Friday, December 09, 2011

Happy Friday: The Universe Speaks

I am stunned by the universe's timing today. You know how I said I'd gone out last week and laid out some story ideas for freelance work? Well, since I've been blessed with a divine combination of fear and a tendency to procrastinate, I hadn't sent out a single query letter for those ideas.

Today I checked my voice mail and had a message from my editor's boss at the place I've been doing my main freelancing for the past four years. That woman has never spoken to me before, so I knew something big was up. And it really is.

As of January 1, they're shutting down all local affiliates of the website and only using national content. What does that mean? I'm out of what is currently my only paying freelance gig (and my editor and her boss are out of work also).

When my editor gave me the scoop as I talked to her, I'll admit my heart stopped for just a second. But then, something amazing happened: I felt free and hopeful and energized.

Those types of feelings rarely hit me. I was excited. I honestly felt like providence was giving me an opportunity; pushing me to stop using my one job as a crutch and get down to generating freelance income for myself. In the first hour after our conversation I was flooded with so many ideas that the possibilities filled every corner of my brain.

Obviously, I hope everyone who's out of work now can find something they enjoy soon. But this? This is a nice feeling, people! If you've never had it, find a way to get it!

Now, some newness around the web to start your weekend off right:

1) Google's got a new app. I downloaded it today, and so far it looks pretty awesome.

2) Ridiculous uselessness.

3) Oh, shit. LL's giving the goodies away!

4) I wish Paris Jackson all the best. But this movie is probably gonna be kinda crappy.

5) Thank you, Robert California. Thank you.

That's all, lovelies. Enjoy your weekends!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Ahh...The Muse

Inspiration is a tricky thing, isn't it? No matter what you're working on (article with a looming deadline, painting, photo essay, book proposal or business plan) that urge to create is essential. So when the muse isn't with you, what do you do?

In many things getting started is the hurdle that can help. At least, that's what everyone says. Begin, the logic says, and let things flow until you find something that resonates with you and gets the juices flowing. And this is what I often do. It does help, but sometimes it feels empty.

I've never been much of a "fake it 'til you make it" person. It's not that I don't believe it works; it just usually doesn't get me to a genuine place. Say I'm having a crappy day and someone smiles at me in the grocery store. I always smile back, but it doesn't make me any happier or ease my anxieties. I frequently feel like a poseur for doing it, like I'm not being myself in the moment. And I don't like that. I don't like doing things just because I'm supposed to. I want to want to do nice things, kind things, generous things.

Maybe it's childish, but I want to create because I've been struck by an idea and moved in some way that I want to share with others. I suppose it's incredibly naive, especially for someone who's been writing, painting, playing music and dreaming up fantastical inner worlds for almost 40 years to desire more frequent light bulb moments. But, there you go.

Do you get inspired to begin, or begin to get inspired?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Music Monday: Church Shopping Just Got Interesting, Y'all!

Well, my goodness! HUBS and I had an interesting Sunday morning. You know how we've been visiting churches to try to find one that HUBS really likes? We went to a new one yesterday, and things got...interesting.

This is a very popular modern, local church. They have two locations, over 1,000 parishioners and a broadcast on local television. We got there a bit late and the band was still playing. But, then, the main pastor's wife (who is also a pastor) got up on stage to pray or offer a blessing or something. You know why I can't remember the point of her brief talk? Because she said something so offensive to me (and HUBS) as a spiritual person that it's the only phrase out of her mouth that registered. Everything else was literally blown away.

So, what did she say? Word for word, she said:

Buddha is dead, but Jesus is still alive!

The crowd cheered and clapped, while HUBS and I looked at each other stunned. HUBS told me as we left later that he actually considered walking out right at that moment.

Here's the deal, Pastor Lady; HUBS and I have been going to church off and on for over 35 years. Neither of us have ever, ever heard a minister, pastor, priest or what-have-you insult another religion during a service! Do you know why? Because it's inappropriate, rude, unnecessary, self-important, arrogant and just plain bitchy.

Are you really such an insecure Christian that you need to openly and very publicly put down other religions? How'd you get to be a minister's wife who is also a minister if that's the case? I find it especially troubling that you picked on Buddhists, who, as far as I can tell, have never (as a group, at least) put down any other religions and seem to be some of the most peaceful people on the planet.

Clearly you didn't get the message about loving your neighbor or keeping your ignorant mouth shut when you've got nothing nice to say. I know you meant that the spirit of Jesus is alive; but so is the spirit of Buddha with his followers. If you really need to diminish other religions to make yourself feel good, then you might have bigger problems than Christianity alone can handle.


In case you were wondering, friends, the rest of the service was fine. We like her husband. He only said one thing we sorta weren't so crazy about, but that paled in comparison to her.

OK, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's watch some videos!


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