Month: May 2022

A Tweet Thread I Haven’t Posted Yet

This morning a friend linked The Onion website. They had filled their front page with iterations of the article they post every time there is a mass shooting. Twitter link wasn’t giving the visual of the page so I stitched together an image for twitter.

Seeing the same article over and over with different locations really hit me. It hit a lot of people. My tweet of that image has 10k retweets and counting.

Around 2000 retweets I muted the conversation, because the conversation isn’t about me or about the image I put up. People aren’t talking to me. They’re doing the same thing I did, borrowing a visual to help them express their pain.

Because this hurts. When I encounter public pain, I find myself thinking back to a post I wrote just after the 2016 US election and then re-posted in 2020 when we were all aghast at the George Floyd video.

Maybe that’s why The Onion’s display of repeated articles speaks to me. I too have words that I wrote and return to because the incident of pain changes, but in my effort to understand the new hurt, I land in the same emotional place.

One of the criticisms I saw before I muted the thread was that The Onion’s posting was just as performative and useless as empty statements of “thoughts and prayers.” I disagree.

There is power in repetition, in returning to the same words over and over writing them on our minds and our hearts. We return to this same article and are TIRED of returning to the same article. So we ask ourselves, what can I do to not have to be faced with this article again?

For me the answer is to do as Shep advised, adopt a cause:

Shepherd@NeolithicSheepPick one fight that calls to you. Trust that other competent people have got the others. Boost their voices, send $5 when you can, but otherwise let go of any belief that you are necessary to every fight.

And follow that up with this second piece of smart advice: you can’t fight all of the fights:

Shepherd@NeolithicSheepWe need you in *A* fight. But it is not humanly possible for you to be in every fight. So, yknow, pick your battle and throw yourself into it with a whole and joyful heart.

For today, I’m letting people in that first Onion thread have their moment of pain undisturbed. Many of us are not our best selves today. It is hard to be our best selves in the first moment of pain.

And I am taking time to remind myself of the causes I’ve picked so I can funnel my “must do something” energy into places where I have the best lever.

A Matching Joy

Look who stopped by today!

A scrub jay sitting on a deck railing with a peanut in his beak.

I was rolling a garbage can to the curb this morning when I heard the familiar scream of a jay. I went to sit on my back patio and within a couple of minutes, Screm flew by and landed on the rain gutter to stare at me. I got him peanuts and he collected them all in minutes. I’m so happy! He’s fine. Screm and Lurk just picked a different nesting site and have probably been hanging out really close to it for the past several weeks. In another week or two they’ll probably be bringing fledglings with them to say hello.

A Small Sadness

A scrub jay sitting on the arm of a patio chair with a peanut in his mouth.

I think the avian flu may have gotten my blue jay friends and I’m sad. They are such beautiful, bossy, inquisitive, and active birds. We’d named them Screm and Lurk. They nested in the pine tree right next to our front porch last year. Usually when we put out peanuts, they show up and claim the nuts within five minutes, I’ve had nuts out untouched for two days. I miss them and I hope they’re okay.

Admin Season

Admin season always sneaks up on me. It is how I describe those periods of time when I’m living by my task list and paying attention to dozens of small administrative tasks all day long. This time I was at least ten days into admin season before I realized that I was in the middle of admin season. Probably because I’m still juggling the last tailing ends of things to deliver for XDM2e while also starting the ramp up for Shafter’s Shifters and our Patreon makeover. In fact, maybe I’ll just make a list. Or several.


  • Keep working with our accessibility consultant to get the fully accessible versions of this book complete. (ETD end of June.)
  • Discuss the feasibility of ePub and Mobi formats with an expert. (Meeting Saturday)
  • Update the QFT PDF so that it matches XD20 v2. (Yes I know that sentence is barely comprehensible. I’m changing numbers in a game module to match updates to the game mechanics in the new version.)
  • Layout the character stand up PDF.
  • Keep communicating with Tracy to track the progress of the audiobook version.
  • Keep communicating with the printer to track the completion and arrival of the print version.
  • Re-learn how to put digital books up on sites other than our own store.
  • Clean up my warehouse and make floor space so I can receive pallets of books.
  • This list will spawn an entire new list of shipping and fulfillment tasks once the print books arrive.

Shafter’s Shifters

  • Daily meetings with Howard where I’m a sounding board for plot problems and character thoughts.
  • Post chapters for our Patrons each Monday through the end of May.
  • Gather feedback from beta readers.
  • Be an alpha reader and then editor as the book progresses.
  • More tasks will spawn for this as we reach the point where we’re ready to crowdfund.

Writing Excuses Retreat

  • Check and answer customer support emails daily.
  • Weekly meetings to make sure tasks are on track.
  • Manage meeting scheduling as needed.
  • Help draft some communications to staff and attendees.
  • Participate in setting up and managing the Discord communities.
  • Other tasks as assigned.

Household Admin

  • Grocery shopping and other resource acquisition.
  • Prescription management.
  • Appointments and calendaring.
  • Manage the outsourcing of lawn care.
  • Accounting and bill paying weekly.
  • And I’m supposed to be prepping areas of the house for further kitchen remodeling, but somehow I never get to this part of the list.

Business Admin

  • Weekly accounting and bill paying.
  • Ship store orders to customers at least twice per week.
  • Learn how to format digital files so that we can offer Planet Mercenary and the Mayhem Cards as POD items on DriveThruRPG.
  • Check the PO Box.
  • Check and answer customer support emails.
  • Calendar management to try to picture how the next months will go.
  • Gen Con planning.
  • Inventory tracking and re-ordering. (We’re nearing reprint time on a couple of books.)

Writerly Stuff

  • I have two newsletters to write and send out. (One for Hypernode Media, one for Sandra Tayler.)
  • I’m reading a book to give feedback to a critique partner.
  • Drafting the Structuring Life to Support Creativity Workbook.
  • Revising House in the Hollow.
  • Blogging (Which I’ve obviously not been getting done much lately.)
  • Holding monthly Creative Check-Ins with a small group.
  • Intending to write a short story, but never quite getting past the “vague concepts” stage.
  • Feeling guilty that I’m not putting up more things on Patreon.

Personal & Family Stuff

  • This list is not for public consumption, but it exists and has many items on it.

These lists are not comprehensive. But seeing them all in a row like that makes me think I should grant myself a little bit of grace for the things I want to be doing but never quite manage to get done. I’m optimistic that I can actually clear away some of these things in the next few weeks and create more space in my schedule.