What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?

Indy, judging me. Here is my puppy after ten minutes alone and uncrated in the house, looking at me like I missed curfew.

Three and a half years is definitely my personal record for longest stretch of time without writing in a public space. I wrote stories in my introductory computer class in the first grade, pounding away on the keys of the Apple IIe. I was on my middle school, high school, and college newspaper staffs. I started a literary journal on Geocities as a way to teach myself HTML … 22 years ago. I co-ran a writing-centric domain in the late 90s. I wrote marketing copy for eight years.

Now most of my writing is in commit messages, in Slack messages to colleagues, in captions on Instagram, in the occasional non-retweet in a private account.

The last few years have been full of stories. I wouldn't know where to start. I quit a marketing job to retool as a software engineer. I spent a year writing software in an obscure functional programming language I only heard about the first day on that job. We bought a house and have: replaced the gutters, fascia, a 25-year-old HVAC system, and water heater; moved the electrical panel out of a bathroom; installed a French drain, temperature-controlled crawlspace vents, bathroom fans, and floodlights; tore down a metal shed within a wooden shed; removed a dumpster's worth of bad concrete (with at least two more to go); and cut down three sick trees. I coached couch-to-5K groups in the summers. I found Iyengar yoga. We adopted a 7-week-old puppy around the time I accepted my current job, last March. For my birthday I bought the piano I'd wanted for a quarter century and spent the weekend before it was delivered painting the living room the greige you see above instead of the builder's beige - the color of liquid foundation a teenager grabs off the shelf at Walmart - the whole house had been slathered in before we bought it. The puppy developed autoimmune anemia and we spent the last three months of the year doling out spoonfuls of Fage 2% with prednisone and omeprazole hidden inside. He has recovered beautifully, except the vet specialist's office did a terrible shave job on his belly while ruling out heart problems and cancer and the fur is taking forever to grow back. Because his gums are 98% black, every day and a half or so I have to pull one of his eyelids down to see if his conjunctiva is pink enough. Because my husband is colorblind, I still fret.

I thought about writing. I dreaded maintaining the previous Ghost instance.

The more I learned about software the more intimidated I was about spinning up a new site. This one uses Gatsby, deliberately because this backend developer needs to force herself to use React.

So, I guess we'll see how this goes.

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