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Multitasking During the Holidays

I have decided this year to give myself the gift of MADNESS. Not just because I love myself, but because I felt the need to gift something I truly needed in my life this time of year.

</Sarcasm>

I’m moving January 2nd. Excited by the prospect of making my own delicious food and not living in a basement anymore, this is something to look forward to. And I am, very very excited.

But this was a bad idea.

Christmas Holiday season is that wonderful time of year when us procrastinations suffer for our yearlong pastime of not taking care of shit. This of course leads to a multitasking nightmare that, each year, I’ve progressively become better at managing.

2011 though has smacked me in the face with awesome.

1)   Making a cookbook from scratch at my day job, while still conducting my other duties

2)   Christmas Gift shopping (which is done) but sacrificed my NaNoWriMo for

3)   New freelancing opportunity of fantastic that will be elaborated on soon. It is perfect, and although the key word in this freelancing activity is ‘free’ I’m going to love every time consuming minute of it.

4)   I will be going to four Christmas Dinners; the 17th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th.  Wait, scratch that, FIVE Christmas dinners. I will say this (and not as bitterly as you might assume) Divorce =’s LOTS of turkey during the holidays.

5)   Oh, and you know. Moving.

Ultimately I plan to have a mental breakdown on the 25th in the morning after all my presents are unwrapped and then realize I haven’t packed a thing and now must re-wrap all said unwrapping to prepare for the move.

So, for those who’ve done the same and have decided they want to challenge of maintaining sanity this holiday season here are my ‘Multitasking Tips’ to share with loved ones.

Don’t go to lots of holiday dinners: They won’t miss you. They’ll be too busy eating all that food you ate the last three nights so there’s nothing you’re missing. Turkey comas are great, but remembering the holidays is a nice treat, you should try it.

Use your vacation time before the end of the year. 2012 you might be pissed but 2011 you will love the sleeping in and the cuddling with stuffed animals you swore you’d get rid of when you were 12. And, if you’re a work alcoholic, do your other job while vacationing from your main one!

Give cards, not gifts.  They come in bulk, easily wrapped and is a perfect space for money. Because that’s all that will fit in there and for those distant cousins who you never really have anything to say to: it’s all they really want.

Don’t take on more jobs unless you just really can’t turn them down. And then, when you accept them forget how wonderful sleep is. Believe you are a vampire (sans sparkles) that needs no nutrition or sleep. Stay out of the sun too; you’ll probably burn up if you’ve been hunkering inside on your computer all day for the last month.

Stay away from malls.
Stay away from mall parking
Stay away from mall Santa
All of these things ARE holiday vampires that will suck and consume not just your soul but your precious multitasking time. Not done your shopping? Refer to the Cards cop-out. The only shop you need: Bank Machine.

Have that extra drink and decide you are not the DD tonight. If you need my tips, first I say you should seek real help, and second I know you are stressed. I don’t condone alcoholism, but I do think we need relaxants from time to time. Alcohol happens to be an effective and quick working one readily available at most holiday functions.

Ultimately try not to burn out. If that means putting some things on hold until the New Year, do that. You can’t always multitask everything: you can try, but it won’t end well.

My little holiday gift to you.

Cheers and Happy Hunting.
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Off the NaNoWriMo Wagon!

And I’ve done it.

I fell off the proverbial wagon; I am only at 15k words for NaNoWriMo and it’s Nov 17th.

It’s not the end of the world, I’m fully aware, but I’m a little disappointed in myself for doing so because I’m pretty sure I won’t make the 50k deadly in 2.5 weeks.

It all started when the boyfriend and I decided we should move. This of course meant all my obsessive attention that I lavished upon my novel went to ViewIt.ca, MyHood.ca and Ikea. And my lists (did I mention my obsessive compulsive list making?) It’s a shame, as I was doing so well and this idea I have is fun. Everyone I tell about it gets a little giggle and it’s so refreshing to write something a little off the wall compared to contemporary styles. From day-to-day I try to throw some more in but my head and heart are firmly distracted by this new shiny task set before me.

Then, I was given an amazing, special, stupendously wonderful opportunity at work.

To design, photograph, assemble and partly author a cookbook!

It’s for work and more details will come when it’s actually posted online bu by this time next month it’ll be finished, because I’ve focused on this project most of the time. I just need more recipe’s from a few people and it’ll be ready for all the photography, which I’ll be doing mostly by myself! I’m really excited and pumped that I get this chance, it will look amazing in a portfolio and is teaching me soo much about production. It won’t be perfect, not by any standard, but I’ll like it all the same.

So stay tuned and excited. Only a month to go. I am sorry NaNoWriMo, but at least it’s sort of the same thing! I will be making a ‘book’ in a month from scratch. Just not the way you mean me to!

Cheers and happy writing/reading.

Managing People: Never Easy

I’m not a manager in terms of title but on a day-to-day basis at my job I am in charge of up to 10 freelancers. It’s a wonderful aspect of the job, I get to talk to them about the projects (proofreading and .html epub ‘fixing’), most of them are or were in the publishing program so we have a great deal in common and we’re all in the same boat: trying to get into the industry.

The opportunity is fantastic, and although the pay isn’t amazing most of the freelancers express a sincere excitement to the process and we always encourage teaching and expanding their knowledge in any way we can.

I like managing them, keeping in touch and answering questions. Why just yesterday I created a lengthy walk-through on how to create a TOC and meta TOC in Sigil for our epub’s and quit a few thanked me for the walk-through and have already started including it in their work. It’s is probably one of the best introductions to a management position I could imagine.

But with the sweet comes the sour. And when you manage people you have to manage the problems. It would be unprofessional and disrespectful to relay any specific issues but this morning I had to tell an employee to find new work. It was not fun and I did not like it in the least. But when managing people you have to do just that: manage them, and if they are unmanageable or not meeting the goals required it is best for you and them that it’s said and dealt with.

I at first went online looking up standard policy as in this profession there is a high turnover rate, most freelancers leaving us instead of the other way around. Standard policy was cold and cruel so I started approaching it my way, which was not clear, and probably misleading in some way. So I turned to my mother, who despite not being a ‘manager’ manages people everyday.

She helped. Helped me understand people don’t always need the traditional helping hand, that although kind I also need to be clear, firm and unwavering in my decision and that I should prepare for a bad reaction no matter how kind, clear, understanding and friendly I may be.

The message is delivered and I still don’t know how I feel. I’m not comfortable with the uncomfortable, and I expect the worst in all cases. But I did my job and that is why I am in this position.

I don’t have any real advice if you’re looking for it. I don’t know if I’ve been fair really, and even if I think I have the employee may not. All I do know is that managing people has it’s up and downs, and someone has to look out for everyone even if it means they are the ones to say the hard things.

-Lisa

New Job!

Yes, that’s right. I wasn’t just blowing smoke in my last post. I’m now employed as the Technology Intern with Master Point Press.

I’ve only been here for a few days but I feel really great about this opportunity and can’t wait to see where it takes me. For now it’s a lot of learning the ropes (again it’s only day three), but it’s nice to be a part of a smaller publisher where I can take on various tasks and not just file and scan all day long.

Now is the point to tell you a bit more about Master Point Press (MPP). They are a Canadian publisher specializing in Bridge books. Bridge as in the card game. If you don’t know bridge it’s complicated. I’m only barely touching the surface now and there’s so much more to get involved in, though knowing a bit of Euchre  helps bridge the gaps (OH what a pun). Links are for Wiki knowledge that might help you decide if you are for or against learning these two card games.

Before this company I didn’t have any idea how involved the bridge community was between teachers, students, international players and publisher. There are a ton of websites to check out about Bridge books and teaching them. Examples: TeachBridge.com and MPP’s eBook site eBooksBridge,com . Everything from guides to bridge fiction can be found all over these sites and MPP’s main site (I listed above as well).

To keep things brief I’ll say this: Bridge is hard but fun nonetheless. And I’m excited to work with their blogging site, BridgeBlogging.com  and I have my own little spot for blogs and info at Intern.BridgeBlogging.com  (where I’ve already made a few posts!)

Also,

LINKS AHOY!

So do you feel full yet? Have you pointed, clicked, checked it all out? There will of course always be more updates and no this is not shameless self promotion, well not entirely.

Take care, happy reading. I know I always promise and rarely deliver but  I will keep you all informed as I go on this small journey.

Wish me luck!

Yes I Disappeared

I changed my name then ‘Poofed’ out of nowhere, I apologize for that. It was rude and I’ll try not to let it happen again. But as I was changing the face of my publicity persona a lot began to happen (though I’m pretty sure the two are unrelated).

Several job interviews, a wedding or two, a bachelorette, a new dog and a new job later I’m back.

That’s right. New Job. You heard me. After two long years I’m leaving NUCAP and looking forward to an actual publishing opportunity.

I am going to wait until my first day to blog and tell you all about the process and I look forward to a very challenging next few months. Soon there will be real information, not just cryptic name changes and updates.

For now take care. I’m reviewing slowly and plan to have them up as soon as I can. But life has proven more distracting than I thought these days…

 P.S.
The new Dog (Remy) is adorable!

Cheers.

Has the Balloon Popped?

The Dashed hopes and dreams of an aspiring Publicist? I wouldn’t say so. After a year of looking, still nothing.  Septagon Studios did not turn out to be the saviour I had hoped. I posted a bio and an ‘add,’ you could say, describing my mission to see if anyone would bite. I did have one, still looking into it, but as of now it’s all gone cold. Not enough people use the site or there’s just not that many people interested in Graphic Novel production anymore.

Am I still hopeful?

Of course!  I’m currently in the works, trying to make a few more contacts in the Publishing industry however I shall never name names. But most importantly I’m dabbling in a little creativity of my own: this week shall be the last week I hold on to the first of a long line of scripts for a graphic novel.

Independently produced? Of course!  Oh what would I do to be represented by a publisher… I think the sky would be the limit on that one, though I’m sure I’d hold my soul a little while before caving. But there is always hope. I will start to do my reviews again. I hope. If time allows.
Back to school, back to work, back to writing, back to hunting: I have a feel 2011 will be a better year than 2010.

Keep the faith! Hold onto hope, and maybe one day we’ll all be doing what we want.

Cheers, and good luck. We could all use a little I’m sure.

Is it ever a bad time to look for a job?

A lot of people might argue that this last year  has been a terrible time to start hunting for a job. Especially in fields with so many applicants that employers can pretty much get people to work for free. It is a tough time and although I could go on and on about the economic structure of things I’ll instead offer some optimism. Read the rest of this entry

June 30th, 2010 – CONTACTS!!

It’s been a few days, I’ve neglected my precious new blog. Silly to do when you have a goal!

But I’ve made progress. I’m going to meet up with a few people int he industry to try and get some help with understanding the industry. One is an agent who was my Professor for a Trade Overview course with Ryerson. We’ll meet for coffee, talk a little business and get some perspective on this ‘Freelance’ thing I’ve thrown myself into.

Also, I’ve been in touch with a Publicist who has her own business who was also a previous teacher. She’s taken my resume and has decided to maybe give me a few pointers. Can’t hurt right? Not to mention the fact that she remembers me after a year. That’s a nice feeling.

Besides that I’ve signed up to volunteer for OwlKids at the Taste of the Danforth in Toronto August 7th! It’ll be good, meet a few people and get out there doing things in the industry. Could make some contacts, might not, who knows! All I’m concerned with is the kids. I’m good with them, but not a big fan with the crying, the screaming, the running and pinching. But I’m looking forward to it!

So, progress is good. Don’t know where it’ll take me but it’s good. Now if I could just find someone to represent I’d be on my way….

Day Two – Success?

Day 2 – nothing has changed. Except there was an earthquake yesterday, my world did shake but it’s all still in place.

I didn’t expect much to be different, in fact I didn’t expet anything to be different so all in all a good day! Twitter has been set up, this blog, e-mail account (I’ll probably switch over to a gmail account but I do like having everything synced together through windows live). I’ve announced it on facebook and started to get to the word of mouth.

There’s a tentative plan to volunteer with some publishing houses and to contact a few smaller indie publishers to offer my services for the grand price of FREE. But time is on my side for now and there’s no terrible need to rush into things, though I really kind of want to.

So, after throwing myself into the wide webbed world I’m still whole and solid, if not a bit squishy.

Day two worked out well. I feel good that I’ve got some control over my future.

Did I mention I was in class right now? Copy-Editing, because every skill I can develop will help. Though I will NEVER claim to be good with grammar. My arch-enemy. BLAST!

And it Begins

So this is a blog site I’ve never used.Which is fitting since this is something I’ve never done.

Welcome to Vanair Publicity. My name is Lisa-Marie Wilson and I’m a young, inexperienced freelance publicist. I decided today that I wasn’t going to wait for the publishing world to decide when it wanted me.
So I’m coming, ready or not.

This will be where I chronicle the beginnings of this endeavour. Be it advice or cautioning tales, or a little self serving promotion (if I ever get anything or anyone to represent) it should an interesting ride.

So watch, wait, see.  For anyone who’s where I am, ready for entry-level positions that aren’t ready for me, ready to start a career and tired of waiting for the career spot to be free, or just tired of waiting for life to start.

I’m taking control so look out! HERE I COME!

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