So, one month on my own, and so far so good. I've landed a pretty steady freelance gig with Patch.com, AOL's venture into local news, working in the exact same geographic territory on the exact same kinds of assignments with some of the exact same reporters who got laid off or left my old newspaper. It's been a pretty seamless transition, except now I'm using my Canon 5D Mark II to shoot video, and I can be a lot more creative. Plus, I set my own schedule.
The money? It is enough to pay myself the same amount as my old paycheck every two weeks, buy a sweet 300-mm f2.8 sports lens off eBay, invest in Final Cut Express software (iMovie was making me pound the couch cushions in frustration in a very nutty, nutty fruitcake kind of way as it took years to import clips and register keystrokes) help repave our driveway and the rest gets socked away for taxes. It is enough. It is enough. I will stay cool, calm and collected and believe that it will continue to be enough. Ahem.
But! I've booked my first international wedding, which means Joel and I get to go to London for week in August and stay with Jo. I'm trying to figure out a way to work in a road trip to Scotland and swing by Stonehenge because Joel hasn't seen it, but that's like saying you're going to New York for a wedding, trying to plan a road trip to Maine and want to swing by, like, Erie, PA, but like, an Erie PA with a cool prehistoric pagan stone circle.
I got a call from the New York Post for an interview about pregnant brides, which- alas- I haven't photographed any EXCEPT holy moly, were there a TON of pregnant brides down on at the city clerk's office last week, so at least I could give the reporter a solid lead for someone who actually good weigh in.
I'm doing a workshop presentation about photography for a camera club in New Jersey, where people will ask me questions and want me to, like, teach them stuff. Okay! Why not?
I've also planted a small vegetable garden and spend a couple extra hours every day with my dog. I read that if you sprinkle dog hair around a vegetable garden, rabbits will keep out if they smell a predator. Bella took one for the team and got furminated in the garden, but some critter came and ate my buttercrunch lettuce. They left the broccoli alone though.
Bella has always been one of my most loyal companions, and I'm loving the extra time with her. Yeah, yeah, man's best friend and all that, but seriously, I beat depression with her chin resting on my ankle, wrote my undergraduate thesis with her chin on my foot, drove to Florida with her chin on my leg and started a business with a laptop on one knee and her chin on the other. This dog.... she's just the best. :)
Ollie and Fred are awesome too, in a very cuddly snugglemuffin trip hazard way (Ollie) and a very quirky, oddball, try to dart out of the house and dash under the deck to sniff the house kind of way (Fred.) Seriously, yesterday Fred got out THREE times in a row, all so he could run under the deck and sniff the side of the house. That's what he does. Uh huh. Not making that up. I'd let him be an indoor/outdoor cat except I'm afraid he'll get killed by a coyote, and my vet once told me, "Indoor cats live long lives and eventually have to be put to sleep. Outdoor cats get hit by cars." Plus, I'm not sure how the neighbors would react to my weird-ass cat wandering around, particularly if he sniffs *their* aluminum siding. I mean, it's one thing for Fred to be a house-sniffing weirdo at home, but I think it's a relationship he ought to keep under the deck, so to speak.
But yeah- I caught up on all my scrapbooking and have free time to like, read (OMG! Mennonnite in a Little Black Dress! So funny!) and garden and have lunch with colleagues and hang out at the dog park and see Broadway shows with my parents and take naps with my husband and go out drinking in the city until 4 a.m. and stuff. So yeah- Operation Work Entirely For Myself On My Own Terms is doing well, one month out.
The other night I thanked Joel for believing in me, since we both had moments of panic a month ago about the whole "quit the steady paycheck" thing, and he said, "It's easy to believe in you, honey. You work your ass off." True, but lovely to hear anyway. So yeah. That's how it's been.
How 'bout you? Are you good? How are your pets? Going anywhere fun this summer?