I have been waiting for the 2020 election since 2016.
I will never forget the slow, sinking, horrifying feelings I had while watching the returns during the last presidential election. I’m on the West Coast, so by the time dinner and homework and dishes were done, projections were starting to come in from the EST precincts.
I spent a lot of time that night on Fivethirtyeight’s website. I know they’re trying re-write history and say they warned us all that Trump had a good chance, but I was a political news junkie then, too, and I followed their polls and analyses very closely. While they hadn’t put HRC at 100% chances, they certainly weren’t ringing any alarm bells the way they now claim to have done.
I watched state after state turn red. I don’t remember which state shocked me the most, but when I saw that Pennsylvania was red, I was glued to the screen, refreshing every few minutes, reading every reputable liveblog I could find.
In just a couple of hours, the country was bathed in red.
My local library has an amazing curbside pick-up program. They’ve always had a strong holds system (it’s really the best way to check out books in normal time) and now you can schedule a pick up time when you have a hold ready. The librarians bag it up and have your books waiting for you right outside. They also have a “surprise bag” checkout program where they will checkout a collection of five different books (for kids, YA, or adults). The last time I checked out that option, my set included On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Both books had been on my to-read list for what felt like years, so the serendipity was overwhelming and just the push I needed to finally read them.
Today’s stack of books included three books and two books on CD:
I’ve got a variety of topics, if not a very strong variety of authors. (( severe side-eye )) Next time. (I like to purchase new books from authors from marginalized groups – I don’t mind not further lining the pockets of a Nobel Prize winner.
Wow. This is a fluffy little rant. That’s ok. Maybe I’ll read something worth writing about tomorrow morning.
I’m writing later than I planned today, but I am still awake and I’m not a computer, so I can be a little flexible with whether it’s actually Thursday morning or Wednesday night.
It’s hard to think (let alone write) about anything other than the impending election. The 2020 Presidential Election is in a few more days. A lot of people around the country are emphasizing that Tuesday, November 3rd is the election deadline, not Election Day. Voter turnout is expected to be very high and most sensible localities are acknowledging the existing of the Coronavirus pandemic and encouraging voters to vote early (whether through in-person voting locations or by dropping off their ballots early.) We’re already at the point where most states are telling voters not to bother mailing their ballots at this point because of the GOP legal challenges working their way through the courts (and up to the GOP-controlled Supreme Court) that are expected to artificially limit counting past the voting deadline on Election Day.
I tried to start out non-partisan there. I truly did. It’s a little like trying to be neutral in a burning building. Fire == bad. Running away from a fire or putting it out == good.
Anyway. You see why it’s so hard to think or write about anything else.
Imagine a clever and insightful transition here as I abruptly change the subject.
I read an interesting book recently. The New Voices of Science Fiction is an outstanding collection of short sci fi stories from around the world. Every story was engrossing, and funny, and a little scary. When a time traveling fisherwoman fears being caught by a librarian, you know you’re in for a ride!
I recently read a mini-article about the importance of writing every day. It’s based on a podcast interview with Seth Godin, who credits his creativity to building the habit of writing in his blog every single day. I decided to take his advice and dive back in to this neglected blog.
I didn’t realize just how neglected this blog had become. Well, looks like we’re starting it up (again) today.
For lack of a better plan (and if I waited until I had a plan for what to write here, it would be another four years before I started writing again), I’ll start off with a list of things I’m going to let go of:
- I will let go of the belief that it’s not a “real blog” if I’m not coding it myself. I know that I can, but it’s not where I need to spend most of my time right now.
- I will let go of the insecurity that what I’m writing here won’t be valuable to anyone but me. Writing something that is valuable to “just me” is enough.
- I will let go of the fear of starting. So here we go.
Now that we’ve got a bit of cruft out of the way, what am I going to pick up?
- I will take Godin’s advice and write every day. It won’t be Austen, but it will be real and daily.
- I will think about what I might want to write about each night before bed. (It beats thinking about the news!)
- I will add to this list as time goes on.