Author Archives: B. Blue Marbe

About B. Blue Marbe

Unpublished weird fiction writer. Aspiring shut-in. Collector of sea-themed tattoos and ill-advised life experiences.

Notes on sleep

If I’m staying home for the day/don’t have a real schedule or anywhere I need to be, I need somewhere between 9 and 10 hours to feel rested and awake. Less sleep than that, and I’ll have an increased tendency to get sick.

If I have to be at work, or have somewhere else to be, I’m usually up-too-late anxious and sleep for 6 or 7 hours, but I’m not tired during the day, and I’m not any more susceptible to picking up an illness (that I’ve noticed).

Stupid human construct. O_o

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Best Laid Plans: December 2017

201712

December plans:

  • Total
    • Write 1000 words/day
    • 5 days per week
  • Project: Undertow*

Life:

  • Work: The one freelance contract I’ve managed to get ends on the 4th of this month, and the seasonal retail gig goes through January 15th. I’m looking into transcription jobs, and how to design book covers, and other assorted freelance nonsense.
  • School: Classes start on January 8, student loan paperwork is done and all set.
  • Playlist: Celldweller**, Scandroid, Haujobb, the Bladerunner soundtrack***, Marilyn Manson.

It’s snowing today and the snow is sticking. This is the first real snow of the year (it’s late).

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*Yes, I’m still on about the mermaid-vampires.
**ALL THE CELLDWELLER (I am super into Celldweller right now).
***The good one (by Vangelis).

Best Laid Plans: November 2017 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 50K
Words written: ZERO (not counting freelance)
Days writing: ALSO ZERO (not counting freelance)
Project(s): NONE (not counting freelance)

Excuses: Work is hard. That’s a lie. Seasonal retail work is really easy, it’s just borderline stressful because people who are holiday shopping are full of holiday drama, retail work is inherently dramatic with retail drama, new jobs are inherently low-key stressful, etc, etc, blah, etc.

Next month will be better.

I hate money :(

My savings account balance is low, my checking account balance is low, and my credit cards are nearly maxed out. Thank the old gods for seasonal work, amirite?

  • I have a freelancing ghostwriting job in progress that pays what seems like a sort-of low rate, but from what I understand, all ghostwriting pays poorly when you get it through glorified content mills. The upside is it has the potential to become steady work, and since I have more time than money right now, any steady work seems like a good idea.
  • I’m in the process of interviewing for a political advocacy remote job. It’s pretty much just ghostwriting letters to elected officials under the names of people who agreed to talk about how a political decision is going to impact them and then they accepted the advocacy group’s offer to “help draft a letter based on our conversation.” This seems interesting,* and I can write, and it’s work I’d do in my own shiny new home office.
  • I have an interview tomorrow afternoon for a seasonal retail thing. I can do the work. I can show up on time, and not call out, and not bail in the middle of the season. Black Friday will suck, because this is a popular retailer, not an out-of-the-way cell phone store that most of the valley doesn’t even know about like last year, but I can handle it. (I can handle most things if there’s a clock on it.)
  • I am also in the process of interviewing for a remote seasonal customer service job with a major call center.** No idea who the client is or what the actual job responsibilities will be—it was all vague nonsense like “show concern” and “resolve issues” and “meet goals.” I think I would like this job the least, because I’m not super-into the idea of going back to phone work, but I’m good at it … and being able to roll out of bed and have a 30-second commute sounds appealing. And it’s seasonal, but with the potential to apply for more jobs with the call center.

This is weird, because even though I’ve been pretending to be a real, grown-up adult for over a decade now, I’ve never done multiple hiring processes at the same time before. Usually I throw applications like crazy, and then someone calls me for an interview that ends with “So when can you start?”*** I’ve rarely been involved in a hiring process that has a real interview, or more than one interview.

I hope I get something that can pay the bills, with enough left over to start to make a dent in my credit card debt. (#adultinggoals?)

ETA: I got an offer for the seasonal retail thing. Waiting on a background check, then I have the job.

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*I’m not discussing politics irl or online for my mental health (especially after reading this post by The Oatmeal) but I think this work would be distanced enough, and I could refuse to work on anything I’m ethically opposed to, so whatever.
**Not the shitty one I left, a different one. They, um, won’t hire me back again, because I’ve left 3 times (over the 10 years I worked for them).
***Fairly sure this means I’ve never had a real, grown-up adult hiring process before.

Best Laid Plans: November 2017

201711

November plans:

  • Total
    • Write 1667 words/day
    • 7 days per week
  • Project: Undertow*

Life:

  • Work: Trying to freelance, and applying for anything I’m qualified for.
  • School: I am taking a term off, but I will be going back in January.**
  • Playlist: Celldweller, Scandroid (PSA: the new Scandroid was out October 27), Aesthetic Perfection, Haujobb, Marilyn Manson (always), the Sisters of Mercy.

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*AKA: the mermaid-vampire book.
**A not-insignificant factor is that I won’t be able to pay back my student loans on minimum wage, so I actually can’t afford to stop going to school (… and stop accruing debt (is this real life?)).

Best Laid Plans: October 2017 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 16,500
Words written: ZERO (not counting freelance)
Days writing: ALSO ZERO (not counting freelance)
Project(s): NONE (not counting freelance)

Excuses: Jesus fucking christ. This is just embarrassing. Stress is a factor. School is a factor. Rearranging/reorganizing the house is a factor. Slinging freelance proposals and looking for a temporary/seasonal job is definitely a factor.

I’m struggling

SCHOOL
I did not learn snek.* I do not understand snek. I understand snek so poorly that I can’t even explain what I don’t understand, which makes it impossible to get help from a tutor because they have to know what I need help with to give me any kind of help. I am learning snek through 2 free websites better than I’m learning it through the class I’m taking, but I’m not learning it fast enough to pass this term.

That’s a problem, mostly for financial aid reasons, which I need because I don’t have enough money laying around to pay for college classes on my own—whatever isn’t covered by financial aid has been going on my credit cards, which is terrifying** and I want to avoid accumulating debt as much as I can, except student loan debt (I guess?) because that’s just the reality I’m living in (goddamn it).

I’m taking next term off to think about what exactly the fuck I think I’m doing, and refocus, and try to go through a couple of free programming introduction things to make sure I am capable of learning the material. It’s probably stupid to say this, but I’ve never found something that I can’t do if I really try, so this is new to me.

WORK
My savings is getting a lower than I like to see it, so I need to find a job, at least over the holidays (ohgodretail). That means I can’t get facial piercings*** or dye my hair a color I like, which seem like immature concerns (because they are immature concerns) but I feel more like myself when there’s some metal in my face and my hair is a cartoon color, so that’s where I’m at. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that part of my switch from accounting to computer science is because accounting is typically a very conservative industry and computer science is typically … not that. I can handle covering my tattoos for bullshit job interviews to get by while I’m in school, but I don’t want that to be my life within my chosen career, you know?

I’ve been hustling to pick up freelance assignments (on Upwork—yes, I know) and I got one to ghostwrite some blog posts for a company through a marketing agency. Hopefully this is a good sign that I can write and am employable. Even if I have to work 60 hours a week for a pay rate that comes out at less than minimum wage, I would like proof that trying leads to results. I’m also applying for all kinds of work from home customer service things, anything that doesn’t cost money to start/have unpaid training**** (which cuts out a lot of supposed opportunities, but I’m pretty okay with that). I should have a decent office space set up in the house by the end of next month, hopefully I’ll be able to put it to good use.

WRITING
I have been stressed, and I have been slacking. I keep feeling like I could write, but then I have something else taking up my attention, and I don’t get around to it, or get distracted, or feel guilty(?!) when I start writing so I stop. It isn’t like it used to be. Not that it always used to be fun, but at least even when it was hard, it was still satisfying. I might try NaNoWriMo again this year.

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*By which I mean “Python” (previously discussed here).
**My entire family has had a bad history with credit cards, so I didn’t even get my first credit card until I was … 31? I think? Yeah, just checked, I was 31.
***I’ve been wanting a vertical medusa lately (is that a thing?), and more tattoos. Lack of funds has kept me from following through.
****Whenever companies advertise that they have “paid training” I read it like advertising that the building has breathable air inside. My understanding (not a lawyer) is that if the training is 1) required by the company/mandatory, and 2) specific to that company (as opposed to a degree or certification), and 3) they dictate the schedule, it has to be paid.*****
*****It wouldn’t surprise me if this was completely wrong, because labor laws in the States are a gooddamn joke, but it’s been my experience that when a company tells me what to do with my time, they pay me for that time.