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Oct. 11th, 2014


Home, for Certain Values Of...

I spent last week in L.A. with my aunt and uncle, who are going through some medical stuff, partly doing logistics (what on earth does that paperwork actually mean? and let's not double or triple book all the doctors' appointments), partly doing errands (yes, I will remember the butter pecan ice cream), and partly cooking and making my aunt laugh.*  Around the edges, working on revising my resumes (one for admin, one for writing/editorial), and cruising job boards.  And I'm doing a re-read of all the Tolerance books, so as to create a bible of sorts, and making furious notes.  So no writing this week, but earnest attempts to pre-write, if such a thing exists.

And now I am back home.  Danny is in L.A. at a trade show (it's like summer and smoke, without the Tennessee Williams dialogue), and it's just me and Emily, who has suffered from the comings and goings of the family (first Older Daughter moved out.  Then I went to Europe.  Then Younger Daughter moved away to college.  Now I keep skipping off to SoCal.  Then I come back and Daddy goes.  What's a doggle to do?).

I will go off to the NorCal RenFaire today to see Julie and her sweetie in the cast.  I will attempt to do some more work on my resume (hate hate hate).  I will feed the dog.   I will revel in being in my own house for a week.  Sufficient unto the day... at least until the Tuesday after next, when I go rocketing off to L.A. again to see what mischief my relatives have gotten into in my absence.

*it isn't my cooking that makes my aunt laugh, really.

Oct. 1st, 2014


Looking for Work in All The Places

So I'm doing this job hunt thing.  Which is tedious, and goes against every instinct I have about self-promotion.  Plus, nothing like job-hunting to make my question my actual competence--for any job I'm interested in, my first thought is, "I don't have the skills," and my second is "I won't be able to do it."  Regardless of what my past experience is (generally, if I don't have the skills, I acquire them).  Plus: while I'm a hard-working sort, I'm not wildly ambitious.  "There's unlimited growth potential" sounds great if it means I get to keep learning stuff and adding to my responsibilities, but I have no yearning to be a manager (I've been a manager.  It was not All Fun).

So I'm doing this job hunt thing.  And I'm trying to figure out how to position myself.  The best functional description of my skill set is "stage manager/cat herder, with extra points for tact and communication."  This does not work well with HR search engines and HR people in general, at least not until you get them on the phone or in person.  My current headline on my resume is "Editorial and Program Specialist", which says nothing much (the outplacement counselor suggested it as a placeholder--apparently "administrator," "coordinator", and "professional" are all overused, be they never so true).  And that's another thing: it seems that the best way to do a resume in these degenerate times is to write headlines.  No paragraphs, because everyone is reading resumes on their phones while waiting for a train or a latte.  I find this a little daunting, 1) because I am not sure I can compete with a latte, and 2) coming up with bullet points about my accomplishments and skills makes me want to hide under the bed.

What I want, really, is a job I can do well, that has room for expansion and learning, that I can do for the next 5-10 years.  With a decent cohort of colleagues, and a product or service that I believe in.  What I'm getting is calls and emails from companies that think I'd do a hell of a job selling insurance.  Of all the things in the world that would grind me down, it's working on commission (plus: insurance.  No).

So I'm doing this job hunt thing, and eventually I will find a job that works.  In the meantime, I'm using my writing to motivate my getting out of bed in the morning, and as the bonbon at the end of a couple of hours of job-search and resume wrangling.

I promise, this is the last kvetching on the subject I will do here.  Really.

Sep. 29th, 2014


The More Things Change

And as it turns out, I will not be going to L.A. this weekend (giving my long-suffering and wonderful aunt a little time to not-be-hosting-helpful-but-right-there-underfoot-me).  So I will throw myself into work!  Of which there is plenty to do, God wot.

And Onward

Convolution, for a small, brand-new con, was fun, with some thoughtful and interesting panels (including the one I did with Juliette Wade and Marie Brennan on Social Worldbuilding, which wandered all over the landscape of the topic but was both fun and useful).  The SFO Hyatt was designed, I believe, by M.C. Escher: handsome in that "let's use marble, marble looks expensive" way, but with more escalators and elevators and You Can't Get There From Here layouts than one would expect.  Good food (though expensive--the Sunday brunch, that profit center of high-end chain hotels, was $46 per adult.  I did not partake).

And today is a mixed bag of proof-reading a book for BVC, working on my resume, trying to get in some exercise (I have been better than not of late...but I also can't find my Fit, and so cannot tell if I made 10,000 steps yesterday).  And tomorrow, back to LA.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

And Becca, having decided she's too homesick not to take advantage of Fall Break, is doing a road-trip home from college in two weeks: three days driving, two days here, three days driving back.  So I'm cleaning her room (I had promised to do it) and have unearthed a few dollars of coins, her driver's license--she got a duplicate when she couldn't find it before she went off to Florida), several glasses, a couple of spoons, and more dog hair than one would think a single short-haired dog could be responsible for.  I'm kind of looking forward to squishing her a little, but I was also kind of expecting more time to tidy up up there.

Ahh, well.

Sep. 19th, 2014


Okay, Then...

Back at home.  Did a few hours of jobsearch homework (imagining where I want to be in 5 and 10 years... Alive, and not living in a refrigerator box, for starters), did some tidying of the guest room, took Julie and her sweetie out for lunch and got her to do some banking stuff with me.  Now trying to decide whether to 1) exercise, 2) bake cookies for Becca, 3) go to the market for dinner stuff, or 4) all of the above.

Maybe take a nap?

Sep. 13th, 2014


It's Been 543 Days...

I started back with the Wii Fit yesterday.  Yes, I know it's dinosaur technology, but it's dinosaur technology that works for me, and I know its quirks, and I can abuse Jeremy (as I've named the nice young imaginary fellow who takes me through my Yoga and strength training exercises) as much as amuses me.  Life, and my former job, did rather cut into my training schedule--when I logged on yesterday I was told, a little snippily, that it had been 543 days since our last training session.  I think Jeremy has been disappointed in me, but not wanting to say so.  And the Fit was celebratory this morning when I had lost .1 lb (yes, 1/10th of a pound) overnight--and solicitous, in case I was starving myself.

Our robot overlords are creaky, but they're forgiving.  I gave it half an hour this morning, on the theory that I will do an hour on foot with La Dog this afternoon.  Every day, in every way...

Sep. 7th, 2014


Life Goes On, Brah

I'm going back and forth to L.A. during the week through the month of September (helping relatives).  And doing job-search and resume updatery and all that stuff in between.  And still doing some writing here and there, because really.  And I'm toying with the idea of doing a Kickstarter to help/inspire/require me to finish Sarah Tolerance #4.  Oh: and cleaning the house (by which I mean attempting to restore order to the house--we have gone through the files in the basement, and the books, and established many many piles of stuff: shred, toss, sell, send to a safe home.  We still have some things to do down there.  But already I'm thinking of moving my organizational efforts to the guest room/office (formerly the room that was Becca's room before she moved upstairs).  Bec used to migrate downstairs when she wasn't feeling well, leave everything in a state of chaos, and then return upstairs to her aerie.  Major reorg is called for.

So I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth, honest.  I'm just a little random these days.

Aug. 29th, 2014



Going to be in and out of the area for the next couple of weeks, going down to L.A. to help out my aunt a day or two each week.  Job hunting all the while (thank you, internet). But also, I'll be at Convolution in at the Hyatt Regency SFO in Burlingame on September 26-28.  Viz:

Friday 4-6 20 books to launch in to space
Saturday 10-12 Book View Cafe
Sunday 10-12 Reading #4
Sunday 12-2 Social Worldbuilding

Aug. 25th, 2014



Today, I spent an hour and a half on job-search homework (the outplacement counselor assigned an exercise, and I'm trying my best to do it thoroughly and with a good will), wrote about 500 new words on The Fate of Women (the current lousy title of Sarah Tolerance #4) and will shortly be going in to the guest-room-formerly-Becca's-other-room to start wringing order out of chaos.

Getting into the habit of getting stuff done again after the long, gorgeous sloth of France and England.

Aug. 19th, 2014


I Am Home

Not surprisingly, I am in post-Worldcon "geeIhadaswelltimenowwhat" torpor.  Have unpacked the bag, separated the to-wash from the to-be-cleaned from the can-be-refiled-whence-it-came stuff, and must now take the cleaning to the cleaner so that I can pick up milk so that I can have coffee.

Emily was so overjoyed to see us--Danny had been in Sarasota dropping Becca off at college--that she practically dislocated her tail with wagging, and has been dogging us from room to room.

Worldcon was terrific: met people, was on two good panels, saw any manner of people I do not normally get to see, talked writing, had an informal BVC get-together-and-natter session. Also ate and drank (they had very good cider on tap in the Fan City Bar.  Managed to squeeze in some London in the interstices, including the Globe (great production of Anthony and Cleopatra), and walking around in my usual Sarah Tolerance haunts, getting the measure of distances and such.  I do so love London.

And France, as mentioned earlier, was wonderful.  Possibly beyond wonderful.  Who do I know who's got money and a birthday coming up and wants to host a big house party?...

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October 2014



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