Sunday, January 27, 2013

Taking a Breather

I finished editing my book yesterday!!  YAY!!!  I actually did a little cheering in the car ride home from Barnes N Noble, I was so happy.  It's in the hands of my two volunteer readers.  Dan (friend in Louisiana) and my sister.  I think Dan started it already, I'm not sure about my sister.  I was having a lot of second thoughts on what I thought of it when I was getting towards the end of the edits but the last two chapters renewed my confidence.  There's obviously still a much greater chance that the whole book will be awful, but I feel good about it right now.

I feel good about everything right now.  I'm about to go to Barnes N Noble to read for fun.  It's such a weird feeling, having so little I want to get done each day...I mean, it hasn't even been a full 24 hours since I finished it, but it honestly does feel strange.  I still have jewelry to make...I have two items to fire tonight, one of which I would like to photograph and list in my shop tomorrow.  Otherwise, it's just potty training (we're trying out 'naked time' and today was the first went well!  She pooped and peed on the floor, but I felt a bizarre sense of accomplishment that a diaper was spared), cleaning, playing with the kiddo, and praying I get a job.

That's all for now!

Oh, and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards close I got my book submitted in time, all edited and everything.  Yay!

Update--the ABNA contest got their 10,000 submissions...they closed about an hour ago...PHEW!!! So glad I made the extra effort to complete this yesterday...I was afraid that they might close earlier today.  All those last minute submissions going in at the end of the the first round has begun and they pick the top 2,000 pitches out of the 10,000 they've received.  Here's my most up to date pitch, and the one I'll be judged on in the first round of this contest:

Melanie Foster was finishing up her junior year of high school, enjoying the last moments of class, savoring the warmth of the early summer afternoon, and replaying the moment that her long-time crush asked her on her first real date.  

Her life takes an unanticipated turn for the worse when she returns home from the date to discover her house left in disarray and her parents gone.  A strange voicemail left by her mother during the kidnapping forces Melanie to question everyone, even herself.  

Melanie is thrown into an extraordinary adventure of love, loss, deceit, and despair when she is introduced to a new world, one explained to her as the original planet inhabited by human beings. Her grip on reality is tested when she learns that her world is only the Third Earth discovered and populated by humans in a process known as the Earths Project.  

After learning that her parents are actually scientists working on the Earths Project, Melanie is sent on a mission to the place where they are being held, the dangerous and unstable Second Earth. Eager to help rescue her mother and father, Melanie finds herself tasked with the unexpected role of saving her entire planet. 

The Earths Project- Book One, First Earth is the just the beginning of a journey through worlds of possibility that will leave the reader gazing up at the stars wondering...what if?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updates and Revised Pitch (Advice Encouraged, Again).

Still no news on how the interview went...I did find out the job is much further away from me than I originally anticipated, it's actually based in a city 20 minutes east of the one displayed in the job description.  I'm 25 minutes west of that middle it'll be quite a haul if I do get offered the position.  They told me they'd let me know if they want to include me in the second round of interviews and the fact that I haven't heard from them yet makes me extremely nervous.  I'll update as soon as I hear word.

My other update is my newly revised pitch for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award...

Melanie Foster was finishing up her junior year of high school, enjoying her last moments of class, savoring the warmth of the sunny summer afternoon, and replaying the moment that her long-time crush asked her on her first real date.

Her life takes an unanticipated turn for the worse when she returns home from the date to discover her house left in disarray and her parents gone. A strange voicemail left by her mother during the kidnapping leaves Melanie questioning everyone, even herself. 

Melanie is thrown into an extraordinary adventure of love, loss, deceit, and despair when she is introduced to a new world, one explained to her as the original planet inhabited by human beings. Her grip on reality is tested when she learns that her world is actually the Third Earth discovered and populated by humans in a process known as the Earths Project. 

After learning that her parents are actually scientists working on the Earths Project, Melanie is sent on a journey to the place where they're being held, the Second Earth. Eager to help rescue her mother and father, Melanie finds herself tasked with the unexpected role of saving her entire planet.

The Earths Project: First Earth is the just the beginning of a journey through worlds of possibility and leaves the reader gazing up at the stars and wondering, what if?

The contest closes Sunday and I'm down to only having FOUR chapters left to edit.  I did my rewrite scene (just finished it up today actually), so those four chapters might take a little while.  I'm glad the contest has stayed open this long, but it makes me feel like I'll go crazy if it closes early when I'm THIS close.  So keep your fingers crossed that they don't get their ten-thousandth entry before Sunday!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Job Interview!

So the editing is going well.  I am up to chapter 23 now, which leaves me 10 chapters left to go.  Not too bad.  I want to get them finished over the next 4ish days and on Wednesday, I have a JOB INTERVIEW!!!  Finally!!!  First one since August!  It's a job in Phoenix, so it's only about a 25 minute drive (sans traffic).  And the job itself sounds great.  It's not in a library, but it'd still be a good experience and would keep my resume on track, so I'm really hoping they consider me.  There's also a volunteer supervisor position at a library closing for new applicants on Monday, so I hope I hear news from them this week or next for an interview.  After all of these months of no interviews and constant disappointment on the whole employment front, it'd be such a relief to finally have a job.  I know I'll probably cry a bit about the fact that I won't get as much time with Jane, but I know she loved the daycare and after spending this much time with her, I know she misses that interaction with the kids and the full-time toddler oriented activities (here, I make her sit in a cart for shopping, I have times where I have to go make jewelry, laundry, clean, so she really only gets about 2-3 full hours of my attention in the mornings and a couple hours after her nap).

Plus, I got my Master's Degree because of my strong desire to have a career and was never equipped mentally or emotionally to be a stay-at-home mom.  I have days where I feel completely useless, and days where talks about money make me feel horrible (like the thought of paying back my student loans), plus since I was in grade school, I have wanted to be a career-driven woman.  I am not at all saying I think staying home with Jane is in any way not honorable.

Wait...screw this...

I hate that moms always seem to feel the need to defend their decisions whether they want to work or stay home.  I never see a man defending his decision to work full time.  And if a man is staying home, I feel like the defending would be for why the mother is working, and not about the man.  What kind of bullshit is that?  (so I swapped out the word 'bullshit' with 'bullcrap' to be less PG-13 and found out that my Mac thinks 'bullshit' is a correctly spelled word, whereas 'bullcrap' is I stuck with my first choice).

That's not where this post was supposed to go (and seriously, leave the fact that I'm a mom out of this, haha)...I'm just thrilled to finally have the chance to interview for a job I'd feel really good about (and one that I feel really qualified for).  It makes this three-day-weekend a lot less stressful.

The interview is only a 15-minute over-the-phone one...which makes me nervous that a.) they're interviewing a lot of people, and b.) I didn't get the last over-the-phone job I interviewed for so I am a little more uncertain about my interviewing skills.

Either way, I have to keep my head up and stay optimistic, because why else be excited for the opportunity to interview?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Pitch (Advice Encouraged!!)

Melanie Foster was finishing up her junior year of high school, enjoying the last moments of class, savoring the warmth of the sunny summer afternoon, and replaying the moment that her long-time crush asked her on her first real date.

After the night takes an unanticipated turn for the worse, Melanie is forced to rely on her crush and his father when she discovers her house left in disarray and her parents gone.  A strange voicemail left by her mother during the kidnapping forces Melanie to question everyone, even herself.

Melanie is thrown into an unexpected adventure of love, loss, deceit, and despair when she is introduced to a new world, one explained to her as the original planet inhabited by human beings.

The Earths Project: First Earth is the just the beginning of a journey through worlds of possibility and leaves the reader gazing up at the stars and wondering, what if?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Contest)

So I'm thinking about entering my manuscript into a contest run through Amazon Publishing.  They started accepting submissions today and will stop accepting them on January 27th (a few days before I wanted to finish my first edits of my manuscript, so I'll obviously have to pick up the pace a little if I want to get my submission up to my own standards in time).  From the looks of it, I can submit my entry as soon as I want and then continue to make edits until January 27th...which would ensure I at least have a spot in the closes after 10,000 submissions are made (so it could close next week*).

So I guess I'll weigh pros and cons here...since they've just been floating around in my head since I read about this contest 45 minutes ago...


There's a $50,000 advance awarded to the grand-prize winner with a publishing contract through Amazon Publishing...this all happens this summer, which brings me to my next pro...

The speed with which they run this contest is impressive.  The announcement of all submissions that will make it to the second round is in the middle of February.  If I lose, I have my book back and can just go about my business as usual.  If I make it to the next round, hell yea!

For all the First Place finalists, you get a $15,000 advance and a trip to the awards ceremony, which is in June.  Plus the book gets published.

Even if you don't win, Amazon Publishing might want to buy your book, so it's exciting to have that potential.


I feel like people should do cons first, because I'm now in the mindset of 'really, what could be bad about this' after listing the pros....

I have to refrain from shopping the manuscript around while it's in the contest.  That doesn't stop me from searching for an agent, in which case I could probably pull my submission.

If I only get the $15,000 advance it's really not the kind of success I was hoping for (duh, I'm sure I'd be just thrilled if I really did become a published author, so this is a pro too, since it's a foot in the door).

I wouldn't be able to negotiate at all (which really is a con, considering one of the major reasons I've found for getting an agent is to have someone's help in negotiating a book contract).

Some other things I took into consideration:

5. GRANT OF RIGHTS. By submitting an Entry and if you are selected as a Quarter-Finalist or Semi-Finalist, you grant Amazon Publishing the exclusive first publication rights to your Entry in all formats. If you are selected as a Quarter Finalist, Amazon Publishing’s exclusive first publication rights to your Entry terminate when you are eliminated from the Contest (unless you are selected as a Semi-Finalist); and if you are selected as a Semi-Finalist, Amazon Publishing’s exclusive first publishing Rights to your Entry terminate after June 30, 2013. If you are not a Winner and Amazon Publishing notifies you that it wishes to publish your Entry, you agree to negotiate the terms and conditions of a publishing agreement exclusively with Amazon Publishing for a period of 30 days after you receive notification from Amazon Publishing. If you and Amazon Publishing have not reached agreement after 30 days, you may offer the work to other publishers on the condition that before you enter into an agreement with another publisher, you will afford Amazon Publishing the last right to publish your Entry on the same terms and conditions offered by any other publisher, plus an advance against royalties 10% greater than the other offer. Amazon Publishing must communicate its decision to you within 5 business days after you have provided written notice of the other publisher’s terms and conditions. If Amazon Publishing declines or fails to act within that period, you will not have any further obligation to Amazon Publishing, and you may publish the Entry with another publisher. By submitting an Entry, you grant us and our respective affiliates and agents permission to use, without charge, portions of your Manuscript, Pitch, or Excerpt, along with your name and stated reason for writing the submitted Entry (if provided) for any purpose in connection with this Contest until June 30, 2013.

After writing out my pros and cons here, and continuing to look over the contest rules and regulations, I've decided to enter.  So my submission, entitled 'The Earths Project: First Earth', will now officially be considered for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

First writing contest I've ever entered!  Holy crap!

If you've somehow stumbled upon my blog and are thinking 'Yes, sign me up, I'd like to enter the contest too' go to this link:

*upon further research, I've discovered that if my genre reaches 10,000 submissions, the contest closes new submissions AND edits on current submissions...and since writing this, I've already submitted my partially edited first draft...hopefully this genre doesn't fill up too soon or I'll have no hope of winning this!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Podcasts are taking over my life.

As I posted about a week ago...I have recently acquired a bluetooth headset.  I actually swapped out the Jabra one I originally purchased for a Platronics headset.  I was trying to remedy the connectivity issue I kept having and I also replaced my iPhone case for a thicker plastic one (to try and provide the most distance between the phone and my skin, which I kid you not, seemed to make the issue worse...if I held the iPhone the wrong way it sounded like whatever I was listening to was the old days with CD players).  The Platronics headset also has about double the amount of time in the battery life, which was a plus.  My problems with the sound breaking up went from about 25% annoying to only 10% annoying..which is much more bearable.

I've had my iPhone playing either an audiobook or podcast in my ear for most of the day everyday since I first got the bluetooth.  Since audiobooks are something I want the ability to focus on, I usually only listen to them when Jane is napping and Daddy is out, or while I'm taking the dog and toddler for a walk.  So for all those other times of the day (the majority), I have been listening to podcasts.  I'm using the iCatcher app for my phone because it has a really user friendly way of automatically downloading new podcasts, lets me make playlists where I can group similar podcasts together, and lets me change up the order in which they play.

Here are the podcasts I'm listening to (I've had to look around for more after I caught up on my regulars in a day or two):

Another Mother Runner 
I really like this one.  The hosts are those people that consider 5 miles a short run.  I hope it motivates me to get better at distance running...I was doing well in Pennsylvania but, since moving to Arizona, my average distance is only about 2.5 miles. 

Books and Authors by BBC
Another great one...some extremely famous authors and actors have been interviewed already and I've only listened to a few episodes.  

Books on the Nightstand
Yet another great one...the two hosts both work with a major publishing company (can't remember which) and they talk about all the books they're reading.  It's only every couple of weeks, which is the only bad part about this one.

Get Fit Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up
Not terrible.  I basically listen to this one because it's a short and sweet addition to my 'fitness' playlist.

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Awesome.  She quickly and easily points out common grammar mistakes (that I make).

History Extra
I'm trying this one out today...and I'm sad to say I have had trouble paying attention to it.  I'm sure it's extremely interesting, but I'm afraid I really don't like history, regardless of how badly I'd like to.

I Should Be Writing
This is one of the ones I've listened to for years...since I found out what a podcast is, in fact.  It's a great motivator for writing but I never listen to the interviews because they're typically with self-published (I think) authors who write sci-fi type books (nothing at all against self-published or sci-fi, but it's just not my cup of tea....hilarious actually, since my book is probably closer to 'sci-fi' than anything else and I can totally see myself self-publishing it in 5 years if I can't sell it and still have as much faith in it as I do now).

New Yorker: Fiction
Haven't gotten through more than one of these yet because it's similar to the audiobook conundrum...I need to be able to focus and I have trouble finding those moments throughout the day.

NPR: Technology Podcast

NPR: Books Podcast

NPR: Shuffle Podcast
Great because it finds a random sampling of whatever reports were played on NPR that day and is, in fact, a daily podcast.  I love National Public Radio.

On the Media
I really like this one because it brings up super interesting facts about today's popular culture.  For instance, someone who worked for the reality show business was interviewed and anonymously reported how scripted those shows are.  One show he worked on actually cut out two members of the family because the producers thought they didn't have enough entertainment value.

Parent Savers
I want to listen to this one but I just subscribed and so I haven't had a chance to yet.  It has tips for parents though and looks like it's going to be good.

Poem of the Day
These are lower in the list on my playlist that contains New Yorker: Fiction so I haven't listened to one yet.

Science Friday
NPR does Science Friday weekly (duh), and it has been a long-time favorite of mine.

Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC
I like it so far.  Also has interesting stories about the world and I'm getting much more 'current' on current events with this one and NPR Shuffle.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
See my thoughts on History Extra...I really wish I could get into history.

The Classic Tales Podcast
Freakin awesome.  This guy with a great voice reads classics like The Wizard of Oz.  I'd pay money for this one.  Speaking of which, if you didn't already know, all podcasts are free and are available for download through iTunes.

The Creative Penn
British writer who talks about writing and publishing and also interviews interesting people like one of a higher-ups working for Kobo.  

The Jillian Michaels Show
Only celebrity podcast I listen to and it's also part of my 'fitness' playlist.  She sometimes has good tips and sometimes annoys the hell out of me.

Mighty Mommy's Quick an Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting
So far it's okay.  I think I like Grammar Girl better as far as the quick and dirty tips go.

Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous
Better than the Fit Guy's one.  I'm trying not to drink soda anymore because of this podcast.

Writing Excuses
Another good writing podcast.  I love listening to all the tips from these podcasts on writing, and it reminds me everyday of how badly I want to become a writer.

That was a long list.  I wasn't expecting to write all of that.  I guess it helps reinforce the title of this blog post.

So as you can imagine...I'm getting a lot of use out of this bluetooth.  Think about it though, my mind is idle for most of the activities I partake in throughout an average day...and I usually do want to find time to listen to these podcasts and what better way than to combine the pleasure I get from listening with activities like grocery shopping, diaper changing (yea, she's still boycotting the potty), and picking up?

Just figured I'd let anyone who is reading my blog know what has been keeping me busy all week!  And just to assure you...I feel SO great...I think this listening has made me more mellow, less anxious, and has honestly made me feel like my brain is functioning somewhat better than before....maybe because I'm forcing it to multitask 9 hours a day, haha?

Jane is doing great too...I know I neglect her in these posts, but that's not the case during the day...she's learning colors, she can count objects, she's talking up a storm, and I'm really loving all this extra time I'm getting with her.  I still do desperately want a job...but I know it's going to be heartbreaking, not having this much time with her when I do finally go back to work.  She just looked at me and said 'I'm a princess'...who wouldn't miss that?

Hope you all had a great weekend!!! I should give out a prize to whoever read this entire post!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird

I started reading this book yesterday for the first time in my life and I'm absolutely loving it. Ughh...I actually started it two days ago and started this post yesterday, but as you can see, I have neglected finishing it until now.

I've lived my entire adult life only reading (or listening to the audiobook versions) about one classic piece of literature per year.  Usually they're Jane Austen books...and I often don't get through an entire one.  I've read Dracula, Wuthering Heights (definitely not what I expected), A Christmas Carol, Persuasion (didn't finish this one yet), Sherlock Holmes (also haven't finished, but got through a whole lot of it), Tale of Two Cities (listened to the audio version and got through so little of it, I'm embarrassed to even list it here).  Hm...I really need to get on GoodReads so I can keep better track of this.  

I love listening to audiobooks.  I can't remember how much I've written about them in previous posts but it's really one of my favorite things to do.  The obsession started while I was moving from Louisiana to Pennsylvania in 2009.  I think my sister suggested I try listening to audiobooks for the 20+ hour drive (spread over two days).  The first one I listened to was Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.  I finished it on that trip, while intermittently listening to music and talking on the phone to my husband.  I'll always be thankful for that drive...who knows how long it might have taken me to realize my love for audiobooks otherwise?  I'm even a subscriber to Audible now, have been for over a year, and there hasn't been one month that I've regretted the cost of the membership.  

So I'm currently reading three books.  To Kill a Mockingbird (strictly the paper version), Reached by Ally Condie (doing the whispersync for voice where I can read it on my Kindle and it picks up where I left off in the audiobook I also have through is nuts), and I just started listening to Life of Pi (just the audiobook version of this one).  

The editing is still going well.  I flew through a chapter today and I'm getting more and more excited about the story and the way it all fits together.  I'm starting the edits on Chapter 17 tomorrow and there are 33 total.  Since I realized it'd go slower, my ultimate goal has been to have it done before the end of the month, and I'm well on my way to achieving that.  

Even the jewelry shop has picked up (today I had the first sales I've had in weeks...and I've had a bunch of custom requests lately).

But still no job.  And still no interview.  Booooo to that. 

Weight loss challenge with the husband started again officially (we took a hiatus over the holidays...I'm still struggling to get back to where I was before the hiatus).  Weigh in is tomorrow morning and he made us a disgustingly fatty taco lasagna type thing tonight.  Which I ate a serving and a half of and enjoyed every filling bite.  

Well played husband, well played.  I can already feel my rings uncomfortably pressing into my bloated sodium filled fingers.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

There's something wrong with me...

Yesterday, my husband (the sweetheart that he is) let me use the last of his bestbuy giftcard so I could get a bluetooth headset.  The reason I wanted the bluetooth was because I discovered a few days ago that I could listen to all my podcasts and audiobooks with a bluetooth that had A2DP (not sure what that means but it has something to do with the audio).  So since then, I've wanted one SO bad.  WHy?  I could seriously wear the thing all day and stream podcasts I've wanted to catch up on, then audiobooks I've been meaning to listen to, all while I was still functioning as a regular human being and keeping up with things like potty training, reading to Jane, doing the dishes, etc.  Hence the title of this blog post.

So for a couple of days, I'd be sitting around thinking "I'd totally have that bluetooth in right now" during all of these moments that my mind was idly drifting around in my poisonous thoughts (thoughts like 'I still don't have a job and no one will ever hire me' and 'my book is going to be awful' or 'I'm a failure of a parent because I can't potty train my child').  Yesterday while Jane was napping, I yet again said something along the lines of "I wish I had a bluetooth' to Steve, who (out of the blue) said 'just use my giftcard'.  So I did.  Thank you honey!!

I haven't taken the thing out, other than to sleep, since.  There's definitely something wrong with me.  I turned it off while we ate dinner, but I have had it on through things like conversations with steve, photographing and listing a pair of sneakers he never used to ebay, getting jane ready for bed, doing a load of laundry, taking Ike and Jane for a walk.  I know what you're thinking...I'm a terrible person because I'm obviously not paying enough attention to my family.  But it's turning out to have the opposite effect on me.  I block out whatever I'm listening to on the bluetooth when I'm talking to Jane or Steve (or vice versa) and then I'm less edgy and temperamental when I'm doing boring jobs like picking up (so when someone drops the toy I just put away at my feet again, I smile and pick it up again while I'm listening to tips on publishing a book instead of getting angry).

So today, I'm listening to things like The New York Times free downloads from Audible, I Should Be Writing (a podcast by Mur Lafferty), Writing Excuses, and I'm searching for podcasts on potty training and subscribing to podcasts like Baby and Toddler Instructions.

Time to get back to potty training. (We're trying BIG GIRL UNDIES again!! Only peed on the floor once so far this morning while mommy was distracted on the phone with we're blaming daddy for that one!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hurry up!

That's what I keep mentally hearing some voice inside me saying.  I'm SO excited to have this edited version of my book done.  I feel like working on it is giving me even more reason to want it done so I can send it off and see if there's a chance I can get it published.  I still have to send it to my friend in Lousiana and hope he doesn't think it's hopeless.

Maybe I'll let one or two other people read it?  If anyone wants to??  I want at least a couple of weeks off from it before I reread it again.  I feel like I'm in high school again and I'm about to turn in a paper I worked really hard on and feel really good about, but I know there's still a really good chance I missed the mark by a long shot.  In this case, I know it's more likely that I missed the me...I know.

But what would I have if I didn't let myself dream?

What else is the point?


Friday, January 4, 2013

Are you, like, a crazy person?

Today has been all about this book for me.  It started when I was taking a shower and thinking about the fact that it's going to be read soon, by real people, people other than me.  What if it doesn't meet expectations?  And then I'm thinking, how could it?  The protagonist isn't even saving the day at the end.  Then I'm thinking...why isn't she?  Then BAM, I came up with a new climax to the book.  It wasn't even new was something that should have been there and wasn't yet...a new scene shoved between all the existing scenes.  I LOVE moments like this.  It was the second major one I've had in a while since starting this book.  The first one was that night that I was taking a walk with my dog and ended up walking further than I had to and being rewarded by a huge idea.

I haven't actually written this second idea yet but I will when I get to that part of the book.  The edits are taking a long time...I'm lucky if I get a chapter done a day.  It doesn't help that my daughter bounces up to me after every other sentence I read and I'm constantly pausing for interruptions.  I need to make myself more accountable like I did with the writing.  An editing session slotted out every day.  I just really love the freedom of doing the editing this way.  I don't need a chunk of time to sit and do the edits like I needed for the writing.  When I was writing, I needed that zoned in I can read a sentence, a paragraph, fix it up, then walk away and come back an hour later.  It's just bad on days like today, when I finish half a chapter and quit.  I have my computer on my lap and it's only 9pm, so there's nothing stopping me from finishing up that chapter tonight.  My daughter's asleep and I'm watching Gold it's not like anything is requiring my attention (this show is awful...if the husband wasn't keeping track, I'd change it in a heartbeat).

So now we're putting on V for excellent movie but one that I've seen over a dozen times. I think I'll still try and edit the rest of this chapter before the end of the night.

I sure hope someone wants to publish this book...I've been reading blog after blog of people who are awaiting the debut of their first published YA novels.  I can't even describe how badly I want to be able to post photos of my book on a Barnes N Noble bookshelf.

Guess I should get back to the editing if I ever want the chance to see that happen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's today...Thursday?

That's how I've been feeling a lot lately.  Partially because my husband has been off of work for the holidays and partially because of this job-searching slump I'm having.  I was slightly more constructive with my time today, finished over a chapter already in the editing (got stuck at a major rewrite area early in the second chapter I was working on at lunch time).  I also revamped my resume with the help of a friend from the town I was living in the past few years.  Now I just need a few good library jobs to start accepting applications for me to see if it will help my chances of landing an interview.

Before the editing and the resume rebuilding, I emailed the Human Resources woman that worked with me on getting my one and only phone interview so many months ago.  I asked her if she could possibly offer me some advice on getting my foot in the door in a local public library.  No response yet.

All the libraries around here hire through the county or the cities in which they're located, and though I've applied to at least half a dozen good jobs (that I was totally qualified for), I've still only been offered that one phone interview a month before I even moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona.  It's rough...seeing the great jobs, applying for them, holding my breath for them for weeks, and not even getting offered an interview.  I know you're supposed to call the jobs to see if they've had a chance to review your resume but around here, it's difficult to decide who to call.  The job is listed through the official city website and other than the actual address of the jobsite, there's no other information provided about where you'd actually work.  So calling the library and flat out asking 'who might be on the panel for interviewing so-and-so position? Can I speak with said person?' seems like a bad idea.  Calling a library usually gets whoever is at the front desk.  Hopefully if that does turn out to be some type of common practice around here, the HR person will be kind enough to fill me in.  I guess I'll be happy if I hear back from her at all.

So my plans for tonight:

-Eat dinner (the hubby will be making it tonight)
-Get the goofy girl to bed
-Go for a 2.3 ish mile run with the doggy while listening to the audiobook version of 'Gone Girl' that I checked out of the Free Library of Philadelphia and loaded onto my iPod (little library tip...if you check out a book and load it onto a device that doesn't have Wifi, you can keep it on that device for well past its due date...basically it will stay on the device until you load that device to the computer again.  So next time I decide to sync my iPod, I'll say goodbye to my borrowed copy of Gone Girl).
-Get through that rough rewrite section of the chapter I'm editing while indulging in milk and cookies

These are the cookies I got while grocery shopping with the family this evening:

Yummy, and only 120 calories in 10!

They were kind of purchased for the kiddo but I really really like we're going to learn about sharing with this batch of cookies.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today really sucked.

After seeing a cute quote on Facebook the other day (I'd repost it here but I don't feel like scrolling through to find it...3 days is a lot of stuff to scroll through), I started a new habit of keeping track in my journal at least one good thing that happened to me everyday.  The quote said something along the lines of 'Not every day is good, but there's something good in every day'.  I'm really needing that piece of advice today because it really wasn't a very good day.

This morning, before even drinking my first cup of coffee, I got a negative email from a customer of my jewelry shop (Carmella's Jewelry).  She bought earrings from me and I sent them with one pair on the ear hook backwards (whoops...totally my bad).  But when I fixed them and sent them back (since that was her one and only complaint), she emailed me (this morning) and said there's a 'scuff' on part of the silver (THEY'RE HOMEMADE) and wants a NEW pair because that's what she paid for (THEY ARE NEW).  So I sent her another pair that probably won't satisfy her ridiculously high expectations, and I wish I could just refund her money altogether and be done with her.  I'm still hoping I'll figure out a way to give her a negative review (without receiving on in return, I'm doing the right thing in this, not her) on Etsy to warn other sellers.  She certainly has no right shopping on Etsy with that type of regard for handmade products.  GRR.

So I got over that.  Then comes lunch, and the terribly-two-year-old toddler's nap.  I spent a good hour searching for jobs, and 45 minutes applying for one in particular.  Whenever I get a good chunk of time in on the job search, I feel a bit of satisfaction toward that part of my life and it lingers for most of the day.  I submitted the application at 3:55pm.  At 4:31pm (since I'm an addict of my computer, the Internet, and checking my email) I already received a reply.  They're looking for other candidates whose 'qualifications more closely match our selection criteria'.  It was an administrative job at a university.  Whatever.  I got a good cry out of it anyway.

Another day of no book editing.  I got barely half a chapter done.  I still plan to work on it tonight, but I also plan on taking the dog for a walk, giving the toddler a bath, and watching a movie with the hubby (that last one probably won't happen, we're both exhausted and cranky...he's now getting the icky cold and mine is still making me feel kind of icky).  

We'll see.

Here's that thing I found on Facebook the other day (I think we all knew I was going to go find it...and if you didn't know that about me, you do now!  Any excuse to scroll endlessly on Facebook for a full minute).

The something good in my day (because it's true, there's always something good in any kind of day):
I had a really good workout at the gym and the kiddo made it through the whole hour without pooping (they call the parents to the babysitting area to change dirty diapers and she almost always poops before was 11-12 and she held it in...thanks baby girl!) or biting (they flat out kick you for biting).

Update:  I finished that chapter I was editing, walked the dog (I love walks with the dog), and gave the twice-a-day pooping machine a bath.  The movie didn't happen, as suspected, but at least all the other things on the list did!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feeling Icky.

Sauerkraut, Pork Meatballs (quite yummy),
Rye Dinner Rolls, and Mashed Potatoes

Two nights ago my husband and I realized that all of our 'On Demand' episodes of the show "Entourage" would be expiring today.  We had about 10 left to watch so we had a marathon that night and stayed up until 1:30.  So since my beautiful little toddler is my never-failing alarm clock, I was up yesterday morning bright and early, feeling exhausted.  I ended up letting her watch cartoons most of the morning so I could get away with laying on the couch (I only felt slightly bad about my lazy parenting decisions).  During her nap, to my surprise, I was still exhausted enough to sleep through the whole 2 hours.  I woke up with a terrible sore throat, headache, and general overall icky feeling.  Since I was able to soothe the sore throat with a lot of hard candies, I decided it couldn't be strep and was more likely a cold caught from my little adorable alarm clock.

So that was yesterday...and I felt like that all afternoon (all the way up until midnight.  I hadn't planned on staying up until midnight, but after an exciting finale to the series we were watching the night before, we both got a second wind around 10:30).  So here I am again, very very tired and thoroughly excited for the toddler's nap time.  I'm also really gross and desperately in need of a shower. My house is disgusting and desperately in need of a cleaning.  And my book was neglected yesterday so I'm 2 chapters behind in the editing...which makes 4 chapters for today if I want to catch up quickly, or 3 today and 3 tomorrow (doing math while sick...impressive, right?).

It's almost 11:30 now, and I'm feeling a little better...the ibuprofen I took an hour ago is finally kicking in.  I'm trying to talk myself out of napping during her lunch.  Instead, my hope is that I'll shower, clean, then head over to Barnes N Noble for some more editing.

For now's time for sauerkraut, pork, and mashed potatoes!  I think sauerkraut smells disgusting so hopefully it brings me luck this year, because it's the first time I'm ever trying it (I really want the luck this year!).


Strangely enough, I'm feeling much better, more awake and alert, and the sauerkraut was actually kind of here's to a VERY lucky 2013!!!