I have lots of friends whose marketing efforts for all sorts of businesses inspire me. They show me that there are effective ways to stand out in a crowded space of posts and links. It’s a personal touch that gives a person and business a signature feel.
Nancy Kempa does just that in her posts.
We became friends on Instagram, and talked a lot about our messaging and about life. She has one of those determined wills that is also inspiring. Have something you’d like to do or do better? Nancy’s approach is to tackle it.
So, there’s a story I want to tell and I don’t care if you judge.
One of my kids made a gesture at the TV yesterday that told a story. We’ve navigated this lockdown like good astronauts (minus zero gravity and Tang.) But as my girls worked on a puzzle during a Hulu session of Malcolm in the Middle, an ad came on and triggered her.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean we have to be distant socially, the sugary-voiced lady was saying to promote something I can’t even remember.
Instinctively, a middle finger arose. She didn’t even look up from the puzzle. I said nothing. I get it. Social listening data tells us that people love ads like this. They want to know corporate America is in it with us. That they’re doing their part.
I take it with me on flights. If it isn’t too wacky (or sometimes even if it is), I’ll ask the person next to me to pick a prompt for me to write about while we’re flying. Sometimes, I just pick one.
The one I’ll use today is one I picked.
It’s about stuff we should learn in school. I feel like there are some things we learn (or struggle to learn, often in my case) that would be better serve being replaced. There are things I’d like to have learned, but didn’t.
Sunday, feeling almost caught up in the writing part of this #AtoZMadness (but still way behind on reading!), I had the task of cranking out a post to go with the letter K. Oy. Kaleidoscope? Karma? Kaput? Kayak?
(I could write about the time I almost died in a kayak – or was that a canoe?)
Well, I still could have tied it to kaput! But I got a test from a friend named Kelly on Sunday afternoon checking in on how things are going (happens a lot with the COVID, and I’m grateful!) and wondering if I’d published our interview for #GirlsRock.
I aspire to read at a fraction of the volume some of you do.
I’d love to savor books on the order than I savor Totino’s pizza. (Not every day, but when I do, I savor it, and that’s how I imagine it must be to get into a good book. Like a supreme Totino’s pizza.)
Someone must decide which stories present the most compelling reads – even before we talk design for book covers or what wine to serve with chips and salsa at our book signings. These things are also important.
Confession time: Do you know what the worst part about the #AtoZChallenge is?
It’s not remembering my ABCs. I was an English major, you know. It’s the pace of the thing when you don’t plan ahead enough. I’m behind in keeping up with the baddest (and I mean the baddest) Facebook blog group on the planet, too (the Peaceful Posse.)
The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.
The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.
Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?
I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.
Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.
Just as soon as we get the all-clear.
COVID haiku journal
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.
My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone
The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?
Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.
Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?
Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long
My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class
I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.
Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?
Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least
It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh
It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.
Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth
Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.
Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength
Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything
Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying
When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!
The universe aligned and put G right on a Wednesday.
I’m sure Buddha or Jesus wasn’t thinking of my blog when they invented April. Or the #AtoZChallenge. No, it was just a cosmic coincidence. I could technically write about any letters, having satisfied the whole G thing with the Go Ask Daddy part.
But I won’t.
For new folk: Go Ask Daddy is a post I use to answer my girls’ questions. I’ve tried to document every question I’ve been asked since I became a dad way back in 1997. I’ve missed a few, and the document has changed technologies and decades since.
I’m hoping I have very good news to share by Tuesday. My Uncle Frank is fighting for his life. He’s in the ICU in Denver, and good days and bad days are taking turns. He seems to be fighting through COVID-19, and I’m finding myself willing any strength I have to him.
I’m still hoping for the best for a man who influenced my life in incredible ways.
Uncle Frank is my buddy and hero. I was an awkward kid who could find a rare place to belong, at his side. He shared my enthusiasm for dinosaurs and Star Wars back then, and it occurred to me until this very moment that he probably felt enthusiastic because I did.
I have several entries stuck in a worn edition of 300 Writing Prompts that I will share during the #AtoZChallenge.
The one is in response to the prompt: It is the end of your career and you are up on stage being presented with a major award. What award is it, and what have you won it for? Global pandemics tend to shed a different light on such topics.
But I wrote this response long before the COVID took hold.
I think it’s good to reflect on such things. My day will someday come. The thought now is, what will I do between then and now? Plenty. And some of nothing. And a lot that can’t be classified as either.