Saturday, April 28, 2012


April, it would seem, has become the month of visits in our little apartment.
Parents, friends. My cousin, the comedian and film maker, six years younger than I am.. I hadn't spoken to him, really, in years. He's all grown up now with wild woolly red hair.
My husband's best friend - highschool friend, was here last week. We hadn't seen him in a year before that.
He spent 8 months in Ghana, but they talked about their high school calculus.  Throwing them back, back to nostalgia.

Sometimes, when you talk to someone from your past, you look across the cavern of time and experiences and strangers that make up their life and you still see them there - standing on the other side - across a great stretch of change, but still, in essence, who you remember.

And you smile at each other.
Send smoke signals.

And maybe you'll never stand on the same ground again, but it's nice to see them there and remember.

And sometimes you look across the abyss and they're gone. The horizon has taken them.
And it's sad.
They could be sitting right across from you: in a chair at a coffee shop, or at a bar.
But they're lost.
And you both wonder when the other finally slipped from view.

I think a lot about these things. I have a lot of figures lost away.
Houses in towns that neither of us live in anymore.
Basements where teenagers hang out; on couches claimed from damp sidewalks.
Shag carpet.
VHS movies.
Collectives that will always exist, but don't seem to bridge the gaps anymore. Little gaps in our brains. Our lives are filled with gaps. And some of them swallow people.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

something old, something new, something (maybe) overdue.

So I did that thing that you're not supposed to do. Whatsit? Right. Quit my day job.


Remember that lull in my work that I spoke about a few weeks ago? And that article contract? Well, apparently, when you have enough free time and energy and motivation (read: dislike for structured office work), apparently, sometimes, something can happen.

I wrote my beauty article and got really encouraging feedback. They want me to write three more articles. I also got signed on to do some course content/editing for a company that specializes in mortgage licensing prep.

Then another (trial) article for men's health blog. All paid. Not spectacular pay, but nothing criminal or slave-wage. Paid to write. And, more importantly, paid to build a portfolio.

Then, on Friday, I got a voice-mail from my old research firm. They had a new contract lined up and they wanted me to start coming in again. They were looking at starting me Tuesday (today) and they wanted to know by Monday (yesterday) if I was interested in coming back in.

Pretty short notice, but it always is; causal position.

I hummed and hawed and looked at our calendar. I asked Mr.Fella what he thought I should do. He said we could use some (somewhat) steady income, but that the decision was up to me.  Hum - haw- what to do.

And then I said "Fuck it". If I'm going to do this, I might as well do this. I'm going to school to write. I need the practice. I need to be able to manage clients and contracts and my own shit in some semblance of on-going professionalism. So many times, I have writing projects that I want to do, but I have to squeeze them in between a day job, my family and school. I only have a finite amount of energy.  

So, I called the research firm and told them that, I was sorry for the short notice, but I wasn't coming in again. Ever. And they could mail me my last cheque that I had failed to pick up last week.

They called me back and said that my cheque was in the mail.

So. Here I am. I woke up this morning and worked for two hours on mortgage law in New York. I had my lunch and I'm thinking about the research I'd like to do for the men's health article that's due tomorrow (on Botox - ha!).

It's scary, because if this doesn't turn into something, I don't know that it ever will. And it's all on me. I can't blame a shitty office, or a shitty boss or any other shitty limitations. I'm on my own now and I'm responsible for what happens. I need to find a way to harness my flighty, random, spazzy focus into something productive on an on-going basis. I've stopped talking about what I'm going to do, and I'm trying to do it.  Scary stuff.

So, in the back of my whirly brain I'm also planning on starting a professional writing blog at some point. It'll have a different tone from this one, obviously (less swearing and slandering). I'm not sure what's going to happen to ol' Ottawish. I'll keep you posted.

Well, well, here we go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I've secured my first freelance writing contract today! It's not much (a 400 word article), but it feels like a pretty big accomplishment to me. I've been writing and putting things "out there" for ages with little result.

I see glimmers of a future I like.

The article is on beauty/fashion and I get to write pretty much whatever I want, so that'll be fun. I'm excited. And determined. I have to keep up this persistence.