Home Troubles . . .
When I got home from work today, I thought I had an intruder. There was a jingle and a jangle going on. My damn AC was making a major racket, it was going absolutely crazy. The long and short of the situation is that the damn thing was basically dying.
I had to call the AC doctor, who promptly came to the rescue, five hours later. By this time, I'm tired and want to sleep . . . it is late at night.
Anyway, he then proceeded to prod, poke, and put-put around (all legitimate and technical terms) with the AC unit. He oohed and aahed and oh-noed. And an hour and a half later, the AC is working again, and I am poorer for it.
That job I hate sure is looking prettier tonight. So how was your night?
Budget Cuts . . .
Today, Broward County BOCC had budget hearings which included the Libraries Division. Everyone is in a panic since jobs are on the line, programs will be cut, and service hours will be reduced. The extent of the cuts has not been determined as yet but everyone knows its just a matter of time. And as melodramatic as this might sound: No job is safe.
I, however, have mixed feelings about the possible loss of employment. On one hand, I think it would do me some good since I hate my job. On the other hand, I would lose my primary source of income. The classic rock and hard place theory.
But regardless of what I feel or don't feel personally, my heart goes out to the thousands of employees who are constantly worrying about their jobs. At my office, some people's lives are defined by their jobs and as sad as that might be it is all they have.
Personally, I would be devastated if I was unable to write for the rest of my life. Half of the employees would feel devastated if they lost the job they loved. The other half would be devastated by the lose of their primary source of income.
So how do people sit on their high horse and make the decision to fire one person or another? The conversation probably goes something like this:
Yes, of course, Billy. You have done a fantastic job for the County. But I had to decide between keeping you and authorizing my next bonus. It was a tough decision. But it all worked out for the best. You'll get unemployment, you'll be fine. And I'll be able to buy that new doodad that I wanted.
Happy Memorial Day!
Fridays have always been 'no cooking days' growing up . . .
But this past Friday made it perfectly clear that it is about time that the rule is amended.
We ordered some food from a popular pizza joint. My parents went to pick it up and I stayed home to watch over my grandfather. Anyway, when they finally arrived at the pizzeria, they saw a man walking out of the joint with a bag in his hand.
Unfortunately, the man wasn't going home with his order.
Oh, wouldn't it have been wonderful if that was the case. Instead the man, an employee of the pizza joint, had the bag wrapped around something that had been alive probably ten minutes prior.
You probably guessed it already, the pizza joint had a rat.
Appalled, my parents went in to talk to one of the people behind the counter. She wouldn't just leave without cancelling her order. So my mom asked after the item the male employee removed from the pizzeria and placed in the dumpster, and the young lady totally ignored her.
Instead, she took the order out of the pizza oven, and asked for payment. As if she expected my mom to take it. "I said, I am cancelling the order. I don't need it any more," my mom tried to tell the woman with the vacant look on her face. My mom walked out of the joint, leaving the the woman with the order in her hand and still demanding payment.
What a way to start off the weekend . . . How gross!
I sometimes wonder if there will come a time when I run out of material to write about . . .
And then it occured to me. There is inspiration everywhere.
Good For Something, to be released by Total-E-Bound Publishing, began with the title. I was watching a movie, I forget which at the moment, when the female protagnist said "well, at least I'm good for something." The statement seemed so negative, the woman seemed so dejected, I decided to use it in a positive light. And that is how Good For Something was born.
Dessert Box came about because a publisher was doing a call for submissions. They wanted short stories that centered around chocolate and power tools. Dessert Box is going to be released by a different publisher, BookStrand, but it still came to be because of the call.
Reclaiming Nicola was born because of some questions that kept ping-ponging in my mind: What would you do if you lost the one you loved above all? What would you do if it was because of your own stupidity? How would you handle it? Now this short story is also to be released by BookStrand.
So with these examples, and the most recent story that I began writing on Monday because of a news article released on that same day, I realized I can always find a story in anything and everything.
This is an exciting time, as one of my friend tells me all the time when referring to my being published. And my response is to bounce on the balls of my feet and say, yes, it is. Woo Hoo!
**All written materials featured on this blog are protected under copyright. Any use of part or all of this material without the express written permission of the author is an infringement of personal creative property and subject to legal action**
Reclaiming Nicola... Short on words high on emotions… This is a great short story. ~ 4 Stars, Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com
Good For Something makes for a wonderfully entertaining read. ~ Bella, Fallen Angel Reviews
Anika Hamilton’s novella Good for Something had you hanging on for the happy ending with baited breath. ~ Tami, Simply Romance Reviews
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Surprise, Surprise . . .
Today, I received a letter in the mail from FAU with the same message as the email. At least, they seem to be taking the necessary steps to apologize for their mea culpa.
I'm still pissed though. Man, I can hold a grudge.
How horrible it is that I have to resurrect the label: School.
I got home this past Sunday night, and retrieved my mail. I hadn't been home all weekend so I wasn't surprise to have a few pieces in the box. Interspersed with my usual junk mail was a letter from FAU.
I didn't think anything of it. Actually, I assumed it was another of those fundraising letters I have been inundated with since they realized I was about to leave and no longer provide them with any more tuition.
So, I left it on the table for about another hour, not wanting to deal with the begging at that moment. Eventually, I got around to opening the damn thing and the following is the letter that greeted me. It was sent by the University Registrar on official FAU letterhead.
"Dear Ms. Hamilton:
We regret to inform you that your name has been deleted from the official graduation certification list for the Spring 2008 semester. Should you have any question concerning your graduation status, please contact the college/department of you major. If we are in error, please have your college/department contact our office.
Since your application has been deleted for the Spring 2008 semester, it will be necessary for you to submit another application for degree for the semester in which you will fulfill all degree requirements."
Now, I just finished having a meltdown because of my stupid computer. I was tired and drained, and now I have to deal with this stupid letter. I was on the verge of tears. There was no way in hell I was going to give FAU anything other than a piece of my mind. No more applications and no more money.
So I contacted the college via email with:
"My name is Anika Hamilton. I graduated in May 2008.
The problem is that I received a letter in the mail from [University Registrar] stating that my name is being deleted from the official graduation certification list. Since I have completed all the requirements to graduate, paid all my fees, and otherwise have no holds I am very confused with this letter.
The letter goes on to say that someone from my college/department needs to contact the Registrars office to clear up the mistake. Please help me. Thank you."
Fine. That done, I emailed myself the contact information for the college, deciding that a quick phone call might also be necessary. On Monday, I checked my email to see if I got a response from the college but instead found this email from the University Registrar's office.
"You received a Graduation Deletion Letter from our office last week.
This was in error and you were certified by your College as completing the degree. Diplomas for the College of Biomedical Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Engineering, College of Science and Honors College were mailed last week. We anticipate mailing all other Colleges this week. If you need further assistance or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 561-297-2731 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We regret this programming error and apologize for any worry or inconvenience this caused.
Office of the Registrar"
Now to be honest, I was relieved after seeing this email.
Two of my former classmates contacted me having received the same letter Friday night. They had gone through the entire weekend stressed and worried.
But I was also annoyed and pissed because FAU had no trouble promptly mailing that blasted letter to tell me that they were going to keep their hooks in me. But a retraction was slow in coming.
The impression that I got was that our whole college received this missive. And if so the incompetent so and so who sent out the letter didn't think it odd to be sending out so many, "sorry you shouldn't have graduated" letters.
Also, the "we regret to inform you" letter was in an official correspondence, with a wasted stamp and obvious staff time and signed by the University Registrar. But the retraction is a flimsy unsigned email that has no identifying marks and a generic department salutation.
Give me a break.
Lust Bites: Good For Something
Casey never had a really serious relationship; while Nicolette just got out of a bad one.
Nicolette Marchand relocated to South Florida to get away from an abusive lover. In her new home, she loves the sun, the beaches and the bookshop owner with the hazel eyes and beautiful smile. Spending her evenings in her home away from home, life was really good. At least, until the phone started ringing.
Casey Addison, bookshop owner, was a native of South Florida. She never really
cared about anything or anyone other than her store before now. A chance encounter with a fellow book lover changed all that. She thoroughly enjoys the company of her bookshop's new fixture. Unfortunately, someone is threatening her new found happiness and Casey gets caught in the middle.
Helping each other, will these two women discover a love they never knew they needed? And can Nicolette open herself up and trust that together, they are both...
Good for Something?
MORE WOES . . .
So after recovering from my whining and anxiety debacle on
Wednesday, I shutdow
n my computer and went
to bed, ready to face a new day.
Thursday morning arrives and everything is going well. I pack up my laptop and get my things, heading to the daily grind. At work, I boot up my office PC and set up my laptop, booting that up
as well. No new mail, well that's strange, then I realize I'm not online.
Oh well, the office WiFi must be down. So I proceed through my day, doing my work without a care in the world. At around three in the afternoon, I check again, still not connected. Hmm, something must be terribly wrong and office IT are not aware of the problem.
So helpful person that I am, I promptly contacted them to make them aware that the WiFi isn't working. Lo and behold, the WiFi is working.
This is where the meltdown begins, proceed at your own risk.
My internal wireless card isn't working. For a computer that is less than a year old.
So I try everything I know, but nothing is working. So I decided to get in touch with customer service, actually I contacted my brother, Kevin (I probably shouldn't refer to him as such :-). Try this, try that, he tells me. But it still doesn't work. Okay, call me when you get home and we will troubleshoot the problem until we fix it, he says.
Fine, I'm somewhat comfortable with the thought that this problem will be resolved by the end of the day. At home, I get Kevin on the phone again. But nothing we try works. So finally he tells me to plug the laptop directly into the adapter using the cable.
I can go online. I did all the updates, and searched for a fix for my wireless problem. Mind you, I'm standing in the kitchen where the adapter is situated to perform these tasks. After doing everything I'm supposed to do, the wireless starts working again. This is around 1:00am Friday morning.
Thank you Kevin everything works again.
So the process starts again. Go to bed. Go to work. Boot everything up. Whew! Everything still works. Until about midday Friday. The wireless can't find any networks . . . again. I feel myself beginning to well up. Frustration is setting in.
This time I text Kevin, I can't even bring myself to say the words. The damn thing stopped working again. His reply: then it must be really bad. By this time, I'm actually going into withdrawal. The shakes are starting. No Internet for about five hours.
Okay, so what are my options. Well, you can contact HP and they will want you to ship the laptop to them so they can fix the wireless card. Ha Ha Ha. That's going to work! I can't even go one day without Internet. How am going to be without my laptop for an indeterminate amount of time?
NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!!
Your other option, he tells me, is to get a wireless USB adapter. It will be small, easy to carry, and get you online easily. Yes that, I want that option. Do that then. So Kevin buys me a USB adapter, and performs all the necessary steps to install it on my computer.
So now its Saturday evening, and I'm back online again. I still have most of my hair, and I'm n0t too too drunk . . .
CRISIS AVERTED! SANITY RESTORED!
Woe is Me . . .
So I've been going through my woe is me stage lately. A highly annoying time in my life that occurs when I'm feeling particularly stressed. Boo Hoo. Nothing is going my way. Life is so hard. I hate my job. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Today, the whining got so loud and so horrendous, I just wanted to slap myself upside the head.
Instead, I visited a friend of mine and unloaded . . . everything. Or at least what I thought was everything. When I was done and I finally went back to my office, it occurred to me. The closer it gets to the release date for my book, the more anxious I get.
I have been so nervous and unable to focus lately that I haven't been able to write anything or enjoy any of my normal hobbies. It, also, doesn't help that I'm going through some serious family issues at the moment. The stress is weighing heavily on me, making me feel sad.
I never really know how I will respond to pressure at any given moment. Sometimes, I thrive whenever I am pressed, but other times I feel the strain. However, today it dawned on me, if I I figure out what my pressure is I am able to get passed it and and start thriving again.
So even though I'm not sure I'm ready to write again, I'm more clearheaded and less stressed now than I have been the passed few days. Whew!
I hope to be myself again in no time. And I promise no more whining for a very long time.
To all the mothers out there, including my own Mom . . .
A Song For Mama
No matter what you do,
No matter what you say,
I love you more and more each and every day.
I want to kiss your furrowed brow,
And make you smile instead of frown.
I hear you laugh and it warms me immensely,
And when you cry my heart breaks deeply.
We might argue all through the night,
But in the light of day everything is all right.
We are family today and friends tomorrow,
This is why I try to take away your sorrow.
Because no matter what you do
Because no matter what you say,
I love you, Mom more and more each day.
Copyright © 2008 Anika Hamilton
Happy Mother's Day to all of you,
People behaving badly . . .
I'm either sweet with a hint of deviltry or evil with a hint of sweetness.
I hate when people are mean to others. And I relish the payback when karma takes effect and their own actions are thrown back in their face because of their selfishness, stupidity, or meanness.
So here's what happened. Someone I know recently did something
mean . . . very mean.
publicly bashed a few colleagues. This wasn't an attempt at constructive criticism, this was just plain orneriness. But the meanness backfired and the person basically got slapped Big Time. Unfortunately for them, the action was potentially detrimental to the person's career and future in the chosen profession.
The backlash came from the boss, fellow colleagues, and customers alike. Although, I don't want anyone to lose out on their chosen profession, hating on others is just not called for.
So maybe I'm being mean because I think this person got their just deserts. But there is no excuse for that kind of meanness. And you basically get what you deserve when you do things like that.
So tell me what you think. Am I sweet with deviltry or evil with sweetness? Am I behaving badly? Aah, the dichotomy of Anika.
The Hard Parts of Being an Author . . . the secrets no one tells you.
First hard part: Promotions . . .
As you all are aware this is my first foray into the writing world. But oh boy, am I tired. How do authors keep up with all the chat groups and other promotional things they do on a daily basis? (There are so many different kinds I can't remember all of them.) Stupid me I thought all one needed to do was write a compelling story and that would be enough.
*Rolling my eyes at my own naivete*
I guess part of the issue is that one of the publishers that I will be published with will be opening its doors in July. So they have been doing a lot of things in anticipation of that. But even outside of that, I have been seeing a lot of different things happening around me (in my inbox) that makes my head just spin. Whew!
I would probably get a lot more writing done if I weren't worrying about all the promotions. And realistically, I am unable to do all the things I notice other authors are doing and keep my sanity. And man are they talented and creative with all the promotional stuff. So I will do as much as I can (and as much as I'm comfortable with) and see what happens.
Second hard part: Editing . . .
Okay, I knew there would be editing involved to make a story what it is. But I have a new appreciation for editors and the work they do. And I am very grateful for my editor from TEB (Chris). But by-golly, my brain was about to explode trying to
incorporate all her suggestions into my story. I completely understood her points and agreed with them as well. They do make the story more interesting. It was a lot of work, and one that taught me a lot of things as well, including how to make a story more engaging.
So to wrap up . . .
This is a wild, fun and crazy ride. One that is well worth all the hard parts. And absolutely, one that I hope never to leave for a very long time.
GRADUATION DAY, WOO HOO . . .
he ceremony was bee-u-tee-full. The
ceremony was about three hours long, and a little over two was dedicated to honoring people who were NOT participating in the ceremony. The President of FAU talked about the university for an hour and a half,
pontificating of the beauty of FAU, the honor of being an alum, and a lot of other things I have forcibly blocked out. Then he proceeded to introduce other people important to FAU, who would NOT be participating in the ceremony, glorifying their credentials, among other things. Mmm.
Then back to the graduation participants, who were later introduced. They each added their own thoughts of the responsibilities of all FAU graduates, which of course is to join the Alumni and contribute generously to the university. Aah.
Then they wouldn't allow us to leave. There were people blocking
all escape rou
tes, how horrible . . . er,
ingenious. So the students behind us went to sleep. The students beside us ripped some programs apart and made paper airplanes. I texted my brother and dad, who were in the audience. Another student in the other aisle surfed the net with his laptop.
The babies were crying, the adults were restless, and everyone was slightly
resentful. The police escorted an audience member out of the building, he was using a bullhorn thingy-ma-jiggy, disturbing the peace.
All in all, my academic journey has been fun, stressful, fruitful, and rewarding. As boring as the ceremony was, I'm glad I walked. The ceremony marked the end of my academic career. The end of another chapter of my life. But also opened the door for me to more actively pursue the other chapters of my life.
So WOO HOO . . .
P.S. Without school, I'll have to find something else to bitch, moan and groan about, Ah Shucks. Oh wait, there's always the daily grind (work).