Welcome to my blog: Living on Air Without a Prayer!
My name is Valerie and I’m an unemployed single mom who also happens to be vegetarian and atheist. I live in a rural suburb of Massachusetts, where I waffle between feeling like “I’m not from heyah” (as I often say, in my poor imitation of the Southie accent), and feeling like I can never leave here. I really hate the cold, long, dark (SO
DARK!) New England winters, which can be six months long. I write this as the sun sets on the blanket of snow outside from the freak pre-Halloween snowstorm a few days ago. In many New England communities, the first snow day of no school actually occurred on Halloween this year (Oct. 31st). That was a first for me, even after 21 “yeahs of livin’ heyah”.
But too many ties-that-bind keep compelling me to stay here: all my friends who have become family, my son’s friends, my family history in this region, camp, and frankly, I have nowhere else to go at this point. My parents moved away from hometown of Reno, Nevada long ago to a small town in the Southeast. Besides, I have a home, and in this economy (and in my situation), I’m lucky to still own it (knock on wood). So every fall, I pull the blankets up further around my ears and settle in for another long winter. At least I like to ski (whenever I can find a discount ticket.)
Many times people have told me, “You should write a book,” which was very sweet of them. “What a nice person,” I’d think as I ignored them and went back to clicking around the Internet looking for work. I don’t have enough money to live on while I take the time to write a book. Being unemployed does not mean you have oodles of free time. Unemployment generally means you are frantically spending every moment trying to figure out how to live, how to pay your bills with nothing but air, and in my case, without a prayer.
But it was a nice idea: Write a Book. The suggestion comes up sometimes when I get to talking about the things I’m an expert on, like managing to keep your house and car and high credit score despite being broke and pathetic. I’m also the self-professed Queen of Job Loss (present tense), and oh yeah, the Queen of Internet Dating (past tense). “Now you’ll have time to write that book,” said my dear friend when I was laid off Sept. 20th for the eighth time (or more technically, my contract ended). She said this possibly out of desperation to get me off topic when no consolation can be forthcoming. I am a writer, and have made my living (or not) that way for over a decade, so it’s not that far a stretch, even if I was a science & technology journalist.
My biggest problem is that I need a real job and writing a book is no way to make a living. Sure, if you’re Stephen King, you’re rich enough to sequester yourself in your cottage in Maine and just keep cranking out the pages day after day. English professors are given six-month sabbaticals and grants to write their books. Even housewives or “Mr. Moms” might be given the security of a working spouse that enables a stable environment from which to sally forth toward dreams of writing their memoirs. But nobody wants to pay the unemployed single mom to write a book, and anyway, she doesn’t have the time.
However, I might have time to blog every now and then, I thought. I’ve blogged as part of my duties in a salaried position (see my FABULOUS work at www.JAZD.net, if they haven’t removed it yet). And I wouldn’t have to commit to doing it every day–just whenever I had time. I could entertain my friends and family, while building a following for when it’s time to really write that book.
For now, allow me to welcome you to my blog, where I will be henceforth posting PG-13 slices of my pathetic but somehow miraculous existence: Living on Air Without a Prayer. ♦