Brick Walls, Top Gear, Hits and Misses

Ferrari 458 pic
This was parked outside the H-E-B grocery store I shop at on a Friday night. Yes, that is a Ferrari.

Yesterday I declared this week ‘Content Week’ and I produced two-thousand words on a short story I want to submit for publication. Writing like I do, without outlines and such, is always a challenge yet with this one I hit that proverbial brick wall. I’m writing about something a bit close to home (really close to home, if you want the truth) and I’m having to work through the fact that I may be wading into difficult territory by even admitting that. But I will press on today and the goal is to have the story out the door by Friday.  I’m not going to say too much about what it’s about until it’s done as I’m still kind of trying to figure that out for myself.

Last night was the last episode of the revamped ‘Top Gear’ (UK) and I didn’t even finish watching the whole episode. I know it’s their first season with all new hosts and whatnot but it feels like they’re trying too hard. They’re trying to be funny but it’s like they’ve got some idiot bozo-butt watching them and they don’t have the balls to that moron to shove off. Also, they need to tone down the noise and enthusiasm. People who are into cars are ‘car bores’ as Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond once said and yes, people with sticks up their asses will back away from those car bores. But ‘Top Gear’ wasn’t about pandering to those butt-holes but about having fun and calling crap well, crap. The previous trio of idiots knew they were idiots and didn’t care, and they were also irreverent and didn’t care about playing it safe. Personally, I’m really jazzed to see what those trio of idiots (Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond- the original hosts of ‘Top Gear’ UK) have got with their new show on Amazon Prime. I have a feeling they’re going to be cranking it up to 11 as they won’t have the BBC breathing down their necks.

Now that I’m not obsessing and nerving (‘nerving’- I think I might have invented a word here) about the part-time gig-money situation I’m feeling better. One day at a time as the old song goes and it’s a good one to apply to life. I’ve got the writing thing going on in earnest and working on photos and videos for this week. This weekend is July 4th weekend and sadly on the actual holiday itself my doggy will be in the bathtub and I’ll be in the bedroom nearby because of the damn fireworks (they’re the only thing she’s terrified of in this world).

So off to take a walk with said doggy then back to the story. I like that. A lot. 🙂

Content Week

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I shot this picture this morning with the telephoto lens on my camera. Not bad but I realized this morning I didn’t need the telephoto to shoot stuff like this. Live and learn.

Of course on my second walk this morning with Darcy I had a moment of fear and anxiety. And yes I kicked Fear to the backseat again, which is a good thing because it allows me to think and not have my mind race like a jacked-up hamster on a wheel in a cage.

And the big thought this morning was this: in order to have content to post and or try to sell, I need to produce it. I’ve separated my content into three main areas:

  • Writing
  • Photos
  • Videos

Writing is then sub-divided into the following for now:

  • Daily Blogging
  • Writing articles
  • Not Enough Time (novel)
  • Unconventional Faith (non-fiction book)
  • Short stories/novellas
  • Other articles

Today is what I have deemed a writing day. I will admit to being in an uphill battle with it right now as it seems I’m easily distracted. But I know if I knuckle down I can do this. So I will.

Make It So

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This is this morning’s coffee mug, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ NCC-1701-D schematic.

Sunday my laptop decided to misbehave and by Monday morning I wasn’t able to get into her at all so off to the repair shop we went. Diagnosis: fried hard drive. So I got the hard drive replaced and Windows reloaded and they were able to save my files. So I was without my laptop for a couple of days while it was inoperable and in the shop. Needless to say I did go through some withdrawal but I did get a few household chores done and was able to go through my WordPress book and make some notes on upgrading this webpage (which you’ll see in the coming days).

It’s been almost four weeks since I quit my day job and I will admit to having a few up-and-down moments though nothing roller-coaster crazy, though. Every day I tell myself, “I got this.” I’ve been calling it ‘unconventional faith’, and that’s another piece of writing I’m working on right now. The computer repair was unexpected but I won’t call it a ‘test’, just ‘shit happens’. The thing I’m learning is that instead of freaking out and making a big deal over things is to just try and roll with it. Do what needs to be done but under no circumstances beat the shit out of myself. Or piss and moan about things not working out, or get mad at things not working out. Or want to crawl into a hole and apologize when things don’t work out. Yeah, in a perfect world shit wouldn’t happen but the world isn’t perfect and no sense getting worked up over it. I don’t know I’m achieving Zen here but when I don’t tense up over problems coming up I sure as heck feel a lot better.

Make it so is not only being a great line of dialogue (as said by the immortal Sir Patrick Stewart), it’s a good philosophy to work with. For example, I was having trouble interviewing for a part-time shopping gig last night. I’ll try again this morning and also look into something else. I just tell myself something is going to hit – not ‘bound to’ hit but will hit. That is my ‘unconventional faith’ as I call it now.

So the laptop is up and running, I’ve got money in the bank to pay the bills, and I’m not beating the crap out of myself. God that last bit feels so freaking good. And that is why my previous forays into going out on my own failed- I didn’t believe in myself. Yes, I’m scared but remember what I always quote from Elizabeth Gilbert: fear can come along for the ride but can’t pick the destination or the tunes. That’s for me to do and you can do that, too.

To Do Lists

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And if you can read that To Do list then my hat’s off to you. I wrote it up on Monday and it’s mostly a list of chores and stuff. I have managed to cross off a couple of items on it and hope to have a few more crossed off by the weekend.

I’ve made these dang things for years but haven’t always been good at following them. I mostly use them just to get a mess of stuff-to-do out of my head then I promptly forget about the list (this one fell down between my desk and printer and I just found it this morning- if I hadn’t found it I was going to say the cats or Darcy got to it).

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with these lists as long as you don’t attach life-or-death significance to them. That means you don’t beat the crap out of yourself if something doesn’t get done right away or whatnot. And yes, I used to do that whenever I looked at a list like this and saw stuff that hadn’t been crossed off. And I think that’s a problem a lot of people have sometimes: they attach life-or-death significance to things that don’t warrant it.

Now, I’m not saying live like a total slob and do nothing. But if you do something then be glad you did it. Yes, I believe in getting points just for showing up and doing something. Participation does matter but some days you’re not going to make it out to the field. And that’s alright as some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed sometimes.

But I believe that if you set realistic and do-able priorities you’ll feel a lot better. And don’t make shit up to do either if you run out of stuff to put on a list. Don’t worry about being bored- if you have a book, tv, or an internet connection or can go outside there’s no excuse for that.

As I become my own boss and try to figure out this freelance/part-time thing I have to keep my act together no matter what. And I have to remember I’m still feeling my way around this and that I’m far from perfect. But remember, Indiana Jones made things up as he went along and things turned out alright for him. I just wished I had his fedora and whip, and him. 🙂

About Me ?

How do you write a bio of yourself?

Like this ?

But in reality, how do you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Michele Sayre.

Tell us about yourself.

Single, 42, no human kids but I have three fur-kids, a dog and two cats. I recently left the telephone customer-service mafia gig to do the freelance/part-time thing. I love to write, have recently been bitten by the photography bug, am charging up my GoPro camera, and searching out my laptop to play with.

Favorite stuff?

Romance novels but I read across the board and am always on the lookout for a good book. Movies- love sci-fi/fantasy of course but I have eclectic tastes old and new. Music- I love my 80’s music but in reality I’ll listen to just about anything (currently have the Jazz on from my hometown station KRTU.org) I also love to cook, grow plants and herbs, and hope to learn how to do a lot of different stuff.

Been anywhere interesting?

Not really. As a kid I did get to see a few interesting places like Tennessee and parts of the South. But I’ve never been outside the United States though I do have the obligatory travel bucket list.

Professional history?

Close to eighteen years in telephone customer service mafia hell. Before that, a few retail and temp job gigs. Telephone customer service paid a decent wage but eight hours (or more) on my backside was not good for my back. But I know how to keep my act together in the  face of some truly horrible behavior by people on the other end of the phone.

Published anything?

I published a short essay in my local newspaper a few years back but nothing since. Oh, and here it is.

Goals?

Make a gazillion dollars, have a house by the sea… Just be successful doing what I love and not have to do the nine-to-five grind that’s just a slow march to the grave.

Guiding philosophy?

  • Everyone is just as full of crap as I am sometimes but I’m not a bad person.
  • I’m making this up as I go along.
  • And I really do want world peace.

Updates

Just an FYI to let you know I’ve made some updates here today. I cleaned out the postings and added some doc files to some of the menu tabs. I’m still working on a few things but hopefully I’ll be finished tomorrow.

I had quite the moment earlier this morning when I felt that icy grip of fear hit me when I realized how much I still have to learn. Good thing I remember the immortal advice of Elizabeth Gilbert and put Fear in the backseat where it belongs (in her book, ‘Big Magic’ she talks about Fear coming along for the ride but not being allowed to ride in the front seat, pick the destination, and most of all, NOT pick the tunes for the trip). I picked up my camera and learned a few settings and got some much better pictures. Now I just need to work on the self-portrait but that can wait until tomorrow.

I took this picture today with my macro lens and I must say it came out quite well.

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Renovating My Life

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Two weeks ago last Friday I quit my day job. Why? Mostly it was a physical issue as the two disks in my lower back were starting to give off symptoms of compression. From the first of January to the end of March I did a lot of overtime running ten to twelve hour days. Okay, you may think sitting for that long is a cushy gig but in reality it’s dangerously unhealthy. When the overtime ended in April the damage was done as that month was all about a level of pain I haven’t experienced in over a decade. By the first week of May I knew I couldn’t go on much longer and I made the decision to quit before my health was wrecked forever. I’m healing up now and I am embarking on something I’ve wanted to do for close to a decade.

And what will I be doing you ask? Well, writing of course. And photography, and videography. Last summer I purchased a lovely Canon camera and a GoPro video camera (had a little bonus money then) with the idea to use them to do pictures and videos. Then I put my head up my ass when I got scared of how much I needed to learn in order to use them and I put them aside. But I’ve got them out and will be learning how to use them (I can read instruction manuals and also just pick them up and use them – I learn best by doing). In addition to that I’ll able looking to hustle ways to make money on the side in addition to getting what I want to do off the ground.

Yes, I’m probably nuts but in reality it’s the right thing to do for me. No, I don’t know what I’m doing but past a certain point no one does either regardless of what they might tell you. They might get it right more often than I do but it sure doesn’t make them an expert in anything. What I do know how to do first and foremost is survive. I’ve scrambled and scrimped and somehow gotten by for most of my adult life. I’ve learned a few things and I know I can think on my feet.

So the first thing here is to reorganize this web page. I’m using a standard template right now as I learn how to do things though I eventually hope to learn how to do more and possibly write some code one day. In the meantime, I’ll be back to daily blogging like I should have been doing for so long.

And I will also admit to feeling like I’m on the high diving board with this. I look down and see a lot of distance but I also tell myself I’m not too afraid of heights, and I know that I can handle the fact that some people won’t like this. They’re not my problem and I won’t go into that any further. I refuse to let the thought ‘Well, if this doesn’t work…’ sink into my brain. Whenever that particular line of thought comes into my head I give it a swift kick to the curb. Like Elizabeth Gilbert says, fear can’t ride in the front seat of the car. Fear has to ride in the back seat, and it can’t pick the tunes or the destination.

So this week’s goals are pretty simple:

  • Spruce up the website and organize it
  • Post excerpts of writing
  • Post pictures and videos as I make them
  • And go from there

Writer and More