Introverts #NaPoWriMo 8

Introverts #NaPoWriMo 8


Seclusion and distance
Come easy for
The Introvert.

She doesn’t “People”
In Person
Preferring online engagement.

Even though her routine
Is not disrupted, she knows
To check in with her extroverted friends.

They make her cray, sometimes,
Insisting on brunch, on drinks,
Or the dreaded weekend party.

But they are her friends,
And she wants them back,
When it’s safe to hug once again.

Slow Traveler #NaPoWriMo 7

Slow Traveler #NaPoWriMo 7

Slow Traveler

Downtown departure
At 7am.
No Stops,
No Encounters,
No Worries,
As the traveler settles in,
Maybe grab some breakfast
In the dining car
Before passing the Cemeteries?

The Crescent’s mission
Has not changed in over
A century:
Connect New Orleans with New York

Not everyone rides
The Crescent
All the way
To New York.
Maybe it’s just a day trip
To Atlanta.

The privacy of a
Small compartment
All to oneself,
Versus the crowds
At the airport,
Is often worth
The extra six hours.

A day spent away from
The stress of travel.
As the cars click along
Through Mississippi.

Morning Ritual #NaPoWriMo 6

Morning Ritual #NaPoWriMo 6

Morning Ritual

Iced coffee, three sugars.
Barista sees her coming,
Grabs a cup, ice, and pitcher of coffee.
Order is ready when
She reaches the counter.

There is no concern
That she’ll change her mind.
It’s been the same
For three years, even on
The occasional Saturday.

Creatures of habit
Are easy to satisfy
If attention is paid
To their Rituals.


Personal Log 20200414 – supermarket runs

Personal Log 20200414 – daily routine changes in our stay-home world.

persona log 20200414

Work from home really means work from home right now.

Personal Log 20200414

When training classes begin, my introduction includes saying something about New Orleans. While I teach remotely from here at the house, it’s not accurate to say I work from home. That’s because I get out to the coffee shop on most mornings. Well, not now, naturally.

Teaching routine

Teaching via WebEx requires I stay put. I have a “business” internet account. My desk computer connects via wire to the router to the rest of the world. This provides a better quality of service, QoS. While I probably would survive on the PJs or Starbucks wi-fi, the noise of the blenders presents an issue.

Teaching from home isn’t a terrible thing. I still have time to get up, catch the Amtrak Crescent at the PJs, have coffee, and plan the day. By 0830, I hop in the car and head back home.

Writing routine

No class on a given week means no reason to hop back in the car at 0830. I hang out at the coffee shop for a few hours, working down my BuJo’s task list. The people-watching and train-watching is good for me. So’s the fresh air on the coffee shop patio.

Pandemic adjustments

I worked from the coffee shop for three days after the stay-at-home “suggestions” started. The baristas pushed all the seating to the sides, as if they were about to mop the floor. It didn’t discourage the customers. They gathered on the patio. This annoyed me because I don’t like all those people in the first place. Mark Bologna and I grabbed two of the outside tables that first Sunday (how many Sundays ago was that? I’m losing track.). We social-distanced nicely. Still, there were too many people. After that, I surrendered.

Coffee from home is a first world problem

personal log 20200414

I’m not a fan of making my own coffee. I prefer that to being around asymptomatic carriers, though. So, out comes the pot. The cats are amused. I still drink about the same amount of coffee. From a price perspective, I’m sure it’s saving me money. The lack of donuts, on the other hand, makes me sad. Same for the cinnamon rolls at the PJs.


My writing production isn’t what it was prior to the pandemic. Home distracts me. Home means I can work on my other computers here. I don’t do that at the coffee shop, unless something’s wrong with a website.

Actual work-from-home offers the distraction of making network changes. While the network improves, my NaPoWriMo output drops.

General mindset – Personal Log 20200414

I don’t like going to the grocery in the pandemic. Grocery shopping has always been fun for me, going back to when the boys were kids. I cook, so it’s logical I buy the groceries. Planning isn’t as necessary when Zuppardo’s Supermarket is less than a, mile away. So, normal meant 2-3 trips a week. Dinner planning happened two hours before cooking started.

Pandemic conditions changed that. People in #themetrys make me uncomfortable. Way too many of them are Fox News viewers who think this is a hoax. I don’t need them breathing on me. Seriously. My headphones provided escape from racist white people. Turn on, tune out. They continue to breathe, though.

Even a weekly trip to the supermarket increases my stress levels. While Whole Foods is a better (and smaller) group of customers, they don’t have everything we want/need. Trips to the supermarket early in the day provide some respite from stupid people, but all it takes is one. Not good for my general disposition.

Back to the N-scale trains

I need to get the extraneous stuff off the train table and run them again. It’s a distraction that doesn’t involve watching TV. That’s my main goal for the week. I dismantled the layout before the holidays, and never got back to it. Trains fuel the imagination! They mitigate all the stuff I’m fussing about in Personal Log 20200414.

A Novel Approach #NaPoWriMo 5

A Novel Approach #NaPoWriMo 5 of 30

A Novel Approach

In 1940,
The Nazi Blitz ravaged Britain.
Those who guarded the nation,
In the Shadows,
On the Astral,
Among the Trees,
Came together
To defend their homes
And their loved ones.

Can we defend
Against the novel coronavirus
Using similar means?
Not everyone understands
The science,
The medicine,
The care
Needed to heal
Those who get sick.

But surely,
Those who understand the body’s
Connection to the spirit.
The Shamans,
The Witches,
The Mages.
Even the Dabblers
And the “Fluffy Bunnies”
Know the importance of
Deep breathing.

They can visualize
Healthy lungs
Filling up with air
Exhaling steadily
Oxygen providing
That can battle build up
The fortress that is
The human body
To battle back
The viral assault.

An’ It Would Harm None,
To paraphrase the Rede
To share what we have,
Our Energy
Our Strength
Our Desire to help others.
To boost the energy
Of the vulnerable
Helping them push
The intruder out.

©2020 Edward J. Branley