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Day 5- Denrele

Another early morning start as am meeting up for send off breakfast with work colleagues. Do my usual morning stuff then head out to Cafe. It’s a nice thing to do on a Friday morning before work. It would be great if we did this every week but this is a special occasion as someone on the team is leaving for a different job.

Breakfast is done by about 9.30 and the work day begins. It’s a really slow day. I’m not much in the mood for work. I’m moving on Sunday and I’m preoccupied with all the stuff I need to do. I haven’t even called the van man yet to confirm moving times and I haven’t even begun to pack. Too much to do and my procrastination reflex is kicking in.

After work I head out to an observatory in Mill Hill. A friend who is into astronomy has arranged this and I’m looking forward to looking through huge telescopes and seeing some stars.

As it turns out, the night sky is so cloudy today that we only get to see the surface of the moon. Mildly disappointing but I’m in good company.

We grab dinner and talk about life, the universe and everything. Head back home.

I usually like Friday night because with weekends come the luxury of bucking my routine, catching up on programmes, sleeping late. Today, I’m bone tired but determined to just spend time in tv fantasy land.

All in all Friday is a bit of a write-off. Nothing get’s done. No packing, no daily discipline, no meditation. Bit blah really.

Day 6 – Paula Small

Saturday isn’t over for me yet, but as it’s Sunday in most of the world, I think it’ll be ok for me to be ahead of the game for once.

Today, there wasn’t an abundance of creativity (oh the horror!). I awoke at ~8:30 am and set an alarm for 9:45 am. I wouldn’t be asleep, but I also didn’t want to watch the clock as I lazily pulled the covers back over me.

Got a phone call, so I was up and chattin’ and disabled my alarm. I watched a bit of a DVD, then got ready to “hit the bricks”. I arrived at my haircut appointment on-time & even found parking right outside. My stylist was workin’ on another client & I had a few minutes wait, so I flipped through a magazine. Could’ve scribbled in my li’l journal I carry with me at all times, but I didn’t. Less than an hour later, my hair was cut & washed. I keep my hair low, even in the Autumn & Winter, which surprises people. But, with the really dry air here, I won’t even fuss with much hair. I can barely tolerate having what I call a mini ‘fro, let alone a head full of hair. I dunno how people do it.

I reserved a production studio at the station for 2 pm, so I could research, prepare and record my audio for the Tuesday Community Calendar. Instead of headin’ back home, I decide to swing by the station, in case the room’s available, so I could start & finish earlier. I arrived at the station & unlike my last visit there, I wait only a few seconds before I’m buzzed in … yea!

I grab a cup o’ coffee and half ‘n’ half & head to the room; it’s completely open. I checked the schedule & see that someone’s reserved it at 1 pm, but not at noon, so I jump right on the computer & power things on. I have about 30 minutes before the room’s to be claimed, but that gives me enough time to acclimate to this production room, since we used a different one for the Calendar. It also gave me time to research the events I wanted to include.

I pull up my text from the last recording and select 3 events to include, but I also find over 3 more and decide on 2 of those to include on this Tuesday’s calendar. As I complete the updated text, the person who reserved the room arrives. She graciously tells me that she only needs it for maybe 15 minutes and then I can get it back. I tell her no worries that I had it reserved at 2 pm, so I was fine for the time being.

I move to another workstation to read through my text silently, as I edit & then aloud. True to form, she walks over to me & tells me the room is free. Woo hoo!

I return to the room to record the audio. It’s during the recording that I remember I hadn’t eaten more than a coupla ginger snap cookies. I stumble over a coupla names and resort to phonin’ friends to find the correct pronunciation for a town’s name. Oregon has several towns with names that aren’t pronounced as their spelled or even pronounced in other parts of the country. It’s not unique to Oregon; every state has some exception to the rule.

After I get confirmation of the town’s name, I edit my text once again, since I copy & paste it onto the website, so that anyone can view the information on-line. The audio file will accompany the text.

I laugh a few times into the mic & start and stop again & again. I play with levels, enunciation and amount of information to include. Finally, I get an edit that’s website ready and I set it up. The website uploading is done & then I transfer the audio to the air room, from where it’ll run 4 times throughout Tuesday.

I almost bounce out of the room, I’m so happy to be done. To be fair, I would’ve been done sooner, but I checked e-mail and played a bit of Facebook, as I waited for the audio to upload. It didn’t help that I changed my text a few times either.

Returned home and did quite a bit of household chores, then prepared some food. I had intentions to catch up on the rental DVDs, so I could return them by 7 pm, but once again, I didn’t. I arrived home at a li’l after 4 pm and that pretty much killed the plan. I did finish watchin’ a Netflix rental that I plan to loan a friend, when I see her tonite, before we head to karaoke.

I took time to play on Facebook, catch up on e-mail and then update these posts. The only plan left for this nite is karaoke. I’m not leavin’ here ’til ~10:30 pm, so it’ll be another late nite.

The only plan I have for tomorrow is to finish watchin’ the rental DVDs or at least return them, then meet up with a friend for poker at a venue. It’s his birthday, so I’m hopin’ that’ll bring us both some luck.

I haven’t any plans for the daytime, so I actually plan to focus on writing, so I can end this project on a much more creative note! Thanks to everyone for the posts; they’ve been interestin’ reads and I have a bit of a poem rustlin’ about the ol’ grey matter, inspired by the posts.

~Paula

Day 5 – Paula Small (written on Day 6)

I caught up on the other posts and I found m’self smiling and nodding along. I’m amazed at how much everyone manages to cram into his/her life. “Manages” probably not the correct verb, but onwards & upwards …

I’m always behind in posting (time zone-wise), which has been a funny thing to ponder as I read others’ adventures in the writing juggling act.

This post is for Friday and I’m the first to admit that I’m surprised I got any writing done. I didn’t have to work, because my office observes Friday as an extension of the Thursday holiday. Yea!

As I had a late nite on Thursday, I awoke at my usual time and then lolled about in bed. Finally, at ~9:30 am, I got myself out of bed and … onto the sofa. I ate and looked about my apartment to consider whether I should actually *do* anything. I played on Facebook, e-mailed and talked on the phone with others who didn’t have to work that day.

To avoid housework, I typed out an intro paragraph that popped into my head. I’ve so many “starts” and not enough “finishes” it ain’t even funny.

I did a bit of a job search, as well as a search for a TV, bookcase and desk. Touched base with friends, as they decided to shop tomorrow instead of today. That worked for me, because I was enjoyin’ my lazy day. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to join ’em on Saturday, as I had a coupla things to do – a haircut appt and some audio work.

Watched a DVD, but not one of the ones I rented, because I figured I had time. Oops! After a few phone convos and some food, time started slippin’ away. I’ve no idea what happened, but soon, it was time for me to get ready for a friend’s 40th birthday party.

I was on Facebook on/off, when a friend messaged me to ask about the party. Told her I was goin’ & could give her a ride there. That’s why I have a car, to make life a li’l simpler.

Finally decide I can peel m’self away from my notebook, since I couldn’t bear to stare at a blank page any longer. As I start to get dressed for the party, another verse to a song in progress pops into my head. Oh goodness, then there’s a hook! I repeat both until I can scramble to my notebook. I don’t dare try to type onto my computer, because I’ve lost the rhythm/words that way before & now I’m a tad superstitious.

Finish gettin’ ready, grab a coupla bottles of Martinelli’s Cider for the party, text my friend that I’m on my way & head out.

I pick up my friend & say hi/give hugs to a coupla other friends who live with her, as well as a bit of a scratch to the pup. We get to the party and find yummy food – I eye the falafel balls straight away & the tabbouleh. One of the guests brings some vegan chocolate oatmeal cranberry brownie-type things. I don’t even like chocolate, but I try one and find my tastebuds delighted!

There’s some drinkin’, some more eatin’, tons of laughter & new folks to meet! I’m engaged in convos with folk I’ve only just met that night, but felt as if I could’ve known some of them longer. More laughter & I head away from the fireplaces to the backyard fire pit. I catch up with some more folk – familiar and not so familiar – ’round the fire. It gets to be a bit too brisk, even with the fire and I return inside. Notice the time & it’s a quarter after midnite. We’d been at the house since ~8 pm!

Start to get ready to head home, but only make it into the kitchen, where there’s more convo and laughter. Resume a convo about a movie that neither one of the guests nor I can quite capture, even though we both can recall the plot. We share our frustration with others, to no avail & finally she makes a call & awakens her partner. I’m only slightly sorry for her partner, because I’m more concerned with gettin’ this movie title riddle solved.

Her partner names the title & we rejoice! No, really, I do a li’l dance & there’s hi-fives all around. It was silly yet fun & a great end to the night.

Our departure that began at ~12:15 pm was delayed to 1:15 pm and we finally hug everyone again and leave. I drop off my friend and head home. I arrive at just a li’l after 2 am and attempt to watch one of the DVDs, since I didn’t return either one. I start to fall asleep and decide to switch to music instead. It’s almost 3 am and I have an appointment to cut my hair at 11 am. I’m glad that it’s only Saturday and that makes me happy and I drift off to sleep.

~Paula

Day 6 — Samera

Today I read all of Naomi’s posts back to back. You can form more of a story when the posts are read back to back. It was really interesting. One thing this experience has highlighted to me is how insular freelance work is. I always comment on the rat race and how people are all kind of pulled along in this work moat; just dragged around and around. Well, working freelance is like being dragged around that moat with a blindfold on. We have such similar issues and hang-ups, but the work practice leaves you feeling like an island.

Strange.

It’s common knowledge among my friends that I am scared of my email. I don’t mind to send stuff but I have an aversion to addressing the reems of sent messages. I thought about attempting this task today, solely because I’m being watched. Then I decided that it wouldn’t be a true representation of my working week if I did such a thing. Entourage was left open all day though.

(For any worried souls who have sent me messages, I consistently check my gmail. I have managed to fool myself with a lie; in my head that’s my ‘personal’ email, so that gets checked at least twice an hour.)

As I’ve been sick, I spent most of today playing catch-up. That included more listings, picking a playlist for my radio show and some interview research.

I was rubbed up the wrong way today by an acquaintance, which led to a mini outburst on facebook and me turning off my phone. I’ve never done that before (turn of my phone I mean; the mini outbursts are a far more regular occurrence than I care to admit). I think this is still part of the resonance of my Birmingham trip. It was mildly liberating, but more so it was a disappointment. As silly as it sounds, I definitely felt less vital with the phone off, or more accurately, with the phone not needing to be on.

I watched a bit of telly today, whilst chowing down on Penguins. I finished the whole pack of 6, so once I’ve posted this, I’ll hop on the Wii. (I would get on my pilates chair, but come on! It’s like 10 to midnight!)

Sunday, maybe?

We’ve pretty much reached the end of the week. We’ve lost a few along the way, and I’m hoping we’ll see a few last minute check-ins before Monday. A few participants have started to mention how this experience has been a good thing for them – I’d love to see more discussion of this in comments. Also, I’d tabled the idea of a Sunday meeting in the original vision for the week.  If people are still available/interested, it’d be great to meet at the Royal Festival Hall around 7pm. Call, mail, tweet, or send me some other sign. Otherwise, post some comments with your thoughts.

Thanks for sharing this week, guys – I’ll post more about my own thoughts from the week and future WHWD weeks soon.

Day 5 – Jacob

Short one to round off the week from me.

The original plan for Friday included drafting a poem for a submission, leading one of my poetry project days at Morpeth, running a workshop after school in Covent Garden for another class of Singaporean students, and squeezing some time in somewhere to look after a few of the blogs. Came out of my corner swinging hard and ready to get some work done, starting with a 7am start and a workout. First, I had to review and refine my workshop plans for the day. By the time I got through everything it was close to half 8, and the time left for drafting the poem was rapidly draining away.

Then came the phone call. Friday was Eid, a number of students weren’t making it into school, my poetry project was down to half strength, the head decided it would be a good idea to have the poetry project join up with the sports project, with the final result that I didn’t need to go into school. I’d been looking forward to catching up with the class, but the unexpected time was a blessing.

So the day became a poetry day. I caught up on a fair amount of writing, then left for my afternoon workshop. Got home around 8pm and, after posting some content to the Slam in Chicago blog, I decided to call it an early night. Properly, this time.

Day 6 – Heather

Wake up at 10 – shower and look through poems for the day’s readings.  Coffee and bread with homemade jam, then bus into the centre of Serbia.  First stop at the Translation centre where there is talk about the new book.  I read a couple poems and answer some questions but don’t understand a lot as it’s mostly in Serbian.  Then an afternoon with Vesna, who translated my book – we go to Pasa for a fish lunch and then to a café for coffee and orange juice.  Before I know it it’s almost 8 so we head to Casa Garcia for the reading.  We’re the first ones there.  Slowly it begins to fill but not too many people.  We start the reading at 9 and it goes down well – a few familiar faces from 2 years ago and a few new.  Sign some books before heading to a club with Vesna, Dragana and a couple of Vesna’s friends – we drive to the club at the bottom of the hill the fortress sits on.  We get a table and drinks and wait for the live band to start.  All covers but they’re good and we dance our way through the whole set.  The DJ comes back on and it’s Serbian 90s techno and Dragana is ready to go.  We grab a cab and pick up Dejan on the way back.  It’s about 1:30 am.  Have alphabet soup and toast that we picked up from the corner store.  End the evening typing these logs and watching a bizarre film with Annette Benning and Robert Downey Jr.  Came in half way through so entirely confused.

Day 5 — Samera

I went to Birmingham today to see a not so well relative. I went with my Mum, my sister and her two kids. And of course my laptop. I was deemed antisocial, which I wasn’t bothered by at all as the only reason they could state this to me personally was because I was on a train, with them, to Birmingham, to see a relative. They also claimed I was stressing them out with my work — a concept I don’t fully understand considering they are not doing any of it. I wasn’t particularly stressed about my work today, I was too busy doing it.

They can’t quite get their heads around my fluid deadline-driven working practices. To them elements of the day fit into clearly defined boxes. Being on the train to visit a relative was not a work box, so we should be talking about frivolous things. I don’t deal in boxes I deal in time. I forage for time. I deal in yield; time and effort. I don’t think they’ll ever understand this, and I’m probably going to lay explanation to rest at some point.

Talking of rest, care homes are very tranquil places. Every aspect is geared towards convalescence. The colours, layout, acoustics, decor, the works. Within five minutes of sitting, I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I do a lot of work in my bed at home so that place is no longer synonymous with sleep. It’s just another multi-purpose space. Not like the chair; that chair was so comfortable… it was like a hug. You know those bear hugs that slowly cut off your circulation, that’s what this was like: it was muffling my thoughts, like a dimmer switch lowering the light cast over a messy bedroom. Yes my mind is like a messy bedroom.

So, long story short, I got to thinking, I’ve never been on a retreat before (actually the first thought that popped into my head was that I might benefit from rehab, but that’s just because I’m melodramatic and I watch to much E!). I think I’m going to research these and see if I can add a trip to a retreat to quarter 2 or 3 next year. I’ve added an item on the topic to my Things, so the prospect is officially official.

While I was on a ‘chill-out, Sam’ trip, I thought I’d go to bed tonight without squeezing in some work. It feels like quite a treat.

Day 4 – Paula Small (written on Day 5)

Phew!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving (or as I called it, Thanks for Taking) Day here in the U. S.

Most folk were off (with pay) on Thursday and Friday; I was fortunate to be one o’ those folk.

The day was its usual fill of food, family, friends & fun. I didn’t have family here in Portland, but I spent almost 4 hours yesterday with friends who were like family. We ate turkey & a host of other goodness. We also drank Martinelli’s Cider, which always makes me happy. It’s a non-alcoholic beverage for those who weren’t sure.

Yesterday was a bit odd, because I didn’t do much before the dinner, except catch up on sleep (went to bed at ~3 am) and then wake up at 7 am. I went to breakfast with a couple of good friends and we noshed & chatted for about 3 hours. That was the kind of morning I wished I could have more often.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was a freelance bookkeeper. Not the most creative jaunt, no, but it did afford me flexible time to create – and set my schedule to my fancy.

As a working stiff, I find the pressure of working to make ends barely meet, while being starkly less than enthused about my job, draining on my creative flow.

Back to yesterday, after the breakfast, I returned to my apartment and got a bit of the household/domestic chores handled, but not as much, because soon it was time to get ready for supper.

After the supper/dinner, we watched the DVD of “Up”, which I’d seen in theatres. It was a lovely film & I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

I only stayed for about half of the film, because I was due at the station (http://kboo.fm) to edit/run audio for a syndicated programme. I arrived at the station on time, approx. 6 pm, but had to stand in the rain for a bit, because the board op was a sub & didn’t know how to handle after-hours entry. He’s a nice fellow, but the rain I didn’t mind as much as the bone-chilling air.

Got inside (finally) and proceeded to the room to get the audio prepped. Oh my goodness! I wouldn’t normally post about somethin’ so minimal to y’all, but the audio I edited was the worst one yet. The content was good, but there were a lot of promos that I had to edit. Usually, it’ll take me approx. 30 minutes total to edit and burn a copy onto a CD. But, in addition to the promos, there was about 15 mins of extra audio that turned out to be repetitive audio. Fortunately, I listened well enough to know. Spent almost an hour between the edit & the burning, including having to switch computers mid-way.

The sub (nice fellow) for the previous programme wasn’t aware that he should just play an music CD, so he started to play the previous evening’s programme of the show I edited. Fortunately, I was done with my night’s audio & was listening and heard the intro begin. I ran into the air room, graciously thanked him (he really did mean well – bless), then did my usual intro for the programme. I quickly played some filler bits to buy m’self 2 extra minutes to grab the CD, my stuff, say g’bye to another volunteer and return to the air room, as if nothing happened. I pressed play & the programme began just about on-time at a li’l after 7 pm.

That made me feel accomplished!

By the time Jamilah, the host of a programme from 8 to 10 pm, arrived, I was feelin’ much more at ease. I usually sit in during Jamilah’s show, to participate in the public affairs portion, as well as to jam to whatever music she spins. I did so last nite as well.

The nite was also filled with chatter with other volunteers at the station. We watched some clips on YouTube, I played a bit on Facebook (while I played the audio) and then headed home at a li’l after midnite.

I arrived home with intentions to watch DVDs, so I could return them, but checked e-mail, responded to e-mail and played on Facebook.

To my credit, I did manage to scribble in a notebook during the musical portion of Jamilah’s show. It seems to be a more consistent time/space for me to pull somethin’/anythin’ from my mind.

I went to sleep late again, because I knew I didn’t have to work in a few hours. I was lookin’ forward to havin’ a lazy day, with some household chores thrown in. The only plan really for Friday was to return the movies (hopefully) and then head to a friend’s 40th birthday party. Probably will be a late nite again and not one filled with much creativity, but y’never know.

~Paula

Naomi – Day 5

My best and worst day so far, but at least I am beginning to get to the bottom of this low mood which is eating in to everything. Major achievements today are doing some washing and making firmer plans for next week (when I hope this current wave of depression will lift some) and beginning to read the simple and thorough ACE guide to applying for funding. At over 50 pages long it’s the length of a novella.

Morning pages, as ever and attend to emails. Realise that I have yet to get the full spec on a job I am interested in. Get an instant email response and utterly convinced I cannot do the more project management part of it (although feel perhaps the creative and community elements I may be able to handle and dare I say relish the interaction) – send email saying as much as want to know whether I should apply or not.

Wrong Move. Later at yoga with Malika and Suzanne (a weekly session I run with them – more of a guided practice with some teaching thrown in by me) we talk afterwards and I tell them this. They are stunned, both of them telling me NEVER tell a potential employer that you cannot do something! We are here to help you, don’t you know you can call US and talk to US, we can help with YOUR application !!! A loving conversation ensues where they both let me know that I really can ask for help if I need it. I realise it’s big this not asking for help thing, this feeling that I cannot really do anything thing and start crying. It’s the most real I feel all week.

This is the crux. I have more ideas than Manchester has rain but shudder at putting them in to long-term practice. As I wipe away my tears I know that it’s not simply what you do that makes a life but (and this may sound obvious) how you do it, and how you stop doing the things you don’t do (in my case not applying for things because my conviction I won’t get it).

I hang out all evening, refreshed and soggy, have an idea for a photography and writing workshop I want to pilot, go home and look forward to a photo-shoot tomorrow and an women’s poetry anthology meeting. Morning pages and therapy is the way through. It’s interesting that I have an upcoming residency in a community garden, there is something so resonant for me about things actually taking root.

I’m also thinking, at this late hour, that this blog has been important to me. It’s fascinating to hear about other people’s lives, what they do and how they manage them. For me it’s brought in to sharp focus my need for an underpinning of self-confidence, without it all those time management and planning skills will go to waste. In short if I don’t feel I am entitled to have a creative life no amount of action planning is going to get me there.



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