Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Blarg

Have you ever had one of those days when feel like you can’t do anything? For me, that day is today.
I have a serious case of Blarg.
The internet is vaguely distracting, but only in short spurts (usually until my body remembers the Blarg and starts shouting at me to find a more comfortable position. Not gonna happen, body. I doubt I’d be able to find a comfortable position in Zero G today). My children are cute, but not terribly entertaining while they’re napping (I would nap too, except that it would be ¾ tossing and turning and only ¼ nap, and that’s not enough nap to even justify walking into my bedroom). I love my kindle, but the two books I’m reading right now are unsuited to be read together (one has super long chapters and the other super short; I’ll let you guess which one is more interesting) (not to mention that the reading has to occur while I am sitting, standing, or lying down, and as I’ve previously mentioned, doing any of those things sucks for me today).
Sitting? Uncomfortable. Sleeping? Uncomfortable. Reading a book? Uncomfortable.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Silly Holiday: International Coffee Day

Dear Everyone Giving Away Free Coffee Today:
When is it going to be “Giving Away Free Drinks to the Six People On Earth Who Don’t Like Coffee” Day?
One of the Six People On Earth Who Doesn’t Like Coffee
p.s. You know, you could give free coffee away pretty much any day. You don’t have to wait specifically for September 29th. Arbitrary coffee/drink giveaways make people happy.

Dear Everyone in the World Except the Six People Who Don’t Like Coffee:
Happy International Coffee Day. Maybe you should use the money you would have spent on coffee today to buy a non-coffee drink for someone in your life who doesn’t like coffee.
One of the Six People On Earth Who Doesn’t Like Coffee
p.s. A grande skinny chai latte for me, please.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Great Pattern Search

“Hon, come here and look at this,” my mother said as we shopped at a children’s consignment sale last weekend. “What kind of stitch is this?” I looked at the blanket she was holding. There was no way I was going to pay the price they were asking for, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t try to figure out how it had been made.
“I don’t know,” I replied, poking at the pretty swooping shell shape of the pattern. It wasn’t like any pattern I’d seen before. Usually, crocheting shells means that there are tons of holes and your blanket is more a pretty thing to look at than an object that will keep you warm. But this pattern looked like it would actually be worth snuggling under. Warm and pretty? I looked at the price tag again.
Then I shrugged, thinking, If I wanted this, I could make it myself. Then we walked away from it, agreeing that we couldn’t identify the pattern, but that it was nice.
Later on in the week, I began to think about what kind of a pattern I will eventually use to finish the tiny owl blanket, and started to kick myself. “Why didn’t we take a picture of that blanket at the sale?” I asked my mom. I asked my Yarn Genius sister-in-law if she’d ever seen anything like it, explaining the pattern poorly and again lamenting that I hadn’t captured it on film to show her, or at least to compare it to other patterns when I went looking for it on the internet.
To the internet I went. I looked at several different shell-type patterns, and hiding in the middle of those was that cute cupcake pattern. That got me to wondering whether anyone had yet invented an owl pattern, but all I found were hats and adorable amigurumi owls and flat in-the-round type owls that I’ve already been making. One pattern was for a kid’s snuggly comfort item, with an amigurumi owl attached to a little blanket made with a granny stitch, its rows alternating blue and yellow.
Since the tiny owls are granny squares, I thought the blanket was pretty cute, and tried to follow the pattern. My only problem with it was that you can’t leave a loop of one color at the beginning of a row and pick it up at the other end. In the sample I made, I carried the yarn through each row, but if I actually decide to make it this way, I think I’ll use all one color, or cut the yarn, or have two skeins of the same color to use (one per side). Unless there’s something I’m missing on this pattern.
The reason I like it is that it’s got a little bit of room to see through, but not so much that you’re going to be losing warmth, just like the tiny owls. Not that I expect that this blanket will be the primary source of heat for anyone in the future, but if it needs to be used for that, it should be able to be something other than just a pretty thing laying around.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday in History: Revolution and Independence

I had a really great professor for African History in college. He was passionate about his subject, and taught the facts with the addition of humor, making his subject both interesting and amusing. Actually, he was the professor who inspired me to become a history major.
His favorite rant was about the decolonization of Africa. Africa had been “colonized” by Europeans differently than other areas. North Africa, of course, had been in the hands of various different European powers for as long as anyone could remember. The rest of Africa had been carved up by some politicians at a peace conference (it’s why lots of African countries have such straight border lines, as opposed to the meandering river borders Europe has). It was divided near the end of the time when having colonies was all the rage, and those politicians realized that there was an entire continent that they’d overlooked that could be owned.
Since it had been colonized rather “late in the game,” many places in Africa were rather tardy to be decolonized, as well. Many had to fight for their independence, even though having colonies in the 1960s was viewed similarly to the way smoking is today: other people/countries would look at you distastefully and say, “You really… shouldn’t have a colony, you know… it’s really bad for you.”
Mozambique began their fight for independence on this day in history in 1964. Today, they celebrate Revolution Day. And judging by my professor’s rants, I’m surprised today isn’t a holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to celebrate the death of their former monarch, King Leopold III of Belgium, who died on this day in history in 1983.
The people of the Congo fought for their independence as well, but Belgium was reluctant. Finally, they agreed that independence was the best idea for everyone involved, and decided to have a party. The leaders of the new free state were invited to give speeches, but only after the Belgian crown had their say, of course. Leopold was represented by his son, as he had been forced to abdicate by the Nazis during World War II. King Baudouin made a beautiful speech, praising the “civilizing mission” that his grandfather, Leopold II, had brought to the country. The new leaders of the new former colony, however, disagreed with the content of the speech, and instead of speaking as he had planned, Patrice Lumumba took the stage and delivered a scathing denouncement of Belgian “civilizing” that shocked (and pleased) attendees and nearly caused an international incident.
Happy Revolution Day, Mozambique. And my condolences, Belgian royal family (though the people of the DRC probably don’t feel the same way).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writing Prompt: The Medallion

She looked around in disgust. "This place is filthy," she said.
He shrugged. "It's a dorm room;" he replied, as though that should explain everything, "What do you expect?"
She eyed him. "I expected that when you invited me over that there would be more 'date' and less cleaning. This isn't impressing me much."
"Don't be like that," he said in an annoyed tone as he shuffled some books and papers on the desk. "I only asked you to come over because I was going to be late otherwise. This stuff is mostly my roommate's. He's kind of a weird guy; I don't see him much. If he was here, I'd ask him to help me find my thermos."
She frowned. "Why do you need a thermos for our date?"
He sighed. "I couldn't find a picnic basket," he admitted, and revealed a large paper sack on top of a warm blanket that had been sitting on his bed. "I wanted to surprise you with a picnic. The thermos was supposed to be for the hot chocolate."
She wasn't sure quite how to respond, so she turned her head away to hide her embarrassment and started tossing gym socks and towels from one pile to a relatively empty space on the floor. A few seconds later she heard him opening desk drawers, and so she chanced a look at him over her shoulder. She hoped she hadn't made him angry. A surprise picnic was probably the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for her.
Tossing aside another towel, she unearthed a lone pink rollerblade that looked like it would fit a teenage girl. "Your roommate is weird," she said, holding it up.
"Oh, no, that's mine," he said.
There was a moment of bewildered and awkward silence.
And then he smiled. "I'm just kidding." He took the rollerblade and tossed it into the jungle-like closet, where it landed with a metallic sound. He immediately followed to investigate.
"My thermos!" he called, holding it up in triumph. "I'm going to go wash it out in case my roommate conducted a science experiment in it or something. You should..." he glanced around the room. "...probably wait in the hallway."
She nodded agreement and turned to move the last of the things from the old pile she'd been searching to the new one she'd been making. Everybody deserves some free floor space, she thought. There's not much left of this stuff, anyway.
Underneath the pile of clothes, dirt, and junk, there was a small golden medallion that seemed to shine in importance.
It sort of looked like a cross between an arcade token and ancient Asian currency. It was sparkling as though it had been recently polished.
She wondered what it could be, why his roommate would just leave it at the bottom of a pile of stuff like this. Looking at it made her feel a bit weird, like she was intruding on something. Maybe... I shouldn't be looking at it, she thought.
Despite that feeling, she reached out her hand and touched the metal with a fingertip.
When the hero returned with his clean thermos full of hot chocolate, ready to sweep his fair lady off her feet (and make up for asking her to help him search his dirty dorm room), the room was empty.
He looked behind the door, peered into the closet, and stepped out into the hallway and asked the guys across the hall if they'd seen her leave. She was nowhere. He texted her, then called when she didn't respond.
No answer.
He spent a few minutes tidying up his desk, throwing a blanket over his roommate's bed to make it look a bit less messy, and grumbling that he didn't think he was gone that long, that it wasn't that bad in his room, and that a surprise picnic ought to have made up for both.
Hours later, he gave up with a disappointed shrug. Maybe this was her way of breaking up with him. Maybe he should have planned ahead a little more and found the thermos last night instead. Maybe she'd gotten a call from her parents and had to go take care of a family emergency. The next time he saw her in class he would ask. If she was mad, she probably wouldn't be mad for long.
He turned on his desk lamp, opened his laptop, and started to play a video game.
In a dark corner of the room, the medallion glittered menacingly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Get Things Done

People often* ask me, “How do you Get Things Done?” I usually laugh and quickly change the subject to try to make them forget that they asked the question in the first place, but today I’m finally ready to share my secret.
How do I Get Things Done? By engaging in simple Work Avoidance™.
Have a big project to complete? What a perfect time to organize your underwear drawer! Need to do the laundry because your kids don’t have any clean clothes to wear to school tomorrow? Vacuum the drapes instead! How about mopping the kitchen floor? Now is the time to finally till up that garden plot you’ve been meaning to plant since last spring.
As you can see, as long as you have something more pressing to attend to, you can accomplish any number of tasks just by convincing yourself that these other tasks are more pressing. “I should have taken a toothbrush to this tile grout weeks ago.” “These dishes are filthy; I need to take care of them right away [despite the fact that they’ve been languishing in the sink for days]!” “I can’t believe I waited this long to organize my magazines!”
Don’t have any pressing tasks to accomplish that could overshadow your everyday household chores? The future is always there to help you out: honestly, you could be getting those Halloween costumes together or out shopping/thinking about what you could get/feverishly making something for a Christmas gift for [insert treasured friend or relative here] or wondering what romantic Valentine’s Day celebration you are going to come up with for your significant other.
How can you Get Things Done? Just follow the Work Avoidance™ plan. Any task, real or imagined, monumentous or trifling, tedious or enjoyable can be accomplished by merely having something else more important to do. Tell yourself, “It’s okay to put off [that more important thing], because I’m doing [this thing], and [this thing] is also important, and I’ve been meaning to do it, anyway. I’ll do [that more important thing] when I’m finished with [this thing], and maybe [that other thing], too. I’m working on [tasks], and that’s what’s really important.”
With Work Avoidance™, you’ll accomplish all those things that you’ve been meaning to. Well, not all of them. Just most of them. The ones you’d rather do before the others. The point is, most of the Things will Get Done.
Good luck.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Mist in the Morning

My husband drives the same drive every day, back and forth to work: once in the morning, and once in the evening. It’s a lovely drive, but he doesn’t see it anymore. To him, it’s just the commute. Yeah, there are lovely rolling hills and beautiful river views, but he’s become immune to their breathtakingness.
I think we all get that way, sometimes.
This morning I rode along with my husband to work. We discussed normal, everyday things: future plans, what we were planning to give our children for Christmas. Except for when I interrupted everything with remarks about how gorgeous the scenery was. Mist was clinging to the ground, refusing to be chased away by the light of the rising sun. At one point we went down a hill and under a cloud lying low in the valley of a field. It was awesome. “Is it always like this?” I asked my husband as we pushed through a bank of cloud that obliterated the trees, clouds, and river. He shrugged. “Sometimes... A lot of the time, I guess.”
I wondered how often that sort of thing happens to me. Not that I’m often oblivious to lovely scenery, but it made me think about how often I might be failing to recognize and appreciate wonderful things in my life. I’m not the type of person who overexaggerates every disappointing moment that I experience, but I do have those times when I feel like stomping off to shout, “EVERYTHING IS THE WORST.”
But someone else “riding along” with me might be able to more easily point out the wonderful things in my life: my adorable children, my supportive parents, my awesome brothers (and their families), and my hilarious, hardworking husband. When I’m annoyed or stressed or frustrated, it’s easy for me to miss noticing that not every moment, not everything in my life is annoying or stress-inducing or frustrating. When I feel that way, I need to stop, look around, and notice the wonderful things that are always there, things that I might be too distracted or too used to having that I don’t actually see them.
My life will always have its hills and valleys, its good times and bad. But I hope that I never forget the beautiful things about it: the family I have been blessed with, friends who love me, and breathtaking views of mist in the morning.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fasten Fashion

All this time I've been blissfully tiny owl-ing along, not aware that a terrible crisis was looming. Friends, that moment of crisis has arrived: I'm almost out of buttons.
For this project I've been using buttons salvaged by my great grandmother off of my great grandfather's shirts. I went through my hoard early on in the project and found all the matching pairs that could be found, and all that was left in Great Grandma's jar were kazillions of white or ivory buttons and a few mismatched ones.
As I found out a couple of weeks ago, white yarn eyes with white button pupils are super creepy. If I want to use any of those kazillions of white/ivory buttons, I'm going to have to change the way these tiny owls have eyes.
But I figured that since I still have a handful of non-white buttons, I may as well use them. Mismatched owly eyes are bound to be a little cutem, right? Or creepy. I guess we'll see.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday in History: Stealthy Photos from 7.25 Million Miles Away

On this day in history in 1977, NASA space probe Voyager 1 snapped the first photograph of the earth and the moon together.
Prior to this photo, there had been pictures taken of the earth from space and pictures taken of the moon from space. People wondered if they were maybe the same planet, since no one ever saw them together, until about 1966 when the moon was taking a selfie and the earth swooped in for the photobomb.
August 1966 "selfie" of the moon (actually taken from lunar orbit)
(via phys.org)
Nobody ever got them to sit still for the same photograph until Voyager 1 was on its way to chill with Jupiter and happened to look back and see the earth and the moon sitting close together enough to photograph.
Voyager 1's September 18, 1977 photo of the earth & moon together
(via Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum)
We can assume that after it was taken, the planetary bodies darted away from each other, covering their faces, like junior highers who weren’t ready for their visages to be recorded on film.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writing Prompt: Looking Up

It was only quarter past three and he was unemployed, divorced, and mortally wounded, but he liked his chances because he still had the whole afternoon left.
Forget the whole "two steps forward, one step back" thing, his way of thinking was more of a "one negative thought for two positives." Okay, so it was pretty much the same thing, but as long as he was still moving forward, or thinking positive, or whatever it was.
But he wasn't moving forward. He was lying on the ground in mortal agony. Okay, maybe it wasn't mortal or agonizing, but that sounded dramatic. Maybe he wasn't even going to die. Maybe it was just a flesh wound. He could still go on; everything would be fine.
"Come on, ya pansy," he muttered to himself, trying to convince his body to get up. He knew if he was not able to do that, he would just have to stay here until someone found his useless form and took pity on him.
Jessica's head came into view. "Hey," she said. "Were you going to throw that back, or just lay there all day? I thought the point of coming out here was so that you wouldn't have time to think about anything else." Her dog bounded up and started licking his face. He felt a little better. Or at least a little more moist.
"I think I'm mortally wounded," he confessed.
She gave a sigh. "In body or spirit?"
"I need to get back to work soon, so could we just do this?"
"You're a good friend."
"I know."
She gave him a hand up and he tossed the Frisbee for the dog, then rubbed at his head where Jessica's last attempt at throwing had inflicted damages instead.
"You going to live?" she asked, her tone itself answering the question.
"Such a good friend," he repeated.
"Are you going to take the dog back and search for some jobs this afternoon?"
"Sure," he replied, "what else does an unemployed person do the day his divorce is finalized?"
She patted him on the shoulder in what may have been seen by others as a comforting gesture but really conveyed, 'Suck it up and get off my couch.'
"Best friend I ever had," he said, as the dog returned for its favorite game of 'try to wrench this Frisbee away from me.' "I'm going to make you dinner tonight."
"You mean you're going to order dinner tonight and make me pay for it," she corrected.
He shrugged. "It's the same thing, isn't it?"
She shook her head and walked away with a wave of her hand.
Oh, yes. He may have been unemployed, divorced, and slightly injured, but who needs a job, a spouse, and an unbruised forehead when you had such a good friend?
It was twenty past three and his life, just like the rest of the afternoon, was full of promise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


When I was a kid, we had a computer. You’d turn it on, and the black and green screen would light up, waiting to be commanded with a MS-DOS prompt. The only thing my brothers and I would use it for was to play Snake, the classic game which everyone has played, and Gorilla, which was an early version of Worms (a game you can still get on the PSN and play on your brand new PS4), only instead of different weapons all you had was an exploding banana―and you had to enter coordinates to make the projectile land as close to your opponent as possible.
We moved on to bigger and better things later, such as Windows 3.1, and later, Windows 95. But all this amazing technology came with the alarming (to my mother, anyway) idea of better graphics and better games. I don’t know what kind of games other kids had, but we had some totally awesome math games (“tessellate; tessellate”), a Mother Goose game where you had to reunite items you found with the nursery rhyme they matched, a totally awesome spelling game that required you to navigate a dangerous arctic scene to collect the letters to a word (in the correct order!) followed by a quick spelling test.
But some of the coolest “games” we had were the interactive story books. We only had a couple of them: The Tortoise and the Hare and a few Arthur books (that I was really too old for). It was just like sitting down to read a regular book, except that no matter how you manhandled the pages of a book, the pictures wouldn’t move or make noises. Clicking on certain things in a Living Book made them move, or squeak, or run away. It was always fun to poke around at the pictures to see what would happen, and if you got bored doing that, the words of the story were on every page, and you could click every single one. Even though I already knew how to read and thought the stories were kind of silly, discovering all the silly things you could do was really fun.
The Pottermore logo, which I found on the wiki.
J.K. Rowling made sure that her Harry Potter website Pottermore would be fun for fans of all ages. The interactive scenes from the books have things to click on and hidden items to collect, but it doesn’t read you the entire book from start to finish. Instead, you are encouraged to read the book while you enjoy Pottermore. It reminds me of those Living Books from when I was a kid, but the interactive scenes aren’t all there is to Pottermore!
As you follow Harry through the story, you get to experience things as he experiences them. Not only does it mean that you get to watch Hagrid knock down the door of the Hut on the Rock, but it also means that you get to visit Ollivander’s, and take a quiz that gets you your own wand. It means that you get to open Chocolate Frog cards with Ron on the Hogwarts Express and nervously wait your turn to get sorted (another quiz).
After that, you can start to earn points for your house. This is done by finding items in teh interactive scenes, brewing potions (which, as a Ravenclaw, I am particularly good at), and duelling (which I am horrible at).
Pottermore is a fan experience, not a social network. Sure, you have a friends list and can add whomever you like to it. But you can’t post pictures or even choose your own screen name. Since many Harry Potter fans are children, Rowling made sure that Pottermore would be a safe and courteous place for everyone. When you sign up, you get to choose from a short list of Potterish screen names; no one on Pottermore is “RudeDude420,” instead we all have names like “QuillSnitch,” “WildMoonstone,” and “BronzeMahogany.” And while there are plenty of places to write comments, anyone who is rude or vulgar is immediately “asked to leave.”
The Ravenclaw crest
(which I also found on the wiki)
I get an email from the website periodically, whenever more scenes are added or a major event is about to take place. Today I got a reminder that the House Cup will soon be awarded. Hufflepuff is leading Ravenclaw by 200,000 points, so I need to get to brewing some potions and finding some items (and avoiding the duelling club, where I would only give away points to my opponents).
Pottermore is just fun (whether or not I can help win the House Cup). It’s a safe, enjoyable environment where I can have a good time with fellow fans. And it reminds me of the awesome games I played as a kid.
If you like Harry Potter, or interactive story books, or both, I highly recommend Pottermore. Come get sorted into Ravenclaw and help us take the House Cup!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Writing About Writing

It’s very easy for me, especially on the days that I can’t immediately think of something to write about, to let my attention wander on the internet. Sometimes it’s a good thing, because I will occasionally get inspired by a news article, or an argument about something random, or by the contents of a webcomic. Other times I will spend several hours reading the webcomic’s archives and floating in a state of non-working bliss.
Usually it’s the guilty thought of “I HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING TODAY” that pulls me back to doing what I actually should be doing, but occasionally I come across things like this.
Image property of The Oatmeal.
Earlier today I thought several witty things and amused myself, and found myself thinking, “if only I could draw, I wouldn’t have to write everything down; it would be less work.” Then I read this comic and realized that when you can draw, not only do you have to do the drawing part, but you also have to do the writing part. So really, not being able to draw is a good thing (if I’m looking at the less/more work scale).
Sometimes the only thing you can do when you’re in a state of “I’ve got nothin’” is to write about writing. You might think that “writing about writing” is the same thing as “writing about nothing,” but it’s surprising how stepping back to take a look at what you do will produce a wonderful piece. This comic, like most by The Oatmeal, is endearingly rude and half full of swears, but makes amazing and inspiring points.
As a writer, I get to make my own schedule. For me, this means that once I write something sufficiently amusing, I can do whatever I want for the rest of the day. Play video games, ignore housework, nap, whatever. Once I click that ‘publish’ button, my day is my own.
Every job has its faults, and even though this is my dream job, I still feel like complaining about it sometimes… just not to my wonderful husband who actually has real reasons to complain about his job. “I couldn’t think of anything to write” is such a lame thing to whine about in the face of his actual hardships that I’d rather write something I wasn’t happy with than admit that aloud to him. My husband is awesome.
I love the freedom of being able to write whatever I want. I remember being in school and chafing at ridiculous assignments that I had no interesting creative ideas for, and then feeling like I was set free to romp in a field whenever the assignment happened to be “write whatever you want.” Today it seems like it’s almost opposite. A day full of hours of promise, glistening with the freedom of writing whatever I want seems like oppression, but an interesting phrase, a few words, or an inspiring image can give me the structure I need to creatively produce something amazing.
Sometimes I wish there was an idea generator for the days I when can’t think of anything, a machine without feelings capable of being hurt that I could just push a button as many times as I needed to find something that inspired me. It would be better than playing the writing equivalent of “what do you want for dinner” with my friends. “What should I write about?” “Um, how about…?” “No, that sounds boring.” I suspect that when I inflict that sort of thing on myself and others that deep down I really just want to tell someone else that “your ideas are bad and you should feel bad.” Maybe it somehow makes me feel better? After all, when that situation comes up, I can’t think of anything good, so I suppose it comforts me to know that no one else can either.
An inspiration isn’t something you can control. When I get inspired (usually by a writing prompt of some kind), I can’t turn it off or walk away from it. If I sleep on an idea (or a story), it’s really hard to get that inspiration back. Several times I have ended up working late into the night on something because I knew that if I stopped, I would never be able to come back to it. “What? You want dinner? Well, I started thawing some chicken a couple of hours ago and the recipe I was going to use is sitting on the kitchen counter. Good luck with that; hope the kids like it.”
Cultivating seeds of ideas is sometimes difficult for me. Something funny will happen, or I’ll start pondering a situation and see the interesting or amusing things about it. The smart thing to do, you’d think, would be to write these ideas down somewhere so that later I can come back and use them when I needed to. And I’ve got one of those ‘somewhere’s, a google doc named “stuff to blog about” or some such. But I’ve found that sometimes, writing down that idea before it’s ready can kill it (or make me lose interest in it), just like planting a seedling in the ground ground outside too early. If it’s really a great idea, it will tumble around in my brain for long enough that eventually it will make its way out.
“Make a new friend,” The Oatmeal encourages near the end. “Learn to chainsaw juggle. Read a book. Go hang gliding in your underpants. If you have done all these things and you still don’t have anything to write about, then you shouldn’t be a writer. ...if you don’t have anything to say, then you shouldn’t be talking. And if you don’t have anything to write about, don’t write.”
It’s not like I don’t have things to write about. It’s just one of those moods you get in sometimes, like when you’re eleven and sitting in the middle of your room, surrounded by toys, and whining at your mom: “I’m bored.” I’ve got stuff to write about. I just started reading that cool Rothfuss series (Name of the Wind); there’s a rad spider who’s been living on our front porch for a week or so (I’ve been thinking about ways to start charging him rent, but I’m not sure how I’d monetize slightly digested insect carcasses); and my kids constantly pretend to be dinosaurs. There’s a wealth of stuff going on around here.
It’s hard to get rid of that mood, when you feel uninspired and that there’s nothing interesting enough going on in your life to share with your readers. So when in doubt, write about writing. You may discover that you’ve got quite a bit to write about after all.