<![CDATA[Amy Josuweit - Writer - Blog]]>Mon, 08 Feb 2016 05:30:39 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[I'm Back!]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 06:13:10 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/im-backHey all! Miss me?

After several years... heck, has it been that long?... I'm back in the swing of things. New year, renewed vigor.

So, why the silence? Why drop off the face of the Earth, presumably never to be seen again?

In short: health.

I have, as some of you may know, PTSD. Until recent years, I wasn't quite sure what that entailed. PTSD is something movies herald as war veteran's curse, and generally has something to do with people hearing loud noises and thinking they're in "'Nam".

For me, it meant crippling fear and anxiety, to the point where going outside of my apartment became a hazard. Turns out, when you're constantly experiencing anxiety at high levels, your body starts to break down. I couldn't even list the amount of health issues that sprung up in response to my constant stress.

I was honestly petrified that I was going to be bed-ridden the rest of my days.

Then, medicine.

Medicines aren't known for helping those with PTSD, but recently doctors have been discovering that the lack of medicinal success is largely due to using the incorrect medicines. A neurologist set me up with propranolol, a beta blocker generally used for heart conditions, and we waited.

I won't say I'm 100% back to normal. I'm not sure I'll ever be "normal", but I'm not sure I ever was. All I know is that, after 6 months of being on the medicine, I'm finally ready to dive back into work and writing as a whole. It no longer panics me - it excites me.

Though there is still residual panic... generally due to mental programming designed to protect me trying to still act on old information... the more I work, the less panic there is. With each completed project, I find I have a little more confidence that the anxiety is gone.

So! Back to the grindstone, eh?
<![CDATA[The New Place in Pennsylvania]]>Tue, 20 Aug 2013 21:09:13 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/the-new-place-in-pennsylvaniaYep - I've moved back to PA. I gather you may be wondering why it was such a short visit.

Mass was a bit of a failure to launch on my part. My fiancee and I had little time to prepare: we flew off to MA because we had few other options. Once we got there, we realized that the amount of money we had saved was worth a lot less in that state.

Until moving up to Mass, I had no idea that different states had such overall price differences. Everything that we would buy at a store was twice the price that it would have been in PA. Which meant that, while we thought we weren't exactly prepared when we left, we found ourselves vastly under-prepared when we arrived.
Jobs are scarce everywhere, but not until MA did I see "Help Wanted" signs in almost every window. I was so excited about scoring a brick-and-mortar job that I applied to everywhere within walking distance (which was quite a few places). I figured out slowly, painfully, that these locations weren't actually hiring... they kept the sign in their windows "just in case". I called up to follow after every single application, and I got hesitant remarks such as, "Oh, you applied? Right. Ok. Uhm. Yeah, we have that sign in our window. I guess. Let me uh... get back to you." Weeks go by. I call again, same answer. Months go by. I call again, same answer. I'm not sure why the people of that area couldn't simply give me a "Yes, we're looking for someone to fill a position, but it's not you." or "Hey, turns out we don't actually need anybody to work for us currently." Being turned down would have been better than keeping me hanging on, wondering each day if I'd get a job. Rather heartbreaking.

My fiancee was on the other side of the fence - he had a job working nights at CVS. He didn't want to work nights, and he expressed that he would only work nights if they could get him off the shift after three months. He hung in there for 5-6 months, while they stalled and gave very similar excuses as to what I received: "Oh, uh, yeah, you wanted to be switched to days. We'll uh... get on that. Soon." He started developing some serious health issues from lack of sleep and sunlight. Because I wanted to spend time with him while he was awake, I adjusted myself to the night schedule as well. Creatures of the night we were, yesssss.

Finally, enough was enough. My fiancee and I were in tears at our situation - Jake hardly got enough to pay rent, and as I dipped my toes into freelance writing online I had enough for us to eat some rice once in a while. I started suffering from vitamin deficiency, due to lack of food. We were in a bit of trouble.

Then he got a chance to leave CVS. It was unexpected, it threw us for a loop, but despite having zero hope and no plans for the future... we were so glad to see the sun again. And not be zombies. There weren't enough brains in the area to survive as a zombie.

A day or two later, we got the message from my fiancee's family that a cheap apartment had just popped up back in PA. We pounced on it, driving back in our mostly-not-legal vehicle (the plates had long expired and the insurance wasn't exactly current). We glided back on a barely functioning battery, very little has, and a hope and prayer. Not sure how we made it, but here we are.

And boy I'm I glad to be here. Our situation is finally starting to look up. Why? I'm getting to pursue my unbridled love - writing. I've wanted to be a freelance writer since I was young, and that desire hasn't dwindled. We live in the middle of nowhere, the illegal car is parked in my parent's lawn until we can make it legal, and my fiancee is out of work.

But I'm working. I'm writing. I'm eating. I'm living-and-loving-it-up with my fiancee. And I'm having the time of my life. For now, that's all that matters.
<![CDATA[Oh, Elance]]>Thu, 28 Feb 2013 00:48:28 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/oh-elancePicture
Elance - A place only (supposedly) the best of the best tread. This is due to the inordinate amount of tests, verifications, and general hassle. Now that I've gathered a decent backing, samples, and otherwise, I figured... hey, give it a shot.

Ah. Well, I'm starting to think I should've just stayed away. So far I've had two people hire me - one for a week, and one for a few days.

The first job was decent - regular work, but painfully low pay. Eh, my first job, what can I expect? But I had to take a trip to the hospital on Friday, when an assignment was due. My fiance dropped the employer a note to let him know I was at the hospital and probably wouldn't be able to get the work done. "Ok - let her know we won't be working with her anymore." Alright then!

On to the next one - seemed nice enough, and great pay. Gave me some pretty tough assignments involving how-to guides on repair and home maintenance. Joy of joys. After slaving and working for two days straight, very little sleep, the employer shoots me a message to say that there was "significant evidence of unoriginal work in your articles". Oh rly? Funny, I've been doing this for quite a while... and this is the first time anyone has ever claimed plagiarism. But seeing as I sent them the work already, there wasn't much I could do - I had to gracefully duck out, cancel the job, and wave goodbye to my paycheck for the week.

I might just stick to Fiverr and VR Zone. Why stray when I've got a good deal already?

All a buyer needs to do is cry "plagiarism" - this gives them time to post that same work somewhere online and cite it as an example.
<![CDATA[The Sinking Ship]]>Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:05:55 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/the-sinking-shipAh man. Sad news today. I've had to abandon a sinking ship. Which ship? The one that goes by the name of Koku Gamer.

The head of the website posted a message today that made me shiver a bit. Though I don't have it sitting in front of me, it went along the lines of, "Nobody is contributing content anymore, and that's put me in a bad mood. If you're too busy with other writing, like I see you guys post all the time, that's fine! Go write for other people and leave our website alone! We'll delete all your content off the website and it'll be like you never existed. Message me by the end of the week if you don't want to be removed from the team."

... oi vei. This is where we all turn and jump ship.

I've seen this before, and I suppose it won't be the last time. The last time I've seen it was a on a mod project I was involved in. The makers of the mod were the "in crowd", and everyone else who contributed or hung around the forums were just random commoners constantly skating on thin ice. Say the wrong word? Banned. Suggest new content? Banned. The mod wasn't for enjoying, it was for being LOYAL to - no matter what. How dare you challenge the mod? By the end, everyone had left but for those few 3-4 "loyal" people. Needless to say, the mod was never completed.

Here was part of a very long message to the head boss man of the website: "You're driving people away rather than drawing them back, even those who would otherwise be willing to help the site flourish. People don't want to work with others who let their emotions ride before their professionalism.

"Threatening to remove all the articles one has ever written? Not only is that emotionally driven, but now you are trying to dive at the hearts of people who care about their work and have dedicated hours of time to your website. The message you are sending is, "Your work is of absolutely no value - I could cut all the work you have given the site or will ever give the site and not bat an eye. The website isn't about your work at all, the website is mine and you will never be considered a whole part of it." This, above all, will not make people think of contributing again, as you've already branded them as outsiders. We immediately feel as if we are not part of a team at all."

"With that, I'll say that I'm willing to stay on board. I have no problem working with a professional website, that specifically outlines what sort of content output they need on a monthly basis. I believe you can bring Koku to that standard.

"But as I've written this message, I'm reminded of the other websites that I attempted to stick with when they put a similar "ultimatum".... believe me, they all did. Remembering how those encounters went, I realize that my time might be better spent with more rewarding projects. Not rewarding in a monetary way, but in a way where my work is valued and not simply padding for someone else's work. That's certainly what it feels like currently. Stressing myself out due to your "moods" and messages that "most of you won't like"... I have too much work to be done to add any emotions to the mix. Trying to keep tabs on your moods while working? I'm not that good a multitasking."

Sigh. Ah well. I live to write another day, eh? Better not to cling to hope and try to work together when I've got so many other things on my plate. There's a silver lining - I won't be as busy. By a bit. I hate "giving up" on projects, but this seems like it's for the better.

Oh well. Back to writing.
<![CDATA[Fiverr!]]>Thu, 08 Nov 2012 07:52:19 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/fiverrLet's get this straight - there are only a handful of times in my life where I've been paid for my writing. Once was when my theatrical production of "Mother Goose" was staged. And I'm sure there were other times, but they escape me.

Finally, after two months of slogging about, begging for a job, I decided that I should be making money if I'm going to be sitting on the computer all day. A little voice in my head reminded me of the website Fiverr.

Fiverr's concept is simple - people post anything they're willing to do for $5. People record video, make gifts, play songs... and write content. The website seemed flooded with people offering to do press releases, article content, you name it they had it. The first time I stumbled onto the site, I was overwhelmed by my possible competition and shied away from signing up.

I bounced back there last Sunday, November 4th. It was free to sign up, and free to list gigs... the website took a fee of $1 once somebody bought a $5 "gig", so there wasn't really anything to lose. I posted one gig and waited.

Within half a day, I had four projects. 4 x 4 = 16. So $16 in one day. Not sterling silver, but $16 is better than no money at all, correct?

In the 4 days I've been working there, I'm up to $64. I'm in the middle of doing a book review, and after that am set up to start research for an article on sexual identity

I. Am. Stoked. For four days, that's not half bad. And the writing I've been doing isn't particularly challenging. Not yet, anyway. I've had several people mention to me that they'd be willing to work on a more long-term basis, with me doing several projects for their business or company or what-have-you.

Am I underselling myself? Probably. But you can't really undersell something that wasn't being sold in the first place. This may be my first real way into freelance writing. If I can use all the experience I garner here to get myself some "real" freelancing gigs, all the better.

For now, I'm just happy that I can start paying all those soul crushing bills!
<![CDATA[To Nano Land With Me!]]>Sat, 03 Nov 2012 16:00:05 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/to-nano-land-with-meIn and out of the post-college murkiness, I try to shake it off and climb on over to the land of National Novel Writing Month, more often known as NaNoWriMo. Trying to breathe new life into a promising novel of mine, currently known as The Train Pirates.

Doing this as well as writing for Koku Gamer, and searching for one of those all-coveted paid jobs... welp, it's all compounded to making me sick. I never seem to be able to get things done and be healthy simultaneously. Haven't actually started the NaNo writing yet, and I'm three days late. But I'll catch up. I usually do. Wish me luck!
<![CDATA[40 Things I've Learned in 30 Days of Camper Living]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2012 22:23:16 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/september-28th-2012
To commemorate our wonderful (and gracious and awesome) time living in the camper, I made a list of (mostly humorous) things I've learned in my time there:

1. When you arrive, don't grab the nearest broom and proceed to sweep the carpet. The broom will break.

2. Blankets, sheets, and random bits of cloth are your friends. If you're not using it to warm or dry yourself, you can use it to warm or dry other things. To put over windows to keep away creepy neighbor's kids. Makeshift couch cover. List is endless. So don't get rid of these things before you move into the camper to "conserve space"... you'll just have to get/buy more anyway.

3. If you're going to cook, get a pot. Not a pan. Pot. There are so many things you can't cook in a pan...

4. Never wash a fridge out with Lysol.

5. Listerine frequently. You never know what's been crawling in your mouth while you're sleeping.

6. Coffee filters are decent makeshift plates.

7. If using coffee filters as makeshift plates, do not put coffee filter plate down on stove.

8. Glass plates are very pretty and very unforgiving.

9. Actually, don't buy anything glass. An errant elbow will crush dreams/cups/plates and damage toesies.

10. Hot water is a fickle ho. Use sparingly, and then leave her before she leaves you. You will get the literal cold shoulder otherwise.

11. If using two air mattresses pushed together for sleeping, and deciding to sleep sideways so cuddling is an option, make sure to prop things up against the corners. You will wake up with butts on the floor.

12. There are particular ways to properly flush a camper toilet.

13. Do not walk around with only socks. You may step out into the living room after a shower and directly into a Great-Lakes-sized puddle.

14. Towels don't dry well in Fall sunlight.

15. Do not spray copious amounts of Febreeze until you open the windows.

16. See above and apply to bug spray.

17. Gnat and spider hunting is all about predicting the next move.

18. Skunks are sneaky.

19. Skunks are habitual creatures, and enjoy frequenting the same spots every night, around the same time.

20. Skunk chasing you? Run into the street. They may chase a person, but they won't take on a moving vehicle.

21. The best time to become a garbage-disposing ninja is 1am on Tuesdays.

22. Libraries are great for fulfilling one's online gaming addiction. Suppress the urge to swear loudly when you die/get ganked.

23. If fridge is fritzy, keep your food to the front of the fridge.

24. Do not take things out of the fritzy fridge quickly. Most likely puddles have formed on the top of your favorite foods. Unexpected shower imminent.

25. Wear geeky t-shirts around town. They may garner new and unexpected friends who you let borrow your copy of Doctor Who Season 1, then give you free frosty coupons.

26. Accept generosity, but with the mindset that you will pay them back one day. Also, keep a lookout for those chances - they are awesome and will make your day/week/month/life all toasty glowey.

27. Washing dishes in a camper is gentle work. Set aside a long time to do them. You're gonna need it.

28. Recycling is a skill. Like riding a bike.

29. Kale is cheap and fills you up. Eggs are also cheap. Do not mix the two.

30. Lemon pepper is a wonderful All-spice. Lemon pepper chicken! Lemon pepper kielbasi! Lemon pepper eggs!

31. Milk will freeze.

32. Light the lighter AND THEN turn on the gas on the stove. Unless you don't like the hair on your hand.

33. Camper couches are very good at blocking WiFi signals.

34. Do not let the creepy visiting neighbor into the camper. But do accept if he offers you his microwave and computer desk. Just don't stay too long in his house getting it. He might have a gun.

35. If the creepy neighbor says he's going to the bathroom, but does not go into the bathroom, don't follow him. Just take the stuff and gogogo.

36. After leaving make sure your window curtains are properly up. And lock the door.

37. If you can see your breath, it's time to go to bed.

38. Spider webs near trash cans are funny. If you toss tiny bits of trash and miss, the web will catch it. No worries.

39. You are rarely so thankful to have a roof over your head, as you are when it's raining but you can see your breath.

40. You are rarely so thankful to have walls around you when you hear rustles outside and smell skunk.

And last but not least, a bonus one:

41. All of this makes you additionally thankful when you reach that beautiful old upstairs apartment! YESSSSS!

Special thanks to Eva and her Dad for letting us stay there while we've been getting on our feet.

<![CDATA[Got them Post-Graduatin' Blues]]>Sat, 15 Sep 2012 23:48:11 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/got-them-post-graduatin-bluesWell, hey! On the one hand, here's good news: I've moved! From PA to MA. At least the A stayed the same. Been here for 2 weeks, on the dot. Lovely place, Greenfield.

I've moved, but I'm currently waiting for the current tenant of our apartment to siddle on out of there. Which means, until then, we're in a camper. Yup. I roll in style. I'm actually rather enjoying it. Like many other things in my life, I'm planning on looking back at this and going, "Remember when we lived in that camper for a month? Good times, man."

Bad news: them blues are settin' in. I still have no job (though about 3-4 businesses around me are hiring and I've applied... they're just sort of sitting on top of my application with their hands folded), and have been sitting here slowly melding with the dust. The big dollar signs are starting to grab at my heels, and besides paying for that lovely apartment I'll be staying in, there's lovely things like car insurance, credit card bills, and that juicy pile of school loans. I don't much care what I'm doing at this point... just that I make enough to eat and keep the hound-drool off my shoes.

At this point I start to sink into the mindset of uselessness: what am I doing right now but soaking up air, water, and expensive food? Nada. And soon at least one of those things is gonna run out unless I do something about it. I've got some ideas, but each time I go to run after one, the blues clock me in the jaw and I'm on the floor, wondering again how I can be so useless. Ad infiniutm.

However, I won't let the w(h)ine-and-sorrow gig go on much longer. I'm applying to volunteer gaming writer positions. If nothing else, I can write out my opinions about the latest in gaming stuff I've touched ('cause I touch it daily) and send that out to the volunteer places, and slowly accrue a little bit of background. Better than sitting on my hands waiting for McDonald's to call me back. Seriously, that's a bitch. Waiting on McDonald's? Augh.
<![CDATA[Graduating! Holy cow.]]>Wed, 09 May 2012 18:37:06 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/graduating-holy-cowSo, Shape was fantastic! Now I'm exhausted. I just finished my very final final.

Now I'm sitting at work, trying to decide on what to do next. I think I need to sleep off 5 years (and two summers) of tightened stress-worn muscles. Jesus. I'll be back after I recuperate...

(Few hours later)

Don't mind me, just putzzing around and adding an all new section for the acting roles I've had in the past! Woot woot! It's under "Productions" and "Acting". I only have little blurbs up now, but hopefully I'll get more as time goes on.

Heh. Not a bad thing to work on right after my final college class wraps up, right?
<![CDATA[Goin' Good!]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2012 17:26:51 GMThttp://amyjosuweit.weebly.com/blog/goin-goodThe Shape of Things is going swimmingly! I'm actually rather surprised, I didn't think we'd be able to pull it together so well, but it's pullin'. Here's the lovely poster for the event - that's Lauren Shover, playing the role of Evelyn... and her face is made up of tiny versions of the rest of the cast's faces. It's pretty damn sweet. Technically, my face is on a poster. Very, very little versions of my face...