In the Spirit of Competition…

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Libs, ready for game day. (As you do if you live here.)

 

Youngest Junior Hall is hanging about here for a bit as he reorganizes his life goals (which mostly just means building up his bank account so he can move into his own place). And it’s not too terribly difficult sharing space again, but then he’ll forget and walk into the house when I’m watching some sporting event.

 

 

Me (yelling): HOW did you think that was a good idea, throwing a pass when Julio has seven guys guarding him?

John: Do you have to yell?

Me: Yes. How else is that coach gonna know what to do?

John: Oh, that’s right. I forgot you’re an expert on every sport.

Me: Well, maybe¬†not an expert. But I know enough not to throw–WHY DID THEY DO THE EXACT SAME THING??? (This is where I turn off the TV and leave the room.)

John (groaning): What is wrong with you?

Me (yelling from the kitchen): There is nothing wrong with me. This is how I watch football.

And baseball, and maybe even a tense golf match (though I’ll admit that there’s not as much yelling whilst watching golf.) It’s just that I’m a little competitive; I like to win. And I feel that my yelling in the privacy of my own home–to name just one of my many winning strategies–helps my team on to victory.

I have winning strategies when it comes to writing, too. And I’ve shared a few over at The Muffin today in “How to Win Contests (Or At Least an Honorable Mention)”. There’s no yelling, just pretty good advice for any writer, no matter what competition you choose to enter.

(But just an FYI here, the Falcons did win last night so who’s wrong now, John Hall?)

No Place Like Home

IMG_20190603_110723997_HDRI’ve been glued to the TV screen the last week, watching the track of Hurricane Dorian. As many of you who stop by here regularly know, I have a house that I share with family at Tybee Island, Georgia. And having a home on the coast is always an up and down experience. One minute, you’re basking oceanside, toes in the sand. The next minute, you’re looking for bags to fill with sand to keep the ocean out of your house.

But as scary as Hurricane Dorian has been, Tybee’s not my mostly home. My mostly home is far away, in the metro Atlanta area where it’s hot as blue blazes and safe from winds and flooding. So it’s heart-breaking to see all those people in the Bahamas, facing the devastation of their one-and-only homes. And to know that the Carolinas are facing dangerous winds and hurricane warnings as well.

Thank you to all who’ve reached out to me; know that I’m good, my island home is good, and I hope you’ll join with me to help all those who will be dealing with home hardship for many days to come.

It’s a weird twist that I wrote about Tybee in my latest post over at the Muffin. Technically, I wrote about forest-bathing, but on Tybee, it’s more like coastal bathing. The concept–getting away from it all and soaking up the therapeutic vibes of nature while meandering along–is the same, no matter where one chooses to roam.

I love forest bathing and I find that it’s conducive to the creative process. But sometimes, as in “Forest Bathing and a Really Good Idea”, the creative process works a bit too well. Until it doesn’t work at all and one crashes with the debris of a really great idea rattling around in one’s head.

I guess you’ll just have to read the post to make any sense of it all. Because honestly, I’ve watched WAY more TV than normal for me and I’m not sure I’m making much sense. But I am sure of one thing.

It’s true what they say. There’s no place like home.2017-02-03-08-37-49

A Little Writing Humor (And by a Little, I Mean a Lot)

christmas and tips 2011 026Generally, I’m a pretty humble person. (Though if you have to point out that you’re humble, are you?)

Anyway, I think it’s amazing how I can so often find connections between my family unit and writing. ‘Course, others may not say this is such an amazing feat. Others may actually say this is just plain lazy. As in, “Cathy, how come you keep mining your own dang kids for blog posts?”

And to that I say, “There’s gold in them thar Halls!”

Hahahahahaha! It’s also probably poor taste to laugh at your own jokes. But I think we’ve already established that I have some questionable traits. On the other hand, I have written a (mostly) true and (somewhat) inspiring post that involves Junior Halls and writing. I hope you have a minute to read “Writing in the Beginning (The First-Born Child)” over at the Muffin. But if I’m being honest, you can always catch something about writing and the Halls some other time.

Probably in September. When I’ll head for the Halls for the next idea. (Hahahahaha! That was a good ‘un, too, right?)

Who Can Think In This Heat?

daylight-landscape-reflection-1209610And just like that, it’s August and shelves are ransacked of glue sticks, pencils, Kleenex, and individual snacks (though the fruit cups are always the last to go, aren’t they?). It’s like an army of kid-sized locusts have swarmed through all the stores and that’s how I know school’s started.

The Junior Halls have long since left their school days behind but there’s a part of me that I suspect will always be on school-time, following that back-to-school calendar and all its holidays/vacations. It’s hard-wired into my system.

But what’s also hard-wired into my system is that August is still vacation, especially the first two weeks of this month of sweltering heat. I went back to school after Labor Day, lo those many years ago; my kids went back to school in late August. And I’m pretty sure I know why: it’s too darn hot to think when it’s 89 but feels like 102.

The brain cannot function when it’s that hot and I have science on my side here. At my Tybee Island spot, the heat pump can’t keep the house cool. Yesterday, it was 84 around suppertime. EIGHTY-FOUR. I had to write a post for The Muffin and thank goodness, I tackled it in the morning before my brain turned to complete mush.

Except! Except I had to think up something the day before and it was also exceedingly warm in my house so I could only come up with short, little topics. Thus we have a. scientific proof re: my heat-affecting-thinking theory and b. “Writing Shorts” over at the Muffin today.

I feel like it’s pretty decent writing stuff, August and heat and brain mush considered. But it might help if you set your expectations accordingly (for both my post and the poor kidders and teachers).

The Busyness of Me

checklist-composition-handwriting-1226398There is something special about marking off tasks on my To Do List.

I mean, I’m not dancing in the streets, popping champagne, and wearing a party hat to celebrate, but at the end of the day, I do get a kick out of striking through each done chore. Which is why it often takes me a while to realize that my busyness isn’t necessarily productive.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I can be quite busy and simultaneously lazy. Because I sometimes use busyness to keep from doing the things I oughta. Stuff like getting my hair cut and colored or cleaning up the spilled engine oil in the basement (and how did that engine oil spill, anyway? Or even end up in my basement, dripping down a shelf and into every nook and cranny on its way to the floor?)…I simply don’t have time to deal with those chores when I have bills to pay or an icemaker that’s on the fritz or a book that’s a corkin’ good mystery due in two days.

51EyIzsPEVL._SY346_(Sidebar: The mystery is Bats in the Belfry, written by E. C. R. Lorac; it’s a London mystery, from the 1930’s, and the dialogue is fascinating and downright obscure. Which explains why I just said “on the fritz” and “corking.” Expressions which may or may not be in the book. But I’ll tell you what is in the book: a confoundedly twisted mystery that, with just a few chapters left, I still have not figured out. What the deuce?)

But there’s another kind of busy that I’m occasionally afflicted with and that’s the kind that keeps me distracted when I don’t want to deal with something…like when I hired the workers to rebuild the deck, fix the basement hole-in-the-wall, and put wood floors in Mister Man’s office–all within a couple months after the man died.

And now, I’m exceedingly busy (see above re: bills, icemaker, and mystery) and I’m thinking that possibly, just possibly, I’m trying to distract myself from dealing with my writing malaise.

Well, you can read all about it over at The Muffin in The Busy Trap. Because I suspect that I’m not the only writer who goes through something like this every once in a while. And I also suspect that once I figure it out–and that blasted jolly good mystery isn’t keeping me awake at night!–I’ll find my way to whatever I decide is next and then I’ll be busy writing.

Oh! And then I’ll have “writing” to mark off on my To Do List. I’ll probably fit in a couple more tasks to mark off, too, because one really needs a handful of chores if one is going to get that giddy feeling of accomplishment. But I am not cleaning up that engine oil.