Saturday, September 17, 2011

Searching for Jobs, Droids, Cougars, and Waffle Adjectives

I haven’t heard back from the jobs I applied to in July, so I’m back to writing cover letters and filling in application boxes…uggg. Fortunately I’ve managed to keep up the pace on my creative writing at the same time, but that doesn’t make me like cover letters any better. 

Something I find ironic: I’ve always looked forward to the day when I wouldn’t have to write any more cover letters or applications – the day I got tenure at a great teaching job, for example. And now what am I doing? Pursuing a career where the “cover letters” never end! The average author seems to send out way more query letters than the average job applicant sends cover letters, and even once an author lands and keeps an agent, there are still those synopses to write for every book, and I hear they’re even worse. Oh well, at least (I hope!) I’ll be more excited about my book than empty job buzzwords and the details of my past work experience.

The more enjoyable and interesting things that I’ve been up to this month include:

-- Hosting more awesome cyclists through, in this case three girls from the UK. We had a great time, and I also learned that it’s really hard to describe the differences among American bread products to people who aren’t familiar with them. (“No, American biscuits aren’t cookies…they’re usually round like rolls and the consistency of, um, muffins, kind of? Then they’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The gravy that goes on top is thick and white - it's a southern thing. What are waffles? Okay, so imagine a grid…”)

-- Hanging out downtown and being amused by the "advertisements."
The tear-off tabs say, of course, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
-- Purchasing Kyle’s favorite granola in bulk – 25 pounds of bulk – as an experiment in being bizarre and saving money. 

-- Hiking the local buttes. I’m not a big hiker, but my companion was carrying a baby the whole way so I really wasn’t allowed to complain. I mean, not until we discovered that we’d missed the earlier warnings about there being a COUGAR SIGHTING THE DAY BEFORE. We escaped unscathed though, and the top was lovely.

-- Cycling with friends out to a great swimming hole… to find that even on the hottest day of the summer, the water was still SO COLD that we could barely handle to have our legs in it. Ah, Pacific Northwest. I still love you. 

-- Viscerally getting into the mindset of my bloodthirsty characters:

Just kidding. That carnage is from picking the blackberries that grow in the alley by our house (= free!). If it were up to me I would just eat all of them, probably as I picked them off the (super thorny) bushes, but Kyle convinced me we should bake like other impressive adults do. 

Yum yum blackberry crumble and blackberry pie. 

I hope writing and life are going well for all of you!


  1. My mouth is watering from that last picture! And yeah. I don't think that cover letter business is going away any time soon. :)

    Best of luck finding a job!

  2. Thanks!

    The pie wasn't pretty, but it was certainly delicious :-D

  3. That's my kind of "carnage." :)

    Hmm, combining character development and blackberries and that sounds like a good day.

  4. Cougars = scary! Blackberries and their baked versions = amazing. You're making me hungry.

  5. I kind of am too now, actually. I should check to see what's left on the bushes...