Thursday, September 25, 2014

Disposable Society

I love The Awkward Yeti.  I have been frustrated with the state of our consumption for a while and his PSA below inspired me to write about it.

We, as a society, are pushing recycling.  We all separate our garbage and tell our kids to protect the Earth and recycle.  But a midst this push to be green we have actually gone the opposite route.  Here are a few examples.

ALL Swifer products.  These are disposable replacements for cloths, brooms and mops that would last years.

Bottled water.  We do need portable water but use a reusable container.  If you don't have one keep refilling the water bottle. Only allow yourself 1 a day.  I have people in my office who use 5 a day and that is just at work!  Unconscionable.

Consumer goods- especially electronics.  We used to have the same TV, phone, stereo for years. Now they are designed with short lives and not meant to last.  My father in law just had to buy a new DVD player because the one he bought two years ago didn't have a new software update available and it wouldn't play the DVD's we bought him. Planned obsolescence.

Those are the first three that popped into my head as my fingers flew over the keyboard.  I am sure you can add numerous items.  Please do in the comments. I would love to hear them and get a dialogue going about this issue.

Please take a moment to honestly think about the products you are using and if there is a way you can cut back on your disposable out put.  We'll deal with Carbon footprints another day.

Here are a few things I do...

Reusable water bottle.

Broom, Rake (not a leaf blower), Mop. Small floor vacuum. Old t-shirts and orphaned socks for rags to clean and polish.  We also use a lot of baking soda and vinegar to clean with and keep reusing the same spray bottle.

Lights off when I leave the room.

Turn off my computer, monitor, printer, and shredder when I leave the office every day!

We use a power strip at home so I can turn off all the unnecessary items that will keep sucking power if we don't (DVD, video games, TV).  Unplug all chargers when you are done using them.

Large laundry loads in cold water.

Native, drought resistant plants in our yard.  Ground cover that doesn't need to be mowed or a lot of water. We've been happy with our red fescue and mondo grass.  Both have held up to the dogs and kids.

I print my manuscript on the back of used paper from work.  We also use that as scratch paper for the kids homework.

Happy Recycling! You'll feel better. You're kids will look up to you. I will thank you and so will the planet.


Friday, September 12, 2014


My characters really become such a part of me that I dream about them and think about them during the day.

I was driving to work after spending a few days living with a character that just presented himself. I needed a break from him, he had become all consuming, so I turned on the radio and heard the Arctic Monkeys song 'Do I wanna know?'.  There is a line in the song about dreaming about you every night and that there is a line about a tune that makes me think of you.  Well my character has a song and I had dreamed about him every night and here he was again.  This song was about him.

This character has become so pervasive that is is invasive.  I don't have a story for him.  I tried to listen to him and find his story but I don't really like it and yet I cannot shake him.

I generally have a story idea and discover the characters through the story or a situation and then the characters grow from there.  Then as they flow with the story I dream or think about them in context and it is not just one character who invades my mind.

How do you create your characters?  Are they story driven or do characters appear first and they drive the story?

Happy writing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A mother's day- okay specifically my day

5:30 AM Wake up- argue with your body and mind that you really have to get out of bed
5:45 AM  Drag pathetic unwilling body into bathroom
6:09 AM  Wake daughter
6:10 AM  Wake son, then daughter again and then son again
I'm going to skip all the reminding children to pack stuff in back packs, me finally brushing my daughters hair after her two mediocre attempts, feeding dogs and leaving out treats and locking house and reminding my son his lunch box was still in his room.  This would be an entry for every minute and I am just too tired.
7:09 AM  Pull out of driveway 9 minutes late.
7:15 AM  Park in school parking lot.  Walk daughter to before school care, sign in, kiss good bye. She is the first one there.  She comments to staff she if always the first one there.  Heart pangs and guilt slams my chest. I am knitting my brow again.  Ugh.
7:19 AM Start driving to my son's school
7:25 AM  Drop my son of at the street that runs along the back of his school next to the crossing guard.  Tell him I love him and to have a good day.
7:26 -8:09 This is my time.  I listen to the news, music, sing and try not to worry about all the traffic and the idiot who just pulled into the lane to turn across the solid white line that I have been backed up in waiting to get through this intersection for three changes of the light.
8:10 AM I'm in my office and the rest of the day will not go as planned.  I have more work than I can complete and my assistant is late again today.  A co-worker also scheduled a meeting yesterday for today and said it was at 8:30.  I attended said meeting and it just kept going.  I left said meeting for my other scheduled meetings.  The meeting I ditched ran until 2:30 PM.  How do you schedule an all day meeting and not give anyone advanced notice of the meeting or it's intended length?  Amazing lack of planning and respect for the person holding the meeting and her co-workers.
5:40 PM I am finally in the elevator.  I am late but since my girlfriend picked my son up and took him to baseball practice I will just make it in time to pick up my daughter.
6:20 PM  At my daughter's school with time to spare.  I greet her, admire what she has made and ask her to pack her stuff.  She keeps talking and showing me what she made.  I again admire it and say we really have to go.  Another parent has arrived and left.  We are the last ones there. I again say we have to go and she finally starts packing her stuff.
6:30 PM  We are in the car heading home.
6:45 PM  Dogs are fed, lunch box empty and leftovers heating since I have to run out the door in a moment. I am already late but need my son to arrive home and eat before we can go.
6:50 PM  Daughter and I are almost done eating.  Son arrives home.  Say hi to mom who dropped him off and rush him inside.  Get his plate warmed up.  Practice was good. He has back to school night next week.
6:58 PM  Set daughter up with typing tutorial for homework and check on son who has now finished most of his dinner.
7:00 PM  I rush out the door for the mandatory meeting for my son's booster club activity.
7:02 PM  I check in with my husband.
7:10 PM  I have to park a block away from the school and start walking to the gym.
7:15 PM  I have to volunteer for three events.  I sign up for them and text my friend who I am signing up for activities too to see what she wants.  She is at her youngest's school open house.
7:40 PM  The orientation meeting is winding down and then I am told to make sure our son's have signed in as this meeting was mandatory for them.  I never understood kids were supposed to come and I even emailed the event coordinator and she said my kids MAY come.  That is not must come.  Oops.
7:50 PM Walking back to the car
8:01 PM  Home. Check my daughter's homework.  Look at what my son is working on.
8:15 PM  Take my daughter upstairs.  Read for 10 minutes before my son is up- he needs help with his homework.
8:28 PM After kissing my daughter goodnight I am helping my son with his homework.  I realize I have not put in the laundry but now it won't be done until later than I feel I can stay awake.  I can survive one more day.
9:22 PM My son is finally completed with his homework and understands the concepts not just the answers to the math problems- and yes I helped him with math.
9:28 PM  I am finished typing this up and I am going to make their lunches for tomorrow and go to bed!

I really wish I had time to read or write today but I am just bushed.  I wonder why?

I hope you don't feel like all your days are like this- all of mine are but they don't all feel like it.