During the SOTU last night, the President mentioned tax incentives for businesses who hire the long-term unemployed and I cheered. But like so many others, I also feel like it's help that is coming too late. You see, we can't make rent this month. We've been here before and managed to muddle through, but our long-suffering landlord has financial struggles of her own and her ability to pay the mortgage depends on us.
I lost my job in 2008 and in early 2009, my husband was laid off. Only two weeks later, our daughter died. While J. recovered sooner, both emotionally and career-wise, it has taken me much longer. I began writing stories about Alice as part of my own grief therapy and they have taken on a life of their own. They have in fact become a nearly completed manuscript with interested editors waiting in the wings. Of course non-celebrity memoirs don't get sold until they're finished and that is the catch. Money may come from it, but not soon enough.
For the last year, I've been doing freelance writing, but around Christmas time this year, most of that dried up. I've got one client left but her needs are enough to buy a week's worth of groceries. I started looking for full-time work again in January, knowing that my long-term unemployment is a hindrance, especially in an area where unemployment is still well over 14%.
I tested well enough to get an interview for a admin job with the city in three weeks, but there are no guarantees and even if I land the job it may be too late to save us. That said, if you or anyone you know needs copy-writing, editing or help with a project, please let me know. A full list of the kind of work I do can be found here.
Those of you who read my diaries regularly may understand how awkward I feel begging for work but I suspect you will also understand how important it is to me to stay in this house, where I can still feel Alice, as I finish the book and finally let her go.
Update: Weck has asked me to include my PayPal-linked e-mail address in the diary. While I much prefer work and hope that this diary might find me some, I'm also not in the position to turn down help so here it is: laurustina[at]gmail[dot]com .
11:35 PM PT: Today has been a roller-coaster of emotions. I woke with great anxiety and am going to bed with a sense of thankfulness and peace. Moments ago, I had the great pleasure of sending this month's rent via PayPal to our landlord. For those who've been where we are, you can imagine my relief. Even better, I've received a number of queries for work and some solid proposals. Along with the many suggestions in the comments, I am hopeful that the next few months will be productive and fruitful. Thank you also for all the book-related encouragement. This community has been so supportive and that pushes me to write with urgency and purpose. Again, I cannot thank you enough.