Friday, January 23, 2009

on being a simple girl

I take great joy in small things. Yesterday's joy was found in writing a press release to announce the launch of my husband's new social networking site, - designed to encourage buying local, and creating/maintaining personal and professional relationships within our county - thereby strengthening the local economy and fostering a sense of community that has begun to fade since the influx of new residents to Union County NC. (5th fastest growing county in the state, 7th fastest growing in the country!)

Today's joy was getting 2 replies from local media which are interested in including us in their newspaper.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I miss...

I miss sleep. When I was eyeball-deep in that big project, I was up working till 3 or 4 in the morning every night for a week - just long enough to totally exacerbate my already chronic and unforgiving insomnia. Since starting that project on January 6th, I haven't been to sleep before 3:30 a.m. not one single time. That site went live last Tuesday, I should have gotten myself all straightened out by now, but I just haven't been able to do it.

It's bad enough that I'm just bone tired, and that my eyes are burning - but it's messing with my head too. One thing I've learned over the years is that when I get into one of these patterns, I get overly emotional, weepy, sad, depressed, melancholic...with no emotional event to act as reason for it. Its like a thin layer of ash has settled over everything, and turned everything grey.

And of course, on top of that, I've been mostly useless to my other clients in the interim. I can't concentrate long enough. I can't get motivated, when I do I don't trust what I'm doing because I know I'm not thinking clearly.

I just want to sleep. I want to get my head back on straight before I lose my ongoing clients and my sanity! And definitely before I get my next big project!

Monday, January 19, 2009

no intentions

I didn't intend to blog while I was here, I came to surf through my "blogroll" (which isn't a blog roll at all, technically, since has been down for months) but once I got here I decided I felt like blogging. Of course, I have no idea what to blog about, I don't really have anything to say. I'm just have one of those days when I need to purge, but can't even 'access' the internal crap that needs venting, because I'm just that mentally and emotionally fumble fucked tonight.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Risk taking behavior

I remember one summer night, being about 13, out with my boyfriend, a little tipsy, doing about 70 mph on a dark back road, opening the window all the way and crawling out till I was sitting on the door, and begging him to go faster, faster! and oh how fast he went!

Stupid. All of it. Dating at 13, drinking at 13, riding on the door while a drunk drove 100 mph on a dark road. But that's me, I'd still love it. It's the adrenaline rush, the excitement & danger, the intense awareness of being alive...

I'd love to bungee jump and sky dive and mountain climb, and ride a Harley just as fast and hard as I could, hair flapping behind me, whooping and hollerin till I ran straight into the Pacific Ocean. I love that sense of freedom, I'm a risk taker, or, would be if it weren't for having kids.

But when it comes to personal relationships, I'm far more cautious. Take it slow, don't get hurt, don't take risks, play it safe. Depending on how you look at it, it's not such a bad tact, although honestly, it's never really saved me any heartache. I suppose the only thing it's ever saved me from was knowing what it would be like to let go and connect. I wonder how many friends I have missed out on, how many amazing moments, how many kindred spirits, how many beautiful memories I will never know.

And thinking that, and wondering those things - it changes nothing. I can't go back to reclaim friends or lovers I've passed up in the past, and I don't know that I'm brave enough to do anything any differently in the future. I am afraid. Afraid of being hurt, rejected, embarrassed, forgotten... and equally as afraid to hurt anyone else. It's easier sometimes to just not put myself out there on the line.

I recognize these things about myself, but mostly powerless to change them. Especially when it comes to meeting women. I am just no good at making the first move. And that makes me sad, and frustrated with myself that I can't do what I need to do to ... to... to fulfill a part of me that has been neglected for a long time.

I wish I could change that. I wish I had the balls to step out of my comfort zone and answer to that part of Erin that I've been ignoring for a decade.

I'm a putz. Sentimental and overly romantic.

My breath
crystallizes like rime
on the silhouette of her body,

the curve of her waist
the shadow of her clavicle

each frozen, delicate, in my mind -
a memory, shimmering.

They melt, fluid... into

fine straps falling from a shoulder
gliding down to her belly,
just an instant
at the hip

before puddling to the floor at her bare feet,
a pool of green satin
she tip-toes out of
before I can wade in.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Refrigerator Poetry is having a Refrigerator Poetry Contest. 29 Random words which were "generated" by my children, and the news show that was on at the time. I can't win (the prizes are cash by the way) but I wanted to write a poem anyway - the rules are: use as many of the 29 random words as possible - you CAN add other words. (Wanna know the 29 words, go here:

And here's my poem :)

Embers in My Pocket

She was a child,
walking egg shells in the moonlight -
her sage wisdom working
behind jewel tone eyes
to write the story of tomorrow.

She refused to wait
to be still - to hide
behind a curtain of complacency
dulling the brilliant flavors of
what laid before her.

The winds of winter
whispered in her ear
willing her run headlong into Spring
and jump feet first into Summer.

Her lesson was
to heed the call of The Universe
to march fearless into the divide
between what is and what will be
without care for how absurd
the path may seem to some.

She became a speaker,
a vessel whose faith poured
like blue hot embers onto
dry kindling wood – and now
her message ignites the global heart
to engender change.

And here are we, following
the program she wrote,
chunks of her belief
like hot coals in our pockets
that we spread into
those chilly corners of the world.

Now, go read some (not refrigerator) poetry

Am I Bragging?

I've never been so happy to do absolutely nothing. I'm a compulsive worker - if there's something that needs to be done, I'm a little psychotic about making sure that I get all my work done before I play. And once again, it has served me well. The big client turned out to be- well, it was a challenge, but in a different way than I expected. We were working on an already insane (7 day) deadline. There was an incredible amount of content that needed to be whittled down, sorted through, streamlined, often rewritten and redesigned, and greatly compacted into a cleaner package that displayed as something far less mind-bogglingly overwhelming and confusing. I subcontract under - she does the planning, the strategy, the big plan - I put it into action. She spent 10 hours with the clients and helped them mold the idea and end-goal into a functional, well-thought out plan and design.

I joined in at about the sitemap stage. I do the fun stuff, build the site, port content, design/create pages, code tables, design buttons, etc... in other words, Cami is the brain, I'm the brawn. She is an incredible brain, I am, well... new to being the brawn on someone else's behalf. I've built web pages for years, but always based on the pictures in my own brain, not in someone else's. Translation is difficult, and clients change their minds, or have new ideas, or... delete pages, repeatedly. And rush the job. And call a lot. And forget to talk to one another before changing things - at which point, the partner typically calls you and asks exactly why the heck things are not being done according to the origianl plan. Or... just, you know, delete the page. Again.

Anyway. It's been a long grueling week. I haven't cooked dinner once since last Tuesday, until tonight - I've barely slept, or eaten, or put down my laptop. I've been on the phone a LOT - Saturday was a 2 1/2 hour conference call in the afternoon, Sunday was another conference call, at 11pm (Oh the joy of time zones!) This job would easily have filled two full weeks at a more sane pace, but we had 1.

And here's the thing. It goes live tomorrow. There were nearly 30 unplanned pages to build, some CSS changes they wanted which I had to study up on to do because frankly, I suck at CSS. There WERE communication issues, changes of plan, insane stress, issues and problems that arose. But it's ready. It's DONE. I not only survived my first client, I survived an incredibly challenging first project. And I didn't fuck it up. Not only did I not fuck it up, I aced it. The clients are thrilled. Someone leaked the url a day early, and there are already over 100 members! It's a smashing success and it hasn't even been officially "opened" yet. Cami, essentially my boss in this case, is so happy with the results that she's going to add it to her online portfolio. The clients are thrilled and crazy grateful that I was able to do it in what they admit were unusually difficult circumstances.

I am typically not a proud person, but by golly, I'm damn proud of myself for rising to the challenge and doing the job well.

And I'm not too upset about making $1100 in a week either ;)

Monday, January 5, 2009

oy vey - too much stress for my couch

So, I have joined forces with an already established webdesign business - a business with an established clientel, an excellent reputation and web presence - not to mention lots of experience and expertise, which means, basically, they're wildly successful, and they love me. So they invited me to become an unofficial partner/subcontractor. This means they can sell more websites, because they have me to do them, and I get more clients, because they have the resources and reputation to bring them in by the boatload.

Friday, we got our first joint client! And seriously, my brain can't wrap itself around making such great money without leaving my couch. It just... doesn't compute. I am SO excited, and yet, there IS a catch with this job. The catch is that I cannot do a single thing until Wednesday morning because that's when their planning conference is, but the new site has to be complete and go live one week later.

Basically, this is the first client whose site I am completely and solely responsible for, and I have an insane deadline to do it in. I am a wee bit stressed. And yet, I am astounded and flattered that they trust lil old me to do it, right and on time, as well as continuing to meet the demands of my existing clients.

Assuming I don't screw everything up, I will make more this month, from my couch, than either of us have made in any single month in the last year.

It makes no sense at all to me, but I am soooo not arguing with it. I deserve it, I have earned it, I am capable of doing it. I know I have the power to become financially stable and independant -- to become successful.

It's just taking some time to adjust to it is all.

So anyway, in order to keep up with the 4 sites and my editorial assistant duties without falling down on any of those jobs while I have my nose down for the (very very crunch-deadline not-long-enough) week I have to create the new client's site, I have spent 3 days doing this week's work, as well as all the work that would come due between now and January 13th. That includes updating copy on one site, scheduling conference calls weeks in advance, colating book submissions and bios, organizing lists of calls I need to make, deleting content from another site, revising 2 PDF files, 1 power point presentation, 1 press release, 3 newsletters... drafting content for 3 partnered give-a-ways, 1 poetry contest (complete with rules for the site, as well as rules to be posted on outside sites) plus, funnest of all, thirty book reviews, each posted on three different sites.

And still, here is more to do to be able to truly concentrate on this new project! Sadly, I can no longer see straight, or think straight. I'm not sure if that's exhaustion, stress, or absolute elation that my "big picture" has improved so substantially in the last 3 months.

Now, if only so much of the money wasn't already spent just trying to get ourselves out of the hole! But, hey, we'll have the money to get out of the hole, and that's more than a lot of others can say, so I am grateful for the crazy deadline, all the stress, and the sleepless nights. I am healthy, my bills are paid, my future is looking up and feels bright... get that? Hopeful even. That's crazy. Crazy amazing.

Viva 2009.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well there it was. It happened. The old year went, and the new year arrived, and much to my relief, it happened fairly peacefully. I was working at the time -- I've been so far behind that I rang in the new year by adding content to one of my clients' sites. Very appropriate. That's the way I like it - I brought the new year in by doing what I love to do, giving to others by helping my client to provide a resource that will benefit many others, and at the same time, making a bit of much-needed money. Here's to hoping the rest of 2009 will follow suit ;)

I had let my kids stay up to see midnight -- it's a bit of a family tradition, and while I know that no 5 year old needs to see the ball drop, or even understands the concept of it all, my mother always let me stay up to see it, and I've always let mine too. Terra fell asleep, literally, as the announcer said "Happy New Year!" My neighbors set off many fireworks, screamed, yelled, tooted their noise makers, and, from the sounds of the echoes of the voices around the neighborhood, had a hearty drink or 3 to celebrate. I had one mixed drink, and its half-full remains still sit next to my work area on the table. It isn't that I am not happy to see 2009 come, it's just that I value the idea of being peaceful.

The oddest thing was that I'm generally very perceptive to taking on others' energies - I thought I'd explode in LA, the whole place vibrated all the time with excitement and a sense of promise and possibility - but when I walked outside a few minutes after midnight to watch the neighborhood's impromptu fireworks show, I expected to feel the positive energies of hundreds of people celebrating.

I didn't.

Despite the noise and fireworks, there was no sense of excitement. It has me deep in thought about the effects of this economy on society, and the pool of fear and desperation it has inspired. Or perhaps it's not as big as all that -- maybe it's just my neighborhood. I do live dead-center of a neighborhood plagued by alcoholism, drugs, and unemployment. I don't know, whatever the case, it leaves me feeling a bit sad that the energies were so far mismatched from the sound of revelling that surrounded me.

I generally dispense with the idea of resolutions. I lack self-discipline and will-power, and have learned that me making a new years resolution equates to me making promises to myself that I will break, and then feel like crap. But this year, I'm going to make a resolution or two. I resolve to remember that I am worthy, to live well, love big, and do my part to keep the economy of generosity going strong. And I resolve to do more in the way of giving, because I have more to offer than I've found time to part with lately. The thing I want to give most of this year: HOPE.

Happy New Year to everyone!