Running late, again.

Happy Holidays 2020
Happy Holidays 2020/AdS

Every year, I debate how to be better at sending Christmas and New Year’s cards to family and friends. It isn’t just the discussion of digital versus paper.

Most people can be reached online so that cuts the costs of cards and stamps. And it cannot be underestimated. An international forever stamps is $1.20 so when I buy a box of Christmas cards from Unicef, 20 cards for $20, the stamp is more expensive than the card. But that isn’t all.

I don’t know about you but whatever I do, I am always late. See, I have a friend who is clever. She starts selecting pictures to use on her Holiday cards in summer so buy the time fall comes along, she’d ready. Her card usually prompts me into action.

So my big chore this week is: getting my act together!

Select pictures, make a collage, make an email list (of course I can’t find the one from last year) and, write a fitting message. Needless to say that 2020 was a year off the charts and that I sincerely hope that 2021 will be better for everyone in every and any aspect.

But there’s one more thing: the Christmas letter. I have friends who faithfully send yearly updates in their Christmas letter. We usually don’t. Somehow I think that 2020 isn’t a good year to pick up that tradition.

Now I have been looking into pictures. This one is right now my favorite. However, the gang here says that it isn’t Christmassy enough. Thoughts?

After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2020I hope you all enjoyed a safe Thanksgiving. We didn’t have our normal celebration with international faculty, students, friends, etc. as we cannot risk anyone’s life during the pandemic.

So, why not change the whole menu?

The result was Nasi Goreng (top left) with Telor in coconut sauce (top right) and Pad Thai (bottom). Needless to say these are also our leftovers for today.

This time of year also marks the beginning of my ‘Writing with WordPress’ period. On November 24, 2009 I started the website Defrosting Cold Cases. It felt like a jump into the deep end of the pool but I soon learned where the lifesavers were located. You can read here why I started it.

I wondered whether I should write another year review. I have not. The pandemic has changed a lot. Working or being at home doesn’t mean you have more time. The situational anxiety we all feel doesn’t always provide the right mood to write. If I look at my stats it is clear that I wrote less in 2020. It wasn’t intentional as my list with writing requests is huge.

I am also behind with writing book reviews. Unfortunately, this year for the first time I experienced book reviewer bashing. I really believe that if you don’t want to know what others think of your writing you should not have published your book. If you hold it so close to your heart and cannot bear that anyone points to a mistake or honestly tells you why they didn’t like it, maybe don’t offer your book to reviewers. To cut a long story short, several emails landed in my inbox with comments online. It has made me more careful with whom I work on manuscripts.

So, the plans after this Thanksgiving? An inventory of what was left behind in 2020 and planning for 2021. But first, we eat leftovers!


NaNoWriMo2020Who is participating in NaNoWriMo this year? I am but in a different format from previous years.

My NaNo this year is handwritten.

I am using a Levenger Notabilia To-Do Journal. It is less wide than the standard Notabilia Journals but it is a combination of ruled pages with a dot grid.

Each page is numbered, has a subject line in the top right corner, a check box, and a wide margin. It is fountain pen friendly too.

My project isn’t a novel but my reflection on 2020 (so I will be adding on until the end of the calendar year), and my progress isn’t counted by words. Instead, I have to finish a month’s worth of memories within a few days of writing.

Absolutely different but this way I get to practice my handwriting and have a record of a most unusual year. What are you doing?