On this Sunday I should (god I hate that word) be working on my novel. Instead I’m thinking.
You know the word “notions.” It could mean ideas, it could mean “small lightweight items for household use, such as needles, buttons, and thread.” The latter definition is my favorite, of course.
Which leads me to think about the lap blanket I’m knitting for my mother. It’s perhaps 80% done, but it’s a complicated pattern. I’ve had to “frog” (knitter’s term for ripping out and starting over) several times because of mistakes made while trying to simultaneously knit and watch TV. In fact, there’s still a mistake near the beginning of the blanket. The perfectionist in me would normally just start completely over, but … My mom celebrated her 96th birthday on October 25. I feel like I’m running out of time.
In truth, I am running out of time because she’ll be heading to South Florida soon, where the blanket will be unwanted, unneeded, and too bulky to pack up and take back with her to New York. Then again … maybe I should plan to send it in time for her return to NY in the spring. I could even start over and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again … or NOT! This will be my last lap blanket.
I’m also thinking about an interesting response to one of my essays on Medium. “The Kindness of Strangers” is a revised essay I had posted here on 1WriteWay a couple of years ago. While I appreciate anyone taking the time to closely read my work, I was perplexed by this reader’s comments. He offered suggestions on how to turn my “good” article into a “great” article. Now, I’m not so thin-skinned that I can’t take good constructive criticism. He lost me, though, with his first suggestion.
He said I should have tied in a reference to Blanche DuBois or A Streetcar Named Desire because of my title, The Kindness of Strangers. Never mind that I wasn’t writing about having to rely on the kindness of strangers. Worst case scenario my husband would have busted open one of the car windows. My essay was more about there being Good Samaritans in the world, and we happened to meet a few of them on this particular adventure of ours.
It went downhill from there. Frankly, I couldn’t understand his other suggestions so I decided it would be better if I ignored his advice. I did respond to him with a “thank you” and “I’ll think about it,” and I hope that will be the end of it. I understand that publishing on Medium is like publishing anywhere else. I want to put my best writing forward, and I want readers to read and respond. Unsolicited advice from this stranger, however, was not kind.
I’ve also been thinking about LinkedIn. I had an account with LinkedIn on and off for several years. Currently I’m sans account. I deleted it because I was tired of fending off requests to “join my network” from people I didn’t know, would never meet, and had nothing in common with except our employer. (My agency has over 11,000 employees so working for the same agency doesn’t mean we’re going to know (or want to know) each other.)
Can you block people on LinkedIn? Blocking is the one social media tool I can embrace wholeheartedly. I block scores of people on Twitter because, you know, life is short (except in my mother’s case) and I don’t want to waste what little time I have left by endlessly scrolling past tweets I don’t care to read.
Okay, say you all tell me that I can block people on LinkedIn. Then my next question is, what do writers get out of being on LinkedIn? I get the whole marketing thing if I’m looking for a job in my current field, but other than another way to consort with my writer friends, what’s the point? If you have a LinkedIn account, please tell me in the comments what you like about it and what you don’t. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m just tempted because I can always use another distraction from my novel.
Here’s a gratuitous cat photo for your troubles.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.