☕️ Writing Wednesday: 3 Cool Ways to Work Around Procrastination

For the past couple of years, I’ve worked on creating a so-called “author platform” using several engagement tools. I built a website. I constructed a blog. I deleted my old personal Facebook account and started another one specifically for my author “persona.” I began writing female-empowerment flash fictions and posting them on my FB page and in a certain fan group to which I belong.  With great trepidation, I persevered on Twitter despite my feeling that it crackles with more negative energy than a circle of hell. I gained a few more followers and followed some…

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📚 Writing Wednesday: Simplicity, Luxury, Refinement

This morning, I grabbed my usual cup of coffee (blueberry flavored with flax milk) and my current read (Wilkie Collins’s 1860s thriller, THE WOMAN IN WHITE), and headed out to my still-sparsely decorated balcony. This is how I start my days, with coffee and books and music. Today I cued up opera arias on YouTube  and settled in to the English countryside with Collins’s character, “Walter Hartwright, of Clement’s Inn, Teacher of Drawing.”  Listening to the classical music while reading paragraphs like the following sent me into a pleasurable swoon:  “I must have been hard to…

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👓 Writing Wednesday: Big Bookstack

Bookstack for the Autodidact An autodidact is a self-taught person. That’s what the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online edition tells me when I look it up just to make sure I'm not missing any valuable nuances of meaning. The word comes from the Greek autodidaktos, didaktos in turn from the word didaskein which means, to teach. Looking up histories and etymologies of words has me asking myself if I shouldn’t, maybe, teach myself Greek. Words are so interesting! I could give up writing and instead lose myself in the intricacies of language itself.  Hmmmm. Tempting.  However, I’m having…

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🍄 Mindful Monday, February 3, 2020

  HAPPINESS  In the late summer of 2018, I arrived in San Diego and settled with my husband into a furnished apartment on K Street in the Gaslamp District. After living my entire life in Maine, I’d become used to the sight of pine trees and snow and rocky coastlines and blue foothills snuggled up against the Appalachians. I still loved the beach at Pine Point, but summer ended way too soon, and winter lasted way too long. As much as I loved my home state, I was feeling restless and bored at midlife. I wanted…

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🍸 Friday Happy Hour, January 31, 2020

Well, we made it to Friday, peeps, so welcome to my first A GOOD LIFE IN CRAZY TIMES Friday Happy Hour! Whoo-hoo!  In honor of happy hour, I will tell you a brief story about my introduction to the most delicious and potentially the most habit-forming cocktail. In the spring of 2018, I worked for an academic publishing company and was invited to work the company’s booth at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in New York City. Up until this time, I labored under the impression that education researchers, PhDs, university professors, etc.…

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✍️Writing Wednesday: Stash Away All

Clippings and maps and notes, oh my! So I'm in the beginning stages of a big new project proposal for Wattpad Paid Stories. As I've set a number of stories and at least one full novel in a particular fictional town (first conceived of and created in my college years in the late 1980s!), I've decided to use that town as the setting for the new project. Wondering just where all those old stories were and what I could glean from them for the new project, I plugged in the flash drive I've been carrying around…

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Techno Woes

General wisdom for us creatives is to use our own website as our main platform rather than social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This makes sense. It does. However, I have spent countless hours working on my own website, and I'm still not happy with it. I've tweaked it where I can, changing fonts and colors. I'm pretty happy with the landing page. But this blog. UGH! All of a sudden, the "previous" and "next" buttons are skipping posts, and I have no earthly idea why. I'm sure it's some code. Like that's going…

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☕️ 2020 Vision

The start of a new year is like opening up to the first page of a new book. I mean, it has that new book smell, right? The pages are unmarred by coffee stains or chocolate smears. Neither bathtub water nor rain has warped the paper into waves and bubbles. The corners aren't dog-eared yet. Nobody's underlined or written in the margins. It's all ahead for you to discover, a wonderful adventure waiting to unfold. Something about the first page of a new book excites me with possibilities. Sure, ten pages in I may be disappointed.…

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Success: What is it Good For?

I’ve been thinking about success a lot these days--what it means, what happens if you fail, what happens if you don’t fail. Is the journey really the point, or are we just making ourselves feel better about our failures when we invoke the journey? Is it better to aim high and land somewhere south of the benchmark? Or is it better to aim low at first and then set our sights a little bit higher the next time? And always, always the question: does any of this really matter at the end of the day, week,…

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