Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 7: Taking Joy Where You FInd It

Couple of things that came along in the past couple of weeks.

One: The Clog Saga

I owned a pair of those Dansko clogs – you know the kind I mean – and loved them right until a large chunk of the sole simply broke OFF one day (I literally lurched). Here’s the thing: I was devastated. I loved those things. Not least because I am blessed with peculiar feet and shoes that fit me decently without rubbing blisters in half a dozen esoteric spots are rare as hen’s teeth. I have veyr high arches and as a rule I cannot wear shoes that cut across the instep because I cease to be able to WALK after ten minutes of torture in those. The clogs… HAD an across-the-instep thing happening. But it was HIGH across the instep, and for some reason there was no pressure there, just s comfortable hold-in-place fit.

So my favourite go-to slip-on shoes were broken, and I mourned them.

I wandered to the Dansko website, and I noticed that they had a “repair” button on there. WIthout any great hope of anything actually coming of it, I sent them a cellphone shot of my shattered sole and asked if this was in fact fixable at all.

I got back a response that no, they don’t recommend even resoling those shoes because the base is such an integrated UNIT – by implication, fergetabboutit when it came to fixing the gestalt broken when the piece broke off.

But, they said, if I sent them the “broken” pair and labelled it with a return code they gave me… as a one-time professional courtesy they were going to send me a REPLACEMENT PAIR.

I have that pair. New clogs. COmfortable as ever.

This… was CUSTOMER SERVICE. Beyond the call of duty. I fully appreciate that it was a one-off and they aren’t really in the business of sending  me new shoes every time something happens to the pair I already own – but I also appreciate the replacement clogs. It turned a moment from catastrophe to contentment and GOD KNOWS we can all use these moments in today’s weird sad twisted world.

Two: The Space Dinosaur

I watched the launch. Didn’t you? Didn’t everybody?

Did you see that glittery little dinosaur that floated beatifically around teh zero-G cabin on the capsule?

Someone on the Facebook site called Concellation (a “cancelled con” that never was which is now going on strong for I think more than a month now… if not longer) posted a photo clutching the self-same glitter dinosaur crowing about how he had just acquired it.

“You can BUY these?” I squawked. It hadn’t really occurred to me.

“Sure,” they said, and gave me the name to Google.

I did.

The first three places that came up as having the animal for sale were all SOLD OUT. No kidding.

But then I hit site #4, and there he was. Waiting for me.

So I called him home.

People, I own a SPACE DIONSAUR.

Well, not THAT one. That one’s in orbit. But his cousin, down here, dirtside. And I;d like to think that they whisper to one another acorss the thinning atmosphere, from the ground into the black and back. And maybe my little dude is going to share some of that gossip with me. He’s here, anyway. WIth me. All a-glitter. I haven’t heard him give me his name yet, but there’s time for that.

He’s here.

And you’d be astonished if you know how much childish visceral, immature, glowing , pure JOY he gives me every time I look at him.

Come into my quarantine, little fella, and keep reminding me to look up at the stars.



About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 7: Taking Joy Where You FInd It — 1 Comment

  1. Small weird things can give you all the joy, and you are totally entitled to adore your Space Dinosaur. I am now in possession of a tiny screaming goat–push on its back and it emits a terrifying Wilhelm-scream like noise, perfect for all expressions of outrage (no one should read Twitter without one). My husband, who gave it to me, has his own. As does my visiting daughter. Much to the dog’s dismay, there are times when even she is drowned out by the screaming of the tiny plastic goats.