Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jayn's Last Dance Recital with Penny


This time it really is the end of an era. Jayn's beloved dance teacher announced today at the 32nd Annual Recital that she is retiring. Today was the last recital at Dance With Penny, Jayn's tenth.

Jayn was 3 when she first started attending classes. It was touch and go for a minute as Jayn was NOT ready to separate. I spent the first year sitting on the floor of the studio below the mirror, so Jayn could run over and get a kissy as needed. By the end of the year I was sitting in the middle of the staircase.

Jayn's second year I sat downstairs, so that Jayn knew I was there and would run down and get a hug every now and then. After that I was able to stay in the car outside, and eventually I could run errands, or stay at the park around the corner with other moms and the kids would walk as a group with one supervisor, and come back after their hour was up. We often played at the park for a couple of hours afterwards.


For 11 years this once a week class, and some of the connected activities, like the park day we created for the families who all came on Tuesdays, has been the anchor of our week, and much of our life. For several years, I continued to make Tuesday outings for some of our group over summer, just so that we could keep up the rhythm.


In some ways it is now freeing. We couldn't move too far away from dance class. We couldn't plan road trips if we would miss classes at the wrong time (close to the recital especially). The only thing Jayn and I tended to have conflict over was working around her sleep schedule, especially when Penny urged her to get to more classes.

That was one crazy can can.

Jayn finds change tough. She doesn't know what she will do to keep fit. She fears that she will see less of her friends now that they won't meet every Monday, so I need to make that a priority. She feels like (rightly so) a huge part of her life will be missing. But there will be new opportunities, new interests, new passions - and plenty of wonderful memories.

June 15, 2013 Jayn and Penny

Friday, June 14, 2013

Affiliate links

Antique Chess Set
Antique Carved Chess Set - Ebony and Ivory
So you may notice some new tabs in grey at the top of the home page. One is a quick way to get to my newsletter sign up page, but the others are Affiliate Links - that is to say I get a tiny commission from purchases. I'm trying to monetize a little bit, without packing a ton of ads into my pages, and this way seems pretty unobtrusive.

These three things seemed to be links to actual products or useful information instead of pyramidal marketing schemes, and not super expensive. So click at your own risk, and if the products turn out to be interesting, please let me know. You will be happy to note that I refrained from including a "get a job" site with broken links, and avoided the...ahem..."dating tips" affiliate link.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Latest Time Budget iteration

It’s amazing to me that we are already in the middle of June. It feels like the year has barely begun. Maybe because I have barely begun several of the projects that I had planned for this year.

Deadlines are supposed to be an antidote to procrastination. Thing is, I’m not good with self-imposed deadlines. I feel a lack of urgency. 

Missed self-imposed deadlines have no consequences attached.

Therefore I have found that allotting time is more helpful.

There is a saying in the movie business - a “real” deadline costs money if it’s missed. Perhaps what I need is to consider what missing my own deadlines is costing me.

Money - I want to make money from my work - all my different work. I make more from dolls when I have a full inventory in my store. I came to a recent realization that if I want my businesses to be successful, I need to be professional and actually put in the hours AS IF I were working for someone else. Every day that I don’t work on a project is a day that I am not earning anything. Plus I risk missing opportunities.

Time - I hate to admit it, but I am getting older. I have so many ideas for screenplays, for stories, for Craft-It-Easy projects, for creativity coaching - if I put these things off I may run out of life time.

Efficiency - I have a view of myself as efficient at work, and I don’t like drills or wasted motion. I was always very organized in my theater work and movie jobs. My challenge has been bringing that same smoothness and ease into my work-at-home life. I often feel scattered and inefficient. I have much more trouble defining cause and effect, or structuring a time line at home.

Here’s my time budget at the moment.

I wanted to build in a 40 hour work week - although so far it’s been tough working around my home non-work responsibilities. The numbers are hours allotted to the activity.

4 x general Writing (and writing development)
4 x Creativity Blast writing and tweets

Tuesday & Wednesday
6 x Screenwriting
2 x Craft-It-Easy

4 x Writing (general, crafting, NLM)
2 x Craft-It-Easy
2 x Scrapbooking (Design team work)

4 x Design/Professional Development
4 x Art Doll design

I am trying here to allot time proportionally by importance - defined as longer term financial viability, as well as some urgency. I do owe a script re-write at the moment.

I have left the weekend for family fun, ongoing declutter (somewhat stalled by life and death intruding) and personal crafting. Last weekend I spent working on a gift doll (so not for sale - but she sure is nice).

We shall see. Big day of writing tomorrow.