I don’t know that I’ll ever give up blogging, even though the way I do it has changed a lot in six or seven years. Seldom do I use this space as a pressure valve for the thoughts that irritate me and need ventilation. Nor do I often come here to make quick observations about this or that thing. But I know I’ve got enough readers who come here to see what I’ve got going on–which is really touching and humbling–so I figured I’d do a sort of wrap-up to give a window into what I’m doing to stave off the January/Februaritis.
1. Pocket Frogs (Free)
If you look at the sidebar you’ll see that the Pocket Frogs thing has taken on a life of its own. No matter what else is going on, I’ll generally spend about 30 minutes in the evening sending out requested frogs, even if I can’t play any longer than that.
If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPod Touch and are looking for a relaxing game (I liken it to playing a lava lamp), join in the fun. Friends of the blog can have a lot of helping hands from me–just ask.
2. Kindle Borrowing & Lending (Free)
Now that Amazon has announced a free lending policy, many of us Kindle owners are pooling our resources. Despite the fact that many publishers haven’t gotten on board yet*, there is still plenty of action going on. If you’ve got a Kindle, come join us at the Kindle Lending Club.
3. Netflix Streaming ($8.99/mo +device)
I’ve become addicted to Netflix Streaming. We’ve got it hooked up to the TV via our Blu-Ray player, so now I can watch all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 at the touch of a button. Most of our TV watching is via Netflix Streaming now. We’ll hit the TiVo maybe one night a week to burn through the few good shows worth DVRing. The rest of the time we’re glued to bad Sci-fi. Okay. Not “bad” sci-fi. Just fun, harmless, everything-is-okay-at-the-end episodic Sci-Fi. (Stargate Universe is none of that, which is why I think it blows.)
Of course I’m reading, but my taste seems pretty fickle these days. One hour I’ll be in the mood for light romance, then forty minutes later I’ve decided I’d rather read some history non-fiction or some research material for my own writing. So I’m ping-ponging between about five different texts at once. That’s why it’s so difficult to blog about.
5. Book Magpie-ing
This is part of “reading”, I guess. But I find myself spending large amounts of time in the afternoon going through the collections of free ebooks on Kindle and downloading pretty much everything I can get my hands on. I try not to think about the fact that I have six times as many books as i could ever read, nor that I’ll probably never ever want to read all the Kaplan Test Prep things I’ve downloaded. At this point it’s probably not likely that I’ll ever try to get into Med School, making it less likely for me to need to Prepare For The MCAT. But since I write books about doctors I figure maybe I’d want to know what kind of stuff appears on the MCAT. You know. That sort of thing. Yes, I am a magpie.
6. Family History Layout
Two years ago my mom started compiling a history of her family. That means that by default it is also the history of my family. It’s narrative accompanied by a selection of photographs. She was trying to lay it out in MSWord, and watching her do that was sort of like watching a carpenter try to build a whole house with just a hammer. So I persuaded her to let me do the layout in, you know, a LAYOUT program. A few bumps in the road later and now I’ve got all the right tools. So I spend a few hours each day working on that. It’s so awesome that I’m kinda sad only four people will ever read it. (Right about now all the members of this family are trying to think which four of the fourteen of us I have in mind.)
7. My own writing
I’m not doing any of it. Not a word. I’m thinking up scenarieae in my head, but I’ve learned over time that anything I write between Christmas and the Ides of March is really depressing. It doesn’t fit with the rest of my work and I don’t care to go through the process. These months are hard enough to get through mentally without the added pressure of conjuring.
So there you have it. That’s what I’m up to. Maybe now the dog is tired of laying in the yard and we can go back upstairs and finish my movie.