Saturday, October 24, 2020

My Brain on Books XXVII


I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   

2:22AM - Been sitting on couch reading Game of Thrones on my Nexus since 11
I was falling asleep over it and I'm giving up.

8:00PM - Listened to entire Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Grace by Anne Lamott

When my sister dropped Thon food off for me earlier she brought in the Anne Lamott talking book cassette she and Mom had been listening to in the car suggesting that I might find it helpful in my current situation.  So I put my other reads on hold and popped the cassette in the machine that I'd set on the kitchen window sill and cranked up the volume so I could hear with the water running and set the speed to 1.5.

I listened as I emptied the dishwasher, loaded it again partially from what had been soaking in the sink, scrubbed the right side of the sink, wiped down appliances and moved them off the counter, sprayed and scrubbed the counter between the sink and the microwave and was startled when the book ended.  I'm not sure how long it was supposed to be tho I Googled the question and got the result 2hrs 53min.  So listening at 1.5 means it was probably around 2 hours.  In pages the tree book is 178.

I think it was helpful though I've already encountered the principles in other readings.  But her personal touch made the concepts come alive.  When I left the funde doctrine I was raised under it was the concepts of grace, mercy, compassion and love that I gravitated to as my spiritual path.  Thing is I was always seeing everyone but myself as worthy of it.

This is where Lamott spoke to me in ways I've been unable to speak to myself.  In truth, how could the mercy and compassion one says one feels for others be real if they hold themselves in contempt for falling short of their own ideals?

2:22PM - OMG I've been lost in Alice's Wonderland for three hours and I don't mean the book.

After I updated this morning I fixed my coffee and a snack and took it out on the balcony to listen to an audio while I drank my coffee.  I no sooner got the audio going and this woman from across the street climbed the stairs and I recognized her from times we had spoke casually when Ed and I were down in the parking lot or walking the sidewalk.  So she started chatting about Ed and the fact it was her that had called the wellness check.  

Twenty minutes later she was still talking and complained she was cold says 'let's go inside' and she pushed open the door and went in.  And then she wouldn't leave.  She kept chattering and wandering about the rooms, riffling through boxes and bags and pulling things out and keeping up a running commentary about conversations she'd had with Ed and most of it was completely bizzaro. 

Then she saw how i kept stumbling into things and was getting unsteady on my feet so she told me to sit down and then went in the bedroom and unplugged the fan so she could bring the chair it was sitting on and she sat and kept on talking and talking and talking and talking..

Then my computer started dinging message notifications and one was from my sister and i was trying to answer it and this woman came up and looked over my shoulder.  Finally i was able to message Carri 'She's here and she won't leave"  knowing Carri would understand it was the woman that James and Kevin had warned us about Wednesday when they cleaned up Ed's trash for me.  This is what she does striking up conversations then walking right in your place and refusing to take subtle hints.

So Carri messaged asking 'Can you message James or call him?' I messaged back 'i don't have his number in my contacts yet'  so i was looking for the paper he wrote it on and found it and managed to message it to carri so she called James and with her knowledge he came over and knocked but waited only two seconds before opening the door and saying brightly 'how's it going Joy?'  And the woman said 'I gotta go' and pushed past him to get out as I answered 'I've had better days.  Even yesterday was a better day.

Of course James wouldn't have got the context for that last as it was in reference to what I posted on last night about the emotional wreck I became sorting Ed's laundry.

James stayed about five minutes and then left and then i had to contact my sister because my phone had shut itself off after i unplugged the usb so I could carry it with me.  Apparently i can't do that unless i shut down the hotspot that my computer is connected with.  The phone system thinks it is draining the battery too fast or something.

By the time I was able to reach Carri she was already on her way over but she was going to be doing that anyway as that was what the original message from her was about.  She was wanting to know if I wanted her to bring over more Thon food. 

So a few minutes later she arrived and we chatted about what had just happened and she told me I needed to always have my key on me and lock the door when I go out on the balcony and she had me practice using both the key for the handle and the key for the deadbolt until I could work them quickly without fumbling.  

Then she gave me a couple of possible scripts for excusing myself firmly.  This is the kind of thing I need for even normal social interaction but this was not in the least normal.

Then when I got back on my computer I found messages from Ed's brother reminding me that he needed the remains and a copy of the certificate by Monday or they wouldn't be able to bury him with his Mother the day of her burial next week.  So I had to call the funeral home and found out, yes, both the certificate and the remains are ready to be picked up.  So then I arranged for Ed's brother to pick me up here on Monday to go take care of that.

And now I'm doing the update. I started it while my long overdue brunch was heating up in the microwave.  9 hours into the Thon and I have less than an hour's reading in.

i overslept and there went two hours.  I did my 7am update which took half an hour.  i read while I was waiting on my coffee water to heat and then I took my coffee and audio book outside and was listening for maybe five minutes before that woman came up.  There went four hours.  Then another two dealing with the fallout with James and Carri and finding the message from Ed's brother and dealing with that by calling the funeral home and then messaging Ed's brother about it.  And now another hour on this update.

Seriously I'm asking if I'm awake or not.  I still feel weirded out.  What do you do when the drama in your own life is too intense to let you engage with the drama on the page whether it's reading or writing?

7:00AM - OOPS

I got up at 4:44 as planned.  But it was too cold.  I couldn't go make coffee while shivering so.  

I"d never thought to turn on the heat all day yesterday as I was always so overheated from the exertion and was constantly going out on the balcony to cool off physically and emotionally and didn't think it made sense to be constantly releasing rooms full of hot air only to fill them up again.  Besides I prefer breathing cold air and getting warm by putting on layers.

Anyway.  I turned on the heat in the room I was sleeping in and crawled back into my nest on the floor with my cellphone and earbuds intending to start listening while the room warmed up.  But I didn't stay awake long enough to get the earbuds untangled.  Soon as I was under wraps and the shivering had stopped I blinked off.  Wish it had worked that way at midnight when I first lay down when I wanted to blink off but couldn't for over an hour.  I had to make myself stop checking on the time so I'm not sure when I finally did sleep.  

So, like so many thons before I'm beginning this one with a sleep deficit and now a reading deficit as well.

5:00AM - 
Opening Survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
    Kelso WA in my late husband's apartment sorting, packing and cleaning...

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
    NF - The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process by Francesca Lia Block and Grant Faulkner
    Fic - The Bookshop of the Brokenhearted by Robert Hillman

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
    Chocolate Chip Cookie Protein Bar

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
    Since the last Dewey Thon my life has been topsy-turvey.  Big Time.  Several times.

    First on June 7, I reluctantly walked away from my 41 year marriage.  

    Then on July 7 Mom had another stroke and spent the rest of the month in the hospital.  Her care has intensified since then.  She can no longer get in and out of chairs and bed without help.  She can walk only with the walker and then only with my sister right beside her.

She has resumed the weekend respite visits to my brother's home so I will be able to do way more reading than I could last April when we were in strict Covid shelter-in-place.

The latest blow was the death of my husband.  So I will be a widow rather than a divorcee.  Getting the news was like applying sandpaper to a healing road-rash.  Not that the healing had gotten all that far along.  I was mostly emotionally shut down all of June and then July was distracted by Mom's stroke fallout.  But when I got the news September 28 that Ed's body had been found in his apartment my emotions erupted and continue to alternately erupt or ooze like molten lava.

 I'm still in the fresh trauma of widowhood.  Ed died one month ago today.

The only thing that keeps the volatile emotions at bay is distracting myself with tasks that command my attention.  I'm sure the thon qualifies.  And if the tears come anyway, I've got audio books lined up.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 

    Because I can't loose a whole day on dealing with Ed's apartment I'll need to depend on audio books from the Library of Congress Talking Books and BARD.  I've used them in many thons but never as the mainstay of the entire 24 hours.

    Though I guess the really one different thing isn't the use of audio books it is the fact that I have to do major chores while reading.  I've discovered over the last several days that the only chores that are compatible with listening to a story is cleaning so I'm tackling the kitchen.  Anything involving reading labels, papers, book and music titles will not work.  And I learned on Friday that neither does sorting his clothes.

Then there is sharing brainspace with the grief.  That will be different.

4:44 AM - I'm setting this to go live at 4:44 AM but it may be as much as an hour before I check in.  Making coffee, Getting eyes focused.  Settling in at primary reading station.  But I will be reading via audio by 5AM.

Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey

2 tell me a story:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 10/24/2020 7:18 AM  

I'm sending uplifting thoughts and prayers your way during this traumatic time.

Bonnie Jacobs 10/24/2020 8:58 PM  

I'm also doing Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, but I'm not having to deal with all the stress you are. I'm sending you a virtual hug because it sounds like you need one.

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