Tag: Everyday Life

Renewal?

…maybe it’s a refresh, instead.

Had a birthday yesterday, which, while a tiny bit imperfect, was exactly what it needed to be. It was a landmark birthday, one of those they make cards for, and it went ok, which is a first for landmark birthdays for me. My 16th birthday I literally drove cross-country with my dad, moving station with him, and starting over in high school with one year to go. My 18th was fine, although my parents forgot to call me. 21 was fine, there was some alcohol involved, but a bit downplayed, because of my partner. Same with 25. I had a kid at that point, which was interesting. Trigger Warning – light discussion of domestic abuse ahead.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

30 and 40 were both clusterfucks. My ex was a controlling abuser. He picked a horrible, day long fight with said oldest child on my 30th. My 40th I put my foot down and reclaimed my time by going out with friends. So that night I was treated to an all night diatribe of yelling, in front of the kids. All the things I wasn’t doing, why we were “unevenly yoked” … always with that phrase. There were lots of other less palatable words and phrases, but that was something he used to say a lot. Complete bullshit. I’ll spare you how I came past that. It’s an old story, but one I’m slowly walking through. Getting by and moving on…

Anyway, flash forward to yesterday, which was a day of relaxation, and just a nice day. One child brought me decadent little delights and fun literal interpretations of things (chocolate cake with pumpkin cupcakes on top – who knew?!), one child bought me Indian food, one wrote me the best little rap song. A good day. Not dramatic, but what I needed.

It’s been a long year. A year ago today, bad things culminated. Not my fault things. There are things I could have done differently, but ultimately, I put down boundaries, and experienced consequences. That’s fine. My dad (and last living parent) died, too. And a beloved cat. So I’ve done a lot of messy grieving in the last year. I’m not getting younger, and the world doesn’t stop turning, but I finally feel like I can step back onto my own path again, and make my own way into the future.

It’s good to have my life back.

Do Over

Big changes. More word soon, for the bots that drop by at least. Hollering into the void over here. Invisible me, invisibling. I’m in the process of moving where I invisible, though. Writing this in a whole new state.

Surveys

Y’all, are you aware of all the companies that pay for surveys?

I’m hustling for income right now, so I use a few of them. Enroll is not worth your time. Mostly they ask for free demographic information from you, and if you get a survey, it’s literally just a few cents. There are some better ones with actual UI feedback, but I’m a bit wary of them. However, now that I have some gain issues with my web cam sorted out, I might do them more and then review them here. Mostly, right now, I do Survey Junkie. Thought about linking them, but they’re easy enough to find and don’t need my little link to make bank.

The gist of it is, you sign up, give them all your demographic specifics, and then they have a dashboard of surveys you can try for. Mostly they are a pittance – 20 minutes for 70 cents, that sort of thing – but if you are efficient, you can make a little petty cash fairly easily. Not much – basically half a tank of gas with a little bit of effort, maybe once or twice a week.

Inside My Mind: Hollowness

I’m struggling to stay afloat right now. Still in between things. Things keep looking like they are headed in the right direction, and then something happens to protract or lessen and here I am, back in limbo. My life is quiet, and frequently unbordered. I don’t know that that is good for me.

© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons

The internet is a lot bigger than it used to be – literally, obviously, but metaphorically, too. Used to be, maybe someone would see you, but these days, if you don’t have an infrastructure past your online life, odds are, noone is going to see your scribblings on the wall. That’s a crap realization, but irrelevant, too. I guess if it doesn’t matter, why not keep writing, if for no other purposes, so that I can see that writing on the wall.

Notes on WordPress – Pressing Frustration

I’ve yet to get started on my big plans for this site. Part of it’s Real Life™ – I’m managing one my offspring’s last year in high school – he’s virtual schooling at this point, which is fine, but he’s always here, and this has been a hard year, so I get interacted with a lot. Which is fine. But finding that balance between meeting the needs of a traumatized kid and focusing on my work – it’s not going as well as I’d like. Add to that the issues this year inherited – it’s been a challenge, to put it mildly. I’ll own that – it’s My Work, as an old friend of mine would say.

On the other hand, I’ve been working on getting this site up to speed as a professional reference point/anchor/place to share my skills and expertise. It’s proven a struggle, between the lack of WYSIWYG that WordPress is replete with and my growing realization that my website hosting here is not exactly a good value for the money. Right now I have a personal website via them, but accessing anything that might help me monetize is completely inaccessible. Adding the ability to add any widgets at all takes a professional level account, which would make the yearly total cost for my website between 300 an 400 dollars, depending on bells and whistles. That’s a lot right now.

As a former web developer I’m frustrated, because I know roughly how much the hosting for my website is likely to be costing WordPress. I understand the potential security concerns related to embeds, but, frankly, I suspect that they are less genuine security concerns for a monster webhost like WordPress, and more a polite excuse for another nickel and dime. Which is why I’m so frustrated right now. If I had known exactly how difficult it was going to be for me to set up my site – factoring in my background in website building – and how little I could accomplish with the money I pay for my domain and hosting – I probably would have looked elsewhere.

Long story short, I’m here, and at least for now, I need to stay, at least through the renewal of my services next year. And I’m writing, doing work in the background. It’s just going to take me a little bit longer to get up to speed.

Soon, though.

Adventures in Reviewland

2020 is certainly a year for the books, but for me, not one for books. One of my greatest frustrations this year as a bookseller has been a lack of time or energy for reading and reviewing books. Real life was hard, somehow reading was also hard.

One of the perks of being a book buyer is ARCs, or Advanced Reader’s Copies. They tend to slowly collect around booksellers, like dust woolies. I’m half convinced they breed in the dark. Because I have tons of them. Absolutely oodles. That image to the left is not my bookshelves, but somedays it feels like it could be.

One of my plans this fall is to dive back in, see what I can discover. Most of what I’ll be reading will be books for children and young adults – young readers’ literature is a passion of mine, and has been a professional focus. Not all of it will be, however. I have a few books I’m reading now – you’re welcome to check out my Goodreads to see what I have on the burner currently, but my next book will come from these stacks. I think I’m going to just start with what’s on my rolling cart (I have one of those, too, also full of books.) and on my bookshelf, and use a RNG to pick my next book, counting from the top left of my main to read bookshelf. I might just call this whole project “RNG Reviews.” ^_^ What do you think?

I also have a lot of F&Gs to catch up on – Fold and Gathers. These are picture books that have not been bound, but do contain finished art or mostly finished art. I was thinking I could do those too, on Fridays as I can. Since I’m coming up with corny names – “F&G Fridays” sounds good to me. (Side note – I once got accused of being profane when talking about F&Gs. Interesting conversation, for sure. XD)

New Life Ahead

Well, in true 2020 style, I’m off on a new adventure. I’m on sabbatical from the indie bookstore I’ve worked at for a decade. The turn of the year will mark the end of my time with them. Time for a change. I’m excited about the possibilities. And it is refreshing to have time to read again. This year that’s been hard to come by – I worked 61 days in a row during the lockdown, so I’m taking the time now to stop and look around, to gather myself and my resources and get ready to move onto to something new and exciting.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Day to Day

Welcome to my corner of the world, in all its glory/inglory. This is where I work, every day, right now. This is my social distancing. It’s an odd space, reworked to be a hangout spot, but now where the Pete the Cat lives and where I work from home for the bookstore I’m employed with, at least right now. I don’t know how long it will last, given everything, but I’m trying to help limp things along. I love the light in this room.

The somewhat former teen hangout I call my office right now.