Behind the Scenes at Orozco Ink
Here's how I'll be spending the first Sunday of June:
The Plaza Improv Players will be performing “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at the Plaza Playhouse Theater, 4916 Carpinteria Ave. in downtown Carpinteria. Directed by Tom Mueller, this salute to the season is a one-hour unscripted, unrehearsed show using the tools of improv. Tickets are $10 and available at the box office from 2:30 p.m. day of the show. More info, call Tom at (805) 794-7467. www.plazatheatercarpinteria.com
I'll be performing. Thinking on my feet. Scaring myself to death. And loving every minute of it. Would love to see you there.
|Magazine cover shot by Glenn Dubock.|
Carpinteria Magazine just hit the streets. There's a short lull until we start revving up for the next issue. Additionally, there's been some client attrition in my business. It happens.
Today I find myself facing a day of no billable hours. In many ways, a day without deadlines is something to be treasured. In other ways, a day without deadlines is nerve-wracking.
Here are some of the ways I handle a downturn in billable hours:
- Freak out. Fully and completely. Typically lasts less than a few hours.
- Regroup. Embrace the huge cache of "free time" to take care of non-billable items such as follow Real Simple magazine's advice on "Easy Ways to Make Your Office Happier" and tidy my email inbox.
- Hunt. Troll Web sites such as MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, and, of course, Craigslist, among other platforms. The hunting is kind of fun, though it's a lot more fun when I'm not so hungry for work.
- Market. Update social media and engage. Send an email to prospective clients about what I do. Attend meetings of professional organizations of which I belong, such Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter.
|My desk pre-organizing. Not too bad, but better now.|
I have been lucky that paying work usually shows up before I've had time to thoroughly enjoy some non-billable time. Today I keep the faith that that will happen again. And it will, as long as I keep up my end by doing what I need to do to get more work and by keeping the faith.
Credit goes to Cooperative Wisdom authors Donal Scherer and Carolyn Jabs, who blogged about it. Click here to read it.
My takeaway from the post is that we are all so overwhelmed, not only with everyday life but also with the digital bombardment that accompanies us everywhere. Is it really necessary to post for posting's sake? Wouldn't it be better to have something of value to say or share?
Your takeaway probably will be different, but I guarantee it will be of value. Click here and take a couple of minutes to read the Sustainable Blogging post.
I liken the idea to the Slow Food movement, which started in response to fast food. Slow Food is about purposefully taking time to make a delicious and nutritious meal and then savoring the effort.
↑Pictured above is Ava. I got stuck finding suitable artwork for a Sustainable Blogging post, and Ava fit the bill.
|Carpinteria City Beach in January 2017.|
Here's part of an email I sent answering someone who recently asked me that question.
"Regarding the local newspapers, of course, any of them would be happy to sell you space to run an article praising your business.
- Create a list of newspapers/magazines/outlets and check the editorial guidelines.
- Decide which ones you want to target.
- Massage the article to fit the newspaper/magazine/outlet.
- Call the editor(s) to say you're sending the article.
- Send the article.
- Follow up with the editor(s).
If nothing else, you'll have started a working relationship with newspapers/magazines/outlets and a database. You can send news items on a regular basis, such as a second office, you've hired a new salesperson, your product won an award, and so on."
I hope you'll give the above a try. Your business deserves some ink.
I'm looking forward to a year filled with enjoying my writing. So, I've decided to let go of resolutions of how I am going to post all sorts of Facebook updates, blog bits, and all other social media stuff.
The pressure is off, which means I will probably get around to doing the stuff. LOL. You know, reverse psychology.
Here a few notes I received this month. I want to share them, not to brag, but to demonstrate how a few sentences can really make my day.
Recently, one of the best, and I mean the best, writing tips/nudges/inspiration came from Sara Caputo, principal of Radiant Organizing. And when a productivity expert sends me something, I read it. It's a post from the blog Barking up the Wrong Tree about, well, about writing. Read it. You'll laugh, and you'll laugh more.
In other Orozco Ink news ...
•My husband and I took a month-long vacation and visited Sweden and Italy. Actually, it was 32 days. If so inclined, you can check pictures of the fabulous trip on my Facebook page.
|My vacation journal.|
explains how cooperation breaks down in settings from boardrooms and family rooms to volunteer organizations and public agencies.
Written as a spirited exchange between an acclaimed ethicist and an inquisitive journalist, the book introduces five social virtues that crack open stubborn problems and reveal cooperative solutions.
•I'll be in an improv show next Sunday, the 20th at 3 p.m. at the Plaza Playhouse Theater. It's been a while since I've performed, but it's guaranteed I'll have fun.
|Improv Showcase on Nov. 20.|
Thanks for reading. Nice to be in touch again. Let's enjoy the day!
|Where to start with this mess?|
A single small step, that's where.
Enjoy your independence and celebrate with family and friends. (Excellent example of an imperative sentence, BTW.)
Thought I would do my share for the digital environment and reuse a previously published post that celebrates our great nation.
Check out The National Archives - Worth the Trip to D.C. Its claim to fame is the place in D.C. where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence make their home. There are so many other wonderful (and not so wonderful) records and documents of our country's history there, too.
Please remember that this weekend isn't a blast for all of us. The Fourth of July can be particularly unpleasant for animals. Here's a piece on Fourth of July safety for dogs from my colleague Joan Hunter Mayer, dog trainer extraordinaire of Inquisitive Canine. Read it here.
|Shadow was frightened by fireworks, thunder and other ka-booms.|
I enjoyed the book very much. One, I love reading about organizing, planning, and straightening up and usually become inspired to actually do some organizing and straightening up. The book delivered on that account.
Written in first person, the book has a conversational tone. Marie Kondoh is like a friend giving you "the straight dope." She really lays it on the line. And some of her advice is a bit surprising. Here's an example:
She follows the above principle with this: "My clients are stunned when I say this, but there is nothing more annoying than papers. After all, they will never inspire joy, mo matter how carefully you keep them. For this reason, I recommend you dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely. (The bolding is hers.)
Ms. Kondoh's guiding philosophy is if something gives you joy, keep it. Otherwise get rid of it. A pragmatic approach to say the least.
I could share her approach to clothing and books, but then I would be robbing some of the pleasure gained from reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." I encourage you to buy your own copy. I also encourage you to buy it from an independent bookseller.
If you haven't been to Powell's Books, I highly suggest it. I think it's worth a trip to Portland. Next time I visit, maybe I'll pick up "Spark Joy," the newest book by Marie Kondoh.
I'm participating in the #Train4Rewards Blog Party! And you're invited. Click the button and you will be whiskered away to a gathering of animal lovers reinforcing rewards-based training.
|Nella after acclimating a bit to life with humans.|
Meet Nella, she's the muted calico pictured above. Muted refers to her coloring, not her personality. Nella came to live with us via Catalyst for Cats, a nonprofit dedicated to helping stray and feral cats in Santa Barbara County. I'm on the board of Catalyst for Cats and help with publicity.
When 3-year-old Nella came to live at our house, only one word was used to describe her: MEAN! I think family, friends, visitors, and neighbors wanted to use other descriptors but were too polite.
After a few months, we could actually pet Nella without getting bitten or scratched. A few more months and we could pick her up. Later on, she'd sit next to us on the couch to be pet, and then eventually strike us. Slowly and surely, she became more lovable and friendly.
Each day was a journey. Lots and lots of treats were involved. Always soothing voices. Well, that's not true. Honestly, more than once my temper broke and I yelled at her.
Nella lived with us for 14 years. She had become quite matey in her last few years. Though, with all her purring and snuggling, there was always the chance of a swipe, scratch, or bite. She never seemed to put her feral past behind her.
All the rewards and treats paid off, however, and Nella became a loving, involved member of our family.
I'd like to thank my colleague, Joan Hunter Mayer, of the Inquisitive Canine, for sharing the word on the #Train4Rewards Blog Party. Thanks!