Tag Archive: Work


Man I Can’t Keep Up

I just can’t seem to keep on top of certain things as the moment. This studying thing kinda has knobs on it. You might think I would have more time to write and stuff but no. The thing is my study is actually the first three months of a traineeship, so I’m doing more hours, plus study and I’m rehearsing a play. With all that’s going on I wonder why I committed to doing the latter, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

All is not lost though. Someone sent me deets for a short story competition and my ideas partner and I have bounced around an idea that we think is cool. I’ve even written some of it. I have also decided on it’s format and title. All in all not bad.

My problem is the deadline is in less than a week and I just can’t bring myself to sit at my computer and put it all together.

Sometimes everything is there but the final little bit of motivation all because you are so worn out from doing other things. I’ll let you know if I actually get around to finishing it on time.

A New Era

Wow I finally manage to get some time off (having worked all last weekend) and I do something to my back making it difficult to even sit without being in pain. On the upside chocolate seemed to start the cure cycle – I tell no lie. Pain and more pain and I finally decide to munch into some of my stash and my back starts to improve. Choc obviously is useful for more things than sustaining me when I’m in a frenzy of writing.

This weeks big news though was that I received an offer for a new job. This is awesome. It means I will be leaving retail – big yay; and books will no longer be my living but once again my passion. Retail was taking something I love and crushing it. The really great thing about my new job is that it gives me a better work life balance, or at least it should. A better balance means two really good things; one I get to spend more time with my family and two, I get more time to write. Both of these things have to be good right? Well I think so.

So I have less than three weeks left in retail and I’m really trying to get everything organised so that during my week and a half off I can spend some quality time writing. I am so looking forward to this. Writing and books are my passion they probably always will be that is why I’m so excited at this new era. I have learnt so much working in the book retail side of things and as far as that goes I regret nothing. Now though it is time to move on and I am so excited about this.

Hopefully a change will refresh and recharge me. I have two projects I am really passionate about at the moment and I really want to get them off the ground. Stay tuned…good things are happening.

I hope you have good things going on for you too.

Two Things

This week has left me with two thoughts, that is not to say they are the only things I’ve been thinking of but they are relevant to this writing side of my life.

Firstly I am still writing scenes that flow, I’m really enjoying the fact that when I write, the story has a consistency to it. There is a nice flow, it is becoming a story not just a few random ideas. The problem is thought number two – time.

Time is just something that seems to be getting away from me. I’m managing work, family, blogs and training but truthfully sometimes I’m not sure I’m doing it well. I have had to decide not to do the book club simply because I just don’t have the time. I still think it’s a great idea but with everything else that I’m juggling putting good thought into that just isn’t going to happen.

There is only so much time I can put into things that aren’t actually going to give me any pay off. Now I know this may sound terrible, but it is the truth. The blogs take not a huge amount of time though reading for The’ Verse takes time. Then again reading was always something that was a time priority for me. Writing the reviews themselves doesn’t take too long and posting them is quick. The other two blogs are just ways for me to clarify my thoughts and yes vent. Running a book club would take more thought and if it took off it would take more time to co-ordinate it, without getting paid it’s just not something I can afford to sink time into. The’Verse is my bookie indulgence.

Training is taking up around an hour a day five days a week sure but half of it usually is while I’m watching something (I do my weight training in the lounge room). The thing is though this is something I’m doing for me. Sure I’m training for the army but I’m also doing it for myself, it is nice to feel better about myself, to be stronger, fitter. Also the army will give me an awesome challenge.

I also have my family to consider. I simply cannot keep adding thing to my schedule that don’t give something back to me or my family. Yes selfish sounding I know but at the moment I have some hard choices to make and some things simply have to give. The novel will possibly provide money one day and quite honestly I need to write, it’s in me, something I don’t know how to give up. The book blog, well that’s my indulgence I like reading and being able to share good books with people. You might think work would give me enough of that but retail is very thankless, customer wise and pay wise. People either want you to do all their thinking for them (I want something for a 12 year old but I don’t know what they are interested in), or they think you are stupid and couldn’t possibly tell them anything informative.

So I need to manage my time better and something else may very well have to give.

Slow, Slow, Slow

This was a very slow week for me. I don’t get sick very often but when I do it knocks me out. I took a day off work and even though there is a little part of me that thinks ‘oh maybe I can get some writing done’, I know that is unlikely to happen. This week I spent the whole day sleeping.

Then went back to work the next day still pretty tired, which means I didn’t get any writing done during my till shift because I simply couldn’t focus. That night I didn’t get to do anything because I had to organise everything for my Army application.

So I sit here on a saturday night thinking that once the munchkins are in bed and the hubby is out gigging that I might get something done. Honestly though I’m probably going to flake in front of the tv till I fall into bed.

A very slow week indeed.

Well That Was Different

This week proved less productive in some ways than I had hoped but that was because I actually lost an hour of writing time at work. Usually during my hour on the till I write when there are no customers, for most of this week I didn’t get a till shift because I was upstairs in inventory. I really liked the change, to be honest I really liked not having to deal with customers.

On the upside as far as writing goes a few things are brewing and settling in my mind. Sometimes the thinking and mulling things over is the important part of writing because even when you’re not consciously working on something various ideas are floating around in your mind. You come up with ideas, discard others and so by the time you get to put pen to paper the ideas just slot into place. That has been what I’ve been doing a bit of thins week, thinking through things. The fun part of this is that then new ideas slot themselves into your story. It’s nice to see how the story grows organically, it is the advantage of not planning everything out, sometimes there are wonderful surprises.

Week Off

There are good things about having a week off. Mostly when the kids are back at school it means I get uninterrupted writing time, and this week I have managed to put it to good use. Till yesterday that is. All my plans got stuffed by having to pick the car up later than they originally said we’d be able to.

Also I hit a slide into a funk, probably due to the realisation I have to go back to work on monday.

It’s possible to write in that state of mind but it’s not easy because your attention isn’t held on any one thing for very long.

Still I pushed on and have managed to get some stuff done and that is always a good thing even when you have to push through to do it.

I didn’t do huge amounts of reading this week, well by that I mean I finished about 8 books but then 6 of those were graphic novels. Bottom line of that is I need to write a bunch of reviews but when I’ve done that it will keep the website in a good position for a while.

I feel as though there is much I still want to do on the last day and a bit of my week off but it probably won’t get done because there is something I know I need to consider. Some times the best thing to do for yourself is take some time to do nothing. It’s a little hard for someone like me who has passions to pursue that need to be done during time away from work. For someone with my kind of work ethic the idea of sitting around and doing nothing is hard to deal with. Of course I do read a lot but for me at the moment, reading is part of my work so it doesn’t really count as doing nothing.

This is what I have had to make myself do, sit and watch a couple of movies. For me movies of choice tend to be the ones where I can check my brain at the door and just watch. Even then there are times I feel guilty for doing just that. I sit and watch a film, or a show or game for a bit and then a small part of me whispers ‘would that time not have been better spent in your office?’

Sometimes I am honest enough to say no. I’m working on being able to really feel that answer. I know I need to allow myself time to do nothing. So although I have managed to get right into my huge structural re-edit this week I have also been forced to allow myself the time to do nothing.

As a side note, I have to say I really enjoyed Cowboys and Aliens (even if the girl was wearing a dress and had her hair out – how impractical) and Captain America, and yes I am looking forward to The Avengers.

Tonight will be special features, I like special features, acting and movies are still a part of my life I am passionate about.

So until next week, when I may very well be back to banging my head on my desk about customers who do things like saying; ‘I’m looking for a book, I don’t know what it is called or who wrote it but it has a green cover’,  I will take some time to do nothing and then hit more of those edits.

Peace out my lovelies.

Hmmm!

Life is kind of funny sometimes. I love books, always have, I love reading, but right at the moment I’m not all that keen on my job. I’m just a bit, okay more than a bit frustrated with the place I work, the boss and the customers.

It’s hard enough somedays to get up in the morning because, well it’s morning and I am without question a night person. When you have to get up to go to a job where lounge music in all it’s anaesthetic glory is played all day, maybe you get what I mean. I don’t understand the logic that says because we are a book store the only music that can be played is mind numbingly boring. Then I get asked stupid questions like why aren’t you awake yet?! Hello, music, not a guitar riff or drum beat to be found.

My other frustrations are nothing new, not really. I’d like to change the way the kids department is set out but for some reason requests to section books according to age fall on deaf ears. And as always with retail there are the customers. I had to walk away from a customer the other day when he asked for a true crime book detailing the story of a group of boys going out a raping girls, -‘I don’t know what it’s called or who wrote it but can you find it for me?’ I said sorry I don’t read that stuff and walked away before I could say something rude. Also had a customer ask for a best selling true crime book but nothing girly. It reminded me of the time I was asked where we kept the books written by female authors.

That said there are some customers I love spending time with. The ones who listen, or know what they are talking about. Truthfully though I am getting a little sick of people saying they don’t need help with a tone that says ‘you couldn’t help me I’m looking for kids books’. Hello kids book specialist here! I also am a little sick of the statement ‘my child is a very advanced reader,’ and variations there of. Yes I’m glad your 8 year old has a good vocabulary but it’s not the word but the topic content of the stories that can make them inappropriate. ‘But my child is a very good reader…’ ‘Fine yes then, that paranormal romance book is a great choice for your 8 year old son’.

It will take a lot more than this to get me to turn my back on books, it is a life long love affair and one never likely to end (I love my kindle too and according to my boss that’s not a good thing), however I think I am hitting the end of my time as a bookseller. The passion ebbs and flows so at the moment.

Of course I’m unlikely to stop writing either. On that note a good thing happened this week. Sometimes when you write you’re not really happy with what you are doing. It’s inevitable. With this fantasy project having become two books instead of one, I’ve been battling to find a way into what will be the first book. Oh I already have a chunk of the content and I know the story, what I didn’t have was a suitable starting point and tone. This week though, as I started linking  a couple of scenes together it came to me. And just like that pieces slotted into place and the flow felt like it was there. Yay!

So onwards with the writing  and in the mean time I shall be contemplating a future outside of retail.

Silly Season

I love christmas, I love buying presents for my family. I love giving gifts. I don’t love working in retail at christmas. I don’t love the people who leave their gift shopping till so close to christmas then get pissy that what they want isn’t in stock. They also seem to think that that they can get it online, so close to christmas. Not necessarily so.

Still stupid things from work aside, I’m happy to say I’m still writing. I still have loads of reading to catch up on and I mean loads but I am still managing to get pen to paper. I’ve got to say again thank you NaNo. I mean it really did give me the focus to write again and once that flow was re-established it is still there. Such a relief I’ve got to say. I’m still inspired to write a couple of projects and I’m pretty much getting something written everyday. Maybe not a lot but something is better than nothing.

Also some crap has been going on so in some ways there has been the pressure to forget the passion, to stop the writing and find a way to spend my time that provides better money. I can’t not write. I know I can’t. But there are times…

I’m sure you know what I mean.

 

Viva Long Weekend

I have loved this weekend. The extra day made so much difference. I got some reviews done, finished the video for the Book Club and most importantly – sorted out my writing notebooks. This may not seem like much but believe me it is. When I was at Borders I kept a notebook behind the register but truthfully didn’t write much when I was working because I was usually out on the floor. Even when I was at reg there was something for me to do. Now however I do at least an hour every day on reg and have nothing to do for the most part. So in order to not go loopy I scribble notes. I have done a few scenes for three different projects, and that is what I collated. I separated them out found the different notebooks for the projects, even put titles on the outside.

Holy moly I got a little organised.

Oh I also sent my manuscript off for assessment.

Then of course reality came back and I realised it’s sunday night which means monday tomorrow, which means work. At least I might get some more scenes written.

Also I am debating the merits of signing up for NaNoWriMo.

I know I’m really, really busy but my writing has slipped a bit and I am thinking this might be a way to kick start that part of my creativity.

It is no secret that in my ideal world I could work from home – writing/blogging and generally just not having to be at a outside ‘job’.

Sometimes following your passion just isn’t as glam as it seems, sometimes there is a lot of work to do before you get to where you want to be. Then again most people never see the work they just see the end result.

 

Book Stores

I have been doing a whole lot of thinking about book stores and my job recently. It’s no secret that for the most part I loved my old job. I love kids books and books in general and I loved the people I worked with. In all my working life I have never worked with a bunch of people who I got along so well with. In some ways we were like family. Now though I am struggling and all that’s changed is the store I work in. Oh and of course the size. But that single change in actuality is a huge thing. The atmosphere is so different. It is stifling and so very conservative. Everything from the attitude to customers and the business to the damn muszak that is played repeatedly everyday.

This combined with losing out on another job have given me cause to think about a few things.

One thing I know is that I still love books, that is never likely to change. I really am starting to believe that bookstores need to change. I know so many people who don’t buy their books from bookstores for various reasons. For me though part of what I think the problem is, is that book stores seem to be stuck in the past. They seem determined to not to embrace the present and the future. Specialty stores work well because they have a hook, but stores that have a ‘shhh we’re a book store, be careful, be quite and move on’ attitude are really going to have to think it through.

The other thing is as a specialist my work is happy to take advantage of the huge number of hours I put in building up my product knowledge and I’m happy to share my knowledge with the customers but I have to admit, a bit selfishly I’m sure, that I object to them expecting me to provide for them answers to a large number of customer questions for when I’m not there. I don’t get paid for my extra hours and I don’t get paid for training up the other staff. When I made a comment about it I was told it wasn’t about me but the business. Hmmm.

For me it is about me and looking after my family. There is no way I am going to put someone else’s business above my family.

I love books but unless the industry is willing to make some drastic changes…