Sunday, July 26, 2009

DOH!

So I'm NOT getting a sono on the 7th, but (happily) on the THIRD (3rd) of August, so a week from tomorrow, we are on an 8 day countdown people!! :)

Got a lot of graphic art work to do for my lovely MK directors (go to http://www.taylorink.blogspot.com/) to see what I'm working on!) so I'll be coming and going on here but will definitely post when we find out the sex of the baby, don't you worry yourself none! ;)

And strangely, I've gotten a lot of votes so far for Renee as a middle name, which is actually MY middle name and I've never really liked it. (sorry mom!) It's alright I guess, but I don't feel any burning desire to name a daughter after myself. It's hard enough being a woman, let her have her own identity! Men, on the other hand, seem to like the tradition. Go figure! Morgan Renee. I don't know. I like Claire a lot, it's feminine and I think counterbalances the strength of Morgan, which could potentially be a unisex name.....hmmmm.

Also, everyone thinks it's going to be a girl. I was right with my pregnancy radar with both my boys and this pregnancy has been very different---I can almost feel the extra estrogen rushing through my veins sometimes, I swear!! I have been much more emotional this time (as Charming can attest to!). So (sigh) I am going to throw caution to the wind and say I think it's going to be a girl too! I guess we'll see huh? :)

How 'bout you guys? Did you notice any difference between pregnancies if have both boys and girls?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Drivers Anonymous

I'm beginning to wonder why people aren't given psych evaluations before they can get their license.

I don't think, first of all, just to alienate all my female readers and friends, that women are very good drivers. Many of them think that multitasking skill that works so well at home applies to driving and ....just about anything else as well. Let me tell you straight out: it doesn't.

You need 2 hands on the wheel, people, and 2 eyes on the road!!! No rooting through your purse while you're driving! No cell phone use, or, God-forbid, TEXTING, while driving!

I drive a lot back and forth to MD from here in PA, about an hour or so each way, several times a month to see my family. Now usually my husband drives, but sometimes I end up going when he's out of town and I curse myself (and all the other drivers) the whole way down! Here is a list of my least favorite drivers and what I would yell at them if I had a bull-horn on my roof:

1. Mrs. Oblivious: You are driving in the left lane. But only going 5 miles an hour faster than your right lane companion. Perhaps you are even contributing to a Mexican roadblock. AND this goes on for miles....and miles......and miles.....look up in your rearview once in a while my friend!! Can you not feel the angry stares of the 20 cars behind you, boring a hole in the back of your head!! (bonus points: you're blinkers on....double bonus: AND you're on your cell!!) Bullhorn Bellow: Get the eff outta the way!!! (geesh!)

2. Mr. Indecisive: You're in the middle lane.....with perhaps a wheel in the left....no, no, a wheel in the right....nope, you're definitely in the middle lane.... I speed up to get around you before some part of your car is imbedded in mine. Bullhorn Bellow: I hear your lane is nice this time of year!!! why don't you stay there?!

3. Mr. I-Just-Woke-Up: You're driving too slow. But then you notice about 6 cars have passed you in the last 3 minutes, so then when I try to go around you (of course), you start to speed up and I am suddenly unintentionally involved in an illegal street race! When I slow down, due to a car I'm about to plow into in my lane, you slow down as well, so I can't get back in the left lane behind you! Grrrrrr!!! Bullhorn Bellow: Just get over already!! You don't belong here!!

4. Mrs. Omigod-Don't-Tailgate-Me!!: You are driving the speed limit IN THE LEFT LANE!!! And when I come zipping up the lane, you slam on your brakes. I sigh and slow down to 5 miles below the speed limit. You cautiously speed up again, so I do too, but as soon as I do: BAM! You slam on the brakes again. Sometimes, repeatedly, just to get the message across. Bullhorn Bellow: You are TOO SLOW!! GET OVER!!

5. Mr. I Am Too Good for Common Courtesy: Yeah, you know who you are! You have some sort of souped up vehicle and you are crazy zig-zagging through traffic, sans blinker, revving your engine, tailgating and slamming on your brakes. Bullhorn Bellow: You are gonna kill someone!! I am gonna call the police, cuz I can't make a citizen's arrest from my car!!

6. Mrs. I Don't Know What Merge Means: So I am in the right lane, because my exit is coming up next and you are in the acceleration lane, as it is officially known, on my right. But instead of accelerating and watching for an opening, you're just going to cruise along, assuming I'm going to get the hell out of your way when your lane runs out and you just gliiiiiide over into my lane, written invite or not. Bullhorn Bellow: Do. You. Know. What. Merge. Means!?? You make way for ME, not the other way around num-nuts!!! Speed up or slow down to MEEEERRRRGE with already flowing traffic!! oy.

That night at dinner, my family and I had a lively and hysterical discussion about lousy drivers. We all initially agreed bullhorns to yell at lousy drivers would be a lot of fun (I think my father initially suggested this!) but only if WE were the only ones with them, so they couldn't back talk us....or threaten us with death! ;)

Let the Countdown Begin!!

Ok all, I was at the doctor's office today! I am now 19 weeks and one day, so closing in on completing my 5 month mark. But more importantly, I was scheduled for my next ultrasound: August 7, 2009! That's 3 weeks away people! Oh, the agony!!!

I think we've settled pretty firmly on Logan Edward for a boy and I feel very comfortable with Morgan for a girl...although we did not of course intend to choose rhyming names! I haven't decided on a middle name for a girl....Morgan Rose maybe or Morgan Claire....Princess informs me that Morgan Claire does not flow...but I'm thinking, "I don't care!" lol So I'm going to put up 2 polls this time---help me finalize a girl's name (just in case! 50/50 chance!) and "bet" on the sex of the baby! Sorry gang, but no prizes. It's not that kind of blog! ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don't Kick Me When I'm Down....

I'm feeling kinda defeated right now.

Which is unusual for me, let's face it! I have a "bring it on!!" kind of attitude towards most things. I have been practicing my positive thinking and challenge myself to constantly change my perspective and approach when life throws me a curve ball.

I've admittedly been through the ringer a bit the last two years; many steps below, say, getting cancer, but much worse than a really bad hair day, let's say. And I keep plugging away. Maybe I'm just being especially hormonal right now. Maybe I'm really tired. Maybe I'm really feeling the claustrophobia of being alone too much. Whatever it is, I'm really fighting the desire to just curl up and have a good hard cry.

You see, I'm having a hard time getting readers for my story. And I understand it's not up most people's alley---science fiction is not everyone's thing. So, in line with my changing perspectives and all that, I decided to go find me some scifi readers. I thought sffworld.com would be perfect and I posted 11 pages of my story. I waited and waited and after a week of no comments I stopped checking. I just remembered it this evening and excitedly checked it after 2 weeks since my last check-in. 72 views I saw! 72 people had looked at my manuscript!! so I check and not one rated it or commented on it. Not one. I'm stymied. Now what do I do?

I HAD been looking up some great stuff online, on a website I had just discovered via an awesome book I've been reading all week entitled: Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger. I was considering trying to save up for a writer's workshop, which can be very expensive, but now...I don't know. Am I going to be overwhelmingly critiqued? Are they going to rip me a new one? I'm sure they know how to give constructive criticism, but I don't want to spend 2 or 3 days defending myself continuously---it puts me on edge! lol Or have someone approach me to let me down gently that perhaps writing isn't my calling? I mean, what do you do when your target audience doesn't have anything to say about what you've written?? sigh.

I need a hot shower and a bowl of ice cream. Or Pb&J? Maybe both... And my women. My Women are coming tomorrow, my mom and my big sis are coming for lunch. They are great sounding boards for me.

I'm sure I'll be a whole new woman in the morning though. Just wanted to drop a line in that vast universe we call the internet....anybody else having an existential crisis?! lol

Have a good night y'all! ;)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

NEW BLOG!!!!

Ok People, followers, groupies, friends, relatives and hangers-on,

I had the brilliant idea to start a blog in lieu of a website to promote my business cuz, well, it's free! :)

So go check out my new blog: http://www.taylorink.blogspot.com/

There you will find all sorts of examples of what I can do! It's mostly my graphic art, but it's a start!! Please feel free to link to that site and tell your friends! :) As soon as I finish getting my ducks in a row and am really ready for advertising and have answers for questions that potential clients may ask me, I will be out and about, searching out clients.

Thank you for all your excitement and support! I really appreciate it!

Oh, and don't worry, I'll still maintain this personal blog as well! (I can hear your sighs of relief from here!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Totally Decaffinated!

A little while ago, I posted on Twitter (which is linked to my facebook account and therefore all those messages show up as my "status" on Facebook....yeah, I'm technically savvy like that! ;) )that I was going to try to start another business. Now, truly, I expected everyone to be like, "AGAIN??!! WTF?!! How many freaken businesses are you going to start?!!" But, to my delight and relief, everyone just wanted to know what was my next project! Go me for picking such great friends....er, um, I mean, thanks you guys for being so stinkin supportive, it means a lot to me!!

First though, can I just say, I started with Mary Kay and the other 2 gift basket businesses were branch offs from that, just trying to be more creative and get some more income. One failed because I made an error in judgement when I picked my business partner, the other sort of died a quiet death because we started right when the recession began and after several months of no sales, we figured, people in our areas weren't looking to buy high end gift baskets at that time. Go figure.

At any rate, what has always been constant in my life, through aaaalllllll my jobs, is creativity. Literally, as soon as people caught wind of the fact that I could draw or do more on word than just type, I was getting asked to do all sorts of things! And I'm no creativity guru on the computer, believe me!! I don't use ANY fancy schmancy software (no idea how to use Illustrator or Photoshop. No, really, I don't!!) but I've designed, over the years, for my variety of employers at one time or another: logos, flyers, signs, banners, brochures, ads and coupons, newsletters, postcards for mass mailings, hand-drawn bulletin board sets and more! Every job. I've done things for child care centers, a college library, educational supply store, gift baskets, Mary Kay, security system my hubby worked for, even a mom's group!....I cannot think of one employer who didn't take advantage of my skills. And take advantage they did, because of course, they were paying me for the job they had hired me for, but I was doing a plethora of other jobs! Typical. I've also designed my children's birthday invites and created all sorts of forms to use around the house to keep me organized. It's a failing of mine: I love to see words all crisp and neat in print.

That's really the second part of this business decision.

The first part is that once I stopped babysitting for my BFF, I missed the income (as did my spreadsheeted family budget!). I found a job at a local college library, which seemed right up my alley, for once. It didn't require a library science degree! Which is amazing! I loved working at the college library at Methodist University. Whenever I start looking for jobs, the first place I go is the public library employment section, followed by local book stores. Love books, love to read, will travel. :) Of course, I'm thinkin' being pregnant might be a strike against me (albeit a subliminal one: EEO laws prohibits them from NOT hiring me just because I'm pregnant!) So I'm in a mental place all military wives will be familiar with: Hopeful but not counting on it.

In the meantime, on a whim the other day, while at the library, I started looking for books on writing. I hadn't read any writing books lately and of course, finishing my novel is the perpetually second place project I am working on that I decided to bring more into the light. One book I picked up was Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger. She is 2 things I love: practical and organized. She has (and regularly uses) her common sense. Many of the things she has said so far are familiar (marketing yourself, you must have a time-management plan in place, getting editors is a numbers game, all very similar to what Mary Kay teaches as well as things I've learned at my various jobs....aahhhh, it's all coming together now!) and the rest is smart and laid out in a reader friendly, did I mention common-sense?, kind of way. And I'm only about a third of the way through!!

So, I'm going to be a writer. Which I already have been working towards doing. It's what I was trying to do at Helium.com, make money by writing, only I had too many things on my plate to really get it done! It's what I have a natural inclination to do: correct grammar and spelling (everywhere I go! I see the mistakes people, I see them!! MY mistakes are never intentional or from ignorance; I have typos. hahaha), wanting to change awkward sentences, etc etc. My hubby, after I pitched a few name ideas that weren't quite right, came up with: Taylor Ink. He actually came up with a play on words in like 5 seconds. I was impressed. I might make him my business partner....or at least my secretary....wait, he's a slob and all he would is sit around and drink coffee....nevermind!

But this poor man, my husband, my Charming, has now stuck with me through starting Mary Kay (which is not booming, mostly because I don't work it honestly! lol), then that other basket business which shall remain nameless, then Shining Star Gift Baskets, which went nowhere and now this. And you know what he said? He said, "I say go for it hon! Whatever you want to do. I think that's a good idea. I think you could do it."

That's why we stay married, people, that right there. He has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.

My business cards read: Proofreading and Copyediting. Writing. Graphic Design and Advertising for Small Businesses.

And that's what I'm gonna do.
Believe it. ;)

For those of you asking me how I do it, I'll tell you this: I prioritize every day, sometimes several times a day. And priorities shift. Most days, it's my kids. Some days, it might have to be something else. And I make sure my house is straight and organized but try to keep scrubbing, mopping and serious cleaning for the weekend. I work when I can. In the mornings, I try to get rid of some of the boys' energy. I can usually squeeze in an hour of work before lunch, work through nap, sometimes all through cooking dinner and early evening. Then, if necessary, once I'm in bed, I've got the laptop on too. You do what you have to do. It's about financially supporting my family and relieving some of our stress in the long run. So now, other things will drop off and I'll be writing more than I do now actually. And in this book, writing a novel is included as one of the many projects you can do as a freelancer, of course. She talks about time management, breaking down big long-term goals into smaller daily ones. I think I will do what she's done in the past: make a goal to work 40 hours a week on freelance but that 10 of those hours a week go to working, in some way, shape or form, towards the novel you want to write. It's that simple. I've now got a business plan that includes my book! How cool is that?!!

Here are some quotes I ripped from Julia Cameron's book Walking the Way that got me thinking and finally moving:

Discontent and disorder [are] signs of energy and hope, not despair. --Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood.

If you don't risk anything, you risk even more. --Erica Jong

Style begins when you seek and discover your strengths, then bank on them for all they're worth. -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

The way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom. -- Brenda Ueland


Courage---fear that has said its prayers. -- Dorothy Bernard

And finally, the necklace that my sister gave me for my birthday reminds me every day what I need to focus on as I put it on; it says: Follow Your Dreams. Thanks Stephie. Love you.

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