The Longest Week

You know, I don’t even have the energy to write something substantial today. If you want to read something more substantial, I do recommend my two recent Arizona posts. They (or at least the first one) have some nice photographic evidence of Arizona.

I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. I had that mandatory training course on Monday and Tuesday. You guys, it was exhausting. I learned a little bit, I guess. I don’t think we needed to have two whole days’ worth of material, though. The highlight of the entire thing was the lunch on Tuesday. The company cafeteria at that Remote Location has Taco Day every Tuesday, which means you can get a nice big taco salad full of chips, meat, and good taco toppings. It was amazing. I should have taken a picture to share with you because it was great. I ate the entire thing, which was no small feat because it was huge. Huge and delicious.

My manager is having a meeting with her direct reports tomorrow. (There are five of us.) I hope she doesn’t ask what I learned at the training because I’m likely to say, “Uh, Taco Day at Remote Location is amazing?” I guess I’d better think of a legitimate answer before tomorrow afternoon. 😉

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My Trip to Tucson, Part 2

Yesterday, we left off when I, your intrepid correspondent, had finished dinner at the fabulous Italian restaurant and gone back to my hotel.

I arrived at the airport feeling a bit morose. I didn’t want to go home yet and I received a rejection for the job I’d just interviewed for the day before. (I did end up talking to the recruiter about it and we had a good conversation, so yay. But that didn’t happen until later in the week.)

I went through security and sat at my gate and looked out the window. There’s a Air Force base in Tucson and I saw military jets coming and going, so of course I took a picture.

I flew through Denver on the way to Tucson, but I was scheduled to fly through Dallas on the way back. As my flight time approached, tragedy struck!
Continue reading “My Trip to Tucson, Part 2”

My Trip to Tucson, Part 1

A while ago, I blogged about a trip I took to Tucson, Arizona, where I scooted around in a cute rental car and took pictures of cacti—in between interviewing for a job. A company generously flew me out there and I had a great time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an offer…

…so I applied again and was again offered a trip out to Arizona. Of course, I took it. I wanted to interview because the job sounded great and I really, really like Arizona. So I went at the end of August 2017 and promised to blog about it, but then didn’t.

Well, here is that promised blog entry. There will be two blog entries, actually: one today and one tomorrow. It was that amazing of a trip. The only thing that would have made it better was having my mom out there with me. It was still a great trip, though, so here we go. This is what happened on Days 1 and 2, a lovely Sunday and Monday in August 2017.

I had to take two planes to get there, of course. There are barely any nonstop flights nowadays anyway, and I don’t live near a massive airport. Even one of the larger airports that’s somewhat near me, Atlanta, doesn’t have a whole lot of nonstop flights out to Arizona. They exist, but they’re expensive, and I don’t think the company would have wanted to pay that much when they could just stick me on a cheaper flight with connections.

So I flew United to Denver and hung out in the Denver airport for a while. Then, I boarded the plane to Tucson and made my first mistake: I’d asked for an aisle seat.

I usually sit aisle because window is hard to get out of and middle—well, the less said about middle seats, the better. When I booked the flight via the company’s concierge service (it sounds way fancier than it is, I promise), I’d requested aisle seats on both flights. That was a big mistake! Next time I fly to Arizona, I’m getting a window seat. The view from the window was gorgeous.

I got lucky because the lady next to me in the window seat let me lean over her a bit to see what was going on outside. That’s how I took this fantastic photo of some Arizona scenery about half an hour before we landed. It’s one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken.


Continue reading “My Trip to Tucson, Part 1”

Unmotivated

Starting tomorrow, I have a mandatory two-day training session for work. You guys, I really don’t want to go. It’s offsite in the middle of nowhere, so it’ll take me forever to get there. Plus, I did this training last year! It will be exactly the same material that I’ve already learned and been applying over the past year. At least the yearly conference I go to has different speakers and different topics every year.

And it’s two whole days long. I don’t want to sit there for two whole days. The only consolation is my work BFF will be there too and she feels the same way I do… and we get free food. Free food is always good.

Violin

You guys, I haven’t played violin in I don’t know how long.

Actually, I do know how long it’s been: I haven’t played since September of last year, right before that crisis unfolded starting in October that basically wrecked my writing and every enjoyable thing in my life. For the record, I’ve been engaging in all my hobbies again since then—except violin.

I miss violin. I miss classical music—I listen to it frequently, but I haven’t been playing it. I miss playing it. In fact, I’ve had this minuet by Luigi Boccherini stuck in my head all evening. So, of course, I’m going to attempt to get it stuck in your head. 😉 Enjoy!

Happy Friday!

Dear readers, I set myself the personal challenge of blogging every day this month… but the problem with such challenges is sometimes you don’t have anything to say or just don’t feel like blogging! And therefore you have to put up a somewhat pointless post. This is such a post.

I know I had all day to write something, but there was a crisis and then I had to make dinner and clean and vacuum, though I never did get around to vacuuming, and suddenly I realized it was past ten and I hadn’t blogged.

So, I am going to do a little fiction editing and then go read. I’m reading Ahsoka right now and it is so good. Seriously, if you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t read it, it’s definitely worth a read.

Studying Story Structure (Part The Second)

Two years ago, I wrote about studying story structure. Back then, in February 2016, I was still participating in the Writing Challenge on Twitter (let us pause for a moment to mourn that group’s demise—yes, it’s still around, but it’s not the nice supportive group it was back then) and had been studying story structure for almost a year. I originally wanted to learn about it when a beta reader read a novel of mine that was rather… amorphous. The plot just didn’t have any structure and trust me, that was not a good thing.

I’m happy to say that I’m still reading about story structure and incorporating what I learn into my writing. In the past two days, I had two epiphanies about my current work-in-progress. Just adding one element into the story is going to make it a lot more powerful. Part of the epiphany involves introducing the antagonist a lot earlier and tying that to what my protagonist wants. I think I have a good antagonist for the story but he was too much in the background and only made an appearance at the end of the novel.

I am so excited to share this novel with all of you. Believe me, I’m going to query like crazy to hopefully get a book deal and if I don’t, I think I’ll publish it myself as an ebook. Since I can’t query or publish it until it’s edited, I’m going to cut this post short while I go edit, as it’s getting rather late!

Waiting For The Ax To Fall

There are major changes afoot at my company.

It’s too bad, really. I thought we were doing pretty well. 2017 was one of our best fiscal years ever, in the entire company’s history. (And we aren’t a young company, I assure you.) But at the end of last year or towards the beginning of this year, we got a company-wide email announcing a restructuring initiative. There’s even a special name for it—no, I can’t tell you what it is. Unfortunately, the name is public knowledge and you could probably find where I worked if I told you. And then I wouldn’t be able to blog at all anymore, which would be sad.

But I digress. As so often happens, the executives are doing a really bad job of communicating all of this, and people are scared. There are rumors flying around the company of whose jobs will eliminated and when. Rumor has it the ax will fall on a few hundred people in the coming weeks. What departments these people work in is a mystery thus far.

The scary thing is this fear has spread to my department, at least somewhat. There are some people who think they’re invincible, of course. But I talked to three other coworkers and they all agree that the ax eventually may fall on our department, too. It probably won’t be until the latter part of the year, but it could happen. It probably will happen.

Sigh. Just another week of Corporate Drama. Who knew the working world could contain such… excitement.

A Beautiful Arrangement of ‘O mio babbino caro’

Well, I haven’t done a Wednesday Music post in ages, and it isn’t even Wednesday anyway, but I wanted to share with you an amazing arrangement I found on YouTube of the soprano aria “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. If you don’t like singing, never fear—a violin plays the main vocal part. (And if you do like singing, may I recommend this excellent recording by Kiri Te Kanawa, one of my favorite opera singers.)

Or click here to see on YouTube.

I’ve played this on my violin, but somehow it never has sounded as good as this version does… Oh, well. Perhaps I need to practice more. 😉

Moving Out of State

You guys, I’m feeling a bit demoralized tonight. Remember when a person at work got a promotion and I didn’t and I was upset? Well, I’ve been channeling my rage into job applications. (Actually, “rage” is too strong a word. I promise I’m not walking around in a perpetual state of enragement! But I like the way it sounds in that sentence.) I’ve put a fair amount of them in at various companies. I’ve heard nothing yet, though. I know hiring can take forever—many a hiring manager has said this to me. But I can’t help but thinking that the fact that all my applications have been for out-of-state positions isn’t helping.

Is there any way to get around this, short of moving to a new city without a job? I’m very, very, very reluctant to do that. I hate the idea of not having money coming in, plus I had to fight tooth and nail to get a job in this industry anyway. I’m reluctant to leave a job without another one lined up. Yet, I do realize that actually being a lot closer to where the jobs I’ve applied to are located might help.

Or maybe I’m just being too impatient. I haven’t applied to that many positions yet, in the whole scheme of things. (A person can only fill out so many of those applications at once without wanting to scream.) I do have more positions on my list that I’m planning to apply to. Hopefully someone will get back to me for an interview—and make me an offer. Fingers crossed…