Monday Earworm: Garbage

Today is going to be our last earworm for a little while, because Wednesday is April 1st, and like every year for quite some time now, I’ll be doing a Poem-A-Day series here on the blog in honor of National Poetry Month here in the U.S. The daily poem is possibly the most loved series among this blog’s readership, and there’s some excellent stuff in the line-up again this year. I hope you’ll check in daily — or just subscribe — to get a dose of poetry. But I fully anticipate earworms coming back in May, and in the meantime if you need more music, just play some from the blog archives. Reply in the comments if you want me to host an online earworm dance party some time.

And honestly? I’m only kind of joking about that. Social distancing is hard on many people. My son likes to say this is the kind of national disaster he’s made for, because left to his devices he’d just play online video games with his friends all day every day anyway. And we are definitely lucky in our household because we have enough space for all of us to work or school from home without being in the same rooms with each other, my husband and I are stably and gainfully employed (knock on wood), and we have everything we truly need. We also have cats and daily human in-person interaction.

For my friends and family members and colleagues and everyone else out there who lives alone in an apartment with no pets and who may be starting to feel worn down by having interactions only via screen, I see you. Seriously, I will host a dance party from my laptop. Just say the word. I can’t guarantee it will help, but it might at least be funny.

(For what it’s worth, I’m also considering hosting an online reading in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned for that.)

Also, if anyone would like a free copy of the 1st edition of Finis. to add to their reading list (or to put in their local Little Free Library) while they have some enforced downtime, I’m mailing them out to the continental U.S. right now. (I can’t do international mail at the moment due to pandemic closures, but if you want to get on the list for those as soon as things open up, just drop me a line.) Send me an email to forest.of.diamonds@gmail.com to get a book, and put “FINIS. giveaway” in the subject line. (I’ll be wanting to know where to send it to, as well, of course.) Look for more giveaways in the near future.

So, social distancing getting you down? Missing connection with people? I get it. I stood on my parents’ front lawn yesterday and had a conversation with them while they stood in their front doorway. I drove half an hour across town to do this, too. It’s hard, but it is temporary, and the more we adhere to the stay-in-place rules, the sooner it will be over.

Here is today’s earworm: “#1 Crush” by Garbage. The video contains footage from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, which was, in some ways, both excellent and bonkers. But then, the play is also both excellent (in its artistry) and bonkers (in its tragic boneheadedness). And the song is such a mood. And also? It totally reminds me of Bas from Rainbow Rowell’s highly entertaining Carry On. (I recommend reading her Fangirl first, but you don’t have to.)

Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands. Listen to the scientists and doctors and nurses, and not (for Pete’s sake, NOT) the politicians. (That’s good advice always, by the way, not just now.)

And let me know about that dance party.

Monday Earworm: Michael Bruening

So this week I will begin teaching online. I’m looking forward to some aspects of it, although I suspect that the longer it goes on, the more I will sincerely miss being with my students and colleagues all together in one place. Here’s hoping the new dynamic is worthwhile.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep other routines in place as much as possible for the sake of easing stress. Still, I suspect my first day online with my students is going to be show-and-tell of our pets…

Monday Earworm: Dustin Ahkuoi

My brother who lives in Hong Kong sent this to me recently, and not only is it hilarious and smart and well done, it also encapsulates some of the reason I’ve stepped back a little from some of my usual social media platforms. (The other reason is time. I’ve been swamped at my day job lately, which is perhaps more rightly to be called a days-nights-and-weekends job, and I’m also trying to finish edits on my next book so it can go into the print queue and be released this spring. Yay!)

Anyway, this parody is rich and entertaining. Do enjoy. (For my part, I’m getting back to work.)

Monday Earworm (on a Tuesday): Blue October

Does anyone else remember when Blue October was just a local Houston band snagging gigs at landmark fall-down dives in the Heights? Good times. And good on them for being awesome and making it.

Does anyone else sometimes feel so overwhelmed by work that they just can’t imagine how they’re going to get through the next week or two? Good times. (Not really, but it’s a finite problem. See also: “next week or two.”)

You know what’s helping me get through things right now? Looking forward to stuff, like having a day off on the 22nd to just chill, like valentines day coming up this week, and like BrazCon on Saturday the 15th, where I’ll be meeting readers and selling books and answering questions on a panel and and and and AND giving away copies of the first chapter of my new book Homecoming, for free! BrazCon is free, but you do need a ticket, and it’s completely family-friendly. Imagine a cross between Comicpalooza and TeenBookCon but on a manageable, see-it-all-in-one-day scale — and you get the idea. This will be my third year at BrazCon, and I admit it’s one of my favorite author events every February!

Homecoming is the second book in my Animal Affinities series, after Finis. (the first book). On Saturday I will also have Finis., The Sharp Edges of Water, and The Milk of Female Kindness available — as well as maybe some other nifty surprises, too. You should come see me.

Also, I love this song.