Tag Archives: Golden Retriever

B is for Bunions

2 Apr

a-to-z-letters-bWhat? Bunions?

Yes. Bunions.

Why?

Well, there I was yesterday trying NOT to figure out what my “B” blog post would be (Blogging seemed too obvious) and to keep my pantser reputation intact by waking up today and being hit with a bolt (note the ‘b’ in bolt) of “B” lightning, when the wonderful Sheri de Grom stopped by my blog to state that she would NOT be doing the challenge (but you should read her blog here nonetheless) because she had shoulder surgery, making it naturally difficult to write. Her note reminded me of my bunion surgery that I had 18 months ago, which did not render me incapable of writing, but it did make life tough for a while.

It also reminded me that before I met the fantabulous Kristen Lamb (do go check out her blog here) at the 2012 RWA National Conference in Anaheim, I had no idea that all my blog posts were supposed to be in ONE blog. Well, I hadn’t realised that and so set up an entirely separate WordPress Blog about my bunion surgery  called “Not Another Bunion Surgery Blog” which you can read all about by clicking here.

My healing foot!

My healing foot!

I had no idea at the time I started this blog that I would get SO many followers and people sharing their surgery stories and their bunion tales of woe, survival and triumph. As I mentioned in that blog I really set about writing it because when I was contemplating surgery I went looking for stories of people’s experiences to try and prepare myself. Some of them helped me a lot, so I decided to share my experiences from pre to post surgery to give other people an idea what to expect. I was amazed by pre and post bunion surgery people who logged onto my blog and shared their war stories and asked questions ahead of their own surgeries. One poster even said “Are you a writer? You should be.” And then I sent them to THIS blog. Blog hopping would have been avoided had I just incorporated my bunion surgery experience into this blog but this was pre-Kristen Lamb.

On that note, today’s “B” could also have been for Bronte – as in my 2-year-old Golden Retriever Bronte (who is naturally named after Charlotte (not Emily) Bronte – my favourite author.) Bronte too has her own blog over here at English Golden Retriever Girl. She hasn’t posted in a while though – opposable thumb issues  – and her blog was also pre-Kristen Lamb. No idea how to meld all three blogs so they sit on different blog sites.

And so, that is why today’s blog is about bunions. If you want to know how my bunions are today, well you can hop on over to Not Another Bunion Surgery Blog and check them out.

See you tomorrow. And no, I still have no idea what “C” will be.  However, fellow writer Christine London has her entire A-Z list all planned out. Colour me jealous.  You should check her blog out, here.

I have joined Patch.com in Mar Vista

2 Nov

Finally!

I can break the news. I’ve been away, and I’ve been covering crazy celebrity journalism for the New York Post, and doing editing gigs, and grieving over my darling Bridget, and awaiting the birth of my new puppy (10 days from now), but mostly I’ve been interviewing for Patch.com. Click on the link for more information about Patch.

It was a long, gruelling interview process but I’m excited to say that I have been hired as the editor of Mar Vista Patch, which will launch in the coming weeks. I was hired last week and went through three days of training and am now working hard to launch my site.

I’m excited to have  a full time job after years of freelancing, excited to have a regular salary, VERY excited by the EXCELLENT benefits offered, and extremely excited that I still get to work from home. Patch outfits us with a MacBook Pro, a camera, video, iPhone, printer, scanner, fax – pretty much everything you need to run an online journalism site from your home, your coffee shop, the local park, wherever.

Most of all, I’m excited to be back working in community journalism, which is where my roots are and is what I love best. I’m excited to get to know the Mar Vista community and engage the locals and be part of their world.  I’m incredibly excited.

In order to launch, I have to have X number of Twitter and Facebook followers. So please, please go to Mar Vista Patch on Facebook and “like” us. And follow me on MarVistaPatch on Twitter.

I’m also looking for contributors to the site. Please see the next Post if you’re interested!

Fear, faith and finally… some work

14 Aug

Apologies for falling off the radar for a couple of days. Truth be told I’ve been busy. I finally landed a copy editing gig – phew and will be starting tomorrow (it’s online and I still get to work from home). I’m plodding away at my web site, getting great help from Jane Boursaw through her course and feeling “up”….

That is until today. I’ve been distracted the last couple of days. My 12 and a half year old Golden Retriever – Bridget – whom I’ve had since she was six weeks old needs surgery! I discovered a small bump/lump on her flank the other day and took her to the vet. She has two large lipomas which are just fat deposits that older dogs get and they’ve been fine for years. I was hoping this one was more of the same. It wasn’t. The vet aspirated the lump and said it needed to be sent to the lab. It took two days for the results to come back. She has a soft tissue sarcoma and is going in to have it surgically removed tomorrow. Only once it’s removed will they know how bad it is and be able to assign it a “grade”. I hope they get the whole thing and that she’s fine, but who knows? It’s very distressing and I’ve been crying a lot this afternoon. I can’t imagine my life without her.  I have no idea how much this is going to cost and given that I have ZERO money I don’t care. That’s why God invented credit cards, right? It may take 10 years to pay it off but right now Bridget’s health is the most important.

So, I haven’t been able to focus on much else since getting this news. Her surgery is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Please pray for her.

DSCN4419

The write to be happy

26 Jul

FALLING OFF THE PLANET
So, where have I been for the last six months? What happened to my resolve, my life, my outlook, my world? Well, a lot to be frank and none of it particularly good. I need the discipline of being answerable to something/someone, and so, dear blog, you are it. You are here from this day forth to keep me on track. Do you hear me?

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Where  I have been in the last six months is less important than how I move forward. But, to bring you up to speed, it’s been a tough half-year, complete with the loss of my steady freelance gigs, a stint in hospital, the turning down of a great job to write a travel guide book for Frommers to my home town of Jerusalem in favour of a great great writing job that made me so happy professionally and paid more money than I knew what to do with. Maybe it’s because I really wouldn’t know what to do with all that money that it turned out that job never paid me. Two months of work, thousands of dollars later and now I”m as poor as a synagogue mouse (to quote from Topol in Fiddler on the Roof, whom I saw the other night – -AMAZING – but I digress).

GET EVEN OR GET HAPPY?

Am I mad? You bet I am. Do I hope to see my money someday? You bet I do. Am I doing everything in my power to try and get that money from them? You bet I am. But, with the upheaval and turmoil and sickness and stress, and having gone through all my savings, I woke up last week virtually unable to move. Money, or no, I realised I needed a serious massage. All that stress and tension of the last few months had finally got to me. And so I went to the ONLY place to get a massage in Los Angeles – The Massage Therapy Center. Trust me, it’s not cheap but they are SOOO great there. I’ve learned the hard way, better to have a great massage and pay for it, than a bad one that simply leaves your wallet lighter but no real improvement. At the Massage Therapy Center (I sound like an infomercial, no?), there’s none of the “What sort of massage do you want?”. Of course you can request a style, if that’s what floats your boat, but far, far, better, is the therapist asking what your issues are, where your tension is, and then tailoring your massage to your body’s needs. And believe me, those therapists usually know what you need more than you do. My therapist was AMAZING although she did say I’d need about five hours of work on my back to get out all the accumulated knots.

GOING TO PIECES OR SEEKING PEACE
Still, after that amazing treatment, I suddenly had a great deal of clarity. I realised that while I was still as poor as a synagogue mouse, and still spending all day every day scanning the Internet, bugging friends and sending out job applications and resumes, I needed to find a way to be at peace with the fact that I wasn’t working. That didn’t mean swanning around town and maxing out my credit cards ( which I’m on the verge of doing by necessity anyway), but to actually allow myself some time to breathe. After all, I figured, when am I actually going to have the time to just do things I can’t do normally when I do have a full time job? I needed to find a way to be okay with being “funemployed” as a recent Los Angeles Times article noted. And so, I began to try and okay with my status, while still making the effort to search for work.

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
So what could I do that wouldn’t break my already broken bank? And what could I do to not just focus on what I wanted to do from here on out, but to truly take advantage of this situation? Well, firstly I have an uncle who very kindly has sent a small amount of money my way that should keep me covered for the next four to six weeks while I search for work. And, because of this, I am blessed to be able to say: Right, for the next four weeks I’m going to focus really hard on how to move forward while still being responsible.

BACK TO MY BOOKISH ROOTS
Well, I went to the library! I love books and had a problem with buying them – A LOT! I love wandering into a bookstore and smelling the new pages (my sister can relate to this, too). But then I realised that the city has a plethora of libraries that I hadn’t used in ages. I made a careful list of the type of books I wanted to read, the authors I wanted to seek out, and to find a way to get back to FICTION, which is my great love after all, which is the purpose of this blog, and clearly of my life.

THE PERSPEX IN MY PERSPECTIVE
And the first book I read and am still reading? Not a work of fiction at all, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. What an amazing book. Why did I wait so long to read this? I am inspired. She is inspiring. Go read her book if you haven’t already. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for putting the perspex in my perspective. I spent my week giving myself permission to just “be”, courtesy of Ms. Gilbert. I took my dog to the dog beach (she’s a Golden Retriever who loves nothing more than to swim) – on a WEDNESDAY! How decadent! How bohemian! I did it. I’m proud of it. The guilt twinges were definitely there but I was learning to be okay with taking a couple of hours out in the day, midweek and being okay with it. I went to the park, sat under a big tree (again with the dog) and read: the newspaper, fiction mags and Ms. Gilbert. Absolutely delicious! And none of these “experiments” cost me money.

CHANCE AND/OR FATE = CHANGE?
Through a series of bizarre circumstances, I landed up meeting and connecting with a former Australian child star whom I adored when I was a little girl. The circumstances are so coincidental and surreal that I couldn’t do them justice by attempting to explain them, plus I want to cocoon and cherish the magic of this encounter so I will say nothing more on how this came about. I am forging a wonderful relationship with this extraordinary woman and am now working with her to publish a series of articles on her life and write her memoir/autobiography with her, all because of a series of random events colliding in the universe. I do not know where this relationship will lead either professionally or personally, but I’m just enjoying the ride and getting to know her and her amazing boyfriend who were clearly destined for each other. It’s true what they say, that another person’s happiness can rub off on you.

THIS IS ME
This chance meeting, the massage, the reading, the permission to breathe, the extraction of myself from a toxic work situation, have all somehow crystalised into my upcoming four week challenge, which is to allow myself to really spend more time on my fiction, to do what I love and let that place of peace and serenity guide my actions. I was lucky to interview for a job and even luckier to not be offered that job. And no, that is not a typo. I learned an important lesson at that interview. I have spent the last two and a half years freelancing, from home. As a (ahem) forty-something woman, I knew going into the interview the job was a desk job in a real office, where I’d have to wear real shoes (ugh) and clock watch (double ugh). And as I sat there in that interview, I could feel the walls closing in on me, and I almost couldn’t breathe. I knew I could never go back to a desk job and while that may narrow my options work-wise in the near future, it was enlightening to know who I really was, what I could truly deal with, and what I couldn’t. I love working from home. I am self-disciplined, organized, when it comes to work (with the usual dollop of procrastination we all have from time to time). I’m a morning person and love being able to start work at 6 a.m. My 12-year-old Golden Retriever loves having me at home too (the feeling is mutual). If I’d been offered that job, would I have taken it, though? Absolutely! But I wasn’t. I believe this was the universe’s way of confirming for me I’m not meant to be in an office on a 9-5 schedule.

THE FOUR WEEK CHALLENGE
And so, this leads me to my four-week challenge, (which I have already begun), and which I hope my readers will hold me accountable to. For the next four weeks my tasks are as follows:

  • To give myself permission to enjoy this time
  • To spend my days doing the following: Exercising (sadly I can no longer do my 6 a.m. on the beach boot camp classes because I have no money); more yoga; focus on writing fiction (three stories done already and sent to various competitions, sites etc);
  • Seeking only decent paying freelance markets (I’m over those cheap bastards who think you are not worth anything … see previous post
  • Finding a “happy place” every day. This includes more time with my dog in parks, promenades, the beach. Summer in LA is amazing. Take advantage – right?
  • Spending time seeking jobs – but NOT 24/7
  • Reading more books. On my list right now: The Secret, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Accidental Tourist (which I read years ago but Ann Lamott is extraordinary and I love this book), more Elizabeth Gilbert; Julie and Julia (I’m a vegetarian but obsessed with all forms of cooking and food books, shows etc. no idea why!).

And so, I beg your indulgence. Please help me keep to this regime. You’ll know I’m doing so by my postings. If I’m not posting and updating, feel free to kick my bum via this blog and keep me on the straight and narrow. I hope, pray and wish to believe that by doing what I need to do, and approaching what I love from a happy place will lead to emotional and financial stability. Help me in this journey and I will help you in yours if you wish me to. The focus now must be MORE FICTION and MORE FORGIVENESS. This, will be my F PLAN. Join me on my journey, won’t you?