There are quite a few new readers here this week, so welcome! If you’re wondering what kind of crazy post this Quick Takes thing is, it’s a weekly roundup where I and other bloggers write seven little mini-posts, wrapped into one. It’s a chance to write up any stories that you’d like to share that don’t warrant entire posts to themselves. If you have a blog, join us!
My 7 Quick Takes posts are never examples of erudite prose, but this one is going to be even more incoherent because I’m sick. Totally, completely, ridiculously sick. I had the great misfortune to get both a stomach flu and a terrible sinus infection at the same time, and I pretty much feel like I spent yesterday drinking a bottle of tequila, running a marathon, snorting chili pepper, then hitting myself in the face repeatedly with a hammer. (The exact moment I got sick is actually documented in yesterday’s post: notice that I was replying to a lot of comments, then my replies suddenly stop. I think I was half way through a response to a comment about the picture of my blonde hair when I felt a rumbling in my stomach that made me realize that my night was about to take a turn for the macabre.)
Anyway, you would think that this would mean that there would be no 7 Quick Takes post from me today, but nay, I have crawled out from the covers and am holding my eyes open, typing through blurred vision and feverish delusions that occasionally make me wonder why all the letters are doing those dances on the screen.
Why am I doing this? Because I am up for Best Linkup Host in the Sheenazing Blog Awards, and I cannot be expected to crush my foes if I let being sick to the point of incoherence stop me from writing things on the internet. Hallie, Cari, Leila: I’m comin’ for you.
Okay, it’s not all about ruling linkup categories in blog awards. There’s another reason I’m doing the post as well, and it’s a perfect illustration of what Hallie was talking about today when she pointed out that adding stuff to your to-do list can sometimes give you energy, if you choose the right activities: writing makes me feel better. It’s really fun for me. When I don’t get a chance to do it, I don’t feel relieved; I feel bummed, like I missed out on something cool. It’s a treat that adds a bright spot to an otherwise dismal day.
I think that I have found the official litmus test for whether or not you have the charism of writing (a charism being a gift from God that fills you with energy when you use it): when you find yourself huddled under covers, in horrible pain, chilled with fever, and you find yourself saying, “I just…want…to blog!”
One nice thing is that being sick has given me a chance to use my new Kindle more. My parents got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and I LOVE it. I used to read ebooks on a tablet, but the Kindle has a much better reading experience.
First of all, there are no distractions. I can’t tell you how many times I’d sit down to read a book on my tablet and somehow find myself Googling to find out whatever happened to the Backstreet Boys ten minutes later. For those of us who for whom being near an internet connection is like a monkey being near a shiny object, it’s best that we don’t have the option of tweeting about what we’re reading instead of actually reading it.
But the main thing is this: you can turn the back light all the way off, so that the screen is not lit any more than a piece of paper would be. Notice in this picture how the screen is dark where the book light isn’t hitting it:
I realized that my tablet was making it hard for me to go to sleep, which I guess makes sense since shooting bright light directly into your eyeballs is not the best way to signal to your body that it’s nighttime. I can drift off much more easily now that I’m reading on the Kindle, since it’s pretty much identical to paper.
Speaking of cool new things, I ordered some mini business cards from Moo.com. Cute, huh? I wasn’t asked to promote this — I actually found the company from doing research about good business card companies — but they sent me a little code with my order where friends can get 10% off if you find yourself in need of some cute cards.
It was slightly surreal to be able to attribute the word Author to myself.
When I showed Joe my new Author! business cards, I said that it’s a symbol that we’re finally done with the book, which elicited a long round of dark laughter from both of us. Being “done with the book” has become a running joke in our family, since there have been so, so, so many times in this crazy process that we thought I was pretty much finished, only to realize that we weren’t even close.
The other day I found an old email I sent Joe in 2010 where I seemed to perceive that the process was pretty much over. You can see his reaction when I forwarded it to him below (with some bonus thoughts on his feelings toward 2013):
It is sleeting outside, which is a very rare weather condition for Austin. I think I’m going to go brew myself a cup of hot tea, down some NyQuil, crawl back under the covers, and bask in thankfulness for my warm bed as I listen to the icy rain droplets blow against the window. Sounds like a pretty good plan, right?