Buried Author Seeks Shelter

Wanted: Overwhelmed author-publisher seeks strong, dependable bomb shelter to protect against falling deadlines. Must enjoy dark humor and have an inappropriate appreciation for all things morbid. Please do not respond with Pina Coladas and walks in the rain. Corrugated steel a good ice breaker. Photo not needed. Apply in comments.

I like to stay busy, but the past few weeks have been a bit much even for me. I went from zero to 120 miles an hour in mid-July. Before that, I’ve either been doom scrolling or stress gardening.

I find myself at the end of July about to have a coronary. Space and Time lost a small fortune mailing the magazine overseas last issue because as far as we know, only one actually made its destination. At $15-20 a pop to mail international, we can’t afford to keep doing that. I’m not even sure if our Canadian issues made it through.

While we are trying to decide what to do with that situation, we are prepping the latest issue to at least do our domestic mailings. Then I read about how politics and greed have snuck their way into the United States Postal System, and now I wonder if our domestic issues will also be no-shows.

You can read a collection of articles on how snail mail is about to go defunct here.

Hope some mailman is at least enjoying it…

And speaking of mailing, we’ve decided not to use our nice, clear resealable envelopes anymore because we had one magazine returned to us as an empty envelope. Someone had unsealed it, taken the magazine, and resealed it. The post office was kind enough to return the empty envelope to us with an apology. They even took the time to put our envelope in another clear envelope.

We thought we’d made some hard decisions at the beginning of this crisis in order to keep the magazine going, but I think we are going to have to cut deeper. Right now I’m thinking our only choice for the foreseeable future is to refund remaining subscriptions and just let people purchase the issues on Amazon. But we are mulling it over.

I can’t say I would miss going to the post office right now. One of the postmen from our own branch contracted COVID, but that’s not unique. He’s just one of the 39,000 postal workers to contract the virus as of two weeks ago.

I’d also happily take a pass on standing in a crowded line (crowded because no one understands how far six feet is) and looking at all the masks sagging under every other person’s nose. (I’d hate to see how they use a condom). But I digress…

The spuds… just keep… coming…!

The stress gardening I began in late February has turned into 100+ pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. Suddenly I am buried in cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, onions, potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes…

One good thing I did find out about potatoes is that if you leave them in the ground too long, they replant themselves for a fall crop. We might almost have these gone by then.

Not bad for my first real garden, but all the picking and processing takes more time than I realized. More accurately, I didn’t plan for all this harvesting because usually I’ve killed it all by now.

This entire lunch was grown within 25 square feet.

More news on the urban homestead front… the chickens started laying two weeks early and are now flooding us with eggs. This is not a bad problem to have, but we’ve had to move up our coop building plans to this weekend so they could be properly housed. We’ve been raising them as chicks in our garage.

Yes, I know the point of having chickens was to have eggs—I just didn’t expect so many so soon. I’m an accidental farm success… and now that I’ve run out of freezer space I guess it’s time to figure out canning. YouTube will save me.

Besides all this there are the usual deadlines for columns, poems, a story that I promised in April (cue screams of frustrated anguish)… this neglected blog. Get the feeling that this is just a rant? Yes it is, and please feel free to stop reading at any time. This is my therapy. I’m just letting you eavesdrop.

As if things couldn’t get busier and more insane, last week something happened I’m not even at liberty to discuss but it involves someone losing their life and someone going to jail. It’s not me or my current immediate family, by the way. All I can say on that is no matter how you try to toss someone a rope, some people will still be hell-bent on hanging themselves instead of climbing.

Actual chicken that makes my breakfast.

I keep not sharing posts because I feel I have nothing good or kind to say right now, so forgive me. I think the CDC needs to add Becoming an asshole to the list of symptoms because a lot of that is going around.

For everyone who feels enraged that their world has changed and they are being inconvenienced, join the club. We can whine about it or get on with things in this new normal. Pack your grown-up undies because it’s only getting crazier from here and you will need a fresh pair before spring.

On the positive note, if you are reading this and I’ve promised you a review, guest post, email, edit, manuscript critique, my soul… I’m probably a week away from being caught up.

Maybe two…

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit SpaceandTime.net
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