Tues. April 12, 2022: Meditation, Taxes, and Vaccines

image courtesy of Shanon via pixabay.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Waxing Moon

Rainy and chilly

My brain was tired on Friday, and that was bad, since I needed to work ahead. I got through some emails. I was asked to submit some samples to a potential new client – who then demanded unpaid labor for the next step. Nope, and added to the Red Flag List.

Submitted two short stories to calls which landed on my desk. That counts as work, right? A couple of other calls for submission got the creative juices percolating, but I can’t add any new projects until I clean off some of the projects already here.

I did a run to the library to drop off/pick up books. Swung by the fish monger, and got some fresh fish for dinner. I love to see what they get in on any given day, and then plan the meal around it.

I also saw packets of dahlia bulbs for sale. On Cape, there was dedicated group of dahlia lovers. Frankly, they, and the plants themselves, intimidated me. Plus, between Che Guevara Chipmunk and the various squirrels who rearranged the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, I was worried the dahlias wouldn’t have a good chance. And all the digging up and babying them over the winter.

But I saw the photo of the gorgeous, dark purple Thomas Edison dahlia on the package and couldn’t resist. It was in my budget, and a Twitter pal has agreed to be my Dahlia coach.

But it meant another trip to the store for more pots and more soil. I’ll talk in detail about all of that, and planting snapdragons and marigolds over on Gratitude and Growth in Thursday’s post.

Wrote 3 more pages on “Owe Me.” Turned around 2 more script coverages. Grabbed four more at the higher pay rate to get me through the beginning of this week. An editorial director to whom I sent an LOI got back to me with some questions. I answered them, and we’ve set up a video conference for Thursday morning, to get to know each other and see if we are a fit. It would be freelance work for an agency, and it might be the type of client I’m looking to add to my rather eclectic roster.

Attended the second day of the Buddhist summit. It’s from the Shambhala tradition, with which I have only the most passing familiarity. Like all traditions, they have their internal strife, and I am always wary of anything built around a central figure. There tends to be too much room for things to warp.

But the sessions themselves are interesting. Some of the material resonates, and I look forward to exploring it. Some of it I respect, but it is not my path at this time. Some of it, had I encountered it thirty years ago or so, might have become my path, but will not now. Some of it I have to think about in more depth and detail past the summit. All of which is positive.

Charlotte is so funny. She doesn’t understand that this isn’t a two-way communication, like Zoom. I’m merely watching sessions. Every time a new session starts, she jumps onto my lap, hoping whomever is on the screen will tell her she’s pretty. Because, you know, the entire purpose of Zoom’s existence is so people all over the world can tell Charlotte how pretty she is. I explain to her that they can’t see her, but if they could, they would see how pretty she is. Once the meditation portion of each session starts, she goes back into the rocking chair in my reading corner and falls asleep. It’s hilarious.

There are all kinds of conferences going on in person, including writing conferences. I see all these people who should know better packed together without masks. I don’t want to hear any whining when they get sick. It’s just very disturbing, this pretension that the pandemic is over, and will have a high human cost.

Saturday morning, I got the pots and the soil and planted all kinds of things. Right after lunch, we did our 2021 taxes. It wasn’t as complicated as I feared. Much less stressful than I expected. So those envelopes are ready to be mailed at the end of the week, and the quarterlies at the beginning of the following week. The quarterlies always hurt in the moment, but end up being less painful at the end of the tax year.

After taxes, I turned around a script coverage and then attended the summit sessions, which were interesting. I like that there’s a practice involved with most talks, making it experiential, rather than theoretical.

Sunday morning, I watched most of the summit in the morning, then drank my 16 oz. of water and headed for the 4th vaccine shot. This was the first time the shot itself actually hurt. The other three were the tiniest of pinpricks. This felt like a much thicker needle.

Came home, drank 32 oz of water, because I was so thirsty. Watched the final session of the day. Started feeling awful pretty quickly. Chills, mostly, and a sharp headache. I tucked myself in on the couch with blankets and a hot water bottle, and then went to bed early.

The night was rough: alternating fever and chills, every couple of hours, waking me up. The dull headache. The body aches. I felt awful by the time Monday rolled around.

Tessa was howling like crazy, and Charlotte wouldn’t leave me. We had to bring Charlotte’s breakfast into my room, because she wouldn’t leave me to eat.

Speaking of eating, except for the first night, with the other three shots, I always had a healthy appetite. Not this one. I barely ate at all on Monday. Couldn’t even stand the thought of food.

I listened to the last day’s worth of summit sessions, lying on my acupressure mat, because I couldn’t sit up for that long. I don’t think I got much out of it, because I couldn’t concentrate. But I learned a lot from the other days, so I’m glad I did it. There was a little too much market-speak at times for their tradition, but if one blocked off that noise, the actual teachers had interesting information to impart.

I felt a little bit better in the afternoon and turned around a script coverage. It took everything out of me, so I was back to the couch after that.

A radio producer who likes my work wants to record “Horace House Hauntings” in June, which makes me very happy. He’d planned to do so as the pandemic hit, and it was postponed, but now they’re back on track. I’m absolutely delighted.

I went to bed very early (7:30) and sort of slept/woke/slept/woke all night. I still have a headache, body aches, and fatigue today, but I’m better.

I kind of have to be, because the car goes into the mechanic this morning, and it can’t be postponed.

I have another script in my queue that has to be turned around today. I’d hoped the effects from Shot 4 were going to be mild, and the day I’d blocked off (yesterday) for recovery would be spent writing, but no such luck. Let’s hope I feel well enough to do well in my video conference with a potential new client on Thursdays.

Hope you had a good weekend, and I hope this week is lovely.

Thurs. March 10, 2022: Yet More Snow

image courtesy of Marketa Morchova via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Waxing Moon

Sunny and snowy

There’s information on the seedlings, ordered seeds, birds, and more, over on Gratitude and Growth.

It snowed most of the day, with much more accumulation than predicted. It’s a heavy, wet snow, and will be hard to dig out my car, especially since the plow is pushing snow up behind it even as we speak.

But I need to pick up my birthday cake, and do not get between me and cake.

Yesterday was kind of a slow day. I sent out three LOIs, and got back two demands for unpaid labor as part of the process. I responded with my contract for tests/samples/assessments, and I’m sure I’ll never hear from them again. I also added them to The List.

I slogged through way too much email, but I’m determined to keep it at manageable levels. I did some work on The Big Project, but not enough, and certainly not as much as I hoped.

Things have been slow with the big client. The contractors supposedly got a raise, yet the work since the “raise” has been much sparser, although there are “options” for pieces at a lower rate. No, thank you. I’ll just work on finding other clients that pay the proper rate to fill the gap.

Turned around a script coverage. Worked on contest entries. Read a book for fun, which had come highly recommended. It was okay, but for the first half, I kept getting too far ahead of the plot, and waiting impatiently for the characters to catch up. The book was okay, hit the genre expectations, but it didn’t grab me the way it did those who recommended it.

Tessa and Charlotte had been doing well there, for a few days, but now they’re fussing at each other again. And someone knocked over the cat grass plant overnight (most likely Willa), so I had to clean that up this morning.

But Tessa let me sleep until six, when she actually came into my room to wake me up. She hates my room here. She loved my room in the other house, because it was huge and carpeted. This is small (it’s fine for sleeping), and there’s a small rug by the side of the bed, but no carpet, and Madame Tessa Does Not Approve. Charlotte is just happy she can sleep on the bed with me here.

Meditation group this morning. Then, after breakfast, I will dig out the car, pick up my cake (and get more eggs, we’re out of eggs). I don’t have any scripts in my queue; if I don’t get another one, my long weekend starts early, at least as far as script coverage goes. Then, I’ll do contest entries and work on The Big Project today.

I’m taking a three-day weekend tomorrow, for my birthday. I have a few loose plans, but mostly, I will do exactly as I wish, and create the days.

The COVID tests I ordered a few days ago are supposed to arrive on Monday, which is fast. The ink was supposed to arrive yesterday, but the snowstorm caused an understandable delay, and it will get here today or tomorrow. The tansy seeds should arrive Saturday.

Next week, we start the big spring cleaning, in and around whatever work has to get done.

Tessa loves the new, fluffy dark green rug in the bathroom. Like I said above, she likes rugs/carpets.

Off to start the day. Hope it’s a calm one. I’m looking forward to being mostly disconnected from online for the next few days. I’m sure I’ll check messages and emails here and there, but I’m going to try to keep away from the horrors going on for a few days, so I can return renewed.

Have a good one.

Tues. Nov. 23, 2021: Goals Create New Goals

image courtesy of Carla Luca de Tena via Unsplash.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and cold

It was a good weekend. I wrote about most of Friday on Friday, because the post went up so late. The afternoon was about client work, following up on information I had promised, etc.

I did some percolating on this, that, and many others while on the acupressure mat, and spent a good bit of time on the script coverages.

I was annoyed when an email landed in my inbox around 7 PM from the CEO of a company with whom I had less than pleasant pre-interview experience a few months back. I had refused to write project-specific samples or take “assessments” without being paid, and had sent my contract. These tests were a requirement to even be considered for an interview, which is a waste of my time, since the initial conversation either backs up or negates the initial research I did on the company, and I certainly won’t take a test to have a preliminary conversation. The CEO had gotten nasty in response to me sending my contract for tests and samples, and I’d said we weren’t a good fit, bye.

So he emails me on Friday about an open position to which he thinks I should apply. I reminded him about our previous, less-than-pleasant exchanges, and asked if he needed my contract for tests/samples again.

His reply was that he figured I’d be over that “conceit” by now and need the work. He also wanted the tests/samples turned around that night. After contacting me at 7 PM on a Friday.

Nope.

I told him we were not a good fit, and not to contact me again.

Up early on Saturday. 2512 words on CAST IRON MURDER, which got me just over the 50K mark.

I did it. I wrote 50K focused on one project. In 20 days. Without feeling like it would kill me. It’s done a lot to help me regain my confidence in my ability to sustain on a long project, which is what I need for some projects coming up.

Once I was done with those words, and got a script coverage out, we got in the car in search of holiday gifts, down Pittsfield way. We got almost everything – we have one more gift to get one of my mother’s friends, and I have two more gifts to get for my friends, but I know where I can get one of them, so that’s all good. It was another beautiful, sunny day, although a bit chilly.

We did hit up Target on the way down, to stock up on cleaning supplies to get us through the winter. More because we don’t know what the weather will be like than being worried about “supply chain shortages” which only the big box stores seem to have. Target was an absolute zoo. But we got everything we needed.

Everywhere we went, it was busy. But people were in a good mood, polite, and followed masking/distancing protocols. Several people mentioned how happy they were that the weather was good, and they could get their shopping done now, and not worry about it on Black Friday and into December.

It was a good day.

I turned around another script coverage in the late afternoon/early evening, so that I could have all of Sunday off script coverage. I read a monologue written by a friend, which she’d asked me to critique, and I loved it. It’s such a strong piece.

Sunday was a day of rest. Well, once I did my 2161 words on CAST IRON MURDER.

I stayed off email. Other than posting two photos, I stayed off social media. I need to get back to having Sunday as my “day of disconnect” for both mental and physical health.

I did dash out, early in the morning, to pick up the turkey. I also got some raspberry rugelach, from a bakery out of Brooklyn. Since Chanukah starts Thanksgiving weekend, all those goodies are available, too.

Played with the cats a lot. Made my favorite orange rye bread recipe. Instead of making half the batch as rolls and half as a loaf, I made all rolls. We like that recipe better as rolls. They came out perfectly. Also made chocolate mousse.

We’re trying to finish off all the leftovers, so there’s room in the fridge for the Thanksgiving leftovers.

Finished reading BURY ME WHEN I’M DEAD by Cheryl A. Head, part of her mystery series set in Detroit (although this had a good chunk of it also in Alabama). It is an excellent book, plot-wise, character-wise, pace-wise, setting, all of it.

Read the fifth book in a mystery series I’d enjoyed enormously up to this point. This book was still fun. However, the jokes repeat from book to book, and are getting stale. And the lack of character growth is beginning to bug me.

I didn’t get any of the domestic holiday cards done over the weekend, which made me disappointed in myself, but I was wiped out. I just don’t have the energy I had even ten years ago.

Tessa got me up early on Monday morning. I got in 2495 words on CAST IRON MURDER.

My mom wrapped gifts for overseas and to send friends in time for their Chanukah celebrations. Tessa decided to “help” with the wrapping paper and the ribbons and the craft paper used to pack the packages.

So, of course, it took much longer than it would have otherwise.

By the time the three of us were finished, the weather had turned, and I decided I wasn’t going out.

I tried to catch up on email, worked on script coverage.

I’m playing with an idea for a new project. It came together out of some ideas that have rattled around for a bit, looking for a home; instead of separate homes, some of them can fit into the same created world, in a format in which I used to write a lot, and miss terribly. The characters are coming fast and furiously, the world is creating itself in my head. I took some ideas I heard from people about “I wish I could find a story with this” and incorporated those in. I started jotting “a few” notes, and am up to seven pages. They’re coming out in a mishmash, all over the place. I’m going to start typing them up soon, so I can start focusing them. The initial draft should take me about three months to do, if I apply what I gained from this Nano period.

I did some research on the markets and the outlet I have my eye on, and I like what I found. I don’t want to keep all my eggs in one basket, publishing-wise. It’s too risky.

I need to be working to revive an old project that’s getting new life in it, too, but I will let that percolate over the holiday weekend.

Started reading Jenn McKinlay’s new book, KILLER RESEARCH. I’ve read that whole series, and I like Jenn a lot. I’ve interviewed her for articles here and there.

Charlotte woke me a little after one a.m., because she wanted attention. She got some, and we went back to sleep. Tessa started in at 4:33. I moved to the bed in the sewing room, and she settled down. Then Charlotte joined me for more attention; after a few minutes, she left and started crinkling paper in one of the Chewy boxes.

I gave up and got out of bed.

2431 words on CAST IRON MURDER. I think I have two to three more chapters, and I’m done with this draft. It’ll be too short for what I want, but it’s a good foundation, and it gives me room to layer on some details without getting overblown.

Made French toast this morning, and it came out well. From a recipe I brought back from one of my New Orleans trips.

I have to run all the errands I didn’t do yesterday, then get back and finish some script coverage.

I think a lot of the college kids already left for the holiday. Quieter and emptier than usual.

I’m glad I’m not travelling this weekend. I don’t have either the physical or emotional energy to travel in company like that, and, no doubt, the COVID numbers will spike again in two weeks.

I’m glad we’re staying home, and I’m glad I’m getting my booster next Monday.

Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly

image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I’m still struggling to get back on my feet after the second vaccine dose. I’m not complaining (exactly). I’m grateful to be vaccinated. But the process of getting my feet back under me after this shot has been difficult.

I managed a good night’s sleep for once, Monday into Tuesday, although I woke up feeling awful. I managed to shower and get dressed and even put some makeup on, and then I had to go and lie down again. The weakness and dizziness and nausea were overwhelming at times.

I considered trying to postpone the Zoom meeting with the potential new client, but I know they need to move forward, and with all the juggling I’m doing, I need to know if they’re going to make me an offer, so I went ahead. If I don’t get the offer, I have no one but myself to blame, both for not presenting well in that meeting and for being utterly myself on social media. And I will live with those consequences.

I was far, far, FAR from my best. I would say it was one of the worst interviews I’ve ever given in my rather long and varied career.  I’m amazed I didn’t pass out during the meeting. There were one or two moments where I thought I would.  On top of that, the landlord had landscapers walking around the house looking at what needs to be done. At one point, they were right up against the windows talking (although I think I only flinched once, and I’m not sure that was caught by the other meeting attendees). Charlotte nearly got into the picture at one point, but I managed to keep her off my lap and off camera. And, of course, the neighborhood tree cutters were out with their chainsaws destroying more habitat.

The work itself? I could do it. I’d be good at it. I have years of most of the skills they need.  I’d sharpen some skills, especially with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite. I’m good at staying on deadline and keeping on top of organizational things, and it’s well within my field. I still might not be who they want and need for the position. And IF they make an offer, I have to look at the numbers and the benefits package and whether or not there’s relocation support.  It’s not just me in a studio apartment with the cats. I have a household to run and family for whom to care. No matter how much the job is in an arena I love (and this one is), if I can’t make the numbers work and need to take on a bucket of extra work in order to survive when I’m already working full time – I have to see how it all balances out.

What I should have said when they asked what I’m going to do about my other clients is say, “With the salary discussed, I have to keep some of them while working for you” but I wasn’t on my game enough to be that straightforward. Which could also kybosh the whole thing, but it would have been a more solid answer.

The likelihood they would give me an offer after that dismal performance today? Maybe 1%.  Possibly zero. I can’t imagine they don’t have better options from what they experienced this morning. When the best element of an interview is that one didn’t pass out, there’s a problem. Would it have been better to wait until I felt better? With so many other variables out there, maybe better for me, but they needed this to happen so they could make their decisions and move forward and stay on their schedule. And I need to know if I’m getting an offer, so I can figure out some of my own moving pieces.

As I said, I made the choices I made, I live with the consequences. Because hey, even if I had been at my best (or at least, better, or maybe even coherent), I STILL might not be what they’re looking for, and that is just the way things work out sometimes.

Still, by the end of the meeting, I was a total wreck.

I sent my thank you email. I got out a couple of LOIs. I sent the test sample contract to the other company who wanted me to go through a series of assessments.

I had an email meltdown with a friend who, because she’s a genuine friend, was very understanding.

I wrote up my next script coverage and sent that off.

I heard back from a few more LOIs who want to set up meetings to discuss upcoming projects. One of them even made it clear that any test samples requested are paid – and the rate they quoted me is more than satisfactory. So that’s an ethical company for whom I’d like to work.

Just for the record — I went back through the requests for unpaid labor/samples/tests as part of the interview process since February. Had I done them all, I would have put in 150 hours of unpaid labor since February. That’s 3.75 WEEKS of unpaid work. This is not counting the requests for one-way video interviews. I have a post on the actual cost of those up on Ink-Dipped Advice here.

And people wonder why I put together a contract for tests/assessments/project-specific samples.

Looked at some other rental possibilities online; got some paperwork to fill out. Will see if I can set up a few virtual tours for later this week.

Read the next script for coverage, and took a lot of notes. Will write them up later today and send them off. Was assigned the next script to cover, which I will read later today.

Tended to the lawn watering. I’m going to have to get the garage cleaned out this weekend, I think. I want to get it done before the landscapers start work, and I don’t think they’ll start work until the grass seed starts growing properly. I also want to put a few things up on craigslist. If I can get the ball rolling on that tomorrow, I’ll feel like I’ve made some progress.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. They missed me last Thursday, although one of the parents covered. The teens are excited that they’ll be able to get vaccinated soon, too.

Watched the last season of WILLIAM AND MARY. That was really a lovely show.

Woke up at 3 worrying. Made the mistake of going on Twitter, where the BOSTON GLOBE has an editorial from a “behavioral scientist” about how working from home isn’t healthy or natural – citing studies from the 1970s. Yet another privileged misogynist who calls himself an “influencer” and was obviously paid by some corporate entity to write this crap. Probably the Chamber of Commerce or some commercial reality place.

Still feel like absolute crap. I have to go onsite with a client today – at least, I’ll make the effort, and if I feel too bad, I’ll leave. I need to get in touch with my doctor and see what’s what. Being under the kind of stress I’m under right now isn’t helping me heal from the vaccine dose, I’m sure; I also want to make sure I don’t make bad decisions while I’m feeling awful.

There’s Remote Chat today, which should be fun.  I need to work on a short story due later this week, and on that article with which I’ve been struggling. A few calls for pitches landed on my desk (well, my inbox) yesterday, so I want to go through and see if there’s anything I should answer.

I desperately need rest, but I can’t right now, even though I know I’ll pay for not resting in a few days. Or maybe hours.

Onward.

Published in: on May 12, 2021 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly  
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Wed. April 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 340 — Unsustainable Stress Levels

image courtesy of kalhh via pixabay.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and cool

Today is a rough day. It is the second of the hoped-for moving dates I’d wanted when we were deep in this process. To say I feel like a complete failure on personal and professional levels because this isn’t our moving day is an understatement.

Yesterday was rough, too. The recruiter who’d claimed to want the morning appointment blew me off. No contact, no response when I followed up. Just skipped the appointment. Not a surprise, but any time I see that “staffing agency” listed, I know to avoid it.

The property manager who had the afternoon phone appointment didn’t call, either, although I did get an apology email in the evening, and we’re going to try to set up something for tomorrow. I’m hoping we can go up and take a look at it over the weekend.

I thought I’d found another, really cute house in Nashua for rent. At first it didn’t come up in any realtor searches, but digging a bit deeper, it did –yup, another scam. So I reported it.

In the afternoon, I heard back from one of the LOIs stating they wanted to “get to know me better” and sent me a link – to write an unpaid, 250-word piece.

I responded with a cordial email and the contract/rates for that.

I got an almost immediate snarky email back from the entitled white boy who runs the company, stating that they paid for test pieces further in the process, but a 250-word piece about something I knew about “shouldn’t take much time.”

Talk about a red flag right there. How would he know how much time something took? Short pieces need a great deal of care, to make sure that every word carries more than its weight.

I shot back, again, politely but firmly, that a good 250-word piece, even on a topic well within my wheelhouse, takes time, skill, and care, and deserves compensation. Our work styles are obviously incompatible.

Entitled white boy mansplaining his attempt to get free labor. No, thank you. So sick of it.

Because of the two meetings (which ended up not happening), I couldn’t deep dive into any project. It was a frustrating day.

I did get out a bunch of LOIs, including to a really cool project that would be long-term, steady, and in one of my favorite arenas.

I did some research into the KY Derby for Saturday.

Got some reading done. I’m close to the end of the third category of entries (although I still have a lot of paperwork to enter). I hope to have my decision by either Friday or Saturday. I’m reading a magical realism book that I waver between liking because it’s clever and getting frustrated with for jumping around too much.

Made Chicken Chow Mein for dinner – that’s turning into a major comfort food for me.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. Everyone’s ready for the school year to be over.

The mask mandate is being lifted for being in outdoor spaces as of Friday. Which means the Covidiots will be even dumber inside.

We watched some DOC MARTIN, and I went to bed early.  Of course, that meant I work up a little after 2 AM, fretting, and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I made myself write this morning, at least a few pages. I was tempted to punish myself and not do it, but I needed to, and it helped. I still have two pieces that I need to finish this week.

Living at this level of stress and uncertainty is unsustainable. But I just don’t know what to do. I’m at the end of my rope.

Today, I have a stressful day onsite with a client, but at least there’s Remote Chat to which to look forward.

Keep a good thought for me, okay? Thanks.

Published in: on April 28, 2021 at 5:04 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 340 — Unsustainable Stress Levels  
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Wed. April 7, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 320 — Vaccine Appointment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Waning Moon

Still dark out – supposed to be mild

No graphic today. I’m too tired to look for something that fits my moods.

Yesterday was just all over the place. I got out some LOIs, got some client work done, worked on the article. I hope to finish it and get it out by tomorrow.

The excellent news is that my health care provider contacted me with a vaccine appointment for this upcoming Saturday morning, and just over in Mashpee. It’s Moderna, the one with the worst side effects, but it’s a vaccine, and I can get my second dose in early May and be done.

I’ve been behind in the packing these past two days; I have to gear up through Friday, and with the articles, etc., so that I can just rest this weekend and deal with any side effects.

It’s such a huge relief.

I did a run to the bank to make a deposit and to the library for curbside pickup.

Heard back on a rental possibility, but it doesn’t have internet, and I can’t afford to wire someone else’s house for internet, so even though the space and the price are right, I don’t think it will work. Also, one needs 4-wheel drive in winter, and I have a VW rabbit.

Saw some other potential listings, and will send out some inquiries today.

Sent off some more sample agreements to those who want unpaid labor as part of an interview process. I’m sure I’ll never hear from them again.

May have landed a new client who has a variety of article/blog work – we have to interact some more, but it sounds like a good possibility. If it works out, I hope to add that client in to the roster starting next week.

Worked on contest entries. Felt pretty wiped out/burned out, so allowed myself some rest.

Watched the Martin Clunes documentary on Australia’s islands last night. It was a lot of fun.

Up early today, trying to get some work done and some emails out. I have to be onsite with the client today, and hope it won’t be too stressful.

There’s Remote Chat this afternoon – I hope I can participate. It’s always one of the brightest spots of my week.

My friend who is sick with COVID is getting better, thank goodness. I was worried. Well, I still am worried, but she sounds better.

Playing with some ideas. I’m not writing enough fiction during all this moving chaos, and it’s negatively affecting me.

Upward, onward, all I can do is the best I can do.

Published in: on April 7, 2021 at 4:41 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 7, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 320 — Vaccine Appointment!  
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Tues. March 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 298/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 48 — Step by Step by Step by . . .

image by Peter H courtesy of pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cold again!

It’s March, so the weather is all over the place again. Yuck.

New moon in my sign as of Saturday, and I am so ready for it. Time to search for some optimism and action.

My article on theatre script development in the pandemic is up on Scriptmag.

I was so wiped out on Friday, I could barely stand it. I got some work done, but also had to rest.

Saturday was about box purging and starting to pack up my mom’s room, especially her books. Got some boxes purged from downstairs, but not as many as I’d like. I scrubbed the floor and how have to do some rearranging there.

Sent out some LOIs, did some work I didn’t get done on Friday.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, we sprung forward, which wrecks me, as it does every year. I do well when we fall back and gain an hour, but springing forward and losing an hour just gets me every time.

Managed to get a good dump run in on Sunday morning. A carload full of both garbage and recycling. Did a small grocery shop at the Stop N Shop in Marstons Mills.

Home, decontaminated. Realized that soon, I don’t need to worry about decontaminating everything for my mom’s sake, just for mine. And, hopefully, in a few more months, I won’t have to do it for myself, either. Although, considering how disgusting so many people are (again, WHY are you pulling down your mask to sneeze all over the groceries, asshole?), I might keep doing it for some things.

Packed the antique books in my room and the pictures in my mom’s room. Lots of bubble wrap and wrapping paper involved.

Got some work done on contest entries.

I don’t feel well, at all. I’m sure it’s a compilation of stresses, but it’s slowing me down when I can least afford it. Just must push through.

Woke up once overnight Sunday into Monday, and managed to get back to sleep again without too much effort, and got up at a reasonable hour.

Got some work done in the morning, then headed onsite to a client’s, where I worked on my own for a few hours. Did as much as I could there, took the shipments to the Post Office, swung by the liquor store, and home. I’d done a Target run for cleaning supplies on my way over to the office.

Decontamination process, more client work, LOIs out. Worked on my interview requests for the article – they go out today. Followed up from the meeting I had with a potential client last week. Another potential client is trying to bully me into doing an unpaid, project-specific sample because “that’s how we’ve found lots of great writers.” No. Read my samples and portfolio. Use your critical reading skills. If you want something specific to your company, you PAY ME FOR IT. I have a contract that’s specific to it.

Cape Cod Community College is ramping up the vaccines, but I’m not yet eligible for an appointment. I had to set up a second Walgreen’s account in order to maybe get on a list for a vaccine there, but – no appointments. I’m not signing up with CVS, because goodness only knows what they’d jab in my arm.

Did some research on Emilia Lanier, one of the possibilities for Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady.”

Worked on the book for review. Worked on contest entries.

Today, there’s more client work (remotely), picking up a prescription for my mother, getting out any additional interview requests, more LOIs, more packing.

Comcast and WordPress are both being hateful this morning. Multiple times having to shut down and restart. It does not bode well for the rest of the day.

Step by step, day by day.

Published in: on March 16, 2021 at 5:35 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 298/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 48 — Step by Step by Step by . . .  
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Wed. March 3, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 285/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 35 — Steady On, Now.

image courtesy of vertvhul via pixabay.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Waning Moon

Windy and Cold

Yesterday was busy, but a steady, good busy. I got some writing done in the morning, and got my article off to my editor.

Had to venture out into the world for a basic grocery shopping, put gas in the car, and a curbside pickup at the library. It was too windy to go to the dump; I’ll do that run at the end of the week.

Home, full decontamination protocols.

Lost the daily cage fight to get my mom’s second vaccine appointment. The message came up that “all appointments next week are full.” So what the hell am I supposed to do? She needs to get her second dose next week.

None of this chaos is necessary. I’m so tired of incompetents running the show.

I had to do some online research, got out some more LOIs. The “additional information” the prospective client wanted was, basically, an unpaid proposal of how to revamp their site. In detail.  No, honey, if I’m revamping your site, you’re paying me.

Next.

Got another request for more information from another LOI that was actually a request for more information, so we could have a good conversation. That went out this morning.

I re-read some of the blog posts of where I was at this time last year, when we were just starting to get the information on how deadly the pandemic was, and everyone was scrambling to figure out what to do, and I was just past the first surgery. The level of stress was pretty high, and it actually made me feel better about the level of stress I’m experiencing right now, in a weird way.

Got my review out. Turns out I’d gotten the deadlines for the two books mixed up. The book I reviewed had a deadline near the end of the month; the other one is due at the end of this week. So I started THAT one, and will get in the review on time. Did a bunch of client work; trying to work ahead on a few projects.

Got a quote back from a source after I’d turned in my article. It’s good, so I asked my editor if I could add it in and tweak the article (I wanted to reach her before she started work on it). She’s cool with it, so I’ll get that turned around to her today.

Started working on an article pitch for a magazine that’s a profile of someone about whom I want to write.

Since I surpassed my box purging quota on Monday, I didn’t have to feel guilty about not purging yesterday, and working instead.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. Everyone is tired, and there’s huge pressure to go back onsite, but we are all holding steady. Not this year. The kids are doing very well, and, more importantly, it’s safer.

I actually slept through the night last night. This morning, I’m up early, writing and trying to turn around my article.

We have to be out of the house just after 7 AM; I have to take my mom in for bloodwork, then drop her off and head for the client’s office for a few hours.

Remote Chat this afternoon, and then more article work, LOI work, and finishing the book for review.

Hopefully, it will be another “good busy” day.

Published in: on March 3, 2021 at 6:14 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 3, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 285/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 35 — Steady On, Now.  
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Fri. Jan. 8, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 233 — Congress, Do Your Job!

image courtesy of Sang Hyun Cho via pixabay.com

Friday, January 8, 2021

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and cold

I kind of feel like I’m juggling pitchforks right now, but that’s where we are. Having a migraine doesn’t help, either.

The post isn’t yet ready for the food blog, Comfort and Contradiction. That will go up later today, possibly in the afternoon. It might even be tomorrow.

It was difficult to focus yesterday, especially since Congress isn’t doing its job and removing the Sociopath. Why anyone thought Pence would step up and do the right thing with the 25th Amendment is beyond me. He has never done the right thing in his life or his career. He’s incapable of it, which is why he was chosen for the job. And the cowardly cabinet, jumping ship so they don’t have to go on record? May they all reap what they’ve sown.

I was in touch with my Senators and Representative early yesterday, and will do so again today. I’m lucky that they are smart, determined, and listen, and so do their staffs.

The riots at the inauguration will be terrifying. They can be stopped, but those with the power to do so are refusing, and that is unacceptable. We can’t wait until “the middle of next week” to START impeachment. It needs to happen today. It should have happened on Wednesday night, or early Thursday morning.

Worked on my article and the book proposal a little bit yesterday. I will do some more work on the article later this afternoon, and the weekend will focus on the book proposal. Did some noodling for an email blast for a client that needs to go out on Monday; will do some more work on it today. Will also start reading my book for review.

The architect’s lamp arrived yesterday, to replace the one my dad bought in 1967 that gave up the ghost last week. It’s wonderful. It’s so nice to have really good light in the workspace again. I do want to see if, at some point, I can get the lamp fixed, though. It’s a wonderful lamp, and a strong connection to my dad, who died in 1972.

The teal velvet arrived – in a large roll. My postal carrier must hate me. I’d ignored the information that the fabric was 60” wide rather than 45” wide. So, I have a LOT of teal velvet. Seriously thinking I could reupholster the couch with it instead of making clothes. Because it would look a little weird if I wore something that matched the couch exactly. The price was fantastic, so I have no regrets. I might rethink how to use it, though.

The necklace I ordered from Peculiarity Shop also arrived. It’s delightful. That was part of the inspiration for the teal velvet.

Most of the day was spent taking down the holiday decorations, in and around keeping up with the news. We’re almost finished – I have to finish packing up the decorations in my office and the back room and put away the small tree. I also need to finish switching out the fabric and take down the ribbons around the doors and windows. And put up the Carnivale decorations.

I heard back from the potential client, whose questions I’d turned around yesterday. The client wants me to do a copywriting test – under NDA. In response, I sent my Test/Sample Agreement, including the rate – and pointed out that one clause in the NDA has to be either struck or modified, because if I signed it as is, it would negate my agreement.

I have no doubt they’ll refuse, and we’ll both move on. But I don’t work for free, and I don’t do unpaid labor as part of the interview process. If I start a relationship by capitulating, it means they will continue to try to take advantage. I’m not 20, begging for my first job. The whole “testing” process is ridiculous anyway. Read my samples. If you can’t tell whether or not I’m a fit by the samples, that tells more about your lack of critical reading skill than my writing skill.

Did a no-contact pickup of a new-to-me beautiful rocking chair I got on craigslist. It’s wonderful. I decontaminated it, so it could come into the house without sitting in quarantine for several days. With over 7100 new virus cases from Wednesday into Thursday, I have to be careful. I was going to do an early morning grocery run to Star Market tomorrow for a few things I couldn’t get at Trader Joe’s, but I’m considering putting it off because even going to the grocery store at this point is a risk.

About to run down to the library for a curbside pickup, then home, decontaminate, and it’s back to work, taking down the decorations and focusing on writing.

Have a great weekend, friends. Let’s hope next week is more hopeful and just. Let’s hope we have a country by next week.

Published in: on January 8, 2021 at 10:13 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 8, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 233 — Congress, Do Your Job!  
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