Stranger Things

I must have the worst look on my face when doing the Couch-to-5K app thing (stuck in Week 4 – can’t run for 5 full minutes) because I get a lot of attention from strangers as I run/plod around Roosevelt Island. Over the last two weeks:

  1. I’m headed past the meditation steps towards the cherry blossom trees. A trim senior citizen in a magenta jumpsuit with matching sun visor power-walks towards me. We give each other a wide berth as we approach. She points at me with both hands and gives me two thumbs up as I pass.
  2. Since I go out around the same time each morning, I see others on the same schedule. Two women wearing cute outfits with coordinating masks walk together almost every day. One morning I nodded at them and got no response. The next time I see them, they squeal, “You got this! WOO!” and give me social-distance high fives as I pass.
  3. Yesterday a man walked his golden retriever by the lighthouse. He was on his phone paying me no mind but I made flirty-eyes at the dog as I passed – such a beauty! A little later, I see the man and dog walking towards me. As I trot up to the grassy part of the path (#socialdistancing), the man calls after me, “You’re doing great!”

I’ve had other fun moments with strangers this week. Mostly on twitter. Mostly with celebrities I admire, including my girl Alyssa!

The best was when I entered the Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch Literary Community a couple of days ago. Charli Mills herself commented on my blog! Other writers left nice comments about my entry on the CRLC website. “Welcome to the Ranch!” Joanne the Geek posted. Made my heart swell!

Kindness from strangers has made a difference. I’m glad for this reminder to act in kindness. Not just for those you love, but for those you don’t even know. And for yourself! Because you never know who may depend on the kindness of strangers. (Streetcar!)

Pivoting to Social Media

I jumped to Chapter 11, Pivot to Social Media. Alyssa talks about how your social media profiles are your calling card to the world, and how knowing how to use social media tools is vital for employment, collaborations, and connections. She then goes over ways to present yourself positively, from variety in your profile pictures to posting as if you’re having a conversation rather than posting “at” someone. There’s a lot of great advice, especially for beginners like me.

I’m not nearly as social media savvy as most millennials or even Generation X. I can’t blame this on a generation thing. My husband handles most of our social media. Back in November after listening to the Intro chapter (which was a very powerful experience), I tweeted my very first tweet tagging a celebrity:

Ehrmahgaaaaah, Alyssa liked my Tweet!

Then I got bolder and a few weeks later, this happened:

IF HE CAN IGNORE THE TYPO, SO CAN YOU!

Ever the dutiful student, I poked around Twitter and found some incredibly enthusiastic DAYS fans to follow. It’s super-fun to see what is live-tweeted when an episode airs.

I also found a great community of fellow writers. We hold each other accountable to deadlines and promote each other’s accomplishments. I’ll be wasting a lot of time on twitter in the near future.

Instagram is less community-oriented so far, much more self-promoting. I’m probably using it wrong. Even so, I made a fantastic connection via Instagram a few weeks ago:

Billy Flynn just starred in a play in LA called Disposable Necessities. It’s the marriage of two of my favorite things: science fiction and live theater. There was no way I could get to LA to see it so I DM’d Rogue Machine Theater and asked if the playwright was selling the script (which they often do, especially in off-Broadway or regional theaters, to help raise money for the theater). A few hours later, Neil McGowan himself DM’d me and arranged for me to get a copy! I couldn’t believe it! The script is amazing. The play just closed and I’m so bummed I couldn’t see it! I hope it comes to NYC for a run.

Pre-Pivot, I wouldn’t have reached out to the theater in the first place. I’d have been too shy.

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