Days of Change (OUTOT #1)

by Sheralyn

I’ve published over a dozen books but I have never been more excited about a book I’ve created than I am for the Once Upon This One Time (OUTOT or #OUTOT) journal series I’ve bringing your way now.

I firmly believe it is time for people to tell their stories, which is a daunting task for many.

Where do you start? What do you say? What do you include? What do you leave on the cutting-room floor?

I’m going to help you with all this, but you’re going to need some information first — information only you know, and it needs to be stored in ways that you can find and record easily.

That’s what the Once Upon This One Time journal series is all about: Capturing events in ways that make it easy to write about later.

The first journal in the series is: DAYS OF CHANGE. This is a journal you ONLY write in when you experience a notable change in your life. When that happens, you fill in a one-sheet in the journal and that’s it.

Do this each time you have a big change and soon you will have a book that is filled only with days when your “normal” changed into something new, allowing you to see some of the influential days in your life in sequence.

Other journals will record other things, making everything easy to find when it’s time to write your story and I’ll be guiding and sharing things I’ve learned with you along the way.

And I am looking forward to helping you write your story in a captivating way that family, friends, and strangers will love to read.

Start by clicking on the link and getting your copy of DAYS OF CHANGE now.

Return of the Story Problem

by Sheralyn

I was playing around with the idea of creating fun tools to help with at-home learning.

Obviously, I would need to upgrade the art and video elements. This is just a concept test with a question: Would story problems like this be a fun way to help your kids/students learn at home?

@ me on Twitter if you’re feeling it. @SheralynPratt

PRESENTING DK: SUPERSTAR

by: Sheralyn

The verdict is in: the world needs more satire!

Or, at least, my caricatures do. That’s feedback on this week’s postings in a nutshell:

MORE SATIRE, PLEASE.
HOLD THE NUANCE.

And I hear you. I totally do. So:

New Pivot:
GOODBYE: Editorial newsroom vibe (and characters)
HELLO: Full-on Comedy

This is exciting because comedy is something I have never done, and I am REALLY excited to succeed at it right out of the gate!

I’m also so lucky that I don’t have to agonize whether to try a comic strip or stand-up comedy first, given the fact that I’m pretty sure open mic nights are currently a Class B Misdemeanor in my city.

So comic strip/memes it is!

Although, there is one issue: I don’t really know how to art. It’s not really a thing I’ve ever focused on. I’ve always preferred to have people who do it well do it for me so it meets my tough standards.

But after 4 decades of getting away with not creating my own images, it would seem I finally need to learn how to draw. So I hope you’re excited to witness that learning curve as an added bonus!

And with that enticing preamble, I hereby present my very first comic character:

DK: Superstar

DK: Superstar. Bringing enemies together since 2020

How to describe DK: Superstar? There are so many ways, really…

You know when you’re arguing in private with someone and a stranger helpfully pops in with the answers to all your questions?

DK: Superstar is like that — ON STEROIDS.

Solutions … answers … bright ideas … ALL FREE. You don’t even need to ask!

DK will just fly in and inform you. Because that’s what Superstars do!

And I know you’re asking:

What does DK stand for?
What are DK’s superpowers?

And all I can say for now is: Answers coming soon!

You’ll be getting to know DK really well in the future, and I know you’re going to love having DK swoop in — unrequested — and save your day!

It’s just what every citizen dreams of.

DK: SUPERSTAR

More Coming Soon!!!

Morning Memo

Policy Update

by: Stan (Keeping you up to date on current standards and conversation points that will help keep you safe in difficult times.)

Good morning, citizens. I hope it is a beautiful Spring day wherever you are.

For those of you who are busy and on-the-go — who don’t have time to dive into every article you see in your feed — I thought it might be helpful to create a morning digest to update you on the relevant conversations of the day.

(Note: This is an article that could be ongoing — if there is demand. Please, respond via social media if you have interest.)

MORNING TRENDS

Sean Reed was shot and killed by Indianapolis police. This is within 24 hours of Ahmaud Aubrey‘s murder going viral for justice, and the same week that Calvin Munerlyn was shot at a Dollar Tree store in Flint, Michigan for asking a customer to wear a mask.

Search Terms: #SeanReed #JusticeforSeanReed #AhmaudAubrey Calvin Munerlyn

Antibodies from a 4-year-old llama named Winter in Belgium may hold the cure for Coronavirus.

OTHER TOPICS

National Nurses Day might have been yesterday, but it is always a great day to show your appreciation for the medical care workers on the front line of our current pandemic. #ThankYouNurses

A great celebrity focus at the moment is Dolly Parton. Dolly is funding cutting-edge COVID treatment research and it looks promising! Stay tuned for more updates.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital being treated for acute cholecystitis (a gallbladder condition). She is resting comfortably and set to take oral arguments via phone today. We wish her the best on her way to recovery!

The Pittsburg airport is the first in the nation to deploy ultraviolet-cleaning robots. This is likely to become the new standard of operation and you will see more airports following their lead.

______

That’s your morning digest. As always, wait for topics to shift as the day evolves.

And, to all you service workers out there, remember: The last super moon of the year is behind us!

Have a great day.

Ask Capella

New Age

by: Capella Nion

(Oracle to an ever-changing future. All prophesies have room for correction, unless otherwise stated.)

Dear Capella,

I saw a meme the other day that said:

Are we going to talk about the fact that the last normal day any of us had was Friday the 13th?

I can so relate to that! Life has been so crazy through this pandemic, all routine has been upturned, and everything feels so unsure. I’m doing everything right that I can, but the anxiety is getting to me.

What can I do to de-stress and find balance again?

Sincerely Yours,

A Seeker

________

Dear Seeker,

Fulfillment is found in joyful expression; anxiety is the opposite of this. Ironically, this is one of the reasons it is hard for smart people to be happy: because joy is not expressed by thinking through things, but by experiencing them.

Joy is a feeling we find in moments of pure thoughtlessness. And it is hard to be thoughtless when we are afraid.

So I ask you, Dear Seeker, when is the last time you expressed yourself so joyfully that you brought everyone in the room with you? No pre-planning, no gimmicks. Just the joy of a moment, plus you being you.

When is the last time you found the joy in a moment, despite the uncertainties around you? When is the last time you expressed yourself — without thinking or saying a word?

Bonus question: How can you elevate your immediate environment to spark joy in you and others?

To find balance, I would suggest setting some time aside each day to follow joy when you find it — especially if the world is still closed for quarantine around you as your news feeds fill with threats and frets that haunt you when you should be sleeping.

We can find peace in hard times but only through authentic expression, untouched by guilt or worry.

Worry is a waste of imagination

is one of my favorite catchphrases for expressing how the power of thought is directional. For what is anxiety but an imagination fixated on outcomes of catastrophic failure?

Anxiety is a torturous fixation that cuts at your spirit with little knives until you are defensively focused on pain avoidance.

Reverse this fixation by releasing the need to be smart about things that are out of your control and redirecting your thoughts to joyful, immediate action.

This is my remedy for the anxiety that ails you:

Crawl back into your own skin, find a pocket of joy, then embrace it.

Do this often and balance will return.

Wishing you the best in your ongoing quarantine!

Capella Nion

______

BONUS TIP FROM CAPELLA

People of certain constitutions may have been experiencing symptoms over the past several months, due to the increased electrification of the earth’s atmosphere.

Symptoms include:

  • Poor circulation (especially to the hands and feet)
  • Sense of an onset of arthritis or MS
  • Tickling of throat ~30 minutes into/after sun exposure
  • Asthmatic reactions to minor exercise (with no prior or recent history)
  • Low sense of fragrance (although honeysuckle fared well in my area)

If you’ve had any of these symptoms, you may be having a response to the 5G upgrade in our atmosphere.

There are many ways to respond to these symptoms, but might I suggest:

Licorice Root Tea

I’ve been drinking Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea lately, and find it to be a great licorice flavor to sip while wrangling fraught thoughts.

Help support this advice column by using my affiliate link to give this yummy tea a try!

Thank you for your support.

May the Fourth Editorial Meeting

<transcript>

In attendance: Sheralyn, Zeitgeist Karen, Big Brother, The Patriot, Rich Snitch, The Propagandist, Captain Pan, and Capella Nion.

SHERALYN

Okay, everyone. Welcome to our second meeting and May the Fourth be with us.

(silence replies)

Okay, did anyone follow up on the CDC thing?

ZEITGEIST KAREN

I thought you were going to do that.

SHERALYN

No. There didn’t seem to be any interest and the story seemed to self-correct by the end of the day so I’m good to let it go and start fresh. Anything you all want to cover?

CAPTAIN PAN

There are no beach riots in California. Only residents who want to play in the ocean.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Selfish! Just because the sun is out and the weather is nice, doesn’t mean we’re past this thing.

THE PATRIOT

So people don’t have a right to go to the beach if they want to? Hospitals are empty. Some are going bankrupt. We did this whole quarantine thing not to overrun them and we succeeded. Why are you so upset if they get patients again? Not everyone wants to die hiding in a foxhole.

SHERALYN

Good points for a thought piece, Patriot. Is yours ready to go?

THE PATRIOT

Not yet. I don’t work on weekends.

SHERALYN

Got it. Well, let me know when you’re ready to post.

THE PATRIOT

Will do.

SHERALYN

We have other stories. There was that George W. Bush video that was released over the weekend. Any reaction to that?

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Oh, my gosh. I cried! That was so moving! Everyone should watch it. We really are in this together!

THE PATRIOT

(under breath)

9/11 was an inside job.

SHERALYN

Any other reactions?

RICH SNITCH

No. I’m just sitting here counting all the times Karen doesn’t get to speak her mind.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

And this is how you create a hostile work environment!

RICH SNITCH

Good to know.

SHERALYN

If that’s the only response, I’m going to assume no one else really found the video all that compelling.

BIG BROTHER

I agree with Karen. George W. Bush’s message to the people should be mandatory viewing in these harrowing times.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Thank you, Big Brother! It’s nice to be validated.

BIG BROTHER

You’re welcome, Karen. Also, I’d like to go by my given name from here on out: Stan. And I’d rather identify as “the oldest child” rather than the big brother. Big Brother is laden with negative tropes and sexism I’d rather avoid, if possible.

SHERALYN

I’ll make the change, starting immediately.

STAN

Thank you.

SHERALYN

Of course. Next up, we have the U.S. presidential elections and the mounting challenges to Joe Biden’s character through sexual assault allegations. Currently, these are centered around Tara Reade, who seems to be a credible accuser, since her mother called into Larry King regarding the accusation in 1993.

Some don’t believe Tara’s accusations, of course. But some do, while still endorsing Biden to beat Trump. Like Lisa Bloom:

You can probably tell by the current ratio of this tweet that this is a controversial stance. Anyone want to weigh in on it?

STAN

No.

RICH SNITCH

No.

THE PATRIOT

What’s the point? They’re just going to nominate Hillary as his VP and then have Joe drop out.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Oh, my gosh. I just can’t with all your conspiracy theories.

THE PATRIOT

Admit it. It’s what you want.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

I mean, not gonna lie, that would be a dream come true. But I think he’s going to choose a younger up-and-comer. Not white. He has to. Someone like Kamala Harris would be perfect!

THE PATRIOT

Why not Tulsi Gabbard? Why are female liberals backing a sexual predator when they could be voting for a woman? What’s with all the hypocrisy there?

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Tulsi’s so moderate, she might as well be a Republican.

THE PATRIOT

Have you seen her policies? They are not Republican.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

You’re exhausting.

THE PATRIOT

Yeah? And I just think you’re biased against hot, vegan Hindus.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

That is categorically untrue.

THE PATRIOT

I’m just saying: Hillary’s going to steal the Democratic nomination and 2020 is going to be rematch. Politics has been like a WWE storyline ever since Trump entered the ring. They’re all just running a script and we’re supposed to act like the idiots in the stands while they do it.

SHERALYN

So … um, back to the Tara Reade story: Any takers?

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Oooh. Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new Twilight book from Edward’s point of view! Could you get me an advanced reading copy? I’d love to do a book review.

SHERALYN

I don’t know that I have the contacts for that, but I’ll see what I can do.

RICH SNITCH

I think I might do an advertorial on good mics for snitches.

SHERALYN

(makes note)

Sounds good. Stan, anything to look for from you?

STAN

Not for the moment. People know where they need to be and what they need to do to stay safe during this pandemic. We’ve made that clear. All they need to do is take care of themselves and their loved ones with the peace of mind that people like me are doing all they can do.

SHERALYN

Okay. Do you want to write an article that says that?

STAN

People already know and the Bush video says it all. I won’t bore them with redundancy in the form of written words.

SHERALYN

Okay. Captain Pan, you’ve been traveling the world through all this. Any commentary you’d like to make?

CAPTAIN PAN

Not really. This is the most boring panic I’ve ever seen. No unrest. No bodies in the harbors. Just quiet cities filled with masked residents ordering take-out and binge-watching TV. I’ll let you know when I sail into something interesting.

SHERALYN

Gotcha. How about you, Capella? Insights are kind of your thing, right? Got any?

CAPELLA NION

I’ll meditate on it and let you know what comes.

SHERALYN

Great. Patriot, any other article ideas from you?

THE PATRIOT

Well, given the decrease in my drop-shipping business the past two months, door-to-door sales is now part of our home school curriculum. My boys sold 12 watches this morning. I think it’s really important to teach children about business young. Maybe I could do an article on that.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

On child labor? Surely, you are kidding. It’s like you want people to call CPS on you.

THE PATRIOT

For teaching my kids how to make money in tough times? You think that’s abuse? That life!

ZEITGEIST KAREN

They are children!

THE PATRIOT

Right. And it’s my job to prepare them for the world.

SHERALYN

Okay, I’m going to stop you two there unless one of you wants to write a thought piece on your stance.

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Please. As if he would read it. Besides, you can’t teach common sense. Either you have it, or you don’t.

SHERALYN

Okay, let me know if you change your minds. Propagandist? You still here?

PROPAGANDIST

Yeah.

SHERALYN

I was thinking we could all use icons to go with our names. Is that something you could do?

PROPAGANDIST

Sure. I’ll get on that. Still need a style guide.

SHERALYN

Yeah. How about we collaborate on that after this meeting?

PROPAGANDIST

Cool.

SHERALYN

And I think now would be a great point to stop at. I clearly need to read a book, or something, on how to run more effective meetings. So I’ll look into that and work with the Propagandist to create icons for you all. Sound good?

ZEITGEIST KAREN

Yes. But definitely look into getting that new Twilight book for me.

SHERALYN

Will do. Let’s meet again at the same time tomorrow and, next time, I’d like each of you to pitch a story that sounds interesting to you. Sound good?

Everyone agrees.

Meeting closes.

</transcript>