Saturday, June 14, 2014

Joining Friends on the Other Side

            Unlike a lot of people, I actually like Friday the 13th. Maybe it’s just because I’ve always been one of those kids who preferred to go against the grain. I’m not particularly superstitious either. Mostly, I just like to think of this day as something where odd magic takes place. Not bad, just weird.
            In my area of the Carolinas, it started out as a gloomy day, which just seems absolutely perfect for making an entire pot of coffee, mixing it with Bailey’s coffee creamer cup by cup, and sitting at my desk, writing the day away. My desk is situated against the window that faces the backyard which, since we live in town, faces someone else’s backyard. But it’s a quiet neighborhood, lots of space and grass between us and them. It invites a writer to just sit and gaze out the window.
            I originally intended to post this on Friday the 13th, not in the wee hours of June 14th, but life got in the way of writing. When I got off work Bear and I grabbed a pizza and hit Wal-Mart to pick up some essentials for the house, which I assembled for once! Watching Smackdown and then finishing off the second season of Orange is the New Black (I made it last a week, I’m quite proud of myself), the evening got away from me. But it’s okay. There’ll always be writing to be done and time to do it.
            I’ve decided to make today the last day that I post to Blogger. Officially switching over to WordPress for the Kelswitch, with the first post coming Monday. Remember, that’s Basically, the same url I always have, with a different website listed behind my name. See? This is why I use Carolina Kel across platforms. Makes it easy to find me, especially since it’s a name I’ve been using a long time.
            I sincerely hope you follow me as I expand and move forward on this writing and blogging journey. Thanks for the memories, blogspot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just a Quick Dash Thru

            I got word today that there is a chance I’ll finally get my car back a week from Monday. This is as exciting as it is disappointing. The accident happened on May 16th and the following Monday, I was driving my mom’s van. We’re looking at a month here, folks.  A month since I’ve been able to drive my poor, busted up Mustang anywhere other than to the grocery store, where I had to unlock it and crawl through the passenger seat to open the driver’s door, because the door handle was knocked off on that side.
            Other than that, life has been business as usual. Well, forming a new business as usual I should say. A week after the accident, Bear and I spent our first night in our new place so there’s been a certain adjustment period of getting used to where everything is, not to mention sharing such close space with another human being for the first time. I plan to explore the ins and outs of that when I officially switch the Kelswitch over to WordPress.
            I was going to wait until July, but I think with a few more tweaks, I’ll be making the switch soon. Maybe within the next week or two. I’m really pleased with how it’s looking right now. I’m just trying to figure out a writing routine to fit into my new life of job and home with Bear.
            Oh, and I have an office. Have I mentioned that? It’s in a perpetual state of disarray but it’s a space to come and write. It’s where I’m typing up this quick, last minute blog, actually. Bear’s in the living room catching up on Heroes of Cosplay. Oh, domestic bliss.
            I hope any and all followers who read the Kelswitch regularly follow me over to WordPress. This blog will only get better and more focused from the switch, I promise you!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Open Letter to Social Media

We all have our reasons for using social media. Business. Keep up with family. To be nosy. But whatever our motive, we're all impacted by changes when the big wigs decide to roll them out for no other reason than because they can. Contrary to what they think, these changes are not always good. Sometimes they hurt the consumer, which you would think in business is the last thing you want to do. Yet, they continue to do it, all in the name of a profit. Particularly in Facebook's case, they get away with it because the consumer doesn't pay their bills. They're a free service. Their money comes from advertisers and anyone who wants access to the information we all post online without even thinking.
The breaking point for consumers of social media has yet to be reached, but most days, I can't help but wonder if we're close. Or maybe we're all too narcissistic to ever walk away from it, no matter how much of our soul they demand as payment. Let's face it. Social media is all about narcissism. We try to portray our lives in the best possible light, or at the very least the most dramatic. Why?
Human beings are social creatures. On the surface, Facebook and Google+ and Twitter seem to meet that innate need of ours, all while cutting out the awkward in-person bit. It's convenient in an increasingly busy, go go go society.
Now that I've summed up a bit about social media, let me get to my point and why I wanted to write this particular post. It would be easy to say that, as of now, Facebook still dominates the social media scene. Twitter is probably a close second. Google+ is probably nowhere near where its creators expected it to be right now. Which might explain why Google is so pushy but it does not excuse it.
My blog is connected to my Google account, and thus the Google+ account. When I created a Gmail after getting my first smartphone in 2010, Google automatically created a YouTube account for me too. That was was odd, but okay, whatever. I use it and enjoy the benefits of having playlists. Then, about a year ago I'd say, Google decided to start using these venues to push Google+ down my throat. Repeatedly, I did not express interest in engaging on that platform and yet they persist.
The final straw is a notification that my blogs will now be automatically posted to Google+, when I have repeatedly opted against that. Of course, I can change that in my settings, if I can ever find where.
Facebook is probably just as pushy as Google, but at least they're a little more subtle about it. Congratulations Google, your business tactics have tipped the scale and pushed me right into the arms of Wordpress. Blogger has been good to me, but it no longer meets my needs as a blogger. So, as a consumer, I am exercising my free will and changing services.
Thanks for the memories. I'll be back to visit my friends who still use this service, but starting in July, the Kelswitch will be posted exclusively to Wordpress. From there, I will continue to explore my writing and the opportunities available to me as such.
I can pick my poisons, thank you very much.
I do not own this picture. It was obtained via Pinterest.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wash Before Use

            And here I am thinking I want to begin working towards an honest to Gods career of freelance writing. Ha! I can’t even keep up with my blog these days, or the freelance gig I already have. But things have been crazy here lately. If you recall, dear reader, my car got hit two weeks ago. It just went into the shop this week, Thursday in fact. In the meantime, I’ve been driving my mom’s van. Well, on Thursday, the battery light came on. Turns out, the alternator was dead as a doornail and the battery wasn’t far behind.
            Can we get a break now? Please?
            I drove my dad’s big boy truck to work Friday, which was an experience. I don’t know if I’m just imagining things or if that many people really did do a double take and stare at the little girl driving a Ford F-250. Really, people? Or was it that I was driving it, and there was not a ding on the truck to be seen?
            There was a girl in high school who drove a big truck, one probably even bigger than my dad’s. Well, suffice to say, before it was over and done with, that truck had a few scrapes and bruises for its trouble. I’m not saying women can’t drive, but putting a 16 year old behind the wheel of something that big was kind of stupid. As for me, I’ve driven a little, low to the ground Mustang since I was 16. I’m woman enough to admit that truck was slightly out of my league.
            But I stepped up to the plate and walked away without a scratch. Ha! I am woman, hear me roar!
            I’ll probably go back to driving the van on Monday. Another week of work and making money to pay the bills. Is this adulthood? And the pile of dishes I still need to wash in the sink?
            I spent the better part of last Saturday night washing dishes in our new place. It wasn’t that they were dirty, but it was a set of dishes given to me by my grandmother that’s been sitting in the building since November. Wash before use, dude. Along with everything else that we just got which needed the dust knocked off it. And the pile magically reappeared.
            Remind me again why it seems I don’t have time to write anymore. Not to mention, I still haven’t gotten my office straightened out. I’ll probably work on that today.
            I’m not complaining. In fact, I think a small part of me is relishing the madness. Regardless of how messy things are, it’s a sign of how far Bear and I have come in a just a couple of months. And we’re just getting started. 

 Just for fun....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Welcome to Adulthood, sucker

            When high school counselors want to make an effort to guide students towards a productive future, they often start by asking “Where do you see yourself in five years?” As a teenager, this is a fun question to answer. It’s a chance to imagine the perfect future where everything you want is laid out on the table for you, all nice and pretty.
            Then you hit your early twenties and you realize, life doesn’t work that way. And still the question persists: Where do you see yourself in five years?
            As a writer, I’ve heard recently that I should have a six year plan. This freaks me out because the five year question freaks me out. Three months ago, I had no idea where my life was going to go. Now, I’m just barely getting a faint idea but I still have no idea where my writing is going. I have hopes, but you can’t live on that. Especially in light of recent events, I’m learning now more than ever how life can throw iron spikes under your tires, only to watch you spin and scream while it hides in the bushes, cackling quietly to itself.
            Yes, life is a sentient being in that analogy.  Evil little imp.
            All I know at this point is I want to make a living from writing. I want to be living in my own place with Bear. I want a family at some point. How that fits into a five or six year plan, I don’t have the first clue. I figure I will stay at my current job at least two years before I try to move on to something better. Will that be writing full time? You’re asking me? Ha! I don’t know. I couldn’t have begun to predict the freelance opportunity that came my way this year.
            Maybe I am feeling a little at fate’s mercy. I know I did when I graduated from college. A friend who graduated at the same time, let’s call her Scottish Cowgirl, was feeling the same way.
            “What are you going to do next?”
            “I dunno.”
            Not the first clue. Since then, she’s gone to Scotland to do her Master’s. I’m marching towards true independence and responsibility, the kind that makes a mockery of what we had in college. Oh lordy, we thought we were hot stuff. But maybe we are making progress away from that “I dunno” feeling towards life.
            What it comes down to is what we’re all left with at the end of the day anyway. The general feeling that hey, it’s all going to be okay.