"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hardly Working

Returned to the Lodge yesterday, fleeing the storms at the Big Lake and arriving in time for worse storms at the little lake.

Not long ago I mentioned doing some paid consulting for an adult learning organisation. Since then, one of their staff departed. Last week the director asked whether I'd consider temporarily filling the gap, on a very part-time basis. The compensation she offered was decent. Not what I could command out in the real world but I've never been keen on real world work. Anyway, it's a zillion times more than a legislator earns (nobody makes less $$$ than we do). And the paycheck would come bi-weekly. Unlike royalty checks which come semi-annually.

Because the remaining 2 staff are so simpatico, and their office (located within a small college) is a convenient 25 minutes away, and I wholeheartedly support their mission, and I do so much volunteering (giving it away for free) that the hourly rate seems perfectly reasonable, and I decide when and how much I work, I agreed to the proposition.

Today was my very first day, I was there four and a half hours. I have an office. With a computer. Plus a phone. And a window.

There wasn't much orientation required, I basically walked in and started performing assigned tasks. I proofed copy for the fall term's course catalogue, helped (I hope) with class scheduling, phoned some instructors to see if they were willing to have their class days shifted, found out what was inside my desk drawers, and got up to speed on the computer network.

Tomorrow I'll be doing some assessment of the website and eventually updating or otherwise tweaking content.

I'm guessing I'll probably be in the office a couple of times a week. I can still run away to the Big Lake when I need to shut away the world and write.

Last night we endured an especially fierce electrical storm. The rain came so hard and fast the satellite dish lost the feed, off and on--just as we were watching our new favourite show It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet.

(Complaint Corner: Dear Animal Planet, Discovery, et al: Please stop dubbing the narration of UK-produced programming with an American voice. It's ridiculous, when the population in the reality-tv show is British, using their own regional accents, to have a Yank doing the voice-over. Trust me, American viewers can handle Received Pronounciation--or rather, Estuary English, which has overtaken RP.)

Before we went to bed, I could hear the loon on the little lake calling--must've been scared out there, with all the commotion.

We did not go unscathed. The umbrella on the deck table blew up and off and one entire side was busted. Essentially, it's destroyed. And I'm thrilled, because it was faded and one spoke was sort of bent and it definitely wanted replacing and now I can justify it and umbrellas are on sale all over the place. Also, a pot holding a staked tomato plant was blown down from the deck rail--which is very, very high. This morning I found the pot sitting way down on the ground, upright, plant intact and attached to its stake, and the embryonic green fruit was perfectly fine. Feeling very lucky.

The roses and perennials got bashed a bit. They'll get another bashing tonight...I hear the thunder already. We're stuck in a pattern.

Picked a ton of snow peas for supper. Time to top and tail them, before steaming.

Rose of the Day:

Charles de Mills, a splendid gallica of rich colouring with tightly furled and swirled petals. Its breeder is unknown, it appeared sometime before 1885.

I adore this rose. Photographs don't begin to do it justice.

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