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(THUMP, THUMP) Is This Thing On?

Hey, folks.

I think it would be a massive understatement to say that things have been crazy busy. Financially things are tight as always but this doesn't seem to bother me nearly as much these days as it did in the past - which is either a bad thing or a good thing. :)

I have learned a LOT in the last several months - about the broadcasting business in particular and about myself in general. I think one of my problems in the past was that I never truly believed I was the type of person who could pro-actively get things done, despite anything I might actually have accomplished.

But that is changing. I'm realizing that hesitation to do most things I want to do is nothing more than fear of the unknown - which is utterly ridiculous. There is NO reason to fear the unknown. Any monstrously bad situations my brain likes to conjure up are nothing more than smoke and mirrors - I can tell they're illusions because THEY HAVEN'T HAPPENED. The realization of this is a very good thing.

So, what am I up to?

I'm interning at a TV production house and a radio station. I may quite possibly be about to get hired part-time at the radio station! They also seem to be impressed with my skills in the art of Audiomancy, which I'm hoping will lead to greater things.

And, as if that weren't enough, I have a book coming out.

I'll say that once more, because some days I have trouble believing it myself:

I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT!

Yep, it turns out that book of monologues I've been carrying around with me since the late 90's is going to be published later this year. I can't even describe how exciting the whole thing is.

The book is called Abduction Etiquette and it will hopefully be out by some time in August if we can get enough pre-orders for it. Want to own a copy? CHECK IT OUT: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JRyan.html

And of course I'm still working on the blog ( http://jimyesthatjim.com ) and various podcasts.

About a year ago things were pretty much at a standstill. Now, I'm juggling several more tasks than I thought I ever could. And I'm enjoying every minute of it. :)
  • Current Music
    Birds are warbling outside
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A Break in the Clouds

Believe it or not, I'm still here.

And for the first time in quite a while, things are looking up. It looks like I'm going to get an opportunity to go to broadcasting school in under a month's time! Essentially my grandmother has decided to aid me with my career - apparently for these last several years, she'd been helping my uncle and then my cousin and now that she's gotten them where they want to be, apparently it's my turn. I'm still kind of in shock about the whole thing.

She asked me to figure out what I "really" want to do for a career. Now of course, the answer is that I want to be a professional writer. However, I was able to get the gist here - she wanted me to choose something I want to do but that has a bit more financial stability to it. So, after weighing my options and looking at the relatively short list of things I'm interested in doing (writing, theatre, film, game design and broadcasting), the answer was pretty clear. The one thing I'm pretty sure we're still going to have for quite a while is television. Even though it's progressively merging with the web, I'm thinking technology is at the point that we're probably going to be making shows the same way for quite a while regardless of what medium we put them on. And they'll always need people behind the scenes.

So, I'm aiming for a career in broadcasting. I'm interested in both TV and radio, but I'm thinking I'll probably end up leaning more towards TV. We'll have to see.

But the writing most certainly isn't going to be left at the wayside! I've also found that I'm actually at a point that I WANT to write, a state that I've had a hell of a time trying to reach in the past but which now seems to be coming much more easily.

So basically, I have now managed to reach a point in my life at which I have occasion to be very excited and exceedingly happy. These are feelings I haven't really had for quite a while, and I'm trying to remember how they work, but with a bit of luck I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. There are individuals who at different times - largely just by their existence and their wonderful tendencies to be themselves - either have in the past or are now helping me tremendously with this process. If you're reading this, you know who you are. :)

It's a remarkable thing to wake up one morning and realize your life is about to suck substantially less than it has for some time. For the first time in ages, I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.
  • Current Music
    The Harmony Factory Bopack
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Seen This Yet?

Hey, folks. Not a whole amount has changed since my last post, but there IS one new thing.

I've started YET ANOTHER BLOG! I'll still be using this one for personal journal stuff every now and then, but the new one is for nonfiction articles on various geeky topics (gaming, speculative fiction, etc). I've also included an audio component so that you can hear the articles as well (with music, sound effects, etc). So, if you think you might be interested feel free to check it out at:

http://jimyesthatjim.com/
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Announcement!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have started a second podcast! It's called The Every World News and is a fake news/comedy podcast that focuses on the genres of speculative fiction (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, etc). Check it out at:

http://www.everyworldnews.com/

Just uploaded the first episode last night! :)
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    cheerful cheerful
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Being What I Must

I've got an announcement for a new project I'll be making in a few days that I'm very excited about, but first I need to give an update.

My Uncle Orin passed away a few weeks ago from blood poisoning. He was 61, if I recall correctly. He was a remarkable person and usually made a big impression on everyone he met. He was INCREDIBLY knowledgeable about quite a few things and could always effortlessly and entertainingly bounce back and forth between in-depth discussions of life, history, Monty Python, physics, philosophy, Star Trek, music, writing and virtually anything else you ever wanted to know about. The man was an intellectual giant and an accomplished showman, as well. He'd been acting on stage and singing in choirs from a very young age and kept right on acting and singing professionally (on stage, in bars and restaurants or in private - the venue didn't particularly matter) right up until his retirement -- after which he pretty much continued doing what he'd always done and continuing to do it quite impressively, just in private. Heck, he was singing and acting for me the last time I went to visit him, when he was getting very weak and had to stay in bed all the time.

He has been one of my heroes for quite a long time and when we last saw each other, I got to read him one of my recent short stories. His reaction (as well as the reaction of his wife Dale, who was in the next room) was VERY positive, and it was at that point that he told me something.

He told me that I have to keep writing -- to keep creating -- no matter what happens.

The fact that this man told me this on his death bed has had a subtle, but profound affect on me, I think. He's given me something that's a great burden, but one I'm bearing willingly because it's also a great gift. I have to keep writing. I have to keep working on short and long fiction. I have to keep producing audio work. I must continue my creative pursuits. It is IMPERATIVE. It is the thing that matters most. It is an edict that I MUST carry out -- and am happy to.

Essentially what this means is that I've decided that I'm going to be a professional writer of SOME kind even if it kills me. Preferably it won't.

I have to keep writing.

So that's what I plan to do. :)
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    good good
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No Cause for Alarm Just Yet

A couple of things have happened over the last month, but nothing too earth-shattering.

On the downside, I still don't have a job. I am actively looking but for some reason I still can't seem to get myself to apply to customer service positions without having my vision fill with a crimson mist and then waking up hours later in a field somewhere across the state line with a hatchet in one hand and an empty gin bottle in the other.

Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating slightly. But not by much. So, I'm applying to as many jobs as I can without including customer service. I have a feeling that if I tried to actually do a customer service job right now anyway I'd snap or have an attack of some kind and I really don't want to think about what it might lead to. So, for the time being I think of it as protecting the public. :)

Also on the downside, it looks like my latest effort at writing comedy for the stage has failed miserably. I took my material in to the comedy troupe and they did a read-through of it. The reaction to it involved a lot of dead silence, followed by constructive criticism. Which is good as far as the pieces are concerned, so I'll be working more on those at some point. And I could see that they seemed to appreciate the stuff I'd submitted and even found it somewhat entertaining, but it was definitely not the kind of stuff they usually do.

So, it seems my material isn't necessarily right for the general beer-and-pretzels audience they usually play to. They haven't called me back since they said they needed to talk about it so I'm guessing this is probably the usual "don't call us, we'll call you" situation. Which may end up being nice and awkward for a little bit since a friend of mine is in their troupe and I plan to continue to attend their shows. But we'll work through it, I expect. (sigh)

What this does bring home for me is the fact that my material is likely better for a much more specific audience, so would probably be better on its own. I don't really have any full shows in my head to be worked on at the moment, though, so we'll have to see.

That said, there are a good deal of positive things going on as well!

After four years, I now finally have a mattress! I'd been sleeping on an air bed ever since I moved to Charlotte and I tell you there's a serious difference. I'm still adjusting to it, though, so my sleep cycle will probably still be fairly irregular for the next few weeks (or until I can get a frame and box springs, whichever comes first!).

The really good news is that I now have a podcast! I am releasing the episodes of my internet radio show (The Great Debate!) as a podcast so they can now be downloaded and listened to with impunity! IMPUNITY, I SAY!!!!

So, if you'd like to hear me make an imbecile of myself on a global medium (and, let's face it, who wouldn't?) ;) feel free to check it out at: http://otherdoc.libsyn.com/

You can also get it through iTunes, if you're so inclined. :)
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    bouncy bouncy
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Meanwhile, Back at the Bat Cave...

Well, the last couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least.

I'm now renting a room in a dorm-style apartment across the street from UNCC, which of course means I'm still in Charlotte. Thankfully, I managed to get all of my stuff out of Mark's place before the hounds descended on us, but a good deal of it is now in storage and I'll have to work out what I'll be doing with it since it likely won't all fit in the new place unless I somehow manage to get far better at Tetris over the next few weeks. While the closet I have IS a walk-in closet, it's not quite as big as the one I had before so there's likely to be a lot of cramming of stuff together going on soon.

My new roommate seems like a nice fellow and I think I should be able to get along with him pretty well. Which is good, because the way these rentals work, you have no control over who else is going to occupy the apartment. The apartment actually has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and we're the only two guys here right now, though that may easily change in the near future -- particularly since one or two of my friends are potentially interested in moving in, as well. We'll have to see how that goes.

The Great Debate is still going well, and I think I'm going to want to start an actual podcast of some kind soon if I can get everything together up to and including a web site. More as that develops.

There's now also a chance that I may have some of my sketch comedy performed on stage soon! I submitted some material to a friend's local comedy troupe and they apparently liked it enough that they've invited me to a writer's meeting later this month and asked me to bring more material to it. I'm really looking forward to it.

So, all in all, except for the whole tsunami-of-debt-and-joblessness issue, things are going pretty well! ;)
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    good good
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Circle the Wagons!

My goodness, it's been harrowing of late.

The good news: My unemployment came through so I'm at least getting the equivalent of minimum wage for the time being. Yay!

The bad news: It turns out they'll be evicting us after all.

So, I'm busy running around and trying to get rid of a bunch of my stuff so that it'll be easier when I move some time within the next couple of weeks. I've already taken my comics in to sell and am presently getting my books together -- and there are a LOT of books. In fact, I think most of what's left will end up being books and elderly computer equipment. The books I'm not too worried about since I'll probably toss them to friends and/or libraries. The computer stuff is going to be more difficult, since that includes games I grew up on that will be VERY difficult to say goodbye to -- yes, even though it may not be possible, realistically speaking, to play most of them any more or to take the time needed to get the old computer equipment working again for the same purpose. Anyone who suffers from nostalgia of any kind will hopefully understand where I'm coming from -- and if you don't then I pity the large, gaping hole in your life experience that I am now tasked with the sad duty of pointing out to you. ;)

Where am I moving? No idea yet. I'm still making inquiries. I've had a couple of possible leads on some jobs and begun to make a couple of connections with the local publishing industry, so I'm hoping I can stay in Charlotte, but there's always the possibility that I may end up having to jump to a different city. We shall have to see what my life's current chaos storm brings.

Let the tempest commence.
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The Hunt Goes On

So, the unemployment office finally contacted me and we did our interview. They've now told me it may be another 3-4 weeks before they have a decision just because of the sheer number of people applying for unemployment right now (big surprise), but to go ahead and continue filing weekly certifications until then. In the mean time, I'm still sending out resumes to answer postings on multiple job sites in the hope of turning something up.

As part of receiving unemployment (which hopefully will be approved) I also have to have at least two in-person meetings with prospective employers per week. At this point I have not been applying full-on to customer service positions -- I know some folks will think it is suicidal to discount anything right now, but at present I still have to resist the impulse to stab myself in the eye every time I send my resume in for a customer service job. Honestly, I need to get a job that I can live with. If I end up doing something I hate again I am seriously worried that it'll lead to some pretty severe psychological damage, which is not something I'm just going to try to sweep under the rug like a good little drone. The last thing I need is to end up on a rooftop with an AK-47, shouting down to the police in iambic pentameter.

So, what I've been doing so far to fulfill the face-to-face meeting requirement is to go to places where I actually WANT to be employed. At the moment that means theatres, TV stations, radio stations and newspapers. I've been to two theatres so far and while, not surprisingly, they're not hiring for any paid positions, they were both insistent on wanting me to keep in touch, so at the very least I am starting to make those connections that I need to make in order to eventually get somewhere that I would like to be.

I can live with that. :)
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