Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wa, Wa, Wa

After my pity party earlier, I decided to listen to my horoscope and become "creative" today. First I caught up on all my blogging work and got my newsletter done for my site. Then, I spent some time on my next jewelry book proposal and I'm already on page 8! So there!

I also emailed someone I know who knows someone that might be interested in my book, and if I keep this up, I might actually get this baby to them in a few weeks. Of course, there's some jewelry to make, but some of it I already have at this stage. So things are looking up. I'm not going to let one publisher get to me. Hello! I've got 5 books published arleady, sucka! (Rocky theme song plays in the background...)

A Week of Rejection

My horoscope said I would be extra creative today, but instead I feel extra dissapointed. It's been a week of rejections for me. First, I found out that a book deal I thought I might get was given to another writer. Why? I'm not sure, and it's not really one of those things you can ask. I'm trying not to take it personally, but it's hard when you have this big long discussion with an editor one day about it only to hear a few months later that another writer got the project.

Following this, I got the rejection letter for a teaching job I interviewed for. Granted, it was kind of a relief because I was getting cold feet about taking it and was wondering how I was going to gracefully decline if I should get it, but still, it's another rejection.

These are the sort of things that can really play your with head and bring in all kinds of self-doubts; those chattering monkeys start to get really loud.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Day

I had lunch yesterday with C., chowed at the Ruby Tuesday salad bar. She is totally freaking because since December she's gained 10 lbs. Of course, she has also traveled a lot, mainly due to her son's wedding, ending up making multiple trips to meet relatives and then finally spending a week in the Bahamas for the wedding. I, of course, felt badly for her, but I also tried to remind her of how far she's come. Yes, she may be up to a size 8 now, but that's a far cry from the size 28 she was wearing 6+ years ago.

As we munched on salad, I confessed to her that I was seriously considering returning to Weight Watchers. Yes, it would be a short term solution, but I was willing to live with that if it meant I could get my weight off in four or so months. Normally, she would have tried to talk me out of it and tell me that I could do it myself, but in her present situation, she sort of shrugged her shoulders. Still just talking with her helped, and I realized I need to give it one more effort before I start paying a company to stand on its scale every week. Maybe I will end up returning because accountability is a powerful tool when dieting, but it's not like I don't know how to do this. So, here's to a new day. I'm going to give myself about a month. If I don't manage to lose something by the end of April, then it's back to WW.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Yam What I Yam

About a week or so after my interview, I started getting major cold feet about saying "yes," if I'm offered the job. Even with the low pay, which I could deal with, it is the driving. It would be intense. The longer I have to think about it, the more I have to wonder if it would really be worth it. So, I emailed an ex-instructor of mine and asked her flat out, "If I took this job, would it remove the stain of adjuncting from my CV? Or is that a lost cause?"

Her answers were pretty much what I expect: "No" and "No." Of course, she put it much more eloquently than that. She basically said that I am what I am. I have a wide range of experience, some academic and some not, and the right employer would acknowledge that and the wrong employer wouldn't.

Other than the fact that adjuncts are treated like second-class citizens, these questions also came from an experience I had once when a college administrator told me that my 10+ years of teach a min. of 2 college classes a semester didn't count as real teaching experience. Now, if I had a couple of full-time years as, say, a high school teacher, that would count. But what I was doing? Nope. I tried to reason with him that what he said just didn't make sense to me. How could all of those classes I've taught not count? How could someone who has never taught a college class at all be considered more experienced than I was?

"That's just the way it is," he told me.

So, I bought into his retarded reasoning. Now, after thinking about it and getting her encouraging email response, I realize I am lucky I never really worked for that administrator. It would not have been the right job for me because he immediately had the attitude that I didn't measure up because I came from Adjunct Land.

Before receiving her response, I had just about convinced myself that I was not going to take the job if offered. I love the school and the people that work there, and I'm sure the teaching experience wouldn't hurt my CV, but I think I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and see what happens.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blogging 101 Class

All of my comp. classes will end around early May, and I will be leaving the library in June, so I was under the impression for awhile that I might have a slow summer, and slow also means less money when you are a contract worker. Coincidentally, I was contacted a little while ago by someone from the local jr. college's lifelong learning institute, one of those places where mature adults take classes for fun. They aren't for college credit, but they are a notch above adult ed.

So, this idea popped into my head: why not teach a class on blogging? While I hesitate to call myself an expert, I have been doing it professionally for a couple of years now (and that's not counting my site). I contacted the program director, and not only did she love the idea, it happens that she has had members request a class on this. Wham, bam, thank you Mame, I'm scheduled to teach two basic blogging classes this summer, one in May and one in June (no classes will be offered in July/Aug.)

One of the things I like about teaching is that it is an excuse to learn. As a teacher, you need to be prepared, and that means research. So, I've started doing a lot of reading about blogging (more than usual) and I also started a new blog over at Word Press just for the class called Blog Class Info. I'm going to use it to store my handouts and stuff for the class, and this way I have a place to store the materials. I was thinking of having my students set up a blog there, but now that I've done it (I'm still messing with it, so it's kind of under construction at this point), I think blogger is a little more user-friendly. I can't even begin to explain how much I hate WPs help documentation.

Soooo....while doing my research I've made a few changes to this blog as well. I figured out how to create categories, or as blogger calls them, labels. I also have my archives set up a little differently, and you'll see my new sexy avatar has been added.

Story Contest

One of my web writing buddies, Jo, is running a short story contest over at her blog, As the Romans Do. Entries should some how be connected to Italy:

I'm looking for short stories connected to Italy in some way. You're story could be based in Italy or have Italian people in it. Use you're imagination.

Find out the details over at As the Romans Do.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Eating Sour Grapes?

Now that my latest jewelry book is out, I have to wonder if I'm already starting to reap some karma from an as-yet unpublished book review I just sent off to a electronic-based journal. In fact, the review editor actually asked me if I was sure about my review and I ended up toning it down a little, but still, I did come out and say that I didn't like the book. His suggestion to me was that some day I may meet this author, maybe even in relation to a possible teaching job, and of course, this could make things difficult for me in the future.

I stuck to my guns though. While there is a slim chance of the above happening, as I told him, I would be more concerned about hurting the author's feelings than whether or not I got a ding for a job. Some of this is due to the fact that I'm not in a position to just up and move for any kind of job, now or in the near future. Even with the Dr. now, I pretty much have to stay in my own backyard. However, as a writer myself, who has had a few bad reviews on books, I have to does does sting.

So, now to my real point. Okay, I send this review off, and wouldn't you know it, I see on that someone has reviewed my last jewelry book....and given it two freaking stars! Part of me wonders if this person (who doesn't post with a real name) was an artist whose work was not accepted for the book (which includes a total of 26 artists) and was thus "getting back" at me. Even then, the stain is there, and it stings, and I'm feeling like I must be getting some payback already before my review has even hit the screen.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Got Diss!

Finally, after months of waiting, I got the bound copy of my dissertation in the mail today. I sent this in for binding even before I graduated, around mid-November, and according to the paperwork I filled out it was going to take six to eight weeks. Yeah, uh, it's, like, mid-March folks!

I almost decided not to bind it because, arrogant fat chick that I am, I plan to have someone really publish this some day, a big highfalutin publishing house like MIT of course. But I had so many family members that wanted a copy, and now-a-days you send the final in as an electronic file. Most people want a hard copy to read, so I plunked down the cash to have 8 copies made for people like my parents and sisters. Hopefully, after reading it, they don't think I'm any more crazy than they already think I am. Even my husband says he will now read it since I gave him a copy too.

Funny how it looks so small now that is is bound. It is hard to believe it took me a year to write those 207 pages!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Blog?

Since starting to read Will Richardson's book, it didn't take me long to realize I need to put together a blog for all the classes I'm teaching. It was sort of a 'duh' moment when he suggested that blogs are handy for creating class portals, places where you can store handouts, writing assignments, etc. for classes. Because I'm at two different schools and teach on the web and in the classroom, I realized this would be a great way to create my only little spot on the web for all my classes to access.

Since I'm a writer, I'm very into writing handouts. So even if all the assignments aren't the same for all the classes I teach, if nothing else I can have those available for all my students.

Now, what to name it? I need something snappy, yet not too long, and not to hard to remember either. Here are a few ideas I have so far (and I haven't gone as far to see if these are even available or not):

Write 4 Dr. P
Write Gooder
Dr. Powley Teaches
Dr. P Teaches
Write Here
Writing is...
Writing is Rewriting
Writing in Cement

hmmmm....I'm open to suggestions. Anyone who comes up with a cool blog name is gets extra credit!

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Blog Book for Teachers

I've been doing some research on blogs for a few reasons. First, there's this article I'm writing for a journal that I hope is accepted, but I'm also working on a Basic Blogging class I'll be teaching this summer at the local lifelong learning institute. (more on that later)

I pulled up the catalog at work the other day to see if we had any new books on blogging, and voila, I found Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. It is written by Will Richardson, who just happens to write a blog I discovered about a week ago on the same subject, Wedlogg-ed. I'm only a little way into the book, but it looks promising.

As it happens, this semseter I have one of my web classes doing a project where they are encouraged to use blogs or other electronic forms of communication. I'm hoping I get inspired and come up with some other interesting blog-related ideas for school.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where B U?

My 6 loyal readers are probably wondering where is fatand40? What is she doing? Why isn't she here blogging?

This is my "fun" place to blog, which means it is not one of my blog-for-pay sites. (Unless you count the five cents I'll make this year off the google ad I finally added.) So, that means, it is way down on my priority list, but here's a catch up of my life in general....

  • I've been blogging/writing for my paying blog/sites.
  • I went to a job interview for a full-time teaching gig, at a university no less. I won't know one way or the other until the end of the month, so that gives me a few weeks of sleepless nights trying to figure out if I really want the job or not or will I even get it. (It means some killer driving and low pay, but could help wipe out the "adjunct" blight from my CV.)
  • I've been grading papers for the three classes I'm teaching, one of which just ended, another to start up tonight. Oy!
  • I'm talking with a local college about teaching a class on blogging...yes, cool, no? (It's not for credit but it would be for cash, and plus, I love turning people on to the blogosphere.)
  • I'm working on a proposal for an MLA thingy. Yes, me on a plane and maybe at MLA. The country mouse comes to mind.
  • I just finished a book review for an academic journal who turned around and asked me to rewrite thing off and then back on my plate! (And I don't even like this darn book!)
  • I'm working on an article about women webloggers which I hope will get accepted at a journal in a month or so.
  • I sent in a brief proposal to my jewelry book editor who is too busy to look at it now, so I have wait. (ugh)
  • My diet? Not so good, but not so bad. I still have a time with counting those calories, and I know I really need to.
  • My exercise? I'm still at it, daily if not a few times a day. I see little to no change, but it wasn't like a was a total couch potato before. I keep reminding myself that it is good for me, even though I see no radical changes in my fat ass.

I could go on, but I think you get the drift.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Baghdad Burning

I've been working on an article about women's weblogging (obviously, this is not for Jewelry Crafts magazine ;), and during my research I discoverd a book called Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq. I feel kind of out of it since there's actually a second book, Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq (Women Writing the Middle East) out now. But, I still thought it worth blogging about because so far, everyone I've mentioned it to has not heard of either.

I'm going to admit that while I did not vote for Bush, I did originally buy into the whole WMD thing, and I was relieved after 9/11 to realize that we had a republican in the White House. Of course, had I owned a crystal ball at the time, I may not have felt the same way. It seemed so clear that all of those people "over there" where involved. And, like many Americans, I wanted someone to pay. Ironic that our soldiers along with the Iraq people, like the young woman who wrote this book, are the ones paying the price, yet they had nothing to do with it.

Any way, I don't plan to write about politics. I'm just not good at it, but I felt this book was worth talking about for other reasons besides the war. As a middle-class western woman, I found it interesting to read the other side of things from another woman "over there."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Shangri-La Diet Verdict

After about a solid week of attempting the Shangri-La Diet, I have to give it a thumbs down, at least for me. However, I did learn something pretty eye-opening, so I think it was a worthy experiment.

As I already mentioned, I found it very difficult to get four tablespoons of sugar water/oil in every day. It was something I constantly had to think about, and I realized if I'm going to put so much thought into something it should be the food I eat versus when I suck down a tablespoon of oil.

Another problem with this diet (for me) was the fact that if I left the house for any length of time, I had to remember to bring the oil/sugar, which in itself is not an easy thing to do. Even with a small bottle of oil, you have to be really careful no to make a mess with it.

So, does the diet work? Yes, actually, it did supress my appetite, which brings up the dumb lesson I learned: too often I eat when I'm not really hungry. There, I said it. Now, it's not like I didn't know this, but until I tried this diet and was ultra aware of when I was hungry and when I was not, I never realized how much I ate for no other reason than I like to eat.

As I result, I'm putting extra effort into not eating when I'm not hungry, especially at night, which is when I really have problems. So far, I've had a small amount of success with this. At least I feel I got something out of the Shangri-La diet. As C said, it is a gimmicky diet, and while I hate to admit she's right, it is back to the tried and true - keep exercising and count the calories. Ugh.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Hearty Birthday

I just wanted to give out a "congrats" to Dr.Hsien-Hsien Lei over at A Hearty Life (which is posted on my blog roll BTW). Her blog about keeping your heart healthy is officially one year old!

As part of the celebration, she's donating to charity:

To celebrate A Hearty Life’s first anniversary, I will be donating US$1 per 1,000 page views for the month of March. In February, readers viewed over 50,000 pages. I hope to increase that even further this month and make a sizeable donation to the British Heart Foundation. I’ve selected the British Heart Foundation because I currently live in London, UK and want to donate to the community.

So I'm sending my thousands of readers your way, Lei!