I should have done this post last week and saved the NaNo update for the final day of the competition, but since when do I do things in the proper order?
Over the past week I’ve thought a lot about the things for which I’m thankful. Pretty much every aspect of my life has changed in the past year, almost all for the better, and I think I’ve finally closed the door on the chapter of my life that had dominated me for far too long.
In no particular order:
I adore my apartment. I’ve been in my place for almost six months and I absolutely love it. There’s a dog park for Owen, lots of trees, and soothing wall colors.
My new job is better than I could have hoped for. I’ve just started the actual work, but I love the atmosphere, the people, the perks… and the fact that it’s in Grand Rapids is icing on the paycheck.
I’ve gone public with my design business. Ink Slinger Designs is alive and kicking after YEARS of half-hearted freelance work. I’ve always known I wanted to specialize in something but couldn’t pinpoint my niche. Book covers feel like the perfect fit AND they’re fun to design.
The Book of Good is still going strong. I haven’t talked about here like I’d originally intended, but I’ve written in it just about every day this year. It’s a journal where I have to write at least three good things that happened each day. When things were especially difficult last winter, I decided that forcing myself to find even the tiniest good things would help me see past all the bad, and it’s really helped. I don’t allow myself to write anything negative (although I admit I’ve written “I didn’t kill so-and-so today” and “I survived today”), no matter how strong the urge. That’s what my regular journal is for.
My friends got agents, have been published, or are about to be! Including:
Stacey Graham – Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide
June Kramin (as Ann T. Bugg) – Before Happily Ever After
Trish Stewart – Taking Lessons from Ernest
Jamie Mason – The Liar’s Margin
My mom gets to retire next summer. Her excitement is contagious.
I finally feel like I’m home and part of a community. When I first returned to the US, I didn’t have any intention of staying here. When I got divorced and signed a lease of my very own, I thought maybe I’d stick around for another year. Well I’m happy to report I’m slowly making real life friends (gasp!), I’ve joined activities away from the computer, and I’m looking forward to staying in west Michigan.
Writing. Unfortunately writing has fallen behind everything else going on, but I still consider myself a writer and have high hopes for my writing career in the next year.
This past year was just a warm-up.
I haven’t written anything this month, completely failing at NaNo, but I have good reason…
I start my new job on Monday! I don’t want to go into much detail (like naming the company) until I’m situated and know how they feel about these things, but it’s still a design job, I’ll be part of an internal department (which I’ve wanted for a long time), and I can bring Owen (I don’t know how often yet)! It’s in Grand Rapids, which is where I ultimately want to live, so things are finally moving in the direction I want. Wheee!
I’m excited to share my other project, Ink Slinger Designs. I’ve found a way to combine my love of design and love of writing with my love for helping others and creating pretty things. Go! Go! Go check it out and please like my facebook page while you’re at it. And if you have an upcoming project, you know where to find me.
So what’s new with you?
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook have already been hearing about this, so I apologize if I’m bombarding you with information.
I make it a point not to talk about work on my blog, but there’s a project I’ve been working on for over a month now that has officially launched. It’s called Cans From Fans and it’s a non-profit food drive that collects non-perishable food items from fans attending community events. The Muskegon Summer Celebration is going on right now and Cans From Fans is collecting for the duration of the event.
The 53-foot semi-trailer parked is across from the main entrance and it looks like a giant billboard. I designed the truck wrap (but not the logo) and it’s very exciting to see something I did so BIG! I’ve also seen a couple of my billboards, but the truck is a first for me.
Check out the Facebook page for photos and updates. There’s even a picture of me in a box.
If you live in the Muskegon area and will be at or near the Summer Celebration, be sure to stop by. I volunteered last night so you won’t find me there, but my coworkers are all very nice and you can say hi to them.
Remember how I wrote a couple novels and was all excited to pitch them to literary agents and hopefully, fingers crossed, get published?
That’s still my goal and I’m still excited about my novel(s), but I just haven’t been able to get to them. I have ALL my beta comments in for After the Fall so now I feel like I can officially start Draft #3 (even though I actually started it before moving to Michigan, but we won’t dwell on that).
My first week of work was exciting enough, but then I had plans EVERY night after work. Me, the woman* who hasn’t had plans in months. THIS week, however, is much calmer so I’ve done my best to get writing back on the table. I’ve relinquished a couple other obligations that were taking up a lot of my free time, so now writing is back to numero uno.
Having said all this, I don’t want you to think I haven’t been writing at all. One of my responsibilities at my new job is copywriting and they’ve taken full advantage of me. Unlike some other times in my life when I’ve been taken advantage of, I’m actually enjoying this. So, while my novel isn’t progressing as rapidly as I’d like, my skills are still getting a workout.
How do you find balance when life takes over?
*It feels so wrong calling myself a woman. My instinct is always to write girl.
I feel bad for not announcing this last week, but I already had my posts scheduled and with my going out of town I didn’t have time to move things around. Anyway…
Last week Wednesday Ibis got a job at a really nice hotel in Ixtapa, then the following day I was offered a job at the company where I’ve been freelancing for the past couple weeks. I have this week off and will start on the 19th. Despite being freaked out about working again (not to mention full time and in an OFFICE) I’m really excited to finally be a productive member of society.
I’m probably going to have to make a few adjustments in terms of my other “responsibilities” (I have to put these in quotes since a lot of these responsibilities are things that I’ve put on myself and are really just ways to fill my time) but I’m excited to refocus my free time on my writing.
So, is there anything you think I should be sure to do in my last week of freedom?
Imagine this scenario:
You’re on your way to your first day of a temporary gig that could turn into “something more” (I feel like a teenager saying that) and suddenly you realize you missed your exit. You plan to take the NEXT exit, but it’s closed. You continue on for DAYS (really about three minutes) before the next ramp appears around a bend.
You turn around, then take an earlier exit that SOUNDS like it goes where you need to go — oh, and it’s now five minutes before you have to be at said new temporary gig — and find yourself in a city you do not know AT ALL.
Without a cell phone.
Or a map.
What do you do?
I have my answer, but I’m curious how different people react.
Lately lot of people have been wishing me good luck with my interviews (thanks a lot of people!) and somehow Good Luck has mutated into Good Lick. I swear I was not the one who first made that slip of the tongue. I mean… I wasn’t the one who… nevermind.
I plead the fifth.
Anyway, today I’m starting a trial period at one of the places where I interviewed — I believe we call this freelance (/sarcasm) — so I think I’m due for more licks.
I won’t be online today (obviously) so please entertain yourselves while I’m gone.
Note: I only included the note about sarcasm so no one feels obligated to explain what freelance is to me. I’m very excited!
Three years ago today my dad shoved the final box into my car and we headed south to Me-hi-co. (We also removed the toaster oven when we realized there wasn’t room for my file box. Talk about a decision I’ll regret for the next 1083 days.) That same day (it was a Monday) two close friends started new jobs, so this date has kind of stuck with me.
Today — exactly three years later — I have my first interview! Yay!
I know it’s ridiculous to get excited before I’ve even set foot in the company, but it seems like a really good fit for me and frankly, I feel like I’m due some good news. (Yes, I realize I’ve probably just jinxed myself there.)
The interview isn’t until later this afternoon so… any advice?