A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘work’

Once per Week?

Looks like I’ve become one of those people, right? I’m not posting daily, or even close to it any more. I guess I have a lot more things to juggle now. I can’t keep all the balls in the air by myself. *sighs* Still, I’ll do my best to keep you updated on the happenings.

Here we go:

  • The finished novel is still being edited. Very slowly. I am trying to forget the story before I reread it, and it seems to be working. As I read it, I discover things I totally forgot about. Not just since finishing the whole book, but since writing it (scenes). Things I was supposed to come back to, make reference to, resolve, etc. So yeah… I’m glad I’m doing this read through. There is still a lot of work to be done.
  • Book Two is totally necessary. Did I mention this already? I’ve started planning it, but not very heavily. Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is over, I should be able to give it more attention and properly plan it so I can write it during July Camp.
  • A cover for The Whispering Willow! My graphic artist has pulled something out! I love it. I wish I could share it with you, but it’s too soon. And I can’t reveal it here. When the time comes, the big reveal will be over at my real website.
  • My graphic artist has starting sending me options for the cover of the book I’m currently writing. None of them has really hit the nail on the head, but it still feels like we’re getting somewhere. She’s learning more about my style, my vision, and my concept for the book. We’re well on our way. Progress feels so darn good!
  • I got a staff reader position for a new online literary magazine! I’m really excited about it. I’ve been wanting a position like this for a long time. I want to get involve in publishing and get as much experience as I can. It’s all going to add up and make me more knowledgeable about the process, what readers and editors are looking for, and give my writer resume (because, of course, I have a separate resume for my writing) a nice, solid boost. It is not a paid position, but I count the experience. No one else in my life really does, so I haven’t told anyone. I don’t feel like being ridiculed for yet-another-responsibility I’ve taken on that doesn’t-pay-any-bills that actually has me quite excited. It was nice to get the email last week letting me know that I’ve been selected. I’ll let you know when I get started. 🙂
  • I got my pen! My great-grandmother gave me some money to buy myself something for my birthday. I wanted to get something that would last forever. After much thought, I decided on a pen. It is VERY cool. I ordered it from an Etsy shop where they make handturned acrylic pens. Picture coming soon!
  • I’ve been jobless for four weeks. Luckily, I got a random few days of work this week. This will be a big help with the bills that are piling up. I’ve been job hunting for a while, but the land is dry, y’all.  If you know anyone who needs help with writing or editing anything please send them to Word Wielder! Low prices!
  • Things happen in waves. Some not-so-great things are going on. Not really with me, but people around me. Remember that you only have one body. Treat it well! Got mobility? Use it! LIVE, people, LIVE! Seriously.
  • ZINES! I’m making them now.  I’ll be producing 4 monthly titles. The May issues are available NOW in my Etsy shop Appetizine. Please check out the listings and let me know what you think. Make a purchase, for you or a friend, and let your friends know about ’em.

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Advertisement

Updates and Updates

Okay, guys. Time for another update, yes? Here we go!

Easter Weekend

Laaaaazyyyyy. On Saturday, a very good friend of ours invited us over for dinner. Honey dijon chicken, ricotta pasta bake (with spinach and mushrooms!), and asparagus. Oh, and WINE! YUM! The birthday cake didn’t go quite as planned. Hahaha. You’ll have to read my 100 word story from last week to find out (kinda) what happened there. At the weekly Sunday dinner, the fam had cake. I was confused because we usually have cake on the Sunday AFTER birthdays, but whatever. I had cake early. On Monday we slept in. Like allllll the way in. When I finally got out of bed, it was an embarrassing hour. I won’t even tell you what it was. What is important is that I got up. Haha.

Tuesday: Birthdaaayyy!

I did not, by any means, have any expectations of having a good day. I just figured it would be an average day of nothing special. No plans were made and no money was in my pocket. We went downtown to do our regular errands, I mailed a bunch of things I had piled up, picked up a package (which was awesome! Must remember to post photo on Wednesday), went for a nice sushi lunch, got some cool little prezzies… It was a nice day. 🙂

Wednesday – Friday

Work, work, work. I would not have normally worked all those days, but my little cousin was in town. I had to be in office to keep him occupied and take him on occasional errands. He is a ball of energy, funny, and lots of fun. Here’s a little snippet for you. I had to take him to have a passport photo taken. I explained to him that he could not smile for the photo. We went back and forth about this, and he showed me a few smiles he could use. Nope. No smiling, dude. He got sort of sad and looked up and me and said, “Every picture needs a smiiiiile!” Gotta love 5 year olds!

Saturday

Is it terrible that I don’t really remember Saturday? I guess I didn’t do anything? *shrugs*

Random

CAMP NANOWRIMO, y’all! I mentioned this in my last post, but just to remind you, I’M WRITING 50,000 WORDS IN 30 DAYS! Yes, ma’am! At the end of this month, The Whispering Willow will be DONE! Writing, that is. Lots of editing in the months that follow. But the WRITING WILL BE DONE! WOO.

I’ve told you about NaNoWriMo and how awesome it is before. The program/events exist to encourage and inspire people to write. It provide a ton of resources, including very inclusive message boards for constant communication among writers of various ages, genres, backgrounds, etc. I LOVE it. And they do all this FOR FREE. So, of course, fundraising is huge. So I’m asking you to please sponsor my Camp NaNoWriMo novel. All funds go directly to the Office of Letters & Light which is the non-profit that runs these writing events/programs. If you believe in my book, if you like my writing, if you are my friend, if you really don’t care but have a dollar to spare anyway… Please sponsor my novel. 🙂 Okay, enough begging. Hahaha.

In other news, I just wrote another 100 word story. Please hop on over, read it, comment on it, and share it. I am really trying to get as much feedback on my work as possible. I am also, of course, trying to expand my blog readership. What else? Hmmm… Oh, I got my 5th assignment back from the writing for children course I’m taking. I did really well on it. Hilarious that I thought I bombed it. I let the way I feel about the assignments (like I thought that one was really stupid) affect my assessment of my work. Weirdo. I know.

Okay, this got long really fast. I’m done.

Have a great week!

Monday Lovin’

Hey, y’all! (I said that in my best Paula Deen voice, by the way.)

Hope all is well, you had a rockin’ weekend, and you’re ready to kick this week off with a Make It Happen Monday.

I make no secret of the fact that Monday is my absolute favourite day of the (work) week. I know, I know. Most people hate Mondays. No one wants to get out of bed on Mondays. No one wants to be at work. No one wants the weekend to… well… end. Except for me.

I’m big on beginnings. Chances. Opportunities. Time.

Mondays mark the start of a new week. It’s a whole stretch of time, way out in front of us. Maybe that’s what terrifies people, but it’s what excites me. YES! Another set of 5 days to DO things. To MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Yes. Opportunity. I was hoping for another one of these. *grabs eleven Mondays off the shelf* Don’t mind if I do.

No matter how great your weekend was, how much you have to do this week, or how you woke up feeling today, try to feel the true spirit of Monday. It’s a new day. It’s a new week. It’s a clean slate. It’s like rolling out a new, clean, pretty aisle runner. Sure, you’ve got things to do, but you’ve got a ways to go. There is time. Just get started NOW.

And no matter what, remember: It could always be worse. It could be Friday. 😀

(Sorry if you got this email twice, subscribers. WP is seriously trying to ruin my life blog and keeps making my posts go POOF! right after they are sent to you. This time, it should link to my post. *fingers crossed*)

Oh, January!

Heyaaaaa!

Happy End of the Holidays!

My gosh, they took forever to go away, didn’t they? I’m not against the holidays, really. I like a day off from work as much as anyone else. I have a LOT to do with days off. Things just seem to go crazy around that time of year. There’s always certain sense of relief when it’s over and done with.

I am in some serious limbo right now, folks. The job I was hoping for is not coming through quickly enough. They haven’t even started interviewing yet. Meanwhile, I’m working part-time and my brain feels like it’s deteriorating. I’m not feeling challenged at all, but that’s no big surprise.

I guess this is a good time to dive into my writing. In December, I did quite a bit of work on my short stories. I wrote two or three new pieces, jotted down some ideas for new ones, and did a bit of editing. It was a pretty productive month for Alicia, the writer. January, on the other had, has been dead. Well. I’VE been dead. It’s almost mid-month, and I have nothing to show for it. Except for four or five submissions I need to make by the end of the month. Perhaps I should start working on ’em now? Maybe? Hahaha.

So far, I’ve made one submission this month, and I doubt it will be accepted. It’s a short story in list form for a compilation of list-form stories. Crazy, right? But since I think it won’t cut it, I’m going to rewrite it traditionally. I think it could really be a great piece with some work. That’s my first project, and I plan to complete it by Sunday. Then, I have three new stories to write for the end of month submissions.

I’m going to be in GO, GO, GO! mode for a while. I haven’t even told you about my new venture, but I will soon! That’s enough unloading for one post. 🙂

My next post will be lighter. I’ll show you my Christmas prezzies. 😀

What are you up to these days? How’s January lookin’?

Monday Madness

It’s Mondaaaaayyyyy! Did ya know?

I feel all fgfkgjfjfgnb today. So much to do! I went through some websites that have information on submissions and contests, and FINALLY updated my little planner. I’ve given myself deadlines to get pieces done and submitted. I need to be ahead of those deadlines if I want time to post them to Scribophile to get feedback from other writers. I have at least one piece due every week for the rest of the year! Crazy, right? That’s not even including the assignments for my Writing for Children & Teenagers course. This should be interesting.

Here is some info on my work in progress:

  • Food Flash – It’s for a food festival, and they’re looking for short stories up to 2500 words on the theme of “Food & Drink”. There are no other restrictions, so I decided to make mine short and sweet. Well, it’s really not sweet. It’s kind of evil. But I like it! I’ve been getting crits on it for a few weeks now, and it’s ALMOST to where it needs to be. Before the end of this month, I’m going to have to let that baby fly.
  • Ice Cream Truck – Have I ever mentioned the super annoying ice cream truck that comes by our place EVERY day at the SAME time? It drives me crazy. I hate it. The music is awful. The other day, I was trying to have a little nap. Note that I am NOT a nap person. I HATE it. I was just SO tired from waking up a 6am to get a ride to work and working all day. Enter the ice cream truck. Playing CHRISTMAS music. I HATE Christmas music. It really annoys me. Anyway, I got my Neo, and wrote a little story. I was pissed when I wrote it, so it’s funny in a snarky sort of way, but it needs work.
  • The Other – It’s about a married woman who is seeing someone else. Her husband is also seeing someone else. Their marriage is pretty much over, but they still live in the same house. Things get a little weird. I wanted this to be a short, snappy piece, but a lot of the critiquers keep asking for more. They want to know more about the woman than I really care to tell. The story isn’t meant to be ABOUT her. I’m struggling with it. I like it the way I wrote it, but it needs to please the reader too. I’d decided to let it rest a while. BUT… It’s perfect (in theory) for a magazine’s theme that I want to submit it for. This week. GAH!
  • Comatose – A woman is in a coma, completely unresponsive. She gets an unexpected visit from the daughter she never had a relationship with. The daughter offloads and rants, but the woman can’t explain herself. I gave this one a looong rest. Time to look up the crits and polish her up. From what I remember, people wanted more backstory on this one too. To me, that’s not what  a short story is about. A short should be started as late as possible – close to the action – and focus on as short a time period as possible. I’m going to have a look at WHO is saying WHAT. If the people who want backstory are novel writers (primarily), I’m gonna have to veto their opinions. This baby needs to fly too!

That’s just what I have already written. There are some other ideas floating around. Can you tell how busy my week is going to be? It’s okay though. It’s about time I put more time and effort into what I REALLY want to do. It’s just difficult to balance a day job and home life with my work. I don’t want anything in the equation to suffer. This may take some trial and error, y’all, so excuse me for blogging far less than I used to. I’ll be back on track soon, I hope!

How about you? How is your Monday going? Any goals for this week?

The Stuff of This Week

It’s been a while, I know. Things are kinda crazy. Here’s what’s up:

  • My great-grandmother died on Monday. We weren’t close. I didn’t grow up with that side of the family. I talk about my great-grandmother often, but that my dad’s dad’s mother. She’s 92, healthy, fiesty, and fun. Barr, on the other hand, was 95 (Yeah, longevity is kind of a thing in my family), and seemed to be dying for a long time. She had Alzheimer’s or something of the sort. The last time I saw her, I think, was at my aunt’s wedding reception about two years ago. Anyway, her funeral is on Saturday.
  • Took my dress to the dry cleaners today. My sister borrowed it months ago, and I just got it back yesterday. And not in the condition I lent it in. I’m slightly annoyed, but blame myself. I never lend out anything I want back. People just don’t care for your things the way they do their own. It’s annoying. I hope the cleaners get the makeup stains (UGH!) out, and do NOT damage the gorgeous embellished neckline. I’ll post pictures if it looks fine, and I end up wearing it on Saturday.
  • Jobs! I need one! Something I thought would never came through actually did. It’s now a viable option, but it won’t pay very well. And there’s really no room for it to grow. The pros include the short work day (8:30 to 1 or so), it’s something I enjoy, and leaves me with time to write. It would just become very necessary for me to supplement my income, especially if we ever wanna save enough money to move. The other option… It’s more stable and pays more, but I have no idea when it starts. There are about 3 months of training, and after that, I’d remain a trainee until promotions come out. The major pro for that job is the possibility of being transferred to another island, rent-free. Hellooooo, Savings, and hellooooo, new country of residence! Babe and I will have to discuss, and figure things out.
  • My cousin is away for about a week. That means a full week of work for me. YAY! Income! I’m not making loads of cash, but I can pay bills, and buy grocery. This is good.
  • I neeeed to start working out again. It’s SO hot. It’s really hard to get out there and run, but I GOTTA. I’m feeling lousy. This always happens when I don’t exercise. I also need to practice yoga. At least I can do that indoors. I have a great book that helps refresh my memory, so I practice what we did in class. There’s no class during the summer. Looking forward to it starting again in September. Oh, and being able to afford it! Hahaha.
  • Writing. It’s come to a screeching halt. Things got uncomfortable at home with some mishaps and plumbing issues, and then I got sick. My energy level has been terrible, so I haven’t been getting much done outside of the work day. I need to get back on track. There are deadlines to meet, a class to complete, and publishing goals to be met!

  • Got an email from the Community Liaison of NaNoWriMo. They got my application to be the Municipal Liaison for The Bahamas. There wasn’t one last year, so I probably have a good chance of being chosen for this year. It should be fun, and give me a chance to meet other writers. Always good to network, right? And I’m hoping to be able to convince Babe to join in the fun. She could even write 50,000 words worth of songs if she wants too. I just think it would be cool to take on the challenge together. And, of course, she could accompany me to the events I’d have to plan as ML, and then I could always say that ONE person showed up. Hahaha.
  • My brother is hilarious. We share a ridiculous sort of humour. At one point, we were quipping back and forth, and he said, “No one in the world as miserable as us!” It was pretty funny because we were talking about not wanting to be bothered by or with anyone, and not being interested in hearing any belly-aching or complaining this week. Oh, even funnier, I was complaining about the graveyard part of the funeral. I don’t get why families WATCH the casket as it is lowered into the ground. I told him it’s medieval. He said, “What? Medieval?” I said, “Yes! Archaic!” He said, “Listen to me… You and me been to the school right, but you been to college on top of that. You need to take it easy on me with these jokes.” I couldn’t stop laughing. Then he added, “You have a whole college class of people you could crack your college-level jokes with. You and Daddy always have me rollin’ with dictionary.” Too funny!
  • I feel like I need some things to look forward to right now. I decided to come up with a little list. Here it is:
    • New job – Whatever it may end up being
    • Getting my next assignment done, and getting feedback
    • The Color Run in Orlando (Hoping that we can make it!)
    • Watching The Bourne Legacy and the Timothy Green movies with Babe on the weekend
    • Getting in some beach time this weekend
    • Starting my 5k training again, and feeling better about myself
    • Making lasagna (as soon as our kitchen plumbing issue is resolved)
    • Ordering and receiving The 3am Epiphany, and having fun going through the writing exercises
    • Spending lots of time with Babe (SO glad she’s back!)

Any craziness going on with you this week? Any weekend plans? What are you looking forward to?

Five Things Friday

Five things I wanna do on the weekend:

  1. Make it to a friend’s birthday funness. Her get-together will involve kiddie pools. Now you wanna come too, right? I know!
  2. Last edit of a short story to send to a critique buddy.
  3. Flash fiction based on two sentences that randomly came to me. Reminiscent of the days of the wrecking industry in The Bahamas.
  4. Beach. This is definitely not gonna happen. The ride situation is just a mess.
  5. Burritooooos! We bought the stuff a while ago, and have yet to make ’em. I WAAANNNT!

What do you want to do this weekend?

As Things Fall Apart

ME. Except I’m browner, and balder. And my frames are green. And my computer is white.

What a week. I am not liking it. I am gonna be glaaad to see the back of this one.

I’m pretty out of it. I’ve been fighting the feeling to just give up completely. I hate when it seems like everything is falling apart. I know I need to pick myself up, but I don’t feel like it. I just wanna lay down and play dead. You know that kind of way?

On Wednesday, I lost pretty much all of my work from May to date (that was on my computer). There was some sort of error, and the folder vanished. I don’t remember all that was in it, so I’m willing to let those things go, but I DO remember one thing. The latest revision of a short story that I’ve been working on for weeks. It’s the only piece that I posted for critiques. The feedback I got was great, and quite helpful. I got 5 replies, and 4 of them have some real meat. I worked my way through about half of it. I am HIGHLY annoyed that all my work just vanished.

I guess I can blame myself. I should be working on a newer computer. I should save files in more than one place. Too bad, too sad.

Babe sent the computer to a Mac specialist to see if he could retrieve the lost folders. No dice. The computer came back with the battery life consistently DECREASING while PLUGGED IN. That set me over the edge. If I lived near a cliff, I think I would have tossed the thing over. The battery was swollen before it went to him, but came back much worse. It made no connection to the computer, so it can no longer be charged. What a piss off! A new battery would cost me well over $100. AND I am jobless. The hits just won’t stop coming. I can NOT afford a new battery. I also can NOT afford to keep using the computer with just the a/c adapter. Power cuts are too frequent here, especially during the summer months. AND I would risk losing what I’m working on if it ever goes out. I can’t go through that kind of loss again.

Another thing that makes this annoying is that I promised to do something for my cousin. She had a bunch of videos on her PC (with no keys left on it) that she wants transferred to her son’s iPad. Of course, I said I’d do it. I saved them all on my other cousin’s hard drive. I just needed to connect it to my computer, change the file types to iPad compatible versions, load in iTunes, then connect to the iPad. Well, it’s a bit more complicated now, isn’t it? *sighs* I guess I could take the chance to do it, but I don’t really want to. And I don’t want to disappoint her. I said I’d have it done by the end of the week. AND I was going to enter at least one story in a couple of contests with June 30 deadlines. *looks at watch* Yeah. Time is running out.

Although I want this week to end, I don’t expect next week to be any better. It will be just as computerless. Way less productive. Both because I don’t have a device to revise on (though I can write on my Neo2), and because I’m feeling less inclined to do anything. AND we’re going to have a ward. One of Babe’s friends’ 4 year old is staying with us for a while. *sighs* This is just not a good time at all, but we’ve committed. I’ll just have to grin and bear it. Wish me luck!

Okay, enough of that. For my writing buddies, Kristen wants us to toss four writing crutches, and I agree. Read more in her post. Also, check out her book, We Are Not Alone. I plan to include it in my next BN purchase.

How was your week? Anything fun happening on the weekend? Are you looking forward to next week? How do you work your way out of a funk?

5 Frustrations

Today, I complain. I just have to, ok?
  1. Mother has been back and forth to a neurosurgeon in Florida. There have been lots of tests, and lots of money has been spent. This morning she got a call from the doctor who has been reviewing all of her scans from 2002. It is now known that she does NOT has MS. Well then why does she have problems with her legs? Why was she unable to walk for weeks? Why has she be paying thousands of dollars per month for Avonex? What does she ACTUALLY have? No idea. That’s what. Absolutely no idea what the hell is wrong with her. Did I mention that the local neurologist she sees is a total dumbass? Yeah. I kinda have it in for the moron.
  2. I have not yet found a job. This sucks. I need a steady income. I can survive, money-wise, but not forever. I’m really not enjoying my time at home. This is largely due to the fact that I do not have a proper workspace (where I could be getting writing done), the internet is up and down all the time (I lose replies to posts and emails a LOT), and Babe and I have to share a computer. I have a hard time with it because it always feels like what I want/need to do is less important or significant than whatever she is doing. There are a lot of things I need to do right now that probably appear to be frivolous, but are not. It’s extremely important that I build my author platform, do as much research as possible, and stay connected to the indie writing community. I don’t want to constantly ask to use the computer, but I don’t want to sit idly either. I am failing to strike the balance. And no, having a schedule does not work. Note: This is not an attack on Babe. The situation is not her fault.
  3. I’m writing children’s stories. They need illustrations. It’s a fail. I have yet to find an illustrator for this project. I need someone who will stick with it at least until the end of the year. I’m doing a series, so the illustrations have to be consistent. The characters, the scenery, the overall style… I want to bang out 6 stories/books by the end of the year. It’s not looking good. Artists in this country are some combination of flaky, unprofessional, expensive, too laid back, poor communicators, and overly opinionated. I just want someone to meet my requirements (which include professionalism and ability to meet deadlines), complete the project on time, and not kill me with the price. Apparently, this is too much to ask. I’ve started looking elsewhere. I’m hoping to find a student or recent grad who will take this on. Blaaaaah!
  4. I have not been working out. At all. It’s one of my ROW80 goals to run 4 times per week, and it is NOT happening. It sucks. Not only because I am not meeting a goal, but because it makes me feel like crap. I tend to be more lethargic and listless when I don’t get enough physical activity. I need to fix this. I did some yoga this evening. That’s a start, right?
  5. FROGS. I freaking HATE the nasty little pieces of crap. With the rain we’ve been getting recently, they are showing up more. I had three scares in 24 hours. I don’t know what to do. And no, I will not get over my irrational fear of them. They are GROSS. DISGUSTING. 
In the midst of all this, I have managed to get some writing done. Unfortunately, it is all over the place. I have six files going on my Neo2. Yep. That’s six different pieces. One is a flash fiction which I think is quite interesting. I’m excited about transferring it to the computer to edit, edit, edit. I’ll be submitting it for a competition this month. The other files are all the beginnings of short stories. I really have no idea where four of them are going. I just kind of started them all on whims. The fifth one, I have a better handle on. I can see where it’s going. Is it weird that I plan, plan, plan my novels, but I pants my short stories? Maybe. But my
process is my process, right?
How about you? How is your week going? Any frustrations? Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Thankful Thursday

It’s been a looong day of driving, traffic, and unpleasant heat. I really don’t like errand days. Even more than that, I reeeally dislike days that feel unproductive. No matter how many errands I do, it doesn’t feel as concrete as getting work done on the computer, or on Xandy (my Neo2). Oh, well… These things can be deceiving, right?

Today, I’m thankful for:

  • Company for my mom while she’s away having (more) tests done
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Cold water
  • Being 95% done with my character profiles (YAY!)
  • Babe doing the grocery shopping
  • New opportunities
  • Balance (which I have totally mastered!)
  • Two living great-grandmothers (One will be 95 the day after Mothers’ Day, and the other is just the most amazing person I know)
  • New (green ladybug) charm for my Pandora bracelet 🙂 For no reason at all. Babe loves me.

Were you productive today? Would you rather be on the road, or in your office? What are you thankful for?