I’m reading Up for Renewal by Cathy Alter, one of my Amazon Vine books. They also sent me Rosetta Stone Italian. I am still working through the French set, but I haven’t actually learned any new words yet. I hope it is improving my grammar and so on, but I think I’ll be able to judge the software better with Italian. I don’t know any Italian, except music words.

Alter decided, in the first chapter, that her goals could easily be phrased as the headlines on the covers of women’s magazines. For example, she had the goal of “being successful in whatever I do.” Not much of a goal, you’re thinking, for a 37 year old woman. But it could be rephrased as, “Be successful in whatever you do!” And indeed, this was true of all her goals.  So she decided to follow all the advice in women’s magazines and see what happened, oh, and write about it and thus have a book, along the lines of My Year of Living Biblically.

I have been thinking about goals a little bit lately. I read a book by Peter Walsh that suggested comparing your current life to your ideal life and then just adjusting it. And I read a persuasive blog post that said freelance workers ought to have goals other than just finishing the current contract and then getting another one. After I read that, I actually Googled around and looked at some freelance writer’s goals. They were not impressive. “Invoice $3,000 a month” sounded good to me, but the rest were quite airy-fairy and artistic, or more on the order of “Sell a blog post!” I assume someone is supporting those people.

The life goals I already had before I changed jobs wouldn’t look good on a woman’s magazine cover. “Produce four productive adults!” “Strive continually and bootlessly for personal holiness!” “Learn to read music properly instead of just faking it!” “Clean your house occasionally!”

But I am looking forward to reading about Alter’s experiences.

Speaking of Amazon, Lostarts has an Amazon store with yarn in it, including things like Artyarns Regal Silk. I obviously have no business even looking at yarn. Not only do I not need any yarn, but I have to pay for tuition, dental work, and my website, and I have bought clothes recently, and I still have no clue what kind of contract my Big Client intends to offer me. But still.

And speaking of blogs, my work xanga has the dubious distinction of being #2 on Google, right behind Google itself, for “SketchUp Lesson Plan.” So what, you’re thinking. I can hear you. And that was my initial reaction. That xanga is #1 on Google for lots of phrases of the shape “_____ Lesson Plan.” Including stuff that people are actually looking for.

But then Client #2, with whom I did the teacher workshop on SketchUp and who has been making SketchUp pictures for the blog in question, asked for the permalinks so he could make a SketchUp lesson plan page over at his website.

Naturally, I want to see him skyrocket on Google. Or, at the very least, I am interested to see how manipulating this obscure search term turns out. Usually, my plying of the Dark Art is all about finding what people really search for and helping clients get ranked for those things. Such efforts are enlivened by competition — that is, at the same time that I am working on my client’s ranking for “free ecards,” the other companies who have free ecards have people doing the same thing for them.

It would be fun to meet those people for a drink sometime, I bet.

But “SketchUp Lesson Plan” is up for grabs. No one is working on it, no one is looking for it, no one is paying for it. I now have indisputably the best free content for that on the web (the other person writing lesson plans for SketchUp just has samples from the book she’s selling), and it will be in two spots. I see this as a potentially fascinating experiment.

I can hear you thinking what a geek I am, all my protests to the contrary.

#2 daughter arrived last night and we have a fun-filled day planned. We’re going to the farmers market and the Art Festival, and then I am going to drive up to the Next County on the freeway. Perhaps.

The reason this post is so disjointed is that #2 daughter has been talking to me the whole time I’ve been writing. In case you were wondering.