Content, Content, Content

I just realized that “content” (n.) – the topics covered in a document, and “content” (n.) a state of satisfaction are easy for a reader to confuse if not provided enough context. So let’s be clear; my title means “topics covered in a document, topics covered in a document, topics covered in a document,” NOT “satisfaction, satisfaction, satisfaction.” Though I wish it were the other way around. It would definitely make for a better Thursday night, that’s for sure.

It’s 9:41pm on a Thursday night, and I’m feeling the pressure. At my day job, a big client needs a full website’s worth of copy AND a very long, very wordy brochure written, edited, and posted by the middle of next week at the very latest. One of my personal clients needs an e-blast written. Another needs several grants written. A third needs several blog posts, while the other just needs a job posting rewritten. As a result, I find myself in serious need of a glass of wine and a spot of vacation planning. To where, I honestly don’t give a damn, as long as it’s definitely far, far away from my cell phone and laptop. Maybe Siberia?

Actually, talking about vacations, I decided today that I’d really like to go to Nepal. Reason? They ride yaks. Look at this and tell me you aren’t intrigued.

YakwithSaddle yak-milk

 

So, what else is going on in my life other than work, you ask? Actually, we both know that you didn’t ask that because you knew I was just going to tell you anyway – let’s be honest, that’s the kind of horrible, non-stop talker I am – but whatevs. Hmmm. What have I been up to?

Well, there’s the personal training. I went twice this week, and will go again tomorrow. He really kicked my butt on Wednesday, too. I was feeling this odd burning pain sensation in my arms that went all the way down to my toes. Eric said that’s what happens when you start using muscles that you’ve never even discovered before. I’m starting to see muscle definition in my arms when I’m just hanging out and not trying to do any super cool flexing stuff. It’s crazy and amazing and I really want it to continue, but I’m going to have to get more dedicated. Tomorrow I’ve got a weigh in, and I already know that I haven’t lost any weight at all since starting this a month and a half ago. It’s OK, since obviously my fat percentage has to have gone down, but if I were working out five times a week and showing a tad more dedication, I’d also be seeing more weight loss.

Other than that, things are going well in my relationship arena with The Man, and our romance factor is looking a little better. We both owe each other more time and dedication in the romance realm, but both of us are concentrating on career and trying to pay off bills. I hope that we’ll both be able to cut back on work and pay more time to life sooner rather than later. For me it’s all about getting the CC bills paid off, then figuring out what I need to do to make the most amount of money in the most reasonable amount of time, doing only things I love. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, I know it sounds absolutely mad, but pretty sure I can make it work. I don’t intend to spend my whole life working just to work more. I intend to be walking to Santiago de Compostela within two years at the very maximum.

Thirty Days of Complete and Utter Insanity!

I must be crazy, but I’ve decided to undertake NaNoWriMo once again this year. I’m so excited, and also a little apprehensive (obviously). What’s cool is that one of my coworkers knew about the contest, and decided to sign up to do it this year, too. We’ve already made plans to attend some of the regional events in our area, which is much more than I’ve done in years past. Then today during lunch, we were talking about the contest with the rest of our office, and two of the other guys decided to sign up too. We already spend some pretty long hours with each other as a team, and this will tack on a great deal of more time and obligation – plus a certain degree of accountability, which I really look forward to. It all starts on November 1st – just five days away!

The other cool thing I’ll be doing in November is another contest-y kind of project that my coworker clued me in on, called Thirty Days Project. It requires you to do something creative every single day for 30 days. It can be anything, from writing to photography to crafting, just as long as it’s creative. I thought about it for awhile and decided to take up an old crafting love that I haven’t done in years – origami. I’m going to make one new origami piece every day for 30 days and take/post a picture each day. I’m going to try to do something a little more in the intermediate or even advanced categories, and went ahead this afternoon and bought a book for beginners called “Creating Joyful Origami Boxes,” by Tomoko Fuse. Hopefully you’ll be seeing my handiwork soon, since I’ll post it here as well as on the Thirty Days site.

 

Exhaustion

Exhaustion

I’ve been running myself ragged, and I’m not really sure how to fix it. Maybe it’s the holiday season, and the amount of money I feel forced to spend to make my loved ones happy with me (obviously, I know this isn’t true, but sometimes it does feel that way). Maybe it’s the fact that Murphy the linebacker cat keeps climbing the Christmas tree and knocking off my favorite ornaments. Maybe it’s that I’m not even Christian, so the fact that we even HAVE a Christmas tree is off-putting to me this season. Of course, a Christmas tree is just a Yule log in disguise, and I do love glitter and glass decorations, so it’s not that big of a deal. It just feels like I’m being smooshed by the holidays, you know?

There’s a lot going on at work. Everyone’s working long hours, and I just don’t have the time to work 12 hour days without getting paid for it, but I can’t tell my boss that, so I just keep trying to fit everything in somehow. I’m trying to start my own little freelancing business so I can make a little more money, and hopefully that can happen soon. I already have a couple of people who have asked for proposals on small jobs, so crossing my fingers, though I know that will then have me never sleeping again. But I really need the dollars, especially now.

School is also taking its toll. The class I’m in right now in grad school is kicking my butt. I don’t understand it, and the readings aren’t helpful, and it’s really freaking me out because it’s all about budgeting for a marketing campaign – stuff I REALLY need to get a handle on.  In addition, though I love the non-credit pagan classes I’ve been taking, I think I’ll have to only do one a semester from now on to avoid burning out. I’m not giving it as much of my time as I’d like, and that’s not fair to my spirit.

As for music, the band is going well; I love singing, and my voice is returning to full strength, even though I dislike a couple of the songs we do, and I sometimes feel a little lame doing the few covers we do. But people love covers, so it’s really just my own perception of the problem. One of the covers is “Baby It’s You” as sung by Smith, and it’s awesome. I can totally pull off about 90% and sound just like her, but then there are some parts that I crack on so bad that it makes me ashamed to be on stage. Weirdly enough, other people love it, and think I do a great job. Sometimes I have a hard time reconciling my reality with everyone else’s.

I guess that’s what makes it easier for me to live these many lives, though. I know I can be doing more. I’m just so tired. A break is desperately needed. Maybe soon.

Until then – coffee.

I’m naming my new business The Marketing Witch. I’ll have my new website put together soon. The domain is mine, and I’ve set up a FB page, even though there’s nothing on either of them. Working at it, though. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it by the end of the week.

Kisses, luvs. Tell me how YOU’RE doing. I’d really love to know – I’m serious. I’m genuinely interested in all of you. If you’ve written something you really care about lately and I haven’t commented, feel free to post a link here in the comments, to make sure I see what you’ve said. I cherish all of you, even if I’m caught up in offline life at the moment.

A Frustrating Day

Maybe not excruciatingly frustrating, but rather one of those days that makes you wish you had just stayed in bed. Except – here’s the punchline – I’ve been in bed all day.

Since I work from home, and my home is a rather small apartment, my work day is conducted from either the couch or the bed. I could sit at the dining table or desk, but neither allows me ability to sprawl out in comfort, surrounded by warm blankets and snoozing cats. It’s finally starting to get cold here in Louisiana, and the house was a humid 61 degrees all day today, which means that along with staying under the blankets, I also stayed in my pajamas.

That’s nothing new, either, though. I rarely get out of my pj’s anymore if I plan to stay in the house. Today I’m wearing what The Man calls my Owl Pants, purple pajama pants with a colorful owl design that my cousin sent me last year for my birthday. I love them, and wear them often. To go with these, I’m also wearing a purple hoodie & black cozy slippers. I’ve worn this ensemble throughout this long and frustrating day, and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve managed to maintain my sanity.

You see, today was all about putting together an acronym. Well, no, that’s not right. Today I had to force 7 primary concepts to become 10 primary concepts, starting with letters of a pre-arranged slogan. Basically, what I was doing was taking a slogan, for example “We Love You!”, and taking a pre-existing set of concepts (Kittens, Monkeys, Stationery, Motorbikes, etc.) and making each letter of the slogan = the first letter of the pre-existing concepts. Damn luckily, most of the letters match up in my business’ slogan. However, we’re missing a few, which is where things get hairy. In order to make up those extra letters, I either have to cut concepts down into pieces and rename them, or else invent new concepts to join the existing bunch.

Since my boss has already been selling these 7 concepts to our clients for a year and a half now, and even when you align the 7 concepts up with the acronym, it’s still a lot to remember, I believe making up 3 more concepts for people to remember is a foolhardy venture. The point of an acronym is to help people remember a few things – not two hands-full. There’s a reason why acronyms are typically kept to between 3 and 5 letters. It’s not that people can’t remember – it’s that the modern consumer just doesn’t care to be bothered with that much work.

But that doesn’t really matter. It’s my job to do what the boss asks, and in this case, it’s to create an acronym that consumers will find confusing, bulky, and ultimately ignorable. It will be a learning exercise either way, and who knows, maybe it will be a huge, awesome concept that everyone on earth can’t possibly get enough of. Probably not, though. I just don’t see it working.

Hence, a very long day of sorting out words, wearing owl pajamas, and wishing it was Friday again. How was your Monday?

Made of Stars

Sorry that the last post was private. There are two reasons for that:

1) I needed to vent about a problem I’ve been holding inside for the last year or two, a problem that has become more intense since my move. I wanted to share without making my musings public, something I have tried to do in my private journal in the past, but found unsatisfying. I’m a fast typist, and it’s nice to be able to see many full thoughts come out of my head and start to live and work themselves out on the electronic page. Maybe in the future I’ll share my thoughts with the world. For now, however, if you really wanted to read, I wouldn’t mind, I think. The post is password protected, and I’ll share if you’d like to write me for it.

2) Since the problem concerns another person, I didn’t want to air something I really should be able to talk to them about in person. Since this person’s demeanor makes it virtually impossible for me to share real thoughts without getting laughed at for “thinking too much,” and this in itself seems to lead to a much darker future path in our friendship, I didn’t think it good to air grievances quite as publicly as I would like. My few readers know me well enough by now, I think, to know that I really don’t mind telling all about myself. There’s not much about my life that I don’t find is made richer by sharing, but this is one of those rare times when I believe the problem might come back to bite me in the proverbial ass if I let it live outside of my head and one protected blog page. I haven’t even been able to tell my best friends. Another interesting way the internet has changed relationships forever.

But enough with that. I’ve already written a major post on it today, and now I’m tired of letting negativity into my borders. From now on this afternoon, only positive thoughts. The most positive? I’m back with my band again! I have some photos I’d like to share with you of the band’s practice space, so I’ll save more musings on that precious topic for another post, but let it be known that I’m insanely happy about getting to sing again, and also to hang out with dear old friends that I haven’t seen in years, and love, love, love collaborating with.

Also in my personal news? I’m taking two free online courses in pagan studies at The Pagan Campus. I know I told you about these before, but I’m having so much fun that I had to mention them again. One class is in Numerology, and the other is in Sabbats and Esbats. I’m learning a lot, but also learning how much there is to learn, and that I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg. I love it. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life honing my craft, and following the right path for me. Having grown up in super heavy-duty Christian country, where people believe that the devil ‘planted’ dinosaur bones in the earth to fool the weak-minded (lol, btw) into believing that the earth is older than a few thousand years, among lots of other weird, backward-ass thoughts that make very little sense, it’s so nice to get to meet people who believe in something that makes all the sense in the world, and find a religion where appreciating and honoring Mother Nature is the common thread. I don’t care to separate the Universe into multiple gods and goddesses, as many pagans do, but I also love the fact that for once I’m being given the right of way to practice what the Universe keeps proving to me every day is real and right and logical, and to finally see and embrace the abundance of love and energy we have at our fingertips, just by opening our eyes to the possibility of being proactive healers instead of sheep. Like Moby says, “We Are All Made of Stars“.

What else? Well, I made 100 overall in my last marketing class, which is good. I think that this next class is going to really kick my butt, so I should probably actually be doing homework right now instead of writing a blog post or two. But that leads me to the next interesting bit…

I dreamed a book last night. Not a short story, not part of a storyline, but an entire book. It’s not an earthshaking novel or anything, something more like a Harlequin romance, but hey, a book’s a book, and now I’m going to start putting it together. In all, I have three books in my head now that need to be written. One’s about an old haunted house in NC, one’s about ghosts and voodoo in New Orleans, and this last one is about a centuries-old curse on a New England family. I have got to get a routine developed. This is just getting silly. Think of the money I could be making, or at least the ways that I could be so much freer in my life if I just got some kind of order mapped out. With three books and the idea for a very strong small business in mind, I believe the only thing that’s truly holding me back right now is not procrastination, but rather fear. And for the life of me, I have no clue why I should be afraid of success. After all, I want so much to be self-sufficient.

So I’m sitting in bed on a rainy Saturday afternoon, listening to The Man curse at the pieces of a bench he’s been trying to build from scratch all day, my beloved Miss Isabel cat curled up beside me, thinking of this new book, the many paths of my life stretched out before me in my mind’s eye, trying to choose the right one, trying not to hurt anyone too much, or disappoint anyone too much, but trying most of all to be true to myself.

Esse Quam Videre.

I’m trying.

 

The Daily Post

It just occurred to me that though I made a mental note yesterday to begin the Post A Day challenge, I hadn’t actually followed the sign-up process.  So here we go…

I don’t believe in using sample text to declare my intentions, when intentions need declaring.  I’ve been playing around with this blog for some time now (though you’d never know it from the looks of ‘er), and now it’s time to get serious.  This being the case, I’ve decided to join the Post A Day challenge, and post a new blog entry every single day of 2011.  Even though we’re kind of late in the game, I figure it’s better late than never.  Also this should help me prepare for the pinnacle of awesomeness, NaNoWriMo, which starts in less than a month!

I haven’t decided on just one major topic yet for this blog.  As a marketer, I know that’s a difficult concept to sell, but I’m going to forge my way ahead with the things I’m interested in: cats, photography, architecture, writing, travel, and geekery of all types.  I’m sure some of my stories will be of my many failed attempts at trying to shape up and become a ‘respectable’ grown up, which doesn’t appear to be happening at any point in the near future.  Other stories will be about my spiritual quest, return to musicianship, and struggles to get published.  There will probably also be a lot of pretty pictures, especially during the month of November, when I’ll be plugging away at my novel.

This will be my first attempt at staying relevant to myself and my readership, and I look forward to figuring out how to make this blog both interesting and somewhat popular.  Wish me luck, and hope to see you around more often!