Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: August 2020

How can it be August already? Yet, I know it is because it's time for the IWSG blog hop. Please find the other participants in this blog hop here. Thank you to all those who keep this monthly event going and to Alex J. Cavanaugh for bringing us all together in the first place.

Skipping this month's optional question, let me get right to the whining part. Never mind. My family is fortunate to not have lost anyone during the pandemic though it has brought varying levels of stress to us as it has to the entire world. I know we've been blessed that none of us have lost our jobs and we haven't had to worry about money anymore than usual. So no whining this month.

Like many writers, I don't mind avoiding social gatherings. Trapped at home with my writing and my books! I've gotten much more done than if we'd been doing more traveling and socializing over the past months.

I'm a little bit Zoomed out, but there's no end to that in sight. I am tentatively scheduled to go to a one day writers conference in Erie in October. I love the optimism involved in planning it and really hope we can actually get together.

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther

I really enjoyed season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. The last season of the dystopian show I've always enjoyed, The 100, has been disappointing. TNT's The Alienist is darker and grimmer than ever. I enjoyed the books and watch the show but it's not for the faint-hearted. It's always so horrifying how terrible life was for the poor during those times. Not that's it's so great now.

My husband is clinging to some hope that there will be some kind of football this fall. I'm not so hopeful, but I've talked him into a lot of home repairs because he's been bored.

Funny story from my baby brother. He's a self-employed lumberjack. And he looks like one, big and strong. But when the pandemic started, he asked and was told he had to shut down. According to him, it took the state government about two weeks to figure out where toilet paper comes from. Not that anyone is accusing the government of not thinking things through, but according to my brother, the temporary toilet paper shortage was all about the lumberjacks. After a few days of shutting down, he was told he could cut trees again. He was after all, an essential worker.

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it more complicated."  Confucius

Writing it going okay. About a month behind where I wanted to be, but I hope to be done with the first draft of my WIP by the end of the month. The good news is that I have two beta readers whom I really trust, so once I get my part done, I'm looking forward to their input.

I'm driving north to Boston to pick up my daughter and bring her home for a week. She'll return to Boston University then to teach and continue her own academic program. The good thing is that BU has their own testing and labs so she doesn't have to quarantine for two weeks.

Has your life been simpler or more complicated lately? Have you been stuck at home recently and is that good or bad? Did you know where toilet paper comes from or is that only state officials who didn't understand how we get paper?

Hope you're all doing well and staying safe. 


  1. A great post to read during these uncertain times. I have found it hard writing new poems since the pandemic started so have posted on line poems from my four books. I still find it hard to do any new work on my new book.....hopefully it will come.
    Have a good month and keep well Susan.

  2. That is funny about your brother. Don't lumberjacks mostly work in isolation anyway? Didn't know trees were known transmitters of the virus.

    In the UK, we've had football (soccer) back for a few weeks, but "behind closed doors" (no crowds), so there might be hope for your husband.

    It would be nice if the conference could go ahead, it would be a good pick-me-up, I'm sure.

  3. Why wouldn't cutting trees outdoors be safe? That makes no sense.

    I have one con this December but I'm not holding my breath that it will still happen.

  4. Hi,
    I have been very busy during the lockdown but I am also ready for it to end. I miss the cultural venues and I miss doing my own concerts. But I can't complain. This lockdown has helped me to re focus and get some things done that I had been putting on the side.
    Take care.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  5. Like you Susan, even I don't I don't mind avoiding social gatherings. I love to sit quietly and read books and ofcourse write my own.

  6. I haven't minded being at home and having a quieter life that much either. I try to focus on the silver linings of it and am thankful that no one in my family has gotten sick.

    Funny story about your brother.

  7. I read The Alienist years ago and really enjoyed it. I'll have to check out the TV show one of these days.

  8. That was too funny about the lumberjacks having to close down. That's typical of government though isn't it? They plan something without seeing all the costs down the road so to speak. Like they closed down everything, not realizing what it would do to unemployment offices, and then after the fact are still dealing with some people who have gotten no financial help since this all started back in March (can you believe its been since then?)

    We're hanging in there; I just get extremely frustrated with mainstream media and their reporting of stories. Having the news off is always a good thing in our house though my hubby enjoys watching it. I call it the "rag" and can only stand about 5 minutes of it without having to leave.

    Enjoy your time with your daughter! I'm not watching any professional sports this year. Boycotting them.


  9. Government understand anything? Think that's impossible.
    I've worked through it all, so money's not been an issue.
    And I really doubt we'll see football this year. Unless they contain the players like they are for basketball.

  10. Never quite thought of toilet paper in that way...

    Things are quiet for me. I am doing more reading than writing. Getting some socially distant visits in to the beach. Wishing to have the control in my life COVID has taken away. Wishing I could visit my daughter in SC. Wishing she could visit me here. Thankful for FaceTime and Zoom and things that keep us connected even though none of it can replace a real hug.

  11. That is a funny story about your brother. My uncle was a lumberjack once upon a time, so maybe that's when I learned where paper came from.

    Glad that writing is going okay—hooray for betas you can really trust.

  12. Since I haven't been working due to a back issue before this all happened, my life hasn't changed much. I'm very grateful for that and for being in Upper Michigan where the cases are very low.

  13. I'm sure not cutting down trees was just great for the toilet paper shortage.

    It seems like baseball season is having a lot of problems. I suppose it's possible they'll have things figured out by football time...

  14. I really need to get into The Umbrella Academy. I see so many talking about it.

  15. Hi Susan - love the two quotes ... Luther and his tree - his orchard will and is here long after he's gone - and so will our trees 500 years on ... while Confucius' words have stood the test of time.

    I hope your hubby does get some of the work done?! Good you'll be seeing your daughter though - that will be lovely ... enjoy.

    But your baby brother's story is just great - I shall use that when I do meet up with friends and neighbours around here ... I'm fine I've settled into my single bubble - and really haven't been good at being in contact with others ... still the blog friends are here ...

    Take care and enjoy the daughterly break - Hilary

  16. hahaha everyone needs that tp indeed.

    Yeah, I'm fine with avoiding people, but with work, that doesn't happen much. At least I'm no more broke than I was before haha

    I really doubt that there will be football, but maybe.

  17. Never did quarantine, i have people, especially elderly people, who count on me to clean their homes because they physically cannot. That's not to say i did't lose a couple of clients, and that things aren't tighter, they are, but all in all, not bad.

    As for lumberjacks, i think they kept working in this state. Anyone in construction and maintenance (and that includes them and housekeepers/janitors) was allowed to keep working.

  18. Haha! I wondered about the toilet paper shortage. Good to know! I'm anti-social at the best of times, but even I am getting a little antsy to get out and about. But I'm one of the social distancing people; we don't eat out or gather in groups and I intend to wait it out. I'm fortunate to be an essential worker (swimming pool contractor--people have to keep up their pools!) and have been working remotely from home since March. I like that part!

  19. Thank you for sharing those quotes. They just helped me. Blessings.

  20. Hi Susan...

    It is difficult, but I am doing fine in semi isolation. I bought a house in a small town in NW IL close to the Mississippi and Iowa. It is a lovely spot and until recently had extremely low Covid numbers. But now the tourists have taken over. This wonderful historic town has always been a huge tourist attraction in the summer and for some reason Covid is not keeping them away. But sadly they are bringing Covid here and that concerns me greatly. My little area is far enough away from downtown, but the tour trolly drives by at least ten times a day with many unmasked tourists spilling out of the open windows. Now I must leave for Florida, where the numbers are in the thousands. I will be quarantining when I get back. It will be fine because I am pretty much doing it now. The only time I leave my property is to walk my dog or go to the store. Sad, but I am used to it by this point. My house projects keep me VERY busy. Glad to hear all is well with you and your family. Stay safe, too.

  21. Like you, I don't mind the isolation, except when it comes to my g'kids. I do miss them. But we use FaceTime and Zoom to keep in touch. So far, all the vendor events I signed up for have been cancelled thru Sept. I'm disappointed yet relieved.I love meeting readers, but we all need to be safe. Take care.

  22. I am sadly not surprised by the officials who had no clue where toilet paper came from. Having a hard time writing. Wish my job would come back. Big sigh.

  23. We haven't had quarantine, since we live in the middle of nowhere. Which makes me wonder about laying off lumberjacks, but what do I know? My college kids were both laid off but are back to working. My oldest didn't get to experience his college graduation. The youngest two have been enjoying tons of home-time. But other than that, not much changed for us. The cows and chickens have ignored the entire pandemic ;)

  24. Lots of logging out here in Washington State too. The quarantine hasn't changed my day-to-day life as much as most, since I was already a writer working from home, but we had to forgo our long summer driveabout to visit family in California, Nevada and Utah, which sucks. Poor Hubs, a true extrovert, is suffering but doing his best not to mess with my writing groove. I wish you happy writing!

  25. The pandemic had actually made me busier since I started filling in as a server at the restaurant where I work(ed) as a bookkeeper. I didn't have any days off! But I quit the job as of a week ago, so woot. However, I had suspected that having to work constantly was keeping me from losing my mind, and this past week has shown this to be true.

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