My Work Table Standing in for My State of Mind

(This mess is now half cleaned up)

My work table is reflecting the state of my head.

My main canning/preserving season has just ended.  I’m playing with foraged olives and soon I’ll be playing with drying produce to make zombie-soup with but the big projects – the few hundred pounds of tomatoes projects are done.

Max is mostly doing okay in school right now so I’ve had a little break from dealing with all that.  Though I’m surprised the school never contacted me about Max’s long fight over “The Pledge of Allegiance” which he has been refusing to stand up for or say on the grounds that he isn’t religious and won’t make any pledges that include “God” in them.  More than that – he’s expressed that he’s not all that keen to pledge allegiance to a country he’s not so proud of.  After many weeks of irritating his teachers with his refusal to cooperate they reached a compromise this Monday when the PE teacher finally agreed that Max didn’t have to say the pledge but he does have to stand up with everyone else.  Max is not overjoyed with this compromise but has accepted it.  I can’t deny that I’m proud of my kid for fighting for his right to not make religious-based pledges.

Or political ones for that matter – no pledge should be automatically demanded of any citizen because that is how dictators and fascists roll.  Anyway – children should not be giving pledges of political allegiance until they are allowed to vote and when that day comes they should be free to give that pledge or not, according to their political beliefs.

(And no, I did NOT put him up to this!  He has no idea that I stopped saying the pledge when I was a teen and only stand up when others do it but never put hand to heart or say the words.  But damn – he sure didn’t fall far from the parental tree)

I have not had the time nor the spark to do any fiction writing.  It’s beginning to weigh on me pretty heavily.  I shouldn’t let it.  I have plenty of non-fiction to work on – fun nonfiction even.  But the Jane Doe story won’t shut up in my head.  It won’t shut up but it won’t come out either.  Meanwhile I need to finish the real edit of Cricket and Grey because the chapters I’ve published online are catching up to the chapters I’ve actually re-edited.  It’s time to plunge into the world of e-publishing so I can make the first book available in e-book format followed by print-on-demand format.  I’m hesitant to try and make it available for Christmas buying because in my experience – people don’t buy shit from me.  That would represent a lot of energy most likely to result in no return.  Yet I still want to make it available – to symbolically finish the book.  To take it to the end.

I’m not sure if I will be writing more Cricket and Grey books.  I suppose it depends on whether or not people would actually be interested in reading more of them.  That was two years of work for the first one.  I know the next one wouldn’t take quite as long since so much of the character development has been done already.  Still, would it be a waste of my time?  If I am only writing to please myself and not trying to develop an actual career – then I would write the whole series only because I love the story so much and want to see all the seasons completed (I planned one book for each season of one year in Cricket’s life).  But I AM trying to create an actual career out of my writing and that’s where I have trouble knowing where best to put my energy next.

The truth is that it would be most awesome if one of my blogs would get so much traffic I could make money off my ads (I currently make zero dollars from them and mostly have them on my blogs out of solidarity with BlogHer and my company and partly because I like to keep even the most unrealistic dreams alive).  It would be cool if I could do something with one of my blogs that it took off and became my way to earn money – then I could write the fiction merely to please myself and those few others who might be interested in it.  But this question always drives me in circles of madness.  I don’t have the magic it takes to make a popular blog.  In fact, over the last several months both of my blogs have been dropping traffic like crazy.

So.

There it is.

I suppose part of the answer is that to make either of my blogs (and let’s face it – we’re really talking about Stitch and Boots because Better Than Bullets is just too all over the place to attract a crowd) to make it really thrive I would need to stop paying attention to the fiction all together and put a lot more energy into the blog(s).  But I’ve done this in the past without any resulting benefit so I’m not all that hopeful.

Then there’s the newest blog: The Post Apocalyptic Kitchen

Which I’m super excited about and we’re slowly figuring out how we want to set it up so we can start writing it.  I think it’s a great idea with a solid premise that links up really well to current trends of interests and concerns.  I dare not hang any specific hopes or dreams on this project.  I am simply going to work on it because it absolutely has to be done – it needs to be created.  Plus it’s going to be so much fun to collaborate with my friend Emma who is also really excited about this.

So.

There’s that.

Meanwhile I am bogged down by feelings of dread that are nonspecific and irritating.  I know there are lots of specific reasons for me to be stressed out but I’ve been handling all of them pretty well.  Or, so I thought.  Perhaps I am mistaken in how well I’m handling everything.

One really good thing is that Netflix finally put all the Saturday Night Live episodes from the 20000’s on the streaming site.  So I’ve been watching all the years I missed and now Max is hooked on them too.  His favorite SNL comedians are Kenan Thompson, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers.  Mine are Bill Hader, Kristen Whig, and Fred Armisen tied with Kenan Thompson.  Though it’s so hard to pick favorites because they all have such different strengths.  I think if I had to pick just one favorite of all of them it would be Bill Hader.  We’re watching the 2007 episodes and it’s so weird seeing all the presidential election skits from the last election while we’re up to our eyeballs in the current one.

It’s time to get more coffee and get to work.  I hope you all have a great Wednesday.  And try not to use the word “giggle” too often.

3 comments

  1. Robin says:

    Angelina
    Just a note to let you know I enjoy your writing be it blog or book. I just am having a hard time making time to read anything. My day will come I just don’t know when. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing!

  2. angelina says:

    Robin – I wasn’t meaning to criticize anyone for not reading my work!! I was just stating the situation as evidence that I am no good at building traffic on blogs because I’ve been blogging for 6 years and if I was going to do really well as far as building a great online platform – I would have done better by now. No criticism for anyone but my own inability to do what others seem able to do.

  3. angelina says:

    I think the worst thing that happened to my blogging was my job. Reading blogs for my job means I have precious little time or patience to read blogs on my own time and back before I had this job and I was still writing Dustpan Alley – I was reading a lot of blogs and interacting with them and that makes a huge difference in building traffic. But I can’t complain about my job either because it saved my ass and I like doing it.

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