COVID, COVID, COVID, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, Biden, Biden, Biden. That’s all we hear anymore. A year ago, it was Trump, Trump, Trump. I understand that news outlets need to cover the most important stories, but aren’t other things still happening? Are we still fighting in Iran and Afghanistan, maybe in other countries, too? What happened to those places that got hit by hurricanes and wildfires last year? When are we going to get some new TV shows? When is American Idol going to come back? You know, important news.
Of course we want to keep informed about COVID and what our new president is up to, but shouldn’t somebody be covering the rest of the world, lest we look up one day and realize, shit, that happened and we totally missed it?
We get more information in our local paper, the News-Times, between the big ads for Thriftway and Power Ford. For example:
- The cliff area in Newport known as Jump-Off Joe is falling into the sea. Huge landslide movement after last week’s storms (as opposed to this week’s storms) dissolved the sandstone cliffs.
- We have a couple murder trials pending.
- There’s the story of the truck that got stolen twice from a Lincoln City woman’s driveway. She got it back after the first theft. The next day, it was gone again.
- Someone set the Presbyterian church in Newport on fire. Thank God firefighters caught it before there was too much damage.
- The plans for when to bring students back to school keep changing.
- Here’s another obituary for someone I knew, making me very sad.
- And yes, they’re covering COVID and its vaccines, shots not coming to my age group anytime soon.
At least the local paper tries to mix it up.
So do I, but every week, it feels like it was trash day/laundry day/grocery day just a minute ago. I get up, pray, bathe, eat, write, walk the dog, do the Zoom du jour, binge-watch Netflix and Amazon Prime shows, play a little music, and fall asleep.
Things do change, but it’s slooooow. I offer some random news from the 97th Court lockdown:
- Annie the dog, subject of several posts here lately, is much more stable now, but I don’t think she’ll ever recover completely from her holiday illness and hospital stay. Her head is still tilted to the left, her eye a little squinty. She tires quickly and seems afraid to be alone. But she’s back to dragging me down the street on our walks and refuses to turn around when I say it’s time to go home. I’m trying not to think about her future but to enjoy every moment with her.
- I long to get out of this house. I want to see my family in California, Arizona and Washington. I still hate masks, which are not only uncomfortable but also make it twice as hard for hearing-impaired folks like me to figure out what people are saying, even with my hearing aids. But I totally understand why we need to wear masks and I’m grateful that most people are doing it these days. Isn’t it amazing how something we never even thought about a year ago is now available in all kinds of colors and designs and you can buy them by the dozen at the grocery store?
- It’s a weird world where I don’t need makeup to leave the house because the mask covers half my face, but I do need my lipstick for Zoom events where I’m forced to look at myself on the screen. Board meetings, classes and readings, interviews, and open mics keep me on Zoom almost every day. It’s truly a wonderful thing being able to meet, hear, and read with writers from all over the world, people I would never meet in person, but I’m weary of staring at a boxes on a screen.
- The publishing business may be suffering from the pandemic, but editors have had time to reject my work 12 times since Jan. 1. I’m part of a group going for 100 a year, so I’m off to a good start. Fortunately, I have a lot more submissions out there. I have a poem in the new issue of Better Than Starbucks (scroll to the bottom) and two in Oregon Poetry Association’s pandemic anthology, available now at Amazon.com. Another poem is coming out soon in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry.
- I’m reading at Coffee and Grief #19 on Sunday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. PST. https://www.facebook.com/events/883771512396349. I have attended previous sessions and heard some amazing writers. Please join us. Bring Kleenex. The link is included in the Facebook post.
- I will be the guest speaker for the Coast-Corvallis chapter meeting of Willamette Writers on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. PST. Topic: Publishing 101. I will discuss the various ways to get your books published. Register at https://www.Willamettewriters.org. While you’re there, check out all the other workshops and chats you can join via Zoom, no matter where you live.
- Next month, I will co-host a series of poetry readings on Tuesday nights by the winners of Oregon Poetry Association’s poetry contest. Stay tuned for details.
- I am putting together a new email list via Mail Chimp. That chimp and I aren’t totally getting along yet, but you should see a place below this post to click and get on the list. Sign up in February, and I will send you a copy of my book Shoes Full of Sand for free! If you already have it, God bless you. You may choose another book from my catalogue at suelick.com/books. Why? Why not? Thank you for reading this far. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your choice.
Happy Groundhog’s Day. Pray for an early spring.
I invite your comments on any and all of this. How are you doing? Are you COVID-crazy yet?