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helping my mom move from her two bedroom house into a one bedroom apartment close to my sister in the suburbs, ruminating over an hour and fifteen minute conversation I had with the minor (but important) character in my memoir on Friday, thinking about all of the crap I still need to do on my house. it’s about 2/3 of the way unpacked. an electrician came out last week to install phone jacks in my office and had to go underneath the house in the crawlspace and found standing water. so now i need to have a plumber come out and find out what’s going on.
this week will be: landscaper coming this morning to mow and weed. my grass seems 80 feet high even though it’s not, handyman coming on Wednesday and scheduling the plumber to come out. oh and i really have to get my house in order for my housewarming party on saturday. you may or may not care about any of this.
my friend Kelly F. and i are talking about starting a weekly work shopping group in September. we both know of a couple spaces we can possibly use and will be scoping out them out soon. I’m excited about this prospect since I haven’t taught a class for Writer’s Boot Camp West since December. Marybeth taught a great workshop this weekend. You should read about it here: Adirondack Writer’s Weekend
I called her last night on the way back into Portland from helping my mom move. She was on the Amtrak back into the city and we both decided that even though we are still trying to gain more traction and get more bodies into the seats of our workshops we are committed to keeping Writer’s Boot Camp East and West going.
Today is Mike’s birthday. He would have been 34. Now I’m off to work.
I got this event in my inbox a few days ago…if you live in Washington County (Oregon) go. Sue is an amazing writer…..
I’m giving a talk called “At play in the fields of the word: a theory of poetry” that is my effort to define poetry and look at its evolutionary significance. What do Jack Handey, poetry, and epilepsy have in common? What did William Stafford mean when he said that poetry was a serious joke, and should we take him seriously?
I would be delighted if you could come join the conversation this coming Monday, May 20, 2013, at 7 pm in Hillsboro (135 SE 3rd Ave., downtown Hillsboro).
All the best,
“Memoir’s not an easy form. It’s not for beginners, which is unfortunate, as it is where many people do begin. It’s hard for beginners to accept that unmediated truth often sounds unlikely and unconvincing. If other people are to care about your life, art must intervene. The writer has to negotiate with her memories, and with her reader, and find a way, without interrupting the flow, to caution that this cannot be a true record: this is a version, seen from a single viewpoint. But she has to make it as true as she can. Writing a memoir is a process of facing yourself, so you must do it when you are ready,” Hilary Mantel.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/books/review/hilary-mantel-by-the-book.html?ref=books&_r=1&
Stalking makes me nervous. Here’s why: Four years ago I merged my vocational company with another, larger company. It was the biggest mistake of my career but also a blessing in disguise. Here’s why it was a mistake: I signed a poorly written non-compete contract without consulting an employment attorney. I have several attorney friends who are awesome. One looked it over but since employment law wasn’t his specialized area of practice he said “looks fine.” Bad idea jeans.
Five months in the business was a total shit show. The owner was a complete lunatic running around telling us to make 32k a month. That was the random sales goal that she pulled out of her butt. She was and still is a total scam artist. All of the employees that I managed knew it. The owner enlisted the help of her neighbor to be the sales director. The neighbor, we’ll call her “crazy pants” turned out to be a complete alcoholic stalker type. Owner and neighbor teamed up and fired me…but not before trying to demote me and threaten me with a lawsuit. I refused to stay and left. She took all of my clients and business contacts.
I went back into business by myself and started from scratch. Im still in business.
A year later one of her employees in the 5 person vocational department was fired. That woman is one of my best friends. We’ll call her Delia. Then another quit in protest of Delia’s firing. Then the bookkeeper was fired for being friends with Delia. Are you following me? A month later the entire department fell apart. My friend that was fired told me that the neighbor, crazy pants, was watching my google calendar – to see who I was doing business with. The neighbor, crazy pants, looked at my LinkedIn profile multiple times. It freaked me out. I called the police. The owner enlisted the help of a high powered attorney and threatened to sue me and Delia. I went to an attorney who said I might as well declare bankruptcy. I was freaked out.
I was scared I would lose my business a second time. Delia went into business for herself. After four weeks of being scared and freaked out the former employers high powered attorney reached out to another attorney, Jennifer, and told her to take my case. You heard right. The opposing counsel recommended an attorney for me!!! Probably because she thought the employer was a nutjob. Eventually we ended up settling and I paid 8k plus my own 2.5k in attorneys fees to make the former employer go away.
Flash forward to tonight and I checked my LinkedIn account. Crazy pants had checked my profile again. All these years later. I sent her an email to her work account telling me to leave me alone. I also threw in a few choice words that I won’t mention here on this blog.
So here’s the good thing that came out of that whole rotten experience: I learned I hate managing people. I’m horrible at it. It stresses me out. I have my own company where I’m making record profits for the third year in a row. I have freedom to do what I want. It’s a self-care measure. Sure. It’s really expensive. I pay $410 a month for health insurance. I have a mortgage to worry about too … I work like a maniac. But I need and have my own autonomy.
No one tells me what to do or threatens to demote me. Bottom line.
Today has been: writing and coffee at 6 am, billing, meeting a landscaper to talk about options for my backyard, buying a used washer and dryer, unpacking my house, dinner in the suburbs for my sister’s birthday, my 16 month old niece running around, and crashing on my sofa tonight with the heating pad around my shoulders.
That’s where I carry a ton of tension. The reiki person that I see from time to time tells me I don’t need to carry the world on my shoulders. It’s so much easier said than done. I wish I could.
Right now there’s a lot I’m not blogging about. There’s a lot of research going on for the end parts of my book. I’ve reconnected with one of the minor (but powerful) people in the memoir via Facebook and I’m planning on talking with him this week by phone. My mom ended up talking with him as well and delivered some news that makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Something that happened a long time ago but still has major impact.
I hate being so vague but for right now that’s where things are at.
I’m meeting with a former writing classmate on Saturday to talk about starting a workshopping group in the fall. The same one I was talking about starting this spring…but that didn’t happen because of buying the house and other stuff. I’m excited for the possibility since classes and teaching have been on hold.
I guess you need a phone line to run dsl? I am technologically challenged. I tried to arrange for a centurylink tech to come to my house but to no avail thanks to the unhelpful folks at that company.
Back in the day, prior to centurylink it was called qwest. I called it “qwerst” because they sucked. Back before they were qwest they were uswest….back in the 90′s. my friends and I called it usworst. I need to come up with a new for them. Help me out!
For the time being there will probably be more delays in blogging…