The End Is Always Near, Version COVID-19

I found Dan Carlin’s The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses in December 2019 at the book fair at my kids’ school, and I picked it up because of the great title and also because in my speculative historical novel characters live under constant fear of “the end of time.” What an opportunity, I thought, to revisit this aspect of history and make sure my world building was realistic, so I bought the book but didn’t get to it right away.

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Here We Go. Are We Prepared?

Here in Seattle, we’re embarking on a journey that not all of us might survive. A journey with no fixed timeframe and a destination that could only be called “back to normal,” before the times of COVID-19. Ten days ago, our local officials told us to prepare for the disruption of everyday life. I thought a lot about those words. The advice was to stock up on food, medicine, and other supplies. So my husband and I went to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the hardware store and bought stuff. Not too much, as not to look ridiculous to our neighbors (though who cares today how ridiculous we looked ten days ago?), then we went by our normal routines.

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When My Blogging Became Spam

Last week, Facebook’s new algorithm determined that posting a link on my timeline to my latest blog post was spam, so it didn’t display the link in anybody’s News Feed, except for the few people who had marked me as their family or close friend. I felt as if I had done something illegal and I was being punished. Because I’m not paying for the platform Facebook is offering, it can shut me out if and when it wants to and there’s nothing I can do about it. Continue reading

What I Hate About Writing

I’ve rarely found myself on the receiving end of violence, but there have been a few times. One summer day, when I was thirteen, I ventured into the green nursery on the outskirts of my hometown in Romania. The nursery was just outside my apartment window in Galaţi, and it felt safe and familiar, with its rectangular patches planted with shrubs and flowers, and further away, with its young poplar trees that would one day line up the streets of my city. On warm summer evenings, I used to turn off the lights in my room, open the windows and take in the perfume of roses and the songs of nightingales coming from the nursery. Continue reading

Four Reasons to Join a Writing Practice Group

First posted on Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog on August 2, 2012. This post refers to the writing practice that starts every Tuesday and Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Louisa’s Café and Bakery in Seattle. We write for 45 minutes with a timer, then break into groups of four and share our work.

Update 01/18/2017: Louisa’s Café closed its business in December 2016. Our group is now meeting at Vios Café at Third Place (6504 20th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115), but just to be sure, check out Writing Practice before heading there.

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