Newsletter Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes and Music Monday!

Hiya everyone,

I wanted to let you know I’ve migrated my newsletter to Substack, called it Monica’s Marvelous Musings*, and kicked off a new weekly newsletter about music**. Each week, I pick a song and write about it! You’ll see a few brief promotional updates when I have news to share, but… my heart’s not really in PR PR PR anymore. I’d rather write TO you than AT you.

I’m two weeks into the new series and I’m having a blast! Sharing these links with you, so you check out the newsletter.

* Literally, I picked all those words and topics because my website is “booksofm.com”. I’m many things, but a diva isn’t one of them. HAH!
** We’ll see what happens as this continues. I might even cover a few of the songs. Anything can happen!

Preview for my Upcoming Horror in Games Class

Hello! I’ve published my first booksofm.com newsletter using Substack. As I mentioned in that post, I wanted to try something different and more personal. This week’s theme is a little treat–a writing exercise I’m discussing in my upcoming “Horror in Gaming” class.

Check out my very first booksofm.com newsletter on Substack!

A Listicle for COVID-19/Flu Supply Planning

Heya,

I threw this list together for a friend of mine. We were talking about a reasonable plan to stock up in anticipation of shipping disruptions and price jacking. Hope this helps!

Here’s what I used when I got sick:

    1. Menthol/Vicks Vapor Rub: Opens the chest and allows the bronchial tubes to breathe. It’s an external application, which really helps.
    2. Diffuser: COVID-19 dries you out. Hot water on the stove can, too, but I would add bath crystals or a homemade oil. You do have to be careful because there’s some oils that will harm your pets. I’d do a little research just to make sure.
    3. Cough drops (variety): The best ones I used were Cepacol, but you do have to limit how many you have per day.
    4. Supplements: Zinc tablets, Vitamin D, and a good multivitamin
    5. Gatorade and/or Pedialyte: COVID-19 dehydrates the eff out of you, and you’ll need to drink water constantly. Having Gatorade/Pedialyte, even if it’s low sugar, will give you more mileage out of your fluids.
    6. Bland prepared food: Canned chicken soup and saltines are a good option, but you might get sick of it. Some frozen foods would be good here, too. I’d stay away from spicy, but YMMV.
    7. Painkillers/Fever Reducers: Definitely check your supply of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
    8. Digital Thermometer: Always a good idea. There’s some you can get that have extra covers, too. I did see a pulse oximeter on the prep list as well, and we just got ours.
    9. Handkerchiefs: They’re reusable, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly.
    10. Laundry/Dish Detergent: Washing towels/sheets/dishes/hankies in hot water is essential. I absolutely recommend making sure you have extra detergent on hand.
    11. Cold Medicine/Prescription meds: Goes without saying, but adding it to the list for due diligence.
    12. Compression sleeves/socks: If it’s cold enough and you can stand it, they’ll help with your circulation.
    13. Hand sanitizer/Lysol wipes: Tons of places are running low or are completely out; I’d keep an eye on this. If you haven’t tried your local office supply store, do check them out. In place of this, you can convert makeup/baby wipes or make your own. I’d strongly recommend getting decent paper towel if you do; otherwise they fall apart.
    14. Reusable ice packs: Really good if you have a fever.
    15. Brain turn-y/off-y entertainment: It SUCKS getting sick and self-care can be really hard. If you have movies/TV shows you’d like to watch on repeat, I’d absolutely make sure you have those accessible. It’s hard to go looking for things when you’re not feeling well.

Post Clarion Write-A-Thon Update!

Hiya!

I am so pleased to mention there were 550+ authors participating in the Clarion Write-A-Thon, and together we raised over $22,000! Thank you so much for sponsoring me and for helping fund this workshop! The Clarion Write-A-Thon is over, but the workshop offers donations year-round. I encourage you to support Clarion West!

My goal was six Italian fairy tale retellings and I was able to write four on top of regular freelancing. I had a great time with the workshop; I managed to revisit my productivity style and goals. What I’ve learned is that I need to go back to word count as my primary metric. I was going by project, but that doesn’t work for me anymore. Sometimes, I’ll write a small thing and call it a day if I have revisions to do, too–and right now I’m focused on productivity. I can’t sleep my way through this pandemic, because I can’t afford to. Instead, I’m going to focus on raw word count on top of whatever revisions I’m going through during the day, too.

Part of my challenge has been: “How do I keep up with blogging and writing?” I don’t know the answer to this right now, but I’ve set a goal of two posts per week–including this one.

I’m dealing with a lot of unknowns right now. The only certainty is my To Do list and whatever form that takes. I have decided to complete the Italian fairy tale retelling project on my own schedule and did add that to the list. So, on to the next To Do!

Other Clarion Write-A-Thon Posts

Clarion Write-a-Thon: Week 3 The Fine Greenbird

A short progress report this week!

I recently watched The Alienist and that series touches upon some of the issues I mentioned previously with respect to the historical treatment of Italian-Americans. (We’re now watching Doom Patrol. It’s VERY different!) Also: I miss sitting at a coffee shop to write. I stumbled across Coffitivity.com which gives me the benefit of “sounding” like I’m sitting there. Huzzah! I’m also slowly taking Italian again, and that’s been super fun.

Yep, it’s Thursday and I’m still noodling over how I want to retell “Liombruno.” It’s a traditional fairy tale that has two components to present a hero who’s worthy of being saved. My gut is telling me to “get weird” and I’m cuing off of the region’s mountains, forests, and streams. I could imagine a villager telling this story while gesturing to a grand palace atop the mountains.

I picked a new short story for week three. It’s called: “The Fine Greenbird” and it’s from Florenza, the capital of the Tuscany region in central Italy. This is a folktale with a strong theme of jealousy; it also resonates with the number three: three sisters, three offspring, three quests, and three judged. One aspect that stood out to me was the outdated belief that women have control over our bodies to determine the sex of a child. Mind you, the children are characters themselves, so I’ll have to mull over how I want to tackle this harmful and antiquated notion after retelling “Liombruno.”

Other Clarion Write-A-Thon Posts

About this Post: In exchange for sponsor support, I promised to highlight how I’m processing my identity as an Italian-American and daughter of an immigrant through brainstorming, story selection, and first drafts. If you’re keen on following my progress, warts and all, I encourage you to become my sponsor and sign up for my newsletter.

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