Toilet Paper and Lincoln

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So. It’s been a week, right?

I was supposed to be at a writer’s conference this weekend but we had to cancel it, due to coronavirus concerns. Just in a span of a few days, we’ve gone from “not too bad” all the way to closing down conferences, concerts, and now an entire continent.

And though we can practice “safe distancing” and stringent sanitizing, when all is said and done, we just have to ride out the COVID-19 storm. And hope that we have enough toilet paper (Will that be in the history books, do you think? Americans stocked up on toilet paper during the outbreak of coronavirus and caused a deficit in that industry that lasted for years. Even as late as 2035, storage units were filled to capacity with toilet paper.).¬†

But on a more serious note, please consider a little extra checking on those who live alone. And a few more prayers wouldn’t hurt, either.

Meanwhile, I’m reminded of that old joke. “But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Dark humor, I know, but it also ties in with my post today over at The Muffin: “Even Lincoln Needed Likes.”

abraham-lincoln-administration-adult-art-290150It’s a pretty interesting tidbit (from those wacky collections at the Library of Congress) that might take your mind off the news. And since we all might be hunkered down for a while, hoarding toilet paper and eating a lot of peanut butter, reading interesting tidbits might be a good option.

Take care of yourselves, friends! And as Saint Thomas More wrote to his daughter, “Pray for me as I will for thee, that we may merrily meet in heaven.” (But not for a long while yet!)

What Happened to June?

2009-06-16 10.50.44So I took off for the month of June and headed to the beach.

I know.

And I get that you kinda hate me right now, but you’ll feel better when you find out that I spent most of my time cleaning up the house. Not a little dusting here, a little mopping there clean-up. This was heavy-duty, sweaty clean-up work, and I suspect that some of these bruises are so deep, they’re permanent. Not to mention being ate up by mosquitoes.

And now you feel better, right?

So anyway, I’m back now, and I learned a little something something, being away for so long. Like…

Because I didn’t have wi-fi at the house, and I pay as I play for data, I skipped checking on Facebook and such. I don’t get a paper delivered to that house and so instead of starting the day with the news, I started the day with random reading…a novel, a book of verse, ghost stories. Sometimes, I’d watch the world news or local news, and oddly enough, I was attempting to fix a couple of channels on the cable on the same day as the gunman opening fire at the baseball practice, so I followed that news. But mostly, I just checked my email once a day, to keep up with any necessary business.

So I learned I have very little necessary business. What in the world have I been piddling around with every morning?

I learned that starting the day reading a novel or a book of verse put me in a better state of mind. Yes, I missed my AJC the first week. But by the next week, not so much. And now that I’m home, I’m beginning to wonder if I really need to read the paper every morning. I mean, after the headlines, it’s Dear Abby, the comics, and my horoscope. And if I’m being completely honest, Dear Abby ain’t what she used to be.

And I learned that life without social media is not only doable but relaxing. I love my friends, and I love knowing what’s going on in their lives, but I’m apparently incapable of balancing what I need to know versus scrolling through miscellaneous stuff. Once I checked into Facebook, I spent way too much time reading…what? I couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you that suddenly, I lost all that time I found at the beach. Time I spent working on a new manuscript. (Okay, calm down. I didn’t lie. I sweated ALL morning through the grunt work and then spent afternoons writing.)

So maybe I’ll give myself just one day a week to check social media. Maybe I’ll consider cancelling my newspaper subscription. And I’ve already stopped piddling around in my morning email routine.

Frankly, y’all, I need all the time I can wrangle. On top of the new manuscript, Precious the Laptop is gasping out her last breaths, and if you read my Muffin post, Get Smart, you’ll know how I feel about learning new technology.

I’m gonna need another vacation real soon.

 

Kaboom Goes the Time-Saving Tip

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I gave myself the gift of time, taking off a couple days for Thanksgiving. So I took care of writing business early. One of those tasks included a post at the Muffin.

Isn’t it nice to be able to schedule work to post at a later date? That’s a big part of the tool I wrote about over at the Muffin in “A Social Media Tip Worth Dancing About.”

If you have books coming out–traditionally to self-published and everything in between–you’ll want to take a look at this tip about Thunderclap.¬†Seriously, it will blow your mind.

And even if you don’t have a book coming out, you may have another project in your church or school or community that would benefit from a Thunderclap campaign. ‘Course you won’t know about all the time and effort you’re saving yourself if you don’t zip over there and give it a quick read.

A little time now could save you a lot of time later!