Turning into a Lockdown Butterfly

From my new Chick interview, you might remember that my relationship with my husband followed the frenemies-to-lovers trope. It really did remind me of Pride and Prejudice when we first met in college. He’s since confessed that he thought I was a total social butterfly (and not in a good way). Yes, I was that girl who had to “pencil you in” on her planner.

As a freshman, I took the Myers-Briggs inventory, and I landed right between the introversion and extroversion traits. I might have tweaked the results because I went out of my way to overcompensate for my previous high school shyness.

Over the years, I’ve reverted to my more introverted nature. This especially happened once kids showed up. I mean, there’s just so little time to do anything beyond caretaking.

However, in the lockdown world of the past months, I’ve freed my social butterfly.

I’ve participated in a few events on Facebook and Instagram. I even did a panel for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month put on by the Los Angeles Public Library.

More than that, I’ve gone to so many author activities. These include writing webinars, book launches, and a virtual Noir at the Bar (where I didn’t have to run up a tab).

Both my weekend and evening slots were filled with events I wouldn’t usually be able to attend without some major babysitting. For example, I went to Jenny Yang’s #ComedyCrossing show. (Yep, those are comedians doing their sets while using cute avatars.)

I’ve even been able to dress up during this time. All those clothes in my closet that I haven’t touched in years, I get to wear now. (Bonus: They’re also quite forgiving around the waistline.)

I feel like I’m revisiting my college days, when I got to socialize a lot because people lived within walking distance. Now everybody is within keyboard distance.

(Excuse me for a moment. What’s that, honey? You want to have a date night? Let me check my calendar…)

Have you turned into a butterfly or remained cocooned during lockdown?

43 thoughts on “Turning into a Lockdown Butterfly

  1. I have attended a few online Noir at the Bar readings. That’s something I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to attend live, but they’ve been quite fun. I didn’t dress up for them though. That’s way too ambitious for me.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I have definitely have become an online social butterfly since the lockdown.

    One of my first daily tasks is to visit and post comments on mystery blogs such as Jungle Red Writers, the Chicks and the Wickeds.

    And like Marla, I have attended several virtual Noir at the Bar events, including one last night that Jennifer participated in.

    Jennifer, I never would have known it was your FIRST video reading! You were great!!
    Having gone to several Noir events at Bouchercon, it was nice to see both familiar and new authors read their books and to chat with friends during the event.

    I have also participated in several FB virtual book launches and watched interviews of several mystery fiction authors. They have all been fun and it another way to keep connected with the mystery fiction community.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. First off, thanks for making it a point to visit the lovely mystery blogs and comment. It’s always so nice to hear from readers.

      Also, I’m happy you enjoyed the virtual event and liked my reading. (I found it really hard to figure out how the audience was reacting since all I could see when I looked up was my own face staring back at me on the screen.)

      Last night wasn’t technically an official “Noir at the Bar” but a “Reading for Relief” fundraiser (you can see the playback & still support here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/two-bad-apples-present/register)

      The nice thing about online events is that you can get a “roomful” of authors spread all across the country, so I really liked participating alongside people who aren’t just locally based. On a side note: I was looking forward to attending a live Noir at the Bar event at Left Coast Crime and was bummed when it all got cancelled.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I agree it is a plus that the virtual events do allow the authors and attendees to join in from anywhere. And the readings are usually top-notch. I am always amazed that some authors can do their reading while also reading/responding to the real-time comments (like Angie Kim did last night).

        And yes, attending a live Noir at the Bar is different but a lot of fun.
        Sorry I did not get to see you at the truncated San Diego LCC, Jennifer.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m not sure how to answer. LOL

    I’ve done a couple of events I wouldn’t have been able to (such as Murder & Mayhem in Chicago last spring). I met up with some college friends for virtual happy hour (our 25th reunion was supposed to be this summer). I’ve done some Facebook launch parties and virtual author events to support my local bookstore (but I probably would have gone to those in person).

    On the other hand, I spend so much time in front of a screen for my job that it has to be something really compelling for me to want to sit in front of a screen on the weekend or after hours.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I hear you Liz! After being on Zoom meetings all day for work, virtual socializing is the last thing I want to do. If the event is really amazing, I try to lug my computer outside.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Liz, I see your point about the Zoom or on-screen fatigue.

      Since I am retired, I am the opposite. These events are the only online interactions that I do.
      And I forgot to mention Murder and Mayhem. That was a great 1-day conference, with over 900 attendees from around the world. Again a plus in holding the event that way and making it free for anyone to attend. The authors got way more exposure to potential readers than if the live event had taken place in Chicago.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve become a hermit. Like Liz, I’m loathe to sit in front of a screen all evening after sitting in front of one all day. Actually, I stand at my desk all day and I have yet to find the right place in my house for sitting and zooming. Every place is too dark, too bright, too uncomfortable, too noisy, or too in the way of my husband. It’s easier just to say no. I mentioned this cunundrum to my son recently and he said, “That’s so weird. You’re the most social person I know!” The one virtual event I look forward to is my monthly Sisters in Crime-Colorado book club. As uncomfortable as it is, I’ll take one for *that* team.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I’m with you about finding the right spot, Becky! For some reason, the windows I have in my house are all in awkward places that don’t illuminate my face in an optimal way. When I do my professional meetings, I’m wedged into this corner of my house to make the lighting work.

      That is so very interesting to hear about how being social in real life doesn’t necessarily equate to being active virtually.

      And book clubs are always worth it! 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Most of the rooms in my house have lots of windows and lots of natural light, so finding a spot isn’t hard. If it’s the weekend, I go upstairs into my daughter’s old room. During the weekday, I close the door and sit in our sunroom.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is indeed funny (funny odd, not funny ha-ha) how busy I seem to be these days–in some ways, more than before the pandemic hit. As with so many folks, Robin and I have been doing lots of Zoom dates, and as a result, I’ve been more in contact with out-of-town friends than ever before.

    And we’ve been hosting the occasional small cocktail party in our back yard (“physically distanced, socially close,” we like to say), since it’s easy to sit more than six feet apart.

    But I still have a really hard time not being able to hug people hello and goodbye….

    Liked by 6 people

  6. I’ve been a bit more of a social butterfly. Some events haven’t worked out for me due to the time. It seems too many events are being scheduled while I’m working. Yes, I’m working from home, but I do need to concentrate.

    I’m more introverted by nature, although not a complete introvert. I’ve definitely discovered that I’ve reached the limits of my introvertedness. I need to be out interacting with people again. I live alone, so I get very little interaction, and there is something about face to face vs. phone or screen that is still missing from my life.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The timing is key, Mark. I’ve had to do a lot more math lately in figuring out time zones and not missing events by accident.

      Yes on the face to face! There is something so different about being right there with somebody.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. How lovely that you’ve been able to spread those butterfly wings! (And keyboard distance! I love that.)

    I’ve been…a caterpillar? I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to connect virtually, both in the author world and personally, but have missed seeing my closest friends in person.

    And now I want to retake Myers-Briggs! It’s been *cough cough* a few years since I took it (also in college!). Curious to see if I get a different result.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A caterpillar–of course! I wonder how far we can extend this butterfly analogy.

      I remember having to take the Myers-Briggs again at one of my previous jobs. It was pretty interesting trying to map everyone’s personalities and figure out how they’d influence our interactions.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. “Now everybody is within keyboard distance.” = ❤️

    What a great post, Jen, and all the pics are so wonderful!

    Butterfly, I think? I’ve been doing as many online events as possible! Grateful for the SinC webinar series and the various noirs at the bars and the meetings/speakers with my local MWA and SinC chapters.

    I do really miss seeing everyone in person. Did some serious mourning for the mystery conferences this spring in particular…it took way longer than one might expect for that sadness to lift.

    Thank goodness for technology, though. Glad to be connected however it happens. (Oh and I totally overcompensate for shyness to this day.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jen, I love this! I think I’m in the larval stage. I really haven’t taken advantage of the opportunities out there for viewing. I honestly have trouble connecting with virtual events – both literally and figuratively. But I do feel I’ve tried new things and that’s been exciting. I look forward to doing more of them!

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Oh yes, I’d planned on going to all these conferences this year. Sadly…

      (I don’t overcompensate anymore. Instead, I let others know when I need some “me” time–and it’s usually spent curled up with a book.)

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Great post, Jen — and I love that red dress! For Zooming, I fall more in the put on a decent top with my shorts or pajama pants camp. I, too, miss hugs and handshakes. But the current reality has prompted a group of old Memphis friends to organize a Zoom cocktail party — something I wish we’d thought of sooner!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Loved your post, Jen! (And ditto Vickie re: the cute red dress.) I suppose I am more of a…moth? That is because I tend to come out to socialize more at night, because my days have been c-r-a-z-y lately. Seems that many authors have been extra-busy writing these days, so that’s good news for my day job. I’ve also been taking a lot of virtual classes (Tuesday’s was a wonderful 3-hour class with author Jane Cleland (janecleland.com) and of course I enjoy the wonderful SinC and Kiss of Death offerings (KOD’s are known as “Coffin Classes.”) I’m learning about forensics and autopsies and skip tracing and DNA and cyber crime, as well as general craft. I do more homework now than I did in high school! Not that I’m bragging about that or anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (Thanks about the dress, ladies!) A moth is such a great parallel!

      I feel like authors fall into two camps during this time: those who find it super hard to write and others who are writing up a storm.

      Those webinars sound great (“coffin classes”–ha!). Maybe you can become my forensics expert! I’m not so sure about the extra homework, though. Sometimes I still have nightmares about doing homework and taking tests!


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