Elizabeth: While you Shelter in Place

Are you having a little trouble focusing on your writing these days with all that is going on in the world?

I know I am.

Where I live, about three-million people have essentially been grounded and sent to their room (separately).  I work in an “essential” industry, so I’m still going into work, which has its advantages:  my 20-minute commute, which typically takes an hour, is back to 20-minutes, and there is no trouble finding a place to park.  As an added bonus, the Starbucks drive-thru window is also apparently “essential” so I don’t have to worry about caffeine-withdrawal.

Though I don’t have to worry (unlike many others) about my job (and paycheck) disappearing as a result of business shutdowns, this kind of worldwide health crisis is still disturbing, especially when there are so many unknowns.

Thankfully, there is always the internet for a little needed distraction.

Want to learn a new skill?

You don’t even have to leave the blog for this first distraction.  Jeanne wrapped up her three-part series on how to set up and use Instagram this week.  If you missed her posts, you can check them out here, here, and here.  Even if you don’t want to be come an Instagram-master, you can still have fun checking out what others have posted.

In the mood for some art?

Instagram not your catnip?  No problem.  Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits.  From the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, there is sure to be something to catch your attention.

You may also want to check out Paris Musées, a collection of 14 museums in Paris that have recently made high-res digital copies of 100,000 artworks freely available to the public on their collections website. Artists with works in the archive include Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Cézanne, and thousands of others

Feel like building something?

If you have a fondness for Lego blocks, the folks over at www.thatbricklife.com have put together a calendar with 30-days worth of building ideas that should keep you busy for a while.  Even if you’re not a fan of building blocks, this might be just the thing to keep the kids busy so you can get in a little writing time.

Need a little light humor?

If you need a little something to smile about, the Literary Hub’s post  “The first lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing” may be just the thing.   My favorite line was “FaceTime me, Ishmael.”  Or maybe you’d prefer to peruse the set of amusing National Park prints over on the Atlas Obscura site that are based on actual reviews people have left on review sites.

Artist Amber Share trawls disgruntled reviews on such platforms as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook to mine for complaints about the parks. She’s looking for quippy put-downs or one-liners that she can juxtapose with lush, loving illustrations of park landscapes for a project she calls Subpar Parks.

Looking for something to read?

If there is one thing that I never lack, it’s something to read, but I’m always looking for new and interesting titles to add to my reading queue.  Fortunately, I recently came across the Smart Bitches Book Finder tool.  Just select a genre, a theme or two, and an optional archetype and give it a whirl.  Even if you aren’t looking for anything to read, it’s kind of fun to play around with.

How about some conversation?

Sheltering-in-place, along with the cancellation of major sporting events, and a dash of inclement weather may leave you with no other option but to actually talk to other family members – gasp!  Who knows what you might learn, as this tweet shows.   I loved the “she seems nice” bit.

If all else fails. . .

Hopefully, you’ll find something here to distract you for at least a little while.  If not, you might just have to get back to writing.

Good health to all!

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: While you Shelter in Place

  1. LOL, this is so much me! I have no interest in writing. I just surf the net all morning looking for reassurance and laffs. Gotta balance the two.

    In addition to your excellent resources, it seems a lot of people are starting some homeschooling programs for kids. I’m particularly interested in the one by NPR reporter Ari Shapiro, who is creating a class for his niece and nephew. The first topic is about how we know what is real and what is not. His links are fantastic, even if you aren’t a fifth-grader. (Look for the links in the YouTube description.)

    Also, a friend on my Bujold list gave us links to filkers (folk-singers who sing fanfics, basically) and so many wonderful things this week — including the Cambridge textbooks catalog(ue). Free online access until the end of May! https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks# I hope the US publishers offer something like this; I would love to do some research on Gilded Age New York.

  2. Pingback: Kay: There’s a Bug Out There – Eight Ladies Writing

    • I know what you mean, Jeanne. I can’t help watching the news—looking for reassurance that things are either getting better or that there are at least adults in the room working to take care of things.

      If I figure out a way to break the cycle, I’ll let you know :-). I’m working in the yard today, hoping that the fresh air will help. If nothing else, the yard will look better.

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