Job interviews are picking up, and I did a paid freelance project for the first time in a few years! I’m often updating this blog here, sometimes writing notes or stories for myself, but it’s always good to get a monetary recognition, or the glory of a byline… Or both. The project I did will only have the former, sadly. But I’ll have more opportunity to pursue a byline as I just wrote a flash fiction, which I’m submitting around the lit mag and contest scene. I’m pretty proud that I wrote a flash fiction. I’m so verbose, and in college I’d written a flash fiction that was almost a thousand words, which gets into more short story territory. The one I wrote recently was just under 500, which is the sweet spot.

Oh, but I saw the dermatologist today, and this problem I have with my hair loss might be gynecology related, so now that’s incentive enough for me to finally go. The derm ordered some blood tests to figure it out, but I’ll visit regardless. I just hope they can find my veins when they draw it.

I didn’t get to finish my interview today.

I was almost done, but I foolishly knocked my Webcam and mic out of the USB drive while I was talking with my hands. My interviewers inquired for a little, asking if I was still there. I kept trying to get back, I said “yes, I’m here!” but the mic didn’t reconnect. They agreed to end the meeting.

I get my connection back, and I emailed them saying I’m back and we can resume the meeting. But they are interviewing someone else, one responds, thanks me for my time, and they will be in touch if they have more questions. I am bewildered that we are putting this important meeting to an abrupt halt. I am stunned and step away from my email and vent to my family about what happened.

After regaining my composure, I respond to the email, saying thank you for talking with me, I enjoyed the discussion, and I apologize for the dropped connection. I still want to finish the interview, as I may have answered their questions, but I still had my own questions. I had hoped we could speak again tomorrow or next week to finish. But the response I got was discouraging.

“Unfortunately, we are no longer interested perusing your application.” I’d only interviewed a half hour ago, and didn’t get my conclusion. I’d appreciate it if they at least pretended to consider my candidacy.

I don’t know if it had something to do with my screw-up in that moment or a poor reputation I may have with my former coworkers and managers. This was an educational nonprofit I worked at for three years while in college. I withdrew from my duties somewhat during my final year, but this was due to a physical change in my appearance that the children I tutored noticed, and I did not want it to attract more attention. My boss noticed my performance issues, but I did not have a confiding enough relationship with him to explain my insecurity that caused them. I went through the academic year without much worry about the job, only to be shocked the following fall that my boss replied to my email that he was not rehiring me that year due to my “repeated issues,” which, though I don’t defend my distance, it was never indicated to me at all that these would cost me the position. Later the student employment specialist had emailed me saying she had been trying to get in touch with my boss several times throughout the summer about the paperwork needed to hire me for the coming academic year and he had not returned any of her messages.

I wonder if this incomplete interview was connected at all to my former job at this place. Does my reputation stink that much? I had been trusted in my job there for most of my college experience. I had thought I was well-liked. Was I just interviewed today for quota purposes? Because I doubt much time had been given envisioning me in the role. Why would an employer not allow a candidate to finish an interview?

I just want people to give me the chance I deserve.

Back to the grind

Hello everyone. I’m often unsure what to post here, but sometimes simple diary entries can reinvigorate creative muscles. Anyway, I am job searching again, and I’d forgotten how arduous it is. In addition to regular roles, I sometimes look for calls to pitch, writing contests, or freelance opportunities. Sometimes these calls are vague, which is frustrating. Maybe they are vague because I am out of practice. I can’t really synthesize an idea when an editor just wants a pitch about “feminism” or something. There’s so many angles I could take. You’re often encouraged to look at a publication’s back log of work to craft a better approach, but some just have such bountiful back log, and every publication morphs over time, so often it’s hard to pinpoint an angle.

I guess since losing my job I’ve been going through a lot of languishing. I lack direction sometimes, and I often question my own ideas. It was easier when I’d be assigned essays so I couldn’t back out of them. I’d need a grade, or just crave a presence among these established collectives in extracurricular writing. I pray I can achieve the fortitude to follow through more. I was very blessed to have a contract job for the last ten months, and while it ended prematurely, I’m still very grateful to have been there and leave in the good graces of my superiors and colleagues, with their support to assist me in my continued career.

I see myself a lot in the characters of the game Stardew Valley, a very popular independent game which I’d begun playing in 2018. For the unaware, it’s primarily a farming simulation with social focus towards its non-playable characters. Many of these characters face setbacks in their creative ambitions. Sebastian is a computer programmer, his sister Maru is a nurse whose aspiration is inventing, Emily is a barmaid whose aspiration is fashion, her sister Haley is a photographer, Sam is a janitor whose aspiration is music, Leah is an artist with an ex-girlfriend who holds her back, Penny is a teacher who must create lesson plans with limited resources, and then there’s Elliott.

Elliott is a novelist. He lives by the beach in a small cabin. He mentions how neighbors in his hometown discouraged his dream. Pride and notoriety from his work are his motivations, wealth less so. He’s content living in a former bait and tackle shed he rents from the local fisherman, Willy. Penny and Elliott seem to have ambitions that most mirror mine, and thus, I’ve married them in separate game files. Lately though, I seem to prefer Elliott. I like to educate in my work, I’ve been a tutor like Penny, but sometimes the school year, children’s ages, or simple resources can be limiting. In your mind’s eye of the literary world, the utilities are boundless.

I guess I’m trying to let some of these characters’ stories inspire me. Especially Elliott’s book launch party, held in the same library where Penny conducts her lessons. He has the player pick the genre of book he will write, and dedicates it to you. His success is moderate, but he’s flattered nonetheless. I need to be more like that, grateful for the small wins.