Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bloobity blee

This is the requisite "I'm not dead" post after a 3-month absence. I keep thinking of things I'd like to write about, but then not doing it, so now it feels weird to be writing without a prompt, so to speak.

I finished all my teaching/grading commitments for the last semester, just in time for the next semester to start in 2 weeks. But that means I still have some time to plan out my courses more thoroughly than I did last semester. Having already been through them once, I have more of an idea of what needs extra attention, etc.

I also finished a big editing job and got it out the door. Now I am editing an additional long chapter for a book I had finished editing 2 years ago but that has still not gone into print. I am making steady progress on it and should have it finished sometime this week.

I've still got bits and pieces coming in as part of the huge translating job John and I did over the winter. Luckily, the bulk of it for the most recent batch is for translating in the other direction (from English to German), so a colleague is doing that for me.

I also got a heads up on a translating gig from a colleague at the hospital, but I was so busy at the time that I really couldn't take it on, even though it is on a topic I am interested in and thought I could do a very good job on. So I was pleasantly surprised when the person replied that she would get back in touch later. I think that, being relatively new to the freelance business, I am still trying to overcome the urge to hoard work, even if taking it all on would negatively impact my quality of life. I am also trying to be realistic with myself when it comes to assessing how much time a job will take. So it was a big step for me to tell her that I was busy until X date, knowing that I could be losing the work. Her response, though, was confirmation that I had made the right choice, one I will be less nervous about making again in the future.

When I am in the middle of a big job and am trying to spend my working hours on that and nothing else, I start to feel like I am fraying around the edges because I feel like I am losing sight of the big picture. When I finished that last big editing job, the first thing I did was straighten and clean my office. That improved my mood by leaps and bounds. (It also helps that I'm getting lots of direct sunlight in my office these days. Ahhh!) Now I am trying to schedule my work following the motto on my friend's fortune cookie: Always under-promise and over-deliver.(I had also read a less succinct version from an editing colleague, but this makes a nice sign in my office, along with "Don't be an asshole" and "Is this bullshit?" I like to practice tough love with myself.)

Non-work (I am sure there are finer distinctions I could make between my various activities, but this is simplest.)
John got me a Kindle for xmas, and my lovely MIL sent money, so I invested it in a Kindle subscription to a southern German newspaper. I LOVE newpapers and magazines, but there are just not enough hours in the day to get through all the articles. I have been staying up later than is my wont just to flip through all the article titles for the day and to read 10 or 15 of the more interesting ones. Thank the 7 dwarves it doesn't include the Sunday edition, or I wouldn't do anything but read the newspaper all weekend.

Instead, I am reading Debt, by David Graebers, also on my Kindle. I am also crocheting a baby blanket for a friend, and I am amazed how well the two work together. The blanket pattern is very simple, so I don't have to look down very often, and once I got the Kindle balanced where I could read it without twisting around, it stayed in place, unlike a book. Every minute or so I have to remove my hand from my crochet to "turn" the page, but that is just a matter of pushing a toggle switch on the side of the Kindle. It's working great!

Now that the ice is broken, I'm going to make an effort to post more often. I have some ideas of what I want to post, so once I get a little organized, I should be getting more content up.

Nee in Germany needs a sandwich

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