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Inspirational Motes

Today, I'm having an editing party! Whoop whoop! I've invited a talented and hardworking friend over so we can sit around and stare at our laptops while our kids tear through my house and harass my cat (who had her second birthday party this week--felicitations, Gretchen the cat!). It's nice to have company once in a while along the journey of a lonely and tedious task such as a novel revision. Or working out at the gym. Or whatever you're into.

Completing a long-term creative project like an epic historical novel also requires a steady diet of inspirations, so I like to build fine media content and transcendent experiences into various moments in my daily routines--horror and thriller novels at bedtime, for instance, and progressive jazz electronica while mowing the lawn. This week, I'd like to share a few more of my favorite things.

First is the weekly web series UNHhhh, which is the closest possible simulation of conversations that my husband and I used to have with our best friends when high and/or drunk. We don't do a lot of that these days, as we are responsible parents drifting toward middle age, but this 10-to-15-minute edited conversation between drag besties is a satisfactory simulation of those good times. We lock ourselves in our bedroom every Wednesday night, huddle under the covers with an iPad, and enjoy.

Another great way to consume YouTube videos is to get a LifeProof case, prop your phone on the edge of the tub, and watch while soaking in some of that bubble bath you bought "for your kid." That's self-care, folks. That's advanced adulting. For a higher-brow (not literally) experience than Trixie and Katya provide, I like to put on a short film from Omeleto's channel. There are so many of these, and they're so good. Or if I have a LOT of laundry to fold, I'll put a full-length film on the telly, maybe something freaky and foreign, which I often source from the library's Hoopla digital streaming service. All you need is a library card number and a twisted mind. An openness to watching, say, a whole movie starring the dead body of Eva PerĂ³n.

If I'm in more of an active, screaming/moshing type of mood, I'll instead fire up the house speaker set with the subwoofer and listen to some metal such as Okilly Dokilly.

Or hypergay dance music by Todrick Hall. I have a soft spot for bad boys.

This clip of Till Lindemann taking a moment to "fish on" without his clothes was the best 15 seconds of this past week in viral videos.

I'm also continuing to live vicariously through my dear friend Esperanza, who used to be my concert-going / tour-bus-stalking buddy a couple decades ago, who is still running around the world screaming her face off at rock concerts and then meeting up with all her favorite stars and documenting her adventures on Instagram.

Meanwhile, I'm fine with staying home, because I have a hot husband who makes me truly artful sammiches.

And I have a daughter who is now confident enough on a bike that we can do multi-mile family bike rides. YUSSSS!!! We just went on a gorgeous, forested trail ride to the local carnivalesque "farmer's market" grocery mega-mall, which was having a party last weekend. We filled up on free pig and corn roast and peaced out like bandits, gliding back home in the golden hour of the evening while heavy-breathing in the delicious breath of August trees and wildflowers. This is the spectacular kind of day we get to seize here in this middle class suburban life we have claimed for ourselves.

Here's a hastily slapped-together collage pic of that, because of course I couldn't get all three of our faces in one shot.

And now, back to tinkering with this story I made up about a bunch of degenerates killing each other off in the barbaric wilderness of the 11th century Byzantine Empire.


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As a descendant of German-Americans who served in both world wars...

As the wife of a Holocaust survivor's son...

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I'm going to be late for work.

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