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What Day Is It? And Does It Matter?

I thought Wednesday was Saturday but I knew Thursday was Thursday and, so far, I’m confident that today is Friday (and my calendar says so too). Tomorrow should be Saturday and I just hope I don’t think it’s Wednesday because I have a couple of appointments and getting my days wrong would really screw things up.

I’m still backsliding on blogging and keeping up with blogs (as in, I’m not keeping up with blogs), but I have been writing a bit. Most of my writing has been on Medium mainly because I submit to publications there. I don’t crow about these publications because, although some of them do offer some good reading, I frankly don’t equate getting published in a Medium publication with getting published in a mainstream literary journal. The truth is, I’m always suspicious when my writing is accepted generally as-is, with perhaps only minor reformatting or editing. But maybe my writing is that good. What do I know?

In any case, here are a few of my most recent essays and stories. The following are “friend” links meaning you do not have to be a paid subscriber to Medium to read them, although you will probably have to open a Medium account if you don’t already have one: 

I also started my own publication on Medium but it’s only for my writing. It’s called “One Sister’s Journey Through Grief,” and I’ll be using it to share my journey of learning to live with my grief over losing my sister. So far, I’ve published two essays there:

I’ve been toying with the thought of also using Substack for my writing. I follow a few writers on Substack, and I’ve only seen one writer (so far) who has the same readers on both Substack and Medium … but she writes about Medium so that’s probably why. Anyway, the idea is to expand my “audience” so to speak. And, while I’m used to WordPress and have had this blog here for a gazillion years, the platform can be clunky and temperamental. Life is getting shorter. I like going with the flow but feel I have less time for the ebb.

Meanwhile … 

I’ve joined the SmokeLong Fitness Community Workshop which started on September 1 (that was Thursday). You can read about it in detail here: SmokeLong Fitness Community Workshop. Basically, I pay a monthly fee to be part of a small group online workshop. Every week we’ll be given a writing prompt, and we’re expected to provide feedback on each other’s writing. SmokeLong Fitness also includes monthly webinars, discounts on intensive workshops, and “surprises.” It’s only been a couple of days but I’m feeling psyched (and anxious) about writing and reading in a small group. I still have my novel to work on, but I’m hoping that being prompted to write flash [fill in the blank] will oil my writing gears and get me back on track.

Meanwhile … 

I’m knitting.

The beginning of a cardigan!

We decided to get out of town for a couple of days and at the last minute, I grabbed a kit for a knitted cardigan to take with me. That was Tuesday, August 23. Today is Friday, September 2, and I’ve completed the back, left and right front panels, and one sleeve. Woo-hoo! At least I’m on a roll with my knitting. This might be the fastest I’ve ever knitted a cardigan. The key thing for me is to keep momentum and not stall when all the pieces have been knitted and it’s time to stitch them together. Finishing a project (much like editing a novel) is my least favorite part of the process.

Did I mention that I now take two Excedrin first thing in the morning, followed by a caffeinated drink? Caffeine is this writer’s little helper.

I close this post with one of my favorite photos of my sister Shirley (courtesy of my niece-in-law).

Miss you, Shirley

 

 

Categories: Writing

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

60 replies

  1. No rest for the wicked!
    I tried Substack – I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either 🙂
    I’ll come back to read your Medium pieces (I am, after all, at work and “should” be working…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Dale, the one thing I miss about my old job (before it got crazy) was how I could catch up on my reading … lol. Here I am retired and I have a harder time keeping up with blogging. Go figure.

      Thank you for your take on Substack. I suspect it has its limitations, but, as a reader, I’ve found it easier to use as a reader than Medium. And I am paying for a premium subscription on WP, mainly because I hate the ads they show with the free version. So, some of my consideration is financial. But we’ll see. I’m in no hurry to make a change 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha! Love it. I can’t really read at work – it would show since I work in a “pool” (blech).

        A friend uses it (Substack) and it’s great. I didn’t mind it at all, actually. Medium, I have an account but never write there. And I also pay premium on WP for the same reason.
        So many platforms, so many disappointments. Stay away from Wix is all I can say!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, so many platforms! I don’t believe I’ll go beyond WP and the other two. I did look at Vocal but it was too confusing. The thing about WP is I am very comfortable with this community 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Excedrin with a caffeinated drink? Ooo–speeding along! 😏

    It sounds like you’re doing a lot, Marie! Good luck with the writing and the knitting.
    I’ll come back to read all your pieces. I seem to be behind on everything these days.

    I associate Substack with big names like Heather Cox Richardson and Dan Rather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, Merril. I probably should get a grip on my caffeine intake. I’m a lightweight and whenever I try to cut back, I go through a miserable withdrawal. I did not know Richardson and Rather wrote on Substack. I’ll have to check them out. Medium used to have some big names. Maybe it still does. Actually, I think Obama has written on Medium.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Hahaha. She is a phenomenon. You didn’t know? She has a gazillion followers. Look for Letters from an American. She writes every single night, and has since 2016, I believe. She also usually does two FB talks a week–Tuesdays are political and Thursday are historical. i think they are on Youtube, too. i post her stuff on FB sometimes. And she also does a podcast with historian Joanne Freeman.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. You sound very busy and that is a good thing, Marie. I did not need to sign up to read your stories. I only got to Open My Heart Like a Tin Can and To Wear a Bra or Not Wear a Bra and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Aging Body. Enjoyed them both.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marie,     you mirror my week and made me feel so good. Thank you for giving the friend’s links as I really don’t have the energy for rabbit holes. I can’t get into my wordpress blogs as need to update firefox, don’t know how to and learning feels like Everest, son always did it but he moved out.. Agree about publishing on Medium, have decided to self pub essays but need to edit and agree with you on that.. would rather do housework.I have tried to go to library writer’s group and it just doesn’t fit what I need, but did meet an older guy who writes about history and is willing to dialogue outside the group.  Sometimes feel so overwhelmed at not fitting in brilliantly in any writing mode.

        Today Not Enough Yarn podcast published which normally happens on Friday and sent me in a spin as was awakened by neurologist office wanting to set appt for 6 mos and I wasn’t sure what month that would be as it takes me a few days to advance the mental calendar. The contractor was supposed to be here at 11 but didn’t show up, texted would be after lunch so took dogs out of van, cleaned up the pile and laid down trying to remember what else I was to do today.  1:15 contractor showed up and the termite inspector at the same time, they were gracious, dogs made big show of vicious secured in van.  Men left, no termites, will text me proposal for work and I took the dogs for a ride as reward.  My head is spinning, I have a free floating anxiety and shame followed by intense loneliness that was embryonic when the neuromuscular disease started and is eating steak after all the covid sheltering.      I only wish there was a pill that made this all easier to live through internally, externally and globally. Just want you to know you are so not alone.      BTW, am spinning alpaca yarn to make another top, the one I finished was well sized for the body before the 25lbs weight loss and I just hate the idea of frogging and starting over so will call it boxy fit. Spinning is so meditative , if I can keep the cat from attacking the fleece .    Peace, perfect gauge and love,Cheryl Carlson

    After all that, she was surprised to find that she still knew the words to the song in her heart… and she began to sing along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl, good to hear from you! Finding a good writing group is truly difficult. I was in an online group last summer that spoiled me so I’m adjusting my expectations for this new online workshop.

      I miss spinning! You know I used to do that too, years ago. Doesn’t make a lot of sense in hot and steamy Florida to spin wool, but I still think about taking it up again. I do have to be careful how I store my yarns when I working on a project. Our youngest cat is the sort to see a bit of yarn and jump on it … lol.

      I bet your boxy alpaca sweater is gorgeous 🙂

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    2. I meant to ask, have you tried another browser besides Firefox? I used to use Firefox but gave up on it probably a year ago now after one of their updates. The update totally messed up the interface of my Gmail account. I tried to fix it but all the info I could find made me think I’d need to first get an education in computer programming. So I dumped Firefox. Now I use Safari (I’m an Apple girl) and I’ve had no such problems. I don’t know if Safari is available for Windows (if that is what you have), but you might try Chrome. I’ve heard good things about that browser.

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      1. Happy weekend!   Thanks for the response.   My son built this computer and put it on Ubuntu OS saying is most secure and of course doesn’t hurt that mom is clueless. I have kept gmail on phone because it went wonky a few yrs ago. He took chrome off the desk top, killed the laptop and as I am typing this wondering if I can use the tablet.. the screen is wonky but will see what happens when charge it up. I simply want simplicity or at least I life I can work.    Whole time I lived in TX knitting repulsed me, but was busy raising kids, homeschooling, working and keeping goats, hens going between hurricane evacuations. Now the pandemic has made me think  65 is a tenuous age and since wore my sweaters 30 yrs what I knit now is all I will need for my lifetime so needs to be something I really want. Pandemiwatched a bunch of kniting vlogs and seemed like it was a contest how much they spent on the most outrageous yarns held double with mohair being hand dyed and everyone seemed madly in love with whatever new design just came out so they can go to a festival and wear it like 50 other people. I . do. not. understand. so. much.  Who really gets down and stares at your socks? Do you really need 10 new pair a year? What is up with these “shawls” that are the size of blanket but worn wrapped around the neck like neckbrace?? How many of those things does one person need?    I made a cotton shawl and have used it 4 times, made an alpaca shawl and have used that a bit more but …not enough to warrant time, money and storage space.   Hope you have a great weekend.Cheryl

        After all that, she was surprised to find that she still knew the words to the song in her heart… and she began to sing along.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheryl, you are cracking me up! How I love reading the rant of a fellow knitter … lol. I do hope you get something workable for your computer.

          As for knitting, I made my sister (RIP) four shawls over the years and when we visited in May, she showed me how each one had its own chair so she didn’t have to move them around. She loved them and got a lot of wear out of them, so, if she were still alive, I’d be knitting for her.

          Sadly, I don’t think the rest of my immediate family really cares for handmade goods, so I might set my sights on a few of my cousins to knit for. Of course, I don’t tell anyone when I’m knitting for them. Just in case I change my mind 😉

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  5. Wow, you are busy! I haven’t tried any of these new platforms, so I’m really impressed. And what a lovely photo of your sister. I read the Medium piece on why you’re doing this. I didn’t know about the pancreatic cancer. I’m just so sorry with what she had to go through and know that sharing your journey will help all those who read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ellen. We all still can’t get our heads around her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

      I don’t want to overwhelm myself (which I have a tendency to do) with trying new platforms, but for some reason, I feel like I should make a change. Of course, that’s how I usually feel when I’m stressed, and I guess my sister’s death has me thinking a lot about the remainder of my future.

      I do so love that photo of my sister. Thank you for your kind words.

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  6. Wow! You’ve been busy, Marie. Of course that’s a good thing. At my web designer’s advice, I left WordPress and went to Substack. I absolutely love it! I would never go back to WordPress. Substack is so user-friendly for a non-techie like me. Plus it serves as my newsletter and I don’t have to pay once I got beyond a certain number of subscribers. My open and view stats have been phenomenal. I look forward to reading your pieces. I hope you’re feeling well! I

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jill. I am so glad I wrote this post because I was feeling like a slacker … lol.

      So, you do have to pay to use Substack? I have not set up a newsletter yet and was thinking of just copying what I’ve done on Medium to Substack, assuming I’d find different readers. I’m hesitant to just leave WP without spending some time on Substack first. Writing on three platforms sounds crazy, but … well, we’ll see. Early days 😉

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  7. I have, or maybe now it is had, an account on Medium and I don’t get it. Why not just post what you write to a blog? I couldn’t figure out how to follow anyone there and I kept getting a newsletter that showed me links to articles about making money. Not interested in that, so I think I deleted the account. Maybe.

    [Also I don’t get Substack either.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a problem with Medium. A lot of people write about making money on Medium. Like Substack, you can set it up so you get some change for your words. I joined Medium for the purpose of making some spare change, but I don’t know that it’s always worth the effort. And it’s not always my favorite piece of writing that makes the “big bucks” either.

      A lot of people I read on Medium do treat it as a blog (even those who argue that they are not blogging as if blogging were a lowly form of writing). But Medium has “publications,” so you can have the illusion of being a published writer if your writing is accepted into any of those.

      I’m on the fence about Substack. My biggest beef is sometimes I have technical issues with WP. I pay for the premium account and often wonder why (except I really hate the ads). Still, I’ve been on WP since 2007. Who knows how long Substack and Medium will be around?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for explaining this. I’m not surprised that you make some money off your writing, you’re a wordsmith. As for people preferring what you might not prefer, that’s how blogging goes, too. Many times I’m amazed by what lands with readers– posts that I thought were ho-hum.

        I didn’t know that Medium has publications, but I’m sure that must contribute to its popularity– if it is popular? I agree with you about WP. I pay for my account so there won’t be any ads even though I find the platform can be difficult to use. It used to be better, but like you said it’s still here. Substack and Medium could be flashes in the pan.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for the compliment! I consider you a wordsmith as well 🙂

          Medium has publications, but anyone on Medium can create a publication. Case in point: I started the publication “One Sister’s Journey Through Grief.” However, my publication is solely for my writing about my grief. It’s not open to other writers.

          That said, the fact that anyone on Medium can create a publication is one of my criticisms of the platform. I’ve seen too many poorly edited stories. Because nobody really understands how Medium determines the payout for stories, editors of these publications seem to favor quantity over quality. At least, that’s my perception.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh, and the other “problem” with Medium is that readers are limited to (I think) three articles/stories a month unless they become subscribers ($5/month). As a writer on Medium, I can share “friend” links to my writing allowing readers to bypass the restrictions. Still, if you started blogging there, it could get complicated for your readers if they don’t want to ante up $5/month … which is why I wouldn’t give up WP for Medium.

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  8. I’m not sure it often matters to me what day it is, unless I have an appointment or I’m waiting for something. But I still find myself checking several times per day. Just in case. And even then I can talk myself into thinking it’s a different day.

    While I might miss seeing you on your blog, I understand why you might want to be on a more writer focused platform. And congratulations on your recent publications! I am not comfortable, in general, commenting on a purely literary post. Even my very rare reviews of a book I’ve read come out as “Book good, me like.” It would surely be helpful in your continued growth to have a writer group to help with critiques and suggestions.

    That is going to be a pretty cardigan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not to worry, Zazzy, if I leave WP (and that’s a big if), it won’t be soon.

      It’s funny to me how easily my days get mixed up now, especially if I alter my routine in any way. What really confused me was how Wednesday “felt” like Saturday. I’m retired! Isn’t Saturday supposed to feel like any other day of the week? But, in truth, we do have a schedule of sorts, revolving around my yoga classes and going to the gym. We go to the gym on Wednesdays and not on Saturdays and yet … oh, well, I think I’m back on schedule now 😉

      You know, I often find it difficult to provide feedback on literary work. It’s one thing to read a poem on someone’s blog and say “I love this line!” and leave it at that, but in a workshop, the writer (ideally) wants more than compliments. We’ll see how it goes.

      I finished the second sleeve of the cardigan last night. So now I’m procrastinating because assembling the pieces is my least favorite part of knitting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That cardigan will be beautiful!!!

    As for blogging, I’m glad you’ve given yourself permission to take a slower pace. Be good to yourself. As for Substack or Medium, I haven’t tried either, but I’ve read posts on both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I started stitching the sweater last night. Ugh. Fortunately, I got distracted by a couple of phone calls and had to put it aside … lol.

      I am trying to be good to myself 🙂 I feel kind of locked into Medium because I’ve developed some relationships over there; although none as strong as what I have through WP. And these relationships, the community I feel here on WP is the most important aspect of my blogging. Jill seems to be very happy with Substack and it’s her experience that makes me think about giving it a try. But we’ll see. Definitely won’t make any changes before I finish that cardigan 😉

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  10. First of all, gee, your sister really did look like you!!! I didn’t really see it as well before, but wow.
    Second, but really first as well, WOW, you have been busy writing after all! Look at all those links! Congratulations, Marie!
    So do you like Medium and Substack because you get money for your writing? Or because you get writerly readers? What’s the draw for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m glad I wrote this post. I hadn’t realized all the writing I had done … lol.

      I’m not writing on Substack, just subscribing to a few newsletters. I know Jill really likes it. My only interest in Substack is whether it would be a better and free alternative to WordPress. If I wanted to make $ on Substack, I’d have to make my writing available only to people willing to pay for a subscription to my newsletter. I’m not comfortable with that, making people pay to read my stuff. I do pay for one subscription on Substack, but I can’t afford to pay for every single Substack subscription I have. That makes me question the model.

      At Medium, subscribers can read whomever and whatever they want. As a writer in their payment program, I get paid based on some algorithm that takes into account how many of their subscribers read my work.

      So I do write on Medium for the spare change. I started almost three years ago, and I make enough to pay for an annual subscription (otherwise, I’d be limited to reading three articles a month). Medium has been helpful because I’ve written stuff that I might not have written otherwise. But there is a lot of “noise” on Medium, and I have not found it to be a great place to publish my fiction and poetry. Seriously, my top-earning piece is about whether I should a wear bra. I mean, that’s okay. I like the essay. It was fun to write, but it’s not my favorite bit of writing.

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    1. So far, so good. Week 1 is almost done and much of the feedback I’ve gotten on my first submitted draft has been good. There isn’t any instruction per se, like what we had in a couple of those online courses, but there will be some Zoom presentations on writing flash that could be helpful. We’ll see 😉

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  11. Oh, Marie, I’m so glad you’re so busy in retirement! I now feel better knowing I have busy company in what is supposed to be a restful phase of life. LOL! I will be circling back to read your listed pieces. Right now, my husband is one week out of surgery and we face an unexpected appointment tomorrow due to a questionable infection or some kind of blockage. And I’m still receiving steroid injections for my ongoing chronic pain in my lower lumbar back. Once Bob is through his recovery, I’ll be starting acupuncture; I have a new pain management doctor I really like and appreciate. He’s making a great difference.

    I too have a premium whatever on WordPress to hide those ads. I can’t stand them, but I also hate spending the money per year when I’m not making anything from my writing. Sometimes I think of just giving it all up and doing what little old ladies do — drink tea, read cozy mysteries, and either quilt or knit. Some days I really wish I didn’t have to contend with computers at all. At our house, I’m the designated techy fixing all the computer problems.

    So glad to be in touch again. Life has been hectic for us. With my still not driving, we had to call on our son to assist us with getting to the hospital and driving home for Bob’s surgery. Our son travels in his job and I hated to ask him to help us out, but he was delighted to do it, or so he said. He and his wife cooked up some soups and bread and brought us sandwich fixings too. It’s made life a little easier for me.

    That is a beautiful picture of your sister. Her smile would light up a room! Thank you for sharing her with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sherrey, so good to hear from you! I hope Bob is recovering well. That’s great that you have a new pain management doctor and you like him! Hopefully he can help you find more effective ways to manage your pain.

      I’m probably busier than I really need to be … lol. I’ve fallen so behind on reading. I’m like you. I wish I didn’t have to be on the computer so much. I’d rather be knitting or reading a book, but I want to write and, right now, Medium and WP are my two venues.

      I do make a bit of $ on Medium but my most popular articles are not my favorites. My favorites, which are short stories or poems, might make a few cents, if that. Not quite validating, but whatever. Maybe the point of being too busy is I don’t have time to care 😉

      Again, I hope Bob is recovering well and you’ll be able to get your acupuncture treatments soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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