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

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.


  1. garnigal

    I’ve been procrastinating. šŸ™‚
    By the time I get done work, I’m too tired to do much of anything, even sit on my ass and write drabbles. Bah, I hardly even watch TV, I’m so tired.
    We’ve had something on every single weekend for about 6 weeks running now, so I don’t even get a proper recharge.

    • Jean

      I definitely know how that is. I honestly think I’d have some sort of breakdown, though, if I went six weeks without a day to myself to recharge. Poor garni. šŸ™

      • garnigal

        Maybe once I get through my cousin’s wedding on Saturday I can have a day to relax.
        Of course, I should probably vacuum and mow the lawn…

        • Jean

          No! Relax! The vacuuming and mowing will still be there when you’re done.

  2. crowinator

    I am doing terrible at writing and getting back to OWW — I keep saying I am going to and then not doing it. Congrats on your freelancing; that’s really cool.
    What is Will Write for Wine? I checked out the link to the forum but it doesn’t have an About Us page that explains what the forum is for. The title is intriguing.

    • Jean

      Thanks! Don’t beat yourself up too much. You’ll get there. Listening to Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing interview of China Mieville made me feel a lot better about the long breaks I tend to take between writing (and often in the middle of my writing projects). He makes a pretty good argument that the “write every day” mantra just doesn’t work for everybody.
      Will Write For Wine was a podcast by romance novelists Lani Dianne Rich and Samantha Graves “about wine, writing and song. But mostly wine and writing.” It’s chock full of excellent advice, regardless of the genre you write in, and it’s also pretty funny. I highly recommend listening to the archives.

  3. bojojoti

    Yes, what happened to the first half of the year?
    The big excitement for this summer is going to be our son’s wedding in August. He doesn’t have a rehearsal dinner site picked yet. I’m such a planner this drives me crazy!

    • Jean

      Aw, yay! That’s big excitement indeed. I don’t think I ever told you congrats. So, congrats!
      We didn’t have a rehearsal dinner for my wedding, so I’m no help there.

  4. fishsanwitt

    I’ve been labouring in our backyard. I can’t call it a garden because there are only four flowers in it!
    And working on getting a conference on its feet. I *never* want to put a conference together again because it’s been *hell*.
    That’s about it for me.

    • Jean

      You have four more flowers than I have in my back yard. And I can only imagine how hectic and stressful putting together a conference must be. Busy!

  5. daphnexoxo

    I was wondering when we’d get to see more of your writing, I’ve alwys been a fan even if i don’t leave comments on your stories. I hope you’ll share your fiction with us again soon.
    I am glad to see your business is taking off, that is great in this hard economy!!! I didn’t know can you be a freelance and still get unemployemnt. aren’t you worried about uncle sam? LOL

    • Jean

      In my state, as I understand it, you can work part time and still draw unemployment until your weekly earnings reach a certain threshold. I report my earnings every week, and I’ve still got a long way to go before I hit that threshold. But it’s a good thing, because the unemployment’s not nearly enough to get by on by itself.
      Thanks, and there’ll be more (friends-locked) fiction here. I’ll be x-posting my Daydream Believer posts here, but I’ll also keep using my LJ as a beta board. I’ve just been on break from writing while I focus on beefing up my web design portfolio. I plan to get back into writing mode soon, though.

    • Jean

      I love that icon. *sniff*

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