Today is chilly. This is not a terrible thing. I tend to like winter until about March 1, when I want it to go away already. Of course, since it's not uncommon for us to have a blizzard in early April, that's a problem, but it is not a problem at this moment.

The to do list is proceeding at a good pace; three of the items have to do with the textbook, and on two of them I have done the non-computer aspects (find some more exercises and make decisions on section organizing) and just need to enact them in the file. I wrote a report of midterm standing for one of my students and gave class, which is two more items crossed off, which leaves two or maybe three more (one is a meeting with the student who is guest teaching in my class on Wednesday and Friday, which may happen today but maybe tomorrow).

So, back to weekend crafting. Friday and Saturday nights I didn't get much done - Friday I deliberately navigated to TVTropes.org, which is never good for doing anything again the whole rest of the day, and Saturday, well, I don't remember exactly but I think I dinked around online for a while and then read Predictably Irrational, which I expect to finish this week because it is interesting and fun to read.

Yesterday was crafting day. Well, it was coffee and puzzles and dishes and tidying day too, but I sat down and looked at the projects I currently have. I divided a page into 14 sections, for the 14 weeks that start today, and figured out what I need to do to get the projects with deadlines done by their deadlines, at least at the weekly level. I am learning some things in the career counseling sessions about focus. Right now, while I have very little free time, I need to focus my efforts craftwise on the things I care most about. The complication is that I have some things that aren't my main focus, aren't the things I care most about, but that have deadlines in the near term and that I do really want to finish. The other minor complication is I would like to continue blogging twice a week, and right now I have only one post ready beyond today and Thursday's posts. That requires finishing items on a regular basis.

Why 14 weeks? Because that takes us to the end of January (aghast!), which marks the last external deadline: The Sketchbook Project.[1] To get that done on time I must complete an average of a page a week, counting the covers as individual pages (and "page" means both sides). Three pages and the cover are partially completed, but there's a lot of time involved. However, that's getting pushed off until mid-November (I will make it up over Thanksgiving and Christmas), because I have two even closer deadlines. The first is November 7 for the Feeling Stitchy book cover embroidery contest, and the second is November 19 minus shipping time for my brother's 40th birthday gift. And meanwhile, various small things so I have something to post about twice a week.

With that in mind I hopped to and did one and a half sketchbook pages (the other half was the very first one I did, so I took care of the back) and wrote the blog posts for today and Thursday. I have a schedule now for the next 14 weeks, though it will be adjusted and added to (my internal deadline items after the next couple of weeks have been entirely omitted), and hopefully it will keep me on track. After all, if I hope to make this a business some day, I had better treat it as work!

But last night, after about 45 minutes of work on my book cover, I went to trivia night at the local pub, with a couple of friends and the husband's parents. Fun and educational! :-)

[1] Interestingly, going back to that page, I see the theme I chose (stitches and folds) is no longer listed - apparently it filled up!

next steps

Oct. 23rd, 2011 03:36 pm
I met with my career counselor Friday, and we discussed various things, like what I might set as goals for the rest of this year (which is not very long!). I am resisting schedule-setting for my monster book and other things a bit because I really don't know how much time I'll have in the winter term - I'll be done with the textbook (unless it comes back that soon and I have to do the new edits), but I'll be teaching two highly time-consuming classes, and for at least one of them I'll be doing all my own grading. For the other I may have someone else doing some grading. But I'm going to be writing my lecture notes essentially from scratch - in one case completely, and in the other nearly completely. I may change my "no work at home" policy a bit since I kind of prefer grading at home, but hopefully I can figure out a way to do so that I can still reap the mental health benefits of the current system.

Back to Friday. She asked what she can do for me, and I said besides keeping on with pushing me to think longer term and keeping me on track, maybe we could do a slower, gentler version of her weekend entrepreneurship workshop. She gave me the handout they use for that, but it was completely intimidating - it's the one that made me seize up and feel suddenly like I was going to cry. I think this will be okay, partially because it won't be a surprise, and partially because I've realized I really don't *want* another job, so I need these tools to hasten the day when I am completely self-employed. If the monsters come out as well as I hope, I think that book will sell really well - and I have nearly enough ideas for a sequel already.

There is always tutoring to help pay the bills.

Lately I've really been wanting to be in a band, funnily enough. I want to put on leather pants and a tank top and stalk the stage with a microphone. All of these things that probably go with the realization that I would like to be somewhere other than I am.

Actually I mentioned on Friday that I'd had two coughs already this fall and that's unusual for me, and she said a friend of hers who's into some kind of naturopathy or fung shui or something said that you are susceptible to coughs when you aren't saying things you want to. I really don't go in for the metaphysical stuff but that condition surely holds of me! Though the department secretary mentioned when I was in Friday that the chair had given her some paperwork related to making next year's teaching schedule, and I think getting the teaching assignment request forms will precipitate the moment of truth. I wanted to talk to my career counselor first, and then to the one department member I've confided in, before making any general announcements. It will be a strange state to live in.

This is related to my realization that I don't want another job. When I announce that I'm leaving my position and people ask for what, I want to be able to say crafting, full stop. Not crafting cut with professional organizing (which I've mostly thrown by the wayside because it would take too much marketing and startup, for an hourly rate I could probably get with tutoring), not crafting cut with some part-time job somewhere that serves no long-term purpose. I would be interested in public health, and if I were in any way qualified for a job in that field I would be happy to say "public health with a side of art" - which perhaps could still come to happen; I have research to do. Perhaps I'm more qualified than I believe.

Well, this is amply long enough. Tomorrow I'll write about my weekend crafting adventures.

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