Moving to a new domain



Within the next week or so, this site will no longer be available.

My S.J. initials have outlived their usefulness, so my site is moving to my full name, Sally Jane Driscoll (sallyjanedriscoll.com).

Consider this a special invitation for you to come along.

It will take time to set up the new site to be as useful as possible, but I’m looking forward to growing my internet presence.

This blog has been a wonderful learning experience. I appreciate each one of you who took the time to stop by, read and participate.

In closing, all I can say is—

Mule, make tracks!

Mark Lieberman: Four Jobs, So Never Between Seasons

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

Writers aren’t the only people who juggle more than one life at a time. Mark Lieberman tells how he combines his part-time football broadcasting jobs with his full-time job at a bank.

Just like many Americans, I have more than one job: one full-time job and three part-time seasonal jobs.

The seasonal jobs start the last weekend in August and last through the week before Christmas. They’re only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I do get paid and sometimes I get free food, but that’s not why I have ’em. I have ’em ’cause I love what I do!

My full-time job is at Chase Bank in the Unclaimed Property department. I work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

My seasonal jobs revolve around football. I’m a football statistician for high school games (radio and tv) and for University of Texas at San Antonio games. I started doing high school football radio stats in 1997 and TV stats in 2009. I started doing UTSA football stats this year.  Continue reading

Serena Dracis: Between Lives? Don’t Micromanage the Universe

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

In this fifth installment of the Being Between series, Serena Dracis shares her three-step plan of how to work with the gods when they push you into a new life.

Thank you, Sally for inviting me to guest post on your blog! I’m thrilled and honored to be taking part in this series; it’s a subject near and dear to my heart.

Recently I wrote about reincarnation, a subject I love and will probably revisit again and again. If you have a chance and are interested in the topic, I invite you to hop on over and check it out.

Do we live more than one life? The answer is yes—and not always in the soul migration sense.

I often refer to my animal training career as “my past life.” I worked at the sea lion show of the San Diego Zoo for eight happy years during my late 20’s and early 30’s. My life was all about animals, training and educating people about the environment. It was so much fun! Really, I look back at the zoo as the best job I ever had, and the award from my peers for Excellence in Training still hangs proudly on my wall, alongside my animal pictures. I was single, young, and I loved my life. I used to say they’d have to pry my cold, dead body out of the zoo to bury it.

So how did I end up as a married nurse in Seattle, with the wildest animals around me a flock of chickens? It’s a little bit like the old me died and a new me was born.  Continue reading

Charis Maloy: Between Now and the Next Adventure

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

In this fourth installment of the Being Between series, Charis Maloy talks about living from day to day while planning for future happiness.

The mad writer Copyright 2012 Charis Maloy All rights reservedWow, Sally really didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she asked me to do a guest spot about transitioning!

Most of my readers know that I’m a busy girl. Multiple jobs plus trying to write and start a small business make for chaos. What Sally wasn’t really aware of are some of the major transitions in my personal life that are affecting the way I relate to work, and the sacrifices that I am making in order to do what needs to be done.

For the last year and a half, I’ve had my status as family doormat thrust down my throat. For the third time in my adult life, I allowed a certain few members of my family to bring me to the brink of bankruptcy. All while I was working nearly 100 hours a week.

In February, the characters in my head demanded that their story be told. On a major writing binge, I began to tell their stories. Then I had to stop and start building timelines to keep them straight because I had anywhere from 8 to 10 characters talking to me at once, telling me that I had, not a book, but a series.

Last May, after nearly twenty years of hiding my true self, I finally worked up the strength within myself to acknowledge that I am lesbian. This, in a small Wyoming town where my biggest support system has always been my very LGBT-unfriendly church. This is also the place where I once put my job on the line by mentioning in an offhand comment that my brother is gay.  Continue reading

Lena Corazon: Learning to Love the Space Between

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

In this third installment of the Being Between series, Northern Californian poet, novelist and sociology doctoral candidate Lena Corazon talks about her multiple lives and shares one of her poems.

Even though I’ve been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since I was a little girl, I always considered it to be little more than a hobby, something I did for fun. The route of academia seemed far more practical, and so I decided that I would study for a PhD and become a college professor.

I was lucky enough to get my wish. I entered a PhD program in sociology straight out of college, and quickly learned that grad school, like academia itself, is one big juggling act. For the last four years I’ve been student, teaching assistant, and scholar. I slog my way through 300+ pages of reading each week, grade what feels like mountains of assignments, and look for spare time to cram in my dissertation research.

It’s little surprise that during my first couple of years as a grad student, I didn’t pick up a single novel or write one word of fiction. Why? I had a skewed fantasy in my head about what it meant to be a “serious” scholar. Serious scholars, as far as I was concerned, did not prance about in make-believe worlds. Serious scholars didn’t waste time having conversations with imaginary people. Serious scholars did Very Serious Things, like immerse themselves in social theory and write books filled with academic jargon.  Continue reading

Happy birthday to us, WANA1011!

In October 2011, I took an online course in social media taught by Kristen Lamb along with almost a hundred other writers. Little did we suspect that one year later most of us would still be in touch, celebrating our successes and easing our struggles.

Happy one-year birthday, #WANA1011! Let’s have another. And another. And another after that.

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy. 

One of my favorite writers has passed away.

Maeve Binchy made everyday life more fascinating than

Vampires, werewolves and zombies

Interstellar travel

Regency dukes

Lost civilizations

Ménages à trois

Secret societies

Aliens

Cannibalistic but intellectual mass murderers

Wizards, warriors and witches

Elves, dwarves and dragons.

That’s a lot for one writer to do

In a single lifetime.

Real is better.

Thanks.

By S.J. Driscoll

Magic how new habits take hold

1) My eyes now start to close as 10 p.m. approaches. Stayed awake in bed until 11:30 last night, though, playing with the new electronic toy. Made me remember reading LITTLE WOMEN by moonlight when I was little, while the rest of my family slept. Gorgeous weather and I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, but my office windows open onto our huge live oak so it almost counts as being outside. Still keeping up the garden and doing a few minutes on the elliptical, just not yesterday. Seems like I can do every other day. [Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

2) Worked about 24 hours in the last two days to make the monthly issue deadline while fitting in other work odds and ends. Surprisingly, that left little to do toward it this morning, though I thought I’d be jammed. Happy! Now to get a head start on the Continue reading

Eleven Questions, Illustrated Edition

Prudence MacLeod (the Valkyrie) tagged me in the Eleven Questions game.

Thanks, Prudence!

I have to answer her 11 questions, then think up 11 new questions and invite 11 other people to answer them.

Here are her questions and my answers:

1) What is the greatest thing you’ve found under your sofa cushions? I don’t look. But I did notice that beneath the sofa is where crickets go to die. 
2) Who is your greatest hero? Harriet Tubman, since I was 7.
Second is Roald Amundsen

Some people just won’t leave you alone!

You know the kind. You’re at your desk in your office, deep in your work, suitably harried, and they yell at you to come out. Lock the door and they crawl in through the window. Throw your arms around your computer and they drag you away kicking and screaming, sandals flying, power cord flopping, trackball marble bouncing down the stairs.

 

Alicia Street, Lynn Kelley and Rachel Funk Heller, I give up! I’ll play the Lucky 7 Meme. Thanks for asking.

These are the rules:

1) Go to page 77 of your current manuscript.

2) Go to line 7.

3) Find and post the next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs.

4) Tag another 7 writers and drag them away from whatever they were doing—I mean, let them know.

Since I’ve written only short stories in the last year, I had to dig up my novel Continue reading

Overture, curtain, lights? Live it.

One of my greatest pleasures in high school was when I’d go with a bunch of friends to see a Broadway show on a Saturday afternoon.

We’d take the Long Island Railroad in to Penn Station and walk to Times Square, to the trailer in a little grassy area where last-minute tickets were sold. We’d wrangle with each other about which show to see at which price. One of my friends, who now reviews for Variety®, usually had the last word but, as I remember, we usually chose whatever looked good at $2 a seat.

My friends and I went to some of the grand old New York theaters, like the Helen Hayes, the Schubert. The feel of those red velveteen seats and the scent of theater dust alone were worth the $2.

The best moment was when the curtain came up and the lights went on. I always experienced that electric sense of anticipation: something wonderful was going to happen.

The play itself might turn out to be bad, but I always took away that wonderful feeling of anticipation. It kept me alive through the train ride home, through the rest of the weekend and through the long, boring weeks at school.

This morning at seven, I sat on my back steps. The sun came up behind me, shining into the dark forest deeps, highlighting individual tree trunks, vines, branches, the way golden footlights pick out the set on a half-lit stage. The first songbird trilled, another answered, then the valley was full of music.

I felt a wonderful sense of anticipation, the same feeling I’d had just before the curtain came up in the Helen Hayes Theatre.

Do we voraciously consume books, movies, television, music, video games, not for themselves, but for that wonderful feeling of anticipation as the entertainment starts? Are our lives so constrained and boring that we need that artificial jolt to feel alive? This one will be great. This one will fulfill, justify, empower me.

We think the feeling comes from the media, when it really comes from the dawn.

It’s the feeling of a new start. The feeling of the birth of one of the wonderful days of our life.

Take it back.

By S.J. Driscoll

My own little micro-minority.

Phantom Fern © copyright D. Gerard Lancaster

Phantom Fern © 2011 D. Gerard Lancaster

I admire lesbian women. I see them as having a massive kind of freedom that’s been lacking in my life due to certain roles I’ve been locked into since birth. They seem to have the boldness of men without female restrictions.

I admire gay men. Their strength as men, combined with their lack of masculine restrictions, can result in amazing creativity. I’m lucky to have as a friend the immensely creative D. Gerard Lancaster–painter, photographer, composer and fiction writer. (I keep telling him he should go into illustration, but will he listen? No!)

Of course, my view is romanticized. Lesbians and gays have their own lock-ins and lock-downs. But from the outside I admire the the lack of boundaries imposed by a mainstream culture.

What I admire most is the individual, sometimes called the smallest minority. That means each of you: whatever there is of you that’s you alone, separate from society. I admire the ability to see and act independently and without artificial restrictions.

Maybe I don’t admire lesbians and gays. Maybe I’m jealous. They’re independent of mainstream culture to a certain point, but participate in a smaller culture in which they can find people who may be more like themselves.

On second thought, I don’t have to be jealous since my husband and I make up a little mini-culture. Together we’re a micro-minority all our own.

These are the thoughts I’ve been trying to put into words ever since I was awarded two blogging awards last week. (So I guess I’m part of the blogging mini-society, too.)

Liebster blogging awardThank you, Serena Dracis, for the Liebster Award. Versatile Blogger Award Thank you, Prudence MacLeod, for The Versatile Blogger Award.

Thanks for thinking of me. For different reasons, neither of you has to worry about being swallowed up in the mainstream culture. Stay strong!

Each award must be passed on. I pass the Liebster Blog Award on to Kate Spencer, Pat O’Dea Rosen, Asrai Devin, BJ Bangs and Louise Behiel. The Versatile Blogger goes to Mark Lieberman, Soapmarked, Kristy K. James, Jane Myers Perrine and Jean.

As for the facts about myself I should disclose as a requirement for accepting the awards–see above.

By S.J. Driscoll