I have been a ball of stress lately. I am supposed to be calmly investing in the projects we have going. Instead I am constantly trying to distract myself from stress. Granted, the things I’ve been doing to distract myself are mostly productive. The house is clean. We have a new mini case all put together and organized. (Looks much better than it did!) But the painting has not been happening because painting allows me too much time to think about how stressed I am.
There are a few events that should lessen my stress. One should happen today. A few others should happen this week. I really hope they all come down in the next three days, so that next week I won’t be so tense anymore.
This was supposed to be notes, not complaints. Whoops.
Yesterday we went to IKEA to buy the mini case. I just love furniture stores, especially the kind where they have everything set up like rooms. I have since I was a little kid, for some reason. They make me all happy.
It’s raining today, and the rain also makes me happy. It feels like Bay Area winter, which is so much better than Utah winter, which I am dreading.
September has been a slow month, which is only a small part of the stress. We’ve got an avalanche of business coming down on us (probably starting today), so I’m not really worried about the lack of money coming in. I’m more stressed about how crazy October and November are going to be, mostly because we cannot yet do anything about any of the projects. *sigh*
Tomorrow is October 1st. I’ve been counting down to it for several reasons. I have a feeling October is going to be different from August and September. I really hope I’m right. If nothing else it’s the beginning of several events that will keep me busy and not thinking about the stress.
My dreams all have the same theme lately. Trying to get somewhere, and my legs are stuck, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to move very far. Walking up a hill, and the hill keeps tilting so the grade gets steeper and steeper, until it’s fully vertical and there are no handholds and I can’t pull myself the rest of the way up. Looking for something, but my eyes are blinded and I can’t see to find it.
I think I must be feeling powerless.
Waiting for responses on submissions. (Receiving them, complying with requests, and then waiting some more.)
Waiting for our caster to get on the ball.
Waiting for people to complain at me for the caster not being on the ball.
Staring at Quickbooks, waiting to understand what the heck it can do.
Waiting for the commissions in the works to come in.
Waiting forthe first commission from our contracting studio. Waiting to see how it goes.
Waiting for my painting to improve enough that I don’t secretly hate everything I paint just because I have to stare at Drew’s better painting all day.
Waiting for the money to run out.
Waiting for responses on our queries to game companies.
Waiting for the next social activity to get my mind off it all.
"The waiting place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go.
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
"Everyone is just waiting."
Waiting for the fish to bite Just waiting.
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."
Waiting for the fish to bite
I found Quick Books on sale for half off. I’ve known for a while we were eventually going to need to switch over to it for our business accounting, so we bought a copy.
I put off installing it for a week, even though I knew that was silly. Today I finally installed the thing. Holy Cow.
This feels like looking at Photoshop for the first time. There are a million functions and I don’t know what any of them does. Only with photoshop, I only had to worry about screwing up a digital photo. No problem. With this thing, I have to worry about screwing up our finances/taxes and our accounting to clients/the government. I can’t just start pushing buttons. The thing is freaking scary.
I think I’m going to stick with Quicken for a while. It’s easy to use, and does everything I am legally responsible for doing, even if I have to do extra work to put our tax stuff together.
I predict I’m going to procrastinate even setting up the files until the first of the year. Minimum.
Because today I’m too scared of it to even run the tutorials.
(Also, I wrote a prologue today. It was the first thing I’ve written in a month. I don’t know if I’ll write any more of it. But that was the first time I’ve written because I wanted to (instead of because I have to meet some goal, or produce some product) in the last (can it be?) several years. So that’s something.)
I have sorely neglected my livejournal lately.
I have three posts all composed in my head, but I haven’t written any of them down, nor will I today.
I spent the early afternoon photoshopping. Every time I use photoshop I discover new and cool functions. I also fiddled with Drew’s gallery to upload some stuff.
I rearranged our entire bedroom/office on Friday. The business is slowly taking over our apartment. It really, really needs its own room. (It’s probably not getting one for another couple years, so until then I’ll just keep watching my actual living space shrink.) Our apartment is perfect for us. It just doesn’t accomodate us and our 20-month-old-studio-baby very well.
Speaking of, I can’t believe I’ve been managing a business for almost two years. What’s more, I can’t believe it’s actually making us money. Never ceases to amaze and terrify.
We’re having something of a slow month, but it’s also involved some great things. (An outsourcing agreement with another studio, contact with agents, and preparation for Christmas sales and our new product launch, etc.)
I’m still not writing, but I have been doing a whole bunch of business manager tasks, and playing FFX.
Now I’m off to clean my kitchen. Eventually I’ll get those posts written.
But not today.
Earlier this week I opened up my window and smelled Fall.
Then last night at eight I noticed it was dark already.
Then I opened my window around 2 AM because the room was too hot. And the air outside was cooler. I didn’t even have to turn on the AC.
The change is irrevocable. Though the calendar says we have another six days of summer, I know the truth.
Summer is over, and Fall has begun.
It’s not like I don’t like Fall itself. But in two months or so Winter will come. It’s already begun. The days will grow darker and darker until we’re working all the light hours of the day. And it will get colder outside, so cold that I don’t even want to think about stepping out my door.
And I will hibernate. Instead of going out in the evenings I’ll stay home curled up playing video games by myself and watching old TV seasons on DVD.
Everyone will be busy. Everyone hibernates a little in the winter. And I’ll see people less and laugh less.
Somewhere in the midst of that winter I’ll have to make more decisions about jobs and books and writing and what the heck I’m doing with my life.
I had a wonderful summer full of friends and laughter and zombies and battles and aliens with sniper rifles. And now it’s over, and I’ll never get to live that summer again, when all I want it to do is last and last and last.
So I lost my agent last month.
Here’s what I learned: spliting with your agent is exactly like going through a breakup. I’d heard that switching agents was like going through a divorce and I now believe it fully–if we’d been at a stage where our finances were entangled, it would have been so much worse.
My agent and I had a very congenial break up–like one of those horrible relationship break-ups where you realize that even though neither of you has done anything wrong, this just isn’t going to work long term. I still think she’s an awesome agent. I’d still fully recommed her. And that actually makes it worse, rather than better.
The initial conversation was horrible, of course. Break ups always are. (The cause, incidentally, is that I don’t write what she thinks she can sell, so I need to find someone who has the contacts and experience to sell what I write. Sure, I could try to become a different writer to stick with her, but, just like in relationships, trying to be someone I’m not is always a bad idea.)
The emotional fallout was break-up-like as well. As a writer, I build all these hopes for the future to keep going. The day when I actually make some money at this. And then I have to carve my agent out of all those hopes, and start over solo. That sucks. It creates all these trust-issues. (If I find another agent, who’s to say this won’t happen again?) It’s easy for it to feel like I’m starting all over. Like the last year was a waste.
Except it wasn’t. Just like I would have in a relationship, I’ve changed and learned a few things. And UN-like a relationship, it’s not tacky for my agent to set me up with some opportunities, which she graciously has.
Since I’m not sure where my writing is going, I’m not working on any drafts at the moment. I’ve been focusing on our company, which has had more than enough things-to-do to keep me busy for the last few weeks. I’m giving myself some time to gain perspective. (A useful but annoying tool for surviving relationships.) I’ve paused the beating of my head against the publishing wall, and am instead only taking opportunities that fall in my lap for the time being.
But two opportunities already have. And, surprise! I’m not starting over at all. I’m not mailing things off into oblivion and waiting six months for responses. I’m jumping straight to the email-and-phone-call stage. Sure I wish it was the already-under-contract stage, but it’s only been a few weeks.
And just like relationships, these things take time.
Tonight my gaming group spent five hours stealing a spork from a group of mages who had offered to sell it to us to begin with. And had a blast doing it.
I’d heard Mage was a phenomenally overpowered game…and really it is. But it’s also a game in which you have the power to do absolutely anything you can imagine, which makes for some fabulous roleplaying moments. (I used my phenomenal cosmic power to pants a man, for example.) It’s also balanced by the fact that the larger you think, the more likely things are to go very, very badly for you.
So we have a magic spork. I’m still not entirely sure what the plot for the session was supposed to be. We were offered a spork, spent several hours debating how to proceed, made a substitute spork, swapped, spied, got caught, and ran away. And yet…so much fun. I really like Mage. It rewards you for BSing, thinking on your feet, and making crap up.
That is my kind of game.
I take all the pictures here with my Canon PowerShot S3. It's not the best camera on the market, but I love it.
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