Thoughts from a tree

Many Changes This Year

Whether you knew me before or not, I figure that a wrap-up of this year’s events (so far) might be a good idea, to give people an idea of where I am and what I’m doing and why.

At the beginning of this year, both myself and my husband, Gary, worked for AOL (I had been there 6 years and he had been there 10) in Dulles, VA.  Both of us were laid off as part of a *massive* reduction in force.  Since I already wanted to leave VA (the weather there is ABYSMAL, all year, and it only proved it even more this last winter), it seemed like a good time to go.  We were originally from FL and wanted to be closer to our families and old friends, in addition to being somewhere warmer.  After several months, and a contract job, my husband was able to find a job in Orlando and he started working there June 1.  I came to FL a few weeks later with the last of our stuff, and the cats (we have 4).  We had to live separately since my family (where I could stay, with the cats) is in Gainesville and his job was in Orlando (its about a 2-hour drive).  We finally found a house to move into in late August; its a foreclosure, so needs a lot of work done, but we’re glad to be TOGETHER again, and in a place of our own.  Our house in VA is still vacant (listed for rent, but unable to sell it), sucking up most of our income with its mortgage payments.

Since we’ve been in the process of moving pretty much all of the last 8 months, I have had little access to my tie-dye supplies, or an adequate place to use them.  I’ve also been surprisingly busy for someone with no job.  However, things are finally settling down now and I’m hoping to be able to do more tie-dye soon, as well as list the stuff I’ve already made on etsy.  I’m also hoping to be able to concentrate on my writing again; maybe one day I’ll even submit something…

For those who don’t know, I’ve been making tie-dye since my 10th grade chemistry teacher (who was awesome!) had us do some for a lab.  I started selling it as a hobby during college and continued to sell it, sometimes in a store, sometimes just to people that knew me, and more recently in etsy.  I’m hoping to sell tie-dye full-time eventually, although I’m still applying to real jobs in the meantime (if anyone is looking for a Linux System Administrator, or something similar, in the Orlando area, let me know!)  It would probably be impossible for me to sell enough tie-dye to equal my former salary, however, I figure the work-from-home perks would make it worth it (as long as my husband has a job with a health plan anyways).  Part of the desire to move to FL was also to make our expenses significantly less (if we can manage to do something with our house in VA, that is).  We have no kids and I’m *really* frugal, so living on one income (if I was making NO money selling my tie-dye and no longer getting unemployment, for instance) should be doable.

Writing is something I’ve always done and loved.  I wrote my first “books” in first grade – I very carefully wrote out the stories on regular paper and then bound them together with construction paper.  However, my father drilled into my head at an early age that I would never be able to make any money at it, so I never pursued it (like I did with computers) and I have a huge pile of stories that are either not finished, or need a lot of editing (its much more enjoyable creating the initial story than editing).  I’m also a bit leery of actually trying to submit something because of all the horror stories you hear about hundreds of rejections (even for stories that eventually became best sellers or classics).  But then something happens like “Twilight” and I think “if THAT can sell…surely my stuff can too.”  So, we’ll see, maybe one day I’ll get brave enough.  If anyone is interested in reading some of the stuff that is mostly done, and giving me an honest “this is awesome!” or “this is crap!”, let me know – it’s mostly fantasy novel type (the kind with things like unicorns and fairies), though my most recent project is a re-telling of The Little Mermaid, which will be much shorter.

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