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Last night, as my husband and I walked our dog, he said I seemed a lot happier. It’s a pretty big statement about someone who was quickly labeled “moody” as a child and “depressed” as an adult. I had to agree with him.

In early October, I was laid off from a company that I had worked at for 22 years. I’m only 51, so that’s a huge chunk of my life. As I changed my author biography across all my social media sites and book pages, erasing “works as a technical writer for a large software company,” I was bitter – and angry – and sad – and scared. I was one of three writers let go from our team, and the person who made the decision had never talked to me one-on-one and didn’t know my strengths or skills. The decision maker didn’t even consult my immediate supervisor (who would have voted to keep me).

Now that a few weeks have past, I feel that I’ve found some peace. I’ve started writing a new novel, and I’m trying to break into the freelance world. (Hire me! I’m an excellent editor/proofreader.) My days are filled with job searches, writing, and household chores – and a bit of reading and movie watching. So, yes, a layer of stress was removed, and I’m happier. I was a first-rate technical writer, but I didn’t enjoy it like I enjoy writing/editing fiction.

With my extra spare time, I’ve had two run-ins with Shakespeare this week. I read Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell, and watched the Joss Whedon adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (2012). Carrell’s novel was filled with murder and conspiracy theories wrapped around a lost Shakespeare play. I was lost a few times, but still enjoyed it. I absolutely love anything Whedon touches (I was Buffy one Halloween long ago), and this movie and Kenneth Branagh’s version (1993) are my favorite Shakespearean adaptations of all time.

So, readers, have you ever lost a job? How did you feel? What made you feel better? And what’s your favorite Shakespeare play?