distractions

Technology and Me

I may work as a Virtual Help Desk Navigator but that does not mean I know a lot about technology and computers. I’ve watched The IT Crowd and I know that you should always try turning it on and off again before you call tech support. So needless to say, technology and I are not always friends.

I had been working on TAK on my Samsung Tab 10.1 for a long period of time. I would write on there, and then save a copy on my laptop.

There was a problem, however, and it forced me to realize I am not up to speed on what is out there. Because of this, my SD card in my tablet somehow corrupted only the file my story was in and has made it impossible to retrieve it. I have a copy on my laptop, but I feel like something is missing. It’s been so long since I could just sit and write I can’t even remember what I was doing in my story. I thought I had over 100 pages of work but when I look at what is on my computer is only 57 pages of typed information. Now, there very well could be the same amount of work and it’s just that the tablet displays it differently because of the screen size and whatnot.

However, after a conversation with BSP (Bespectacled Smarty Pants) ages ago he was asking me why I don’t write in a Google Doc? And I was like, Yeah! Why don’t I write in a Google Doc? So this morning, because I have an office again, I copied everything I had on TAK on my laptop into a Google Doc.

There is, however, a downside to this.

We use Google Docs a lot at my work. Like, I have it open all the time because chances are if there is a document someone wants to talk about on my team, it’s a Google Doc. This means that my story is at my finger tips at my work place.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’ve already been feeling the motivation slip away lately for a variety of reasons. This could end up being dangerous.

On another note, Mindful Musings #51 was my 300th post! YAY! Thanks to everyone for reading and sticking with me for these 3 years. Please keep coming back!

Let’s end on an awesome note!

Cat crazy

Like a BOSS

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

It's Almost Winter Break Time!

The best thing about working for a post-secondary institution is the winter break. My office is closed on the 24th and we don’t return to work until the 4th of January. This gives me lots of time to spend with my family and a nice long break to chill, bring in the new year and just relax in general. Lots of sleeping in will be had and hopefully the kids will be happy to have us home.

Sometimes they get grouchy when we’re  home too much. They probably get as tired of us as we get of them. It’s good to have that space and that time without each other.

I haven’t been writing very much in the past little bit. Things have been a bit insane with the holiday season, the kids being sick and the husband stressing about school. I haven’t been to kickboxing in 2 weeks which is pretty crappy for me. Hopefully I can make it this Thursday like I want to!

I have been looking into the idea of yoga or Tai Chi or something. I need to be more zen. A lot of my issues are I’m too riled up and don’t know how to relax properly. I’m not very good when I have to do things like this on my own because I’m easily distracted by everything I need to worry about. There is a yoga studio not too far from my house that has led meditation. The problem is the cost is something I can’t afford at the moment.

The husband is still waiting on a payout from his previous job. It’s already 10 weeks over the quoted time. Which is annoying as hell. It’s expected, but annoying.

While I was packing up the gifts I made that need to be shipped I asked my friend if she wanted any pictures of my kids. I feel I have to ask because I don’t want to just force pictures on people hahaha. She’s my best friend and she was all excited for pictures. I’ll have to send some to my in-laws and ask if they could print them out. I suppose I could just go to WalMart and do it, but the cost! THE COST!

I will need to print some photos out for my dad as well. He’s asked for some and really, he doesn’t have any. It’s weird to trust in him and send him pictures when it’s been so long. But as the least crazy of my parents and the only one willing to be an adult, I’m okay with it. I don’t have any pictures of him so the kids don’t know who he is at this moment, but that’s okay. I’d like our relationship to get a bit better before I start telling my young children of a grandparent they will probably never see. That’s what happens when you live provinces away. It’s too expensive for us to go out there and I doubt he’d be coming out our way any time soon. He does have responsibilities and children to look after.

But I digress.

I was thinking of writing another short about Edessa, the one of the main female leads in TAK. I wrote about her family before in Skeletons in the Closet (Remember, this story has crazy amounts of objectionable content) but I think telling the story on how she left the family would be good as well. There won’t be time in the main story to get that out there.

So sit tight my pretties, I shall work on it!

ALSO! THIS IS POST 200!!!! Thank you for reading with me!

Miso-Happy-4

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

I Came, I Participated, I Left

If you’ve been following me at all lately you’ll know that I was going to a group therapy meeting last week for people with Depression and Anxiety.

I was hella nervous going because that’s my anxiety and it’s just ‘normal’ nerves at that point.

It was a nice place. It took place in an old house in a library. There were couches, a fireplace, and books. Obscene amounts of books. The people there were really nice. One of them is going to be our facilitator going forward.

Will I go back? I don’t know. I learned that there are those out there struggling with something I can’t even begin to imagine. While I am certain that my issues are very real, I do not have to be on disability. I am not living with any parental figures.

I came to understand that I need more than just a group discussion. I need personalized plans. I work better that way. I was able to go to kick boxing for the first time in a month and I felt absolutely fresh afterwards. I think a lot of my issue was the fact that I was under immense pressure with no outlet. I have managed to convince my husband to allow me to keep my subscription for my kick boxing class. As long as I go at least four times a month it will pay for itself.

So where do I go from here? Perhaps I need to make contact with my employee assistance program and source out a personal counsellor. I don’t think I need intensive therapy like I did in university and I also don’t think I require medication.

The pressure I am under is immense and real. I need real tools to combat the concerns I have and someone external to hold me accountable for completion.

It’s a long and potentially slippery slope that I’m on right now. But I can climb it.

In other news, we’ve taken one of our vehicles off the insurance and I now walk home from work. We’re trying to save money while we wait for the payout to come. As you may also know, I live in Canada. Which means it’s freaking winter right now. Goddamn is it cold! I have to pull my snow pants out this weekend so I don’t freeze on my way home. Good thing I have a tolerance for the cold. It’s not a super high one, but it’s  better than most people.

Also, using a gift card my in-laws gave me for my birthday I got a perm done! It’s already fallen out but the remaining body looks fabulous. I am still happy with it.

In the meantime, work continues to be done on TAK. Just little bits here and there. Puttering along. Keep your eyes peeled for a new short! I should have that one done next week!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Demands of the Trade

Since I started freelancing I’ve been writing more and more….interesting things. I have done product reviews, I have done articles on tech support and skin tags. I have a job coming up where I need to write 8 individual articles about Home Renovations to fit the style of the 8 destination websites. And they’re due in 25 hours.

I know I can’t pick what I write about, which is kind of sad. I’m not established enough to do something like that and I don’t even know how I would go about doing that. I have applied to do an intern-ship writing for a site that I actually use and enjoy. They won’t review the application until the deadline is up, which is in December and it’s not a paid position. But that’s okay. The more experience the better.

I guess today I’m just feeling overwhelmed when it comes to writing. I have personal writing I want to do, freelance writing I need to do and writing for work that I need to start thinking about.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of a break and the articles aren’t due for quite some time. It’s the occupational hazard of the craft. I’m sure many people would agree with me on this as it can be crazy.

I submitted a draft blog-style post to my co-workers for them to pick apart and suggest changes for. I know they would only be giving suggestions from an unbiased and constructive viewpoint but it still makes me nervous. I wonder how much they are expecting and I worry about not meeting those expectations.

It will get better and I will get more confident. I suppose it’s just been a long time since my writing skills were desired and potentially respected.

I will brave the storm and see where this takes me!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

This is actually a test

I noticed I was having some issues with my Facebook plugin so I’m hoping I fixed them. This post is really just to check that.

In other news, I am hoping to get a Microsoft Surface! With the keyboard/case thing! That will really allow me to get back on track with writing TAK. In the meantime, if you need a fix, go here and check out my short stories.

Bear with me while I work out these kinks in life. Thanks for sticking with me! Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Glutton for Punishment

So I’m not going to harass you about the contest I entered *(but you can vote here if you want: http://ow.ly/Lyuxg & http://ow.ly/LyuyW :P)*

I took a break from book stuff and did something for me yesterday.

I attended my first kickboxing class in ten years.

I learned some things about myself during my one hour class:

  1. I got old. When I say ten years, I mean actually ten years. I was 22 the last time I participated in kickboxing.
  2. My stamina has fallen miserably low.
  3. I still look good kicking the crap out of stuff.

I’m going to make this a twice a week venture so that I am not as horribly sore (like I am right now) after doing the class.

With my husband going back to school in September and wanting to work, I’ll also need to review what nights I do it on. Right now Sunday and Thursday are my days of choice. I hope to keep teaching on Monday and Wednesday. That leaves Tuesday and Thursday to kick stuff. If my husband gets a job where he works on Thursday nights we’ll either need to hire a babysitter (ugh. Spending money NO) or I’ll have to switch up my class. It’s actually really affordable too. The start up cost is about $50 when you consider wraps, gloves and the payment for the first class. Afterwards, it’s about $38 a month for twice a week. So I’m pretty stoked for that. I’ll have to cut out Starbucks and only get some when I get gift cards and such. I haven’t had a Starbucks in a month or two anyway so I’m well on my way.

If I decide not to volunteer (and it’s looking that way) I can focus the rest of my free time on TAK and get that sucker up and running.

Until then, I’m going to try not to wince every time I need to move the mouse…….

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Spring Break Freedom

This year Spring Break has a special meaning for me.

Not only does it mean I have an entire week off from teaching, but it also coincides with the long Easter Weekend we have here in Canada.

Starting next Monday I only have one full time job I need to worry about. No lesson planning, no marking papers, no developing assessments or reviewing projects. This means when my work is done at 5 pm I get to go home.

This means I can spend more time with my children. My eldest, who is almost 5, has been acting out a LOT lately. It’s getting really stressful and tiring dealing with him. He’s not happy, I’m not happy, and that just means bad things all around. I tried to stem off some grumpy behaviour last night. We made some cookies but I screwed up the recipe since I wasn’t paying attention. I made SO MANY COOKIES with this recipe and he ate one of them. I’m not sure if he liked it at all. I had my husband eat one to see if it was really that terrible. He had one bite, said it was “okay” then threw the rest of the cookie out.

Bye-bye self-esteem. Hello Parent Guilt at feeding my child a subpar cookie. I have more dough in the fridge and now I don’t know if I’ll make them. I’ll see if he eats another one today and what his reaction is.

The other good news about this Spring Break is that I can devote some time to my book. I will probably need to reread everything I’ve written (again) since it’s been so long. I have another idea for a short but I can’t remember some key details (sooooo bad) so I need to reread it anyway.

Anyway, I am going to get back to work. Need to do my job! But thank god for 15 minute breaks!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Time Keeps on Keeping On

In my quest to craft my new work I have, admittedly, forgotten about Black & Red. It has been a very long time since I sold any units and most of that is because a) It’s not my best work and I know that plus b) I haven’t been promoting it as much as I probably should.

I’ve been so wrapped up in writing my shorts for TAK as well as my everyday life of being a full-time working mum Black & Red has fallen by the wayside.

I woke up this morning to something interesting, however.

Apparently, in January, I sold 2 units! This caused me to log in to my dashboard with KDP and I realized something.

Black & Red has been out for nearly two years now! Isn’t that amazing? It’s amazing for me!

I have a friend who is anxiously awaiting the release of TAK. In fact, she is probably the only one who looks at my Facebook page and every now and then she will post that she wants the book. She doesn’t come and read the shorts because they are not enough for her, as she’s said.

I can’t stop writing the shorts, however. I am finding myself spread very very thin and I don’t have the time I want to devote to writing the chapters. I am trying to save myself from forgetting about my characters and their lives completely by writing the shorts. I find it is a good way for me to flesh out the characters and their personalities in ways that would maybe take too long to do in the actual story.

Today I will be writing one of the shorts while I am at work during my breaks. I brought my outline so I can look at the maps and remember what my characters look like (because I can forget these things I have descriptions and such written down).

Stay tuned. This short I’m working on is about Aldric, one of the main characters in TAK. I believe it’s the first time I’ve written a short that includes one of my leads; who are surprisingly both male.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I CAN SEE THE SUN

The temperature on my cellular device currently informs me that it is 0°C and it feels like -4°C.

Do you have any idea how awesome that is?

This weekend I put my winter jacket away and got out my lovely purple trench coat. It’s going to get wet and gross out so I’ll keep my nice shoes and boots in the closet for a bit more. But I can see the sun. We had daylight savings this weekend which kind of threw off my internal clock, but the fact remains that it is light when I leave for work now and light when I get home. The sun isn’t lying as much any more. Sure, it’s shining out there, smiling happily on the frozen lands of Canada, but it’s also emitting heat at the same time! It’s getting better here folks.

Now I just wait for the day when it’s shining brightly but the temperature has plummeted. I bet it’s going to happen. I am NOT bringing back my winter coat. That’s like admitting defeat. I’ll only bring it back if the temperatures go below -20°C.

In other news, I think I’ve finally decided how I want to end TAK. I’ve got a nice ending all lined up in my brain. Now I just need to work on the middle, the guts if you will, and reach that ending. I’ve taken some notes so I don’t forget and now that some of my weekend has opened up I can work on writing again soon.

I’ve sort of overloaded myself lately and when the term ends I think I need to stop teaching for a bit. Not completely, but maybe only a weekend class instead of during the week AND on Saturday. That’s taking a lot of my time right now. But I need to save money for my husband to go to school.

AHHHH! THE DILEMMA! I think I’ll figure it out though. I always do!

Stay sparkling in that sunshine!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments

The 'Mom Guilts'

Today, I find myself suffering from a supreme case of the ‘mom guilts’. I’m sure “Dad Guilts” exist as well, but I’m a Mom so for the purpose of this post I will refer to this feeling as the ‘mom guilts’. (Yes, I am well aware that ‘guilts’ isn’t actually a word).

I have two children. One will be five years old in May and the other is just 15 months old.

For various reasons, I have been working since my youngest was 3 months old. It was mainly evenings and weekends until September when I returned to work full time. As such, I have this sense of guilt that I have abandoned my youngest son.

I have held my current position since December 29, 2014. I have yet to receive a full pay cheque. Between day home issues, family illness and child illness I haven’t been able to put in a full two weeks of work. This week, I am extremely close! After today I have just one more day!

My youngest and I have been suffering from a head-cold for the past few days. Starting yesterday he was a bit warm. Nothing too serious. I took his temperature and it remained under the fever threshold. Other than being grumpy, I thought he was fine. He has this cold plus his two front teeth are coming in. It’s a given he’ll be grumpy in that situation. We went about our morning as usual and I noticed he was a bit more clingy than usual. That is usually a sign of impending illness. But as a working mother, I took him to the day home and went to work anyway. It was at this time that the small pangs of ‘mom guilt’ started to grow.

At about lunch time I got a message from my day home provider. My youngest was warm and wouldn’t stop crying. Just kept crying for an hour. Nothing she could do would calm him down. Cue the swelling of the ‘mom guilts’. After some discussion we agreed to give him some baby advil and if it didn’t get better she would let me know.

It didn’t get better.

I ended up having to dispatch my husband because I have been trying so hard to get a full pay cheque at this job I didn’t want to risk losing time. Cue the excessive swelling of the ‘mom guilts’. I work a half day tomorrow but I have to get our dog licensed with the city and register my eldest for Kindergarten because NONE of these things can be done outside regular Monday-Friday 9-5 hours WHICH IS WHEN I WORK and all of these things must be done face to face. Nothing by mail, over the phone, or online.

I also worked my other job last night. Because I am a crazy person and I work two jobs. So there I am, working away, while thinking of my poor little son and my poor husband and the undoubtedly horrible situation. At this point the ‘mom guilts’ are so big and insane that I can barely stand it. I rush home from work and the kids are both in bed and my husband is obviously worn out and he too is suffering from the ‘leaving-work-early’ guilts’.

Last night my poor little son was up every hour. At 4:30am he was definitely up. His little body was on fire and he was so upset. Thermometer said he didn’t have a fever but he was not normal. He had poor little shivers and that little suck in of breath that happens when they are too exhausted to fully cry. We gave him the last of the advil we had and let him sleep in bed with us. My husband called in to work and he is home with the kids as I sit in my office, consumed by the ‘mom guilts’.

I’m sure other parents have felt this way. We feel terrible when we can’t be there for our children, especially when they are suffering. Especially as the mum where I feel it is my job to be that nurturing provider of safety. I am glad my boys are very attached to their dad right now. But it makes me sad that they don’t seem to miss me even a little bit. I feel horrible that I’m putting my job before my kids, or at least it feels that way. The fact that both boys would prefer to cuddle their Dad and not me also makes me feel like I failed some secret test somewhere that grades my performance skills as a mum.

Maybe it’s just been a bad year so far.

It’ll get better, right?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments