Six Things on Sunday

The weather: So far in March we’ve had 5 days of temperatures above normal, 1 day at normal, and 16 days below normal. This has pretty much been the pattern here in Portland since our big snowstorm in December. I’m getting tired of it. The plants are getting tired of it. We’re about 2 weeks behind as far as things blooming. The thing that’s really frustrating is the local meteorologists can’t seem to predict the weather even a day in advance. Today I had to cancel a landscaping client because they were wrong again.

My blogging class: I signed up to teach a beginning blogging class through one of our local community colleges. I’ve put about 50 hours into it, between coming up with a syllabus and creating illustrated handouts. So far only one person has signed up.

Watchmen: Go see this movie if you like violence and sitting in a theater for almost three hours. It think it was well done, but it’s not my kind of movie. Still, there were some truths. The Comedian (hunky Jeffery Dean Morgan) talks about how mankind cannot escape its own violence, an evolutionary reality I’ve often fretted over. Another character asks what happened to the American Dream, only to receive the answer, “It came true.” Yup. That pretty much sums it up. Just look at the state of the economy with AIG CEOs plucking bonuses straight out of taxpayers pockets. Look at the flawed belief that the value of housing could keep going up, and that there were always greater profits to be made, bigger toys to be purchased. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an expert in Eastern philosophy to see the impossibility of that equation. Any system wants to maintain balance, and there’s no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.

Landscaping vs. writing: It’s that time of year again when I transition from my winter work to my summer work. Transitions are never easy. There’s always some of the old business left to attend to, and it makes it tough to get the new business done. Beyond this, I’m tired of doing what I’ve been doing for the past several months and would rather be doing the new thing. Right now I’m trying to finish the re-write of my book Driven so I can submit it and get on to the yard work. It’s been slow going, mostly because I have so many other projects to deal with. Like my soon-to-be-cancelled blogging class.

Being overextended: With all my projects, I don’t know how I’m going to find the time to get them done when the weather gets better and I’m working in people’s yards every day. In addition to preparing for the blogging class I’m re-writing Driven, organizing my high school reunion, acting as editor for the Corbett Alumni newsletter and web site, participating in SCBWI and Willamette Writers activities (as well as three critique groups), and trying to build a platform, which involves creating two web sites. Every day I wonder why I couldn’t get everything done. I don’t think it’s unrealistic. After all, I have friends who do almost that much plus work 50 hours a week and have kids.

Reading: I’ve always considered reading to be a treat. The dessert I get if I’ve managed to clean my plate. But I’m trying to convince myself that it’s actually part of my job. You’re supposed to read the kind of books you write. In addition, being familiar with other author’s works is an important part of networking. Though all that seems logical, I’m still having trouble giving myself permission. I took the first step last week when I ordered local author Sara Ryan’s books from the library.

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7 Responses to Six Things on Sunday

  1. I agree that reading is part of the job. Too bad we can’t write off the books we buy on our taxes–what a fabulous deduction that would be!

    I’m sorry to hear about the blogging class, especially since you put so much time into preparing. I like to think that no effort is wasted; perhaps some of that material will come in handy down the road, even if the class is cancelled.

    And yeah…what is it with this WEATHER?

    Hope your transition goes smoothly…


  2. susanls says:

    Well, you could handle it the way I do. Never transition, read four books at once, whine about the rain, drink Diet Pepsi, and abuse your friends for fun or money…..


  3. Barb says:

    Well, I’m with you L. The Watchman made my seat sore. I sat waaay too, long. Fortunately we went to the REALLY cheap movies so I figured I got my money’s worth out of it.

    After I had a kiddo, I remember filling out a survey and it asked what my hobbies were. The only one I listed was reading. If I had a spare moment, I had a book in my hands. That’s where I learned that I didn’t have to finish a book if it wasn’t good. If I’ve made it a quarter of the way through, and I’m not learning anything about technique or enamored with the plot, I don’t feel guilty about not finishing it.

    Funny, how many years it’s taken to give myself permission, maybe I’ll adopt Susanls’s philosophy. More Diet Pepsi, please.


  4. Katy Skinner says:

    Don’t stress too much, Lisa. . . I don’t know anybody who works 50 hrs. and has kids and does that much extra activities. . . that would be ca-razy! Well, at least to me it would be crazy. Cut yourself some slack, lady!


  5. Laura Marshall says:

    I think you are doing a great job! You get way more done than you think you are.
    The class hand outs look great and think of it this way your ready to teach it anywhere now. Maybe an intensive two day workshop 🙂
    Keep smiling, laughing and sharing it helps to keep you going. 🙂


  6. Roxie says:

    Offer the class in summer term and in fall term. Spring term is slowest for picking up new classes. Look at the way Chrysalis explodes during fall term. Spring term? No newbies. Anyhow, it’s not like you have nothing else to do. God knows how much you can handle, regardless of how much you want to grab.


  7. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks for your advice and reassurance, everyone. At this point I don’t know where the blogging class stands, but I don’t regret the time invested. I learned a lot about using Word to illustrated create handouts, and I have everything ready to conduct the class when the time is right.

    Chris, are you sure you can’t write off the books you buy? One of my customers is an accountant, and he says I can write off my garden as a display garden, since I use it to attract customers. With networking and maintaining a familiarity with your genre being so important to writing, I would think that would be similar.


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