Thursday, December 8, 2016

State of the Otter

Hello? Hello? Anybody out there?

So, last time I posted was October 2015. The last event Otter Necessities was at was WindyCon - in 2015 (November). Yeah, I've been quiet for a loooong time.

And Otter Necessities-wise I've done . . . pretty much nothing. 

Over the last few years I'd developed quite a loud and unceasing internal monologue. What I didn't realize, until I got it under control, is that the internal monologue was related to depression. The drive to Make All The Things was a way to shut the internal monologue up - or at least keep it occupied with the task I was working on (as in, narrating it). 

For over a year now the internal monologue has been ratcheted way down, to what I assume is about what any/everybody has as an internal though process. And the quiet in my head has been really, really nice. Even if the drive to Make All The Things went with it.

And on a less introspective side, we'd been doing a lot of conventions, and were getting more or less burned out and needed a break. We'd taken a year or so off at least once in the past. Giving up on one-day events and going to only weekend-long things helped, but the trade-off is/was losing whole weekends. 

Also, age: We're not as young and strong and invincible as we used to be. Backs and knees and ankles and whatnot get cranky. I don't like sleeping in strange beds. Staying up too late makes me cranky. Yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, it's been lurking in the back of my thought processes that we need to decide what direction the business is going to go, and words along those general lines finally got said earlier this week. Ron pointed out that Otter Necessities really is my baby, and is leaving it largely up to me. 

I *think* that I'm going to work on shifting business over more to Etsy; which means taking and editing pictures and creating and editing listings, but which is much less stressful on the body. I can put up 2 or three things today, some more tomorrow, etc. Etsy sales are fairly easy to process/pack up (at least with USPS flat-rate shipping), and toss in the mailbox. I do need to come up with better book-keeping for Etsy sales, but that's not a huge issue.

Ron suggested that if we make room in the dining/work room he can put the light table and a tripod with camera up, and make it easy to get good pictures. I've also been meaning to put doll clothes and books (I've been playing with bookbinding again) up, which means getting a bunch of pictures so I can list a reasonable assortment of whatever at once. 

And whatever I decide to do with Otter, the dining room is a complete disaster - a year of being used as a storage space has made it relatively impassible (although Tommy did go through it to the front entry, while on his cable, one evening). 

So, my plan is to start attacking the dining room. It may start as soon as this weekend - at very least, there's a six-foot table in there that can go over to the storage unit (and while we're there retrieve the Christmas tree and accessories, and look for the light table). I'd already planned to take the week between Christmas and New Year's off, with only one day's worth of possible plans for that time, which I may have just filled. 

After shifting easy/obvious things to storage I think I'll clear off and fold up the two Workmate-and-clone workbenches. Which sounds easy enough, but that "clear off" bit isn't as easy/breezy as it sounds. After that, see if I can find shelf space for a couple piles of books (leather, horse-tack, and military/history-related) that were evicted from the dining room. Plus some other things that have been sitting out/on the floor. 

I have possibilities floating in the back of my head on how to accomplish things, we'll see how plans work out when confronted with realities. I was thinking of replacing the last piece of Metro-style shelving in the room with nicer wooden bookshelves that we have in storage, but on further thought the Metro-style stuff is deeper, with may be very useful. Or maybe the heavy-duty brick-and-board shelving will be modified or replaced. Or not, which is also ok. That room is never going to be pretty. 

I think I've mattered on long enough at this point, we'll see how it goes once I actually get started . . . 

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