Thursday, October 25, 2007

And Just Like That, I Have a Job

No, not a writing gig, unfortunately. I assure you, were I to get anything resembling a contract of any kind you wouldn't have to read it here first. You'd HEAR my hoots of delight from whatever corner of the world you reside.

The job I have is with the local school district as a substitute aide or teacher (hahahaha--Cathy flicks tear from corner of eye). Andrea, one of the lovely ladies who runs the office at my kids' school, called me earlier today to see if I'd be interested in applying, as there is a shortage of subs. This being a small town, I wasn't surprised about the difficulty of getting subs. The calling me at home to ask was another matter. I'd never been solicited for a job I hadn't first applied for or mentioned any interest in pursuing. Another aspect of small town living: they know who is working a regular job and who isn't. I'm an "isn't."

So, I agreed. Andrea told me to go to the troopers' office to get a background check then to the superintendent's office to fill out the application. Oh, and please do it soon, as they need me. Tomorrow. Um...okay.

Off I go to the troopers' office. I showed them two forms of ID, signed a paper, and two minutes later I received an official "Nope, she's never committed any crimes" report. I've led a relatively boring life, criminally speaking. Then it's to the superintendent's office. I told the woman at the desk I was there to fill out an application for substitute aide. She said, in effect, "Oh, yes. Andrea said you'd be coming in." Good thing I didn't put it off or maybe they'd have called me at home again to ask where I was. More paperwork, more showing of ID and now I have a job. Well, not a regular job, but that's fine too.

Tomorrow is my first day. Gulp! I haven't worked outside the home (or inside much, if you ask my husband) since before my 7 year-old was born. Should be interesting. But as a substitute aide for elementary kids, I'll be okay. I may not be able to run faster than them, but I can scream louder.

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

American Title IV--The New Beginning

It's time, once again, for the Romantic Times/Dorchester Publishing sponsored American Title contest! (insert cheery fanfare)

Can you believe it's been a year since I posted to beg for votes as American Title III started? Well, it has, and now it's time for a new crop of writers to show you their stuff.

This year's theme is paranormal, a personal favorite of mine. Just from the descriptions of their work you can see a variety of sub-genres. And that's only the tip of the sub-genre iceberg. In paranormal there's something for everybody!

Several of the finalists are, not surprisingly, members of the Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal Special Interest chapter of the RWA. There are also a couple of finalists from across the Pond.

The First Line voting has begun over at Romantic Times and runs through October 28th. Go. Read. Vote. I'm going to do the same, then reminisce about the complete bundle of nerves I was a year ago over a nice cup of coffee. (Cathy channels Barbara Streisand) "Memories....light the corners of my mind.....Misty water colored memories...of the way we were......"

Go vote now or I'll be forced to actually sing at you. And nobody wants that, believe me.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Belated Birthday Adventure

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago while my in-laws were in town. They offered to watch the kids while hubby and I went out for dinner, but instead, because it was a gorgeous early autumn day (and you have to take advantage of those, especially here in the Frozen North), we decided to all go Childs Glacier for a picnic (pics forthcoming--I'm having sizing issues!).

The glacier wasn't calving as actively as it did when we were last there, but there were still plenty of cracklings and splashes to catch our attention. It was great. You can't beat grilled hamburgers (from my father-in-law's ranch) and hot dogs, super sweet fresh pineapple, and a loving family to make the best birthday bash.

After we ate and the bugs started coming out in force, we decided to head home. It's a 45 minute or so trip on a gravel road and the kids had school the next day. In the parking lot, the tire on our minivan was low, so hubby filled it and we stopped along the way to refill it with some of that Fix-a-Flat stuff in a can. That worked for about 12 miles. When we stopped again, it was decided that the tire was too badly damaged to be Fix-a-Flat-ted. Time to break out the spare. This was the first time since buying the vehicle over 10 years ago that we've had a flat. No, seriously. So the spare has never been needed. Our first task: finding the spare.

I thought it was on the inside, behind the back seat and under the carpet. Nope, just a little plastic nut. The actual spare was under the car, attached to the vehicle by some bizarre mechanism that required lowering it down on a thin cable by turning the nut above it, pulling the tire out from under the car, tilting it to get the brace thingy through the center of the tire's rim, then rewinding the cable so it wouldn't drag on the road. Luckily it was a gorgeous day because had we been trying to do this if it were rainy or snowy I think my hubby would have preferred to walk the 20 miles back to town. What a stupid mechanism!

But hubby and F-I-L valiantly changed the tire while our girls played on a nearby pile of sand. M-I-L and I chatted, and I took a picture of the moon over the mountains and river flats. (Again--pic forthcoming. Sorry!) (I have a picture of hubby and F-I-L changing the tire, but it is neither flattering nor in focus.) We went on our merry way, traveling along on the donut-esque spare.

The next day, hubby and I did go out for dinner, and to meet with a group of folks from his job who were celebrating a coworker's birthday. At that gathering, I met up with a guy I'd worked with 17 years before--and hadn't seen since--during a post-Exxon Valdez oil spill research season (I was a biology grunt in my former life). How weird is that? When hubby and I came home, the kids and the in-laws had a belated surprise party for my birthday, complete with balloons, streamers and cake. What fun!

All in all, a great birthday. I can't wait for next year. What will happen then? Perhaps a blown hose, or running out of gas. No matter what, I know it'll be fun.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back to Work

Living where we do, it's a rare treat to have visitors. Since moving from our more accessible town to the current one this June, we've already been delighted by visits from friends from Oregon and my in-laws from eastern Washington. At different times, of course. Our house isn't large enough to accommodate four extra adults. And during this last visit with the in-laws, we spent a good bit of it using only 1.3 of our 2 bathrooms. Don't ask.

Both couples are very nice, very special people, and we wish their visits could have been longer, even though I get squat done on my writing : ) But I promised myself I'd be good and make up for it. So I'm off to make some hard copies of things I need to tweak. Hard copies because we're on the go this weekend and I won't be at my computer. Hopefully there will be some cool pics to share in the next post. Make sure to ask if I don't.