Wednesday, January 24, 2018

... and I'm going to post more writing samples ...

For 2018, I promised to post more writing samples and to not be so self-conscious. I'm not going to make any apologies or belittle the writing, either.

#amymarieorozco.com

This is from the Catalyst for Cats newsletter. I do volunteer work with this fabulous all-volunteer nonprofit.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year! Happy New Chair!


Happy New Year! Here's to hoping 2018, aka the Year of the Dog, is the best ever.

Even with the ash of the Thomas Fire still evident, my 2018 is off to a fine start.

Example: On Tuesday, Jan. 2, I ordered (online) a new office chair, which was scheduled to arrive between 8 to 10 business days. On Wednesday, Jan. 3, the chair arrived late afternoon. I thought it best not to tackle assembling the chair after a full workday, so it sat, unopened, in its box until Thursday morning, when I figured I would get out all the parts and read the directions. Then start putting it together on Friday.

"Friday? Why wait?" you might ask.

Because I'm really not very good at this sort of thing. Nor is my husband. Definitely neither of us enjoy it. Furniture assembly is probably the closest we've come to divorce. Really and truly. Infidelity, nope. Fiscal fights, nope. In-law misunderstandings, a wee bit. Unfair distribution of labor in regards to household chores, more than a tad. Whose turn is it to be Designated Driver, sometimes ...

Well, you get the picture. So I figured, best to take it slow and easy. Maybe get some special snacks for Friday to associate the assembly with pleasantness.

Yesterday (Thursday) I took out all named 7 parts and 7 pieces of hardware (including supplied Allen wrench). The five steps of directions seemed easy enough, so I thought, "Go ahead, give it a whirl. You can stop anytime as you are so far ahead of schedule with the early delivery and assembling starting a day early."

Within 30 minutes, my new snazzy red leather-lookalike chair was ready for me to plop into and start working. And here I am telling you about my wonderful start to 2018.

Hope you have as nice a start to the Year of the Dog as I did.

BTW, the chair's official name is Dorado Office Chair. It comes in a choice of colors. I ordered it from Costco.

And, I must point out, as it's in my line of work, there should have been eight parts listed with directions of six steps. They forgot the thingee (black plastic) between the base and pneumatic cylinder   solely decorative in function, I believe. Even with that gaffe, assembly was a breeze. Sooo much better than IKEA!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Writing for a Living


I recently finished two big projects. It's a good feeling to have wiped the slate clean. There's more time for the little things like not hurrying through a newsletter or spending a few minutes tidying up my office.

On the flip side, I'm on the hunt for a new work project. A billable new work project. My bread and butter is clear and concise writing, such as journalism, copywriting, corporate communications, and other straightforward prose. My style translates well to social media, too. Brevity has its rewards.

Keeping the faith is the most important thing I can do while looking for more work. The actual "looking" part isn't difficult or distasteful, though it can be a challenge to remain optimistic the closer the first of the month and all the due bills inch forward. If you hear of anything, please keep me in mind.

Here are some other going-ons:

First, I feel funny, in a loser-ish sort of way, returning to my blog after such a long hiatus. You know, like I'm a fraud or an amazing opportunity to beat myself up real good doesn't come around that often 
-->  better seize it! That's why I find writers like Linda Menesez and Alexandra Franzen so helpful. Give 'em a click, you also might benefit.
Second, the new issue of Carpinteria Magazine is expected on the streets Nov. 17. 

Read it here if you can't pick up a print copy. Hope you like it.

Birthday cake. 
Third, I had the opportunity to eat cake TWICE today. The first was a birthday party at lunch for a colleague. The other was a retirement party for a colleague this afternoon.

Fourth, as way to keep Orozco Ink circulating in cyberspace I nominated the business for the Seven Day B&W Photo Challenge that is so popular on Facebook. Let me know if you think that is tacky. I'd appreciate it. You can follow my challenge here.

Looking forward to writing more often. Thanks!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer



Here's how I'll be spending the first Sunday of June: 

The Plaza Improv Players will be performing “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at the Plaza Playhouse Theater, 4916 Carpinteria Ave. in downtown Carpinteria. Directed by Tom Mueller, this salute to the season is a one-hour unscripted, unrehearsed show using the tools of improv. Tickets are $10 and available at the box office from 2:30 p.m. day of the show. More info, call Tom at (805) 794-7467. www.plazatheatercarpinteria.com

I'll be performing. Thinking on my feet. Scaring myself to death. And loving every minute of it. Would love to see you there. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

When work is slow

Magazine cover shot by Glenn Dubock. 
Work is slow. Or should I say, "It has stopped."

Carpinteria Magazine just hit the streets. There's a short lull until we start revving up for the next issue. Additionally, there's been some client attrition in my business. It happens.

Today I find myself facing a day of no billable hours. In many ways, a day without deadlines is something to be treasured. In other ways, a day without deadlines is nerve-wracking.

Here are some of the ways I handle a downturn in billable hours:

  • Freak out. Fully and completely. Typically lasts less than a few hours.
  • Regroup. Embrace the huge cache of "free time" to take care of non-billable items such as follow Real Simple magazine's advice on "Easy Ways to Make Your Office Happier" and tidy my email inbox.
  • Hunt. Troll Web sites such as MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, and, of course, Craigslist, among other platforms. The hunting is kind of fun, though it's a lot more fun when I'm not so hungry for work. 
  • Market. Update social media and engage. Send an email to prospective clients about what I do. Attend meetings of professional organizations of which I belong, such Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter.  

My desk pre-organizing. Not too bad, but better now. 

I have been lucky that paying work usually shows up before I've had time to thoroughly enjoy some non-billable time. Today I keep the faith that that will happen again. And it will, as long as I keep up my end by doing what I need to do to get more work and by keeping the faith.






Monday, May 15, 2017

Sustainable Blogging - an idea whose time has come

Here's an idea whose time has come: Sustainable Blogging. This is not my idea and take no credit whatsoever. 

Credit goes to Cooperative Wisdom authors Donal Scherer and Carolyn Jabs, who blogged about it. Click here to read it. 

My takeaway from the post is that we are all so overwhelmed, not only with everyday life but also with the digital bombardment that accompanies us everywhere. Is it really necessary to post for posting's sake? Wouldn't it be better to have something of value to say or share? 

Your takeaway probably will be different, but I guarantee it will be of value. Click here and take a couple of minutes to read the Sustainable Blogging post. 

I liken the idea to the Slow Food movement, which started in response to fast food. Slow Food is about purposefully taking time to make a delicious and nutritious meal and then savoring the effort. 

Pictured above is Ava. I got stuck finding suitable artwork for a Sustainable Blogging post, and Ava fit the bill.