Writers Have Lives Too

I don’t care how close to me that you are. I don’t care if you are my mother, my grandmother, my siblings, my cousins, my bestest of the bestest friend, or my third cousin’s brother’s half-sister’s stepdaughter’s college roommate.

My day job is NOT as a writer. I still work a full time job, a couple of part time jobs, plus the writing.

It is wildly inappropriate to show up at my day job and expect me to drop everything to give you advice on how to get your book published.

I have a website. My email is on the website. In fact, just to be clear, I’ll list it here again…

addiejking AT gmail.com (insert @ character in appropriate place…trying not to encourage spam. We all get enough of that).

My email gets checked multiple times during the day; on breaks, at lunch, after work, and before and after I go to bed at night. I’m always available to give advice if someone contacts me in that way, but it might take a few days, depending on my schedule, the Husband’s schedule, and The Boy’s schedule. They come first,always.

My co-workers should not have to deal with this. They have plenty of other things that need to get done every day, and they are not paid to handle this kind of request. Luckily, they did not have a huge line of people at the time that this person came in.

If you are close enough to me to 1) know where I work, 2) know what I do, and 3) think I’d drop everything during the day to talk to you, then you ALSO know that I’m not a writer from 8-4 pm; I’m working the day job.

Look, guys, I love to talk writing. I really really do. I’m happy to give advice; heck I spend tons of time doing so at conferences, in emails, at writer’s workshops, etc. I LIKE helping writers…lots of them have helped me.

I mentioned on a panel at Origins that it was okay to ask a writer if they had time to read stuff from an aspiring writer. I stand by that advice. I also declined when someone in the audience asked me to do so, because my schedule does not currently permit it, but I encouraged them to keep asking. Six months from now? Who knows. And someone else might have a schedule that fits earlier than I do. I know lots and lots of writers who have taken someone under their wing. Someone did that with me. I will likely do so myself. It just isn’t going to happen at the moment.

Let me be clear…the person who asked at Origins was NOT the person who showed up at my day job.

It’s okay to ask. It’s NOT okay to show up at their day job and want to talk about publishing. Period. (Please everyone, keep in mind, that most everyone out there has rules about discussing outside work on company time. If you get a writer disciplined from their day job, or even fired, they will not be happy to give you advice.)

 

Convention Season is Here!

So…still have lots of plans hanging out in the air, but boy have I been busy!

I’m in the midst of edits on THE WONDERLAND WOES…due for release from Musa Publishing this year. This is book three of my series, that started with THE GRIMM LEGACY.

I’m also deep in the soggy middle (as every writer thinks of the middle of a manuscript) of a yet-to-be sold anywhere novel. More later…as I get the thing finished! I’ve been working on it off and on for a long time, but it keeps getting shunted aside as contracted deadlines always take precedence.

I’m working the full time job and the part time job.

And when not working…we are planning our garden for this year. The Boy and I have planted 144 plants in trays from seed, in order to try to grow a few vegetables and herbs and to save on the marigolds I buy every year (they help control the mosquitoes in the back yard, and when you have a goldfish pond, anything to cut down on the mosquitoes in the summer is a good thing!) The Boy is getting geared up for spring soccer, and we have been doing various home improvement project around the house. Husband is starting to itch to get his Model T out for the spring, but until the weather gets more consistent, it’s staying where its at.

But the biggest thing to explode is my schedule…and that’s not a bad thing! It’s time for conferences!

My first one of the year is Millenicon, which starts tomorrow.

My schedule is as follows;

Friday      9 pm   Fantasy vs. Dark Fantasy vs. Horror

Saturday 1 pm  Storytelling in Three Acts

Saturday  4 pm Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

Sunday      12 noon Once Upon a Time in Millenicon

More appearances to come…as things get firmed up!

 

 

On Being and Attorney and an Author…

Because it’s come up a time or two, I thought I’d take the time to lay all this out for anyone who might want the clarification.

1)      You work for the government. Does that mean that you don’t take on any private legal work?

NO. I do take on some private legal work. I am selective about what I take on, because I do have a full time day job, and a part time evening job (the writing) and a family. If I were to take on a matter that involved a lot of court appearances during times I was supposed to be at my desk, or took on something that conflicted with my day job, that might cause an issue. There’s also the time issue. My supervisor knows I take on some private stuff. She is not privy to ANYTHING that would violate the attorney/client privilege. At this point, however, I have advised her (and she’s okay with the idea) that I can/will take on the following types of work…

  • Simple Estates (non-trust)
  • Living Wills
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Business advice from a legal perspective
  • Paperwork/Document/Contract review
  • Foreclosure Defense
  • Debt Recovery

I generally do not take on anything involving domestic relations work privately, since it could impact/conflict with my day job responsibilities. There are some exceptions, but not many. I am willing to consider other matters, but would likely refer you to a colleague if it involved something I did not feel comfortable doing. And if you ask me for a referral when I’m working the day job, I will only give you the name and number of our current county bar association president, because I cannot give recommendations when I’m representing a public agency.

2)      I’m in another state, but you’re an author and an attorney. Can you review my publishing contract?

My knee jerk response here is no.

I’m not a literary agent. I’m an attorney, licensed solely in the State of Ohio. I’m not licensed in any other state. There are only a few publishers who are a) based in Ohio, or b) contractually state that their contracts are subject to Ohio law. Not just one, but TWO of those are my own publishers. Talk about conflict.

If you ask me as an author whether I have a problem with a specific clause in a contract, I’d probably give you my take on it. But, it’s not legal advice, you’re not my client, and I’m definitely not representing you against a publisher who I might have a fiduciary (that means financial) relationship with. No-sir-ee Bob. Not gonna happen.

Guess what? Author me knows more about publishing contracts than lawyer me. Most literary agents probably know them better than general practice lawyers.

3)      You’ve spoken about legal things on panels at conferences. Does that mean you’re giving legal advice?

Nope. Not even close. And in fact, if you’ve been to those panels, you’ve also heard me (and other panelists in the same boat of attorney and author) give the disclaimer that I/we don’t represent anyone sitting in to listen to the panel, that there is no attorney/client relationship, and/or that you should read/vet/clarify/research any of the issues we discuss on your own. We generally talk about boring stuff, like contracts and clauses and rights and reversion and stuff. It’s not legal advice. It’s about general information. Anyone getting into this crazy business of writing NEEDS to learn how to read a contract for themselves, period, at minimum so that they know the right questions to ask before signing on the dotted line. And those panels talk about generalities, not the application of a specific contract to a specific project, so they’re not designed to be one-size-fits-all approach to the specific needs of individual writers…only to hit the highlights of what to be wary of.

4)      What if I pay you?

Dude, if you hire me for legal services, I will charge you. Only a small handful of people that are my parents, grandmother, future in-laws, or siblings get free or family rate legal services from me. There may be a time or two that I agree to do some pro bono (that means free) legal work for something outside the family, but that generally involves my church, or some charity, or specific negotiation and a darn good reason. 

I have done some legal work on a barter system. That does not mean I’m going to do a ton of it. Generally it’s for people with a specific problem, who also have a skill I either don’t have, or don’t have the time to figure out. This isn’t something that I do a lot of.

5)      So, why don’t you list the names of lawyers you’d recommend on your website?

Um, no. First of all, there’s not an attorney in my county that I would feel bad about recommending. They all do a good job. But I’m not running an advertising service. I’m running a writing blog and website. Second, the day job is for a public entity. I’m not allowed to make recommendations as a government lawyer. It’s different if a) you’re my sister/real life friend/brother/future sibling-in-law/future parents-in-law/neighbor/Mom/Grandma/aunt/uncle/cousin and b) want a recommendation for a specific matter. Then I can safely say that you should call Mr. X or Ms. Y, because they’re awesome at ABC, and I don’t know that area of the law, or I can’t handle that kind of case.

This website is also NOT the place to contact me about private legal work. Best place is probably addiejking AT gmail DOT com (spelled out to avoid spammers), but understand that my time is limited, I’m under editing deadlines at the moment, I have other clients, and I have an upcoming wedding. I’m very likely to tell you at the moment that I’m as busy as I can stand right now, and that you should seek other counsel or give me a couple of months to dig out before asking again.

 

WHEW!

Life is what happens when you’re looking the wrong way…or something like that.

Well, last week was INSANE.

I was obsessing over the last details of THE ANDERSEN ANCESTRY last week (yup, hit my deadline. Yay me!), when everything else seemed to be exploding at the same time.

Last Wednesday, the day before the book was due, I thought I was doing pretty darn good. I’d gotten up that morning and everyone in my household was getting things together and out the door early. That doesn’t always happen. The one snag was getting after The Boy for putting his shoes up on the couch as I was reaching for my own shoes…

Only to find, when I got to the office, that I was wearing two different shoes. Both black, both platform heels of the same height…but one was a Mary Jane style shoe and one was a penny loafer style shoe. What still amazes me is that I’d grabbed a right shoe and a left shoe and put them on, walked to the car, drove to the office, and then got halfway to the office door before I realized I’d done it. Oops.

Thursday morning, BF said he wasn’t feeling well. I’d mentioned that I had a hearing that morning, and was running around like mad (and of course, checking my shoes) to make sure I had time to go to the office first. As we all ran out the door, we found that I had a flat tire. And I’m not talking about a low tire…I’m talking flat-as-a-pancake. Turned out I’d somehow picked up a roofing nail in my tire, without realizing it. BF had me hop in his car, and he dropped me at the office after he dropped The Boy at school. He asked for my key, and I gave it to him.

What I didn’t think about was that my door handle was not working correctly, so the key wouldn’t work. I hadn’t given him the keyfob thingy, so he couldn’t get in the car. Instead, he couldn’t even get inside the car to drive it to the tire place with the spare on because he couldn’t get inside the car. Before I knew it, he’d dropped the key at my office…but I had no idea where my car was. He headed on to work, and ended up busy, so I couldn’t get an answer about where to find my car…I was even calling the tire place asking if they knew where my car was. (It was still at home, since he couldn’t move the car itself he took the tire off, took it to the store, had them patch it, came back, and put it back on the car.)

Friday, I realized about halfway through the day that I’d left my wallet at home. Of course that was the day that I’d planned to do the after work grocery run.

And then, just Tuesday morning, we got skunked.

I’m not kidding.

A skunk sprayed the side of the house right behind the kitchen windows, near the sunroom (which BF corrects me, and he’s right…it’s now really the Man Cave). We don’t know why. We don’t know what for. We do know, however, that it must have been REALLY upset. I have a theory that one of the neighborhood cats might have ticked it off right beside our house, but I don’t know that for sure (I just know that I’m constantly chasing cats out my backyard).

Two days later, I’ve got bowls of white vinegar all over the house. I’ve got a couple of small plates of coffee grounds sitting out as well to soak up odors. We have a trap set beside the house to catch the skunk, and I’m planning to scrub the house from top to bottom when it’s caught and gone. We’ve changed the furnace filters, and we’ve Febreeze-d the house within an inch of its life. Elizabeth the fuzzy minion has been CLINGY beyond belief, because, of course, she’s stuck here all day smelling it while we get out and go to work.

I’m so paranoid about smelling like skunk that I’m Lysol-ing and Febreeze-ing myself on a regular basis. I think its just stuck in my nose and I can’t get it out.

So…if you were to walk by my desk at work and smell lavender, it’s the air freshener and odor neutralizer I’m keeping on my desk, and I’m using enough of it to neutralize just about the worst smells you could imagine.

On the other hand…it is getting somewhat better.

So who’s got a good de-skunking idea? Remember…I don’t want to use tomato juice because it stains, and because the skunk didn’t actually spray the inside of the house. It’s just the odor to get rid of inside the house.

Any suggestions?

On Current Events

I try really hard not to comment on trials in the public eye.

A lot of people ask me privately what I think of specific cases that they’ve heard of on the news.

I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. I have a law degree. I’ve spent ten years as an assistant prosecutor (even though I’m doing a different kind of job at the moment), including three years that I spent handling felonies, sex abuse, and child sex abuse. In other words, yes, I might have a bit of an informed opinion about these kinds of cases.

Even so, I try really hard not to comment about trials and investigations in the news. Even if the news media has every single detail correct (and in most cases they really do), they don’t report every single detail. They simply do not have the room, in column inches, or in video segments, to cover every nuance, every detail, every scrap of information, that a lawyer or an investigator or a police officer, or a private investigator, if one is involved, might pry out of a case file. And case files on major cases can be thick files, sometimes contained in multiple boxes and shelves. It’s just not possible to know enough about a case that I’m not handling to form an opinion over whether someone is doing something right, doing something wrong, or try to make some prediction as to the outcome of a case.

That said, Mr. Amendola, defense attorney to Jerry Sandusky, needs to apologize to every single investigator, police officer, social worker, prosecutor, or other public employee ever to work a sex abuse case.

He has blamed a “conspiracy” on the investigators and prosecutors and police and social workers, based on the hope of gaining a big payout. He’s mentioned civil suits that they “hope to cash in on.”

On what planet does a police officer or prosecutor get a cut of a civil trial brought by a private citizen? Because I’ve never heard of happening on EARTH, much less in any state in the USA. Now I’m not licensed in Pennsylvania…but I’d think that this one would be big news in public employee circles these days…since there are so many layoffs and benefit cuts in the public sector. There’s been not a whisper of this. Anywhere. Ever. You know why? Doesn’t exist.

As a matter of fact, it’s harder and harder to pay for the kinds of resources to handle these cases…in these days of budget cuts and cut backs. The Sandusky case has probably cost the people of Pennsylvania hundreds of thousands of dollars…and that’s not in making the people doing the work wealthy…it’s in court costs, security concerns, lab fees, and transcriptions. It’s in investigation hours, it’s in witness fees and jurors in seclusion. It’s in hours and hours of interviews and supplies and transportation and all the other costs I’m probably not thinking of at the moment. The resources to pay for this kind of case aren’t readily available in a state office anymore….if they ever were. And other than asking Mr. Sandusky to pay court costs, the State does not have a way to recoup this money. Those “court costs” don’t even put a dent in it.

Mr. Sandusky owes more than an apology to his victims. I can’t begin to describe what he has taken from them, and I wish them all the very best in trying to put their lives back together after this circus, after going through not just his abuse, but the microscope of coming forward. I commend your bravery, and I hope that others look at your courage and find the strength to stand up and say NO to another predator in the future.

This is not about the victims. I could spend hours, and many many words talking about my beliefs in victims’ rights, or in how such a trial can affect their lives. No judge, and no jury can unring the bell…not one of them can make this like it never happened. The hope here is that your strength and courage carries through and inspires others to speak out rather than stay silent.

Mr. Amendola on the other hand, I am speaking to you. I do not know the people involved in this case, but I have handled cases of this nature. The sheer scope of this case means late nights away from families, many times without overtime or hourly billable time, it means worrying about the victims even after they go home, lying awake at night worrying about the next step in the case, about how to protect them from the storm that they know is coming. It means sometimes having to tell a victim that they cannot go forward, even though they believe a crime occurred, because the evidence isn’t enough to prosecute, which breaks one’s heart. It means being called out of holiday gatherings to interview a victim at a hospital, it means constantly looking at the children in your life and having to draw a line between work and personal or going completely mental. These people do these jobs because they care. They aren’t getting rich. And these days, they’re handling larger case loads with lower salaries, or more expensive benefits, or fewer resources to help get it all done…because they no longer have the staff that they once did.

It means stress and worry and work and a million and one other things. Being in that role means that your job is to find the truth in the situation presented first, to act as an ethical officer of the court, to only go forward in cases that the evidence warrants, and to represent the public interest. What part of that includes getting a cut of a private civil case?

Cases like Mr. Sandusky’s are big in the media. But for the investigators and prosecutors? It means twenty hour days. It means little to no sleep. It means worrying every minute about every minute detail of everything. They don’t make any extra money for any of it.

AND THEY HAVE NO STANDING TO GET MONEY IN A CASE BROUGHT BY A PRIVATE CITIZEN FOR MONEY DAMAGES.

Mr. Amendola, I am not saying that all cops or prosecutors or lab techs or social workers are saints. What I am saying is….

(I have deleted this line so many times that if I was using pencil and eraser, I’d have long since put a hole right through the paper.)

You owe an apology so huge, I’m not even sure you are capable of making one that is adequate.

Welcome to Crazytown, Population: Me

There’s a lot going on here at Chez King, but not a lot that I can talk about. Needless to say, plenty of stress, plenty of holiday, plenty of family, and plenty of fun…and editing deadlines and conference appearances and writing, oh my!!

Lots of overwhelming gratitude and thanks go out to Jamie-Kristal Lott and Matt Teel, my editor and the head of the Urania fantasy imprint at Musa Publishing, respectively, for being prompt and thorough with all their work on my book, and for their patience in dealing with an author who is still figuring out how to make deadlines work with real life thrown into the mix. Now wait, that sounds bad. I did hit my editing deadlines with time to spare, but still, it was nice that they were so understanding about my questions and concerns. And they GET the book. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’m just days back from MARCon, where I appeared on some interesting panels. Those who know me, know that I’ve just about always got plenty to say about just about anything…the question is whether I’ll say it or not. The panelists were all interesting and knowledgeable, and I hope that the people who attended got as much out of them as I did. I had a blast! Got to see some old friends and make new ones, and enjoyed the heck out of the time I spent there.

The only downside to the conference was that I was on LATE panels and driving back and forth to sleep in my own bed, and Easter Sunday was the last day of the conference. I chose to go to church with the family and eat way too much Easter dinner rather than come back for the third day when I found out that I was not on any panels on Sunday. I’d make the same choice again, although, next time I might need a steady IV of coffee to get through it all!

I’m through a bunch of edits on my novel, THE GRIMM LEGACY, which is still scheduled for release on May 25, 2012. I’m hoping to have more news soon regarding this, and some fun stuff for when it comes out, but those are still in the works, so rest assured…stuff is being planned. More stuff is being talked about. Miscellaneous stuff is being pondered. (And yes, Brother, that joke still works).

I’m finishing up some legal work tonight, and then hoping to dive back into writing tomorrow night, where at least two (and possibly three) projects will be claiming my attention. Plus we’re making plans for fun activities for the weekend. Life is all kinds of hectic, but in a pretty darn good way.

Meanwhile, Fuzzy Minion wanted to say hi.

And now I must step away from the computer and pay homage to the Fuzzy Minion. You see, it’s her house. I’m just allowed to live in it and pay the bills.

Public Service Announcement

The day to check your balances on your retirement accounts is NOT the day that the Dow drops 600 points. Or even the day after. If you see the stock market drop that much that fast, wait a week before you check. Make sure it’s not a fluke.

Just sayin’,

Gulp.

Trust me. I say this from experience.

The Easiest Mood Cure in the World

So I was cranky when I got home from work last night.

It wasn’t that I’d had a bad day. Far from it. It had been a strange day, with oddball cases in court, but for the most part, the day had run on schedule.

But it was hot. And I don’t just mean shorts and a t-shirt hot. I mean humid and hot, as if I was breathing soup instead of air. I grumbled into the house about having to go out later and water all my flowerbeds and gardens, checked on the goldfish in the pond, and went inside to deal with Velcro-kitty.

The cat was GLUED to me. For some reason, beyond my understanding at the time, she was absolutely wigging out. And she wanted to sit rightthere, attached like Velcro to my hip, as I tried to check my email.

We’ve been in need of rain for quite some time. It’s so hot that plants are getting scorched in the sun.

I decided that I was going to sit down, pay the fuzzy minion some attention, have an adult beverage, and relax, to shake off the cranky-pants mood I was in.

And then it began to pour down rain outside, sheeting against the front windows, thunder booming and echoing outside. No wonder the cat was freaking out. She’s terrified of loud storms, and had known it was coming. It rained and poured and there was lightening and thunder.

And then I realized I’d forgotten to get the mail. Luckily, the mailbox is on my front porch, which has a roof over it, so I could step outside and get the mail and take a minute or so to watch the storm without getting wet.

And then I saw it. It was a package I’d been waiting for. It was my author copies of the anthology coming out this Friday. It was the first time I’d seen my own fiction in print, the first time I’d seen my name as a byline under a title of one of my own stories, the very first paid publication credit I’ve gotten.

I started grinning. It hasn’t stopped yet, twenty hours later.

(Yup, that’s my hand. I couldn’t figure out another way of taking the picture without terrible glare from the overhead ceiling fan.)

There is nothing on this earth that jollies one out of a bad mood faster than seeing your own name in print for the first time.

And I’m still smiling.

(FYI, it is available for pre-order on Amazon now, and the release date is THIS FRIDAY!!)

My Long Hiatus

Well, I kinda fell off the face of the earth lately.

Many of you probably already know…and I posted here a while ago…the news that I was being laid off from my job as an assistant prosecutor.

Most probably don’t know that I’ve landed a job as Champaign County, Ohio’s child support enforcement attorney.

I’m just past my first week at the new job, and I’m very much enjoying it. I’ve got a lot of friends at the new office, and am also enjoying the challenge of learning something new.

I didn’t post a lot about the layoff. Yes, I’ve got a lot of thoughts about how all of that happened. No, I’m not going to share much of that.

You see, there’s quite of few people out there who have stated, quite bluntly, that if anyone deserved to have an opinion on all of the state and local budget issues and what’s behind it all, that I deserved to have such an opinion. I don’t disagree with them. I deserve to have an opinion. And I have the right to share it, if I wish. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to do so.

Many of my close friends and family members have heard my thoughts about what happened, and I’ve been very careful about what I’ve said. Why?

Well, no matter what I thought, or felt, I was still looking for a new job. Showing my snarky side on the internet just isn’t a good idea when one is looking for a new position.

Second of all, my boss at the old job didn’t want to lay me off. He did everything he could to prevent it from hurting me, going so far as to tell me privately, explaining all of the budget numbers to me, as well as to the whole office, making it clear to the entire community that it had nothing to do with my job performance, and giving me a glowing recommendation during my job search. I can’t thank him enough for all of his support. My point? He doesn’t deserve to have me go off like a cracked out jackass on the internet about the issues. Those issues weren’t anything that he could change (and I think he actually tried everything he could). Obviously, no one was happy with the decision, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers…there was an Addie-shaped hole in his office budget…when you added up my salary and benefits (which don’t add up to much, but in a small office taking a big budget hit, it is a lot) and compared them to the budget cuts the office was facing. I also know the rationale behind me being the one cut. I can’t disagree, when looking at it dispassionately. That’s hard to do, but it is the truth.

I’ve had my ups, and my downs, and my stressed out moments in the last month or so in dealing with this. I’ve done very little writing as I tried to wind down the old job, gear up for the new job, pack up the office at the old place, and get the house ready for the already-planned office cookout at my place.

Oh…and my brother moved out of my house, I put in the garden I’d been planning for two years, and finally unpacked many of the boxes that I still hadn’t unpacked from moving two years ago.

In other words…my plate was a bit full. I made a comment to a friend a couple of weeks ago that I don’t ever remember being that stressed out. In fact, I said that hadn’t been that stressed when I took the bar exam…and that’s saying something because I was a walking stress-ball when I went through that.

I know that some people began worrying about me, because I became a little bit of a hermit. I also joked that I had gone from frugal to flat-out cheap. I wasn’t going anywhere on my free days because I was refusing to spend money on gas for my car. I downgraded the cat to cheaper food (not easy to do with her food allergies, but I think I found something that’s working). I negotiated changes on my cell phone bill, my cable bill, and slashed everything I felt that I could. I stopped going out to lunch, or eating out, well, ever. I also cut other things out of my budget wherever I could. I probably could have gotten out more, but I had to deal with what was going on, and I needed to be in control of the thing I was worried the most about…the ability to pay the bills and not lose my mind.

The good news is that I have landed a job with a similar salary and benefits. I’m going to be fine.

I had even dropped out of going to writer’s group meetings for a while, in the interest of saving money. Both groups I belong to involve driving out of the town I live in, and one of them meets over dinner at different restaurants every week. Yesterday I went back to a writer’s meeting, and got a lot of encouragement and support from the other writers in the group. It felt good, being back.

So, here I am. I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’m keeping my trap shut here about my feelings with regard to current policies setting budgets on a federal, state, or local level.

So why do I bring it up at all? As an example of both having the right to remain silent, and being blessed with the capacity to do so. There are quite a few people out there who lack that capacity, even in the face of discretion being the right way to go.

I’m under no delusions that this blog has a huge reach. It’s getting bigger all the time, but I have no pretensions to that effect. That being said, I do believe that a lot of people forget sometimes to be careful of themselves online. While I’m a big believer in the idea of freedom of speech, I’m also a believer in wisdom of silence. There are times that keeping one’s trap shut is a bad idea. There are times when discretion really is the right way to go. This is a time that falls in the latter category.

On another note, I have been spending some time doing research on some new writing projects. I’ve got some cool new ideas under my hat. Now that I’m firmly into the new job and a lot of the stress is draining away, I’ll be back on the internet and back into the writing routine more often than I have been lately.

On Recent News

Today, the local papers are reporting the news that my office is going to suffer a layoff. And that I’m the one getting laid off.

http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/budget-shortfall-leads-to-layoff-1151666.html

I’ve known for the last week or so that it was going to happen. I’ve suspected it for a while longer, because I’ve been watching budget news in the state and local governments like a hawk.

I switched jobs a little over two years ago to be closer to home. We’re a small, rural county, and our office is not a big one. The reality is that I’m the last hired criminal assistant prosecutor.

That said, I’m still at my job. The layoff will happen, probably sometime this summer. I’m not suddenly out on the street. My boss is giving me plenty of time to try to land somewhere. I have already applied for some jobs, and have been talking to people about other opportunities. (That doesn’t mean I’m not still looking…I’m still on the lookout for options, leads, ideas, and openings!)

Until I either a) move jobs or b) the layoff ends my employment, I am still working at my current job, and it’s business as usual.

The layoff is 100% budget driven. I’ve seen the numbers of how our office budget will be affected by coming cuts. Obviously, I’d prefer that it wasn’t me, but I understand the financial reality of the situation.

Am I unhappy, upset, etc? Well, of course. I like my job. I like the people I work with. Who wouldn’t be affected by such news? But I’m not completely taken by surprise. I’m already looking.

This is the big reason my blog has gone quiet over the last week or so; I have been looking at all of my options and talking to family. Writing kinda took a backseat to everything for the last week while I was dealing with this, but it probably won’t stay that way for long.

I’ll post more when I know more, but for right now, rest assured that I’m okay.