Wix Poetic

In addition to figuring out what colour to paint the hugely heavy hall tree I scored for nothing on a local Facebook group, looking for freelance/part-time work and maintaining an acceptable level of sanity, I’m debating whether or not I should have an actual website.

I helped a friend set up a Wix website recently, so I went on and checked out some of the free options. It looks pretty cool but the big part for me would be trying to upload/prepare pdfs and samples of my writing. The ominous and overwhelming box of magazines sits in the back corner of my garage. That reminds me that I should bring it into the house before a mouse decides to turn it into a paper shred hotel.

Maybe I’ll wait until the kids are done school before I start. Why then? Because it’s a slow time of year (work wise) for me. I can Wixify my life out in the back yard while the kids are in the pool. I just have to make sure my computer – and my precious magazines – stay dry.

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Peter Pen: are pen names a good or bad idea?

Huh, I was actually wondering about this just this morning. When I was about nine I made up a pen name for myself. I drew  people with huge heads and tiny bodies and signed them all as “Margaret Moondown”. Okaaaayyy.

I also made up a really short tune on my aunt’s organ but everyone found it annoying. It could have been a great back beat to something. I didn’t have a pen name for my music writing career though.

If I needed to use one now it would be a pretty plain one, but I can’t tell you what it would be. You’d have to read an article by me (well, secret me), except you wouldn’t know that I was the one who wrote it. But sometimes that’s the whole point.

Nicknames are different. In our family there’s: Boobs, Ms. Lou, Ms. Muffin & Tits McGee.

Check out what Freelancewriting.com has to say about the issue! Pen names, not nicknames…

Why Having a Pen Name Can Be a Risky Move – Freelance Writing Jobs | A Freelance Writing Community and Freelance Writing Jobs Resource.

Intros but no endings

For some reason I’ve always liked coming up with beginnings of fictional stories but never follow through on the endings. Maybe the beginning is the easiest part to write and since I’m not a novelist I never sit down to work through a story to put together the entire sandwich.

Here’s one I wrote when I was probably about 16 (a guess). Looks like an incident at a car wash or garden hose was on the brain:

He grabbed the nozzle from her, despite the fact that it was on high pressure. Not thinking, he blasted freezing water at her, pelting her eyes, nose and ears and slapping her good work clothes to the sides of her thin body.

“Shit, Mark!” she screamed. “You fucking blasted my contacts right off my eyes!”

Walking home, tears streamed down her cheeks. Blurred memories and vision (that asshole) made it even worse to see where she was going. To the fucking eye doctor for shit’s sakes to get more contact lenses. Why did he do things like that, she wondered. Shit.

(And, scene.)

Autumn in Yosemite National Park

This video floated into my inbox. I subscribe to a ton of newsletters (they go nicely with morning coffee). The cinematography is stunning. The autumnal colours are captivating. I found the music to be haunting and majestic. Here’s a poem I wrote up real quick about the video:

Drawn in

Transported into emptiness and expanse

Welcomed, invited, abandoned

Of the past, In the now, somewhere

Sadness in solitude, grateful for peace

Lost in the mist over Yosemite.

Autumn in Yosemite National Park from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.

Don’t call me Johnson (or Shirley)

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away Boobs and I went to Hyundai in Oakville. On our first visit, we got matched with a salesmen. We stood around, looked at the cars on display and asked car-type questions. A week or so later we went back because I had a hankering to test drive an Elantra GT. Even though I’m a sucker for hatchbacks, it sucked.

During our second visit, guy #1 was busy so we hooked ourselves up with a new sales guy. At some point when he was done with the other customer, he walked up to Boobs and said, “What’s the matter, you don’t like me, Steve?” Well, one: you were busy and we didn’t feel like waiting. Two: Boobs‘ name is NOT Steve. We still say to each other and we laugh. Hoo, it was funny.

Not funny:

Fast-forward to earlier this month when I had a great freelance opportunity within my grasp. All that needed to be done was firm up some details and I’d be writing for Enpundit by Monday. I responded with glee to the email I received saying that I was a great candidate. “You bet I am, Amanda!” I thought to myself as I hit send.

But then I didn’t hear from her. Monday was quickly approaching. I had so many ideas of what I could contribute. What happened? Maybe she went out of the country. Maybe she’s super busy. Maybe I offended her? Crap. Some recessed brainwave told me to check the email I’d sent her. Maybe I’d missed something. I looked at her sign-off: it was from Amber. I’d missed something all right.

NNNNNNnoooooooo. I was immediately plunged into a slow motion movie scene. I. called. her. by. the. wrong. frickin’. name. Are you effing kidding me? I’ve spent the two weeks since kicking myself on a regular basis for my duncey-ness. What an idiot! What a buffoon! What a fool! This was me:

Oh, Amber. I was SO looking forward to the job. It was so ideal. It was so interesting. It was so ME. See, I got it right this time! I did!

Hello?

Time to briefly cheer myself up with a related scene from one of my favourite movies:

What a difference a day makes

Wow, the school year is off to a grand start. OK, I’m being selfish.

It’s actually because I’ve accomplished a bunch of crap that’s been needing to get done. With Soph at school all day, mom gets to play get stuff done:

The grass was a disaster after the drought we had over the summer, mixed with the lack of attention we’d given the lawn. So, it needed to be weeded, raked, seeded. Check.

The garage needed to be swept and the shelves we acquired from friends who moved away were neatly placed along the back wall and stocked with the crud that was collecting on the floor. Done.

The shower floor needed a great big scrub. Yup.

Still on my list of pre winter accomplishments:

A very nice armoire given to us by previously-mentioned friends needs to be refinished or painted. Haven’t decided which (I must first consult Pinterest).

Paint the dining room.

Would like to paint the kitchen/family room.

Get some extra contract writing work. That really belongs at the top of the list.

And I thought only my mind made up $%@ like that

This photo has nothing to do with my dreams. Although I hate being chased, thankfully I don’t have dreams where I’m being chased by a thug, monster, dinosaur or perfume sample lady.

It’s funny, the things you find out from people – especially your best friend – after you’ve known each other for, like, ever. Actually, I’ve known my best friend for her son’s entire life and he’s 19 years old. So for him, that’s kinda forever.

We still have conversations that divulge new info about one another. Recently, the topic has been dreams. More specifically, the topics in the dreams. What’s also interesting is finding out you have the same type of dreams.

Who knew that we’d both dream about…

Contact lenses, for example: a couple of weeks ago I had a dream (that I’ve had before) in which my contact lens had suddenly become so big that there’s no way I was going to be able to fit it into my eye.

Bathroom stalls: why are the stall walls so short? You’re there sitting on the John and there’s no privacy from anyone else in the room because the walls only reach up to seat height! This is a particularly stressful dream for me. Hmm, I wonder why.

Confusing school schedules: it’s the morning of the first day of school and I have no idea where my classes are, I don’t have a copy of my schedule and for some reason I can’t get to the office to get some help, like some unseen force is preventing me from physically getting there.

What’s my combo again: I graduated from school a long time ago, but for some reason I still have a lock on my old locker at school and I can’t remember the combination in order to get any of my stuff back.

Curlers: my friend doesn’t have this one, but I have a dream where I’m waiting for the school bus at the end of my (very long) driveway and suddenly I find that I’m still wearing my curlers. Why don’t I just take them out? That would sure solve the problem, minus a hairbrush of course. What is it about our minds that stop us from resolving that one final step of a dream?

What recurring dreams do you have?

Writers write, right?

Sometimes when you work your mind develops a calmness that spurs new thoughts and inspires further creation. It makes what you’re doing worth it and makes you want to do more. Like this sunset I photographed in Mazatlan, Mexico, it looks peaceful on the outside, but is deep and full of movement underneath.

Right this very moment I’m doing something that I realize that I enjoy: writing. “But, you have a blog and you’re a ‘writer’,” you say. Ya, I know but maybe it’s because Boobs is out of the house and he brought Soph along with him; I’m sitting properly at my desk and not on the couch, therefore invoking the ergonomic gods to help me work; I’m playing all the songs I like on iTunes through my very nice sounding speakers while I work; I can take a break every few minutes to check my email, Facebook or Kijiji (which I am also addicted to). And it all seems very easy, seamless, pleasant, even.

Why don’t I do this more often? Well, I would if I had more than one freelance assignment every other month. In fact, since Soph is at school full-time one of my goals is to attract more business (somehow – but in a mainstream, healthy way so get your mind out of the gutter).

Something else that will be a nice change is that I’ll be able to submit my work early, rather than on time. It’s due tomorrow a.m., also inspiring me to accomplish more with my day tomorrow and not just one thing on my to do list. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, there’s more weeding to be had, dead grass to be raked, grass seed to be purchased, pillars to be sanded and painted, furniture to be refinished. When I have the time (and don’t have the distractions) those are all tasks that I can make a little nicer by bringing my iPod along, taking my time and just keeping my thoughts to myself and not have to discuss/argue/bargain with anyone under the age of 7 while I work. I can just think, do, hum along, and be.