Get Off My Lawn, Technology!

You know how they say it’s important to keep stretching your mind so that the old brain cells don’t atrophy? Like brush your teeth with your left hand if you’re right-handed…or learn a new language…or take a different route to an oft-visited spot.

But I don’t have to bother with all that. All I have to do is check in to my tech-heavy platforms occasionally. That is, assuming I can still get into ’em. Because everything–EVERYTHING–is constantly changing and you need a degree in quantum physics or computer engineering or both to keep up.

Take this here blog at WordPress. For reasons only they know–though I’m sure there’s some delightfully cheery WordPress post explaining all and telling me how these changes are going to make my life easier–I’ve been switched to a different editor. Frankly, I think it’s because Blogger switched their editor, though honestly, I’m not sure who switched what first. I am sure that now, I can’t use what little brain cells I have to think up brilliant words and put ’em together into posts; I have to expend my grey matter on figuring out all the tech changes.

I realize that with everything going on in the world right now, this seems somewhat petty, complaining about the constant changes in technology. But that’s exactly what’s so annoying: with everything going on in the world, I’d like one thing, one thing to stay put for a minute.

I want my smart phone and my smart TV to quit being such smartypants. I want to slip into my website and blogging platforms without thinking, like when you’ve been on the road traveling but you finally come home and breathe that sigh of relief because you know where everything is. I want appliances that don’t have a gazillion options to figure out before I can even use ’em and I want a car that I can just get in and drive without needing a 15-minute demonstration on how the dad-blamed KEY works. I want…I want…I WANT TECHNOLOGY TO GET OFF MY LAWN.

Ahhhh, that felt good.

Anyway, I dropped in here to tell you, ironically, about my latest blog post over at The Muffin: Do You Do This? (And How It Can Make You a Better Writer). It’s ironic because…well, you’ll have to zip over there and read the post to get the irony.

Just doing my part to keep your old brain cells sharp.

P.S. I wanted to insert this very apt image in a clever and intuitive way into this post but I’ve already used up all my thinking. So here’s the pic and you are free to just imagine a great spot for it:

What I Really Cannot Do Is Write

TheMuffinHeaderUm…it’s August. AUGUST, y’all.

When last we met, it was June and I was walking my way to better. Which I’m still doing. What I’m not doing is writing.

I think my feelings about writing can best be summed up in the song, Sing! from the musical, A Chorus Line. Except where the character says “sing” please insert “write.” (Because ironically, I can sing.)

Lest you surmise that I’ve become a complete slug, I have been doing things.

I’ve done lots and lots of thinking. Mostly on the back deck, whilst taking in some vitamin D and slurping on a frozen concoction. You can read what I’ve been thinking about in “New Thinking About Old Goals”over at the Muffin.

I’ve been reading lots and lots, too. I’ve read the complete series of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith and I’ve learned SO much about Botswana! But I’ve learned other interesting stuff, too, reading sites like Bored Panda. And of course, I’ve read my email, at least the personal ones. And that’s been interesting and informative, too. (You can see for yourself in “What a Writer Wants from a Professional Critique,” also over at the Muffin.)

And painting! Holy Bright White, so much painting! It’s been kind of inspirational, actually, and you can see what I mean at “Writing Tips, Compliments of the Kitchen Painting Project.” Yep, it’s at the Muffin, too.

Last but not least, I’ve been getting ready for Oldest Junior Hall’s wedding. Which has been challenging in the middle of a pandemic but there you have it; one must make the best of things, so we had a Zoom Bridal Shower. And I don’t mean to gloat, but I sort of outdid myself, making a slideshow for the happy couple. So fine, I guess that is gloating, and you can read all about the splendiferous slideshow in “Storybook Story” over at the Muffin.

Um…I suppose you could say technically, I have been writing.

Never mind.

 

Word of the Day: LOVE

love-scrabble-text-wood-208099When I have a new post over at The Muffin, I usually throw something up here, too, directing readers to the post while updating y’all on doings in my neck of the woods. Sometimes, I can tie in both of my worlds in a pretty brilliant (not to mention hilarious) way; other times, not so much.

Today is a not so much time. So if you’re here just for writing stuff, then zip right over to “Look It Up!” where I expound upon fancy words like oxymoron and malapropism. I love words, and as most writers love words, too, I think you’ll…well, love it. And then if you want to come back for something sort of different, that’ll be nice, too. But if you’d rather not, I’ll understand and see you next time.

So there is much going on in the world today, hundreds of miles from me and just down the road. And by the end of last week, I was overwhelmed almost to the point of despair. I decided that I was not going to read the paper Friday morning; I could not start one more day with bad news.

I have a chair in my kitchen where I keep my bird guide book (apparently I cannot go a single post without mentioning the b-word) and the wonderfully uplifting Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters. I reached over to read a poem or two and I saw a Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta. It was from April,  which is a bit odd because I read my Bulletin when it comes. And I almost discarded it when an article on the front page caught my eye: “Jesus gives strength to face the unexpected, pope says.”

I knew it had to be addressing the pandemic but I began to read it anyway. And it was about Covid-19, though no c-word was ever mentioned. What Junno Arocho Esteves reported on was the Pope’s preaching on Luke’s Gospel reading of Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Honestly, I’ve always found this story very odd so I was all in, thinking at last the Pope is going to explain it all to me.

And he did, too. Here is what Pope Francis said about the disciples’ encounter and how it is the same that all Christians must follow to experience joy:

“These are the three steps that we can also take in our homes: First, to open our hearts to Jesus, to entrust Him with our burdens, hardships, disappointments in life. Second, to listen to Jesus, to take the Gospel, to read this passage from chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel; and third, pray to Jesus with the same words of those disciples, ‘Lord, stay with us.’ Lord, stay with me; Lord, stay with all of us because we need you so we can find the way.”

We need you so we can find the way. I needed that reminder and I’m sure the Lord directed me to the Bulletin just so I’d read that article. (As I continued to read, I recognized several of the other articles and I’d say that I don’t know why I didn’t recycle that issue of the Bulletin but of course I do know that the Lord knew I’d need those words weeks later.)

I still struggle with what’s going on in the world far from me and in my neck of the woods. But I know that with God’s help, we’ll find the way to justice, to peace, to joy, to equality, to a better world for all. I’m pretty sure it starts with the l-word.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love. It’s that easy and that hard.