Food… | #AtoZ #LetterF #nonfiction

…has been acquired.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I am spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

I did the thing my husband wasn’t keen on me doing, and went to a grocery store this morning.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping for three weeks. It means that the high-traffic Wal-mart I’ve been able to do Grocery Pickup with for the past three weeks finally was unable to provide the things we “need”. I put that word in quotes because they still have plenty of food available, but it just wasn’t the right things that my family of picky eaters enjoys.

And for my youngest, having food they enjoy eating is critical for their mental health.

So I went to the local store, the one that’s only a few blocks from my house. They used to be 24-hours and now are 6a-9p, and I went at 7a, in case they had their first hour reserved for elderly and immunocompromised folks.

I was so grateful (and surprised) to find that they were well-stocked. Not fully stocked, but adequately for my needs. I lucked into arriving just after they stocked something I’ve been looking for the past two weeks. I found the chicken my oldest child and I enjoy, and the chicken my youngest says they’ll eat. I was able to find food that I’ll enjoy. I could get a few staples.

And best of all, the pricing felt normal. I’ve been looking for some things on Amazon, and the pricing is just outrageous there.

I wore my youngest’s “bear face” mask, the only mask we have in the house, since the temporary scarf things and fabric I plan on using for masks hasn’t arrived yet. It was hot, but not unmanageable, and I can see myself getting used to wearing a mask like that. I’m lucky in that respect. One of my dearest friends is in serious danger if she has to breathe in the hot air you end up with with fabric masks that fit well. I worry for her.

But I got food. And I’m so grateful to work for a company who treats each other like family. One coworker still lets her child work at the grocery store he was employed at before this started, and they apparently have a rack of staples set aside for employees. She let me know if I need anything, to let her know.

I don’t expect to ever need to take advantage of that offer, but I’m so grateful she made it. It makes this Thing a little easier to deal with.

Soon I’m going to need to try to get my hands on tissues and toilet paper, and those items will be challenging, I’m sure. But that’s for another day. Wouldn’t it be nice if those items held out for whatever day T falls on during this A-Z Challenge?

Everything… | #AtoZ #LetterE #nonfiction

…is different.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I am spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

One of these posts is going to be a short story, I swear.

I’m just not there yet.

So, today is bright and sunny. The temperature is lovely right now at 57ºF, and should get up to 66ºF. I totally wish I could be working outside! My computer is a bit heavy and unwieldy, though, and my laptop won’t start.

Not that I could do Day Job work on my laptop, even if it was working. It’s about 2x harder to work on a different computer.

Speaking of my stupid laptop, it could not have picked a worse time to die. It really couldn’t. I haven’t given up hope completely on it, but it is more or less dead. It needs replaced, and while my husband and I are still employed, he’s getting significantly less hours, which means significantly less income, and we were on the edge as it was. And we’re still working on medical bills from November.

I can’t afford to replace my laptop right now.

This sucks, but it’s not the end of the world, thankfully. I have my work computer available to me, I would just need to get the Mac version of Quickbooks. Plus I have two other PCs in the house that other people usually use, although it would be less convenient. When I’m able to make up the income, I’ll get a new machine that can run the Adobe programs and Minecraft. I just wish computers like that weren’t so expensive. I would love to find a $500 machine to fit my needs, and instead, they all seem to bee $1,000+.

Did I mention I just started a YouTube channel?


I laugh, because I realize that the potential for that channel to become income-producing is a long way off. Right now I have two subscribers, I know them both personally, and I’m thrilled. I’m going to do a new video today (in that glorious sun I was talking about, hopefully), and it’ll be a little more polished than last time (I know how to make things pretty – I can do better with my transition slides), and yeah.

But words! I can word. I need to word.

Today would be a good day to word, actually.

After work, of course. Maybe after my walk. Because my Chromebook is still working, and I already have the programs I need for publishing on my work computer. No new purchases required.

I’ve been rambling. I’ll stop now. Enjoy this post that has kind of nothing to do with the letter chosen. I’ve had fun writing.


I did a thing!

Perhaps you saw the thing, because I posted about it on Facebook and Twitter, which is uncharacteristic for me. I am not in the habit of bragging about my creations (usually books). But heck, I did the video even though my Critical Voice kept telling me circumstances weren’t perfect enough.

I have not yet done many of the other things on yesterday’s list, though. I did do one thing that wasn’t on the list, which was taking a walk. I tried to get Junior Youth to come with, but JY wasn’t interested. It worked in my favor, because my walk was therefore longer and a bit faster.

However, let me vent for a moment about people on bicycles who will keep plenty of space between themselves and their fellow riders, but who will brush by pedestrians with just inches to spare. Come on, guys. You’re coming up behind me, and you can see how fast I’m moving. Why not single-file yourself for the purpose of giving me a little space, too?

Anyway, the trail was busy. I’ll stick next time to the park trail on my side of the river, or better yet, just walking around the neighborhood. There’s significantly less traffic in the residential areas around my house, pedestrian and otherwise, and every single person I pass there will cross the street or move into the street to give others space.

The walk was good, though. I love longer walks. When the mornings warm up, I’ll start getting my 3 mile walks in earlier before my day starts, and then be able to go on a “decompression stroll” with Junior Youth and their camera in the afternoon when JY is ready.

I just “zoned out” for twenty minutes on Facebook. I need to stop that. And I need to wrap this up and maybe get a quick nap because I would like a nap.

Discipline… | #AtoZ #LetterD #nonfiction

…I no has it.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I am spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

Oh, hello! I believe I’m caught up now. Today is Saturday, April 4th, and it’s the day that the D posts should appear for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Perhaps at this point I’ll manage to work up some fiction posts for this month, too.

I doubt, however, that I’ll end up with something resembling a publishable book at the end of it, though. I did that once (referral link, because I’m lazy), and I loved the finished product. But I haven’t done it since, and I don’t see that changing.

I hope you enjoyed the cat pictures from earlier. I moved one of them into the header because the cats and the bird are just too damn adorable.

So what’s on tap for the rest of my day? Well, I made a list of things I wanted to get done in one of my journals today. The list included:

  • record an introduction YouTube episode
    • plan the episode
    • film the episode
  • write a short story
  • catch up on my A-Z blogs
    • C
    • D
  • vacuum the stairs
  • clean the table next to my chair
  • clean out the drawers next to my chair

The last three things on the list can’t be done until I get back home (I don’t have laundry facilities in my house), so I’ll get to those tomorrow, most likely.

I’m working on the D post now, so that’ll be wrapped up soon.

So the other two things on my list are filming that episode, and writing a short story. I need to work on shaking my Critical Voice out of my head for both, to be honest. I want to do both because I think they’ll both be fun. They become less fun when my Critical Voice tries to remind me that both have to be Perfect before I can do them. I know that’s not true, but it’s hard to feel that, you know?

I was actually watching a Twitch streamer today who suggested that if we want to get a YouTube channel started, just record those first videos and leave them private if necessary. Just to get out there and do it, and get the hang of how to do things.

It was like she was speaking directly to me. It’s perfectly no-risk to do that, and the practice is what I need to figure out how to get going.

Oddly enough, I’m watching another Twitch streamer right now who said if he didn’t already have a YouTube channel right now, he wouldn’t start one. He reminded his audience that it’s a lot of hard work, and years of people not watching your channel before you get good at your craft and pick up your people.

He could have been speaking directly to me, but I do know these things. I know these things from being a writer. I’m a baby writer, and I don’t earn much, and the only people who read my stories, for the most part, are people who know me.

And I’m okay with that.

I’m from Iowa. I’m not a farm girl, but I was farm-adjacent growing up. I know that a shitload of work goes into a farm and there’s a lot of time between planting and harvest. So I’m prepared to not get immediate results. It’s okay. I’ll live through it.

I think if you want to try creative things you have to be okay with that. If you want to work for yourself, you have to be okay with that.

There’s a reason people keep pushing the message that you have to be comfortable failing to make progress.

Happy “All Caught Up With the A-Z Blogging Challenge” Day!