Monday, 20 June 2011

What Colour is Your Grass?

Green, right? Probably greener than mine. Everyone's grass is greener than mine. And better trimmed. With pretty rose gardens and pink gravel pathways.

Am I complaining about my lawn? Not really. I love my lawn, and yes, it is wild, thank you. We planted trees on our little postage stamp of suburbia. We have twenty-two different tree species on our measly quarter acre of land. And yes, we are hippies, and proud of it. We mow around the stands of Philidelpia Flea Bane and Bee's Balm and Buttercups. On purpose.

Because that's what hippies do.

Hippies don't go out and get full time government jobs. They don't feel crushed when yet another  stuffed shirt tells them,  a popular author with decent sales, that they didn't pass the company's Effective Interactive Communications test. Again. They don't tear up because that means they can't apply for the full time position doing the same job they've been doing on contract successfully for the past five years because they don't qualify for that job. And no, I did not make a mistake writing that.

Let me recap. I have been working a contract job for the past five years. In order to get this contract again every year, I have to meet certain standards and quotas set by my employer to get rehired every year. The better my numbers, the more likely I am to get a decent contract. I've been working about eight months out of every year on this contract. Now they've decided to implement a new set of criteria in order to determine who they can hire full time.

One of the tests I have to write establishes my level of skill at effective interactive communication. I keep failing this test.

The real kicker? I don't even want to work full time. Not really. I want to write full time. OMG!!!!! Maybe I'm not qualified to be a writer!!!!!!!!!


Fuck that noise. Erm. I can say that here, can't I?

So, with that level of frustration established, let me introduce myself. My name is Jaime Samms. I write gay (and sometimes erotic) romance. Marci was my first ever publisher, Faith my very first editor. Tess has been a constant fount of information, advice  and encouragement over my career so far, and our lovely, departing Emmy (who's not really going anywhere, just getting busier) who's very fancy and extremely sexy stiletto heels I'm stepping into here at Four Strong Women has not only been an editor and beta reader for me over the years, but is also my fabulous writing partner in the guise of Sarah Masters. And man. That was a long sentence. Watch all the editors here cringe!!!! Lol!

To be offered a place as a woman of strength among these fabulous friends and mentors of mine is a huge honour. I plan to do my best to live up to it.  Thank you, Faith, Marci, Tess and Emmy, for all your support and belief in my skills. I'm very proud to be counted among you.

Okay. Y' all can come back, now. Mushy bit's over :D


Tess MacKall said...

I have patches of wildflowers all over my yard, Jaime. And I've got so many trees and shrubs I don't even know what half of them are to tell ya the truth. I love my trees and flowers. I had to take down two trees a few years back and literally cried. They were pines, original growth. But they were diseased and I was terrified they would infest the rest of my pines.

During all of our tornado issues here not so long ago, I lost a lot of big branches. Bothered the hell out of me even though I knew it was Mother Nature's way of pruning.

Mowing is something that is carefully done around here. Wildflower patches are OFF LIMITS! lol

And testing? God. That sucks. So will you keep doing the job as a contractor?

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

My dad takes care of my yard and he has a magic thumb when it comes to making grass look beautiful

Jaime Samms said...

Tess, hubs needs a map of the lawn so he knows what to keep and what's ok to mow! Lol! I know what you mean about crying over the trees. We have on big silver Maple in our front yard, and a few years ago, the hydro company came and omg, mangled it to get it out of the power lines. Had to be done, but the poor guy in the bucket with the saw must have felt like a complete heel while he chopped and I stood watching, trying not to bawl my eyes out.

as for the testing, I will keep taking the damn thing till it crosses someone's desk who has a head on their shoulders, and in the mean time, they'll keep calling me back because this is not an easy job we do. Initial training is about twelve weeks, all tolled, and the job itself takes about three years to learn.

Abigail, our lawn most definitely consists of more clover and hawkweed than grass.
In hippy lingo, that's called biodiversity. :D

Anthology Authors said...

You are more than welcome here, Jaime. Well, I guess you'd call me a bit of a hippy. I don't kill spiders, I reuse plants, I don't like cutting things down, and I compost. (g) I have to compost in pots that sit on the concrete in our backyard. (Did I mention our backyard is concrete due to the in ground pool that literally takes up the entire backyard of our postage stamp, er, lot? I love the pool, but I am not enamored of all the concrete.) Things grow out of my compost, and that makes me happy. I never know what I am going to get. I have a few things growing out of them now. I'm not sure what they are yet, but I am sure it will be revealed soon enough.

I worked as a "temporary" employee for 4 years. I was the head librarian, worked 40 hours a week, moved the entire library to a new location where I designed the set up of the new library, and even wrote the standards for my job (it was a 2 year university), but I was a temporary employee. Yeah. Uh-huh. Okay.

What it's really about is making it impossible for them to hire you as other than a contracter because then they have to supply benefits.

I wish you luck with that, though. Honestly, I'd rather see your writing career support you, so that's what I'm going for. (g)

Jaime Samms said...

Marci, you qualify in my hippie books. All you need now are composting worms, and you'll e official *grin*

As for my writing career supporting me, from your lips, my friend. Let's send that one out into the universe (along with a buttload of promo) and see what comes back lol!

Faith said...

My biggest lawn chore is keeping it mowed. We're getting the perfect amount of sunshine and rain this summer so the grass grows like it has a pipeline of Miracrle Gro going to it.

And than you for the lovely compliments, Jaime. You're a doll! However, you just made me spill coffee on my laptop. Seriously. You distracted me with your post, I caught the edge of the cup on the laptop, and SPLASH! Coffee down my leg and across the keyboard.

It was hot too.

And my head hurts.


Cassie Exline said...

Hippie, huh? Now that blew me away, but like groovy man -- it's cool. My hubby does the mowing and I used to have flowers. I'd put stakes, fence, bricks, & concrete blocks around my precious babies. Then he'd move the protector barriers and mow the flowers down, claiming he didn't realize.

Emmy Ellis said...

I love you.


Jaime Samms said...

Oh no, Faith! I hope you got that java out! (And didn't burn yourself!)

Cassie, your hubby seems to have a bit of a blind spot....your poor flowers!!!

Awww, Em!!!!! Me too :)

Anthology Authors said...

Did I mention my compost has worms? So, I'm a full-blown hippie? (g)

Jaime Samms said...

It's official, Marci :D get out your beads and bell bottoms!