Kay: Post-Election Correction Reflection

Photo by Mikapon, 2006

Photo by Mikapon, 2006

This blog, as the name says, is about writing—the writing lives of the eight participants. But today, I had a hard time writing because I was depressed about our election results. No doubt many of you are also depressed, so I don’t have to go into the reasons here.

But writing has fixed my depression before, so I opened up my manuscript and set to work. And the first thing I did was delete 2,000 words.

Well, they were probably boring words. But I realized that I wasn’t assessing my work with my best brain, so I decided that before I reduced my poor WIP to no words at all, I better find a way to crawl out of the wallow and come to grips with the new reality. So I went looking for comfort.

First I went for the chocolate cookies and the Japanese tea that Michaeline gave me that I drank out of the cup that Jilly gave me. That helped. And then I went online for what others were doing.

The best part of the search is that not only did I find comfort, but I found good advice for anytime anyone gets down about life. Lani Diane Rich, over at Storywonk, talked about how people always need storytellers, and now more than ever. Stories chronicle the times, she said, and people need that—and they need the thoughts, inspiration, and entertainment that storytellers provide. Even if you’re not at full strength, with all boilers working full steam, it’s important, she said, to carry on the best you can.

Then I swung over to the Murderati site, and JT Ellison and Amy had a list of 40 things to do that would make a person feel better when they weren’t. I read the list, and most of them would make me feel better—in fact, I did some of them today even before I read their post. I’m just picking a few here to give you a flavor. JT said that Amy got into the limoncello, so a lot of the items are Italian in flavor. So proceed at your own pace. Here’s a sample:

  1. Adopt a cat or dog from your local shelter
  2. Eat ice cream
  3. Start on your holiday cards
  4. Read a book
  5. Buy a book!
  6. Gift a book!
  7. Reorganize your bookshelf
  8. Clean your closet
  9. Go on a Christmas present-buying rampage
  10. Fill that Goodwill giveaway box that you’ve been neglecting
  11. Get a manicure and pedicure
  12. Rake your neighbor’s leaves
  13. Jump in said pile of leaves
  14. Binge-watch that show you’ve been waiting for
  15. Go for a walk
  16. Go to a museum
  17. Drink some Limoncello
  18. Learn who Edward Hopper is
  19. Donate $5 to your favorite charity, more if you can
  20. Make some coffee, tea, or cocoa in your favorite mug. Shut off the computer, turn off your phone, and enjoy

Finally, they said, “remember that the world will continue to spin no matter what happens.” Rich said that, too: “There are always other things you can hold onto that matter.” Rich herself, among other things, holds on to coffee mugs. “When I have a bad day, I buy a new mug,” she said.

So, feeling lousy? Keep working. “There’s nothing more important than what we do with the time we have,” Rich said. “Put the oxygen mask on first. Take care of yourself. Then take on the world.”

P.S.: Need a spot of election silver lining? Check out Jenny Crusie’s irreverent take on the election results.






7 thoughts on “Kay: Post-Election Correction Reflection

  1. Some very good suggestions Kay. I’d seen Jenny’s post, but not the others. I stayed off the internet yesterday until after I hit my NaNo word count. I was going to stay off until morning, but curiosity got the best of me. There was no sleeping after that. Seems like everyone is busy processing things today and figuring out what the future will and/or should look like. I definitely agree with the Lani’s comment that we need storytellers, during good times and bad. I also remember that the romance genre saw steady (or even increasing readership) during the recession when people were looking for a bit of mental escape. That reinforces the power of storytelling.

    Onward we go.

    p.s. Hope your manuscript survived the day with some words intact.

    • I had to stay off the web, also on Wednesday. My favorite check-in-with-the-world websites, nbcnews.com and cnn.com, became websites-that-shall-not-be-visited. I am somewhat comforted that the popular vote chose someone else (not that it matters). And focusing on writing does help a little. I also went to a check presentation yesterday (you know, the big cardboard thing) for the award of a grant I wrote that was such great news and a wonderful project which will benefit students and the community for years (aquaponics and hydroponics which raises fish and uses the fish waste water to feed vegetables creating a sustainable food source – high school kids are researching and building the systems and donating the food to the local food bank). That was my there-are-good-things-out-there activity yesterday.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth! I shut down my computer before I trashed the entire story. Maybe tomorrow it will look better, or more possible, or fixable instead of only delete-able. I agree, we need stories more than ever. Fingers to the keyboard, all!

  3. What better place to retreat than your story, in your world?? You are the mistress of everything that happens there, and you can fix anything with a tap or two of the keyboard 🙂 .

  4. (-: Tea is always a comforting idea! I’ve been drinking an organic green tea for a week or so, and I think it really makes a difference in how I feel. Gets the blood flowing, more so even than black tea or plain water (and I haven’t got to the point where I’m getting nose bleeds or mysterious bruises, so I’m in a good place, LOL).

    My nest has basically emptied this year (although I see one daughter every weekend), so I’ve had to make my own fun for the past six months. The ukulele has been a great comfort. It sounds pretty, it allows me to sing, it challenges me, and it makes me feel great when I master something new (and as a beginner, I’m constantly mastering something new!).

    A quick pick-me-up is looking for pictures on something like Wikimedia Commons for the blog or for my classes. I know I complain about the time it takes to select images for my blog posts, but I do run across so many pretty and interesting pictures in the search. I am not sure Edward Hopper is the guy to cheer me up (-:. On the other hand, if I search for something like “Illustrations of cats”, I get something like this: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kitten_in_Slipper.jpg

    I’m sure that trick works for your favorite wildlife — dogs, gerbils, butterflies, unicorns . . . . Parrots.

    And of course, YouTube is an endless font of knowledge and fun. Stay away from the dangerous zones, and you could come out happier.

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