In my eight years at FTM, I worked full-time pushing paper, then part-time pushing paper, then part-time in communications, then briefly, endlessly, full-time in communications.
Recently, my boss let me know that FTM, a non-profit that trains for the film industry, needed a permanent, full-time communications person.
...it just wouldn't be me.
Last Friday was my last day at FTM. Though I appreciated the opportunities - and the flexibility FTM afforded me over the years, it was time for me to go.
Partly that was an opportunity I was offered at Aqua Books' new bookstore/bistro, working as their Events Coordinator.
Partly it was the fact that I/we can afford to live on a part-time salary.
But mostly, and most happily, I'm at a point in my life, in my writing career, that working full-time at writing that is not my own is not attractive.
So today was my first week NOT at FTM. And it was a normal week. Mostly, I'm returning to the schedule I've held for the last several years, while working part-time at FTM.
But it does mark a sea-change, especially given some of my other news.
* * *
This past week, I also published the first installment of a weekly column on book publishing news.
I inherited the column, which runs in the Sunday Books Section of the Winnipeg Free Press, from Linda Rosborough, a greatly respected writer and copy-editor for the WFP.
And while I'm thankful for Linda's example, one of my goals for Paperchase to increase the local content substantially.
Basically, this means I now have an excuse to pester Winnipeg's - and maybe even Canada's - literati.
* * *
In other other news, I just got word that Fredericton's QWERTY will be publishing a poem from Hump (the full-length manuscript I recently completed).
And I got a nibble from on-line SK mag The Fieldstone Review for a poem that I cut from Hump for thematic reasons but won't know either way until April. I hope they take it, as I've been wanting to find it a home for quite a while now...
Finally, I'm also happy to announce that work has started on my hand-made limited edition chapbook from Palimpsest Press. My bio/photo are up on their website, but I haven't yet composed my chapbook description...
Speaking of chapbooks, last night I sent a long poem from Hump to Leaf Press for consideration as a chapbook. Leaf has published a couple of my poems - one as a part of their Monday's Poem and another in their anthology of love poems, String to Bow.
My next goal is to finally finally get Hump out the door. As I mentioned before, I submitted it for the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick manuscript prize in November but haven't managed the final draft I promised myself before sending it to a press.
THIS week! I must finish the draft THIS WEEK!
* * *
I start at Aqua Books next week. I'll be working at the old store, selling books and compiling a schedule for the the first few months of events at the new store.
I'm looking forward to it, though it's been ages (AGES!) since I did customer-service type-stuff. I mean, the last time I used a cash register I was nineteen, flogging donuts in a wrap-around polyester skirt...
(I used to wear earrings in the shape of fairies with my visor and wrap-around skirt. And say sarcastic things to the customers. And my parents would refuse to pick me up after my shifts unless I brought them the a box each of doughnuts they liked.)
(We all got fat that year.)
* * *
I have the third of four poetry workshops for Creative Retirement Manitoba this coming Monday.
I'm working with the group on the line, specifically getting them to think about how a line of poetry is different from a line of prose.
Partly this is because this group also attends fiction and non-fiction workshops...and also because any kind of creative expression was encouraged.
I was very impressed last class, when I had them working on eight-line poems for the MWG's Poetry in Motion contest (poems on buses), as much for the poems as for the workshopping dialogue, which included questions about line breaks and the placement of the poem on the page as well as a discussion about long lines versus short lines.
I still have to dream up this week's curriculum but I must say I'm looking forward to not having to RUSH back to work afterwards.