Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twice a Year?
family picture
Family Picture 2009

Just noticed that I haven't posted to this blog for half a year. Well, most of my blogging energy is going into My Quality Day, but I don't want this place to disappear entirely. Although it is sometimes a challenge to get the four of us collected, I like taking the "annual" family picture. And we didn't get one last year, because Steve was unable to come home, so I'm especially happy to have this one. Josh had to have an abscess lanced on the 24th, so he will be wearing that bandage for a while yet. It was huge.

My life seems to be transitioning to that of a writer. I'm not sure I can sustain that as a career either, but one big goal for January is to work seriously on the children's book I'm writing/ illustrating, called "Moose in Boots."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Nowhere for Mr. Hyde to Hide

Here I am with the two sides of my nature at war again. There is so much going on inside me, and nothing going on inside me. I've been home from the May hike for two weeks now, and am just beginning to get my energy back and interest in moving ahead. I always have that overpowering need to just float in the spaces between activities and wait for the quiet to re-emerge. It is taking a long time.

This is in direct conflict with my choice to be the first woman to finish the trail. I realized before making that decision that this would be a serious internal problem, but decided that I want to be first. I hope I can survive that decision. I once read that everyone needs some proportion of time absolutely alone; some people need a lot. I am one of the ones who needs huge doses of it. This is more than some theoretical wish. If I don't get those spaces I eventually just crash and burn into black holes of depression and anti-social behavior.

The hike with first four, and then five hikers, was quite a test of my social capabilities. I liked everyone on the hike. That's not the problem. The problem is that as the number of people in a group increases, my internal tension also increases at some ratio that is greater than a simple geometric progression. I'm sure it can't actually be quantified, but it seems to me to be exponential. I've learned to function on that parabolic curve, but there must be time for the parabola to return to the baseline before I can force myself into the next arena.

Meanwhile, I simply have to keep writing for Textbroker to earn some cash. All of the assignments about pool filters, chair rail moulding or dog training do not seem mentally demanding, yet they seem to take a toll on my energy to do anything creative. I find that while I used to bristle with ideas for creative writing, now I find myself wondering if I will actually be able to dredge up the energy to write interesting chapters for the sequel to North Country Cache. I have occasional ideas for children's books, or fantasy stories, but I just can't beat myself into doing anything about it all.

I want to sit in the recliner forever and float. The weather this week has been conducive to that desire. It's been mostly mid-sixties, sunny, with a light breeze. The leaves of all the trees around the house quiver and sing with a breath of song. The starlings, generally a dirty ugly bird, that have nested on the deck seem to me to be the source of beautiful music as they squawk and whistle, carrying bugs to their babies. Although our house is close enough to the highway that there are extraneous sounds, I've felt as if none of the world exists except me and the trees and the birds and the wind. The jumble of experiences in my head and soul has reached a level of unsortable inscrutability and has become white noise. I can't even deal with it until the gabble abates, as if the wave has to retreat down the shore before the pebbles can be seen again.

I've had the fortune, or misfortune, to pick up three books in a row that were compelling. So instead of being able to discipline myself, as I often can, to read only during lunch, I've simply been pulled into the safe harbor (for me) of someone else's creative storm.

I'm managing to stumble through life... grocery shopping, going to the bank, keeping up appearances of being a functional human being. But it's all a charade.

Well, my next charade is up for the tableau. Have to take someone over to look at Josh's plumbing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How That All Came Out

Ha! Just re-read the last post. The PI is finally gone, but it was awful. I finally had to keep ice packs on my feet and arms to be able to stand it.

Omer has a "new" car- a 2000 Chevy Prizm, and yes, he hit a deer with my car. That's supposed to be fixed on April 7.

I took my office and the spare room apart and did not find the maps. So I decided to look in the most obvious places one more time. Guess what? Of course they were there, hiding in the shadows. Well, a few places in the house are cleaner than they were.

Tomorrow is the tax appt, and then I HAVE to get busy planning the May hike.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Other Half of the Story

Here's the Jeckyl/Hyde paradox I referred to earlier. All the good stuff at My Quality Day is absolutely true, but it's only half of the story.

I came home with what I thought was a bad case of hives from unknown causes. After 4 days, and several conversations with Marie, I've decided that it is Poison Ivy. And I mean everywhere. It is difficult to work, concentrate, wear clothing, care about getting anything done. And meanwhile all the pieces of my life fall farther and farther behind.

I have gone through every box of mixed papers from the past two years looking for the irreplaceable maps that I need for the May hike. I can't find them. I have one more place to look before I start taking my office completely apart.

I am not ready for the Thursday meeting of the trail chapter, and probably won't be. There just are not enough hours. I'm trying to keep writing to earn a buck or two. Meanwhile I keep spending it faster than I make it.

Omer's car is totaled by another deer encounter, so he's driving mine while he looks for another, and I'm holding my breath lest that one meet a similar fate. And I came home to a dead freezer. Om did get the food transferred to a friend's house before we lost it, but that will need to be replaced soon.

I kind of hope no one is reading this blog any more, because this all starts to sound like a long whine. If only this PI would ease up I think I could tolerate it all better. I'm ready to jump off a bridge... or at least out of my skin.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still Working on Options

I've been writing at Textbroker quite a lot. And I'm working really hard to try to build readership for my blogs and make them generate income. Truth is... I'm up to about 25 cents a day income from the blogs. I'm learning a lot... it should be possible to improve that. However, the blog world doesn't seem to know that Outdoor/Nature categories even exist. The fact that categories like that don't exist on most of the standardized lists for advertising opportunities means that I'm not getting matched with viewers well.

A big milestone is that Get Off The Couch News has made Google Pagerank level 3. That's still low, but respected among bloggers who aren't in it just for money. The North Country Trail News is at PR 2. But the blog I like best My Quality Day is still PR 0... doesn't matter that I am getting a nice interactive following... Google doesn't care, which means that advertisers won't either.

I'm looking into another online work opportunity. I'll explain more when I figure it out better.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Little Button Buck
Sean with deer
Sean and the little buck

Sean McClellan has been coming over some afternoons to hunt. We have way too many deer in the back yard. Sean was on the phone and saw this deer out the window. He ran to his car, grabbed the rifle, and within just a few minutes had this little guy. It's small, but the meat should be really tender!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Income and Other Un-Quality Topics

The problem with separating "My Quality Day" from this blog is that it will only tend to make me bi-polar, Jekyl and Hyde, skitzo.

Nevertheless this is the place for the stuff that I don't think the whole world needs to see. A lot of you have asked how my quest for income is coming. In October, I really got a gift from God... a temporary full-time job. I worked about 3 1/2 weeks at $10 an hour, so that has given me a small cushion back from the edge of sheer panic. Of course, the car insurance is due, and they finally got my car to stop coughing, so that has to be paid for... so I'm scrambling again to make the coming month's bills.

Shared Reviews is temporarily in an income holding pattern. They are experiencing the realities of being an internet startup. But instead of going belly up they are working to get people paid off, and then they will let us earn more new dollars again. So... nothing there right now, but I need to stay active and ready to pounce when the money starts to flow again.

Associated Content continues to be an option; income depends on views. I need to get a LOT more articles on there if I want to make much. Currently getting about $4 a month from them.

The column in the Ludington Daily News continues to give me $20 a month.

I have another source of small writing assignments that are worth about $10 each. They come sporadically.

I have found a site called Textbroker that does just what the name implies. They match clients who want stuff written with people who can write. I just started there 10 days ago and have made $70. It's really just a job... they give you a topic, a number of words, keywords (it's writing for the web), and you write. But that's good... there is no reason for me to feel creatively possessive about any of it.

I'm trying really hard to make Get Off The Couch News, and Get Off The Couch pay for themselves better. The first one needs lots more readers, since income there depends on clicks. The second needs for me to sell ads... several didn't renew... bad economy and all.

And I got one new website job that should pay in Dec. That will help!

The house is a total wreck... what else is new. Thanks for stopping by, but I don't blame you if you like My Quality Day better! I do too.