Instagram Hiatus

I deactivated my Instagram over a week ago. I haven’t missed it since.

On Instagram, deactivating is not the same as deleting. Deleting gets rid of the account entirely; deactivating simply hides it and any likes and comments you’ve made. Once you log in again, everything reappears as if you never left.

I love taking hiatuses from social media. I took a Twitter hiatus last week. I went back on this weekend, though I haven’t been on that much as of late.

But Instagram stresses me out in a way that no other social media site does—except Facebook. Granted, Instagram isn’t quite as bad, but there’s still that whole “show every perfect moment of my life to demonstrate how I’m doing it all, all the time” aspect to Instagram. I don’t want to single anyone out, but a friend of mine posted a picture of her feet with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It was a nice photo and got a ton of likes and comments. But the whole time I looked at it, I kept thinking of how miserable she actually is because she’s on a career path her parents forced on her and she works twelve hours a day, if not more, and is generally unhappy with her life.

I’m just rambling now. My point is social media posturing makes me stressed. I’ll probably be back on Instagram at some point… but I’m so enjoying my absence I think I’ll stay off another week, at least.

P.S. I wrote this whole post on my phone! I hope there aren’t any typos.

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Inaccurate Knowledge Is Worse Than No Knowledge

I hate bad nonfiction books—by bad, I don’t specifically mean boring (though I’m not fond of boring books, either), but books that contain major inaccuracies. I also hate it when people condescend to women, especially when it comes to finance. Unfortunately, I encountered both inaccuracies and condescension in a book I read recently. I had to trash it on Goodreads, but I’m sure there are many of you out there who don’t follow my Goodreads review. (I don’t follow most of the blogger I read on Goodreads, so I certainly don’t blame you!) Therefore, I just had to post this review on here in all its ranty glory. Enjoy!

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with MoneyThe Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If this book were simply useless to me, I could have given it two stars. I know it’s marketed towards young women who don’t know much about money. And that’s fine, because there are people who don’t know much and everyone’s got to start somewhere. I get that.

What made me give this book one star (i.e. the lowest rating allowed—I’d give it negative stars if I could!) was how some of the information was just plain wrong. Like criminally wrong. So wrong that if you followed it, other poor fellow unfortunate readers, you’d find yourself in deep trouble.

The first major error I’m going to talk about comes in chapter 5. Do not, do not, DO NOT ever buy a house with a down payment of less than 20%. One of the so-called “experts” “interviewed” (I use both those terms, experts and interviewed, loosely) says you can put 3.5% down for your house. NO. Do not ever do that. PMI (private mortgage insurance) will eat you alive. Your finances will be so messed up it isn’t even funny. I will note that other reviewers pointed this out, too, so it makes me feel a bit better that this mistake did not go unnoticed.

The next, and in some ways more egregious error (because you probably start investing before buying a house) occurs in chapter 2, the chapter about investing. This quote is so misguided that it’s obvious the author, Chelsea Fagan, has zero idea what she’s talking about:

Explore other low-risk investment options, such as mutual funds and index funds.

Continue reading “Inaccurate Knowledge Is Worse Than No Knowledge”

When Your Novel Is A Mess…

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty good about my editing. I’ve been editing this novel for a while and while it’s been slow going, it is coming along. And that’s a good thing!

Then, tonight I looked at the first part as a whole and I think it’s just to dang long. I need to have the first plot point come sooner—a lot sooner. Conventionally, it should be at around the twenty-five percent mark and mine comes a lot later.

I don’t know if this means moving scenes from the first act into the second act, or cutting them altogether. I’ll probably need a combination of both.

Why does editing have to be so incredibly hard?! Also, why couldn’t I have learned anything useful about editing in school? Seriously, despite all the writing I learned over the years, I don’t think I learned a single useful thing about editing my own writing. But that’s a story for another time.

Unmotivated & Demoralized

I have something to confess to you, dear readers. Going to work has been a real struggle recently.

It’s going to sound like I’m dwelling and obsessing, which probably is true, but I have felt so, so, so unmotivated ever since a very undeserving person received a promotion back in April. Seriously, just getting up in time to get to work has been such a struggle. I mean, why rush if she barely shows up and gets promoted anyway, right?

It’s also frustrating because I’m getting a bit bored with my position. I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve got things down. I’ve improved so, so much since starting at this job. I’m ready for the next level. I’m also not expecting it to happen. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s just so… frustrating.

Remember the undeserving person in question who managed to get that promotion? (I don’t know if I’ve ever said this, but she started at the company around the same time I did and until the promotion this April, we were at the same level.) Guess how much she worked last week, the week of July 23? Have a number in your head? Maybe you’re thinking 5 days, like a normal work week?

Well, dear reader, you would be wrong. She worked a grand total of 1.5 days. Yes, you read that right. One-and-a-half days. Yet she gets promoted to the next level up. If I don’t deserve a promotion, she definitely doesn’t.

Okay, rant over. I promise we’ll return to regularly scheduled programming concerning books I’ve read, writing projects I’m working on, and random fun things from my life next time I write a blog post. I just had to vent about this and get it off my chest.

(Unless you like reading about work drama. If you like posts like this, I can definitely oblige and give you more. Believe me, there’s more where it came from… 😉 )

The Ax Has Fallen

Remember when I wrote about the restructuring initiative that’s going on at my company and how people in my department were starting to get scared? Well, it happened. The ax fell on two coworkers yesterday. They were told they no longer had positions at the company and were then escorted from the premises. I didn’t see this because I don’t work at the location they did, but the story spread like wildfire through our department.

I didn’t know them well, as they worked on a different team in the department. I just have a bad feeling about all of this, though. I don’t like it one bit.

April 2018 Writing Report

As you may have seen, I vowed to write every day for the month of April—and I succeeded. That was both blog writing and fiction writing, which wasn’t easy. I think my studying for my next professional certification took a hit, unfortunately!

I was editing in April, so I didn’t get a ton of really high word counts. Editing is a strange beast since it involves so much reading over previously written material. I did write some new scenes for my manuscript, which was fun. I’ve begun to really like reading over old scenes and shuffling things around and making sure the scenes tie into the overall plot.

In April, I wrote a total of 8,571 words, which is an average of 285 per day. As I said, all of that was for editing. I tried to edit for an hour every day, but that wasn’t always possible. I did manage to edit every single day, though! That is an accomplishment.

So far, I haven’t written every day in May—just some days. Last week really was not my week, I’m afraid to say. A rather idiotic neighbor backed her car up into my car. I was honking my horn at her the entire time, but she claims to have not heard it, which makes no sense. How can you not hear a car horn right behind you??? Luckily, she was going so slowly that my car has no visible damage and looks fine. There were other annoyances last week, so let’s just say good riddance to the first week of May, and I’m going to go work on my editing now.

Thirty Days Of Blogging

Well, dear readers, I did it. Back at the beginning of April, after not blogging for a long time, I privately vowed that I would both blog and write fiction every single day this month. Why? I was tired of my writing being disrupted by The Crisis, so I wanted to see if I could write every day for a month.

I managed it, but it wasn’t easy. Sometimes, I just really didn’t feel like writing. Other times there wasn’t really much to write about. But I wrote every day, and I’m glad that I did.

I don’t think I’ll be blogging daily in May. I have too much going on then! I do plan to write a few times a week, though.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work on some fiction so I can fully complete my vow.

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

I hate to be That Person who has nothing to blog about so she blogs about the weather… but that’s what I’m going to do. Mainly, I just want to get a quick post written so I can go listen to my audiobook, which is almost complete.

Today, it poured. It rained so hard that the water was getting backed up in the streets because it was coming too fast to go down the storm drains. It rained so hard that there were puddles everywhere. And, of course, I didn’t have a second pair of shoes. After I got soaked walking in from the parking lot, I spent the entire afternoon with wet socks and wet, squishy shoes. It was terrible. As soon as I got home, I washed my cold, wet feet in warm water and it was glorious.

The offending shoes (Vera Wang flats) are drying by the door right now. After I finish listening to the aforementioned audiobook, I’m going to order some rain boots. I’m thinking of giving Zappos a try. Anyone ever used Zappos before? Anyone ever tried Kamik boots before? These are both going to be new experiences for me.

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. 😉

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.