Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Part Timer

Yesterday I had an interview as an archery instructor at the British School of Falconry over in Manchester Vermont. The job I was hoping to land was as a part-time instructor, someone who could be called up when guests at the school want to take lessons. It's seasonal, and on-call, but seems like a great way to earn some extra money for Cold Antler. After my two hour trial run with some guests and such I was offered the job!

The School works closely with the Equinox, a local resort famous in the area. The equinox is a beautiful old hotel, kept up in gorgeous shape with a full staff, bars, golf course, several restaurants, activities, and a spa. It's the place where people with deep pocketbooks come and stay when they ski, peep at leaves, or enjoy the month-long Vermont Horse Show held every summer. Archery is just one of the many things folks can do while staying here but as the tourism season ramps up with the temperatures I should be working more. This is good, mostly because anything that can help keep the farm going is needed right now as I've hit a rough patch. A part time job will be a bit of a relief on that end, and something that needed to be pursued.

Some people assume, very wrongly, that this farm is a woman's playground paid for by donations from adoring readers. I know people assume this because they send me angry emails about it. I assure you that isn't the case. I appreciate any and all contribution to the farm, but for example, this week I posted about contributions and they totaled 73 dollars. That was the total haul for the bi-monthly fund drive which I post six times a year (last time was March). That is enough to buy half a month's worth of chicken feed or a week and a half worth of hay bales. It is a HUGE help and I am incredibly grateful for it, but $73 every eight weeks does not a playgirl make. A part time job is appreciated and needed. It'll help add income to how I actually make a living, which is through ad sales, ad clicks, workshops, freelance design, speaking, and writing books.

Anyway, this archery job, I'm so excited for it. I'm excited to help introduce people to bows for the first time, teach them to pull and release, and watch them light up at their first hit in the yellow. It's the perfect part-time gig for me, outside and doing something I love. And the best part of it is all the archery ranges are part of the Falconry School, where I'll get to be around Harris Hawks, eagles, falcons and red tails. I won't be doing any falconry classes but I do hope to listen in from time to time and talk with the handlers. Maybe even get a tour of the hawk barn and meet the animals they teach and hunt with. I just got my results back from my State Falconry Exam and I got a 91%! Not a bad score since I needed an 0% or higher to move onto the rest of the application and written exam. But I am on track. On track to become a falconer, on track to get the mortgage paid, and hoping to announce updates to the dulcimer/fiber fest weekend in September and other stuff. There's a lot going on right now and I feel overwhelmed and stressed most of the time (I'm into the last three weeks of a book manuscript deadline that coincides with lambing and spring planting! YIKES!) but it's all productive stress. Everything gets done. It always gets done. I just feel more relieved when the checks are mailed and the work handed over.

But in the meantime, I will shoot arrows. Shoot arrows and keep the lights on. Decent goals, I think.