Fall is still my favorite season

Career paths

In case you are playing along at home, today was better. 

I also finished what I thought was a WONDERFUL book: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, which won the Newbery this year. I only finished it today, so I haven't really dwelled on it, you know, SAVORED it, but I really liked it. So I emailed Elizabeth, as I do when I am proud of reading a book I'm sure she's already read and she was all, "Meh." Oh the disappointment! And then the full on Project Runway-esque terror re: do I have a TASTE problem? I mean, is Nina Garcia (in this case, Elizabeth) looking at my four- and five-starred books on Good Reads and going, "Maggie is a good READER but I'm not sure her TASTE LEVEL is where it should be." 

Why this kind of paranoia spurs me to write, I have no idea. But my kids slept freakishly long today and instead of doing any number of my SAHM duties, I sat at my kitchen table and hammered out a 27th version of The Beginning and while it's nothing fabulous, I don't think it's trite or contrived or THAT boring. Hopefully. But now I feel better. Sort of. I read something recently about writing pitfalls and one of them is evaluating and creating at the same time which: GUILTY! This is why NaNoWriMo was so awesome: I wasn't ALLOWED to evaluate! Word count was king. I kept going. I've never ever done that before. 

I've been doing too much of it recently too, but now that I have a beginning that doesn't feel... well, I guess CONTRIVED was my biggest worry. And possibly I should still be worried about it and I still think I could probably cut out the whole beginning and just begin with the next part and that would be okay too, but at least now I feel like I can go ON. I don't have to keep going back and feeling like this entire stupid story was built on NOTHING. 

Now just the MIDDLE is made of nothing. Note to my writing group: I'm afraid we may have to disband as I'm starting to think my story contains no plot and no conflict and I'll have nothing to submit whenever I finally get around to calling for submissions because I'll have wiped my hard drive clean with giant magnets. 

(Can you even do that? Phillip just read that part and put his head in his hands.) 

Speaking of computery stuff. I was in a... SITUATION yesterday where someone said something like, "People are finding out about our organization through our website!", like it was this completely novel idea and I pretty much wanted to find a gun and shoot myself. BECAUSE DUH! Right? I am so right. So obviously I complained about all of this to Phillip, about how if Organization just sucked it up and dove into the 21st century, we wouldn't be having some of the issues we seem to have and Phillip, because he is a nicer person than I am, basically told me I was being a brat. Or, rather, to suck it up because HE has to deal with that EVERY DAY. 

Which, okay, fine. BUT STILL. How can you be an Agent For Change when you are pretty sure you're going to have to wait an entire generation before change is made? I feel so POINTLESS! I mean, I don't know a lot, I'm far from some SEO blog-monetizing professional blogger real writer, but I still want to stand up and shriek, "IT TAKES FIVE MINUTES TO MAKE A FACEBOOK FAN PAGE FOR THE LOVE OF GRILLED CHEESE!"


Then we crossed into this whole OTHER conversation (my goodness, the places tonight's post is going!) about What I Would Be Doing If I Didn't Have Kids And Also Knew At 18 What I Know Now. Because while it is well established that I do not want to work for The Man and I am QUITE happy being the kept housewife working on her "novel", I finally did think of a Real Job I might like to do. I think I would really like being a web designer. At my old job I spent a lot of time learning Visual Basic-ish stuff to build databases, all of which I either taught myself or begged my husband to teach me via instant messenger at work. And I took an HTML/CSS class and I've done all my own blog redesigns and yeah, they're nothing fancy, but I totally know how to do this stuff and I can get pretty nerdy about all the coding and it makes my little anal-retentive wannabe-designer heart go pitter pat. 

Oh, except for the part where you have to work with clients. I probably wouldn't like that part.

HOWEVER. All the stuff I learned in that class four years ago is, uh, old. I don't know any scripting. I don't know HTML 5. I can still make a website from scratch with Dreamweaver, but it's a crappy one. And this totally feels like a thing that Passed Me By. Like, if I were younger and starting out and could go to school, or if I didn't have kids, or if I really wanted a Full Time Job and wanted to pursue a new career path. But I am none of those things and the next time I tinker with my blog I'll have to hire someone because I'm so tired of relearning everything, especially if I want to switch platforms... 

ANYWAY. Blah blah blah. Not important. Just stuff I think about... when I should be creating, not evaluating. 




Uh, no. I actually think it's one of the coolest things about people and life and books that we all like and dislike different ones. AND I found it quite heartening that you liked that book. I felt happy for it, that people actually liked it, when I did not! I would never think you sucked for liking a book, unless that book was the Da Vinci code.


You sound like my husband. :) He is constantly trying to get people to understand how useful the internet is for giving information about a company/organization, etc. Think about it: our generation and younger (and even a lot of people in our parents' generation) go straight to their computers to look up the address/menu/hours, etc. for a new place they hear about. My husband is trying to add to his freelance clients by specializing in SEO (which he LOVES for some reason) and web design (which is weird, since he would NEVER describe himself as creative, but he's totally into it) and having some success at doing so.

BTW, you could probably learn the new design stuff in a short class at a local Jr College or whatnot, right? An evening a week for a couple of weeks or an all-day Saturday kind of thing? Once you know a lot of the basics, its really more of a refresher to learn the newest versions, usually, so if you were interested, it wouldn't be hard to pick up the knowledge with a little time investment. Just a thought.

Dr. Maureen

Hey, if you want to practice, you can design MY website! It is currently quite terrible, but I'm so unmotivated I don't even bother to switch back to a standard Blogger template.


I hired someone when I just did my switch. Best thing ever. She did all the work and I love her. (http://www.plaidhousedesigns.com/) (Also, they are good and affordable.)


1. It took me a while to finally understand When You Reach Me...similar to when you get out of a movie and have to reprocess it just so you could figure out what exactly happened. Have you read The Higher Power of Lucky? It's my favorite Newbery to date.

2. I completely agree that I would do design sans clients. "What do you mean you don't like my attractive down-to-the-pixel perfect design that I've labored DAYS over just to please you?"

3. "How can you be an Agent For Change when you are pretty sure you're going to have to wait an entire generation before change is made?" LOVE IT. I won't rant anymore because this sums it up perfectly. Plus, you included grilled cheese in a tech-y reference. Perfect oxymoron? Quite possibly.


I am currently reading that London Eye book you recommended and so far I love it. So I? Think you have good taste. :)

And the line about erasing your computer and Phillip's reaction made me laugh out loud (literally, not the cheesy typing LOL but not really even laughing at all kind of way)... because that is me and my husband in a nutshell.

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