OF IS NOT A VERB
Writing advice, book reviews, and more from the author of
Sunday, February 27, 2022
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
It’s been more than a year since I visited Third Place Books in person. Over the past few months, I’ve ordered online and had books mailed to me. But after attending a webinar yesterday with Lisa Cron about her new book, Story or Die, I ordered a copy. Instead of opting to have it snail mailed, I clicked on ‘pick up at store.'
For the occasion of venturing to the bookstore, I dressed more carefully than I had in months, choosing my favorite jeans, an olive-green sweater, a necklace and a bracelet. The morning was bright and sunny, which I took as a good omen.
Entering the freeway felt like a strange city, partly because of construction of the light rail which blocked the right lane, and partly because this is only my second trip on I-5 since the pandemic broke out. I hadn’t forgotten how to merge with the thick swell of cars and trucks, all moving far below the 60 MPH speed limit. The addition of rail lines and concrete barriers has changed the landscape, but the heavy Seattle traffic remains the same.
After I exited on Ballenger Way, I passed several office buildings bearing ‘For Lease. Signs. The Mexican restaurant is still there, likely surviving on carry-out orders by a loyal clientele. As I drove east, the familiar canopy of trees cast blinking shadows in and out of the sunlight. It had been more than a year, yet I still recalled how to get to the store. The parking lot was nearly vacant, and after I parked, I double glanced at the shop to ensure I was open.
The first change since I was last here were the signs on the two double door entries. Inside the building the next change I noted was there was no line at the adjoining cafe.
Clearly marked exit and entry only with reminders for customers they must wear masks and maintain social distances. The entrance side is blocked off with crime tape and the signs with arrows lead to the information desk. An individual stood at the entry and asked my business. I could have taken my prepaid book and left, but since the store was empty, and I’d already fulfilled a couple of hours early morning writing, I decided to use the allotted 30-minute time limit to browse.
The staff is enthusiastic and industrious, filling shelves and moving displays, and the selection of books, cards, and other goods remains abundant, but the shopping experience definitely felt altered. One of the things I’ve missed most since the pandemic outbreak is browsing the shelves at libraries and bookstores. Where I once may have spent two hours (and much more money) wandering through the aisles, I’m grateful to have the option for this in-person visit. The short visit to familiar territory made life feel more like normal and less like science fiction.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Still Writing After All These Years
Thursday, October 8, 2020
It's Not All Bad
Here's a blog post I forgot to post back on April. [It's now October. Things have not changed much except 211,000 have died from COVID. Politics has divided the country. Those of us with liberal leanings are in constant anxiety. Grocery prices are up, unemployment is rising, and businesses are closing daily, and my social life is almost entirely via ZOOM. But it' all good, right?]
Sequestered in our homes.
Many people are reading books again.
Because I'm home all day, like many people out there, I watch more daytime TV talk shows.
Kelly and Ryan, like the rest, now broadcast from their homes, and they're much less obnoxious.
THE VIEW As a group onstage The ladies of THE TALK. are still fun to watch
and talk over each other. But from home, the show is easier to watch. Whoopie and Sunny are still pleasant. Surprisingly, Meghan McCain is far less toxic , but Joy Behar, who I usually enjoy, is annoying.
Oddly, Ellen isn't as funny without an audience. She falls flat talking to just one guest at a time.
Live concerts from living rooms shows us who has talent. Without the flashy special effects, costumes, and electronic enhancement. It feels as if Keith Urban is sitting in my living room playing a song just for me
Zoom once you get past the learning curve of navigating the platform, zoom meetings make life feel connected less lonely.
Facebook is marginal
Instragram has always been friendlier
Twitter is still a bitchfest
I haven't yet resorted to watching soap operas.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
How am I coping? As best as I can.
In every country and city in the world we're all living this surreal existence, yet there are some things to enjoy about it.
Luckily I love to read, and I'm catching up on books I forgot I had. I've also downloaded a few audio books to listen to while I take a daily walk. Luckily the weather in Seattle has been unseasonably pleasant and sunny this week.
Cooking. I'm not a great cook, but I'm trying to make more than omelettes and oatmeal.
Live TV is truly live. .
Because I'm home all day, like many people out there, I watch more daytime TV talk shows, many newscasters and hosts now broadcast from their homes. I enjoy peeking inside celebrities houses. It makes them more real, more accessible.
Kelly and Ryan they're much less obnoxious.
As a group onstage together the hosts of THE VIEW tend to talk over each other. But from home, the show is easier to watch. Whoopie and Sunny are still pleasant. Surprisingly, Meghan McCain is far less toxic, but Joy Behar, who I usually enjoy, is annoying.
The ladies of THE TALK. are still fun to watch, but oddly, ELLEN isn't as funny without an audience. She falls flat talking to just one guest at a time.
Live concerts from musicians' living rooms demonstrates who has true talent without the flashy special effects, costumes, and electronic enhancement. The music is unplugged. Recently, watching Keith Urban from his home felt as if he was playing a song just for me.
Zoom once you get past the learning curve of navigating the platform, zoom meetings make life feel connected less lonely and prevents me from spending all day wearing pajamas.
Last night I attended a Zoom happy hour. On Tuesday I taught a writing workshop via Zoom, and I have several meetings coming up next week.
I've notice a spike in interaction on Facebook Phone calls and Face Time are also nice. Hearing another's voice is less mechanical than a text.
My house is clean! (Except for my home office.)
I turn off the news. I limit myself to one hour a day: half hour of local, and a half hour of national, and press the mute button when the liar in Chief comes on to spew his incoherent nonsense. And now the government wants to de-fund the USPS? How can the world's most powerful nation not have postal service? Don't get me started...I plan to start writing a lot more letters.
Twitter and Instagram also keep me connected. Tonight I posted a video on how to trim your own bangs. https://twitter.com/LauraMoewriter/status/1249155608575643648?s=20
This week I've finally been able to focus enough to write. It's not good writing, but at least words are flowing.
Hope you're having a happy quarantine.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Changing the Mindset
Monday, March 16, 2020
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Hang in there. .
Saturday, March 7, 2020
MEMORIES LOOKING THROUGH A SCREEN DOOR by Gerald Bigelow is a collection of poems that are a quiet protest against racism, a tribute to loved ones, a snapshot of communities, a history of time and place, an exploration of spirituality, and ultimately, the inevitability of aging.
Read them for the beauty of language, and lines that shatter you like ones from Must where a circus parade goes through town and “lions reach out/paw the air/create a fearful silence.”
Friday, March 6, 2020
Writing in Captivity
I'm writing a novel about a couple quarantined. (It's being written by my alter ego, a much younger, more attractive redhead who pens steamy romance. I'm not revealing any more.) Ironically, I'm on a self-imposed quarantine as the Seattle area is a hot spot for the corona-virus, aka COVID-19.
Part of the problem with COVID-19 is not its deadly stats. We still have a better chance of dying from flu or pneumonia that corona-virus. The issues are that we don't know how its spreads, there is no definitive treatment, and there's no vaccine.
Unlike my characters, I am free to come and go as I please. I just choose to stay at home to minimize exposure unless I need to go out. My kitchen is well stocked with food, cat food, tea, and wine. The cat and I are ready for the zombie or virus Apocalypse.
The word 'Quarantine' makes me envision cages and dining on food slid to me through a narrow window. But for an introvert and a writer, (often one and the same) it's not a bad deal. If I turn off the TV and its endless political, disease filled rhetoric, I may actually get a lot of work done. Several events for which I was supposed to attend next week are canceled. I'm caught up on laundry. If I don't leave the house, all I need to wear are pajamas. (I don't write naked. Yikes. I live in an earthquake zone.)
If schools close, the ones who will suffer most are parents and extroverts. Around here, where tech is a big employer, parents are already working from home. But their kids are still at school, so they can get work done. If the kids are home and locked inside, it will be like an extended snow day, If parents are wise, they will stock up on games, puzzles, books, and batteries along with food. Libraries and bookstores are still open, and some bookstores like Third Place Books, will ship to you with FREE shipping.
IF you go out to eat, please give your server a big tip. Chances are they aren't serving as many customers as usual, and they can't work from home.
Once I buy cat litter later today, I'll be good for the next couple of weeks.
Happy Writing and reading.