Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last Call: THE Teen Writers Conference

On June 6th, 2009, myself and some other fabulous authors will be presenting a writer's conference just for teens ages 13-19. The cost is $39 and lunch is included. We are so excited for this opportunity to help set the feet of these young writers on a path that will help them navigate some of the more difficult parts of establishing a career in writing. If you fit the criteria and would like to come, have a child that fits the criteria and would like to come, OR know a youth that fits the criteria and would like to come--please visit the website www.teenwritersconference.com for more information. Registrations must be postmarked by May 25th.

Thanks much,

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Morning with Me, Myself, and I

As some of you know, I went back to work in April--April 1st to be exact. It's been . . . an adjustment after several years of wearing my jammies all day. My current boss frowns on such casual attire, which is a bummer, he's also liable to interrupt my evenings with talk of work and he makes me iron his shirts. The upside is that he sometimes runs kids in the afternoon so that I can finish something up and it's understood that I can yell back if he gets out of hand. I'm also hopeful that the fact we're sleeping together will open up some promotional opportunities in the future. Unfortuantely, everyone knows we're sleeping together and so I can't blackmail him with it. Them's the breaks for working with your husband, I suppose.

Back in January I blogged about my employment qualifications. I specifically mentioned that I had none--other than writing novels which there isn't a huge section for in the Help Wanted section. Apparently that blog post infiltrated the nether-regions of Karma and by February I was feeling the pressure that I needed to be bringing home a paycheck. Why? Because the last year has not been economically kind to the Kilpacks.

Now, we're okay, as in we're not behind on anything and don't anticipate that we will be. Right now, we have our needs met, but the next six months is going to be interesting. In July 2008 we bought a Window covering buisness in Vegas. We spent several weeks doing our due diligience, we felt we had really found a great company--and we did find a great company--however the seller was not honest in his financial reports. Within 90 days we were facing collections on debts we had no idea existed and a month after that we found ourselves embroiled in a lawsuit. Anyone that's been watching the economic crash and burn (who hasn't?) has likely heard that Las Vegas has been hit hard, very hard. After a ten years unprecidented period of growth, construction has all but stopped and jobs have dried up, sending people out of Vegas in droves. Those things do not bode well for a company whose market is made up of people buying new or upgraded window coverings. Lee has jumped in with both feet to keep the buisness going amid all the arrows being slung our way, and he's done an amazing job. While other window covering companies are folding left and right, we've managed to stay afloat. We've lost some key employees, but we've held on to some absolute gems who are putting everything they have into making this work. In January we opened an Ogden, Utah location. We mostly wanted to keep our administration closer to home so that Lee didn't have to spend so much money and time commuting to Vegas, but we also started selling blinds out of that location. We hired a bookeeper and crossed our fingers that things would improve.

Come April, however, we had to look at more ways to cut our overhead. What we needed was someone to work for free, that had a vested interest in the company, and knew how to do basic account. Well, that person didn't exist--but two out of three ain't bad. I can work for free and I very much want the company to do well. The accounting part was the sticking pin, so I took a Quickbooks class and six weeks into the job I kinda almost sorta know what I'm doing. It's really worked out well despite my feeling sorry for myself that I can no longer live in my jammies.

It's been hard to fit this 25 hour a week job into everything else I do. I find I'm running from one thing to the next without much time to take a breath. Today, however, I have a morning to myself, at home, with no one but my dishwasher to keep me company. I have to take a couple kids in for doctor appointments in an hour, which means I won't be going in to work until after the appointment, which means I got to read a couple blogs and take twenty minutes to post something to my own.


It's my hope that within a few more weeks I'll be caught up at 'the office' and that life will settle into a new, though brimming, schedule. It's my hope that within a few more weeks I will now and then get an hour to sit and blog. It's my hope that within a few more weeks I will feel like I'm really making a marked contribution to the company (Did I mention the computer I crashed? The fact that I don't know how to use excel? My propensity to be rather snappy with the boss?) It's my hope that I will find a way to fit writing, exercise, editing, and cooking back into my life at some point.

For now, I'm glad I can do what I can do. I'm glad that working for my husband gives me the flexibility I need to be a mom and a writer as well, and I'm glad to have another thirty minutes of blesses peace and quiet in which to ponder the blessings in my life. I am blessed with work, blessed with ability, blessed with comfort, proseperity, and enough wisdom to see that despite the struggles, we're going to be just fine, one way or another.

So, anyway, if you've wondered where I've been, that's where, and if you're looking for window coverings, I'm hoping to have our new website up in another week or two so stay tuned.