Re: techwr-l I'm taking my marbles and going home...

Subject: Re: techwr-l I'm taking my marbles and going home...
From: "Dori Green" <dorigreen00 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 08:55:30 -0400

Hi, Gang!

I'm still alive, but it's been an interesting month.

I'm working again, at one of those contract (temp) jobs that pays 33% less than my last one.

Of course, the last one was 18 months ago. I love it here, like the people and the work. It's a foot in the door in the pharmaceutical industry. It's a 2.5-hour commute home for weekend visits but I found a house to share here in the city and this too is working out just fine.

The bank foreclosed on my farmhouse and sold it at auction (without any notice to me, just the announcement in the newspaper). They have put 400 small farms out of business in my region pulling this stuff, so nobody would bid and they bought it themselves. They have issued a ten-day notice to vacate. The sale happened the very week that I started the new job. There is synchronicity at work here. The only mistake I will never repeat is that next time I won't build a $17,000 barn on the land that's held by the bank!

I am losing my home, yes. It's a terrific opportunity to be rid of the big mortgage and the old white elephant money pit. I've rented a 40-foot tractor trailer for $65 a month and most of my treasures will go there this weekend. I've found soft landings for all of my animals except for the paralyzed goat; if he isn't on his feet within two more weeks I'm having him put to sleep and will discharge my guilt with the help of a counselor even though my head knows it wasn't my fault. Two of my oldest cats have died within days of each other (both of just old age and related difficulties - confirmed by the vet). The next oldest is trying to die now. They know we're done with this place and it's okay to let go. The other two are going with my current housemate to live in a nice house in the woods with some friends of his. My little wannabe dog is coming to the city with me. The rest of the goats and the chickens are going to be boarded on an Amish farm -- some decent winter income for the Amish children and a good place for my pets.

I still own the adjoining fifteen acres free and clear. I'll be enclosing it with good fences and building what I really want for me and my animals without any intervention from a bank. I can live very nicely in a simple cabin -- or even a camper -- while I spend time between city gigs working on my own writing.

Things are great and I'm very glad to be back at work. Am I sick or what; I have missed the challenge of untangling documentation messes.

I had tried maintaining the big old house by taking in housemates. They trashed the place (and my mental health); I'm building a one-room cabin/cottage this time. I might use time between tech writing gigs to sculpt a cob house myself (I have a clay bank) -- and write a book about it.

I am a writer. It is as much about what I am as what I do.

I am a technical writer. When people ask what that is, I reply that we translate engineeringese, computerese, and educationese into English.

I am not a mechanical or electrical engineer or programmer who is willing to work for less money because I also write.

I have qualified for assistance from VESID, and when this gig is done I will probably go back to school for a Master's in Technical Communication. VESID will pay for tuition, supplies, and living expenses for two years. Will this degree guarantee me another job? No. I'm just curious about what's new in the field but I'm not going to waste one more minute on studies that don't move me toward a more advanced degree.

And now that I'm not killing myself trying to keep things going at the farm, I'm developing web sites and writing grants for projects that tickle my fancy -- sometimes for money, more often for free. When I do a really good job the results go into my portfolio.

Dori Green
Organic Farmer/Activist and Technical Writer
Corning and Rochester, New York
Ready and able to work anywhere
(when this gig is up)

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