I was never good at sales. I’m not very open by nature so the idea of pushing stuff on to people never was appealing—even if it was something people wanted. I’ve had sales jobs every so often over the years out of desperation and necessity, but I hated the task.

Political phone banking is similar, except you really are trying to get the word out about someone you believe in. I did it for Obama in 2008, as well as Democratic fundraising in 2010 (which was harder). But after all the crap I went through from the loss of a career in 2009, the spiraling decline through 2012, and dealing with single fatherhood for the last 3 years—all of which took a tool on my own mental health—I know I am no longer capable of doing any kind of telemarketing or phone banking.

The problem this time around is that the Bernie Sanders campaign needs the outreach of volunteers on the phones to help his run; not just getting the vote out but basic candidate knowledge. There has been a media blackout of his campaign since November 2015 and general dismissal of his candidacy up until now. Despite that he is a popular candidate, has a great platform, and can win if his message is heard. Sanders has been able to garner supporters by letting people hear his platform. So these phone banks become essential for his campaign. Yet I couldn’t do it. I want Sanders to get the nomination and the White House, but I can’t dial a single phone number without a panic attack.

Thankfully a friend pointed out that Sanders has a texting squad. They text get out the vote reminders, rally alerts, phone banking events, and such, to other Bernie supporters. I jumped on that in early March, but they had such a deluge of volunteers I had to wait until April so they can drastically upscale their operation so I can participate. I haven’t done a ton of shifts like others (the average is 3-4 text shifts a day, but I know one person who does 7-8 per day since their first day), but I’ve been regularly texting alerts to supporters for almost a month. I get plenty of “fuck offs”, but I get a higher amount of people thanking me for volunteering.

No it’s not cold calling numbers and trying to get support and/getting into arguments, but I believe every little bit counts. I’m better at writing anyway, and I can help a candidate I believe in. Luckily technology has allowed me to work around my mental illnesses and do necessary grunt work. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this all the way up to the convention and beyond.

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Better Focus

February 5, 2016

Not sure how I’m doing lately, but it’s kind of a good thing. I’m not sure how to explain it except while things aren’t clearer, they are less fuzzy.

Funny thing happened. A few weeks back, I was talking about trying to get more organized this year, but specifically January would be a month to figure out where things stood and try to see what needs to be dealt with. I was thinking about it but not doing anything about it, when I remembered this happened to me awhile back. A friend of mine was able to knock some sense into me both when I was at my low point in job hunting, money problems, and Sophia’s mom—that perfect storm battering me to further ruin; and soon after Sophia’s mom died and I had to become a full-time father on a part time income overnight. One of the things she did was help me get my organizer into working shape and use it as a tool to get throught he day, the week, and once in a while minute by minute. I thought she gave me a custome organizing sheet to use. I thought I had it on my computer somewhere among various backups, so I went looking for it among the files. What I came across was everything else I’ve written and done over the years. Some of the things I hadn’t read in years, and some still held up. It was interesting to read things I didn’t so much leave behind as they got lost in the shuffle. One of these was my favorite unfinished piece of work” a web series that only had two episodes filmed, even though three scripts were writen. I forgot how well it worked, but also how well it was received by peers that I truly admired. And it is still unfinished. That might be my next project. Other things gave me hope as well. I’m not nor ever was ahead of my time in my writing, but I am a solid writer (still); it holds together well. That in itself gave me hope.

After the writings, and unable to find the sheet I was originally looking for, I found the organizer I used at the time. While it is mainly used for storage now, it was a daily reminder for everything back in the day—2011 to be exact. So much has in a short tme and I kind of forgot the chronology of it. Some people suggested I concentrate on what I was feeling during that time, but all I felt at that time was fear and anxiety. It kept coming in endless waves and a constant throbbing in my head. Looking at what happened when, helped me focus. I read these events as dates on a calendar and I can feel neural pathways open in my brain. That whole time was a jumble for survival. You forget everything you are for a way to keep going the next step. It’s frightening and the only way to deal with that fear is to become so myopic that you ignore the fear—which you can’t do, but you live in denial to take one more step forward. The time was a blur, but seeing what I did made some things a little clearer. Knowing the chronology of certain events put the jumble into order, especially at a time of chaos.

To me it’s amazing how much you have to abandon when you are in survival mode, but you don’t realize it until it’s all over. Even a sense of time, linear events and planning erode from fear of the weight of the current situation and what might lie ahead. It’s a horrible way to live and I can’t believe I was in that reptilian mindset for so long. Moreso I can’t belibe I made it out, scarred but together. Things are less out of focus than they have been lately and it’s possible to remember some of that time without panic. Knocking on wood, it will stay that way for a while.

Final Tally

December 2, 2015

So for the NaBloPoMo is 20 posts for the month. I didn’t get a list of how many words total, but I was glad to get a larger output of blog writing over the month, and I’ve had larger overall readers since doing this. Good to see that. I still need to translate all of that writing into writing my fiction and scripts. I’d love to translate my readership into book sales, but that’s something for another day. Right now I need to get a consistent writing schedule so I can get blogs or fiction done. That’s part of what this challenge was for: consistent writing. I worked but I need to build on that. Need to be productive again before I can market things. I’m trying to get better and plans and goals and all that.

Lag Time

November 23, 2015

Yeah I know, I missed a bunch of entries for the NaBloPoMo. I need to post one a day for the challenge and I’m behind about a week, at least. The thing is I’m not sweating it right now (rare for me I know, but interesting nonetheless). Life will always get in the way somehow; whether it will be illness, a death in the family, busy workload, or a desperate need for grocery shopping. For me it was the last two, usually not a problem but this week left me exhausted. Your brain should be at least 20% power for you to create and write, and I think I was barely at 10% most the week. So I took a break.

There’s lots to do creatively and real world logistics and you can’t do everything at once as much as I’d like to. Sometimes you’ve got to ride out the stuff going on. The trick I’m trying to get better at not beating myself up about it (as much as I’d like to do that, too). Sometimes the best you can do is forgive yourself and move on to the next day. Now THAT is something worth incorporating into your daily routine.

Friday Night News Dump

November 13, 2015

This is a sort of compilation of mini blogs of events that I hadn’t posted during the week:

  • I don’t have a word count for all the postings I’ve written so far during NaBloPoMo. It’s obviousy way below the 25,000 word halfway mark of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Just glad to be posting more often and regularly.
  • I haven’t been keeping up on the sci-fi western short story. This is not even because of the aforementioned blog writing, but because I’m too exhausted. I still can’t get used to getting up at 5:30am for Sophia then waiting to go to work. All I want to do is sleep for a few days straight, that would help. Granted it doesn’t help that I haven’t been to the gym in forever…
  • I have my zombie apocalypse team in place. There is a pre-zombie infection feature length script I want to write and I figured out the of characters on the team and how they know each other. This is sort of Fear the Walking Dead and Contagion via Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” For what I have in mind, I can’t simply throw characters who don’t know each other and watch them come together; I need to get a loosely cohesive group of people trying to survive and watch them fall apart, Have the group; next is fleshing out the timelines and plot.
  • Rented Pitch Perfect 2 with Sophia the other day because the Peanuts Movie show we wanted to see was already sold out when we got there. The film wasn’t what I expected, not a bad sequel. Nice ending. Felt less cohesive than the first film. The original was better, but the sequel was a decent film.

Waste of a Day

November 6, 2015

Here’s what I was hoping to do today:

  1. Take a shower
  2. Clean the cat litter
  3. Call Ferry Beach about church retreat
  4. Mop the kitchen floor
  5. Add to sci-fi western short
  6. Reserve car for Tuesday

What I wound up doing today:

  1. Clean cat litter
  2. Watched “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” marathon

Yeah this was a day well spent.

SEH cover So my latest ebook short story collection “Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” has been out for a couple of months and is doing well. I’m still trying to push the book and it is available direct from the publishers, Book Country. A collection of short-short stories, “Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” gives a glimpse at the realities of the modern world, from the back alleys and seedy city diners to out of the way roadside motels. If you like atmospheric literary fiction with an occasional twist, this is for you. The ebook is available at Book Country for $1.99 a copy. It is still available at other retailers (Amazon and Barnes & Noble), but I needed to give the publishers a big thanks for having it out there to begin with. Please check it out and buy your copy today here.

Go NaBloPoMo!

November 2, 2015

So I decided to do the NaBloPoMo (National Bog Post Month) challenge this year. I knew I couldn’t do the NaNoWriMo challenge, but the blogging can work. A post a day for 30 days. I’m pretty sure there won’t be a lot of long sordid posts I’m used to writing, but getting some blog posting every day will be helpful to me. Get some creative juices flowing again and reestablish a structure/schedule/process for me to use. Should be fun.

Dating for Misanthropes

October 31, 2015

I’m torn about dating. I think I’m of three minds about things. First, I know I’m in no financial, mental or emotional state to go on a date with anyone; I know this so I have sworn off dating for a while. Whether that’s until I’m more stable or when Sophia is off at college I haven’t figured out. The second part thinks maybe it would help my mental state to meet someone new, or at least see what is out there that is possible for me. Human connections are helpful and are needed for those that are isolated. So maybe trying to meet someone—with no preconceived expectiations—might help out. The third part of me really wants to get laid. If human connection is helpful but a long-term commitment is doubtful (and/or detrimental to others), there’s always splitting the difference with sex. Studes have proven sexual activity (with a partner) can do wonders staving off depression and anxiety. The downside is the whole meeting people thing. Craigslist is an invitation to death and other sites are filled with spambots, catfishers and shut ins.

And as usual I only have my blog to complain about it on. Yeah I could post a dating profile somewhere, but not sure how the brutal honesty would go over.

“46 year old single Latino father, part-time delivery driver, history of mental illness seeking partner/girlfriend/significant other/fuck buddy/other (please circle one). Likes movies/TV/movies on TV, cooking, writing, free-form philosophical arguments, good animation, Star Trek, and light bondage (not a deal breaker). Must be willing to take T as I have no car. Not sure if this will work, but I figure I’d be an optimist and give it a shot.”

I’m not sure whether to post this on Christian Mingle or Tinder. Which one is more misanthropic?

Maybe NaBloPoMo…?

September 23, 2015

Not sure. I’m definitely considering it. I know I can’t do a 50,000 word project for November, but I certainly can post something on my blog every day for 30 days. Probably… Still thinking about it.