Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Lunch packing instructions from a first grader:

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Cheese curds:  One lunchtime option at the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Show:

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Cat seeking lunch:

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Almost lunchtime!

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Cracking the egg.

I’m surprised the mirror image of the word “backspace” hasn’t imprinted itself on my right ring finger.  I skip words and letters all the time.  I spell stuff wrong. I go too fast. I read and reread my sentences, backspace, retype, backspace, retype, and backspace again.  I just deleted the first two sentences of this post.

Distractions.  I love them because they are more entertaining than writing. Oh, wait, there’s a bird at the feeder. My thumb joint is achy and I tell myself I have arthritis. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Why have I taken such a hiatus from meal planning?  I’m turning my family into fridge foragers.  Stop. What a silly sentence.   Go away, Distractions.

I am notorious in my own head for putting off starting a piece of writing. Yet, when I finally get started, there’s always this teeny tiny turning point, like when I first crack an egg. There’s that first tap, the one that yields a hairline opening.  The egg isn’t apart yet, but there’s that barely discernible crack that tells me I have to keep going with my task until what’s inside is outside.

So yes, getting started writing could be compared to the first tap of the eggshell.  And then  things get a little silly and I am now thinking, what a silly post.  Maybe it’s too silly to publish.  Do I scramble or fry the egg?  Or do I add it to my brownie mix? Right now, typing the words “brownie mix” reminded me that I committed to making brownies for a church event tomorrow and we have no brownie mix.   Distractions.

But check this out. I did not even realize that thirty minutes just passed while I was doing this.  I went backspace crazy, wrote a somewhat ridiculous analogy, and got distracted one hundred times, but  I was definitely lost in it, and I loooooove that feeling.

On comment threads.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time I spend online for the sole purpose of discovering stuff.  I insatiably devour news sites and blogs and return over and over again to the ones that speak to me.  I alternately love and despise how people react to provocative ideas or beautiful images or shocking news developments.   We’ve got the borderline inhuman Yahoo threads laced with profanity, cruelty and worse, and then the moderated threads in which people articulate and further their ideas and opinions in a respectful and open way that is encouraged and supported by the moderator and those engaged in the conversation. The Yahoo brand of comments  chips away at any hope I have for a future peaceful world, while the other kind, the one where people understand that there are humans attached to the fingers hitting the keyboard, does the opposite.  It’s these kind of comment threads that keep me coming back for more, which is obviously is why I am sitting here writing about comments instead of finishing my sewing project or grading essays for my online writing class.

One  conversation  I’m following is happening in one of the groups I belong to on facebook, Mama Friends.  MF was started  by a friend here in town who wanted a place to share her frustrations, joys and everything in between about parenting – the things we often get tired of seeing on people’s main facebook pages.  Mama Friends has grown exponentially over the last few years, from a few dozen locals to well over 200 around the country.   It’s where we ask about the appropriateness of a certain movie (“Brave” came up the other day) or to invite thoughts on how to handle freakouts (ours and our kids’) or to share articles related to being a parent, partner or professional.

Last week I discovered Penelope Trunk’s blog, and the thing I’ve learned from reading her extensive catalogue of posts is that she unabashedly writes her pieces with a provocative, my-way-or-the-highway, black and white pen.  No middle ground exists in the areas she feels most passionately about. I posted a link to her site on Mama Friends because she has a lot of really interesting and in-your-face things to say about homeschooling and the public schools.  A few MFs posted how much they love her blog, then one MF honestly and thoughtfully shared how PT’s writing made her feel pretty irritated and uncomfortable, especially the way she eviscerates public schools and her post titled “3 Ways to Rectify the Miseducation of Girls.”  A few  MFs agreed, a few didn’t, and a few more viewpoints were shared from both sides of coin. I was so gripped by the conversation that I did something I never do: check fb on my phone in the middle of a my walk!  I think the discussion is close to running its course, but I would love to see it keep going because I LOVE the dialogue and questions it has generated!

This is why healthy online discussions draw me in so powerfully. Those who make the effort to process what they read and take the time to formulate and clarify their ideas, disagreements and reactions are okay by me.

Camping in April.

National Novel Writing Month was a snore and a chore for me last November, just like it was the year before that and the year before that and probably the few years prior to that.  In fact, this year I was so blase about my novel that when I accidentally erased the whole thing  shortly after I finished it, I didn’t blink an eye or even care.  After eleven years of this, I have fallen out of love with writing a novel in November.

What does it mean to succeed at nanowrimo?  Most people’s first answer would be to reach that elusive 50K.  In the years I’ve been participating, I have met this word count every year except one, my very bad year of 2003. So…you might call this feat successful, impressive, admirable…but is it really?  Is it really an accomplishment if I write almost nothing from one November to the next and have never harbored much love or commitment to what the novel I have written?  What’s the big deal of hitting 50K if I stop right there and stagnate for another year, only to start up again writing about essentially the same thing? Is there even a point to doing it if I have no desire to revisit my work, take it apart and see if there’s anything good in there? In the early years, I would have said definitely yes, but for about the last four years the whole experience has felt off and I have to do something about it.

Enter Camp Nanowrimo, starting April 1st.  It’s Nanowrimo‘s alternative (or supplement) to writing in November, and I’m thinking this might get me out of my rut.  April is far superior to November when it comes to my state of mind, and maybe, just maybe…maybe…maybe… something entirely different will sprout from the tips of my fingers.

April it is!

Thoughts about decision-making.

I’m not sure how “Press This” works, but in looking through my archives I ran across one of my favorite entries from a few years ago.  There’s this “Press This” button so I pressed it and will now find out what happens.  Maybe it just means it’s a repost?  I’m going to boast – I love this entry and I reread it at just the right time.  Thanks, 2011 me.

 

Thoughts about decision-making..