"Penguin's Gaze" - Tap to enlarge or buy.

“Penguin’s Gaze” – Tap to enlarge or buy.

I woke up this morning to a veil of mist shrouding the world outside our apartment. Fall is officially here in North Texas and the air outside is a cool 60 degrees. We’ve lived in Dallas for three months now and I have yet to find a full-time job. I’ve had some good part time work here and there to help make ends meet, but nothing steady. Truthfully, I think some people have taken one look at my freelance photography price rates and fled screaming in the other direction. Honestly, I think my pricing is quite reasonable, but prizing for a freelance photography is always tricky. Freelancers don’t work eight hours a day and then get paid per hour. Instead we usually work a few paid hours on site during a certain project and then spend several more hours working without pay to process and tweak photos for our clients. Generally speaking, I spend one to two hours processing and retouching photos at my computer for every hour I spend shooting photos in the field. Consequently, if I asked a rate like $15-per-hour for a two-hour on-site job, I’d never be able to afford food again—not to mention covering expenses for a place to live, a work studio, electricity, running water, health insurance, worker’s insurance, equipment costs, or taxes. The higher cost per on-site hour and the per-photo buying rates help to offset these real-world costs, but it’s still a very frustrating thing to have to explain to new clients why $50/hour is, in fact, quite reasonable for the quality and quantity of work I provide. The world of freelance is a neat place to visit, but it’s often a very uncomfortable place to live. I hope for the day when I can return to a job with regular hours, people who actually appreciate what I do, and an annual salary that can keep us fed.

Ah well, at least I can use the downtime between job hunts and odd projects to write. November is National Novel Writing Month and so I am doing my best to write 50,000 words in 30 days like so many other wonderfully crazy people around the world. I’m using the challenge to finish writing the first draft of Sloop and Sword, the sequel to Thorn and Thistle. While I love the action taking place in the story, the writing itself is going quite slow. This is largely because my time is split between writing, resume submissions, photography processing, website updates, and a new marketing education course. The last item on that list seems quite promising. I’ve never been good at Facebook advertising in particular, so I decided that I should learn how to do it.

I’ve created quite a few changes to the AlyciaChristine.com website in response to what I’ve learned during the marketing course and I’m excited about the site’s new look. I hope you like the changes as well. I’m still tweaking some of the code, so don’t hesitate to tell me if you find an error. Later I may decide to upgrade the website to a full WordPress-coded site complete with new hosting so that I have more control over its overall function, but I don’t want to commit to that intensive of a design project until after I’ve cleared several of the other items off of my plate.

If you know of anyone in the Dallas area who needs a good writer, photographer, or graphic artist, please send them my way. If you want to follow my progress during NaNoWriMo, just go to the NaNoWriMo page in the Fan Corner section of my website. Thanks so much!

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with fine art, love, speculative fiction books, and tea suggestions for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!