Julie Weathers said...

I'm doing fine. I'm debating canceling a doc appt. tomorrow that is follow up after surgery. We don't have any illness in this area, but my son is, "Mom, I know you're a hermit, but how about staying in more anyway." If I stayed in any more I'd be a turnip. And not the interesting kind.

I added author C.J. Box to my man file and assured him he was in good company, so he didn't mind. Thanked me.

I rewrote the ending to The Rain Crow because it was lacking. Now it has a sadistic psychopath. Those are always fun to write and I do them fairly well. I'm not sure what that says about me.

I had been debating a membership at the Y, and may still get one later, but opted to buy a home gym when Amazon put one on sale I liked. So, I have been pumping up. I intend to be able to wear this dress. I'm not sure where I would wear it, but it shall be mine.

Melissa said...

We had an earthquake yesterday so holding up got set aside for not freaking out. As soon as I would relax and focus on some work, another after shock would hit. Luckily, there were no injuries. I didn't get much sleep last night as each odd noise or random shudder tore me from sleep.

I work in healthcare analytics and we're providing additional support to hospital systems, which means I can't use work as a distraction. I'm so tired.

On the flip side, me and mine are healthy, I have a robust savings, and I've filled my fridge and freezer full of cooked meals.

My book has taken a backseat but hopefully I'll write a lot this weekend.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Ramona at my side, Harper always ready for a cuddle. Netflix at night. Cooking for the old folks.
I have a stocked pantry and I was poor for many years. I can make a good meal from anything.
Communicating with friends in Ireland, France, Cuba.
Going shopping today because we need to pick up medications, haven't been to town for a week. Reading of course, the library is closed but we have an ebook library. The local bookstore will bring books out to your car. The restaurants are doing take out and the school buses are delivering food to children daily. I would love to go out and volunteer but our old folks are so fragile this would do it both of them quickly so we are home bound.
Janet, I hope you are doing ok. We can all send you cute cat photos if you like. I have hundreds if not thousands!
Strange times.

Theresa said...

I wish I'd checked out more books from the library when I went a lifetime ago. But I think I should help out a local bookstore or two by ordering something for delivery.

This is the first morning in a week I've woken up with the ability to breathe through my nose, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic about things. I'm toying with the idea of learning how to put up wallpaper so I can add pink flamingos to my study.

Cynthia, I saw your post later yesterday. I'm so grateful for everything health care workers are doing right now.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

In addition to gyms and libraries, the governor of Ohio shut down hair salons and barbershops, all for a good reason. But as we all take walks attached to canines who insist upon sticking to their daily routine, we're going start looking shaggy and flabby. But we're breathing fresh air, listening to the birds, admiring the daffodils, and waving enthusiastically to neighbors from across the street.

Linda Shantz said...

Even though I'm quite isolated at the best of times, I'm finding that I'm using my time differently. Maybe it's the fact that REM's "The End of the World As We Know It" has been on loop in my brain for the last week, but I'm painting more (art-painting not wall-painting!), I finally accessed the library's electronic resources and started an audiobook as I do my stalls instead of listening to music, and I even got on the treadmill for the first time in months yesterday (gasp!).

I'm so grateful to have my horses at home. Yesterday, all public barns in Ontario were ordered to close, so those who board their horses are unable to visit them while this is going on. That's hit me the hardest so far. It's the right thing to do, but for those of us with horses, they're our sanity at the best of times (when they're not making us insane trying to injure themselves), so I really feel for those who won't get that horse time through this.

My only debate right now (aside from having to eventually go out for groceries) is whether or not to go ahead with my sheep herding lesson with my dog. Outdoors, in a big field with a bunch of sheep, and the instructor – seems pretty low-risk. More so than going to the grocery store, for sure. But I live with my elderly parents so is any non-essential risk worth it?

Adele said...

Staying calm is my superpower, and I work from home so my life hasn't changed much except that when I go for a walk I can cross the street pretty much anywhere I want. Oh, and somebody keeps buying all the meat in the store before I get there. Oddly enough, there's plenty of kale.

Dena Pawling said...

I spent my day yesterday reading a boatload of emergency ordinances and advising clients. It seems like every city and county in the SoCal area simply HAD to issue its own emergency ordinance, because those emergency ordinances from the state/county just aren't good enough for the "citizens of our fair city." And of course they're all slightly different, so keeping them straight required me to create a spreadsheet.

And if you think reading legaleze is challenging in the best of times [and you'd be right, it's even challenging for us lawyers], try reading a hastily-drafted and not-proofread emergency ordinance written by someone who (1) had incomplete information when s/he was ordered to draft it, (2) had less than two hours to get it drafted, (3) might have been working from home to get it drafted, with young children underfoot because the schools are closed, (4) was trying desperately to keep the city/county from looking like an idiot but knew they would likely fail, and (5) was hoping they didn't run out of toilet paper and had enough meat to feed their kids for dinner. Then, once that ordinance was announced, new information was released and they had to start drafting a NEW emergency ordinance to supersede the one they just drafted, sometimes less than two hours later.

Which of course required me to read the new ordinance, figure out where it was different from the last one, and update my spreadsheet.

And then I had to translate the ordinance into "normal human language" [not easy when even *I* am not clear on what it says] that my clients would be able to understand.

Not the same as those providing essential services though. Thank you all!

Ideas for your TBR pile since libraries are closed:

CynthiaMc said...

I'll be better when Son gets home from England, hopefully tomorrow. Return flight #1 was canceled, fingers crossed flight #2 is a go. Everything was normal when he lect. Surprise!

Here at the hospital we're gearing up to cover every possibilty we can think of.

It's a little surreal here in Central Florida with the theme parks closed and not a lot of traffic on I-4. I must admit I like the light traffic.

Wishing everyone good health. Hang in there. We've got this.

RosannaM said...

Two weeks ago we were driving from WA state to Laughlin, NV to meet up with my elderly Dad who loves it there and some other family. We all just washed our hands a lot and tried not to touch our faces. Otherwise, life was normal.

The speed of how not normal things have gotten is what amazes me. The writing is all but on the wall that our trip to Ireland in late May will be canceled. It is all prepaid, and I am sticking my head in the sand about looking at the various refund policies!

I planted herbs while my husband washed the Idaho and Nevada bugs off our car. We listened to the neighbor lady holler at her two Tweens about eating 64 granola bars in 9 days. I felt pity for both sides.

How to cope? I love baths and wine and books. All at the same time.

I control what I can. We take long walks. I hear the National Parks have waived their fees. I may have to plan another road trip. You can socially distance quite well in big open spaces. Yes, I think that is what I will do today. Be well, my friends.

nightsmusic said...

What an adorable kitty! And how confident she looks as evidenced by her laissez-faire posture during her nap. :)

We're hanging in there. I'm in what is considered a high risk category (heart and lungs) so I haven't gone anywhere and the weather hasn't been nice enough to go outside and sit. I'm going stir crazy, but can't concentrate enough to write. So Murphy, Loaner Cat and I are just hanging. I had a GI appointment set for next Tuesday that is now pushed out to July and a pulmonologist appointment for next Wednesday I haven't heard from yet. I imagine that will be changed too. Hubs will be off work starting Monday through the 30th. It will be a wonder if we're speaking by the end of it, he's irritating underfoot and I can't imagine what retirement will be like! ;)

Everything in its own time though. This too shall pass...

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Like everyone else, the new rhythms for work are energy and time intensive. I'm trying to reset patterns for my church community. I'm thrilled my son is back from the east coast due to a job cancellation but his consulting company has him working next week. He's not telling me where. My daughter has a cough so her 2 workplaces (warehouse in retail) told her to stay home.

The kitties miss the school children walking by. They think they're masters of the household--encourage me to fetch their bouncy balls from the basement or hide their crinkle balls under boxes so they can wrestle them out--and when I don't, they jump on the cupboard or fight or drag their doggie-size sleeping bed around. But they're such cuties when they snooze.

Writing? ...sigh... Not as much as I'd like. But gonna attempt again today. Stay well, Reiders. And check in with us. It's good to stay connected.

KariV said...

As a SAH homeschooling mom, staying home hasn't been a difficult adjustment. The kids actually ask to do school now since they don't have the distraction of going out to fun places.

We're blessed to have a nice yard and a trampoline - plenty of room for the kids. Hubby is off work today, so the plan is to get some home projects done. We're in the middle of an extended bathroom reno (extended because we started last July). The painting is done so my project today is flooring.

Yesterday it rained so I baked bread and read a book while the kids played in the puddles outside. It reminds me a bit of my homesteading days in the middle of the jungle.

Anne said...

I, too, am worried about Idris Elba. Take care...I'm going to get Little Secrets online through my local library....

Lora Senf said...

I work in higher ed - I'm a dean at a community college - so we've been sorting out how to move our programs almost entirely online for the foreseeable future (especially tricky with health programs) plus dealing with all the student and faculty distress (of which there is plenty).

I've also got twins in kindergarten, and their school is closed until late April so there's that to sort out.

Very little writing is happening, although I desperately want to get back to my spooky middle grade manuscript. I've left a twelve-year-old in a rather precarious situation...

Hope you're all staying safe and well and getting some sunshine.

Kregger said...

Back in Ohio, the Gov decreed a mandatory closure of my profession (dental) for an indeterminate amount of time. Thank the heavens that my staff has husbands (garbage and UPS) with jobs that have better security. And, it's not a vacation. I still have to keep my office open, but not to make a living. Fortunately, I'm okay with that. I'm not sure about my colleagues.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to hear from everyone.

We live out in the country (moved here last Sept) and already home school, so few major changes. Like everyone, I have older and immune compromised loved ones in various places to worry about. Husband still working as a long haul trucker, supplying the nation's grocery stores.

As for writing, I've sort of lost my mojo. Querying widely has its price: I still love my series, but as no one else does, it makes me wonder if they're seeing something I'm not. My plan is to dive in to some research for book #3 to make sure I've got the atmosphere right.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

The library's last open day was Saturday, and back then, we thought we'd be open a few hours a day this week. That changed by Sunday night.

I moved my writing group to email even before that, just as a precaution. And actually, if any of you are interested, I'm also posting my writing prompts for them on Patreon for free: Digital Writing Group! writing prompts, volume 1. The online writing prompts are kind of exciting to me, I can share interesting media that would've otherwise been a logistical issue at the library.

I've been sending out queries to agents, sending out short stories on submission, and (digitally) pawing through my short stories that need finishing. Some of them aren't really "short stories"; I've got one that's almost at 13k and might end up as a novella, or a novel, or might end up getting the choppity chop. Novellas are/aren't popular, depending on who you are and who you ask. It's a near future scifi murder mystery, narrated by the "weird twin" half of the pair, and the other twin has died.

The puppy is delighted to be sharing the couch with me as much as possible, and we've been taking our at least daily walks when weather permits. We hardly see anybody out on those; the college were on spring break when a lot of the scary stuff started to pick up, and the spring break was extended for a week so that classes could be moved online.

Brenda said...

Home on the farm, with my Dad! Things are starting to look up. Three weeks here, at least, before we go back to the city.
It isn’t easy to convince a socially active 82-year-old to self-isolate. He’s convinced that his poker buddies are getting together without him.

Craig F said...

Our Troubled Boy looks a lot like that sweet cat.

I've always had an escapist button that needed to be pushed every so often. The need grew considerably after 9/11 and then the need for escape ramped up some more.

That need grew more a few years ago and has grown to warp speed of late. Still no need to panic, just be wary.

The toilet paper/paper towel/sanitary spray isle of our local grocery is still a bare spot. I was hoping they had bought enough for the year last week.

Beth Carpenter said...

Glad you found a way to escape for a few hours, Janet. We're fine. Kids here are out of school, but my son, the PE teacher, was told to report to work in his office yesterday. Two hours in, they were all abruptly sent home. They're trying to get a handle on how to teach remotely, I think, without exposing teachers or anyone else.

I should be super-productive with all this down time, but while written words are slow to form, hubby has plenty of spoken ones. Maybe I'll set aside the writing for a couple of days and concentrate on house projects that can be done with half a brain.

Julie, you'd be gorgeous in that dress. Take care, everyone.

BJ Muntain said...

Found something calming to do for Janet - and everyone who likes sharks: Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Shark Cam

As for me, still recovering from my cold. Still in lockdown. We'll get through this.

BJ Muntain said...

Just realized no one linkized Dena's link:

Help for your TBR pile

MaggieJ said...

Although as seniors we are in a higher-risk category, we're lucky to be retired and living in the Ontario countryside. Made one last grocery run yesterday, and then we pulled up the drawbridge and are ready to live in self-imposed isolation for a couple of months at least.

We're not worried about boredom, cabin fever, or not getting along -- our daily life will change very little.
I'm worried for friends and extended family, of course, and for our society as a whole. But since there is nothing I can do to change things, I am concentrating as best I can on other things. I had trouble writing last week for a variety of reasons, but I think I'm past the worst of that now.

I intend to be quietly courageous, socially responsible, and unfailingly hopeful that society can weather this crisis, whatever it brings to us personally.

Panda in Chief said...

For someone pretty used to solitude, it is already starting to feel oppressive. I still need to go to my PO Box, but other than than that, which I plan to do tomorrow, I haven't left my property since Monday. Very weird indeed.
Seattle is a hotspot, and out here in Island County, we now have 17 confirmed cases of C19, up from 2, only a week ago.

Our local grocery store has instituted 2 early morning shopping days each week, so I can re-up my supply of chips and cans of frosting. I mean, if we are all going to die, why diet? My last grocery store trip showed that there was not a chicken to be had, but still plentiful supplies of kale.

I hope everyone here remains well and safe. These are scary times.
Panda on, everyone.

Katja said...

I initially didn't want to post because I can't be positive. Now I'm posting. I feel lonely even though I'm not completely on my own. Fiancé is asleep on the couch, he seems as usual, every day.. I don't know how he's doing it.

Sometimes it's become pretty tense between us in the recent days. I'm rather stressed and anxious, snap at him if he doesn't use the automatic door at the shop. Or when he's held on to a bannister in public going up some stairs. No, I don't want him to fall down either.

I'm worried about our finances. Fiancé has been without a job for six months now. He's not the youngest. I doubt he will get a job in his profession any more.
And at this time, and who knows for how long, he isn't going to get any other possible job either.
We still have some savings, but by next year, we will be bankrupt. Maybe it's the best thing that it's likely our wedding isn't happening this summer. Saves us a bit of money.

I'm trying all I can with my OCD and consequent disability to work. I'm translating my book, I am designing writing related items and putting them into my online shop. Every day. But it's depressing. Kind of everything.

It's 0.50am here and I shouldn't be on here. But I am. Because maybe it makes me feel less lonely.

Good night, everyone.

KDJames said...

I really like MaggieJ's description of pulling up the drawbridge. That's what I've had to do mentally/emotionally the past couple days. Cutting way back on internet time. I'm fine being physically isolated, I'm an introvert and have plenty of friends online. But the news/SM content has become overwhelming and the recent death of a dear friend combined with concern about family members-- well, I can't cut back on worry for family and friends, so the rest of the internet has been put on hold for a while. Tough, but necessary.

Our normal response to a threat is to band together, physically. A primal urge to find strength and safety in numbers. This makes it difficult to stay at home, alone, even if that's our normal routine. So we have to adapt, learn a new response to a very different kind of threat. Be patient, with yourself and others.

Given all the complete failures on the national level, I'm heartened to see people on the state and local levels who are making hard decisions as well as individuals making heroic efforts to deal with this. So grateful. You all take care.

Timothy Lowe said...

We are on day 6. 13yo boy who doesn’t understand why he has to stay home while “all” his friends are out playing at the park (they really are — we went for a family walk and he ducked his head in shame to avoid several noticing him). 10yo girl is handling it like a pioneer — good attitude, lots of basketball in the driveway. Teaching through Google classroom is not ideal but I am doing my best. Got a kind note from a parent today — “wow, my teacher is really paying attention” Now more than ever, kid. Been recording some acoustic guitar songs on iPhone and posting as is the current vogue. I miss Open mic at my local brewery!

We are lucky, and blessed. I can’t write a word and don’t give a fuck.

Dena Pawling said...

Oddly, because of the type of law we practice, my firm qualifies as an "essential business" so even tho the entire state of CA is currently under lockdown, I can still go to the office as long as I stay 6 feet away from everyone. I took a computer home yesterday and hubby set it up for me today and connected it to our in-office network. Tomorrow I'm going in to get the last of my work-related stuff to bring home. Then I'll be home most of the time but can still go to the office if I need to.

Stacy said...

My sister is a nurse and my roommate, and my nieces work in banking and grocery retail, so I've been cleaning incessantly and worrying about them while I wait for scheduled projects to start or be canceled. Been spending way too much time in the internet lately, so I plan to unplug today, read, and just try to take a mental break.

Aphra Pell said...

I'm somewhat late as I've had an exciting week starting with my laptop deciding it couldn't cope with 2020 anymore and keeling over. Which was suboptimal for an academic transitioning to online teaching.

Then on Monday, I developed a fever at lunch and had to come straight home. My body throws fevers as a bit of a hobby, so I was hoping it was just that, but it turned out to be shingles. Which was also suboptimal.

So I'm now hiding from other people's germs at home, equipped with a work laptop (which I can't write on for copyright reasons) and a share in my husband's gaming desktop (which I can write on if I can tune out the VERY LOUD fan). And a lot of aloe vera and lotion.