Apologies

•February 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I wanted to apologize for ignoring this blog, Finding my Voice. It’s been a while since I last updated and so much has changed…

Firstly, I got a car! A black Hyundai Santa Fe, 2010, it’s a spunky little thing all decked out in orange inside (with trinkets and such). I really like it but along with the joy of owning a new car comes the crushing demise of my bank account and the realization that the ‘owning-a-car’ thing is an expensive trip down adulthood lane.

Secondly, I got a job! I am now the new Administrative Assistant at Michael L. Foster & Associates, it’s been three and a half weeks since I started and it’s going pretty well. The people are nice, the company is right down the street from me (literally a five minute commute) and, while it’s not what I want to do in the long run, I’m getting some valuable skills that I can take along with me in my career. It’s my first full-time job, 8-5, so it’s taking some time for me to get used to it. When I come home all I want to do is sit so for the last few weeks I’ve not been terribly productive. If, when I do come home, I work out for half an hour, I call it a good day.

Thirdly, I volunteer a lot now! I’m the distributor of F Magazine, the interview writer (as well as two new segments – a flash critique for submissions and a flash book review) for Flashquake, the secretary for 49 Writers, and a freelance writer for the Chugiak-Eagle River Star. It’s a lot of work, but its fun work so it’s different than work-work. (Get it?)

Fourthly, did I tell you about Raven? Probably. But I’m crazy about her so I’m mentioning her again. I might be getting her a friend sometime in the future. (She IS a cat but they need companionship too, it’s sad that she’s alone for 8 hours out of the day.)

Lastly, I’m half-way finished with my novel! (insert happy dance here) And I’m writing a novella! My novel is quite dark, scary, the main character is… intense. I battled with myself for a few months and finally decided that it would be a bit too extreme to begin my writing career with that form of novel. Then I decided that I should write a shorter, lighter piece… hence the novella idea was born! It’s exciting. And it makes me happy.

That pretty much sums up my new and exciting things. I’ll try to be more consistent with the updates but honestly I think instead of every week this blog will have to be bi-weekly. It’ll give me some more time to actually write the blog posts and not just haphazardly jumble thoughts together (which is what this post pretty much is, a haphazard pile of thoughts).

What’s been happening with you? Anything new?

See you in two weeks!
Warm regards,
Kellie

P.s. – I’m going to update my Goals page soon too; I get to cross stuff out! And, come to think of it, add new items too.

A dream is a wish your heart makes

•January 16, 2012 • 6 Comments

…daaa-dduuum-daa-da-dAdaaA-da-dumm-dumm…
(the melody is stuck in my head)

I’ve always loved the old Disney movies, truly classics in every sense of the word. I remember watching Cinderella sing the dream song and thinking ‘Wow, that’s so true!’ Mind you, I was young at the time – about 10 or 11 years old – and my dreams always consisted of riding flying horses and petting tons of kittens.

Now though? Well, lets just say my dreams have changed drastically (some for the better, some for the worse).

For instance, just two nights ago I fell asleep and my subconscious imagination decided to conjure up a terrifying post-apocalyptic world where everything was covered in darkness, there was very little ammo, and a zombie attack was happening and it was seen as ‘normal.’ Everyone would scream and run away, of course (and with a hoard of limb-eating, super-fast undead men, women and animals, who in their right mind wouldn’t?) but most of the people expected the attacks to happen in a ‘damn it’s Monday again’ sort of way. The atmosphere was charged, bloody, and raw. And the crazy thing about it was, I was one of those ‘Monday’ people! I just hiked up my daggers, holstered a gun, and kept moving. (Which is not how I’d picture myself during a zombie apocalypse.) Thankfully, everyone I was guarding got out alive and the zombie attack died out… but then again, it happened all the time so that was expected. I finally woke up when everyone was safe in an old home. It was an intense dream.

Last night, however, I had another intense dream (for entirely different reasons). I had just finished going over some notes for my novel when I called it a night and went to sleep. This time around my subconscious decided to pull up a wedding scene (which made sense considering I had just attended a wedding yesterday afternoon). It was a gorgeous wedding though, simply lovely, orange trim, orange lights, orange flowers. I was all busy being quite impressed with the decor that when it came to walking down the aisle trying to find my seat I hardly noticed that I was the one in a white wedding gown! (Which I was all – whaaaa?) When I looked at the one waiting for me at the alter, a woman in a white wedding gown waited there too, and (here comes the really crazy part) it was Brennan off of Bones! (No disrespect to her, I mean she’s pretty and all that, very scientific and logical, but Temperance Brennan? Really???) I freaked out for a second, ran away down some stairs and stalked the room thinking I was making this huge mistake. It only took me a minute to realize the mistake I was making was standing downstairs when the woman I loved waited upstairs, I went back to the wedding (in which, did I mention, there were tons of those bopper-ball things, where the paddle and ball was connected with a piece of string? I even had a miniature orange one in my hair! My HAIR! Who wears a toy in their hair?? *sighs* My subconscious personal fashion sense is unique at best.) Well, needless to say, the wedding ended with the obvious kiss and – poof – I woke up.

So, to sum it all up, apparently my dreams are telling me that my heart’s wish is for zombie attacks to become so common no one really freaks out that much anymore and I’ll be some warrior AND that my heart is in love with Brennan from Bones and would like to marry her. Not at all riding horses that fly and petting hundreds of kittens. Personally I miss those younger dreams, they were simple and fun, not scary and lovey-dovey-ish.

What do I think about the ‘dream’ song now? Well, honestly, it still kind-of rings true. Don’t misinterpret me, I do not want there to be a zombie apocalypse… but I would want to be a fighter if it ever were to happen. I don’t want to marry Brennan from the TV show… but I would like to get married some day. Strange how those songs always seem to have a meaning that lasts longer than expected. Hence, by the way, why those Disney movies are classics!

Until next time!

Warm regards,
Kellie

You know the job market hates you when…

•January 9, 2012 • 2 Comments

You have a BA in English. You graduated magna cum laude. You have a good personality, a flawless (and I mean grammatically) resume, volunteered for many respectable organizations and freelanced, and applications to almost everywhere and yet.

Yet.

YET

Still nothing.

Do you know how frustrating that is? And I know, I KNOW, that the job market is tough, that I wouldn’t get a job “easily” and that someone is going through the same problem somewhere. But really. It’s aggravating and I’m SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS TO THE WORLD that it’s disappointing as hell. And, I ask you, what should the world expect?

I recently had an enlightening conversation with a good friend of mine concerning this very subject. We’ve discovered that our expectations after obtaining a degree have been pushed on us since we were little. For example, we were told throughout high school that in order to obtain a good job, we must go to college and get a degree. That after being successful for four or five years in college, getting good grades, paying attention in class, studying and such, that upon graduating college we would get a solid job somewhere and blossom in our new-found careers. That a college degree, and some extra volunteer efforts perhaps, is “good enough” to get a job. While that may have been true back then, it’s simply not the case anymore.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the ones who assured me of this, I’m not cursing out society for changing it’s rules and demanding even more of us because, lets face it, that’s what life does. It changes. I get that. But it would have been nice for someone to have told me that somewhere down the line. Just a little heads up or a ‘you’ll need a higher degree than a BA’ would have been sufficient.

Society has changed, the standards have been raised, and, yes, that is a good thing, it means more people are going to college and obtaining a degree… but that also means the playing field is equalized again and we must do above and beyond to be “better” than the rest of the players. Which means getting a higher degree than a BA, a Masters perhaps. Or a PHD. Or whatever higher degree they’ll think up when everyone has a PHD. The combinations are endless, you know.

After that chat with my friend, the lovely conversation, I began thinking. Musing. Wondering if I should go back to college. If I should get a Masters in something. Literary Arts? Perhaps but not terribly “useful” in the sense of practicality when one considers the job market. Perhaps English, with an emphasis on something. Rhetoric or teaching. I honestly don’t know but at least I’ll have until June to decide.

Yet, perhaps, I’ll have landed a solid job by then too. It could happen. I’ll keep you posted. For now, though, I’m annoyed by the job-hunt.

Warmest regards,
Kellie

A Flip of the Page

•December 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As the year slowly comes to a close like a page of an old book being turned, I cannot help but think of how the days and months past by for me. I’ve had my share of sorrow – our two cats dying, a friend dying, my dad getting cancer, my health declining – but more than my share of joy as well – I graduated magna cum laude from UAA, dad survived cancer, Raven (my new cat), working on my first “real” novel, my sister landing and being promoted in her new job, having fun with my friends and family. Overall, while there were bumps along the way (though I think they could be classified as craters really), I think it was a pretty good year.

Yet I am still left with a feeling of sadness. This unhappiness lingers (I would pen ‘in my soul!’ but that would seem overly dramatic) and I had a hard time trying to recognize the roots of this feeling. I have finally found one, one of the roots and I’m shocked by how simple it is. I’m mourning my past. My life is changing – I’ve graduated school with my college degree, my sister is house-sitting in a different town until April so the atmosphere is different (not bad, just altered), and I’m currently looking for a full-time job too. I keep thinking that once I get a job, my life will change, I won’t be a kid anymore. And I realized that part of me, a big part, is sad about that. But honestly, though, I think, in a way, it’s okay to be sad about growing up.

Life is always supposed to change, to adapt and evolve. I’m supposed to grow up, become a responsible adult with a career reaching ahead of me, move out of my home and create a new one. I knew this and I looked forward to it, but I never realized how difficult the process would be. The way I see it, I just need to adapt to my new life as a college graduate – not play video games all the time, stay at home everyday or spend hours watch television – those things are fun, yes, and beneficial but they’re keeping me from thinking about life, from coming to terms with me new reality, from becoming a better version of me.

I think it will be easier to adapt once I get a job though, even if it’s a part-time internship somewhere remote, at least I’d have that to work around and get a feel for what it’s like to be a career-person. I can’t let my past hold me back (and by hold, I mean, grasp me in it’s horrible black grip of daisies and youth, trying to make me mourn for or re-live it.), it’s not healthy. And for me, a health nut (fiber people, eat your fiber, fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water) that’s pretty intense. But now that I recognize this is a cause for my sadness I can work with it, on it, hell, change it! In all actuality, I had a lovely childhood and a good education growing up. My college experience was hectic but fun. I should draw strength from those things, not wallow in them. And I will. I’ll own my adulthood and become the career-woman I want to be!

For now, though, the new year is fast approaching, this year will be merely a distant memory, a part of my ever-growing past, a flip of the page. We still have two days in 2011, enjoy it while you can.

Warmest regards,
Kellie

What is this? We shopped for a tree?

•December 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So today we’ve spent the entire day breaking old traditions. Today was the day we went shopping, shopping for Christmas, shopping for a brand new Christmas tree. Now for most people this is a common occurrence this time of year, but not for us… for us it’s… strange. Weird. Bizarre even… to “shop” for a Christmas tree. It’s breaking our life-long Christmas tradition!

Usually we hunt for one: This “hunt” involves us driving for an hour, hitching up our snowmachines and driving out into the middle of no-where for a few hours, only to find the “perfect Alaskan tree” – think Charlie Brown-inspired and mottled with snow – cut it down, gather it up in a large plastic tarp that ends up falling off anyway, drive it back to where we parked, shove it to the top of the car and tie it down with about a million yards of rope, drink hot chocolate then drive back home. It’s fun! It’s adventurous! It’s Alaskan.

But not this year. This year, we shopped for it. At a quaint little ‘tree shop’ just down the street no-less (hosted by two fine-looking young men). The tree we purchased is tiny, well-shaped, and has little to no room for presents underneath… but it’s lovely! We set it up in record time and even decorated the dang thing (something that usually never ever happens on the same week, much less the very same day of getting it). Whilst decorating, keeping with tradition, we listened to Christmas music, but, breaking the tradition, Jack (our dog) sat in the middle of things and “helped” – usually the animals would stay in the bedroom. Raven (my cat) tried to “help” as well but mostly she merely watched intently and toyed with a plastic ball.

Now the lights are up, the music is playing, the animals are cheerfully sniffing the new intruder in the living room, and we’re about to have dinner. We broke traditions… but it’s a wonderful day after all. Have you broken any holiday traditions lately?

Warmest regards,
Kellie

Interviews

•December 10, 2011 • 2 Comments

So my life has been a bit more interesting than I usually care to have it. I’ve been house-sitting at various locations, celebrating birthdays, dealing with medical issues, attempting to get-together with friends and applying for numerous jobs around town (both nearby and in the “city”). I was getting kind-of down about the job search, I had been applying for so many jobs and heard nothing in reply when suddenly I got two calls in one day asking me to come in for interviews! I was psyched, nervous but psyched.

My first interview went very well indeed, the job was a pre-school teaching assistant gig. The interviewer was lovely. The other workers there were nice too, so friendly and welcoming. None of the interview questions really stumped me so I was able to get a good clip going, sprinkling in some past experiences and cool words. I answered the questions calmly and sincerely, confident as I possibly could be. I felt pretty good leaving the job site. Unfortunately about a week later I got an email stating that I didn’t get the job.

My second interview didn’t go as well. I had a hectic morning full of bogus directions on Google Maps, very little to eat and traffic that very nearly made me late for the interview itself. I screeched into the lobby at exactly 9:59, the interview was scheduled for 10. They weren’t ready for me. Five minutes later I sat in the conference room where the interview was to be held, nervously trying to breath correctly and remember what I had practiced (yes I practiced, don’t judge). Finally the interviewers came in. The first question they asked was “Explain an event in which you’ve lost something… it’s open ended so answer however you’d like.”

After about a full minute of silence (which seemed to last the span of my youth through my early twenties in my mind) in which I sifted through various volunteer efforts, part-time jobs, schoolings and past events yet still came up with absolutely nothing, I finally blurted out “I lost my cat.” They both gave me stare that could bore into the soul of an elephant. I knew, instantly, as the words were passing my lips, that my answer was not really what they were looking for. But I pushed on anyway, talking about Snowball, and about how he died, and how it was really hard for me. They, being the good interviewers they were (since it was “open-ended”), asked me follow-up questions about what happened and how long did I have him. They then moved onto the other (closed-ended) questions on their list.

Needless to say, after the “lost” question my confidence was shaken and my answers followed suit. The questions were not at all like the ones I had practiced for and were quite difficult. I had a few high points in the interview and they seemed happy with most of my answers though, so it wasn’t such a bad interview after all. That interview was on Wednesday and I should hear back from them in the coming weeks. Oie.

Now, however, I’m back on the job hunt, looking online, networking with people I know, and really trying to just get my foot in the door so I can get more (hopefully better) interviews and a (part-time, full-time, anytime) job sometime down the road.

Until next time…
Warmest regards,
Kellie

A Random Wednesday Post Appears!

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(The Blogospehere uses Light Beam to startle it) <- I’m an old-school Pokemon fan so I had to finish the display. =)

So many of you may be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, or no one could be wondering because no one actually reads it “religiously” (though that might be the end result, you never know). Regardless, I figured it was high time to tell everyone (or no-one) where I’ve been these past six weeks.

I’ve been on vacation. Yup, that’s right, on vacation. On a trip. A jaunt. A meander down both coasts. First we, and by ‘we’ I mean my family, went to the east coast for a family vacation in NY, a Fall Foliage tour up the states, and our normal FL two-week lounge in Orange Lake. We hit up all the usual vacation spots – Universal Studios (the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, thank-you very much!), Disney, the lazy-river, a drive-in movie theater and geochaching – and had quite the good time. The east coast jaunt took about three weeks.

We were home for a grand total of two days before we, and this time I mean my mom and I, were off again. Another long plane ride and another coast! This time my mom and I toured the west, OR and WA to be specific. It was supposed to be a work-related trip but that was a bust so we just had fun instead. (Phew, hard life, I know!) We did touristy stuff there too – space needle, geochaching, museums, zoos, geocaching, chocolate tours, swimming, geochaching (mom loves to geocach) – and had a wonderful two weeks of lounging about in the cloudy mist-leaden rainy states. Needless to say it was a fun (extra long) vacation.

Did I think about my blog while I was away? Yes, at nights, on the off-chance my mind could wander a bit before falling into the deep void we call sleep. Did I consider posting on it on Fridays or Saturdays? Sometimes, yes, but then usually I forgot because we were off again – putt-putting and swimming, movie-nights, eating out for dinner, just the vacation stuff, you know? Did I write other things when I was away? Well, actually, I’m slightly ashamed to say yes – I wrote a few poems, a chapter or two of my novel, some journal entries (on paper, I might add), but no blog-posts.

I’d like to think my blog took a vacation too, toured around the blogosphere, saw some virtual sights, and landed again when I had, back at home on this page. Perhaps it had, perhaps I watched a bit too much of the Matrix that happened to be on almost every night of the west coast vacation. But perhaps not. Who knows, really, what the internet does when we humans are not connected to it.

And with that random metaphysical aside over, I shall say goodnight. Until next Friday, my readers or no-one, or perhaps until next time. (I may post more frequently to make up for the lost time.)

Warm regards,
Kellie