The word count this morning: 22,778. That's five thousand words shy of my goal for the week. Sigh. Of course I did write 5000 words, and that is *nothing* to sneeze at, I just wish it would have been more.
The worse (best?) thing is that I have a pretty good idea why I was having such a hard if it time this week: my stress level has been elevated through the roof because of my obsessive desperation to find a day job. The short version of my situation is that that I absolutely *must* be gainfully employed by February--I'd prefer to be gainfully employed by December or January. Gainfully employed for me means bringing home about $300 a week -- which really isn't a huge goal, so there's the good news. The bad news is that my degree is in a field where jobs are drying up faster than water puddles in the Sahara. So like it or not, I may have to go back to waiting tables... and I really don't hate it, I just hated it that the first call I got for an interview was from a place I do NOT want to work (I don't seriously know why I even applied. Lesson learned. Don't apply unless I honestly want the job.)
Complicating matters is the fact that I have a contract to write a non-fiction book; the project means travelling around Michigan and visiting haunted places (all open to the public), talking to folks, doing a little research, taking some photos and writing about it. I am TOTALLY geeked about this job! (And it pays!) It's going to be a much needed working vacation. But..there's just always a 'but', isn't there? It means I absolutely must have some flexibility in my scheduling for the next few months. I'm due to start submitting chapters by October, and the whole thing needs to be wrapped up by May 1st. I'd like to get the northern parts of the state covered well before the snow starts flying--but living in lower Michigan, a trek up to the Upper Peninsula *isn't* a day trip. I'd like to take a week/week and a half to cover the U.P., and northern part of the Lower Pensula, just to get the worst of the driving done with well before winter hits. And I did mention working vacation, right? After that, I can take two and three days at a time to cover the middle and western parts of the state and a day or two at a time to hit local spots--all which can easily be done while working a day job. But until I get the first bit of travel/research done... I mean, come on: "Dear Mr. Potential employer, I need the week of Labor Day off for Dragon*con, the ability to take a week or so off during Sept/Oct/Nov., a weekend in October for a Sci-Fi con, where I'm a vendor/panelist (thanks Christine!!!)--already paid for--ditto for a convention in February. But after November, I can work full time, if that's what you need." Somehow this doesn't sound like a good way to start an interview... but I don't want to lie and then start asking for days off or calling in, that isn't ethical or right on any level.
Which leads to a scary decision. I'm going to table the job hunt.
Well, sort of. I'm still looking for that perfect library or bookstore gig... I mean, come on, it's what I went to school for, no way I'd give up a good book job! I'll find a way to make it work with the travelling if/when I find it. But I'm going to stop being desperate and applying to everything under the sun. I'm going to concentrate on writing the sequel to Heart's Home and I'm going to write the best darned haunted road trip guide that I can write! (AND, I'm going to have fun doing it!! I went in for the job specifically because it sounded like fun. I grew up on In search of... yes, I'm old. Get over it.) I'm going to get back to producing art work, because I haven't done much of that lately, either. And in my "spare" time, I'd like to get back to that Wicca book that got put on the back burner last year--that came up while I was meditating/journeying on what to do. (Oh yeah, and I need to do more of that, too... sometimes I forget that I'm a witch/shamanic student ;-)
I've done several tarot readings (so has my housemate) on the subject, and some meditation/journey work... all the signs point to the same thing: Let go of my fear. Fulfill my contractual obligations (i.e. write the ghost book). And above all: Have Faith. That is not an easy lesson for a Capricorn!
As if I needed any more coaxing, I found a giant zucchini in my garden this morning... which I know must sound like a strange omen (well, okay, I *do* write m/m erotica... snicker...) but for me the meaning was clear. Harvest, bounty, hard work paying off... and the fact that I'm not alone. (Other families have "giant fish" stories--you know "the one that got away". Well, my family has the giant zucchini story, the fruit that got bigger with each retelling of the tale. And no, I don't take a giant zucchini in my garden as proof positive that I'm on the right track, what it probably means is that it got so buried in the leaves that I didn't see it until it was three feet long, but it gave me a laugh and a cry and think about my Uncle Jesse, and THAT made me feel better.)
oops, ten minutes to get dressed and out the door; as a total distraction from all of this, my wonderful husband is taking me to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes this morning!