Extra! Extra!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

(Yeah, lame, I know. I'm really too tried to come up with a better title.)

Last night Hubs and I were extras on Friday Night Lights. We got to the set at 5 p.m. and left at 5 a.m. and, as such, my brain is not functioning well enough to report on how Hubs got picked to be a coach, how sitting in football stands for 4 hours hurts your bum, or how it really does get cold in Austin, Texas at two in the morning.

Instead, I'm going to let Peter tell you.

Going back to bed now...

Piecing It Together

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Four years ago I was sitting in my therapist's office (yes, I had a therapist, just as every sane person should), bawling about my fate as a barely employed American. Since graduating with my MFA in May, I'd been sending out resumes daily, hoping to find full-time work in something practical.

What I wanted was a salary, benefits, and a structured schedule. What I'd managed instead was three separate full-time jobs. I taught English and public speaking at a local culinary school from 6-8 every morning. From there, I went to the one-woman run Asian chamber of commerce where I was paid $12.50 and hour to create the newsletter, organize field trips, and fill in for absent ESL teachers. I left there at four and went directly to UT to tutor volleyball players. On the morning of that fateful visit, I'd done the math and realized that if I kept this up for another year, I'd earn a salary of $25,000 a year (before taxes, of course) for working five 12-hour days a week. That was not what I got my Master's degree for.

Four years later and I'm salaried. I've got a 9 to 5 schedule, a cube with my name on it, and probably just about as much job security a one can have working in the high tech industry. So what's causing me to want to chuck it all and strike out again, doing odd writing jobs or picking up a class here and there?

My therapist would have every right to think that I am crazy. Lately I've been thinking of that pre-salaried life and maybe romanticizing it a little. It's not that I don't like my job, it's just that it doesn't leave me any energy for what I really want to do: write.

When I graduated, I had the vague notion that writing was something I'd eventually come back to. I could put it on hold for a few years, build up a little nest egg, come back to it when the time was right. But writing doesn't work that way. Putting it on hold has only served to weaken my skill and strengthen the desire. I'm tired of trying to fit my writing around something to which was never going to be anything more than a day job. I think it's time to piece together a day job around writing.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

I may have made a little bit of an impulse buy tonight.

Hubs and I were at the mall to pick up the suit he bought for this weekend's wedding. Unfortunately, the jacket sleeves were too short and the pants were too long so the salesperson sent us off to kill 45 minutes in the mall. Naturally, we went to the Apple store.

Now, I've been rationalizing the idea of getting a new iPod for quite some time. For one thing, Hubs nixed the idea of an iPhone until the second generation (yay for geeky husbands). But even then, I'm not sure I want an iPhone. They're all kinds of shiny, but the touch screen and I just cannot get along. My fingers are too fat or something.

Also, my iPod mini is pink and the headphones are tearing. That totally justifies it. Totally.

So, just in time for our trip, I have a new toy. We've spent the evening ripping CDs and making shameless new additions to the music queue. Also, we found a nifty program that allows you to convert your DVDs to MPEG-4 files.

This is, of course, what we've been doing instead of packing or, say, locating our passports amid the moving boxes. That's okay. We may not make the plane, but at least we'll have something to play with.

Let's get one thing straight

Friday, September 14, 2007

I do not know how to begin blogs.

It's surprising, actually, since in the last ten years I must have started at least 25 of them. Okay, maybe 25 is an exaggeration, but it's likely the number is in the double digits by now. The only one that garnered me any sort of net.fame was back when blogging was (gasp!) rare and that blog is now defunct. You can't see it, no matter how much you bribe this man. But that's not the point. The point is that I have been blogging for so long that I should know better.

So why now? Why the resurfacing? Well, for one thing this year I will turn thirty two. Thirty Two.

Once upon a time when I was in grad school and dreaming of a career as a starving (yet published) writer, someone told me that everything happens for you at thirty two. He was thirty two and had just published his first book. He was also incredibly good looking and I may have been hanging on to his every word as if it was my lifeblood, but I digress.

That writer is now ensconced in his late thirties, has two books behind him, and probably forgot all about his "everything happens at thirty two" theory. I, on the other hand, am sitting in a cube in corporate America with a novel and short story collection in the drawer and looking at the days ahead with trepidation because I will turn thirty two in forty four days.

Let me put you out of your suspense. Nothing will be happening for me when I'm thirty two. My novel is nowhere near publication, my short stories need major overhauls and my new writing comes in only fits and starts. But if nothing else, the impending birthday inspired me to kick myself into gear. I may not get published during my thirty-second year, but dammit, I'm going to document every minute of it.

So welcome. Grab a chair, a news reader, and maybe some knitting needles. See you on down the road.