COVID-19: Day 15

In the days to come, I fully expect to lose my internet connection. It happens now and again, and Lord knows it’s a stressed system right now.   I will, probably, at that time be a tad difficult to live with.   Fortunately, I live alone.

Just think about it for a bit.  How would you cope with being quarantined at home, without Facebook, Netflix, online games, email, Zoom, etc?  We are staying in touch with one another while keeping our distance.  Imagine how lonely it would be without this technology.  The same technology we often complain about as making us less human.  I, for one, am a fan and have always been since I first played around with a 1200 baud modem.

My sleep has been disturbed for some time now, but it’s gotten worse in the past few weeks.  I’m waking every two to three hours and getting up.   So, at 3 a.m., I found an email from an online magazine I had submitted a short story to.  It’s the best rejection I’ve ever received.  My head is swollen and the hit of confidence it gave me cannot be underestimated.  I have been on a high all day long.  Here’s a snippet:

It’s clear from the opening quote and the following paragraph that you have taken a great deal of time to master your craft.  You read like you’ve been doing this for decades.  Your writing is simple, yet interesting, visual, and compelling.  In short, it’s exactly the writing style we love.

Yes, that’s from a rejection!  Ain’t it sweet!

So, at 3 a.m., I got a hit of communication via a technology that I adopted early during a lonely hour that made my day — maybe my month  Every writer wants to “master your craft.”  Woo Hoo.  See?  I’m still giddy

An aside:  if you want to read the rejected story.  It’s here.  I had actually withdrawn the piece from the Rejection People because someone else accepted it, but apparently, the email writer didn’t get that email.  The people who accepted it?  Their email was two sentences — essentially thank you and we’re going to run it.

I adopted the internet as my playground in 1989.  I had a job without much to do and a USENET connection.  This was before sound, color, video or even images save for the occasional ASCII drawing.  USENET was a playground.  There was a discussion group for anything and everything a person could possibly be interested in.  I hung out in the parenting, cooking, Tom Robbins and gardening groups.  This was back when there were so few people on the internet that you recognized email addresses (everyone’s identifier) and names.  “Oh, yeah!  That’s Mike from rec.gardening!  Nice guy.  Grows roses.”

The internet has been so good to me.  You won’t hear me badmouth it or social media.  I think it’s what you make it.  Facebook and writing are my two hobbies.  I’m good at them.  I plan on enjoying them especially during this COVID-19 shelter-in-place.

So, drop me a line,  Keep in touch, y’all.



COVID-19: Day 14: Oh Good Grief

So, it’s been one of those days.

I decided that part of the reason I was so discombobulated was that both my schedule and my routine were completely whacked.  So I set to finishing setting up the home office.  Before today, I was working here and there and had stuff scattered everywhere.  My sleep has been disturbed so I’ve been working at 4 a.m. and 2 a.m. and 7:17 a.m.  All of this had to stop.  So I decided, starting Monday, I will keep regular hours.


I gathered everything together and took it to my home office.  The home office has been neglected for some time.  The first order of business was to clear the desk.  There wasn’t any room to work for all the flotsam and jetsam of my writing life.  Then I had to hook up the big monitor to the tower.  I’m too old to do spreadsheets on a small monitor.  There was a cable compatibility problem.  I had to cannibalize one monitor to get the type of cable I needed.  It’s a good thing I have a closet full of computer equipment.

It’s also a bad thing.  I think that’s where the chipmunk might have been, though I can’t be sure.  The dogs were whining and carrying on so I took down the baby gate that keeps them out of my office.  While I was busy with the cord problem, they were uncharacteristically quiet.

I should have known.

I turned around and almost stepped on a very dead, partly eviscerated chipmunk.

I don’t do dead things well.

After a necessary freak-out period, I went downstairs and got the dustpan to scoop up the poor little thing.  I did.  And then I put it in a garbage bag.  I then went to wash my hands, but, silly me, I left the plastic bag on the floor.  The dogs retrieved the chipmunk.

A chase ensued.

My nerves are shot.  AND THEN I tried to hook up the printer.  I won’t bore you, but it too was a comedy of errors but there was no loss of life involved.

I get the printer hooked up and discover it’s out of ink.  Won’t print.  I desperately need to print.   I fired up the ‘puter and went to my go-to places for ink.  Nobody can guarantee me delivery in a timely manner due to high demand.  Apparently, I am not the only person who has a home printer out of ink.

After searching, I do find ink that might be here Monday.  But might not.  No guarantees due to high demand.

I have a high demand for some relief from this day.  And I’m going to have it.  Right now.

Happy Sequestration!

COVID-19: Day 13: Turn the TV off and do something creative

dining roomSo, I’m working from home and I’m being pretty productive, I might add.  BUT I’ve gotten into the bad habit of keeping the TV on in the background.  This is odd behavior for me.  I don’t watch television and because I don’t watch it, I only get local channels.  So, I’m pretty much stuck with the local NBC affiliate because it comes in the clearest.

I was up at 4:00 today.  I turned on the news at 4:30 and it went on and on until the end of the Today Show at 11.  This is not good for me.  Nope.  Not good.

So I turned it off and worked in my normal silence for the remainder of the workday.  Much nicer.

At 4, I had an online poetry workshop.  Oh, how it did my evil heart good.  We concentrated on the concept of home and identified a specific room in a specific place and went through the five senses of being in that room.   I have six pages of notes for a prose poem about my dining room.  I can’t wait to dig into it a little later tonight.

Right now, I have the news on.  I thought it important to tune into the national news.  It’s depressing.  Now I’m going to turn it off and do something creative.

Be good to yourself.


COVID-19: Day 12

runaway trainI have found my sea legs or my equilibrium or whatever.

I often let anxiety get to me until we reach the runaway train status.  Then?  Well, then, I’m cool as a cucumber.

I think we’re at runaway train status.  There’s nothing that can be done now, but hang on and try to enjoy the ride.

Today was normal if normal involved a ratty t-shirt and holey leggings for work attire.  I was busy beginning at 7:17 a.m. and rocked almost constantly until after 5 (except for the 30-minute snooze after lunch of leftover spaghetti).  It was normal in the variety of problems that presented, but the problems were all related to the fact that bunches of people who don’t normally are now working from home.

I drove myself crazy trying to find passwords for purchasing sites that I use.  I didn’t think to bring home any post-it notes.  How can one work without stickies everywhere?  I drove myself crazy trying to get real people on the phone.  I even called my ISP to try and solve an email problem — talk about being driven crazy.  All of it far more normal feeling than fretting.

I’m hanging on.