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My Life, My Work: A Brief Update

Thanks to all of you who checked in when you heard that as of mid-April I have been unemployed (or “freelancing,” as I prefer to think of it).

Here’s where I am:

  • I do not yet have permanent employment (either local or as a satellite employee), but I have some nibbles in that direction, some from unexpected corners. To use government passive-speak, c.v.s have been printed, suits have been worn, interviews have been conducted. Expect more in that area. I’m being cautious — I’d rather continue freelancing than take a job that’s a bad fit — so I’m glad this is a slow process.
  • I have had two technology articles published outside LibraryLand, plus two more in the pipeline. I am unbearably proud of this, so if you see me be prepared to hear about this again.
  • I have lined up presentations and consults for every month in 2007 except August (perhaps I’ll be French and take it off). I look forward to all the opportunities, but most delightfully, I will be conducting two events related to writing: a one-hour online “Death to Jargon” workshop (thank you, OPAL!), and an all-day “Writing for the Web” workshop.
  • I’ve written a number of library schools to advise of my availability for adjunct work. It’s too late for the fall, but I’m talking to people about next spring. My hesitation is that I’ll land a permanent full-time position and then have to juggle a new job and online instruction, but down the road I plan to resume teaching anyway, at least once a year, because I love it.
  • In April and May I sent out over two dozen submissions to literary magazines. I have had five rejections and one acceptance, which is a high acceptance rate. The other essays are just floating out there, but that’s pretty typical. I expect the rejection rate to rise because I subscribe to the shoe-store theory of submissions: when the clerk disappears into the back of the store for a long time, it’s not good news. Still, so far I’ve doubled my 2007 acceptance rate! It’s not “real money,” but it’s my soul food.
  • I’ve applied to a literary retreat center for two weeks late this year to pursue My Craft.
  • I started Twitterprose. It’s a blog! It’s a feed! It’s a twitter stream! And it’s all about creative nonfiction!
  • I’m finally revising a portrait of Ann Lipow I wrote several years ago. It was “early MFA,” and I don’t like it at all, but I did a lot of research for it so the material is there. Now the writing needs to follow.
  • I have not: started watching daytime TV (I don’t even listen to the radio when I’m writing, which is what I’m doing most days); reorganized our CDs, still jumbled since the move late last summer; finished digging out part of the garden for planting hybrid musk roses; installed the cute switch plates I bought for my office last December; made elaborate meals for Sandy; shifted my bookcase shelves, though they need it; been unhappy. (As friends at ALA noted, I look better than I have in a while.)

Thanks to everyone who looked at me and saw someone who could fill a need, short or long-term. We older librarians are often counseling new librarians to be “geographically flexible,” and if you’re unattached, that’s important. But I’m not unattached; I wouldn’t be in Tallahassee if it weren’t for a family move, and I have to work around that for the next few years. Fortunately, that’s not impossible to do.

Thanks also to all of my ALA friends who refused to let me pay for meals and drinks at ALA, and for my longstanding group of buddies who went the cheap pizza route this time rather than the glamorously expensive meals we’ve done in posher times.

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