Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring Cleaning

I'd definitely say I'm overdue for that in here; after all, I've been gone a really long time!

Since my last visit, I got my final grades (I was still waiting on my French grade). I ended up with a 3.5, which put me (just barely) in the honors category. In other words, according to my diploma, I graduated cum laude. And today I got to watch several of my friends graduate via the college website's live stream (I overslept, so couldn't make it there in person). I'm so happy for each and every one of them! I know some of them are planning to be teachers, and one gal is planning to be a writer, and I'm sure that all of them are going to be amazing!

I'm still editing for NOISE & COLOR, and I'm looking for other editing gigs as well. I also started a website/blog/thingy just for editing stuff. You can find it at There's not much there as yet, since I just don't have nearly the wealth of information that some other editors do. But I do have links to some of those other editing blogs, so hopefully that will be helpful and/or interesting to other folks. I'm also going to try to get in the habit of posting something there every few days, even if it's just a short paragraph. And a couple of other things I've done, business-wise: I joined the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and signed up for a developmental editing of fiction class, which has been very interesting! I'm about 3/4 of the way through it right now.

As far as general stuff with me, Dave, and the kids goes, there's not tons to tell. Heather's doing pretty well with school this semester--she had to make up some classes that she'd failed, and they let her do them online (module-style). She has really done well with those! She's able to work at her own pace, and she understands some things better when presented in that format. Also, because she has to have at least an 80% in most cases before she can move on to the next module, she'll finish those classes with a B average. I'm really proud of how well she's done this semester!

The other kids are doing okay, for the most part. Working, going to school, generally staying busy. My youngest granddaughter, Kate, is going to be a year old on the 19th of this month! Crazy. Time really flies, doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm going to run off for now. Dave and I are working on dinner, since we've got a rare evening to ourselves! :-)

Take care, y'all, and hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Well, now what?

I graduated from MSU-Billings on May 4th of this year, with a BA in English and a pretty respectable GPA (3.85 for the semester and 3.49 cumulative - just shy of the 3.5 needed to graduate with honors).

So, what do I do now? I had a couple of leads for manuscript editing jobs, but they haven't panned out. I was going to apply to teach Freshman Comp. at the college, but I left it too late for this semester--looks like if I still want to do that, it'll have to be in the spring. And I applied for a job with the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, but was turned down. That was really a bummer because it sounded like the work would have been very similar to what I did for the Census a couple of years ago, plus it paid very well.

Tomorrow I'll go to one of the (semi) local newspaper offices, and apply as a copy editor, but that's only a couple of days a week (which, granted, is more than I work for NOISE & COLOR, a local magazine, but still not great). I really worry that I'm not going to find anything as an editor, and be stuck right back in retail, or worse, fast food. It makes me think that I shouldn't have bothered going back to school just to put myself into debt, that I just should have resigned myself to working jobs at just above minimum wage for the rest of my life.

But that kind of thinking *really* isn't going to get me anywhere. One thing I need to do is start learning everything I can about editing, and so I'm going on a hunt for writing and editing blogs. And as soon as I can, I'm going to start picking up every style guide I can get my hands on.

Not much else going on right now. Once again, I'm going to say that I'll try to update this more often, and hopefully there'll even be interesting stuff for y'all to read!

Monday, April 22, 2013


This is a test.  This is only a test.  Something is weird in the state of Denmark, and it seems to be that even though I think I'm signed in, Blogger and/or Google don't necessarily agree...So we'll see if I'm able to post this.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dragging myself kicking and screaming back from the brink

Eesh.  It's a new year.  Again. And what's more, it's February of that new year.  And I haven't written anything here since September, and that was only the 3rd post of last year.  Seriously, what's the point of having a blog if I'm not going to use it?

Okay, enough beating myself up.  I made the Honor Roll again last semester, despite all the drama going on with Dave's health and the pain clinic (more information can be found at his blog, link in the sidebar), and Kaila made straight A's for the first time ever!  Way to go, kiddo!

This semester I'm taking a whopping 19 credits, but when I take the test for the second half of my French independent study, I'll end up having 22 credits on my transcript (providing that I pass, of course).  One of my classes is History of the English Language, which is actually pretty interesting.  It's neat to see how the language has changed over time.  I'm also copy editing the college newspaper, which has been fun so far, though we're only working on the second issue of the semester.

I am going to try to update more often--probably on the weekends.  I would write more now, but for some reason I can't fathom, Blogger keeps changing my font on me, and having to change it back is getting really irritating.

Hope everyone has been doing well, and with any luck, I'll be talking to y'all again soon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Untreated Pain is NOT Acceptable!

Everyone's experienced pain, right?  Sure.  A stubbed toe.  A paper cut.  A broken bone.  Childbirth.  Kidney stones.  Varying types and degrees of pain, which are no respecters of race, gender, or social status.  Pain is one thing that is common to everyone.

Now, I want you to imagine the worst pain you've ever felt.  Got that visualized?  Good.  Now, imagine that pain lasting for YEARS.  And then multiply it by at least 10.  Appalling?  Yeah.  Now, imagine that you've finally gotten some relief from that unending, grinding, nightmare of pain.  You're able to function somewhat.  You can occasionally go to the store, or to a family event, or on short vacations.  Possibly, you can even work.  And then, one day, something happens.  You get sick.  You have one doctor, who isn't normally part of your team of physicians, tell your pain management doctor that your pain medications may interfere with one aspect of your health--say, your breathing.  This new doctor's recommendation is that your narcotic pain medications be removed.  So they are, slowly, of course, so that you don't suffer too badly from withdrawal, but another effect is that you have longer to visualize your life without relief.  But your pain hasn't gone away in all this time.  Oh, no, it's still there.  Waiting.  And so you ask your pain specialist, "What are we going to use to manage my pain?"  And you get no answer.  And the pain is coming back, and you're willing to do anything to make it STOP.

Okay, if that's not bad enough, how about this? 

Imagine someone you love is in pain like that.  Imagine that all you can do is watch him or her hurt.  And cry.  And pray for relief, whether through medication, a new procedure, or even death.  Just so the pain is gone.  Imagine crying yourself to sleep while you pray for healing for your loved one, while at the same time, in the back of your head, thinking, "I don't want him/her dead, but at least the pain will stop."  And you make phone calls, and go to doctor's appointments, and you try to make sure that people know that your loved one doesn't want the drugs, he/she wants the pain to STOP.  To go far enough away that life can be lived again.  Stupid things like going to the park.  Playing with the children.  Walking the dog.  Cooking dinner.  Even taking a shower.  All of these are things made more difficult without adequate pain management.

And I have to say that yes, it is absolutely a nightmare to have to live in pain and not have adequate care, and to have people who don't know you think of you as a junkie who just needs a fix of narcotics.  But you know, it's not easy for those of us who love people suffering from pain, either.  All we can do is watch and shed some tears.

One of the things going on right now is that pain clinics, as well as pharmacies which fill prescriptions for narcotic pain medications, are under close scrutiny from the federal government.  Because of this, these people, who I believe truly want to help the patients in their care, are afraid of doing the least little thing wrong.  And so, these patients often suffer, simply because the doctors know that if they lose their right to practice, so many more people will be left without care.  THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!  No one should have to be afraid of having their government prevent their care!!

All I'm asking is that if you know of someone suffering from pain, no matter what kind, who is not receiving adequate care, who has a doctor refuse to see them, who has a pharmacy refuse to fill their prescription--STAND UP WITH THEM.  Add your voice to theirs, so that it can be heard.  Write letters.  Make phone calls.  Something.  Anything.  Because sometimes it's too hard to go on fighting if you're alone.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What's that? Dead, you say?

No, no, I promise I'm not dead.  Unless I really am, and am just a zombie, but don't know it.  Though I'm pretty sure zombies don't write blog posts.

Well, a quick catch-up is in order, I think.  I managed 3 A's, an A-, and a B last semester, and while I'm a bit disappointed to break my straight-A run, I'm very pleased that that B wasn't a C, which was what I was actually expecting for that class (that was my Literary Criticism class--very heavy stuff).  Summer has passed much too quickly, as usual, and to top it off, Heather turned 14 two weeks ago!  What the heck?!  And the silly child had the nerve to start high school last week.  Makin' me feel old, I tell ya.

In a few days, I head back to school myself, and this time around, I'm a member both of Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society) as its vice-president and the college's Honors club.  I'm also still going to be editing The Rook (college literary journal), and if I ever get the application filled out, hopefully I'll be editing for The Retort (college newspaper).  As far as classes, I'm only taking four this semester: American Lit I, Studies in American Lit, Young Adult Lit, and Shakespeare.  I also have to do some serious studying so that I can challenge (test out of) second year French, which they don't offer.  The only language they do offer two years of is Spanish, which I don't want to take, so my other options are to either take a year of German or Arabic, or test out of French.  Also, I'm going to be working with the Honors club advisor to see about turning some of my classes into honors-level ones, which means, most likely, extra readings and/or papers, stuff like that.  My mind just boggles at the fact that I'll be graduating in just a few months!  Kaila will be, as well, so she's pretty excited about that!

Also, in July, we got a temporary cat....but then we decided to keep  Her name's Kira, and she's enormous!  For the last month or so, she was pretty sick, but with some special food from the vet and subcutaneous fluids (administered by yours truly), she's doing much better!

Nothing else much going on.  I'll try to do better at keeping up with this (I know, I know, I keep saying that...), and hopefully I'll even start having something important to say!  (What an idea, right?)

Later, folks.  :-)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


So, yeah, it's the end of March and I haven't posted since New Year's Eve. *sigh* I apparently still fail at blogging.

But I really have been pretty busy. I'm taking FOUR Lit classes and a French class this semester, and OMG there's a lot of reading!!  It's hard to keep up with all of it. And I seem to be a glutton for punishment, because I'm taking four Lit classes AGAIN next fall.  On the plus side, I think they'll be fun classes--I'm taking Young Adult Lit, Studies in American Lit, American Lit I, and Shakespeare.  The professor who'll be teaching Young Adult Lit told me I could get a reading list from him so that I can get a head start on the class over the summer, and I think I can do the same thing for at least a couple of my other classes.

I've also been working on The Rook, which is the college's literary journal, as copy editor.  It's a lot more time-consuming than I thought it would be, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and can't wait to see the finished product.  Dave's poem, "Ticket to Ride..." is in it!  :-)  I've apparently impressed the Editor-in-Chief enough that he's recommended me to several people for work, among them The Retort (the college's newspaper) and (a local nightlife blog).

On top of that, I had a couple of my professors approach me about an internship doing some writing and/or editing for the League of Conservation Voters--apparently I'm their FIRST choice for this internship!  I've never really thought of myself as a good writer, but evidently someone thinks I am! lol  AND, yesterday, I also got an email saying that one or more of my professors had nominated me for the Ivy Guard, which is a group of 50-70 women undergraduates who have a 3.25+ cumulative GPA and have contributed to college life, who line the aisle during the graduation ceremony.  I'm quite honored that my profs think I've made sufficient contributions to merit being part of the ceremony.

I suppose I should get back to my homework, so I'll leave you with a silly poem I wrote and a promise to write again soon, with pictures!

"Write a poem," they told her.
She didn't quite know how.
Something about meters and feet,
And don't forget the rhyme.

But wait!  Not all poems rhyme,
Nor use iambs all alike.
"What shall I write?" she asked,
Strangely lost for words.

"Write what you know," they said.
So she looked, and wrote
Of work, and kids, and school,
And roads not yet taken.

Finally she was done,
And held the story of a life
With its irregular forms
And said that it was good.