Been awhile…

In the last four months I:

Sold a house

Bought a house

Packed the contents

Moved the contents

Unpacked (mostly) the contents

Changed internet providers

At long last I can resume work and simply live in my new place. Somehow I also lost an entire clothes size without noticing. (Probably the best indicator that my life is changing drastically!) Is it any wonder I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog?! So, how is your year going?

Amazon, are you INSANE?!

This morning I’m in the middle of the chaos involved when coordinating multiple closings, packing my house contents, and multiple urgent communications from realtors, contractors, and people vital to my survival over the next weeks. “Plink!” My phone signals something highly urgent needs my attention  I climb down off the ladder, stow my tools, and trudge wearily across the room to see who needs me so urgently.

My Kindle App is screaming for my attention! I look at the screen. What?! Double take, head shake, peer more closely. Yes, there is an URGENT banner alert from my Kindle app. “Your books miss you! Jump back into your book or find a new one.”

<Insert a stream of colorful, verbose, and multi-lingual ex-military officer fluency level profanity here>

Now I deliberately switch off all alerts except severe weather, mandatory law enforcement, and texts from people I REALLY need to talk to urgently. But Amazon didn’t give me a choice. It snuck one in and gave it the same level of urgency as the heat advisory from my local weather service. Really? I mean REALLY???!!

I’m an author. Books are my life. But there is not a book on the face of this planet, including mine, that require a bulletin alert on my iPhone. Let me repeat that, as Amazon seems to have lost touch with reality in their haste to worship the almighty algorithm. THERE IS NOT A BOOK IN EXISTENCE THAT REQUIRES AN ALERT ON MY PHONE!

Yes, I went to the settings and promptly turned off all notifications from Kindle. That’s not the point. I want a choice up front before an app screams for my attention. I limit those “Plink!” sounds for a reason. Thanks to iBooks, Kobo, and multiple ebook options from the libraries I belong to, I have options. Right now, my option is found under Settings on my phone and I’m heading back up that ladder to get on with my day. But Amazon just reminded me of the importance of competition. And choice.


IMG_0746This morning’s fare: a banana, two pears, a handful of blackberries, a small chunk of fresh peeled ginger, a scoop of protein powder (brown rice from Vitacost ) and eight ounces of coconut water with the pulp. Toss in a blender, whirl, and pour into my finest Waterford crystal. Why?

Would you put diesel in a Ferrari? When was the last time you paid attention to what’s fueling your body? Or delighted your senses with the presentation?

Yeah, yeah. I know who you are, Ms Drinks-my-coffee-from-the-baby’s-sippy-cup. Stop squirming, those of you who skipped food in favor of a 400 calorie Starbucks sugar bomb.

This isn’t a guilt trip. This is encouragement to all my fellow writers running on empty tanks, low energy, and sagging…well, let’s not go there.

There really are quick and easy routes to feeling better fast. One is on the organic grocery aisle of your supermarket. All those pretty colors and all those strange leafy things you don’t know what to do with? Don’t have time to fool with? Hate cooking? Toss ’em in the blender! No kidding. Top it up with chunks of fresh organic foods, add a little coconut water or kombucha (Google it) or yoghurt that hasn’t had sugar added or even water if you’re at a loss, toss in a scoop of protein powder that might be hiding in the sports drink and vitamin section of the store and give it a whirl until smooth. Pour the crazy colored stuff into a nice glass, keep the rest of it cold, and sip on it until it’s gone. Yes, the whole pitcher! Do it every day for a week and tell me how you feel.

Do it for a month and see where your creativity levels are. Then check back again and tell me if it’s made a difference.

There’s more. I’ll share. But baby steps. This is going to taste weird to palates used to sugar bombs. What have you got to lose? (I’m looking forward to hearing what you lose.)

Why I love Rhodia No. 8 pads

Exaclair was gracious enough to send a Rhodia No.8 pad for me to use and abuse. IMG_0704 For size comparison, here is what it looks like next to my Kindle. And yes, it’s already heavily creased because it’s so darned useful that I’m using it for all sorts of tasks.

As a departure from my fountain pen and ink usage, which you can find on this site under previous reviews, I wanted to show how beautifully this paper takes pencil without smudging. I use Blackwing 602 pencils, so smudging can be an issue on cheap paper, as can punching through the page when freshly sharpened. No problem with that here!

IMG_0702Perfect for jotting down quick calculations in the field. Yes, that’s my distempered scrawl when forced to stand, pad in hand, just as these were designed to do back when reporters used pen and paper. Or pencil and paper.

IMG_0703Here is the backside so you can not only see what you’re looking for when ordering, but get another example of how this useful Rhodia product holds up to being tossed onto the dashboard of a car, shoved into a purse, or pushed across a desk. The corners will eventually crumple, but not until the paper is almost gone and it’s taken a lot more abuse.

I freely admit to being a paper junkie and this is the white paper I would love to see in the larger webnotebooks and other products. If Rhodia has introduced it and I missed it, feel free to comment below so I can demand it from my favorite paper and ink pushers.

Thank you, Exaclair, and I look forward to further adventures with paper products.