I got laid off on 9/11…2012. I knew exactly what my boss was doing when she peered around the edge of my cube and said, “Come to conference room H, please.” I wasn’t disappointed. The H.R. guy was as nice as he could be. I’m not sure I breathed the entire twenty minutes he spoke. Somehow, I managed to walk on my own two feet out of there without fainting. While I was trying to pack my desk, I kept having to stop. My boss and I sniffled, and clung together. Miraculously, I packed up three tote bags worth of my professional life. Then the office vomited me out into the gorgeous Beaux Arts station I had worked in for six years. I wandered down to the Metro and sat numbly on the subway as it hurtled from Union Station in Washington, D.C., toward Rockville.
These days, Amtrak is under fire from Capitol Hill in a big way. My position in Government Affairs didn’t call me to be one of the suited worthies who go up in front of Jihad-ing congressmen, ties blazing. No, it just afforded a truly terrifying view of the ongoing battles from the sidelines. With the budget numbers steadily shrinking, the company is tearing at its management staff like a trophy wife’s liposuction procedure. The idea is to improve many of their corporate processes through this grim reorganization. I wish them the best. I don’t see how they could do it differently.
I’m afraid for them. I’m less afraid for myself. Been here before with other companies, twice, so I got out the “RIF VICTIM” body bag and dusted it off. Then I put it back on the shelf and smiled. Being 56 and an experienced techno-geek doesn’t help me much, except that I’m possibly less traumatized than my younger self was. But I do know that the best way to get over being pitched out on your ass is to get up and charge back into the fray.
So, this is me, catapulting my squishy courage into the breach. In addition to job hunting, I’m polishing my skills with courses on e-Classes.org.
I’ve blogged before. We wrote an official blog for one of my two sites at Amtrak, history.amtrak.com. I also used to write news blurbs for my baby, greatamericanstations.com. I couldn’t say my personal blog has been any great shakes. I love finding oddities and weird facts, but that’s a pretty thin diet for a good blog.
What I want to do now is create a fiction blog. It’s going to be authored by one of my figments, and will narrate within an urban fantasy world I have created. I have already written several of the novel-length stories, the first of which is going to get submitted to publishers in October, if my nerve holds out. I see this as a way to put the world of Palmers Rest, North Carolina and the Master of Sorrows out there as an ongoing teaser. Since it’s urban fantasy, they will be anecdotes set in the present day with the addition of fantastic and science fiction elements. The longer stories also refer to the blog that this figment writes.
The fiction blog ties in with the galleries of illustration I keep on my website, cooltuna.com, as well as posts I make on Renderosity.com. I have made up very short stories to go with illustrations from this universe for several years. Yes, I have been thinking ahead. I even have a few followers on Renderosity who might enjoy this expansion into a blog.
(Be warned, not everything on the Renderosity or Cool Tuna sites is safe for work. There are nudes, of the art-school sort in my galleries.)