This isn't happening

But it is. It actually is.

Greetings, fellow travelers of life without travel!

So my son came home from college this week with a creative writing fellowship and acceptance to Prague Film School for Jan 2022. I just kinda stared at him in awe.

What’s more, the universe was still feeling generous and after piling all the kudos on him, some was left over to trickle down to me! I was happy to partake:

BOOK & BABY won a 2021 Indie Award: first place in writing/publishing! Knock me down with a feather.

Then I got more good news: The newest edition of The Red Penguin Collection, accepted my short story, “Wild Witch Treats”, for their upcoming book, Once Upon A Time. Don’t have a release date yet - you’ll be the first to know.

Lest you think this means that my time was spent wisely this week - there are two word pairs that took a LOT of my time:

androgynous vs. trans

Thought a lot about semantics. When existing words change meanings without outsiders knowing that definitions have changed, it causes a lot of needless strife between outsiders and the inner circle.

kludged vs jerry-rigged

My husband said my digital filing system was kludgy (kludge is pronounced to sort of rhyme with huge /klo͞oj/),and is a super-common techie term I’d never heard (I try to avoid hearing tech terms or remembering them). The term is supremely useful though. It means to use ill-assorted parts to make (something). For example, here is a kludgy brass instrument (bonus points if you can identify the instrument…!)

This led to me saying “oh, it’s like jerry-rigged” which made me wonder who Jerry-the-sailor was who was doing all this rigging, so I looked it up and whoops! Looks like I combined two terms:

Jury-rigged means something was assembled quickly with the materials on hand; it does come from sailing but does not mean the thing is inherently bad: for that you want to say jerry-built which means a thing that was cheaply or poorly built. (FYI: Jerry-built was first used in the 1800s).

So when you accidentally say jerry-rigged what you really mean to say is KLUDGED.

See? these things tend to come full circle.

Things I did this week:

Won first prize in Indie Awards for writing/publishing for this book. (I just keep having to remind myself it happened, you should do the same with YOUR good news, we all need good news!)

Appeared Live on an online show produced in Capetown, South Africa - you can watch the show here: Writer’s Corner Live: “How You can Kick Chaos to the Curb and Get Creative and Productive.” (I get introduced around the 7 minute mark)

Tuesday night, I was a featured at an intimate group session at Author’s Guild. It was moderated by Marina Aris and basically, I talked some writers with kids through their personal situations to help them get back on creative track. There’s no recording. Time to start participating LIVE again, people! Remember missing cool events? That’s coming back.

On Wednesday I had a much anticipated taped interview for a cool podcast called Sensitive Rebel. It was very hard to avoid discussing candy. It was very very easy to talk about everything else. I think we talked for two hours. I hear the podcast is 45 minutes. (Happy editing, Steve!)

This week I have no crazy publicity stunts at all, just some lovely one-on-one meetings with people from the industry. I’m looking forward to those (you know who you are!)

Heads up because Facebook is going to tell you anyway: Wednesday is my birthday. If you feel like it, you can throw a couple bucks to the nonprofit Pen Parentis through this link. I promise to write you a nice thank you note. Maybe even take you out for coffee.

Other than that I had a lot of philosophical discussions this week. I recently finished CS Lewis’ final novel, Until We Have Faces (thanks for the recommend, Emily) and just started Ira Levin’ This Perfect Day. Utopias, dystopias, alternate worlds. What better way to start summer?

Oh! And I almost forgot: I did some great art this week - went to the Met Breuer and saw the Frick Collection—was particularly amused by the room of bronze naked Greek men and beasts. What’s up with that particular proclivity?

Also went to a terrific art installation which is borderline theater. It’s called A Dozen Dreams and is free and self-guided! Timed entry; and parts of it are super-cool (winding your way alone through the back rooms of the World Financial Center is reason alone to do it) There are 12 rooms/installations, most with video.

It takes 55 minutes, if you do it right. Or you can be like the teen kid who started 5 minutes behind me but kept zipping ahead too fast and stopping in surprise to find me standing in the middle of a room, absorbing the installation and listening to a playwright’s entire monologue on the headset. He would then play a video game on his phone until I moved on to the next room. (Honestly? Kudos to teen kid for doing it at all—not a lot of people his age would have dropped in like that, and he was respectful, just didn’t have the attention span for a five minute poetic dream sequence.) Anyway, if you are in NYC, you can get tickets here until May 30. I’ll probably post all the photos on my Facebook page after the show closes — wouldn’t want to give anything away.

Stay safe & be well, my friends.