Well, This is Awkward

I forgot June. I forgot my password to get into WordPress. I FORGOT HOW TO BLOG HERE.

But in my defense, I have not quite got the hang of everything here at WordPress since I switched to posting just once a month; I have to re-teach myself every single time. So I think forgetting my password and the mechanics of this platform is completely understandable. Now, forgetting June…I’m going to blame that on the beach.

I spent the entire month, walking (and dodging bikes and skateboards) and eating my favorite seafood (when I could get into the restaurants) and sprucing up the house (technically, it was just cleaning and painting two rockers).

The rockers would be much more impressive if I’d taken a “Before” picture but trust me when I say they were a dusty, spidery mess. And now they’re quite pretty, right? Anyway, the point is, June was a busy month, what with all the rest and relaxation and occasional eating and painting.

But I didn’t go full out Beach Bum. I got my work done over at The Muffin…

There was Bad Writing Habits, Part Deux where I fessed up to all the quirky (yet adorably) bad writing habits I just refuse to give up. Bet you can guess a couple of ’em without even reading the post (but go ahead and read it because they’re just that adorable).

Then I shared Confessions of a (Non-Professional) Book Reviewer and if you have a published book, you’ll want to give this a read to see what makes me review a book (and maybe see how you can get your book(s) reviewed).

Next up was Just Start Over, where I had one of those days where nothing was going quite right. But I have a trick for days like that, and it’s a handy trick for life and writing.

Which brings us to today’s post, aptly called Getting It Done With Pre-Writing. I didn’t do much thinking up stuff at the beach but I did read a lot, getting myself primed for writing. Or technically, pre-writing. Once home, I had this brilliant idea and…well, you can read all about what I do with a brilliant idea over at The Muffin.

And I’d like to say that August will be different. That I’ll whip out some incredible pre-writing not to mention a new blog post here without having to get a new password and such.

Yep, that’s what I’d like to say. But I’ll probably go back to the beach for a couple weeks…

May, Glorious May

I’ll be the first to say–and the Juniors Halls will be the second, third, and fourth to add–that I have a few teensy, weensy flaws. And maybe a couple bad habits.

But unlike most folks who may have developed some bad habits over the last, say, 14 months, I stuck with the same old bad habits. Eating way too many chips–oh my word, have you tried the BLT potato chip from Lay’s? SO good!–and staying up way too late. (Mostly reading. So I think that could really go either way on the good/bad scale.)

BUT I also stuck with my good habits, which included singing. Singing pretty loud while I clean up or just…um, yeah… singing loudly. (Though I’m well aware that the Junior Halls may put this habit in the bad category or list it as a flaw. And to that I say, pfffft.)

Anyway, the point is, I was ready, friends. When I got the call that choir was starting back–CHOIR! ON SUNDAY MORNING! LIVE AND IN PERSON!–my vocal cords were thoroughly stretched. I may not have remembered every note I was supposed to be singing in the song choices but I could hit the notes (once I figured ’em out). It was glorious!

Well, maybe not too glorious for the poor Choir Director but honestly, I think he was so happy to be back with us that he happily put up with the likes of me singing all the wrong notes (loudly).

So in this lovely month of May when vaccinated people or people with natural immunity are reaching higher and higher numbers, I’m celebrating by singing extra loudly. Though I promise to tone it down a bit come Sunday ’cause the Junior Halls are right. Singing loudly when everyone else is not is just obnoxious.

(Also on the subject of bad habits, you can check out more of mine over at The Muffin where I share a few tips in “The Bad Habits You Need to Break to Be a Good Writer.” And happy May, y’all!)

The Old Good News/Bad News Thing

Back in the day when the Junior Halls were in school, there was always that moment when they walked in the door and hope still existed. But invariably one of them would open his mouth (because let’s be real here, it was always one of the male Junior Halls) and say, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Also invariably, the good news would also turn out to be bad news, slightly dressed up.

Not to be sexist but I wonder if that’s more of a male thing? Because Big Brother will often send me texts of the good news/bad news variety when it comes to the house we co-own at the beach. And I always wonder if he understands how the good news/bad news thing works.

The latest bit of a situation involved a raccoon in the attic. There is no way to spin a raccoon in the attic in a positive light. And how did the raccoon get in the attic? He (or she) punched a hole through the soffit outside the screen porch, and just for good measure, said raccoon clawed its way through the screen on the porch, too, and had a little look see out there.

So torn up screen, a hole in the soffit, and a frisky raccoon on the loose. You may be wondering where the good news was in this scenario; I was, too. Apparently, the good news was that we had a pest control company that had a critter-getter guy and he’d come out and set a trap for the raccoon. You may also be wondering what sort of bait is used to catch a raccoon.

I don’t know about other places where raccoons are running wild but here, they use fancy cat food for bait. Which was sort of funny to me since there are a TON of feral cats around here (to catch the rats). Not surprisingly, every morning, there’d be a cat in the trap. Until finally, two weeks later, there was a raccoon in the trap! Good news for us, very bad news for the raccoon.

Then, and coincidentally, our AC was not working. That is very bad news when the temps get up to the 90s no matter what kind of ocean breeze you may have. And I suspected that it really wasn’t much of a coincidence that we had AC problems and a raccoon-in-the-attic problem since as you may have guessed, all the duct work is in the attic.

Sure enough, as bad news goes, one of the ducts had been shredded by the raccoon. But the good news is, we found out that a few of the ducts weren’t connected to the main duct. And the even better news is that as HVAC system repairs go, sealing a few ducts and replacing a bit of a raccoon-shredded duct is not a big deal. And we might have never realized that our air was going up into the attic if the raccoon hadn’t showed up.

So the raccoon in the attic turned out to be about the best news ever. And that, Big Brother, is how you spin a good news/bad news story.

P.S. Which brings me to my latest Muffin post, Good News/Bad News. So if you’d like a little writing inspiration for those times when you get bad news, take a look. Also, I have a picture of the raccoon proof but I can’t remember how to get an image in my post. And the bad news is, I’ve hit my quota for the day on the thinking and such. The good news is, I’ll just do something here that may not make any sense but you’ll see the raccoon tracks. You’re welcome.