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Reading as coping.
With me batching all week I was hoping to wrap a couple of projects - redoing the last chapters of the final Cruel Stars book, a check of the Zero Day trilogy files for a box set release, and wrapping up a cool short I wrote about Nanowrimo.
Didn’t happen yesterday.
Yesterday was all about dealing with a Medicare binfire that has so far cost me about two grand. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel runs through MyGov, so insert onrushing freight train of doom jokes here.
I got back from my administrative runaround yesterday in a fine, roiling stew of double plus unhappiness. I’d got a couple of hours work done in the morning, but that was just enough to set me up for productive hours and I’d pissed them up against the wall with Medicare. It was 3.30. I knew if I went back to my office I’d just stew and steam until giving up angry at about 5.30.
So I Obi-Wan'ed myself. Turned off my lightsabre and picked up my kindle.
Hmm, okay, that metaphor sort of broke down, didn’t it?
Nevermind. Long story short, I figured if I was going to get anything out of the back end of the day it would have to be something I really wanted to do. And I really wanted to finish ‘Holly.’
So I did. I made a cup of tea, retired from my office to my library, and took about an hour to get through to the last page, where I left a five-star rating because the book was great but my mood was even better. Like, so much better I thought if Big Pharma could put that experience in a pill and charge a crippling amount of money for it, they would.
I’m going to need a new book to read now, and I’m thinking of going back to The Expanse series, because I sort of lost track of my progress through that while I was watching the TV show, but someone told me the other day that it does continue on a fair way past the TV adaptation.
I’m also thinking of bringing back the Cheeseburger Bookclub. Someone else suggested doing so for Holly and I’m halfway convinced it’s a good idea.
But I’d do it differently this time. Thanks to Covid I have a Zoom account and I’m thinking of holding a Bookclub get-together there if enough people are interested. I’ll post separately about it, but if you are up for it, let me know below.
Off-topic, I asked ChatGPT to read this post and generate a prompt for an image to run with it. The image is above. The prompt is below.
Still, not convinced the robots will win. It’s nice that it gave me back my hair, though.
Based on your blog post, the art prompt could capture the essence of a writer's journey, transitioning from frustration to contentment. Here's a suggested prompt:
"Create an illustration that visually represents a writer's journey from frustration to serenity. The scene starts with a chaotic, dark office, filled with scattered papers and a computer showing a screen full of errors, symbolizing the writer's struggle with a Medicare issue and lost productivity. The writer, a middle-aged Caucasian man with short, graying hair, sits at the desk, his expression one of exasperation and stress. Transitioning to the other half of the image, show a peaceful, warmly lit library with shelves of books. Here, the writer relaxes in a comfortable armchair, a Kindle in his hand, and a satisfied smile on his face, illustrating his escape into the world of 'Holly.' A cup of tea rests on a nearby table. The overall atmosphere should convey a transition from stress to blissful engagement in reading."