Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Talk's Cheap, Writing's Free, and That Doesn't Necessarily Suit Me

National Feral Cat Day is Oct. 16. I know that because I help with publicity (on a volunteer basis) for Catalyst for Cats. Catalyst is a Santa Barbara County-based nonprofit dedicated to spaying and neutering abandoned cats and to socialize and find homes for rescue kittens. In addition to the publicity stuff, my husband and I help feed a colony of ferals in our town.

I joined Catalyst with the intention of helping with publicity.

What I have been wrestling with lately is when other organizations I belong to assume I'll be happy to do publicity, provide Web site content, or something similar — all gratis, of course. Reasons for joining extra-curricular groups include taking a break from work and/or developing some outside interests. I don't want to spend precious free time doing something for free for which I normally get paid and don't really desire to be doing.

(Below is a poster from the Alley Cat Allies National Feral Cat Day publicity kit. Alley Cat Allies is a national group.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

At the tone, the time will be exactly ...

three seconds later than it took me to type that title.

For the most part, since working at/from home I have surprised myself with my pretty good attendance record. Visions of hanging out in bed until noon — an hour before the "working lunch" with a friend, I figure it takes me a solid hour to get presentable and to where I need to be — swirled in my head. (Yes, swirled, sugar plums dance. Someday I am going to google sugar plums.)

For the most part, I am usually working by 7:30 a.m. True, I may be in my bed, but I am editing a story, checking and answering emails, writing (longhand) a first draft. I really zoom through a lot of stuff my first couple of hours awake. The important thing is to have the work ready to plunge into when I wake up. That means setting it up the night before — red pen and print outs, laptop, notebook and pen (the kind pharmaceutical reps give to doctors, you know, with the fat barrel) arranged on my bedside table.

The trick is sharing the real estate with the before-I-go-to-bed stuff, which includes eye drops (Travatan for pressure), journal (for my petty grievances and embarrassing inner thoughts), leisure reading (magazine/book for numbing the mind), sketch pad (for berating myself about how I should use it more), and various manicure implements (for keeping the claws sharp).

Additionally, there is a lamp, a bamboo container to hold loose items, and a little bunny clock, a Christmas gift from my parents many years ago. There's a smarmy ending in the waiting now about how another gift my parents gave me is the ability for a good attendance record ... but I am going to let it go. My parents would appreciate that.

My desk away from desk. Taken from my bed, this is a view of my bedside table/dresser. See the bunny clock? Yes, of course, I cleared off some stuff for the photo, but I do keep it fairly "minimal" in look.