Coronavirus Part 2, Day 40- Original Ideas Are All You Need

Cat fight

The other day I decided to start clearing out the office section of my house. Before I got into it, our office supplies resided in several junk drawers strewn about the three floors of my house, with papers and staplers and sticky-notes and at least twelve workbooks issued by Texas public schools piled into bins and shoved into drawers and cabinets. As I was purging old papers, I discovered two old term papers from my International Relations undergraduate program, titled…

U.S. Humanitarian Intervention: The Legacy of Somalia, and NATO: A Comparison of the Post Cold War, Post 9/11 era and the Importance of the United States for the Future NATO Alliance. Shrug.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 39- Creative Process

Protect the process and the work will take care of itself.

Dan Brown

About a month ago I decided to purchase the year subscription to MasterClass content after getting bombarded with their limited buy one, get one free promotion. Back in 2017 when MasterClass was newer with fewer course offerings, I had asked for James Patterson’s class on creative writing for my birthday. I was generally pleased with the content and learned some stuff that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Back then you could only buy access to one class at a time, but now they’ve figured out a subscription model where you can gain access to their entire catalogue, which by now is robust.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 38- Psychographics

Join groups where people talk about the stuff you want to talk about.

Steve Moga
Penny’s word “Troof” instead of “Truth” <3

I’m standing around in my kitchen heating up some pasta and meat sauce for the boys of my house. Penny is having cheese for dinner. Whatever. Her and I just got back from my visit to the salon, which was not what it used to be. As you might imagine the usual pampering of customers with hot tea and fizzy water service is now a pre-COVID thing of the past. We had to wear our masks the entire time, and when Penny decided to switch chairs for the 5th time, the girl at the counter (finally) told me that, per the customer policy, additional people are not allowed to join appointments, kids included. I suppose they were going to just let it be until they saw that Penny was only going to touch every chair in the salon.

They let me finish my session where I got highlights in the front to, you know, hide the fact that I’m sprouting grey hairs. It’s a reverse-hiding. It’s a “my light hair is so in plain sight that maybe you won’t notice” hiding. Now I feel, sort of, like a lion? Or like Poppy. Steve has walked past me twice and said nothing. Nick came and collected his dinner, same thing. Boys!

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 34- Life as a Series of Creative Decisions


How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.

Annie Dillard

Last night Penny and I watched an episode of Fuller House in which Kimmy and Fernando dressed up as Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo. It was hilarious (all the episodes are funny) so I decided afterwards to show Penny a Youtube video of Lucille Ball’s famous performance as the Vitametavegamin girl. Penny loved it— we’ve watched it probably six times now. If you haven’t seen it ever or it’s been a long time, check it out. It will make you smile.

There’s a podcast I’ve been listening to for a while called Story Grid, hosted by Tim Grahl with regular guest Sean Coyne, who is Steven Pressfield’s editor. It’s a podcast about story telling but it takes a somewhat formulaic approach—which I love. During one of the episodes, Sean Coyne describes a novel as the representation of “a series of creative decisions” made by the author. I didn’t appreciate this until I tried to write my own novel and had to navigate what felt like infinite possibilities to questions like: Where is this story going to take place? What characters do I want to create? What’s going to happen to them? The end result is indeed a series of creative decisions I made based on figuring out these different things.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 33- Time Management


Today at H-E-B Penny and I went shopping for eggs and popsicles and a few other things I can’t remember. We’re in the habit of wearing our masks now, the hand sanitizer thing takes a little more intentional remembering but that’s much improved as well. The one thing I haven’t gotten into is the six-feet apart thing. It’s difficult in the grocery store when everyone seems to be standing around in the bread aisle at the same time. Maybe some social distancing things will stick, and other things won’t.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 32- Fuller House

Penny and Poppy

Penny is outside crying on the front porch looking for her lost tooth. It had started to rain this afternoon so she and I grabbed the umbrella and went for a walk down the street. When we returned to the porch and resumed binge watching Fuller House, Penny’s tooth fell out. This was exciting and she was happy. Then for some reason she threw her tooth into the gravel and I was amazed when she walked right over, found it, and came back to her seat. Then she threw it again. Now it’s lost. I told her the tooth fairy is still good for it.

“But you’re the tooth fairy!” Penny said.

“I know. And I saw your tooth. So you’re good.”

She’s over it now, which is good because the tooth is gone forever.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 31- Writing Projects

This weekend I sent off my a draft of a novel that I’ve been working on to an editor. There’s this great quote by Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) in which he says, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

After hitting this milestone of having refined my first manuscript to the point where I’m willing to pay for editorial services, I have learned two things:

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 30- Protests, Riots, and Race

I’m sitting out front, alone, waiting for the end of year school car parade to pass by in front of our house. Penny is sitting on the balcony on the second floor while Nick is in his room. He promises to come out when the parade is here. Both kids are streaming stuff on the internet. I guess I’m on the internet too. So much internet these days.

This weekend, major U.S. cities were ablaze in protest over the killing of African-American man, George Floyd, after a police officer arrested Floyd, laying him on the ground while applying pressure to Floyd’s neck with his knee. As a result of this cruel arrest tactic, George Floyd ended up dead.

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