I’m not one of those people who believe that swearing signifies a weak vocabulary, but today I edited eight “damns” out of a story to submit to a clean market, and I had a lot of fun figuring out alternatives. Confounded alternatives.

Just because Trump is out of office doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the Trump Ipsum placeholder text generator a little longer.

I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that wrote Lorem Ipsum, but I don’t know, maybe it was. It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be some wordsmith sitting on their bed that weights 400 pounds. Ok? We are going to make placeholder text great again. Greater than ever before. The other thing with Lorem Ipsum is that you have to take out its family.

It’s official: I’m no longer the protagonist of my own life.

I’ve now lost so many of my things that I’ve crossed a threshold of comic ridiculousness and turned into a quirky side character in my own life.

Notebooks, index cards, sweaters, flannel shirts, water bottles, a bowl of cereal that I just poured milk on…

Here’s to hoping I can blame this on pandemic-brain.

What does a 1,125 page manuscript need more than anything?

Apparently 92 more scenes. *facepalm*

It’s daunting, but when I’m done, I’ll be able to love the first part of the story as much as the ending.

Even if it doesn’t have nearly as many fires.

At age 35, it would be nice if I finally understood how time works. Instead, this is what it looks like when I try to take a late afternoon hike:

90 minutes before sunset: Intend to go hiking.

50 minutes before sunset: Actually leave to go hiking.

40 minutes before sunset: Arrive at destination and proceed to walk original intended distance, due to inflexibility.

10 minutes before sunset: Run to cover more ground until darkness makes this an unwise course of action.

Sometime after sunset on the line between dusk and night: Arrive back at car with no dire consequences having befallen me, thus reinforcing that I can get away with this, whether or not I actually like it.

Anything can be a double-edged sword. I now know that a three-year-old’s enjoyment of Christmas presents does not exist on a five-point scale of “Strongly Dislike” to “Strongly Like,” but that there is a like-related category of “my single-minded enthusiasm for this item requires it to be within one foot of my body at all times, and things like bedtime, mealtime, and leaving the house for any reason are no longer viable life choices.”

Anyway, we had a decent Christmas despite 2020 being what it is, and I now have my small sliver of parenting information to file away for later use.