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Showing posts from July, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday - One Week Later

Well, it's been one week without a job, but it hasn't been a week without work. I've been very busy applying to jobs and even busier with my writing. I've also been quite busy reducing expenses and calculating how much money I actually need to live. What I've discovered is that I can live on less. I've been getting responses from recruiters and may have some interviews soon. It may be contract work ahead and that is just fine. A writer friend mentioned to me that I could take writing breaks in between contracts. Contracts often pay more than regular jobs. If I'm smart with my budget, I could take time off when I'd rather do something like travel. I have options for benefits with my previous plan or once I am published through the authors association. Whichever plan costs me less is what I'll go with as they are about the same. I'm less scared today. I know I'll get through this. Sadly, Winchester the Amazing Betta fish is no longer with us. I

Merry Monday - Job Searching

Well, I'm not sure what to say today. I always hated Mondays when I was working. It was odd getting to sleep in and take the day one step at a time. I think that will be my philosophy during this challenge. Take it one day at a time. I began with breakfast and an episode of Archer because I felt like I could use a laugh. Today, I renewed my health card. Following that I attempted to call the Cardio center as they need the new version code or I'll be charged for the visit I had to get results. They're closed until August 2nd for summer vacation. I've set myself a reminder to call them then. After that I contacted my mortgage company and made an appointment to see what my options are until I find another job. During lunch I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. Harry Potter movies always make me feel better. I looked at jobs and started making a spreadsheet to keep track of where I have applied and when. I played a little guitar and thought about my next st

Fortifying Friday - Job Loss Recovery in Progress

I'm feeling pretty good today despite being laid off for the first time ever in my life. I'm a little scared, of course, but I'm optimistic. I'm choosing to look at this as an opportunity. If I'm completely honest, the grind was getting stale and I was itching for change. As I think more about this, I'm hopeful I can work something out that will allow me to work slightly less, perhaps 1 day less per week and thus provide me with extra writing time. To do this, I will be reducing all of my expenses. I have wonderful friends informing me of job opportunities and some have already taken my resume to help me get some attention. Yesterday, I spent time with some good friends and their adorable toddler. Between the cutie pie and the Pokemon, my spirits were lifted immensely. First things first, I am lining up the time sensitive items such as anything to do with benefits like dental and my prescriptions. I've booked a dental appointment while I still have benefits.

Thoughtful Thursday - Laid Off

Many thoughts are running through my mind right now. I was laid off this morning. It's not something that has ever happened to me.  I spent the morning updating my resume and talking to people who might be able to help me get a job. I spent the afternoon and evening with good friends and we played Pok√©mon.  Tomorrow's plan is to apply for EI and make arrangements for the things I'm paying out like loans and mortgage. Oh, and clean my home. In the interim, I have a story with a deadline looming. Perhaps this change will be a blessing in disguise. I've been yearning for change anyway. Ciao, R~

Merry Tuesday - July Martial Arts Weekend

[caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption] I know I'm a day late. My weekend was fantastic and I needed time to recover. The weekend was spent in the Greater Toronto Area, specifically Oshawa and Etobicoke. It was filled with the merriment that comes with visiting good friends. And we worked hard. The focal point of the trip was an iaido seminar with my idol, Hatakenaka Sensei. She came over from Japan to provide technical corrections and personal insights. But I took much more from her talks than technical points. We had Q&A sessions where we got to ask questions about who she is as a person and I learned that she and I have some things in common (tenacity, goal-oriented). She is proud of her accomplishments without being boastful and has high standards. She tries to do her part to bring peace to the world through martial arts. I hope to make the world a better place through my writing.

Fortifying Friday: Week of July 15th

I really don't know what to offer today. There has been a lot of sad things happening this week. All I can say is that there will be wonderful humans helping the survivors out; the nurses, firemen, police officers, and regular folk who do amazing things despite how scared they are too. Look for stories about those wonderful people. I wish I could offer more today but I'm feeling quite drained and in the middle of a road trip. Life goes on as it must. Cherish the days you have left because someone else ran out of time. Ciao, R~

Merry Monday - Demos, Movies, and Early Birthday Fun

[caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignright" width="500"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption] This weekend was fairly packed. Friday brought a lovely thunderstorm. I spent the early part of the weekend custom-painting my sword bag and watching the Harry Potter movies since it was rainy. I've been a little down lately and those movies always make me feel better. I'll post a pic of the bag once it's done. I'm really excited about it! On Saturday, I dragged my butt out of my house to get some things to bake myself a gluten free birthday cake. I got the boxed kind because I've had too many bad experiences with gluten free baking in recent years and wanted something edible. The golden cake was just OK for me. Next time I'll try a different brand, I think. I was bringing the cake to a friend's on Sunday anyway and didn't feel like experimenting on them. Maybe next time, though. Oh, tomorrow is my birthday. The big 3-5.

Fortifying Friday: Week of July 8, 2016

I cannot imagine what it is like to be a black person this week. Not in the slightest. I look around my neighbourhood and see young black men waiting for the bus to go to school and I wonder how they can muster up the courage to go outside at all. It shouldn't be this way. They shouldn't have to worry that a trip to the grocery store will end up in death. My black friends shouldn't have to worry that their sons will be killed for buying diapers someday. No one should. Something has to change. I think this video needs to go viral. The killing of people because of race or religion has to stop. Why? To quote Prime Minister Trudeau, " Because it's 2016 !" Funky Friday is no more. I believe something different is called for. Not simply sharing of news stories, but sharing news that inspires hope for the future. I want to highlight the good things that aren't getting enough coverage. This is in no way to diminish the seriously awful things that are happening. T

Thoughtful Thursday: The Power of Sharing on Social Media

This post is also hosted at My Trending Stories and I've linked it here . This Thursday I'm pondering if all the bad and violent things in the world are partly fueled by us. What I mean is, what if by sharing all the awful things on social media we are perpetuating a cycle of awful things? If that is the case, someone could theoretically start a movement to share only good things for a month no matter what happens. What could one month do to the Internet? What message could it send to people desperate for Internet notoriety? There are people that believe that doing good to get recognized is bad. That it's tainted with self-interest and therefore can't actually be good. I'd rather see someone doing good for an imperfect reason than someone committing mass genocide for attention. The thing is, I'm not sure we can do it. Share only good posts, I mean. The world is addicted to stories of carnage and death. Don't think so? I dare you to prove me wrong with your a

ROW80 - 2016 Round 3

I haven't forgotten you, ROW80. I just got too busy writing. Goals for Round 3 Write a 10,000-word mystery story for a collection I was invited to participate in. Deadline: August 1st Monday & Thursday blog posts for My Trending Stories. Monday and Friday posts on this blog. Post one love poem each day for the month of July. Add more to the novel after the results for the Half the World contest are announced. Look for an agent? Work on learning French daily Practice guitar daily Build the other garden cages to combat the squirrels so I'll have things to harvest eventually. I'm not sure how long Round 3 is, so I'm guessing this is sufficient because it's also summer. Ciao, R~

Merry Monday: Canada Day Weekend

  [caption id="" align="alignright" width="398"] It's Monday again![/caption] On Canada Day, I decided to go geocaching. Out of three attempts, I found one cache. My friend, who has hundreds, assures me that it will get easier and that finding any at all was pretty good. Between cache one and two, there was a Bridgehead that was open and had delicious watermelon rooibos iced tea. It was a welcome refreshment on the warm summer day. Cache number three seemed like it should be easy, but I couldn't get to the coordinates for some reason. I'll try again soon. Cache number two is very close to CSIS and it feels weird to be climbing through bushes and whatnot with their cameras pointing at me. I don't really want to have to explain that I'm urban treasure hunting. But I'll probably get up the courage eventually. I should get some high DEET bug spray so I'm not worried about ticks in the long grasses. After that, I finished my one gar

Funky Friday: Week of July 1st

[caption id="attachment_4712" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption] I made it through another week! Sadly, not everyone that began this week did. Personal Excited : Now that it is July, one month of love poems begins on this blog! I'll warn you now, some are from my high school days and could be terrible. My view of love in those days was very "love conquers all", "all's fair in love and war", "my other half", and "all you need is love." As the month wears on, you can expect to see how my view has changed and grown, also when I was challenged by its end. Emotional : I've been invited to contribute on another site a couple of times per week and after some deliberation, I've accepted. As of this coming week, I will be decommissioning Wonder Wednesday and it will be replaced with Thoughtful Thursday. It will be hosted on another blog and linked or reblogged to this