Oct. 22nd, 2006

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First of all, great news! Congratulations to David Schwartz on the sale of his novel Superpowers! You rock beyond the telling of it, and I can't wait to purchase multiple copies for all my friends and relations.

At a party on Friday night, I ran into my editor at the children's press, to whom I owe a book. Instead of saying, "What the hell are you doing at this party? You owe me a book on Monday! Get to work, bitch!", she said, "Hey, I'm going out of town on Monday so you don't need to get me that book until next week." This is a mixed blessing, of course. It meant a more leisurely weekend than I'd been envisioning, but it also means that the book will be hanging around for a bit longer when I'm ready to be finished with it. Still, it's hard to do this freelance stuff and the teaching stuff at the same time, so I'm grateful for a bit more breathing room.

Now that my class prep is mostly done for the semester and I'm heading into marking hell, I've had a bit more time to think about what exactly I want to do about this whole employment thing. I've been glad to have the teaching work this semester for financial reasons, particularly with a strike still looming as a possibility (though there are some hopeful signs that a strike will be averted in the end). It just consumes too much time, though, and produces too much stress, and on top of that it's not really the kind of teaching that I would like to be doing. I have more and more ideas for projects piling up, and I just can't get to any of them if I'm teaching and trying to do these freelance work-for-hire projects at the same time. The freelance work-for-hire stuff is more fun and less stressful than teaching, and it's actually been coming in at a more reliable pace than the teaching work, which is always at doubt until the last minute because it's adjunct. Once the strike's decided and Jeff gets the salary increases he's owed, I should be able to spend some time trying to pick up another client or two and develop my freelance practice, which will give me time to write my own projects as well. Those of you who have freelanced are probably thinking that this is crazy talk, to imagine that I'd have more time to write if I freelance. But those of you who have taught realize that I know of what I speak.

I'm starting to feel considerably better, thanks in part I think to some supplements I'm taking, so thinking about employment strategy seems less overwhelming than it did. I got a book from the library this weekend called The Wealthy Writer: How To Earn A Six-Figure Income As A Freelance Writer. Jeff saw the cover of this and said "Six figures! In what, pesos?" That made me laugh. The book mainly focuses on freelance writing for corporations, particularly in PR and advertising - both of which kinds of writing would bore me to death - but it did include some interesting information about business planning and strategies. I don't know if I'd recommend it for purchase unless you're really interested in corporate work, but it might be worth borrowing if you're a writer trying to figure out ways to make money with your mad skillz. It also gave me some good fodder for thought about my website, which I've been wanting to redesign for a while now - one more projects for the list. For the first time in a while, though, I'm feeling optimistic that I may actually start getting to some of that stuff in the new year.
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I meant to add, I've been watching the BBC Robin Hood series, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I had my doubts about Jonas Armstrong's head-tilty "I'm Sexy And Dangerous" schtick at first, but he's growing on me. Marian is woefully miscast, sadly, though fairly well-written, but the Sheriff is hilarious and wonderful. I'm not sure how much my enjoyment is based on just seeing another Robin on screen who sucks less than Kevin Costner, and how much is really due to the merits of the production. Caveat Emptor, in other words, for I'm far from an objective party when it comes to anything Robin Hood. But if you have an interest in Robin and/or The Loveable Rogue, it's definitely worth a viewing.

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