Miscellaneous May Musings — And WordPress Heard Us

Just a few musings today as my too busy spring continues.

On Business (or Busyness)

Last week included a Thursday evening awards ceremony, which, among others, included an award for one of our large archaeological projects. And last night, I accompanied my husband as he gave a public talk about our excavations a few years ago at the site of an 18th-century plantation in Maryland. Such presentations often draw a large, interested crowd with many questions, and this event was no different. Even though he’s uncomfortable speaking in public, he hides it well and connects with his audience.

On Writing

I had a bit of an epiphany on Saturday about my writing. Much of what I’ve done to date has been “pantsed.” (No, that’s not the epiphany. It’s just a lead in to the epiphany.) Despite my organization in most other aspects of my life, my creative writing never really followed suit. And I had thought of Meghan Bode’s stories as epitomizing that pantsing approach. After all, every installment of her two stories was written the week before it aired, with only the barest outline in my head of how the stories would end.

But as I mused over her stories and possible future ideas, it struck me that while I wasn’t working from an outline, every section/chapter/installment was written in chronological order from Part One through The End.

sequence

That’s awfully darn organized when I stop to think about it. With the first two manuscripts, I didn’t come close to that level of logical progression.

I’ve been told by someone who has read all my stories (okay, my husband), that Meghan’s stories are my best writing so far. I tend to agree. But why is that?

  • Well, they are the most recent. If I’m to have any chance of finding an audience, my writing damn well better improve with each story. No one starts out being good enough for publication. Seriously—no one.
  • They were written on tight schedules. Once I figured out I would be writing a short story (ultimately, two) live on the Web, I had to be serious about actually writing when I sat down at the computer. No “quick check” for email. No “quick game” of Word Yacht. Only writing. I believe it’s called “focus.” And it’s a magical quality that is all too scarce in today’s world.
  • They were written in logical order from beginning to end. I wasn’t necessarily conscious of it, but there had to be an internal structure somewhere in my mind from which I was working. Maybe Meghan planted the episodes in my subconscious for me to find. However it happened, I wrote coherent stories with no plot holes, dropped plot lines or characters, or inconsistencies. All critical in writing a good story.
  • Meghan Bode is an engaging protagonist. Even modest, self-deprecating me has to admit this is true. Even in these first stories, many readers commented on how much they like her. A character who grabs readers and keeps them reading goes a long way toward making any story a good one.

So now it’s time to build on these realizations as I work on 1) the two rebuilds, and 2) a new idea.

Yes, there’s a new idea. And I’m not going to be very forthcoming about it because I’m afraid I’ll either jinx it or face yet another public fail if I can’t get it right. But if I can apply the things I got right with Meghan’s stories and also improve on my storytelling, then maybe I’ll have a better manuscript that is ready for the wider world.

WordPress Heard Us

We can now put a “like” option on our comments. If you’d like to do it, just go to your Dashboard and then to Settings. Under Settings, go to the “Sharing” option. Near the bottom of the page, you’ll find a check box for “Comment Likes Are.” Just click that box, and a “like” option will appear on comments. There have been many times I’ve wanted such a feature, and I’m glad to see it.

BT 1

A setting for the new project. Long-time readers will probably realize that no matter the story and characters, their “home area” is rather constant.

 

I hope your lives are a bit less hectic than mine right now!

55 thoughts on “Miscellaneous May Musings — And WordPress Heard Us

  1. I think it makes sense that your Meghan Bode stories are an example of your best writing thus far. Not only do we learn more about the concrete aspects of story-writing, but the abstract ones, too. For instance, how do we connect with our characters so that we can relay their stories to outsiders? I’m glad that the writing gig is moving forward in a positive direction for you.

    Thanks for sharing the new WP feature. It’ll take me some time to remember I can actually use that, and then it’ll take me some time to remember to use it at all. I’m such a slow learner when it comes to technology. Once I get used to a certain way, as long as it works for me, then I get all comfy and settle in. Change one thing on me, and I’m a wreck.

    Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right now, I have no idea how the new project will turn out. It’s a bit of a departure for me, but maybe that’s another sign of a maturing writing style. I’m approaching it in a more structured and pre-planned way, but there’s still room for pantsing to get from A to B. And I’m hoping readers will enjoy the for-now-hush-hush story and characters. 😉

      I really “like” the “like” option for comments. I’ve seen some great ones from people I don’t follow, and I think it’s a nice way to let them know that I read their words and enjoyed them. It’s always nice to see WordPress incorporate suggestions from its bloggers, and I know this one has been made for quite some time. Of course, they didn’t put the option in the most obvious place!

      You enjoy your week, too, and I hope that query of yours is soon whipped into shape!

      Like

  2. Happy to hear about your writing lightbulb moment!

    Also, I had seen the comment like thing on some other blogs and figured maybe it was just on certain themes, so thank you for the explanation, I’ve added that feature to mine now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I remember correctly, this was one of your suggestions for WordPress, wasn’t it? Maybe you were the one who got through to them. 🙂 I know I’ve wanted to see this feature for a long time, but now I need other bloggers to know they can do it!

      My fingers are crossed that this epiphany helps me write a taut, engaging novel that readers will enjoy. 🙂

      Like

  3. I’m one of Meghan Bode’s fans! And I keep hoping she’ll appear in a longer story.
    I hope your new idea keeps growing.
    I noticed that you had likes switched on and then forgot all about it again. I’ll think about switching it on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meghan is very happy to hear that! And I hope you’ll enjoy this new story. 🙂 It’s taken its time to develop and flesh out in my mind, but maybe that’s a good sign that I’ll have it closer to “right” with the early drafts. And then maybe I won’t be revising it forever like I’ve done with the earlier manuscripts.

      I’ve always wished there was a “like” option for comments. I’ve read some really good ones, and it’s nice that I can now easily let someone know how much I enjoyed their words.

      Like

  4. Glad your hubby’s talk went well, and thank you for the comment-likes tip. I can always count on you to give me the WordPress latest. 🙂

    Happy to hear you’ve had an epiphany of sorts in regards to your writing. I tend to write in a very linear fashion–not much flashbacking for me. My stories are chronological. Perhaps this is a result of my left-brain predominance or perhaps I’m not yet skilled to do otherwise, but for me, it makes the most sense now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d actually seen the likes on a couple of blogs about a month ago, and I thought the same thing. And then when I was looking for something else on WordPress, I saw a small announcement or clip about the like feature and how to activate it. So I was able to use it on my last post. I think they could find a way to make their new features a bit more public. Yes, we can subscribe to their “news” page. But how about sending out emails to old-school folks like me? 😉

      Hmm, I think was too literal or unclear about my linear approach…. What I actually meant is that Meghan’s scenes were written in the order in which they appeared on the blog, not necessarily that there were no flashbacks. For the earlier WIPs, I would jump around, maybe writing the first scene in the manuscript and then jumping to something that ended up as Scene 32 or something. And so far, this new manuscript is following that logical order. Incorporating some of Brooks’s “Story Engineering” may be playing a role in there…. 🙂

      Like

      • Oops, my bad. It’s MY literal brain that misinterpreted it. But still, I work on my scenes in order. I can’t imagine doing otherwise. I might sketch one out and come back to it later in more detail, but I don’t build a later one before completing the earlier ones. I think with a thriller, where necessary bits need to be in place, it would be difficult to do otherwise.

        Like

        • Thrillers and mysteries really need to have all the elements in the right order. I know some good mystery writers can pants their stories, but I suspect it’s tougher for us mere mortals. 😉 Even a little planning can help us keep our ducks in a row.

          Like

    • I do love those lightbulb moments—and I’d love to have a few more of them in all aspects of life. 😉 They are so handy!

      My husband and I met in college. I was an undergraduate and he was working on his Master’s—both in anthropology. And we were friends and went on a few casual outings together. A few years later, I ended up at the same graduate school where he was working on his PhD. That’s when we started dating and married a few years later. “Some” years later, we still work together, too. 🙂

      Like

  5. I’m not comfortable speaking to an audience, but I’ve had to do it may times so I know how hubby feels 😉

    I’m so glad you’ve had a light-bulb moment and can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m not sure why you wrote ‘yet another public fail’ in this post. I’ve never thought of anything you do as a failure and I really admire your writing.

    I’ve seen the ‘like’ feature and thought (like Vanessa) it was attached to a theme. I’m going to try it out 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wondered if anyone would pick up on that “public fail” and take me to task for it. 😉 My reasoning was that I thought the first two manuscripts were close to publication-ready when I began blogging. And then when I found some high-caliber beta readers among my blog buddies, I finally realized how far the two WIPs still had to go. While the writing itself was promising, the story telling had a ways to go. So I feel like I really wasn’t the writer I thought I was in my early blogging days. Then, I publicly shelved those WIPs for a number of months. And while I do spend some time with one of them for a rebuild, it’s slow going. Thus, I feel like they were public failures. (And that’s probably a far longer reply than you expected!)

      Yep, I thought that “comment like” was theme-related, too, or an option for those WordPress.org folks. Then I stumbled on instructions for it while I was looking for something else. Serendipity! For a long time I’ve wished I could “like” comments. Now I just need more bloggers to activate the feature so I can!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well I don’t know about less hectic, but life is chugging along. 🙂 Thanks for the tip on the comment Like option and I’m very jealous of your ability to write so logically without an outline. Your setting has me intrigued for your next project! Very picturesque.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that logical writing without an outline was limited to some shorter works. 😉 Believe me, the two manuscripts probably would have benefited from some level of planning! They might have been finished by now…. But that’s all part of the learning process, right?

      Once I get a draft of this new WIP through betas, I’ll be more forthcoming about it—if the betas think it holds promise. I think it should. Maybe everything I’ve written so far has actually been leading to this story. That’s my gut feeling, anyway. And the pieces are falling into place. It might take more time than I’d like, but I think the first draft of this one will be stronger than any I’ve written to date….

      Like

  7. Oh thank you for passing along that new comment tip! I’m playing around with different blog themes and overloading on WP info to the point I’m utterly confused. Anyway, I totally missed that new and simple-to-activate feature: Thank you!
    It sounds as if you’re more positive and hopeful re: your writing endeavours and I’m so glad to hear it. 🙂 Can’t wait to find out about your new project!
    P.s. Say hi to Meghan for all of us! 😉

    Like

    • It’s not like WordPress makes these new features easy to find! I don’t subscribe to their news releases since many of the stories aren’t of too much interest to me. But an email about new features would be much appreciated. 😉

      I think the blogging cut back is helping me find a new balance for my writing and currently-far-too-busy schedule. Not having the pressure of weekly posts is a relief. Sometime, I might get back up to that level, but for now, every other week will be the best I could manage. And sometimes there might be two weeks in between. 😉

      Meghan says hi to you, too, and hopes you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on the award and your hubby making a speech. Great epiphanies about your writing–I have no doubt it will help you with the next project and with the rebuilds of the previous ones too. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kourtney! And congrats to you on The Six Train’s Indie Excellence Award—you totally deserve it! 🙂

      I’m cautiously optimistic that this new project holds the potential for a publishable story in fewer drafts than anything else I’ve written. And if it passes muster down the line with my first round of beta readers, I’ll provide a few more details as to what kind of book it is and who it features. 😉

      Like

    • I’ve been hoping they would do something like this for at least two years. Now we just need bloggers to become aware of the option so we can let folks know we like what they’re saying. 😀

      Like

  9. Those a-ha moments are priceless. I had one recently too, as I rebuild my novel outline. Something was nagging me while I worked on the outline, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then one day it hit me: I was trying to tell the story from the wrong POV. The character with the most at stake was not my original protagonist. I decided to start again from a different POV (and it will also be a genre change), but it took me a while to accept this change. I felt like I was abandoning my original premise and characters, but I won’t be at all. I’m just switching lenses. Coming to this realization was like opening the floodgates (tired cliche, I know, but seems fitting in this context). My goal all along has been to get this outline completed by the end of June so I can write my “next first draft” in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I just may get there.

    And sorry for being a bit slow, but I feel like I missed something here in your post. When you wrote, “Once I figured out I would be writing a short story (ultimately, two) live on the Web, I had to be serious about actually writing when I sat down at the computer,” — what did you mean?

    I’m enjoying the “like” feature, too, and I think I may copycat your new blogging schedule this summer…twice monthly rather than weekly, and limiting my blog reading to once weekly. Seems to be working out well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, when Meghan Bode first appeared on the blog, she was a nameless “prop” in my little series of “Poetic Archaeology” posts about typical archaeology in the US. After a while, it was getting cumbersome to refer to her as things like “our intrepid archaeologist.” So I started calling her Meghan. When that particular series wrapped up, I mused on what aspect of archaeology to write about next. And Carrie Rubin oh-so-innocently commented that “Maybe Meghan could find some bones.”

      Perfect, I thought. And I started drafting what I thought would be a few simply posts about forensic archaeology. Then, as I was wrapping up the post, Meghan dropped in a few lines of dialogue. And I realized I was about to write something more like a serialized story. And each week I was writing the installment for the next. With no road maps. No outline. Not even an idea of how the tale would end. Nerve wracking to say the least! But it forced me to really focus on writing the stories and not let myself be sidetracked. A great writing exercise and challenge, but also terrifying. 🙂

      Even though I still love pantsing, I’ve come to realize how valuable some level of planning and outlining can be. Can you imagine if you’d written half the novel before you realized you were focusing on the wrong character? I’ve read interviews with authors who have done that, and the amount of time needed to revise the stories can be staggering. I really think it helps to have major issues like those straight before getting too far into the writing. I firmly believe that no writing is wasted. Even if a total rebuild is needed, I’m sure we’ve learned valuable lessons from the words and ideas we set down before.

      I’m always impressed by writers like you who can tackle NaNo. I have to keep my goals simpler and my sights quite a bit lower when it comes to word counts. And it’s a good reason to ease into a more manageable blogging schedule. I don’t think we should feel guilty for cutting back when Life requires more of our attention and time or we simply need a respite!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “But if I can apply the things I got right with Meghan’s stories and also improve on my storytelling, then maybe I’ll have a better manuscript that is ready for the wider world.”

    Go you! You are probably much better than you think you are. Realizing that you have grown is part of that. Keep trucking and I’m sure we’ll see more of you.

    Just keep writing, and loving what you write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I am my harshest critic without a doubt. And that can get me into trouble with confidence issues. I think some of the stronger elements of my writing will come through in this new WIP, including those that made Meghan popular with a number of readers. Maybe the first draft won’t be done as quickly as the first manuscript was, but if it needs fewer rounds of revisions (and no rebuilding), then I can still come out ahead, right? 🙂

      I hope your writing is continuing to go well!

      Like

      • Having a plan definitely helps.

        I’m trucking along. One novel out to query, one will be ready for query in another month, one first draft done and another novel two weeks from completion. I’m hoping to get a novel contracted this year. Here’s hoping 🙂

        Like I said, the important part is to keep writing, and write what makes you happy. Once you have that, publication is just icing on the cake 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. JM, I swear I sometimes feel like I’m shadowing you in terms of my writing experience and progress (though I’ve never been brave enough to post excerpts of current works in progress). The WIP I’m writing now seems to be coming out in a more linear fashion too – although there are flashbacks. Maybe this is part of the maturing as a writer process??

    I’m happy to hear you talking so positively about your writing!! I loved your Meghan stories – I think that’s how I initially got hooked to your blog 🙂 I would love to read more from her. Whatever you are working on, I’m sending positive vibes that you’ll continue to find your writing flow.

    By the way, I don’t know if I’d be a good beta. I’ve never done it, but I would be happy to give it a shot if you need another beta.

    PS: thanks for the tip on liking comments!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s about time WordPress let us do this, really!

      I suspect new writers go through some similar stages, and that’s why we can relate to each others’ struggles so well. We might get bogged down by different problems for different lengths of time, but none of us have an easy time transitioning from wannabe writer with an idea to good writer with a good story.

      I really did confuse people with my discussion of a “linear approach!” What I was trying to say was that the scenes themselves were written in order for Meghan’s stories. My first two WIPs weren’t that way at all. I might have written Scene 1, then what became Scene 16, then 5, then 32, and so on. And this new story, so far at least, is getting written more as Scene 1, Scene 2, and so on….. We’ll see if it makes for a tighter first draft than I’ve written before.

      I’d like to think this new story will appeal to you and other fans of Meghan, but I really don’t want to say too much about it until a first round of betas gives me the “thumbs up” on the characters and story. When it’s ready for those first eyes, I’ll let you know. And if you have the time and inclination, you can be one pair of them. 🙂

      I hope you’ll have lots of time this summer to spend with your new WIP!

      Like

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  13. I cut my JMMcDowell story teeth on Meghan Bode, so I’m probably biased, but I totally agree with you that she’s a very strong protagonist, if not your strongest, so far. Maybe because you wrote her in that story progression manner, and everything had to be clear and complete at the first.

    Among my small circle of writing acquaintances, I’m weird in that I write *every* story in progression – beginning to middle to end. I add and delete and change scenes in editing, of course, but the story as a whole comes out in order, as it were, as I write or type. NaNo did that to me, I think – I wanted to write stories, not just scenes, so I got into the habit of writing my stories in direct chronological/event order.

    I find writing in that way helps keep things straight, because my mind progresses along with the story and I’m not jumping all over the place. Which is perhaps why Scrivener is so hard for me to switch to. I can’t think of the story in separated segments or scenes. Kudos to authors who can look at their stories from an elevated height and look down and make sense of all the pieces, though! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading more stories from you, whenever you decide to share them. Thanks for the note about the “Like” function, too. Maybe that will get me to pay attention to others’ comments before shooting off my own mouth. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t believe there’s one best way to write stories. Pure pantsing works for some while others need 30,000-word outlines. Some write from beginning to end while others jump from scene to scene as inspiration strikes. And what works for one of our stories might not for the next. So part of the maturing process, I think, is to recognize as early as possible what kind of approach each story needs.

      The same holds true for the software we use to write them. 😉 Scrivener is perfect for me. But it was a learning curve, and I can see how it might not work for others. I’ve hated Word from pretty much Day One, wishing that WordPerfect would have stayed the office writing software of choice. No such luck, though. 😦

      I’ll probably go back and forth between SATC and the new work as the Muse requires. As you’ve noted, sometimes we get so wrapped up in one story that it begins wearing on us. And that switch to a different project can rejuvenate us. Hopefully I won’t 1) burn out on either project or 2) flit too much between them and not accomplish anything. But for now, it’s the hush-hush project that has my attention. 🙂

      I think there’s a decent chance that readers will like it. 😉

      Like

  14. J, I used to just write without any kind of outline but once I began filling in some backstory for my book, I learned that she needed even more backstory. I now switch chapters around and have written some and decided I needed to insert one within ones I’d already written. Since I share my writing with some other writers I took a class with in NYC, I began an outline to remind them of what’s occurred and why place this new piece has in the whole. It has gotten me in the habit of organizing and I think I like the idea now.

    Glad your writing is going so great! I look forward to reading more should you decide to share. As far as your hubby making a speech, well he DID it. I’d have heart palpitations if I attempted such a thing! ;).

    Oh, and I’m one of those writers that use flashbacks a lot. Nice to see/read you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how our approach to writing can change through time. When I first started reading up on “how to’s,” I rebelled against the idea of outlining or planning. After all, SATC was flowing onto the page with no forethought on my part. For this third story, though, like you I see the value in the planning. I doubt I’ll ever give up my pantsing entirely for 30,000-word outlines, but having a clear idea of major plot points and the characters’ roles does help. I’m hoping it translates to a better draft that won’t require as many revisions as the first two still need.

      Maybe being more hush-hush about it will help, too. 😉

      Like

  15. Thanks for the WP update–I’ve often wished for that feature as well.

    Glad you’re writing is moving forward and a new idea is popping!

    As for ‘public failure’ — I thought you might like to know that the majority (if not all) creative endeavors, whether artistic or technological, have a series of what some might call ‘failures’ along the way. In fact in the Silicon Valley, failure is seen as a positive because it means learning and improvement can happen. So keep on ‘failing’ which isn’t really failing at all but learning, as your post today so aptly proves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wish WordPress would be more vocal about the new options. Can it be that difficult to send an email saying, “hey, check out these new options”?!

      That’s an interesting observation about Silicon Valley—I didn’t realize they have such an outlook regarding their innovations/products. Objectively, I can say that something is a failure only if we don’t—or refuse to—learn from it. Emotionally, the fact that the first two manuscripts remain unpublished still bothers me. 😉 But I have learned from them, and just maybe this third WIP will make the grade.

      Like

    • Thanks, Andrea! I’m really hoping that this new story will benefit from that learning process. I think it will take longer to reach the end of the first draft than on my previous two manuscripts, but the end product should be stronger than they were. Or so I hope!

      Like

  16. Sounds like some time off helped things swirl in the brain and clear stuff out. Quite astute observations about your writing and what was going on. Sometimes people tangle themselves up. Inner thoughts are much more organized than we realize. Delighted it feel fresh and breezy again. (I always think in terms of sail boats…)
    Don’t talk about the new one yet – I feel a bit like you about projects in progress.
    Wish I could hear your husband’s talk. Interesting lives talking about interesting lives.
    Enjoy the energy – and revel in the breaks away ( as you can tell, we are all still here)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The talk went really well, and I hope we can work on another plantation site like that one before we retire! Little bits of that project have been woven into Meghan Bode’s stories. 😉

      I can’t say the writing is progressing quickly. But I do think it’s moving forward in a way that will make the first draft better than it was for my previous manuscripts. And my fingers are crossed that will mean fewer rounds of revisions as well. So in the end, it might be done sooner. A writing take on “The Tortoise and the Hare,” maybe?

      We’ve had a stretch of nice temperatures, but the rain could let up for a while. Flooding’s been a problem in some areas, although nothing too severe. But at least we haven’t launched into an early summer. I hope yours isn’t too bad so far.

      Like

    • Thanks to WordPress for finally giving us this feature! I know I and many other bloggers have said how much we would like the option. 🙂 I’ll say this much about the photo. It was taken somewhere near the Virginia/Maryland border, which is where my stories tend to be set, at least in part. 😉

      Like

    • There have been so many times when I’ve read a great comment on a post, and I’ve wanted to let the author know I enjoyed it. But I don’t always want to jump into a conversation between the blogger and commenter and “get in the way,” so to speak. I think this is a simple and unobtrusive way to say “great point.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for the Like-info, I think it is a good idea, so no I have made the canges myself, and I’ll see what happened. I agree with you that sometimes you just want to say: that is a good comment, without “intruding” in others concersation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very glad WordPress gave us this option. And I hope to see more bloggers use it so I can let more people know how much I enjoy what they’ve said. I know you have some very thoughtful people commenting on your posts, and now I can tell them “well said.”

      Like

  18. Great to hear about your success with writing JM. It’s a good feeling when the muse is with you and happy with the prose. Keep at it 😀
    Thanks for the tip too. Going to adjust the settings 😀
    cheers
    Luciana

    Liked by 1 person

    • It might take a while for readers to realize the “like comment” option is available. 😉 Even though a lot of us have wanted something like this, I’d bet most are still unaware of it!

      I still wish I could be getting more words on the page more regularly, but I find myself thinking about the new WIP a lot and taking notes. I think that’s a good sign. 🙂 I hope your writing is going well and your Muse is by your side!

      Like

  19. Awesome–the comments are still open on this one! Congrats on the award for your archaeological project. Until this post, I don’t think I realized that you were a two-archaeologist family.

    I like your analysis of your MB stuff. I think it can be very helpful to look at various aspects of our lives with this kind of rigorous scrutiny. Understanding intellectually what you have been doing habitually can provide great benefits.

    Like

    • I’m still experimenting with the length of time to leave comments open. I’ve just nudged it to 18 days. I’ll keep doing that until the spam picks up again. Then I’ll cut back to just before that point. I was tired of going through that garbage to rescue the odd real comment that sometimes ends up in the queue, so stumbling onto the cutback in potential spam with comment closing was a Eureka moment.

      I suspect most people find it easier to evaluate some parts of our lives than others, and it’s the areas we want to sidestep that would most benefit from the scrutiny. I’d guess that’s the nature of the beast. But I believe we should never stop learning, and some of that learning should always be about ourselves and how we’re doing with our lives.

      Good to see you back!

      Like

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