Cleaning up the sandbox

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

As a young girl, one of my bestest friends had a sandbox in her backyard. It was pretty cool, except they didn't have a proper cover for it, just this beaten up blue tarp that was worse for wear.

So sometimes we had to clean it out before we'd play in it. Remember folks, this was decades before CSI and other cool shows that made finding something other than sand in a sandbox...Interesting.

So here I am at the day job, trying to clean up the mess until someone thinks about buying a cover. With 4 days left, do I really need to bother anymore?

I even had a coworker scope out my cubicle today. He was polite enough to let me know why he was snooping around the filing cabinets and stuff. This freaked out some of my immediate neighbours.

Seems they'd rather take chances with the new person, who does not seem to be arriving any time soon.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:29 AM 0 comments

The dog ate my WIP

Monday, March 27, 2006

First of all, WIP = work in progress for those who were thinking it stood for winks in public or something.

I've been a very bad Write-On this past week. Sure, I've done a whole bunch of plotting and added some necessary scenes to the outline...but I didn't even crack 1,000 words.

And here I am calling myself a writer. Sheesh.

Then again, I have sold FIVE articles in the past two weeks. Not at rates to retire on, but all are paid, which is very cool since the day job is ending in five days.

:::wipes a tear from the good eye:::

Time to get this partay started!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:12 AM 1 comments

Unintended flattery

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Today was brutal as a certain CEO looked over an 160-page publication two days past the final date and said, "I hate to be a stickler for details, but..."

Of course he picks the day I left the tranquilizer darts at home.

So Bonnie is rushed in to write some new copy, even though she's behind on the 568 projects she must complete by March 31. "Don't worry," a coworker says, "I've asked Medusa to help with the research."

Great, I think, and look through my badly-named files, knowing I had written something similar a while back. I locate it within minutes, and check some references to confirm the information. All I need now is that cool new stuff from Medusa.

Hours pass and the all-important info arrives by email:

"This is pretty good and could probably work for the section as is," she says.

Attached is the same article I had already written.

Stress level: 6.5
Word count: 10,546
Goal: 80,000 words
"Day job" days left: 6!!!!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:52 PM 0 comments

Carpe de M&M's

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching and I no longer fear it. I can only blame the power of the Write-Ons that is urging me to forget about all of that "earning a living" crap and focus on writing my book.

And the oddest thing happened today. A headhunter called me regarding three opportunities, none of which had any real appeal. The first two, I turned down flat. By the time we got to discussing the third one, I was feeling like a drowning man. I even heard myself say:

Well, I could probably do that for two months.
Then I realized that it's never just two months. It would have lasted all summer, maybe even until Christmas. I would have been coordinating marketing materials for a vacuum cleaner manufacturer.

A job that would have literally sucked.

I quickly came to my senses and turned that one down too. Of course, once I hung up the phone I regretted my decision for about...three seconds.

Stress level: 5
Word count: 10,202
Goal: 80,000
"Day job" days left: 8

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:45 PM 0 comments

Twist of Fate

Monday, March 20, 2006

Stress level: 7.2 (thanks to supportive blog comments, big hugs to you guys)

Here's the deal: my Write-Ons novel is partly about a woman trying to get a job writing for a soap opera. Of course, I've never written for a soap opera and an ideal way for me to procrastinate on this project was to say "Oh, I need to do more research" and turn on the TV.

I've also been procrastinating on reviewing two novels for one of my favourite websites. So I picked one of the books up this morning to read on my commute to the soon-to-be-ending job. And wouldn't you know? One of the main characters in the book is an actress on a soap opera. Sweet.

It's a sign, don't you think?

:::shakes Magic 8-ball again:::

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:28 PM 0 comments

Right on Write Ons

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I've joined one of the most powerful groups ever to hit the publishing world: the Write Ons. Led by the fearless Michelle Rowen, author of "Bitten & Smitten" and the upcoming "Angel with Attitude", our group have all committed to writing a novel by August 1.

Already a successful past Nanowrimo participant, I already feel the stress of this challenge. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is one thing because you really don't expect anything to come of it without a lot of editing. This deadline, a full 5-1/2 months away, leaves enough time to create something that may actually sell. And that scares the bejesus outta me.

This is just the inspiration I need to get off my butt and complete a book I started well over 6 months ago. My original "first good draft" due date was February 28. I think I have a better chance this time with a crowd of comrades egging me on.

And this will help me take my mind off of that whole "looking for a job" thing. Money is so over-rated, let me tell you. :)

Current word count: 9,810
Word count goal: 80,000
Weeks left in current job: 2
Stress level: 9.75

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:57 AM 4 comments


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I had the strangest experience today: I attended a meeting that has already happened before. About three times actually. It's more than deja-vu - I call it Deja-Dilbert since the same people at the office keep on showing up.

Just like the last few times, there's no real agenda. The person who called the meeting basically requests the same information that had been requested previously (which had been received, but that point is somehow never raised). This time however, I made a move to break the pattern by not taking notes. Instead, I brought my "binder of knowledge" that had been developed in October 2004. Yeah, when the first occurrence of this meeting took place.

The fact that no one raised the issue of having already been at this meeting before was alarming. Did anyone else realize what was happening? To quote Keanu:

Whoa, I know Kung Fu.

So I handed the binder to a new attendee so that they can continue this pattern without me. Because I won't be here for the next Deja-Dilbert session.

12 more days! :::dances with glee:::

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:57 PM 0 comments

Help really wanted

Monday, March 13, 2006

Why is it that the people who offer to help you all the time never actually do anything? Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating. *forehead creases despite Botox* Nope, it's true.

If you think this post is about you, it's not. The folks I'm whining about are much too busy to read blogs detailing the life of a person in need of the help they keep on offering, yet never come through with.

Ahh, that's better. So how was your day?

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:09 PM 2 comments

Panic sets in...

Due to a miscalculation in thinking March would fall over four weeks, I discovered (rather belatedly) that I still have three more weeks at my current job. *hangs head in mathematical shame*

This makes things a little more difficult than expected, but it's for the best since I have yet to win the lottery or land another gig large enough to fill up the calendar.

No worries though. I've found this to help me pass this time. Didn't realize how much I look like Rutger Hauer. Things are looking up.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:12 AM 0 comments

Five year plan

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Day 1: win lottery
Day 2: buy cruise ship
Days 3-6: sail to set of Lost
Day 7: rescue cast and have large party
Rest of days: write memoirs, appear on Oprah, etc.

Sounds like a plan.

The cool interview last week did not result in the cool job. Sigh. But I added another hunk to my book (I can't call it a chapter, it's more of a brain dump), so that's a good thing.

Oh woe is me. Watch my movie about how I really feel.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:29 AM 0 comments

Job or No Job

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Let's take Howie Mandel's current gameshow and shake it up a bit. In 26 briefcases are different jobs. From couch potato to CEO, all worth varying salaries from $0.01 to $1 million.

In this game, you open one case at a time. After opening a case, you can decide if you want to take the job or open another case. The headhunter, who wants you to be satisfied with the lousy job you were just offered, tries to tempt you with a "signing bonus". This, of course, is all in an effort to keep you away from that coveted career as a movie star or CEO and hire as many people as possible with the 26 jobs available.

Damn that sounds like fun.

This, of course, is an effort to keep me from thinking yesterday's terrific job interview.

::crosses fingers, toes and eyes::

I also spent way too much time here. Good times.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:21 PM 0 comments

I have met my nemesis

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Okay, I lied. I've known this person for a long enough time to know better. Sigh. Have you ever met a person who just has a way of...making you want to peel their face off? Over and over again?

My only consolation is that I am not alone in my feelings. Perhaps my similar-minded colleagues and I should gather for poker nights each Tuesday. Or not.

Thanks to my husband, my portfolio now totally rocks. Even had a creative director say so this morning. At a real interview and everything. Life is good, where's the chocolate?

Time left: 3-1/2 weeks
Prospects: 6
Interviews: 3
Face-peeling or spitting incidents: 0

posted by Bonnie Staring at 6:33 PM 0 comments