Today we have more words from Writers Forum President and Queen Laura Hernandez. With the COVID-19 numbers back on the rise in California, and with the lack of masks we see around town, it looks like this is going to be a longer ride than we hoped. Laura has some pointers for staying active with your writing as we wait it out.
One thing you can do is submit work to post at this blog! I can only post material that I have. If I don’t have it, I can’t post it. The more material I receive, the more regularly I can post, and the more variety we can have. Submission guidelines are always at the bottom of each post. Submissions from non-Writers Forum members will be considered.
If I have to come over there…!
Welp, we did it! We passed up all the other states except New York (it’s always a struggle to be 2nd Best to Them, isn’t it?!). We in CA are the Second Most Infected With Chingona, in the whole country! And it’s not because of “increased testing.” It’s because we are Stubborn, Bored and Selfish! Yay!
Most of the newly infected in Shasta County (we are up to 86 as I write this, yay!) are attributed by contact tracing to a Family Gathering and another Graduation Party! Yay! And yes, there are people who infected each other at those Very Necessary Parties. But then they all went to the store. On different days. Your store? My store? My drug store? My liquor store? (This is no time to judge me.)
Wearing masks is not a matter of opinion, thank you Governor, it is a matter of State Mandate. You know, the force of law.
And did you see the young people who have erected card tables and petitions at the grocery stores to recall the governor over MASKS?! Bless their hearts.
I’m sure it wasn’t any of you who participated in these Very Necessary Parties. But we are going to have to police ourselves (by example) and exert some peer pressure with a Parental Glare that says, “Don’t Make Me Come Over There!” to those who are not wearing masks. It is the only thing we have.
And I know, I’m tired (and sweaty) trying to tell people to do this. At work, I have a sign, 8 ½ X 11, on yellow paper, in a font that is as big as your face on my door, that says, “You must wear a mask to enter the Law Li-berry.” And STILL there are people who bang in the door without one. No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service. No shit.
Yes, we were good, we behaved. For a while. And now people are done. I see that. I also see the rate of infection climbing like it hasn’t before. Seven thousand. In. One. Day. Yay.
Please stay the ‘eff at home when you don’t have to get food. Or drugs. Or liquor. (I can see your face, stop it.)
I’m getting good at shopping online for stuff I now know I can’t fetch because there are people without masks in line ahead of me at the freakin’ store. They yell at cashiers because they want to be free to infect. Did you know Old Navy will take the stuff you ordered online but maybe you have to return for free and you can take your bag to a less-crowded place like Mail Boxes, Etc. instead of the Post Office, to return before 5:00 (except they are closed on Sat/Sun.)? Home Depot delivers shit right to your door, too (except not that Stump Remover stuff, I guess because of that you-can-light-a-match to accelerate the removal part of the instructions?). You can even get a box of blue-paper disposable masks (30 of them!) delivered right to your door (Amazon, free delivery, Yay!). And yes, wear them outside, too. You are walking right behind someone’s Chingona Cloud of Conversation.
The good news is that we still have a lot of hospital beds available! Yay! We might need them. Or not. I don’t have all the information I need. The Redding Record Searchlight is pretty much over this whole pandemic thing, too. They no longer show a daily count from the health department for free online, like they did every day last week. Over it. And yet, many, many more cases. Go figure. Listen to the radio, like NPR 88.9 or 97.1 for Redding. There’s a California Report everyday at about 9:00 am, that is not just for infection reportage. On Thursdays there is a Selected Shorts program at 8:00-9:00pm where professional actors you’ve heard of, read short stories on random topics in front of live people somewhere. It’s pretty fun!
Try and find something funner to do indoors. Did you try Udemy for writing and editing yet? Do it now. You can play the classes over and over and take notes or just make sock puppets to interact with them! Maybe you thought we’d be out of the woods (I live in the woods, so you know, metaphor) by now and online learning wouldn’t be something we’d have to resort to. We have to resort to. It’s funner than you think. There’s another $10 sale on now!
I did those and also hired a Content Editor through Reedsy, who gave me a 16-page evaluation for my first novel, (I sent her the whole damn thing!) and an evaluation on my query letter which gets me that much closer to publication! Yay! I know I‘ve told you this before, but you might be able to hear me now. On Reedsy.com, you can find an editor, evaluate their credentials separately by just Googling their name, and interact online with them to negotiate a price (you make payments to Linked In) to get the kind of professional assessment you need to take your writing to the next professional level. I love my critique group partners, but we all need experts in the publishing world, too. There are hundreds of editors for different needs to choose from, and you can evaluate 5 at a time, like an auction you control, to make them jump to be your line or content editor for your very own manuscript! My content editor lives in Ireland (although her business in based in Florida), and worked for one of the Big Five publishing houses before going on her own. She gave me details and Big Picture ways to improve this novel and my others that was specific and understandable. She is a fan and we will work together to get me published. I love her, get your own.
You know how hard it’s been to concentrate because of all the Pandemic News creeping us out? That’s the part we have to get over. Force yourself to concentrate, like it says on the orange juice carton. (My column, my jokes.) Write something that isn’t about germs, disease and infection. I dare ya.
Buy an exercise course online to keep you in the Fun Zone! If your internet is spotty at home, buy an exercise CD/DVD and have it delivered to your house (Target, Amazon, not Home Depot!)! Get some extra batteries for your new, portable CD player (you can order that online from Target and they will deliver to your house!! Like magic!). I know, it’s money. But we are going to have to spend a little in ways we didn’t think we’d need to before…all this. Get a DVD about Yoga! I hate Yoga. It just forces me to see how neglectful I am with vacuuming. And dusting. And spider de-webbing. And how I’ve never liked that blue book… there. But that’s just me (and I can still see your face). This will also be good prep for PG&EffingE’s planned plug-pulling for fire prevention this summer, too. Be sure to include a mask in your Go Bag in case we need to leave to let firefighters work.
Yes, we’re exhausted. Buck up. Thought the Not-So-Great-Depression was hard? Yep, nope. And it’s not so bad at home. At least there, I don’t have to wear my mask to go to the bathroom down the hall. Like I do at work. Yay.
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