Melina Gunnett

December 3, 2012

And another month fades away.

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 4:02 AM

So, I have flipped the page on another calendar month. Yeah, the first was yesterday, but I had a lot to do in November, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it spilled over by a day or so. Amazingly enough I actually got most of the things I really wanted to done.

My job, which I took to help organize my time has been taking up more and more of it, but that’s Okay. I love my job and it is keeping me in coffee. Things will calm down on that front in the next week or so, in the mean time it his really helping me learn my way around Portland.

For those of you who don’t know, I am working as a Mad Scientist. Yes, that is actually my job title. I teach fun, amazing science stuff to elementary school kids as part of an after school program and lately I’ve been doing birthday parties on the weekend. I used to work for the same company in Boston and it is one of the best jobs I’ve had. (And I’ve had some pretty amazing jobs). is my day job, by night (or sometimes morning and, occasionally, even during the afternoon) I am a writer. Lately I have been writing a lot of movie reviews – 8 in the past month. Not a bad way to pass the time. I attend free advance screenings and then let the rest of the world know what I think of the movie.

It has been interesting, trying to find the balance between telling the world my opinion of a movie and not giving away so much that it will spoil the movie for others. Deciding wither or not I like a movie is one thing, figuring out why is another. It means that I have to think about and understand why a plot or a character works and where it breaks down. I think the processes is going to make me a better writer as a whole and I plan to continue. To that end I have spun off a new blog REEL SOON which only contains my movie reviews. You can look forward to review for On the Road and Playing for Keeps this week.

Part of being a writer is writing. In spite of my slightly crazy schedule, it has been a fairly good month. One of my pieces, Of Cats and Coins, sold and will be coming out in an anthology next year (I’ll tell you more about it when I have all the dates and details.) and I finished another piece I have been working on and managed to get it out the door before the submission deadline.

One of the things I hadn’t taken into account is how much research I end up doing for anything that is set in the real world, fiction or not. I’m beginning to realize that only about 20 percent of my writing time is spent writing, but it is almost midnight here and I have to be up and awake tomorrow, so I think I’ll save that for another post. For now I’m off to bed. I need to dream up my next story. 😉


September 7, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 8:01 AM

So, 2,000 dollars later, my car is now fit and ready to roll. I hadn’t planned on spending that much money, but it is a New England car. As anyone from that part of the country knows, that means years of road salt assaulting its undercarriage. I had to replace most of the exhaust system and the entire rust-coated brake system.

I briefly thought about just replacing the car, but after doing a quick search for cars in a comparable price range I gave up on the idea. At least, after spending the money, I know that my car is now in good order and should last me several more years. For $2,000 dollars all I would be able to buy is someone else’s problem, which I would probably have to put in more money to fix anyway. Besides, I like my car.

Unfortunately, the cost put quite a dent in my savings. I decided, now that my book is done, it is time for me to look for a job. Well, a part time job anyway. I still want to have time to write, but I am more productive when I have a structured activity to play my week around. It might as well be something that pays.

My first call was to Mad Science of Portland. I worked for them in Boston and loved it. I’ve had some pretty fun jobs over the years; I worked briefly as a clown, ran lights for a theater company and worked as a disk jockey back in the old days, you know, when DJs actually had some control over what they played. Mad Scientist beats them all.

Not only is in amazingly cool to be able to put “Mad Scientist” down as my job title on forms, the job was fun. I didn’t just get to go talk to kids about science, we got to play with things. Scientists really do have the coolest toys. How many other jobs let you drive around with a Vandergraph generator in the trunk of your car?

That call made, I poked around Cragislist to see if there were any jobs I could do that actually involved writing. Surprisingly, there were several listings. I’ll look into a few more of them tomorrow, but I already sent in an application for one. It doesn’t pay a whole lot, about a penny a word, but it would involve writing various types of articles for… well I’m not sure exactly where they are for. It seems to be a clearing house for places that need articles on “X subject”.

As part of the application process they ask for a sample article to be written on, of all things, wine, wine-tasting, or wine-making. Me being me, my mind immediately went for mead. I could have easily pounded out 400 words on how to make mead, but they wanted the article to be based on a current news article found on the web. Lucky for me Chicago is have a Honey Festival this weekend, which they are conveniently launching with a Mead tasting dinner.

Of course I don’t live anywhere near Chicago, but now my mind is stuck on mead. I was happy to find that we do have a semi-local brewery that makes mead, but, with a little more research, I also found that Portland sports a wide assortment of home-brewing supply stores. I’m sure most, if not all of them specialize in beer brewing – Portlandians lover their beer – but I bet I can can purchase the supplies I need to brew some mead too.

Actually, I already have some of the supplies. While I severely pared down my personal possessions when I moved out west last year, I kept some of the more expensive pieces like my corker. I suspect I can get back up and running for around $50 plus the cost of honey.

Now all I have to do is decide wither I am going to be fiscally responsible and wait until I get some paid work, or run by one of the stores this weekend. Of course, if I start a batch now, maybe it will be done in time to celebrate my first paycheck. So I guess the only real question that remains what type of mead I want to make.

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