Zach's PEN #32: Vaccine, Round One

2021 Week 9: Thoughts on privilege and compassion, screenwriting, automation, and Yak Shaving

Greetings PENpals,

I got my first (Moderna) COVID vaccine on Wednesday, and Allison just found out last night that she'll be getting hers (Pfizer) tomorrow.

I almost cried a bunch of times while getting the vaccine (not because I'm a wimp about needles, which I sort of am). There was just something about seeing a group of people together, in a shut down theatre, doing something for the collective good… It's something we don't get a lot of in America in regular times, but the isolation of this past year made it even more stark.

I wanted to write about my feelings that day but noticed a tendency I have to immediately shut down those feelings and so I wrote about that instead:

I continue to be hopeful. I may get angry and snarky and mean and judgmental about politics, but in my heart I reject cynicism. I believe very much that brighter days are ahead.

Regarding the vaccine itself, it made me feel pretty messed up for a day, and my arm felt like it got hit by a truck for a couple days, but now I'm back to good.

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This Week's Posts

I wrote about a different take on "writing for one person."

I wrote about creating false dependencies that prevent me from starting things.

I wrote about five really simple screenwriting style tips.

I wrote about why slowing down feels hard.

I wrote about some pitfalls of automation for its own sake.


I wrote about Yak Shaving and Power Puttering. This one was cribbed from a PEN a while back.

Babies and Sunsets

Just some simple Wendell shots from my iPhone this week. Sorry. My film processor doesn't come for a few weeks, at which point there will be an explosion of photographs.

Much love,