I’m back!

It has been an eventful year! I’ve gotten married and had a baby. I’ve worked a full-time office job. And left that office job. I have gone back to school to pursue a CPA certification. And now, in the midst of homework, diaper changes, and backstage work, I am reviving my Etsy shop!

New projects include felt accessories, more journal kits, and a planner for artists. Check back soon for more details!

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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Resolutions


I love June.

Write Owl Designs is 2 years old!

I spent the first four months of this year as an Oregon licensed tax preparer, specializing in individual and small business taxes.  I performed in a musical.  I worked in a pottery studio.  I was one of five dressers changing 17 actors 160 times per show.

And now I am prepping for the biggest craft fair I have done since I started crafting: the Mississippi Street Fair.  I have until mid-July to finalize my booth design, stock the inventory, and nail down my fall lines.  It will be a hard month ahead, but I am really looking forward to it!

In the meantime, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, writing the second draft of my novel, Staged.  At the end of June, I start classes for CPA certification.

Here’s to summer!


Another Year

Graphic design is fascinating, but computers irritate me.  This year, I would love to manage my online presence more fashionably.  All those sketches in the dining room need to go somewhere.

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in The Month Ahead


The O. Henry Project: The Update

We have now had three meetings for The O. Henry Project.

Meeting #1: The Introduction of The Project  (Breanne’s minutes are much more entertaining than my summaries, I am sure, but I will try to include the good parts.)

At our first meeting, those present pledged to write with me this year, writing one short-story a week for an entire calendar year.  As a tribute to the man who inspired the ridiculousness, we spent time learning an abbreviated, and most likely butchered, history of William Sydney Porter.  We also read “The Gift of the Magi,” which I was shocked to discover no one had heard previously.  (How do you manage to make it through high school without it?)

I promised to make a Star Chart to track our progress, which I still have not done, and we planned O. Henry’s 149th birthday party for Week #2.  We made up a really fun game where we use titles (made from quotes from the evening) and all write synopses for the story that we would write by that title.

Meeting #2: Call in the Fire Department!

I said the first week that if someone were to bring 149 candles for O. Henry’s birthday, we would light them.  As it so happens, someone did bring 149 candles and a cake that was approximately 10 inches across that read “Nobody died!  Jeff & Judy.”  Then this happened:

Meeting #3: A New Author

Now that we’re falling into the groove of writing every week, we are beginning to explore new authors.  Breanne read a few stories by Barry Yourgrau.  We are all planning to contribute something to the Esquire Short Short Fiction Contest.  But we will discuss that at a later meeting.

I have not yet finished a story yet, but I have started four, and I hope to finish at least two of them today.  Sarah has written two, Breanne has written one, and then rest of us have at least written every week.

More to come.  Happy writing!

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in The O. Henry Project


Business Trips

I work as a personal assistant, and this week, I took my first business trip.  Two days on the beach, running lines, walking the dog, writing on the sand, drinking lots of coffee, forgetting to take pictures, watching a show…  What a nice retreat!  And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

I have been working on my first story for The O. Henry Project, which I am very excited about.  I have titled it “The Tilde, the Tittle, and the Umlaut.”  More to come.

Ah, beach.  Ah, vacation.  So necessary.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in On the Side


Adventures in Self-Employment

I’ll forgo the updates of my short story attempts since it has only been a day since I started.  Today I would like to take a moment to appreciate someone who probably doesn’t get enough appreciation.

A few months back, I filed for unemployment.  This is something that I have never before had to do, and let me tell you, it’s been an eye-opener for sure.  It has not been easy to get the money that I personally have paid into unemployment insurance for the past ten years.  When I was finally accepted to receive my benefit checks (three weeks after I started filing and two weeks of eating nothing but canned beans), I got a check for barely $100.  That’s my weekly allowance.  After having a job that paid me 30K a year, and 3 years of working in retail since then, and years of working in retail before that, I get barely $500 a month.  How the hell does anyone live on that?

I would love to say that the minimal paycheck was the biggest headache and that I refiled my claim each week and continued to get paid, but the problem with this scenario is that no one can live on $500 a month.  So I tried to find work.  And working for $20 or $50 or $150 a week messed up my claim, and I lost unemployment again and again, despite the fact that I never had an “employer” in all of this.

And then there was Rick.  Rick is the very kind individual at the state employment office who helped me get “self-employment” status when everyone in every other office said my “number” (which no one seemed to understand well enough to explain) was too low by two points.  (This “number” the computer calculates from some formula, and no human being in the office has the power to change it or see how it is being calculated.)  Every three weeks or so, I get a letter from the unemployment office that I have done something horribly awry, and thankfully I am transferred to Rick.  And he fixes my problems.  Not only that, but he explains to me why I got the letter and how I can avoid a stopped payment in the future.  Thanks, Rick.  You seriously deserve a raise.

This unemployment thing is like playing a game where no one gives you the rules in the beginning; they shout out “You broke a rule” in the middle of the game, and you take a penalty for something you didn’t know was wrong.

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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Unemployment


The O. Henry Project

William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry, is one of my father’s favorite short story authors.  For about two years of his life, O. Henry wrote one short story a week.  I could do that.  I highly doubt that my stories will be as good, especially in these first attempts, but my philosophy is that there is no better way to become a writer that to write.

Here’s the plan:  Starting today, September 1, 2011, I will be writing one short story a week for an entire year, ending September 1, 2012.  I am calling this The O. Henry Project.  (As it turns out, O. Henry’s birthday is on September 11, so this is a very appropriate time to begin.)  Once a week we will have a dinner/meeting for all my cohorts who will join me in the madness.  We will read short stories, discuss our own projects, and maybe even come up with some crazy challenges.

Every Friday (or possibly Saturday) I will be posting updates for The Project.


In other news, a friend of mine, Lev AC Rosen, is soon to be a published novelist!  His new book, All Men of Genius, made the Best Books of the Month list for  Congrats, Lev!  I’m looking forward to reading your book!


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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in The O. Henry Project