Category Archives: dayjob

On Writing, Blogging, and Editorializing

Now that I’ve written the title to this blog post, I’m not sure what I wanted to say about those topics. Let’s begin with this one: editorializing.

See, my dayjob is at a newspaper. I’ve always been a newspaper reader, even before I got to college and majored in journalism. I tend to read stuff in them, and then–many times–want to argue with the things I read. Which is kind of a lot what bloggers do. But see, being on staff at the paper, I can’t write letters to the editor. However, I CAN write columns. (They’re not actually editorials, since I’m not an editor, but merely a lowly editorial assistant.) So, I wrote one this week. About reading books–recommending that if people want to escape from reality a little while, movies are fine, but books last longer and have a lower cost-per-escape-time ratio. They’re trying to muscle me into writing a column more often–but I don’t know if I can stand once a week. I’ve done that, and sometimes I wrote some really drivel-y drivel. It may be “occasional.” Like whenever I think of something I want to write about.

Blogs are sort of like editorials for everyman. Letters to the universe, instead of the editor. Sometimes they’re read by millions–or thousands. Sometimes, they’re read by friends and family only. Hopefully the readership of this blog runs into the dozens. :)

Blogs are like editorials that people can write instant rebuttals to in the comments. The technology makes it easy for flame wars to get going, because people can just pop off. And there are no editors to clean up their grammar and turn their gibberish into logical sentences. (I’ve cleaned up a LOT of letters. What people mail/e-mail in looks a lot like some of the blog comments. Only less coherent, some of them.)

Let’s see–so I’ve blogged about editorializing. And blogging. So. Writing. Peh. (It’s like Meh, except more puffy, with a P.)

I’ve been making fair progress on the writing, since my realization of what the opening scene should be. Even though I have been smacked in the head with another story that has insisted on being written. I write the contracted book during regular writing-work hours, and have been writing the other one during the hours I would ordinarily be reading or watching television. (My current Netflix movies have been waiting for 2 weeks for me to watch them.) So I’m not taking away from the Official Book. It’s actually been working pretty well. This other one–I’m not even sure it IS a book. It might be. So I’ll see where it goes for a while. Even though I feel guilty, I’m doing okay on The Book.

Well, except for today. Today was a bust. First, I took the granddog to the beach for a walk, and even let her off the leash. She ran and chased the birds into the surf, and ran and ran, and did Not run off across the jetty, or bother the 2 people on the beach, and when she got tired, she came back and let me put the leash back on her. And because she chased the birds (seagulls and willets) into the surf, she got all salty and sandy. So I gave her a bath when we got home. (Mostly because she was stinky to start with.)

Except Dolly didn’t want a bath. She so didn’t want a bath, that she pulled out of her collar (which she didn’t do on the walk). I had to pick up wet, salty, sandy, stinky dog and Carry her to the hose/shampoo. She is not a particularly large dog. But she ain’t no toy poodle either…

She got her bath, though. Then I went inside and took one. Between the walk, the dog bath, my bath, the laundry, and all the other sundry things I had to do, it was getting late, I was feeling cranky, so I didn’t write today. There. I confessed. Sometimes I skip a day writing, even when I’m on deadline. I am hoping this will help … clear my palate. Or something. I think I’m about to run down with this side-writing thing. Right now, it’s feeling very Mary Sue-ish, so if I can’t fix that, it may not turn into a book. And I have A Book to write.

One I am liking, actually. I like how it’s going. I need to go back and tweak some of the early stuff so it doesn’t erase the conflict, but I think I know now how to do that now. Harry needs to shut up. He’s a talky kind of guy, (Some guys are–my oldest grandson is getting in trouble at school for the exact reason his dad used to–talking too much… ) and he believes in laying his cards on the table–but he doesn’t need to lay out quite so many of them. And he needs to be just a tad more aggressive.

Speaking of grandsons–they didn’t get to come last weekend. Just their dad. So all my boys–the fella and the two sons–had a boys’ day out and went Gulf fishing for the day on Friday. They caught two meals worth of vermilion snapper, which is not the same as red snapper, which is not in season. I’ll post a picture of the fella’s ginormous red snapper he caught. The youngest caught a 28-inch amberjack he had to throw back, because amberjacks have to be 32 inches to keep them. But the snapper was excellent. They invited me, but…

So. There you have it. Opinion, and news. What more do you need?

Interesting New Development

I have a new dayjob.

It just sorta fell into my lap. I saw the ad and recognized that it would be perfect for me, and saved the page of the paper, but after I carried it into the office, I forgot about it for a couple of days. Until late the night before we were leaving town. So in the morning, after I finished packing, I took a few minutes and threw together something resembling a resume, slapped it in an e-mail and left town.

That afternoon, I got a call from the lady, and by the time I hung up, I was pretty sure I’d been hired, although nobody ever quite said so in those exact words. However, when I talked to her again on Friday (again on the phone), we made arrangements for me to take the required drug test (I have caught a cold, and between that and my regular meds, there’s no telling how that will turn out) and to come in for training.

What will I be doing that makes this job so perfect? Basically, I will be a glorified typist. With clean-up duties. It’s a part-time position at the local newspaper with the grandiose title of Editorial Assistant. (Newspapers are good at handing out grandiose titles. When I worked years ago as the only staff on a weekly paper (except for the guy who did sports), I was called “Managing Editor.” But I still had to develop all the pictures I took myself–plus write all the copy and cutlines and whatever else needed writing.) I will type into the computer all the Community Bulletin Board items people turn in, so they can be laid out on the page. And whatever else needs doing.

I pretty much get to set my hours, which means I’ll still be able to write in the mornings, and I won’t have to stand on my feet twenty hours a week. For a gramma–er, Gigi with bad knees, that’s a plus. Now maybe I can support my conference habit. :)

In other news, I have caught a cold and did not go to any Mardi Gras activities this weekend.
I am halfway through my RITA books. Four more to go–unless they send me a second panel of books, which they have done in years past. (I do volunteer for them.) I also need to judge this other contest I volunteered to help with.

And I need to send some pages to critique to my cps. We haven’t critiqued any in the last few years, and I’ve missed it.

This means I need to get back into the writing. But I have to go cough up a lung or two first. (Hack, hack, wheeze)