I know, I know. I've been a blog flake. Sigh. I really need to start making to-do lists again. Every morning I wake up in a panic about all the stuff I forgot to do the day before. How messed up is that? I'm busy, but not that busy. A part of my problem is that I'm easily distracted and go off on tangents. I never used to be this way. Hey, I thought wisdom came with age. Stop laughing.
Here are some distractions that veered me away from my productive path:
Absolute Write Watercooler. It goes without saying that this place is addictive, but yesterday I became fascinated and repulsed by the antics of a troll on one of the more active threads in the forum. He was remarkably creepy and you can really see how damaging these people can be. What was interesting was how many people couldn't stop themselves from feeding this guy's need to cause emotional dissonance. I have no problem walking away from foolish discussions, but some people can get terribly defensive and just won't let it go. This troll was having the time of his life. It was like watching a toddler play in traffic.
Iron Spring Writers Retreat. I reconnected with an old online friend who told me about her Writers Weekend now being a smaller retreat than in past years and it's now held in a little resort on the Washington coast. I've always wanted to attend her bigger one in the past, but living in Colorado made it cost prohibitive. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, the drive up north to Washington isn't so bad. So I signed up. The retreat is restricted to 15 people, and I see on the website that the limit has already been reached. If you'd like to attend, keep an eye on the website to see if any openings come up.
Steampunk. Knowing that Jay Lake will be one of the attendees at Iron Springs, I just had to read his story in the Steampunk anthology I bought a couple of weeks ago and haven't even opened yet. He wrote a very odd story about a god-clown. Creepy and compelling. Now I'm eager to read the rest of the stories in the book. I love anthologies that include stories by novelists whose books I haven't read so that I can try them on for size. I've found a number of favorite writers this way.
Exercise. I should do it more often, but I try to get to the fitness center at least three times a week. Wednesday evenings has my favorite step aerobics class. We've been working on the same routine now for about 3 weeks and I've got it down solid! Talk about sweat. And sore muscles. Today I'm going to kick boxing class, which starts in about an hour so I've got to get my butt in gear.
Here's something from my research notes out of The City in Slang: In the late 1800s, Guttersnipes were the youngest members of gangs of homeless boys, the older of whom were called street arabs. Guttersnipe was also used in reference to a street beggar or street musician.