Return of the Ducky

World's Larget Rubber Ducky

I don’t know who should get credit for this photo or this meme, but I thank them.

Since I started this blog, I’ve wondered how much personal stuff to share.

On one hand, I want this blog to be useful and relatable. Plus, it’s part of my portfolio, and there’s only so much the professional world needs to know. On the other, I’m a human being and it’s my blog about life as a writer, interrupted by the occasional post about rubber ducks and cupcakes.

That said, this is the longest I’ve gone without blogging. So, for that reason and because I stopped posting right after a life event—being laid off—I’m going with an update.

If you’re not into personal updates, I’ve made a list of future posts meant to be helpful. For now, though, for anyone who’s curious, here’s what’s been going on.

Since January, I have:

  • Taken on freelance work (nifty)
  • Been through a major depression (crap)
  • Found a new job I enjoy (yay!)
  • Sprained two fingers, which are still healing (what the…?)
  • Begun implementing creative processes at work (back to yay!)
  • Had emergency surgery to remove an internal organ (oh c’mon!)
  • Adjusted to a major change in diet as a result (dear bacon, I miss you)
  • Lost 16 lbs (sweeeeeeeet!)
  • Gotten out of debt (can’t describe the joy)

It’s been an emotional journey. Sometimes you really find out who you can count in, including yourself. And who’s there for you when you can’t be.

On the bright side, I have so much for which I’m thankful, such as:

  • An amazing husband I can count on when I’m down
  • Health insurance
    (I saw the tally for what I’d have to pay if I didn’t have it; holy crap.)
  • An amazing new job with amazing new people who stuck by me when I wound up in the hospital a month in to my new role
  • My friends
  • My fellow colleagues who’d also been laid off getting new jobs
  • Freelance clients from heaven
  • An adorable kitty who kept me company while I was in bed for two weeks
  • A pile of books to read
  • The ability to take care of myself
  • A new world of healthy food I enjoy
  • Being—and staying—debt-free

Things are finally settling down.

I’m tired of being poked and prodded by doctors, but I’m doing well and living healthier than I was. I’ve also ordered a Fitbit to help me stay on track and keep getting healthier.

My new job is an exciting new challenge, and I like it. I get to apply what I’ve learned over my career to this new role. I’m part of a brand-new creative team; it’s me and a designer. I’m implementing creative processes. I’m defining and standardizing the brand voice. I even get to write a new brand voice book—from scratch!

I feel useful again. And I work with sharp people, so I’m going to get to learn even more about various aspects of marketing in general. Good times, people.

This also means I’m back to posting.

I love this blog. It’s my creative passion project and where I can be myself. Incidentally, it also helped me land my new job. Truth. I don’t see myself ever giving it up, no matter how long of a hiatus I may need to take once in a while.

I have a two-page list of topics such as:

  • Staying social when writing is solitary
  • Building your brand versus building relationships
  • Bullet journaling for writers
  • Other skills you need as a copywriter
  • Elements of a good creative brief
  • Career paths for copywriters (series)

If you’re still reading this, thanks. I appreciate your reading my blog. I promise to get back into the groove of posting on a regular basis again.

Until next time,
Your Faithful Rubber Ducky

If you have any suggestions for topics you’d like me include, please comment below.

Been there, done that, naptime

Safety Ladder

This year, I’ve tried to offer more helpful posts than not-as-helpful-but-hopefully-still-entertaining-to-some-degree posts. This post will likely fall under Column B. And it’s much more personal than I usually am here. This is not stuff I usually share outside my immediate friends and family because I like my privacy and hate being judged.

But this blog is about my life as a writer, and these past few months have impacted my ability to rub two words together.

Therefore, I share.

If you’d like something helpful, here’s Flex your skills with 5-minute freewriting.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working through one of the worst bouts of depression I’ve had in years. I haven’t been well physically or emotionally, and my creative well ran dry. By the time August rolled around, my well was more barren than Mordor.

My level of self-care went from being proactively seeking new ways to nurture myself and those around me to “Yay, my socks match and I remembered to floss! Naptime.”

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Traveling; what to take, what to take…

Travel Reading

At least twice a year, I get to fly across the country for business. I enjoy these trips, but it never fails that each time, I have the same struggle suffered by bookworms since the invention of travel.

What to take to read?

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Instant Self-care for Writers

Self-care matters, even to LOLcats

Self-care is all the rage these days.  And there’s no shortage of tips and tricks about super-awesome strategies for creating a super-awesome you and keeping your new super-awesome you running like new. And those are all grand ideas.

What I sometimes struggle with is that much of it either won’t work for me or isn’t feasible right that moment. Let’s face it, sometimes you need to feel better now. Like right now.

Go for a walk and reconnect with nature? I live in Seattle. The weather doesn’t always invite you outside. Go to the spa? Yeah, I’ll just tell my boss that I’m leaving work in the middle of the day for a massage. He’s awesome, truly, but no. Just, no.

So, I’ve come up with my own list of instant self-care tips for those of us who need immediate assistance.

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Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2017

happynationalrubberduckyday

January 13 is National Rubber Ducky Day! It’s rare that I use exclamation points, so yes, this is exciting!!

Now, I could share a bunch of rubber ducky facts such as they were introduced in the 1800s as children’s toys.

I could cheer them for their charity work because they’re used in rubber duck races all over the world to raise money for worthy causes.

I could applaud them for the impact on research—thank you, Friendly Floatees, for helping oceanographers learn more about how ocean currents move.

If you’re wondering what they have to do with writing, I could share that there are actually two schools of thought the correct spelling (“rubber ducky” vs. “rubber duckie”); the debate rages on.

And if you’re wondering how on earth this post could help you be better at what you do, I could explain the method of problem solving called “rubber ducking” which involves talking out your problem with, you guessed it, a rubber duck. (It’s common in software development, but I’ve found quite helpful in real life, too.)

From the 2007 Rubber Duck art installations created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to the chart-topping, 1970 rendition of Bert and Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” hit, there’s an endless encyclopedia of rubber ducky facts, figures and trivia I could share.

Giant Rubber Ducky

And I do in some of my previous posts:

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day! (2013)

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2014

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day 2015!

Yes, I missed it last year because I’m terrible. My flock will never let me forget it.

If you’re interested, feel free to check them out. However, I’d like to take this year to share why I love them so much.

They’re adorable. It’s hard to look at a rubber duck and not smile inside.

They’re accessible. Unlike hot-ticket-toys, rubber ducks are easy to purchase.

They’re friendly. I have yet to read about a rubber ducky biting someone.

They’re discreet. Chances are your rubber ducky won’t post pictures of you in the bathtub.

They’re diverse. Thanks to the latest advances in toy-making tech, you can find a themed ducky for almost any occasion. And they come in different sizes.

They’re affordable. Buying a standard rubber ducky usually won’t break the bank. Plus, some come in sets.

They bring out the child in you. ‘Nuff said.

But there’s a bigger reason I love rubber ducks.

I buy only those rubber ducks that represent something special in my life.

My first rubber ducky belonged to my beloved puppy, who passed to the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. When I bought it for her, I was hoping that it would make her baths less stressful on her. I was wrong.

100_0078I have another that commemorates my move to Seattle. The one on the right I bought during my first trip to Europe. A group of small duckies mark my getting married. Several that are gifts from loved ones. My rubber duckies mark vacations, anniversaries, loved ones, major life moments.

When I’m surrounded by my flock of special squeaky sweeties, I’m surrounded by memories that make me smile both inside and out.

So, happy National Rubber Ducky Day! I hope you have a good one.

Your Ducky