Jun 11, 2020
Yes, it has been fifteen months since I posted anything here. You would think that being out of work for this entire time would allow me to find some time to write a blog post. During this whole time, my primary focus has been on surviving. Surviving a lack of income, job searching, surviving three semesters of college, Covid-19, and then civil unrest. Whew!
The keyword here is "Surviving!" I never would have thought we would have been able to get through the past fifteen months. Fortunately, something has always fallen into place at just the right time to keep us going. Book royalties, unemployment, selling of computer equipment, writing product reviews, loving support from friends and family, State funds for college, government stimulus check, and the extension of the State training benefits plus the government $600 kicker has kept food on the table and the power on. Through it all, I have managed to keep my head and not run around in circles in the front yard while waving my hands in the air.
I'm in my last week of finals for school. The State has graciously agreed to pay my tuition and pay me to go back to school to get my Web Application Developer Certificate. And the folks at Edmonds College have been great! The only drawback has been my lack of time to write on Air Storm. So, with only another week to go, I'm looking forward to diving back into Air Storm while looking for some remote work as a web developer or technical writer.
It has been a very challenging time for everyone. There have been friends lost to Covid, and there is a lot of contention among people and among governments. While I don't use this platform to promote my spiritual views as a Jehovah's Witness, I do look up to a higher authority, which drives my moral compass. (Which includes equality for all races, by the way.)
My best recommendation during these difficult times is to find your compass. Stay focused on your goals and your future. Don't let the predominant attitudes of others cloud your own focus. Remember the things that bring you joy and keep track of all the good that has happened to you and for you.
And very importantly - read some books! ;)
Mar 7, 2019
Life is what happens when you're making other plans.
That has been a moto of mine for many years. When I saw the movie Kuffs with Christian Slater and Milla Jovovich, and saw the phrase painted on a wall, I nodded my head and sunk it into my thinking. Adaptability! A major proponent to success is the ability to adapt to change. This is especially evident when loosing a major source of income.
Yes, I was laid off from my major employeer last week. It was a major blow to my ego! After being with Averetek for almost eight years, thinking I was invaluable, and I would eventually retire from there - boom! Life is what happens...
(I'm going to miss this daily view.)
So, what am I going to do?
Adapt! This is not the first time I've been in this situation. A significant facit of adaptability is the ability to look at the positive site of the situation. I loved working for Averetek! I managed to establish a good reputation of loyalty, tenacity, down in the ditches troubleshooting skills, providing creative solutions, and good customer skills. Does that all end when the door closes behind me? Nope! I saw the opportunity to put on my freelancing hat. I would take those skills and relationships I've spent many years building, and I would continue to make myself available. Thank you Fiverr.com!
I bundled up my experience and skills into gigs on Fiverr.com and made those available to Averetek, it's clients, and to the client's customers. The gigs are there, waiting, sitting, being looked at.... (Tumbleweeds.)
Okay, yes, that looks a little slim. No purchased gigs yet. But, I'm not loosing hope. Instead of wasting time staring at the dashboard, I'm diving into my other opportunities. And those are?
Of course! Instead of placing all my expectations into a few gigs on Fiverr, I have a great opportunity for doing more of what I really love - writing. Not just creative writing, but technical writing, blog writing, product reviews, marketing campaigns, emails, adverts, social marketing, and articles. I AM A WRITER! HEAR ME ROAR! (Looks for "Roar", by Katy Perry.) I'm doing this via jobbing sites:
- Writers Work : https://writers.work
- Pro Blogger : https://problogger.com/jobs
- Home Working Club : https://www.homeworkingclub.com
And the point is?
Stay positive! Roll with the changes! (Looks for "Roll With the Changes", by REO Speedwagon.) And you will be seeing more of me here, on various sites (Medium, Vocal Media, etc.) and more stories as well.
And our final song for the day? "I'm Alright", by Kenny Loggins.
Jul 5, 2017
This was a very pleasant surprise in my Instagram inbox the other day. One of my followers (TY Maria @sakasharen) tagged me for a posting from the actress Helen Rule, who was looking for material to read from on a internet radio show around the end of the month. Needless to say, I responded right away. Helen responded back with via email and I sent her the first chapter of Air Born. She seemed pleased to receive it and it sounds like this will actually happen. I'll be sure to post further information and the link to the reading once it becomes available.
Once again, I'm amazed at the love and support Air Born has been getting from the readers. To keep it in mind when opportunities become available, well, it warms my heart to know how much you all care. Thank you.
Reading at Half Price Books in Lynnwood, WA.
It was a pretty small turn out for the reading last Saturday. But that's okay. Every opportunity to do a reading and meet some readers is okay by me. I read from chapter 3 (one of my usual readings) and then stood around to speak with anyone who strolled by. When I was preparing to pack up for the afternoon, two wonderful readers came by and asked about the book. We had a nice discussion and they each bought a copy, which I happily signed. Two copies or twenty - it really doesn't matter to me. I love that it's getting out there and bringing joy to the readers.
I also took advantage of the reading to show off the painting by Kylah of a scene from Air Born. It's my plan to bring this with me to my readings for showing off her amazing art. It actually contributed to discussions with visitors as they walked by. Thank you again, Kylah. You can find her work at www.etsy.com/shop/SchwehmyArt
Translated Air Born?
I finally got my submission of Air Born onto Babelcube.com. Wow, they sure want a lot of information! I'm sure it's worth it though. I'm hoping some interested translators will become interested enough to do a translation. I'm really interested in Spanish and French. (Oh, can you imagine the first cloud scene with Leif and Carina in French?) So, any Spanish or French Air Born readers out there interested in doing a translation? Could be some good side money for you. ;)
Work in Progress
Now that UNDISCOVERED is done. My sole focus is to get the outline for Air Storm completed. I'm a little over half way through it and I love where the story is going. I hope you're all as excited as I am. Once the outline is done, I'll be on the hunt for beta readers who are willing to read through my rough drafts and provide feedback. With Air Born, there were over twenty who expressed interest, six who provided feedback, and three who provided a lot of great feedback for each chapter. I'm hoping to get at least six who are dedicated and commited to giving me their thoughts and feedback. If you're interested, please shoot me an email to let me know.
Till next time, keep those words flowing.
Jun 21, 2017
I finally got around to compiling most of my short stories into a single book. Many have asked me about doing this and it totally made sense. After all, they are already written! Although, there is a brand new story in this book, which I'm very proud of - Meghan's Crayons. I have always been very facinated by the crazy smart intelligence of those who are blessed with autism, and somehow, I managed to wrap in a story about quantum entanglement. Yeah, very geeky. But with several readings to some of my very close friends and family, and a few resulting tweeks to the story, it is now ready for public consumption.
This is good timing for me. While I do have a lot of volunteer activities through the next 6 weeks, any writing I do is going to be completely devoted to Air Storm. It would be nice if I could get the full draft completed by the end of the year. At least, that's my goal.
Enjoy the new book and feel free to use the feedback links at the end of each story to let me know what you think. Oh, by the way, the book is free! Just click on the book to go to the download page.
Jun 5, 2017
Not really much of a blog post. I just wanted to provide a link to this wonderful Youtube vlogger. I met her at a movie screening for "Everything, Everything". When we were waiting to provide our feedback to the movie studio rep, I introduced myself to her as a writer and she introduced herself as a book reviewer on Youtube. We had a nice conversation and I offered her a book (of course.) So, here's a nice video of her "unboxing" of Air Born. If you want to skip to the Air Born unboxing, it starts around 4:40. But, honestly, it's fun to watch the whole video!