Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

Month: January 2012

Grasping The Muse

Kiss of the Muse

Kiss of the Muse, by Paul Cezanne

First, some updates: today marks the official launch of Bauhaus Online Creative, my new freelancing site that is replacing The Web Wrangler. So now I can stop being preoccupied with that, and start being preoccupied instead with my next big personal web project, which will be to build a custom theme for this here blog. Excitement!

Also, today I finally started using my Google+ profile, so I guess it’s no longer pointless to add me to your circles.

And now to the real reason for this post. The other night I dreamed the beginning of my next novel. I woke up from that dream and turned that strange scene over and over in my brain until not only did it make sense, but I had an entire plot to go along with it. And after two days of scribbling furiously in my notebook whenever I could grab some quiet time, I now also have a five page outline, and I can’t wait to write this book.

Survival On a Budget

One question I see pop up from time to time in preparedness forums and comment threads is, “What can I do to prepare if I have a limited income?” Another variation of this question is, “So really, am I screwed?”

The problem with a lot of budget-conscious advice is that it always tends to assume that there is some luxury you can easily give up to help meet your goals. But what if you’ve already given up all the luxuries and you are already surviving on a diet of Top Ramen? Do you just plan on stockpiling as much ramen as possible and hope for the best?

Daring To Dream In Uncertain Times

Warning: Uncertain TimesHello there, fellow preppers! I’m back after an unexpected hiatus that was forced on me by my “day job.”

Part of the reason for my absence is that I’ve been working toward my survival goal of getting out of debt and acquiring some land by overhauling my freelance business–niching down my services, raising my prices, overhauling my web site, researching marketing strategies, that sort of thing.

Any time I start giving serious attention to the structure and operation of my business like that, I eventually find myself starting to dream big, and this time it’s no different. Suddenly I’m having visions not just of improved income, but of someday growing my little web design “studio” beyond just me and my laptop to something that includes partners and employees and posh office space.

And then I remember that our nation and its economy are on the verge of a meltdown, and I reel it back in.

Easy Survival Prep: Get Dressed

I’ve been a work-at-home freelancer for the last three years, and in that time I’ve developed a pretty bad habit: most days I rarely bother to get dressed unless I plan on leaving the house. This habit is common among most stay/work-at-home types I know, so much so that it makes me think that people who actually get dressed just to hang around the house all day only actually exist on TV. After all, getting to work in your PJs is part of the whole appeal of working at home, right?

Lies!

That is what my last post was full of, apparently. I haven’t managed yet to find time for editing Dominion, let alone for blogging here about all the things I said I would be blogging about soon.

My “day job” has been keeping me too busy–which is great, except for the fact that it’s bringing to light the fact that I’m WAY undercharging for my services, which means I’m working my butt off non-stop but not actually making a living from it. That part’s not so great. Which is why I’m using my limited spare time to overhaul my business in the hopes that it will actually turn a profit and keep a roof over our heads. I’m streamlining my services, raising prices to more closely match what my peers are charging, and Matt’s agreed to come on as a partner and take care of sales and marketing. All of which means that I also need to overhaul my business web site, as well as re-brand it. Which is all to say: Busy Jean is busy.

Even so, this weekend I’m determined to crack open Dominion and start editing, and to start carving out at least 30 minutes a day to devote to it starting next week. I also have a lot of pre-marketing plans for it, but again, it comes down to finding the time. As does keeping up this blog, which I do realize is not optional if I want to build and keep an audience. Grr. Arrg.

Here, look at my new logo:

Why We’re Preparing For Survival

1999 was a strange year. Nostradamus’s famed prophecy that the world would end at the end of the last century seemed like it might have some kind of truth in the dreaded Y2K bug that was sure to cripple computers on New Years Day 2000, when the computer clocks that were only programmed with two-digit dates rolled back to 00 and interpreting that as 1900, thereby crippling the grid and bringing about the end of the world as we know it.

The Bear Grylls Survival Knife and Adventures In Fire Making

Right now I smell like smoke and, as my husband keeps pointing out, I need to take a shower. That’s because I just came back from an afternoon spent in the back yard getting acquainted with my Bear Gryll’s Survival Knife. My husband got this for me about a month ago, as an early Christmas present, but today was the first time I found time to get out there and practice with it.

A Safer Place: Planning To Bug Out Permanently

"little house on the prairie"In my last post where I outlined my 2012 preparedness goals, I mentioned my big hopes and dreams of acquiring some land at some point this year. With the state of our finances at the moment, this seems like an extremely remote possibility, and yet I can’t shake the sense of certainty and urgency telling me that we need to make this happen.

Preparedness Goals for 2012

Happy new year, fellow preppers! At least, here’s hoping that it’s happy and all of our concern about the economy, et al, fails to pan out.

A new year is always a good time to take stock and set some goals, and Casa Prepper has plenty of goals for the coming year, not the least of which is simply to survive it. To that end, here are the things we’re working toward this year:

  • Getting in shape. While this goal makes the top of most people’s new year’s resolutions, for preppers it takes on a higher degree of importance, as being healthy and in good shape is a vital component of survival. After all, having a garage full of freeze-dried food and water won’t help you much if you’re unable to run for your life if need be, which I’m not sure I could do successfully at the moment. We also face the possibility of having to bug out on foot, hiking for miles over uncertain terrain while carrying many pounds of gear on our backs. And working on strength training so that I won’t be easily overpowered by “zombies” is also on my to do list.

Happy New Year!

It’s a new month and a whole new year, and my post-NaNoWriMo break is officially at an end. That means that I’ll dig in and start editing Dominion of the Damned this week, and it also means that my blog semi-hiatus is at an end, which means it’s about to get a lot more chatty around here.

Coming up, I’ll be sharing some publishing and sales stats, doing a walk-through of the editing and publishing process with Dominion, and posting more indie author spotlights and interviews, as well as some indie book reviews…although those will be few and far between at first, because finding time to read is a challenge, and my To Read queue is long, and I still haven’t yet gotten around to reading Dance with Dragons. Or Ghost Story. Yeah, I know. So much for all that reading I said I was going to be doing over my December break, but that’s what happens when the “day job” becomes insanely busy.

I’ll also hopefully be posting more on the crafting side of things. I’ve made a few things here and there, but I’m always too lazy to take pictures and post them, so I need to remedy that. After all, part of the whole point of moving from Livejournal to WordPress was so that I could have a category devoted to crafting. My crafting has slowed down along with the TV season (since I usually make stuff while I watch TV), but the former should start to pick back up along with the latter, and I’ve got a long list of things I want to make.

So that’s what’s ahead. Hopefully, 2012 will be a productive and creative year, full of glorious, amazing mistakes. And I hope it’s a good one for all of you, as well.

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