The Slow Cooker is the Greatest Invention in the World

Okay, that’s probably an overstatement. The heart-lung machine, or whatever they call the device that keeps people alive during heart transplants. The airplane, at least before the industry got so ridiculous about cramming people in like sardines, and now is paying for it in spades because social distancing prevents them from doing this. The can opener. The piano. Innumerable vaccines. Ball-point pens. Deodorant. Motor vehicles. Computers. The pump that brings water up from a deep well. Air conditioning.

Fine. The slow cooker, formerly known as the Crock Pot, isn’t the greatest invention. But it’s a damned good one.

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1,000 Words of Summer, Day Eight

Image by Anujah Tilj on Pixabay

Day Eight: Done. 1,715 words.

Some days, you just have to write fluff. I mean fluff. Pure escapism, with no particular literary value, and certainly nothing profound. Work that has as its only goal making somebody—maybe the reader, maybe just you as the writer—laugh.

Not brilliant satire, the kind that takes some amazingly talented person hours to create and edit and hone into a fine-bladed wit. Just plain old garden-variety, laugh-while-you-read-it-and-then-forget-all-about-it fluff. All the intellectual nutrition of cotton candy.

Yep. Some days, that’s just exactly what a person needs. Like me, today. I wrote cotton candy. And it was good.

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Seven

Rascal at Protectors of Animals, East Hartford, Connecticut

Day Seven: Done. 1,316 words.

Instead of working on my novel tonight, I wrote a biography for Rascal, a lovely tuxedo cat I met at the shelter on my birthday, just before lockdown. The bio should be up on the Protectors of Animals website and Facebook page within the next few days. If you’re in Connecticut and looking for a dignified kitty companion who will curl up in your lap and purr, providing warmth and comfort in these challenging times, Rascal may be just the guy for you.

I also worked on a blog post. I don’t know if it’ll ever be posted—at the moment, it’s more musing than anything else as I work through the question of what my role is in this challenging time. If I come up with something I think is worth sharing, I’ll post it.

Update as of Friday afternoon: Rascal’s bio is on POA’s Facebook page. No word yet on when their website will be updated.

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Six

Day Six: Done. 1,101 words.

I wonder how much of what I’m writing now will end up being useful. I’m fleshing out a lot about my main character’s childhood, including his first love, his abusive father, and the friend who ended up being his nemesis. No clue how all (or any) of this will fit into the original story line—assuming, of course, that story line even survives.

I have no idea what lies ahead for my characters. Of course, this is also true for all of us here the real world, so I suppose it’s only fair.

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Five

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

Day Five: Done. 1,160 words.

No more to say today.

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Four

Day Four: Done. 1,034 words, divided over two sections of the manuscript.

I continue to be amazed at how this story is developing as I push myself to write more. Shortly before the pandemic, I’d discovered a pair of new characters, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Now, because I’m committed to adding a thousand words to their tale every day, I’m finding out so much about them and how they interact with my main character.

It’s like all those articles say: don’t wait to be inspired. Sit down and start putting words on the page, and the ideas will show up. Thanks, #1000wordsofsummer!

How are you doing? Have you written your 1,000 words yet today? If so, let us know!

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Three

How I feel right now

Day Three: Done. 1,011 words on my novel-in-progress.

If it hadn’t been for this challenge, I wouldn’t have written today. Spent five hours on billable work, plus time checking social media for updates about the protests, and the to-do list is still long—pay bills, feed cats, do submissions for contests and journals with midnight deadlines, put away laundry, take out garbage and recycling for pickup tomorrow morning, fix dinner—and that’s just what’s coming to mind now, at 8:46 p.m.

Nope. No way I’d have written without this challenge, but I’m glad I did because the story is taking an interesting turn. Thanks, #1000wordsofsummer!

1,000 Words of Summer, Day Two

It’s spring, and the toilet paper is (finally) in bloom!

Day Two: Done. 1,016 words on a potential blog post.

It’s a glorious day here on the back porch, and I’d love to keep writing. Alas, I need to mow the lawn, do the laundry, and do billable work to replenish the bank account after this morning’s grocery expedition (see above).

How did you do on Day Two? (If it’s Day One for you, no problem–just keep your own count.) Let us know in the comments!


1,000 Words of Summer, Day One

I truly didn’t feel like writing today, not after talking last night with a friend who lives in Minneapolis and seeing online everything that was going on in her city, a few short miles from her idyllic home on a quiet side street.

I really didn’t feel like writing fiction. I figured that if I wrote anything, it would be a blog post or essay or journal entry about the dumpster fire that is our current reality.

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Sunday Afternoon in the Neighborhood

blue sun hat

I’d be lying if I said staying at home for the past two months has been a hardship for me. I love being at home. It’s peaceful most of the time, except when something malfunctions or the outside world intrudes. When everything’s working properly and nobody bothers me, it’s heavenly. Continue reading