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.

Clarion Write-A-Thon Week 2: Draft Done! On to Liombruno

Dear readers,

I finished a first draft of my “Caterina the Wise” retelling for the Clarion Write-A-Thon. This week, I randomly selected a story called “Liombruno” from Basilicata. My Italian geography is not very good, so I researched the city and learned its geography is really cool. It is a southern Italian region in the lower middle part of the boot, and has over 140 rock-cut churches, mountains, and forests.

I hadn’t heard this story before, so I did a little bit of research. I did find an article snippet on Encyclopedia Brittanica (it’s buried behind a paywall so I can’t share it, unfortunately), but it was cited as exemplary of a popular folk style combining irony and common sense.

The story is about a fisherman who pledges his firstborn son, Liombruno, to the Evil One on his thirteenth birthday. Following this, Liombruno refuses to serve the Evil One and proves his worth. He is then rescued by a shapeshifting fairy named Fata Aquilina, who takes pity on Liombruno and showers him with riches. Missing his parents, Liombruno begs to go home and is given a magical ruby–an icon of her power–to call upon her magic. Only, the fairy warned Liombruno not to expose her for who she truly was. Which, after a time, he did.

The ending of the tale drips with forgiveness. She is dying from grief because she lost Liombruno and he betrayed her. When he reappears, he doesn’t not apologize. She pretty much forgave him and then went back to living happily ever after.

Hmmmm… This’ll be interesting to tackle. The heart of the story is really about the couple’s relationship, but at the same time any repentance story I’d write would absolutely have an apology in it. I’m just not sure repentance is the theme I want to lean into, because that feels off to me. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

‘Til next time!

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.

Clarion Write-A-Thon Week 2: Getting More Out of Habitica

My Habitica Avatar

As I mentioned in my initial post, I planned to use this Write-A-Thon to assess and evaluate what’s working for me and what isn’t. Part of that evaluation is to assess my productivity tools. I was thinking about writing sprints, for example, and how they affect my word count goals.

To that end, I’ve realized that a lot of the times notebooks and planners don’t work for me. I’d love to say: “Yes! Putting pen to paper is the best idea ever!” Except, I have a thousand notebooks, post-its, etc. filled with all kinds of lists. Unless it’s a to-do list, it just doesn’t work for me.

Focusing on that part of my productivity, I circled back to Habitica and am now using it more regularly. (I am @booksofm) on that platform if you want to quest with me.) One tiny aspect of Habitica I hadn’t leveraged in the past is the negative points value, or the damage taken from Habits and Dailies. When I started using that, I got more out of it because it wasn’t just about getting things done. It was also about not doing specific things.

For clarification, Habitica has four categories: Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Rewards. Habits are a plus or minus feature that has built-in streaks. Dailies are routine-oriented tasks. The way I use Dailies is to plug in things like my newsletter or something that has more gravitas, like exercise, because those are more concerted efforts than taking my vitamins or doing the dishes. The To-Dos section I use to plug in projects that have deadlines or items on my To-Do list. These are things that often take considerable effort and have multiple steps. Finally, Rewards is your in-game loot, which you get for completing items. You can also create custom Rewards as well.

To gamify Habitica further, there are four things I would love to see. I will probably suggest these at some point; I’m not really active in that community and don’t have the programming skills to help. Right now, this is just me “musing” out loud.

  • Assign Damage to Missed Deadlines on To-Dos: One of the nice features about To-Dos is that you can assign a Deadline. I really like the “Scheduled” view for To-Dos
    which re-orders the items based on due date. I’d love to take that a step further, and have damage taken for a missed deadline. (Even something small like a quarter point per day would be valuable.)
  • Optional: Assign Rewards to To-Dos: Sometimes, there’s To-Dos I have to complete that I really don’t want to. By assigning a Reward to a To-Dos, it’d be a specific reminder that action has consequences.
  • Optional: Add a Projects Category: For me, To-Dos is a combination one-off projects and multi-tiered assignments, so being able to use the existing functionality as another category would help me separate the one-off To-Dos from the larger projects. This functionality already exists within the To-Dos category; you can add multiple steps to a To-Dos that you’d need to check off. Basically, I just want the bigger ones broken out from the one-offs visually, and I’d sacrifice Habits to do that. But, I can see how some people need Habits, which is why I’m suggesting that be optional.
  • Optional: Calendar Integration: I would love to have the ability to integrate my digital calendar with the deadline functionality, but as an option. Again, I’m looking at those longer-term projects I’m already plugging in to get reminders on. If there isn’t a way to do that, I’d take alerts or reminders instead.

Habitica’s strength is that it does gamify your to-do list and it is fun. I love the 8-bit look and feel to Habitica; it’s very old school. If interested, check out Habitica.com.



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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