01 November 2014

Thoughts on writing (or Hello again!)

I recently got my typewriter working properly and have loved using it. The following is the first piece I wrote on it.

There is something wonderfully tangible about typing on a typewriter. The tool hearkens back to writing in its earliest days. As I am learning, it is not the easiest feat. Challenges aside, the simple tangibility is wonderful. There are sounds you can only achieve from a typewriter. The weight of the keys under my fingers, the pressure and precision required to hit the correct keys at the correct time, is so different So wonderfully different. I wonder how Steve might have felt about this process.

He was fond of word processors, which, at their core, are simplified computers. I can not wait to type things out and learn the joy and frustration of editing my work by hand, one page at a time. I wonder how many pages I can type on this old thing once November arrives.

I have a very important bet/challenge going on with my mother and Nessa. We are all taking part in National Novel Writing Month. Whomever writes the most cumulative words by the month's end gets a free meal of their choice, paid for out of the loser's pocket. With that bet, my mother also has publishing contacts that are willing to take her manuscript. Upon completing my own manuscript, I intend to use these same contacts, but it hardly changes the facts. After four years of doing PR and reviews, my mother has contacts and connections I do not. I suppose I'm a little envious, but such is human nature.

My plans for this November are to write out Aracayn Darkwood's story as my boyfriend Josh relayed it to me when he ran a Dungeons & Dragons campaign last fall. I have felt, on rare occassions, like this is unfair. After all, I did not come up with the story on my own. On the other hand, the main character is entirely mine. Either way, this is the story I have resolved to tell - the one he gave me. Such a wonderful gift.

Aside from the obstacle of schooling my mother, I am struggling with other challenges I will face this fall. For one thing, I have not achieved 50k words within a thirty day time limit in the past three years. I also have more responsibilities at work. I am going to see about requesting some vacation time, but do not know if the company will allow it. The idea of several consecutive days off is nice, but I know I would leave my coworkers in something of a bind. Is my writing worth that to me? Ha. Such a silly question. If it were not worthwhile, the question would not be there. Well, I suppose this is giving me more practice on this old thing as well as getting me in the habit of writing every day. November, here I come.

My typewriter needs a name. Think on this.

14 March 2014

On being pushed

Yes, life is pushing me. All things considered, this pushing could be coming in a more positive way, but cest la vie.

I know it's been a while since I have blogged. Some of that is due to time constraints. Some of it is due to the sheer repetition these entries would have if I did blog. Today, however, I need to get this whole mess out of my brain and off my chest.

Since graduating from college, I've learned a lot about myself - namely that I'm able to hold down two jobs for (currently) over a year and a half. At my full time job, I've had my schedule changed almost constantly. I've been given a few raises. I've been moved to other positions (and then lost them when someone else was hired on to fill the spot) and different shifts. I've done all this with very few complaints, just trying to do my job to the best of my ability. I've been promised promotion to a management position. That hasn't happened yet. In fact, I've been bypassed for promotion twice. I've also been promised a raise substantial enough that I can work just one job. That also hasn't happened.

At my part time job, I was hired to work Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. My schedule has remained consistent with only two exceptions: inventory and Christmas. Even when we lost one of the four employees we have there, my manager did not change my schedule because she knew I had another job. She also made adjustments when I had to be at job 1 at 5 am, letting me leave an hour early.

Today, I was told that Friday's schedule has been permanently changed from 7am-2pm to 7 am-4 pm. This is the shift I usually work. The problem? I have to be at job 2 at 3:30pm. If I get the schedule adjusted to 4pm instead of 3:30:

1. a (admittedly small) cut in hours - at a job where I make just over minimum wage.
2. going straight from one job to the other, which has the potential for lateness every week (and leads back to point 1)
3. zero time to eat between shifts.

It also, in my opinion, isn't fair for me to ask this of my manager because it was made clear when I was hired that I was needed on three specific days and specific hours. Those hours have remained constant the entire time I have been there. Changing them, adjusting around job 1 permanently like that... it just doesn't strike me as fair.

I've been asked by many people which job I prefer. The simple fact is this: I can not choose between them because I need the income from both locations. I prefer one no more than the other. But now, I'm caught in the middle of the two places again, trying to do my best by both my managers. I can't get pushed like this anymore. I just don't know what to do to make this work. Something's got to give.