Books!

Jul. 14th, 2017 12:08 am
ravens_quill: (Default)
The McKinley Book Sale starts this weekend. It is a week-long book sale run by the Friends of the Library organization, wherein a high school cafeteria is filled with books (plus, DVDs, cds and art) of various genres.

It's heaven wrapped up in an introvert's hell. It's basically a tradition with my family (well, my dad, older sister and I, plus whoever feels like it, the latter of which changes from year to year) to go the first day, right when they open. You can early choice of the books laid out because it's the first day, but also, people line up that first day, and it very quickly fills up, so you are scooching and squishing past people with boxes full of books.

Even with fans running, it is a tight fit after a little while, and your humble introvert here has to start deciding what's more important scouring each shelf for books in her desired genres, or getting away from the people. I try to hit my top 2 or 3 areas first, so if they get crowded I've already searched enough I feel okay moving elsewhere, and the other sections aren't so desirable that I feel I might lose out if I skipped them once I've reached maximum peopley-ness.

I like the rare book section, though those tend to be a little pricier and frankly, Hawai'i is not kind to old books. Then I hit the sci fi and fantasy books (usually I try to have a list of 'books I hope I can find' or a 'books I already have so make sure I don't buy doubles,' sometimes I bring both lists--then proceed to not look at them because juggling a box of books, other people, books everywhere plus lists is occasionally asking for trouble). Sometimes I look through the psychology books, often I roam the art books (so few art nouveau books, but I love it so, the only bit of asymmetry I really like), and the art pieces themselves are usually nearby, so I duck into that corner, which tends to be a little emptier of people. Gives me some breathing room, plus interesting art to look at which I cannot afford.

Last year, I opted to bring just my large fairy tale tote bag. Easier to squeeze past people, self-limiting because it can fill up faster than a box, and a good test for how sturdily made it was. A pleasant surprise I haven't snapped any of the stitches ~knocks on wood~ but it's nice to see something I made hold up to heavy use. I'll probably bring it again this year.

Honestly, I have no space for more books. But it's tradition, and I have a few books from trilogies or series missing the rest of the titles, and you never know what you'll find there. Sometimes I find something I wasn't looking for at all, and it strikes me as a perfect gift for someone.

So my goal for tomorrow is to finalize a list of books to be on the lookout for, plan a bit of a budget, and see if I can't organize things to make a bit of space for the ones that'll be coming in. Plus find a mantra I'll actually listen to so I don't overbuy everything because it's got a pretty cover.

Book dragon? Me? Noooo. >.>  Okay, maybe a little.
ravens_quill: (Loki)
I mentioned last post a job interview. It was last Tuesday. It went...okay. It was, what I am coming to think of as a "let's get the basics out of the way" interview. The interviewer was the HR, not anyone doing the specific hiring. She made it seem like there were a like of directors and managers looking for job positions to fill in the area I was looking for work (admin/clerical), but she also seemed a little inattentive, which she said was sleepiness caused by the sound of the rain.

I dunno, though, someone being sleepy during your interview doesn't bode well, even if she said she'd pass my resume and whatnot on to the managers and she'd call me back to set up a second interview if any of them were interested.

I know I am in a tough spot because my work history is heavy on editing and teaching (both of which, is my eyes, would count as "clerical" experience), and the 2 years of customer service a bit farther in the past. But I feel like I have the skills, and I keep thinking, "Just give me a chance." I want a job where I can stay with a company for a long time, something that is enjoyable and challenging, full of good people and supervisors who appreciate the work their people do. A company where I can grow within it. I don't feel like that should be asking too much, but no matter how close I get, eventually it's a no, or silence, and I'm not quite sure where I'm going wrong.

Anyway, so this past Tuesday I went to meet with a staffing agency, also connected to them through the job fair in mid-May. The person I'd met, who had my info and had scheduled this meeting, never showed. I was finally introduced to another recruiter, who knew nothing about me and didn't have anything prepared (because even they didn't know why the person I was supposed to meet wasn't there. Finally, the receptionist texted her, and when this other recruiter came out, she said the missing one was at a doctors appointment). So it turned into another "let's get the basics out of the way" with the very small addition of my asking why the process is like. I learned so little from that meeting, it doesn't feel worth the bus fare I had to pay to get there. And then she said the missing person would call me later that same day, and I have yet to hear from anyone at that company. Not a call, a text, nor an email.

So that's sort of frustrating. I'm inclined to shrug and say, if they call me, they call me. And if they don't? To keep searching on my own in the meantime.


***


There's a tumblr post I like, where friend A told friend B to "man up," and friend B didn't like that and asked them to use a phrase that wasn't so gendered and sexist. Friend A came up with "Fortify!"

And I like that.

I hold that in my heart for those moments when I can feel my anxieties pulling me back, tucking me into a ball that says "it's not going to work out anyway, so why even try?" "Fortify" is Gandalf holding his ground, it's refusing to be pushed over and made small by the Balrog of my anxieties.

So when something disappointing happens, especially as I try to find a FT permanent job, I say to myself "Fortify," straighten my shoulders and find one small thing to do to move a little closer to my goal.
ravens_quill: (MurderWalk)
I have ideas for posts.

* I want to write about Marvel and comics and the ones I'm loving and the story-arc-that-shall-not-be-named because it is despicable and should have been dropped ages ago. But there are other titles, like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and The Unstoppable Wasp, which are doing so many good things.

* I also want to write about 12 Monkeys. Honestly, Syfy (still don't like that they changed it from Sci fi, but oh well) actually has some pretty good original shows--Dark Matter, Killjoys and Wynonna Earp are all returning in June. But the new 12 Monkeys season was released in its entirety over this past weekend (Fri-Sun) and I think that is an interesting choice in addition to the show itself being an intriguing take on time travel, a genre I like but have a lot of trouble with. My biggest issue is with time paradoxes, which the show directly addresses.

* I still want to do a photo-heavy how-to breaking down my method for creating a new sewn item, but the one I'm in the middle of is a wallet, which I've never made before, and I'm a little stuck on how best to sew it. I do find that, tricky as it can be, I much prefer making my own patterns, though. I bought a pattern for a simple skirt and that was such a hassle, trying to sort out directions and symbols and just cutting the pattern pieces.

* somewhat less focused on posting, I want to try the bottled galaxies again. I have some bottles with screw tops that might work better than the corked bottles, and I found a few tips for making the cork ones more secure/air tight, which will hopefully fix the problem I had of air escaping and the water evaporating. I also want to get reinvigorated with editing TIZR and writing TIC and my ace romance.

* Lastly, update on life: I went to a job fair last Wednesday, gave out my resume to a few places, got some applications, and received a call regarding an admin position for one place. The interview for that is tomorrow at 9. Awkward to get to via bus, but not impossible. Not my ideal job, but might be something that could lead to more satisfying work. I also have a few other positions to actually finish applications on, including an academic advisor for what was a for-profit college, but is now a non-profit.

Wish me luck and look back here in the coming weeks for talk of comics, TV, and crafting (I have a baby quilt to sew for my cousin's first child, she's tiny and adorable and you can never encourage awesomeness too soon).
ravens_quill: (Amethyst)
But it is a holding pattern.



I haven't felt like I've much to blog about lately--nothing in my life has really changed in quite a while--I wake up; have coffee; get on the computer to check email, twitter, dw, fb; reply to emails as needed; do editing work as needed; spend more time on twitter and tumblr and fb and whatnot, sometimes netflix; search for jobs I think I'd like and be good for and have the required experience and education; sometimes make dinner; usually water the plants; watch TV; take a shower; go to bed.

I haven't gone out with friends in quite a while, except a brief Starbucks trip with a friend to catch up on things. I look for jobs but I still struggle to push past a motivation block (possibly depression-related, it's a little hard to tell, because the driving symptom is just the lack of motivation/energy/willpower to do things or complete tasks). The anxiety hasn't been too bad (the combo of anxiety-depression is irksome: anxiety "you need to go, do, make. Find a job, get your place. Move, move, move!" and depression: "why bother? who's got the energy for any of that?" and the 'This is fine' comic).

~sighs~

I do want to break out of the holding pattern, though.

Tomorrow there is a job fair. It tends to be more lower-level positions, fast food, manual labor, teaching at the 'get your degree in 18 months' colleges, but that's not all that's there. I might not find anything, but then again, I did get my last job through one of these. It was a teaching job, and I did it well and had that job for five years. Now I want to move out of teaching (not necessarily education, but away from the classroom side of things at least), and preferably towards a communication job possibly related to marketing. So maybe I'll find something there, or maybe I'll break through the block just by interacting with potential employers and pitching myself to them. Maybe I can come away from that and be motivated to spend the following day actually applying for the jobs I find.

Fingers crossed.

The social anxiety I sometimes have to deal with is rearing its head, saying the bus ride will be crowded and uncomfortable, and it'll be hot, and I'll sweating the whole day, and the fair itself will be crowded, and the idea of being surrounded by people makes my chest a little tight.

But I try to turn it around and tell myself it's the next step towards making the life I want. A job I like going to every day, not the easiest work but satisfying, the energy and motivation to keep writing in the evenings and weekend, getting stories published here and there, maybe getting some of my novels published. A home of my own, not cluttered but full of little wonders. When people come over, there's a small detail in every corner to draw their eye--an old book, a figurine, a piece of art, a sculpture. Objects that seem like they belong, but also seem to hold a little bit of magic in them, ready to tell a story.

That idea is worth fighting for, so the next step is find a full-time job. So today I am researching the job fair to see what all I should bring (a folder with copies of my resume, of course, and a bottle of water, but maybe something else?), get a sense of what companies will be represented there, and prepare for tomorrow, when I will haul out some business casual dress clothes, hop on the bus and head for a job fair.
ravens_quill: (My name is Agent)
I pretty much lost this week to being sick. I tried to do a few small tasks, but I've learned from far too many past experiences that if I -can- rest when I'm sick, I need to take advantage of that.

I've had too many occasions when I would say, "Well, I've got this test, I've got this project. I'm scheduled for work, I gotta go," and I push through--take some DayQuil, pack a bunch of tissues, maybe some juice, a pack of lozenges, then I get to work. But that's the sort of attitude that also led to a 3-day cold turning into 3 weeks my senior year of high school.

I used to only get one, maybe two colds a year. I didn't get sick much, and the worst of it was over after three days. I'm not sure when that changed. If teaching, thus being in an AC'ed building five days a week for five years with its recycled air, was part of it. Or if it's more recent than that.

I definitely have had plenty of health issues since December, more in a small space than usual.

I don't like it.

It makes my head fuzzy, which makes me grumpy and feeling unproductive.

Today I am in the dry congestion phase, so hopefully, with enough rest and medication today, I will better by tomorrow. But that doesn't stop from getting on the computer and seeing how much I can do before I feel too crummy to keep going.


My 2017 motivation, so far: Even a little step forward is a step forward.
ravens_quill: (Overthinking-B99)
Heh. Not really. But I have been thinking about my life and how to make it more productive, more organized.

Maybe that desire for organization is linked to my (recovering) perfectionism. But I figure it couldn't hurt. 'Control the things I can control' and all that.

So this week, I've been doing just a few simple things to reconnect with my own thinking process.

1. Writing notes longhand. I always have notebooks near at hand, and I find that writing something down, more than just copying and pasting it into a Word doc, or even typing it up somewhere, helps me to remember whatever the information is, and also cements it as a plan a little more, maybe because I remember it better.

2. Drawing a line on social media, especially Twitter. It's so easy to spend the day scrolling through and refreshing Twitter when I'm on my laptop, but eventually, I need to draw the line and say, "Okay, I'm getting offline/off the computer now." And then follow through. Yesterday I did that and got some work organizing my bedroom space in the afternoon. Today, my plan is to wrap p with the social media stuff then switch to writing. But saying it and putting it out there helps hold me accountable. Because even if I turn on my phone and check the Twitter app there, I am less inclined to RT and tweet a bunch.

The real trick is maintaining the habits that are most useful.
ravens_quill: (Default)
That subject line is paraphrased from a comment I left on someone else's DW. Perhaps a bit of hubris, but I liked the sound of it.

And frankly, it's a little too apropo today.

On the surface, my life hasn't changed much in recent months--I am still on the job hunt, still writing albeit in fits and starts (partially due to finishing the first draft of a novel and coming down from that last big push, and partially due to just being stuck in my current WIPs), and still crafting when the mood strikes me (I -want- to craft more than I actually -do-, because sometimes desire doesn't coincide with motivation and energy).

But below the surface is a roiling undercurrent of emotion. Frustrations with family members, turmoil with friends, and dissatisfaction with life in general (to say nothing of the horror of our current political climate). I don't know how to push past it, and it's hard to move forward when the other people involved are seemingly content to keep things as they are. Saying something just tends to be brushed off or misinterpreted.

It makes me feel small, quiet, invisible.

I don't like it.

Sometimes saying that is enough to mentally gird my loins and push through to productivity, doing something hands-on or creative, a bit of a work I can be proud of or happy to have completed, at least. But the times it doesn't work, I find myself going in circles.

Today is a circle day. I'm spiraling a little bit. But trying to crawl out of it and break the loop by relishing the happiness of others. Seeing someone else enjoy a thing or (re)discover joy is a good feeling, too.

~deep breath~ Yeah, gonna hold onto that thought for today, and break the cycle.

Also, it's now raining. Pouring, really. I love the rain.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
ravens_quill: (Default)
Like many, I am making the move from Livejournal to Dreamwidth. It was perhaps a long-time coming, but the site isn't what it once was, both with regards to its user terms as well as the overall feel of community. So many had already left and now more were doing the same, and I knew my time there was limited.

I first joined LJ because my best friend was on it and using it for role-playing, and they wanted me to be able to read the rpg posts because we were both story-tellers and readers. But it didn't stay that way, a place where I was but the observer of others.

It became a home for me online, a place where I could control who saw what, so I could feel comfortable sharing things there that I'd be hesitant to share elsewhere, where the options were making the platform totally private or totally public. But I could also shares things there that were hard to talk about "in real life". I've always been an introvert, but online, I used to be very shy, too, and wary of saying anything personal. When I first started posting there, it was surface sharing, things about my days, school and the like. I was an undergraduate, a freshman at that, and it was the friends I made online (one in particular) who helped me open up on LJ and begin to find my voice.

I'm still an introvert, but some of the shyness melted away. I can speak up more about how I'm feeling and what I want, and it was that community which helped me get there.

But people grow, things change, and we move on and forward.

Like many, I can be found in numerous places online, going by many names. I have a writing/hobbies blog and an editing blog on blogspot, I'm on twitter, tumblr, facebook and instagram. I am looking to make DW my main blogging platform.

Expect to do lists, analytical rants about TV and comic books and movies, the occasional art or craft post, and a look into the processes of job-hunting, writing books, and editing.

I'm Sabrina. Nice to meet you.

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