My First Week on the New Job

“You know how you let yourself think that everything will be all right if you can only get to a certain place or do a certain thing. But when you get there you find it’s not that simple.”
Richard Adams, Watership Down

That quote is what came to mind to me today as I was leaving work. Not to say that getting a job hasn’t been a blessing, but much like Holly, I had focused on a particular task and had the general assumption that that would fix everything if only I could accomplish it. Of course, when I used the fact that I had been turned down for well over a dozen jobs that I should have been a shoo in for as motivation to get started on my writing, I thought I had abandoned that train of thought. It was not quite true. Because jobs of course come with their own problems and this one, despite being a morning only job, is my first 6 days a week job and it looks like I’m going to receive my check less frequently than I have in past jobs. It is taking a lot of time to adjust and the sort of imminent delivery from all the anxiety of being unable to effectively make ends meet is not as imminent as I had built it up to be in my mind.

On the other hand, by getting this job it feels like God has affirmed my choice in pursuing my writing, since I got it almost immediately and the schedule easily facilitates my writing and housekeeping. Then of course, that feeling has been topped off by this post from John C. Wright, in which he talks about how if God has a purpose for your book or writings, then He will see to it that it makes its way into the hands of the one person who needs to read it. It is a very humbling thought to think that God has some sort of plan for my writing and that it seems He has specifically engineered my current situation to make sure that I write whatever it is that He has a greater purpose for. I don’t know which piece of my writing it will be (I’m working on three separate works concurrently), or what His plan might be, but it is a very peaceful feeling to be able to believe that I’m on the right track.

Things Writers Don’t Know About Farms

This is just a random list of lesser known things that writers from suburban or urban areas may not know about farms. This is inspired in part by a post about things writers don’t know about forests (I may try to find it and link to it later, it’s a good post for those unfamiliar with forests).

Roosters are unnecessary for egg production.

Turkeys can in fact, fly. Wild ones and heritage breeds anyway. They are just not very aerodynamic.

Coyote puppies sound eerily like human children that are shrieking in laughter, but they don’t sound quite human.

Chickens will happily catch and eat mice and snakes given half the chance.

Barn cats will go out in the rain if given enough reason to.

Barn fires are not started only by careless smokers, unattended lamps, or electrical short circuits. They can also be caused by hay spontaneously combusting because it was too wet when it was baled and stored.

Deer tend to move about in the early morning and late evening. If they are active at a different part of the day, or seeking shelter when they would normally be feeding, it can indicate bad weather is coming.

Pigs can be friendly, but they can also be extremely vicious.

Billy goats are very, very smelly.

Dairy animals must be bred and give birth in order to start producing milk. They are eventually allow to dry out and then are “freshened” by breeding them again.

Mules and donkeys are not so much stubborn as extremely smart. Mules are larger than donkeys and have a smoother coat, they also come in a wider variety of colors than donkeys. Mules have larger ears, a lower headset, and a wispier tail than horses do.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it was what I could come up with today. If people are interested I can do more of these, or I can answer specific questions. If you want to avoid the tropes “all animals are dogs” and “somewhere an equestrian is crying”, you could do worse than to ask me a few questions.

Horse-sitting Adventures: Handling Untrained Foals

Time for another adventure in horse sitting. This time from the early days of a trouble-making foal who has grown up to be a too-smart-for-her-own-good trouble-making horse.

This is how not to handle an untrained foal. An untrained foal that isn’t that attached to her mother. Do not just expect her to follow her mother into the barn and certainly don’t expect her to follow her into the stall. When she inevitably does not, do not try and chase her into it, she will simply run around the barn while you regret your mistake and worry she’ll kill herself tripping over something. Definitely don’t release the mother in her stall and go and try to help your daughter chase the foal into the stall. The mother will just casually leave her stall and go start grazing outside. When her baby comes careening back out of the barn you will be left with two loose horses instead of one. If you have made all these mistakes, do catch the mother again and tie her up in her stall (like you should have done the first time), close the barn door and between the two of you funnel the foal into the stall. Do shut the door and latch the stall behind you, then release the mare and mutter under your breath about why people breed horses anyway.

Editing Music

I prefer to listen to music when I do just about anything, but when I’m editing I need 1) a lot of it and 2) music without any words so it doesn’t interfere with my ability to examine grammar.

This also has the side effect of making editing seem far more exciting than it is, which is not a bad thing.

There are tons of music mixes available, just search “epic music mix” and the number of hours you want.

In Case Anyone Was Wondering

…where I got the specific idea for six pages a day:

6pages

I have no specific affection for Stephen King or anything, I just saw this around the same time I saw some things about writing daily even if you don’t feel like it because getting back in the groove is harder than forcing yourself to write daily.

(Image Source)

Busy Day!

It turned out to be a heck of a day.

I got up early and was thinking about running errands before my daily trip up the hill to take care of Maya, but then I got an invitation to interview for a job I applied for literally yesterday. I could come anytime between 10 and 3, so I just went straight out there and interviewed. A great fit for my schedule, just morning hours. On the way back all the traffic lights were out. It turned out the power went out and I was home for about five minutes before it went out again. So we could only run one errand because the power was out in all of our in-town stops. So we went home, the power popped back on and has since stayed on. I went up the hill, got back and then we finally did our errands. We got home and I got to work on putting all my cute pictures in plastic sleeves for sale, when I got a call. They decided to offer me the job and I accepted, so unless something goes wrong between now and Monday, I’m no longer unemployed.

It seems like everything is coming together all at once. I’ve got someone wanting to sell my work, I’m consistently getting my writing done, and it looks like I’m going to have a job that is going to work well with what I want to do.