Working Wednesday, June 3, 2020

It’s been one of those weeks where I tried to do a dozen things at once and ended up doing all of them badly: I worked on Lily and Nita and made stir fry and . . . you know, the stuff I always do. It’s going to hit 89 this week (IN THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE? We’re gonna fry this summer) so my outdoor work is going to be limited, but I have big plans for inside, BIG PLANS . . .

Oh, hell, tell me what you worked on this week and let me live vicariously.

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Re-Read-Ability

I don’t remember when I started reading the Murderbot stories, but it couldn’t have been more than ten days ago, and I’m on my third reread of the entire series. What I want to know is, why?

That is, what makes a story re-readable or re-watchable?

I must have read The Grand Sophy well over a dozen times. I’ve seen the pilots of Leverage and Person of Interest at least a dozen times. And now I’m obsessively reading the Murderbots. Why do we go back to the same stories again and again?

If you were hoping I had an answer to this, turn back now. I don’t think it’s character; Stephen King’s very excellent Bag of Bones had great characters and I will never read it again. It’s not a soothing plot; I just read a fun romance that was pure fantasy and enjoyed seeing every unrealistic dream come true for the heroine, but I’ll never go back to it. It’s not emotional resonance; Shadowlands is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but it was so emotionally powerful, I doubt I’ll ever watch it again.

So I’m pretty sure we don’t re-read or re-watch just because a story is really good. So what is it?

Over to you all.

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Competence Happy

I just read a recipe on the Bon Appetit website and realized I had all the ingredients to make it, not just the onions and beef which I would always have had but the three inches of ginger root, the sesame oil, and the fresh lemon, not to mention the bok choy he suggested as a side dish. It made me think, “Huh. Maybe I’m a cook.” Mostly it made me feel competent. Which made me happy.

And that’s when I realized how rarely I feel competent. Continue reading

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Thinking About Lily

I’ve been thinking about Nita, and the new HWSW blog, and the cottage and what it needs, and a glitch in my finances (not a disaster just dealing with somebody at the bank who will not call me back) and the hole in the fence that Milton keeps escaping through, and Lily.

This post is about Lily. Continue reading

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Working Wednesday, May 27, 2020


I’ve been working on resurrecting the He Wrote She Wrote blog. We’ve done the first chat–something about the idea of chatting with Bob cracks me up–and we’re figuring the rest now that Mollie–the professional internet person among us–has pointed out some aspects to just putting on a show in the internet barn entails.

So what did you work on this week?

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He Wrote She Wrote. Again.

I spent a chunk of the weekend arguing about talking about the new blog with Bob Mayer and we’re going to try it. It’ll be called He Wrote She Wrote Again, and once a week, we’ll put up the old posts on a topic and then follow that with a new post discussing what we still agree with and how we’ve changed in a Slack chat. We’ll edit the ugly parts out. Nita and Lily will probably be mentioned, and Bob’s writing a new book in a series in which the second chapter in each book is a flashback. In first person. And there’s a prologue. I’m pretty sure he’s trolling me, but its been fourteen years, so who knows? Maybe he really is that insane. Here’s the banner until Mollie gets her hands on it and makes it better:

So see, I worked this weekend. Still working on getting all the Lily posts combined. Back at you later with that.

In the meantime, what do you want to see on the new blog? I know there are Cherry Bombs still out there, fuses sparking, and the Argh People always have an opinion. We’re pretty clear on what we want to do, but we’re I’m open to suggestions.

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It’s May 25th: Get Out Your Towel and Smell the Lilacs

May 25th is Towel Day, a day we remind ourselves that, like the denizens of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as long as we have our towels, we’re covered, albeit skimpily. And of course today is also the day to celebrate the Glorious Revolution of Discworld by wearing the lilac and agitating for “Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!”, the basics of a strong society. It’s also a day we lift our a glass of spirits to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, two writers who have lifted my spirits too many times to count.

Smell the lilacs, Argh People, in the memory of two greats, and the sure knowledge that we’re going to be okay because we have our towels. And each other.

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Happiness is Old TV

I’ve been thinking about TV pilots and something jogged my memory on Cheers, which is leaving Netflix at the end of the month. So I watched the first episode of the first season. I knew it would be funny and I knew it would be community, but what I didn’t know was that that damn theme song would make me so ridiculously happy that I sang along with it. I thought it was a callback to a simpler time, but when I checked the start date, it was the year after my divorce and a few months before I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. So not a simpler time. Maybe it was a comfort show, maybe it made me remember when Mollie was eight and I was teaching kids I loved, maybe it was just a good show with a great theme song, but this week, “Making your way in the world today/takes everything you’ve got” and Cheers made me happy.

What made you happy?

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