Coming Up For Air

Coming up for air

Sup?

Things have been pretty busy for me the past couple of weeks. I didn’t want to let this blog sit for too long without an update, but neither do I have time to do multiple updates, so I’m putting it all into one blog post. Warning, it may be long-ish.

Freelance Stuff

Good news: Quite a few projects going on. One that I’m really enjoying right now is doing mod reviews for a little game called Minecraft. I think I must be the only freelancer online being paid for this kind of thing. Most of my other projects are small but consistent, and that’s just what I need right now. Especially considering…

Bad news: … that a feature magazine article I wrote back in March has not yet been paid. The editor is ignoring my emails, even the ones with a copy of the contract that SHE gave me. Considering my options. More on this as it develops.

Baby Stuff

I think Avi is going to grow up to be a performer or something. She loves dance videos and imitates nearly every move she sees on-screen. In fact, she already predicts her favorite videos and beats the performers to the punch!

Creative Writing Stuff

I’ve been doing a lot of work on my first novel. I’ve written others before, but I’m hoping this will be the first one I actually COMPLETE. Things are looking good so far. I’ve set a fairly aggressive daily writing quota (for me anyway), and if I can hit that 3 times out of 5 I’ll still be in good shape. And before you ask, yes. I did hit today’s quota, and then some. Which is why I have time to blog.

Flash Fiction Online Stuff

Still slogging through the slush pile. There are days when I dread logging into Submishmash, but being able to find that one gem in all the muck is a rewarding experience.

Day Job Stuff

Have I ever done a post about my new job? I don’t believe so. Well, let me just say that In-house Marketing is a far cry from Agency Marketing. A far, far, FAR cry. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at this many spreadsheets before in my life. It’s all important though, and I do think I’m getting the hang of it.

Okay, I think that’s everything. I’ll try to work on a more topical post as my schedule warrants.

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Hiatus Highlights Ep 3: Freelancing

I’m happy to report that the business is growing. I am expanding my client base and stocking my portfolio, and things are looking up.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the past few months:

  • Craigslist is full of scammers, idiots, and charlatans…
  • …but it’s also full of great opportunities.
  • Regular, low-budget work can be a bigger source of comfort (and income) than large but rare windfall projects.
  • Clients DO appreciate good customer service.
  • Customer service is more than being polite. It’s being a client’s ally.
  • You CAN outgrow clients. And SHOULD.
  • … but never burn bridges. Who knows, the client might grow with you.

And stuff I have yet to learn:

  • Learn to say no. No. No. No.
  • Figure out a foolproof way to collect on invoices that doesn’t rely on people’s good will.
  • Working until 4 am doesn’t make you more effective. It just makes you sloppy.
  • I REALLY need to start making clients sign contracts.

Stuff I’ve discovered:

  • Freelance radio. One of the best freelancing podcasts out there. It’s a must-listen for any self-employed creative.
  • Grammar Girl. Well, it’s not a recent discovery. But she still gives great tips on how to use proper English.

Voila! End of recap. On to our regularly scheduled programming!

Hiatus Highlights Ep 2: Fictioneering

My fiction has probably been the biggest casualty of my schedule.

I’m still managing to make the required number of critiques to keep my writing group from kicking me out. I’ve stopped writing and submitting short stories, though. Not out of frustration from my lack of success (well, maybe a little), but because I need to devote what little time I can scrape together to moving the novel forward. I’ve had to resort to some pretty drastic solutions there, including writing two chapters at the same time–one at home, and the other at work during my breaks (I write it in the Google Drafts page. Not very safe, I know). The good news is I’m having fun writing it. When it works, it works, and my writing group has been really enjoying what they’ve seen so far. The challenge there is keeping it consistent.

One a side note, one of my writing friends has recently gotten a story published. It’s a charity anthology named “The Gruff Variations”, which is a collection of stories based on the fairy tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. The anthology was edited by Eric James Stone, and his story will appear next to a bunch of published novelists like Mary Robinette Kowal (Shades of Milk and Honey), Rick Walton (Bullfrog Pops! and other children’s books), and Dan Wells (The John Cleaver trilogy). I’ll post a link to the anthology when it comes out. Congrats Joe!

Hiatus Highlights Ep 1: Avi

Remember last post when I said a lot happened? Well don’t worry, I wasn’t going to leave you hanging. This here is a 3-part recap of the stuff that’s been going on since last I posted. And I’m starting with Avi’s update because I know she’s what you’re really here for. 😉 Don’t worry, it’s the same for me too.

So without further ado.

Things that are new:
–Now brushes her teeth willingly. Maybe it’s because her parents keep cheering like mad with every stroke.
–Her new favorite food is Flossie’s blueberry and banana muffin. She can’t get enough of it, and neither can the rest of the fam.
–All of her pants are now capris. Talk about growing into style.
–We can afford to let her run around a “safe zone” without worrying she’ll tip over and hurt herself. Now if only we could expand that zone to the entire house…

Things that stayed the same:
–still talkative
–still afraid of strangers (grandparents be warned)
–still hyperactive
–still hates her high chair/car seat
–still cute (just more so)