What you may not know is that as part of my day job I put out a weekly newsletter. Granted I don’t have to write all of the articles for said newsletter, but I do have to nag other people to write them, which is much the same thing – as I do all my nagging via email and that is a lot of words. It happens every week, and a newsletter is produced and everyone is happy.

As is turns out, not everyone IS happy. Quite a few people are unhappy for various reasons, such as I missed the email they sent me that included their important information that must go in the newsletter. That happens because if the email subject doesn’t indicate that there is an item for the newsletter attached to the email, and I’m working on the Newsletter, I ignore everything else.

That ability to ignore the bombs exploding around me is the reason the Newsletter actually gets done. Every Week. And if everyone is not 100% happy, that’s okay, because it go done.

Now let us slide to the left a little. Here we are in my life as a writer. I also want to get a newsletter out. I have a significant number of people on my email list now* and I want to send them a newsletter. I’ve been working on this project for MONTHS. I think I started before Thanksgiving. I have three things I want to say, and maybe some links and that’s it. But can I get in finished? No.

Fucking Instant Gratification Monkey.

 

*It’s surprising really, one day I had 49 people and the **next I had 659 people. I think it must be a mistake. They must have been trying to join someone else’s newsletter and got me by mistake.

** It might not actually have been the next DAY. It was possibly the next month, or maybe the next six months, but you get my point.

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… to avoid writing. Including dredge up the blog I’ve abandoned for so long now. I really don’t understand myself.  I like to write. I’m making decent money ghostwriting, for the moment, and my own stories are multiplying in my head. But here I am – blogging.

There is much to tell you about the past year, but I’m not sure I’m all that interested in telling it. I’m also not sure you’d be all that interested in hearing it. Although – I must say – I had a most fabulous trip to Scotland and Ireland with a wonderful group of people. And we’ve stayed in touch via the interwebs. I’ve decided that for all its pitfalls, the internet is a wonderful invention. I know people all over the world now. And the best part? Little by little I’m getting to meet them! I’ve yet to be disappointed, and mostly I’m awed and overwhelmed by their generosity, kindness, and humor. And oh, how I value the humor. Make me laugh and I’m yours.

I’m heading for Italy in November, and then Ireland again the summer after that. I think when I go to Ireland I will stay extra long and visit friends in London and Wales. (Yes I know one is a city and the other is a country. Or a sort of country. Is Wales to the UK as Porta Rico is the US?)  How fun to check in on Facebook (yes I still use facebook. I’m old. It’s allowed.) and say “I’ll be in London (or Wales) next week, want to join me for tea?”

I’m rubbing my hands together with glee as I think about it! (I possibly look a little demented.)

This is a picture from my travels last summer. It makes me smile.

They are such a beautiful group.

You can contact me if you are interested in either of the next two trips… there’s a link over there in the right-hand menu, I’m pretty sure.

See those lovely red shoes I’m wearing. Best shoes ever for solving plantar fasciitis. Moose at the strap off one. Stoopid dog. They don’t make them anymore.

 

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If you been visiting here for any length of time, then you know that I like to try new things. Some might say that my attention span isn’t exactly ginormous.

Be that as it may, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to attempt new things. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’m getting ready to sew together a group of squares and I’d like your thoughts – which of the below do you like better?

You may discuss the merits of Quilt as You Go in the comments. Or anything else. I always like to hear from you.

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I’ve started watching Black Mirror on Netflix. It’s pretty disturbing stuff. Technology gone wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. And it’s making me think about things I haven’t thought of in a long time.

Stepping back for a minute, here, you need to understand something about me. I’m the type of person who talks to my phone, and not in the “Hey Seri, call my brother” way. More like, “WTF, Seri, what do you mean you have to be connected to the internet?” or “Hey Seri, can you contact my mother in the afterlife?” and “Try again, Seri, that’s not the answer I’m looking for.”

I also talked to dogs as if they understand, oh and stuffed animals. The dogs at least respond.

So after watching an episode of Black Mirror where a synthetic human is imbued with the physical and mental characteristics of a dead person I started thinking about what makes something alive. Or sentient. What constitutes sentience? I haven’t pondered these questions for a really long time.

If being self-aware is the definition, then this silicone being from Black Mirror was sentient. But could it feel emotion? Attachment? Was it an it, or a he? Is it cruel to lock it in an attic because it’s not enough like your deceased loved one?

If a human thinks something is alive, or sentient (two separate issues, I know), does it make it so? Well obviously I can believe my stuffed minion is alive, but that won’t make it so. But what about an artificial intelligence? Can it develop sentience? If it’s sentient does that make it alive?

I mean, some part of me knows that just because I react to my phone as if it has intelligence, that doesn’t mean it actually has any. However, I do believe dogs are sentient. Actually, I think there is some scientific evidence behind that belief, so yay me.  My Jack Russell cross is more intelligent than some people – and that’s actually a bad thing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to catch a dog that knows it doesn’t have to come and doesn’t feel the need to please you? Ugh.

I don’t have any answers, just a creepy feeling between my shoulder blades from watching too many episodes. Feeling eyes on my back that aren’t there. Unanswered questions about where humanity is headed are floating just out of range. I know they are percolating somewhere in my brain ready to jump out and catch me when I least suspect them.  I’m really too old for this shit. By my age I should have all this stuff sorted.

Here – have a puppy. A sentient puppy.

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Because we’d really like to make this contest fly, we are extending the deadline another week.  Get your entry in before Midnight, March 15!

Good Luck!

Details are here: Betty to Belfast

Enter NOW.

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