July 28, 2008
Major Suckage
Seriously, major suckage happening over here on MULTIPLE fronts.

Writing is at an all time low. I was doing SO WELL, getting an average of 4 hours in a day. I was starting to think I was a "for real" writer and then... nothing. Nothing for the past three weeks. WTF. I have free time today, as I have no work scheduled, but now I'm waging a battle between what I'd like to do (write) and what I should do (clean). Days, nay weeks, like this make me feel like why even bother? Like I'm never going to be successful and I might as well just give the fuck up right now.

Looks as though I'm not going to be switching blog platforms. I'm so not in love with Blogger, but it allows me to change the look (assuming I can figure out the new *improved* Blogger) if I so choose--which I do--whereas Wordpress does not. Well, it does but I have to pay for it. And I definitely do not get enough traffic to warrant paying for a little corner of the internets to call my own.

I've been going to the gym for about three weeks now and all it has managed to do is prove to me that I am no longer 23 and thus my body does not bounce back into shape as quickly. In the last two to three years, I've managed to gain about 20+ pounds, which for me is a lot. I've never been athletic perse but I do have an athletic build (0r at least I used to). In my teens and early 20s I could lose weight at the drop of a hat, thus I could eat and drink my face off. Well, not so much anymore. I joined the Y and have been working my ASS off... figuratively not literally. WTF.

*Sigh* Suppose I should clean... or write. Or something.

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posted by Tina at 10:51 AM
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July 21, 2008
I am switching (I think). Take a peak over here.

I'm just not 100% happy with Blogger since they "updated." Don't get me wrong, great program to get my blogging feet wet in but I think I'm ready for some big girl blogging now.

The new one isn't 100% complete yet. I need to get up my blog roll and figure out a few things. And the picture is kind of canned--I'm going to work on getting one of my own up there. Other than that... very much so liking it!

Also, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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posted by Tina at 3:37 PM
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July 08, 2008
Why I'm Switching To Verizon from AT&T
When I first got a cell phone, I went with Cingular because they had the best package for the least amount of money and the best coverage (I got coverage all the way from Boston to Ithaca NY). I loved my new cell phone goodness and, until Cingular became AT&T, I had absolutely no problem what-so-ever with my service.

And then they switched. And the "issues" started.

First there was the rebate, which is the only reason I got my current phone, that came in the form of a gift card vs. a credit on my account. And when said gift card expired a mere six month later, I called and asked that they replace it. This request, which I did not feel was outside the realm of customer requests or expectations, was met with hostile resistance. After speaking on several occasions with different costumer service reps and one manager, they finally reluctantly issued me a new gift certificate DESPITE the fact I asked they apply it towards my bill.

Then there was the phone issue. The current phone I have is a piece of sh*t. It got wet THROUGH MY BACK POCKET (caught in the rain one day) and stopped working. Rather than issue me a new phone, which I felt I rightfully deserved as it was an issue from their end as I felt it was a faulty product and all (I mean hello, the phone I had before this did NOT do that and I dropped it in the freakin' toilet one day), they gave me this whole run around. It took me threatening to pay the $200 to quit their company and go to a major competitor for AT&T to grudgingly offer me a new used phone. Which does not work properly--it cuts out at weird times like when I have all the bars. So, needless to say, I took this phone into the little store in the mall and asked what I can do. I even suggested that perhaps they could give me another gently used phone to replace this gently used phone with. Their response was to say that they couldn't do anything, I had to buy a new phone unless I wanted to send my current phone--at MY EXPENSE--to their phone "body shop" to be fixed which I would have to pick up the tab for.

And then there's today. I get my bill, I look at it and its $90. WTF. I don't call anyone, I have a plethora of roll-over minutes (which expires every 12 months, BTW), and I had switched to a messaging plan that was more than three times the amount of texts I currently had. So... WTF. Come to find out, despite what the guy one the phone who helped me switch had said, I was being charged for going over my previously allotted 400 messages. I was VERY CAREFUL to ask the gentleman I spoke to if that was going to happen as I've learned that you need to do so in order to be prepared to argue the charge on the next bill. Needless to say, I was miffed that I had been charged, expressed said miffedness, and promptly demanded they fix it.

They did.

I'm still switching.

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posted by Tina at 4:06 PM
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July 06, 2008
The Post Where I Whine About It...And Come to No Discernible Conclusion What So Ever
Writing has not gone the way that I want it to this past, oh, five days. After that stink I made last post about being a writer, I've managed to accomplish nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

I blame this on my setting. See...my character wants to be an ex-army dude newly (as in maybe a year or two) returned from WWII, but my setting screams late 1950s. So I've been debating. Do I make him an ex-army guy returned from WWII and try to shift all the details (dress, social mores, etc.) to the mid-1940s OR do I make him older than I initially pictured him and shift everything to the height of McCarthyism (which may or may not make sense for another character in my novel)? On the one hand, if I were to make him still a young man (in his late 20s/early 30s) there's this whole "hope to return the way things were" that motivates his actions. Which would be easy in terms of the details I'm imagining because they seem to be more 1950s old Hollywood type of details.BUT if I flash forward, he can be more bitter and (initially) more hopeless. But that means changing some of the details, like his age (which I like where it is), and quite possibly make him a touch more resigned and surly than he is--which might not work for his involvement (physical, emotional and professional) with the other lead. And then there's this whole thing with the occult vs. McCarthyism.

At the end of the day, I think I need to get my ass to the library to do some research into the 1940s vs. 1950s. and I really don't wanna!

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posted by Tina at 7:04 PM
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July 03, 2008
You know... I'm getting really tired of people thinking that just because I don't have a "real" summer job--the kind where you get up at 7 a.m., take a shower, drive off to work all grumpy and slave away for 9 hours a day for just above minimum wage pay--that I'm not working. I'm a WRITER dammit! When I'm not busy working part time for my grandfather (which is a couple days a week) I'm working damn hard to get this book idea hammered out, revise two pieces written over a year ago, and now I've got to do some freakin' research too. Top that off with a desire to get some personal sh*t down around the house (my bedroom hasn't been cleaned in months, my rats are starting to stink and I have YET to mail out my incentive package to my writing buddy--it was supposed to arrive by the end of June) and my days get pretty full pretty damn fast.

Let me explain my writing days to you:
  • I get up, usually around 9/10 a.m. I don't sleep well these days--I seem to be falling asleep around 12 a.m. only to wake up three hours later, unable to fall back asleep for about 2-3 hour OR can't fall asleep until 3 a.m.--so honestly, this isn't that late for me as mathematically it amounts to the same amount of time any normal person would be sleeping.
  • I shower. Its my coffee.
  • I check my email, read some blogs, update my blog/twitter, check in on the websites I contribute to, sometimes work on a piece for said websites, etc. As the Internet in my current humble abode is craptacular, this sometimes eats up 2 hours of my morning. I could cut this, but here's the thing: I approach it as my writing warm up. Some people go to the gym to exercise their bodies and get themselves going for the day. I read/write for a couple of hours to get the juices flowing.
  • I eat lunch at 12:30/1:00 p.m.
  • At about 1:00 p.m., I sit down to write. I set a timer for FIVE AND A HALF HOURS and write (which isn't nearly enough time BUT at least its some time, and I'm guess that when my "real" job kicks back up in August, that's about all the time I'll be able to write anyways). No freakin' T.V., no fun reading, no playing games... just writing.
  • At 6:30 p.m. I take a HALF HOUR break. I pee, I catch up with my mom (she's usually home by then) decide if she's making diner or if I am and re-read some of what I've written.
  • If I'm making diner, I won't get back to writing that day. If not, I'll work for another 2-3 hours (usually reading, revising and adding to what I've written that day).
  • Watch 2-3 hours of T.V. depending on what day of the week it is. I need a brain break and I love my programs.
  • 11:00 in bed. I usually use this time to free write or outline an idea for a chapter.
  • 12:00 asleep: the cycle begins anew.

The only time this schedule changes is if, like today, I've got other sh*t to do. Today, I need to clean my room, clean my rats, run to Ithaca to GET my package items together and mail them, procure a membership to the library so I can start researching some elements for my novel... and all of this will probably eat up my writing time.

Let me clarify something. Writing is a full time job, one that (currently) I am not getting paid for. Its not some little hobby that I've developed, its not me finding a way to be lazy about housework or other obligations. Its me doing what I KNOW I was born to do. It requires just as much dedication to routine and discipline as any other job out there. And despite talent and that stupid M.F.A. it's still freakin' hard. If I want to get good at it, if I want to move up the metaphorical ladder of success, if I want to get promoted, I need to practice it every single day.

So no, I CANNOT pick up your dry cleaning. Nor will I wait around until the mail comes so I can personally courier your pay check to you. No I will not plan your summer class for you. No, I cannot meet you for lunch, go shopping, or come hang down at the lake. I'm too busy WORKING.

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posted by Tina at 11:14 AM
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