openscarf: (Default)
Alot of people in my circles are talking about moving, people are on the move. Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, for living & working and retiring. I'm still researching and visualizing Taos, New Mexico, I want to be there for awhile and then I can see myself leaving the country to retire or semi-retire, you generally need a little chunk to be let in.  It will be nice to have friends everywhere.

Home from work for a few minutes now. I want to do an hour or so of yoga and belly dance, then chill and write some. I want to complete a short short story for my mom for mother's day based on: a dream she used to have about me that made her anxious but I'm going to spin it into something magical;  a story a colleague told me about her daughter when she was little and a family of raccoons I saw crossing my street a few months ago on an early winter evening.

I pretending it's a tiny NaNoWri challenge. Write a little in the morning, a little in the evening. We'll see what I get.
openscarf: (meditate in forest)

 The box I lived in for almost a year has fallen to ashes and the winds have taken them away. No longer trapped by the trial ahead or the identifying taint of the assault, I look ahead, but there’s nothing there. It’s like I took my blinders off. Or, that the cocoon I lived in for a year has been shed and I’m free to fly.

 Well, that’s just scary talk. It’s as if I’m internally blinking at this thing called light that I couldn’t see for so long.

It was fine and dandy to pretend I was a writer, to make new contacts and know people were reading my stuff. But magically, I pretended and then it became so. 

It’s fantastical to be out of the nine-to-five world, out of nine-to-five clothes; no longer required to be somewhere for many hours a day. It’s a sweet jelly doughnut fantasy.

Now  I’m looking for simple temp jobs, or jobs I actually want, that have a strong emphasis on writing, social change and are possibly democratically run- with some support from a new contact or two. I’ve amped up the search; I figure the temp agencies will come through eventually, so I’m registering and calling in regularly to get in their heads. And applying to dream jobs.

I believe my box had a top and a bottom, but the sides were open, and that’s how I didn’t get stuck. I pretty much was only capable of looking just a day or two ahead-if that-and filled each day with a lot of output. Now I get paid for writing articles-- a few bucks is a few bucks. I’m a professional! Damn!

My skin no longer gets prickly,(or hasn't in a while anyway) as if I’m in a cloud of flying slender needles when anxiety begins whispering. Maybe the hot flashes canceled out that symptom. Or maybe my exhausted mind finally exhaled, like a fury and in a white hot moment the top and bottom of my box, ignited and disintegrated.

I actually am scared about (1) not finding work, or (2) finding work, and (3) running out of money. But at the same time, I feel it will all work out. For now, I’m merely tipping my hat at the fear.

I sit here at my desk, almost every day, with lots of ideas to write about for my blogs, and assignments for the news site. I’m writing all the time, as if I’m making my living here at my desk, I like to pretend I am, but, come on.

 Crazy. I have no idea what is going on. I wouldn't say I'm energetic. I have a lot of feelings and images in my head and I'm just going with them.


openscarf: (puzzled penguin)
"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful: yourself."
-- Alan Alda


My day started rather rottenly, with a phone interview from CA  unemployment because like a fool I had claimed the pennies I made for writing two articles for a newssite. I had to listen to this robot go down his list of questions and make my answers fit his nasty little template. Because I'm looking for all kinds of work and free-lancing he said I could lose my benefits. He wasn't saying I would lose my benefits but he said I could. It was an excruciating twisting ignorant non-connecting impaired communication. At one point I became imperious:  How DARE you, HOW DARE you threaten to take my benefits!  

And I ended the threatening terrorizing call by threatening him:  If I lose my benefits, your ass is grass!

Very mature.

I'm sure I'll be standing in line, in ten days waiting to speak to someone in Sacremento and explaining  how this feeble minded beige nothing, twisted my words so instead of portraying me as someone looking for work in AND beyond the scope of the last job, I'm somehow scamming the generous state of CA. Basterds. It's my money, not theirs.

I  felt grouchy all day. Interviewed a bio-deisal fuel women-owned company for a story which was cool, took a short leisurely walk on this chilly sunny day to the library and got 2 more books, YAY, came back, wrote a little, but not feeling the muse. Which is why I went searching for inspiration and found the quote above. I applied for another cool job and made an appointment with another temp agencie for next week for the type of job I don't want. The money is running out.  I feel a little panicky about that.

I'm adjusting, processing. The concerns, angst and worries of the past year are passing through me, while the fresh and new light filled opportunites are starting to trickle in. I must let them in. I must let the other out. It's a concious active meditation and prayer. I honestly think it would be impossible without yoga. It's challenging. I have to be patient and know that it's necessary. I'll have yet another self emerging which is super cool, but I don't know her yet.

Physically, the changes are amazing as well. I'm physicall really tired. I have some resources to build up. I can feel the lessening or absence, not sure yet,  of the survival juices, for good this time I hope.

So I actually feel confused, not grounded, and insecure.

Doing yoga, now.
openscarf: (Default)
Tomorrow morning I'm registering with a temp agency downtown.  I had to preregister online.  I've emailed my rep a resume, I have to bring a hard copy resume, I had to upload one in text format on their website and then fill in my work experience on their template.  They'll evaluate my skills on excel, word and outlook after I take the tests.  I've done it before.  It. all. seems. lame.  I'm walking but have to dress business casual. 

I'll have to fake my enthusiasm.  I hope I can.

I've been offered a few bucks for my next article.  That's a good step forward.

I'm reading Just Kids by Patti Smith and Julie and Julie by Julie Powell.  I have a writing project I'm just getting started.  I've been walking, running and doing yoga.  Meeting with friends.  Never ever ever bored.

My score on wordwarp is 4380, but I had to move up to 3 minutes.  I couldn't get anywhere past 2900 on 2 minutes.  Immediatly after I went to 3 minutes, my score shot up. 

Two bite chocolate macaroons from Whole Foods.  Worth the splurge. 
openscarf: (Default)
California must have the most backward gov't in the country. I wonder how much money they could save if they had direct deposit for unemployment instead of printing and mailing thousands and thousands of checks each week. WTF?  It makes me sick in this day and age to waste that much paper and resources to deliver to mailboxes. Of course the recipient has to mail back the little form with the appropriate boxes checked.  If one mark is wrong, they don't give you your money.  They mail a computer generated form 'explaining' what you did wrong and give you another chance, mail that back and wait for another computer generated statement demanding you call.  But the volume is so massive, they basically shut the phones off.  You can go to the website and request a call.  I wrote them a scathing email, it felt great.  Tomorrow since I have to go for my job counselling session (from these rocket scientists?)  I'll then stand in line to get to a live person on a phone.  Sounds like a great day.  I've only received one check from them, they're 5 behind.  I think it's ridiculous, but it also frightens me that they have this power to hold my money when there is no reasonable way to communicate with them.  They could see I'm not drawing income anywhere.  I'm furious, but I'll just join the others tomorrow.  Should be a very long, annoying day. 

My life as a community reporter goes on.  Thursday night I covered a meeting with the District Superintendent of Schools. I learned so much, I recorded it all, got home around 9 and worked on it for several hours, slept a little, got up early and worked another 8 hours nonstop.  It had to be turned in Friday.  On Sunday, the editor and I went back and forth.  I"ve learned a lot on how to tighen up and I thought I all ready knew how.  For instance, it turns out,  'the" and "that' are just filler so much of the time.  There was so much material.  We got it to something and it got published this morning.

In between all that, i was working on 2 other articles.  I was tired, but just in the zone.  I took on way too much and have just emerged. Working, doing something you like, is so different than the drugery that goes on in most cubilces.  Money has nothing to do with it.  And yet, I'm working harder on this than anything i can remember.  I'm hoping it's one of those things where the payoff, as yet unseen, will be great. I wanted to test myself too and see what I could do.  I did it.   

The site is doing well, gettting recognized.  I wouldn't mind more feedback from people other than the assistant editor, but there really isn't anyone else.  There are little frustrations like waiting for a story to go up, they said was going up almost 3 hours ago and isn't, and I told the subject it was...I just check in for updates and then try and let it go, it's very good for me to just let all that go.

Today is gorgeous.  I did yoga this morning and walked around the lake at lunch with a friend from my ex work place, one and a half times, good excercies to counter act all the stiffness of the last few days.  I think I'm going to up my walks to run/walks. 

Tonight, Happy Hour with another friend.
openscarf: (Default)
Now that I'm writing for a living, well, writing for a 'fantasy' living, I'm feeling some resistance.  I have a lot to do in the next week.  I've written 4? organiziations setting up phone chats, I have a big story to get finished by Sunday night (but I know I could extend this one, it's my story, a feature, no dates related to it)  a few shorter ones for the week and I have to go to a meeting Thursday night regarding Oakland's schools, the new superintendent is speaking.  When I come home I have to write it and send it.  YIKES.  My plan is to write the shell of it and fill it in. 

What's the resistance I wonder?  Writer's block? Took on a bit too much?  No money for it?  Tired from the high energy of the last couple weeks?  Interesting.  I know that as I work through it I'll prove something to myself, that I can have a full writing workload.  I'm trying out different ways to organize myself.  My  inbox is exploding a bit, I set up one file for stories, but I think I need more.   I'm using the outlook calendar on my laptop, and the calendar in my phone.  I don't like the outlook calendar.

If this (Please universe, please!) continues I may get a desk paper planner, but I'd really like to master the electronic ones.  I think I'll get a system down eventually.  Or not.  ;-)
openscarf: (stars)

Yesterday I realized that in the last couple of weeks, one word has repeatedly popped into my conciousness and I've had a reaction to it each time. It has wings, it's trying to tell me something, so I delved into the deeper meanings.  The word is  "conversation."  First it was missing and I had to stand up for it; next, it was used in a grossly inaccurate context and I had to banish it and lastly, it just wasn't  the right word and it stayed.

Here's are the roots from an online etyomology dictionary:

 mid-14c., from O.Fr. conversation, from L. conversationem (nom. conversatio) "act of living with," prp. of conversari "to live with, keep company with," lit. "turn about with," from L. com- intens. prefix + vertare, freq. of vertere (see versus).

Originally "having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" specific sense of "talk" is 1580.

Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c. Related: Conversational (1779); conversationalist (1836); conversationist (1806).

The 1st & 2nd definitions resonate, especially, "to turn about with" and  "manner of conducting oneself in the world."  I'm swinging my scythe, creating my path, trusting my gut.   I'm doing something I've always loved to do for recognition and  interacting with intelligent people who seem to generally respect others (wow man!)  I'm reinventing.  I feel like ME.  (Sadly, the 3rd definition has no relevance ;-/) 

It's interesting to me, how the omens and signs are everywhere.

1.  The subject of my second story was a company that wants to build relationships between businesses and customers through story telling and "conversation."  The company owners and employees share stories about themselves and the business, consumers are asked to register on the website and respond to any story that touches them.  The idea is that the business owner will respond with another story, so a "conversation" happens.  The assistant editor of the paper, rewrote the story and used the word "comments" instead of "conversations."  In the end, after I fought for my words, my story was restored as I wrote it and "conversations" was put back.

2.  When I testified, the public defender asked me if I was having "conversations" with the people who had gathered around me after the assault.  I was insulted and felt belittled by her use of the word. The word diminished the severity of what I had just been through and the condition I was in.  I said I wouldn't call them "conversations."

3.  I covered a workshop to teach parents how to get more involved with the schools and to engage the community.  The assistant editor called the workshop a "conversation"  I asked if it could just be, "he participated,"  and leave "in the conversation" out.  It stayed.

#3 was the least energetic of these.  I wonder if that means I got the message? 

I wonder what my next word is.

Update:  late last night I got an email from the AE who had only then gotten to my email, she was fine with my request and took out "in the conversation"





openscarf: (puzzled penguin)
 This week wasn't what I expected regarding contributing to the online paper.  I had a lot of positive feedback from the founder on the 3 stories I did last week, she said there'd be more assignments, but so far this week, nada.   We've communicated a bit, I forwarded her the nice email one of the interviewees wrote me, I mentioned a possiblility of a story I'm looking into (history of an old hotel, that has a nice restaruant, best view of Oakland, a "known" hidden gem).

I realize I'm pretty frustrated.  One woman (the one who rewrote my first story; no worries, I've let that go, I wrote her this week thanking her for her help and agreeing we should chat soon) seems to be writing about 80% of the articles.  She's definitely a journalist, good writer, but I'm not sure why she's writing everything.  I'm not sure why they held a meeting asking for contributors and help and offered coaching, training, etc.  It seems my expectations were extremely overly optimistic.  After that first week, I thought I'd get 2 or 3 assignments a week.  I don't want to have a blog on there, I want to have real byline articles, I want the exposure.

I'm not sure if it's because they're so short handed that it's hard to maintain control over every aspect and the main head honcho staff is busy covering the big city/political news, marketing, raising money, etc. and the entrenched contributors are simply grabbing all the stories because they can or possibly don't know who to assign to?  This is new territory that I want to tread carefully.  I feel a little foolish, so proud of my 3 stories while one person is practically writing the whole freakin paper. If that's their plan and what they want, so be it, I'd just like to know.  I have to get clear, without being obnoxious, fawning, etc.  I don't want to do nothing, because that seems like quitting to me and I really don't want to be in the position of so randomly waiting for something.

I held my tongue/fingertips today; tomorrow I'm going to write the 3 again, casually and say something like, I'd love to contribute more, I'm working on the hotel thing, is there anything they need help with?  Is it unrealistic for me to expect a couple or more a week?  Just so I know...

And then I just  have to keep looking around and keep writing stuff, so this time is best spent, this lovely free time. 

Happy

Feb. 8th, 2010 11:36 pm
openscarf: (Medieval Cat -Fool)

Geaux Saints! So many people were so deliriously happy the Saints won the Super Bowl; I wonder if this is the first time so many people were pulling for one team. If we collected that same type of energy and focused it on life and death issues like diplomacy versus war, shifting economies to feed the hungry, and health care for everyone, would people scoff at the idea of the power of collective energy? Note: I thought like this before I moved to the bay area, ;-)

One friend is proud and happy because his first notes as Homeowners Association Secretary were perfect with all the legal and technical jargon in the right places.

Another friend is uber happy because she finally found and bought the used Mini Cooper of her dreams. And what a doll it is. Red and shiny and ready to go.

Another friend is delighted because her 1 ½ year old daughter’s hair is finally long enough for pigtails.

I feel happy because I soldiered through 3 angst shadowed days and feel it starting to fade. And, tonight my first article was accepted at the online paper. It’s more of a press release, a call for artists’ applications for a public art project. I need to write like this, it adds up and they have a lot that needs to be done. I’m treating it as my internship.  I know the more I do, I'll become more confident in this area; I hope to develop some story ideas and/or get assigned more and more. 

I talked to another friend tonight that I haven't seen in over a year.  She was layed off in 2008.  We touched on what it's like to start over at this age.  I think it's a gift.

I like this: Doubt your doubts.

 
openscarf: (Medieval Cat -Fool)

Last night I went to an informational training meeting for a local online newspaper start up.  They've been around only 3 months and have made a good name for themselves.  They need contributors, writers, bloggers and copy editors.  I'm very interested in developing a more journalistic style, they'll help with that, it really excites me.  It's community oriented, socially conscious and new media savvy.  Of course, they built their base on FB.  At this meeting there were film makers, journalists, tech people, musicians and bloggers. I'm so interested to see where this goes.

I'm also looking into tutoring kids.  Apparently tutors are needed as the school budgets get cut more and more.  I'd love to teach reading, comprehension and writing.  Since it's giving directly to the community, I see this as a win-win.  The pay appears to be reasonable with flexible hours. I'd love for this to work out.  I'd really like to be able to cobble a paycheck together  from a few part time sources, keep writing and see what happens.   I'm still sending resumes out for the more traditional stuff, but really want to stay out of the cloth 3 walled world if at all possible or, at a mimimum.  There is time.

And now, after I do some yoga, I'm going to make cookies.  Yum yum yum.   I have a friend coming over tomorrow afternoon, we'll have guacamole, salsa, chips and this:  

 Jalapeno Cocktail Pie

3 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs, beaten

Sprinkle peppers, onion and garlic  in a well-greased 9-inch square pan. Cover with cheese. Pour eggs over cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until firm.

Cool and cut into 1-inch squares.
 

 Very Mexican lady like, eh?

 


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