"Summertime slowness gives way to job reviews, leads to more writing" by: Jessica Shepard

   Every once in a while, out of sheer boredom, I start poking around for job listings online.
   Now, I’m tied to the Sentinel for the long haul and the rest of my natural-born life because my mom said so.
   But, when things are pretty slow during the summer, I’m sometimes considering a second job.
   This leads me to surfing the web with the help of Google for local businesses that are hiring.
   I only found one that could possibly work with my newspaper gig, but, it would require lots of compromises and I don’t have time for that!
   That thought is quickly squashed by the other prospects I see and I’m tuned back into journalism.
   I suppose the only second job I could take right now would be writing a novel or something of the sort.
   It also reminds me of the encouragement I’ve gotten over the years from teachers, friends, and coworkers.
   Maybe with COVID keeping more people indoors than out, it’s the perfect time to hunker down and write?
   I’m still not exactly sold on the idea, though I keep a few folders on the computer for character reference sheets and world-building prompts or tips.
   Most people don’t know how different journalism and regular novel writing are at all!
   There’s certainly a lot more rules to follow for journalism and newspapers – and then, those differ for magazine features, too.
   I think my preferred medium will always be poetry because if you choose freeform then there are no rules and you can just do whatever you want.
   Other specific types of poetry have rules and I’m not keen on following them.
   In fact, one of my favorite quotes comes from the woefully canceled “Firefly” from Captain Malcolm Reynolds, “I aim to misbehave.”
   You can just ask my mom, it’s almost one of my mottos for life.
   Toss in Lydia Deetz’s saying “I am strange and unusual,” and that’s pretty much my motivation for everything.
   To this day, some of my oldest friends appear shocked when I am content in my weirdness.
   I have to admit that it wasn’t always easy growing up thinking outside the box and not following the crowd, but, nothing seemed to scare people more than me embracing myself.
   So, I stuck with that and it’s worked out pretty good so far.
   Maybe I can find a way to help work that into a novel?
   After all, plenty of authors are eccentric, unusual, and weird and I think I’d fit right in with them.
   Plus, I can tap local authors for pointers and help if need be – or, at least I hope so.
   The hardest part will probably be actually writing because I’ve got fickle muses and require a lot of music to help my thoughts flow.
   We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, though I’m really hoping this COVID mess is over before Halloween!
   Halloween is on a Saturday this year, and Daylight Savings Time ends the next morning at 2 a.m. Sunday – it’s the perfect time to celebrate my favorite spooky holiday and I’m hoping to have fun with friends this year.

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