Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: June 2009

Thinking out loud to keep from panicking

I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing something akin to this. The idea of asking for donations in exchange for anything makes me twitchy, after the way it went last time; but I’m more comfortable with the idea of placing an optional tip jar next to my work than I am charging outright for it. So far, this has just been an idea floating around the back of my head. I haven’t had anything anywhere near ready to even show to the public, let alone suggest anybody might think it’s worth a few dollars.

But a few things have changed. First, I have a novella that’s almost ready to go. Since it’s a novella, and not a full-length novel, it’s going to be hard to market to mainstream publishers, and even when I thought I could squeeze a whole entire novel out of it, I still considered putting it online in some form, whether as an e-book or in podcast form.

Second, you know how ever since I got laid off in January, I’ve been saying that we’re doing fine, and it’s not time to panic? Well, I logged into my bank account earlier, and panic gripped my soul.

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Why freelancing is so very right for me. Also, a cat update.

I think the very best thing about going freelance is exactly the reason why I’ve always wanted to go freelance: if I can’t get focused, that’s okay, because I make my own schedule. I’m not punching a clock, and I don’t have to be productive during a set span of hours in the day. I can go do something else, and then get my work done when my brain is more settled–whether that settled time is at two in the afternoon or two in the morning. It’s awesome. And it’s also a very good thing, because today is an extremely unfocused day. My mind refuses to settle down and stop wandering. I started to get frustrated, because I have work to do, but then I remembered that there’s no reason I can’t simply wait to do it until tonight. My mind is almost always sharper in the evenings. I would probably do all of my work in the evenings anyway if that wasn’t when Husband usually wants to hang out and watch movies. Or if I wasn’t addicted to prime time television two-thirds of every year.

Anyway, here’s a cat update: There’s still no sign that anyone is out there missing Boudica, and I’m glad, because the longer she stays the more I would miss her if I had to give her back. She’s still being a bit of a brat and pushing her limits, but she’s starting to settle down and accept some of the house rules. Niblet has come out of hiding and started eating regularly again, and has even made up with Pete. Husband is having second thoughts about his second thoughts. In other words, it’s all going as I predicted, and short of finding that elusive original owner to take her back, Boudica’s staying put. She still tries to get outside (and made it this morning), but I’m pretty sure she just wants to hang out in the yard and isn’t trying to run away. Even so, I don’t trust her not to duck under the fence and take off, so she’s strictly an indoor kitty as long as we can remember not to hold the patio door open too wide for too long. Maybe after she’s been here a bit longer we’ll try going out on a leash. Even if that doesn’t work out, at least it should provide some amusing blog fodder.

[Originally posted to Daydream Believer.]

It can’t be a mere coincidence that cat rhymes with brat.

It has been a tiring week, dear readers, mainly thanks to my own biology sapping me of energy and giving me aches and pains for the last three days. When I found myself with some downtime between client projects, I was initially jazzed to have time to work on my own projects. Projects like setting up the template I created for I Made This! and getting that blog up and running, and redesigning this blog (especially since the background graphics for the template I’m currently using keep disappearing), and re-stocking and re-launching my Etsy shop, and making some promotional materials for The Task Wrangler, and of course novel revisions, and… and… wow, there’s always an and. It really is a never-ending list. Which is why I’m mildly annoyed with myself for choosing to neglect it in favor of lazing about and napping as much as possible. But only mildly so. My body apparently needed the rest, and I’m sure I’d regret it even more if I didn’t listen and give in to its not-so-subtle request.

But that window of opportunity has closed, and it’s time to get back to work. I spoke with one of my clients this morning and now I’ve got plenty to keep me busy for the next few days. Husband and I were considering driving way out to the country to join his extended family on their private campgrounds this weekend, but he’s not feeling so great, either, and neither of us can muster up the energy to pack for the trip, never mind the actual camping part. They’ll be there all week through next weekend, though, so there’s plenty of time for us to catch up with them. And so I’ll be working through the weekend to makeup for all the lounging I did through the week.

Now it’s time for the New Cat Report: Boudica is settling in, but she’s at the point where she’s testing boundaries and asserting her true personality, and it turns out she’s a bit of a brat. She’s still mostly sweet and obedient with me, but she’s turned on Husband a couple of times, and she keeps challenging his authority to the point where he’s pretty exasperated. She also keeps trying to get outside. She made it last night, when we lingered too long in the open patio doorway while bringing food in from the grill, and made a break for freedom. I caught her just before she tried to go under the fence. I need to get a collar on her ASAP.

So between her willfulness, and the fact that Niblet’s barely eating since Boudica joined us, we’re having second thoughts on whether she’s a permanent part of this family. We’re still looking for her original owner, but so far, nobody appears to be looking for her, and obviously we’ll foster her until a new home is found, if it comes to that, and if we can keep her from running away before then. Though I suspect that after another week or so, she’ll get used to the rules and routine, Niblet will come out of hiding and start eating again, and Husband will decide that maybe she belongs with us after all. This is just an adjustment period, which we knew wouldn’t be easy. Other than all that, she’s gaining weight and looking healthy and content.

And now the time has come to stop talking at you, drink up my last cup of coffee for the day, and get my work head on straight. I have a lot to get done before it cools down enough this evening to mow my jungle of a lawn. What about you guys? Are you also conquering work this weekend, yard or otherwise, or do you have something fun planned? Or are you just going to relax? Tell me, I want to know!

[Originally posted at Daydream Believer.]

If we’re dog people, why do we have all these stinkin’ cats?

Meet Boudica.  Meet, also, the only successful picture I’ve been able to take of her face, so far. All of my other attempts were thwarted by a swift head-butt to the camera. It’s not the best shot, and fails to adequately show off her bright green eyes and completely lops off her big ears, and she’s not all that distinguishable from Niblet; but at least it’s not a blur, and so it gets to be her first impression on the world.

We began to notice this cat lurking in and around our yard early last week. She must have been casing the joint and sizing us up, and apparently she liked what she saw, because come Sunday night, she met us out front while we were taking out the garbage and proceeded to get her flirt on, big time. We of course, being the total suckers that we are, completely fell for her chirpy little meows and big, big green eyes and exotic markings and her considerable charm. Her prominent hip and rib bones sure didn’t hurt her case, either. It took less than ten minutes for us to go from “Aww, cute kitty, where do you live?” to “Maybe we should take her to a shelter” to “Let’s put some kibble out for her” to trapping her in our garage and making plans to take her to the vet.
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Lately, 6-4-09

[Cross-posted from]

Holy granola, it’s June already? Where did the first half of this year go? The last week of this month will mark my sixth month of unemployment, a landmark I sure didn’t expect to reach, and one that makes me really grateful to the Obama stimulus package for adding another six months to my unemployment benefits. Now here’s hoping that six months from now I will have either found a job or raked in enough freelance business, or some combination thereof, to keep us afloat without that weekly check.

Speaking of freelance projects, my latest post, all about picking the right chandelier size, is up at Lighting By Lux. Of course I couldn’t talk about chandeliers without a nod to everybody’s favorite misunderstood chandelier-dropping lunatic. And not even in my crazed Phantom fandom days did I write the word “chandelier” so many times in a single week.

Still speaking of freelance projects, my fellow Wiffer Jen was kind enough to hire me for my very first paying web design gig, designing and coding a custom Twitter widget for her blog, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, and better yet, she seems pleased with the result. Totally makes it worth the two days I lost trying to follow these instructions for installing WordPress on my hard drive, which resulted in nothing but headaches and tears, before finally uninstalling everything and starting over with this tutorial, which was correct and easy to follow and was the answer to my prayers. All in all, this little project was a pretty good crash course in designing for WordPress, wich I needed to learn, so it worked out all around. And special thanks to my OTHER fellow Wiffer Jen (man, I sure do know a lot of Jens) for e-mailing me a very handy WordPress tutorial that she just happened to have on hand.

In tangentially related news, I’ve signed up for ProBlogger’s “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” program, which I meant to start Monday/June 1st, but it just didn’t work out that way. Now I’m not sure when I’ll start. It will be soon, but first I have to figure out what I want this blog to be about. I used to know, back before I stupidly allowed that asshat who hoped I’d get fired for blogging from my work computer to make me censor what I wrote here (not for fear I’d get fired; more because I realized I was no longer comfortable with the idea of strangers engaging in schadenfreude at my expense). After that, the wind went out of my sails pretty fast, and I haven’t been able to get it back. Other attempts to give this blog some direction haven’t worked so well, either. Hopefully, this one will take.

Other news, at random:

  • Lately I’ve had insomnia like whoa. I sleep well for a couple or three nights, followed by a couple of nights where I either can’t sleep at all or I wake up at two AM and can’t get back to sleep, and OTC sleeping pills and herbal remedies aren’t helping. I’m trying to use that time to either get work done or do the things that get in the way of getting work done, but I’d really rather have my sleep.
  • I haven’t watched TV in two weeks. I think this is a first for me, and I can’t say I like it. I decided I wouldn’t get sucked into any summer shows, reality or otherwise, this year, in the hopes of getting more writing done. But instead all I’m getting done in that time is more DVD watching and light reading, because as it turns out, I’m still too brain-fried by the primetime hours to do anything particularly useful, and also, I cherish those two or three hours in the evening when I can put my feet up and knit while the picture box tells me stories. The only real difference is that now I don’t feel pressure to get things done and be home in time for my shows to start, but with the magic of Internet TV, I wasn’t feeling that pressure so much anyway. In short: I miss my shows, and I can’t wait for the fall season to start.
  • I spent all weekend doing hard labor: cleaning up the rest of the mess we left behind in the upstairs half of my mom’s house; cleaning the garage to make room for all of the crap I brought home from mom’s house that I was kind of hoping she’d throw away so I’d never have to think about it again, but she didn’t; accompanying my husband to his mom’s to hook up her new DVD player, which wasn’t really that laborious for me, but watching him still wore me out; and mowing both lawns, front and back, and then weed-eating; all on about 5 total hours of sleep. I needed a day off to recover from my days off, but thanks to deadlines, I didn’t get one until yesterday, wherein I slept late and then spent most of the day in bed with a book, and it was lovely, and I feel much better now.

And that is what I’ve been up to lately. What have you been up to? Please do tell.