Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meditative Writing Prompt

Well... supposed to be  a meditative writing prompt, but what I learned during those few minutes that we were supposed to be listening to the sounds around us is that I cannot sit the fuck still. My feet twitched, my legs wiggled, my breathing was rough, my neck creaked. I wondered if Kathy and Meg could hear all the things my body was doing instead of being still and listening. I peeked a couple of times and both of them were sitting authoritatively still - their bodies silently controlled by willpower and discipline. I wondered if there was a timer Kathy should have set after she read the prompt. Surely, nobody could be expected to sit THIS long! Even now when I can sit and write my body doesn't like it... YET. I sit on my ass all day at work and feel like it is hard to get up and take a break, I am entertained enough by my tasks or my sneaky online article and social media reading to either make my body be still or it keeps my mind occupied enough that I don't notice each twitch and quiver.

I really think I need this vacation, probably could have done it without the tropical cruise, but time for my body to recharge, purge those tics and twitches, and my mind to really, really listen to the sounds around me.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I made this!

I'll take a photo when my half hour writing time is done. One of my new responsibilities at work is a Rentals Guide and its associated website. The first issue that I put together is for the spring quarter; April, May, and June. I completely admit that it is mostly a replica of the last issue, BUT I had to do all the computer paperwork and "logging" to get the pages designed and ready to go to the printer. There were a couple of ads that are "our" ads and I did edit them because they were too wordy or poorly punctuated. Before the next issue I want to sell more pages. At least enough to get the free pages out and have it all be paid content. It's pretty exciting and I feel motivated to do this not just to earn the money, but because I feel like I am doing something new and that I am learning new skills; the skills of talking to more people in person and the skills of preparing it for publication. The former rep who previously had done this publication retired. The last two weeks before she left she took me out to meet some of the people. That was nice and they are all very nice people, BUT she didn't really show me how to do the technical parts. She left her paperwork and some lists, and that's about it. It turns out that she and one designer, who has also left, had kind of thrown it all together and then she had an ad "coordinator" (assistant) do all the logging. But really, thank goodness.... because that assistant, who is now a sales rep, was there to show me the basics. I kept it all straight by doing it page by page and trying to pay attention to every small detail. I had every page logged and the designs updated and got every single page ready to send to the printer.... The printer rejected them all! The specs for the pages hadn't included the "bleed" needed for each page that made room to do the ads and cut the pages properly. Sigh... so every ad had to go back to creative and get reset a little bit to include that. Ugh.

After getting the print issue ready I had to go through the advertisers who only do the website and do the computer "logging" that would bill them for appearing there. I also went through every little detail on that. I found more than one active ad on the website, that as far back as I can see (almost one year) the advertiser had never been billed for it! When I tried to contact one of those advertisers all the emails were dead and the phone numbers only led to voicemail. I left messages, but I killed their ad! No free advertising for rentals. It's a huge industry and these huge corporations have come and built giant complexes of luxury apartments that have put all the local property owners out of business. I am not letting those billionaires in my magazine or on my pages for free! One of the pages that isn't filled by a paying advertiser is an ad for the very publication that it is in, ummmm.... if I don't get a paid advertiser for that I may try to write some content and get it approved. I think that is more interesting than a stupid self-advertising ad. Maybe something nice about the town itself that new residents would like to learn. or maybe something to do with renting, why one should get renters insurance or SOMETHING.

I made this too! ... not as in programming or anything, but as in using the template and making sure everything is current and is billed properly. Maybe silly, but good for me. I even helped the real computer programmer find a couple of bugs by testing out all the features so I could make sure I knew how to use them to describe to advertisers. I found that some of the features didn't work!