Thursday, August 28, 2008

Working Smarter

I have been working so hard, and been so swamped with freelance work lately that I've hardly had the time to write on my blogs, and I appologize for that. I've had web content to write, reviews to write, articles on everything from acne products to car seats. It is really wonderful because I've come to understand how much I'd been holding myself back in the past by not seeking extra work. It is easy to get stagnant when you have a good thing going and feel like you don't need extra work, but when that dries up you are left with nothing. Sure, if you actively look while you have a lot of work to do you can get overrun with work, but the thing is, in that case you have the options to be CHOOSEY. Take my word for it--it's much nicer to be able to pick and chose the work you want to do that will pay you the best, than it is to be desperate and taking anything that comes your way.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Really flying

Having to write about a variety of subjects today and one of them a very pertinent a/c compressor post makes me really stop to think about the heat today. I'm glad we had out compressor fixed this spring other wise my computer wouldn't be the only thing overheating here.

Speaking of computers I got my new laptop today! I ordered it two weeks ago and it was build on Monday, shipped on Tuesday, and arrived TODAY. Now that may not seem so unusual except that I found out it was being shipped from China... two days from China! Wow, go FedEx!

I had to laugh because I was outside when they came and they were going so fast they flew right by my house. The driver had to turn around at the next farm and come back. Okay, so that's how they got here that fast.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Perfect Quiz For A Writer

I don't take a lot of these things, but every once in awhile a quiz pops up online that I just have to take... I like this one, not only is it short and sweet, it's fun and pretty accurate in a cute little way---and, it's a perfect one for a writer to take.

You Are Comic Sans

You are a nothing but a big goofball. You're quite playful and fun!

You're widely known for your zany personality and your vivacious attitude.

To say that you stand out in a crowd would be a definite understatement.

Remember that you are overwhelming at times and that people appreciate you best in small doses.

This is so so true (especially that last part!)

Right in my Own Backyard

This is an interview with a comedy writer at Authorfest from the 'GottaWriteNetwork' which I used to belong to. What bums me out is it was held in Schaumburg which is only a few hours from me. I could have gone to this convention myself! I've been kind of bummed out that I've been missing so many conventions and here was one in my own backyard!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shout Out To Wordpreneur

I really love the Wordpreneur blog for several reasons. One, it got me back on track earlier this year when I had let myself slide a bit on seeking new work and had begun to moan about how hard it was to make a living as a writer online. It's not (well it is, but it is out there if you look for it). Two, because there are always great posts with some sort of information I can walk away with that is useful for me as a writer... but today, for even more reasons...FREE reasons. I joined the subscription list over there. Not really that I had to, I go there all the time anyway and I do not really need email reminders that there are new posts up on there it's in my sidebar here... but because for joining you get two free ebook downloads on making money as a writer online! Joined, got them, they are VERY useful and well done. Thanks guys!

I love my job!

I'm always saying I need a vacation and how I should get a Las Vegas travel agent because that's where I want to go, although perhaps not right now in this heat. Really though, I love my job. There aren't many people who have the flexibility I do.

Here's a case in point. My mother-in-law who is going through cancer treatments is living with us and I am her primary care-giver most of the time. Yesterday she had a meltdown and had to go to the emergency room. I spent from 2 in the afternoon until 3 in the morning at Riverside hospital with her from the 9 hours in the er to the following 4 hours up in the 2nd floor ICU where they graciously let me stay with her until she finally fell asleep because she was so scared. Did that stop me? Nope, me and my trusty laptop still got several assignments written and turned in as well as a chapter of my current non-fic wip completed.

Not that I wasn't paying attention to my mother-in-law I was sitting right next to her, talking her, holding her hand whenever she needed, but if you have ever had to sit at a hospital bedside that long you know there is plenty of 'downtime' and I really don't need a whole lot of time to do that type of thing. So... yes, I love my job even when the circumstances of life still make me want to say 'I need a vacation!'

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Do You Write With?

I can't remember the last time I wrote with a pen and paper. I think I was in my 20's and that's a long time ago. Even then I usually used a typewriter, but after graduating to a computer I never looked back. Good thing now since I have carpel tunnel, which, surprisingly isn't too aggravated by typing like most, but will turn my penmanship into unreadable scrawl by the second line. Usually I am sitting at my desk in my office and using my big, powerful desktop computer. As a general rule I have shied away from laptops because they do aggravate my wrists with their funky keyboards, but now I've found a stand that I can use that makes typing on a laptop easy... so... I bought a laptop and now I'm laying in bed (because my back is out) and still able to work!

I still have my big desktop computer and would never get rid of it. Partly because of its huge 20 inch screen, even though the new laptop has a 17" so it's no slouch in that department either, but still... 20 beats 17, but also because I just couldn't completely bear to be without an actual 'office, desk, and big computer' even if typing from bed is nice once in awhile.

One thing that probably will be done away with now that I have the laptop is my Alphasmart Neo. That is a great product and I've used it a lot in the past when I had to travel but still wanted to be able to write. It's more limited than an actual laptop though so since I have this now it doesn't make much sense to use it.

What do you use to write?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

So Funny it is Sad

I have always loved the song 'Paperback Writer' by the Beetles. It is the perfect example of a HORRIBLE query letter. It's the stuff that agents are always saying DON'T DO THIS. What makes it funny is it is really easy to see someone saying all of these things, in fact, painfully it may even be possible to remember having said some or all of the stuff in the song.

Here it is for those of you who haven't (somehow) heard it before... and for those of us who love it, it is always fun to listen to again.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Keeping it Real

Having to write about NC health insurance and even the needs for other types of insurance in some articles, and then reading Bernita's blog about how to give diversity to characters with hobbies makes me wonder how much of a 'life' we give our characters. I like to use quirks, and habits to define the way my characters act but even that's not enough. They have to have everyday things in their lives, even mundane things, to make them real. After all, there isn't a single one of us that doesn't have that type of thing going on all the time. No we really don't need to read about it in volumes, but little mentions here and there, even bringing it into play in a story, perhaps during a particularly 'black moment' your character can realize their insurance has lapsed-oh come on, we've all been there--hopefully not when it was really necessary to have it though. It's just one of the things that happens. Having them 'happen' to your characters is a pretty unique way to make them more human.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Miss Giggles!!! New Review

For those of you who are aware of who Mrs. Giggles is, it will come as no surprise that I was quite flattered, as well as worried when she wrote to me a few months back asking to review 'Married to a Rock Star'. I've held my breath and checked her website often but realized she is a very busy reviewer. I hoped and prayed she would enjoy my novel, but never dared to hope she would give it a great review.

For those of you who do not know who Mrs.Giggles is, she, on her review website offers very blunt, honest appraisals of current romance work from big publishing houses to POD authors and ebooks.

I have been so busy with my freelancing for the last two weeks, I'd actually slacked off checking the site for the review and then tonight, I decided I needed a break.

I am supposed to be working on a non-fiction book (for my own publishing) but I'm afraid I am too excited to continue that tonight!!!

Here are parts of Mrs. Giggles' review of 'Married to a Rock Star':
"Here is why you shouldn't dismiss outright self-published efforts: this is one of the most enjoyable celebrity-dates-ordinary-gal romances that I've read in quite a while. Well-written, featuring a pretty smart heroine, and very entertaining: what's not to love?"

"Married To A Rock Star is an interesting contemporary romance in that the heroine for once behaves like a sensible woman instead of a typical romance heroine cliché in "celebrity hunk meets ordinary gal" stories of this kind. Which is to say, Karen isn't some weird woman who will behave as if dating a cute guy, even a hot and famous one, will turn her into the harlot of the century. Karen tries her best to keep herself afloat in Izzy's world and I like that Ms Parrington manages to portray Karen as a smart and sensible woman. Of course, Karen is somewhat out of her depths in Izzy's world, hence when the usually predictable conflicts arise, these conflicts seem like a natural progression of the storyline rather than the result of the author faithfully following the script. As for Izzy, he's a pretty realistic fellow in that he has his strengths and weaknesses and... well, he is a rock star. I have to say that I think Karen deals with him just fine."

"While this may be a self-published effort, I have to say that it is pretty professionally written and therefore very easy to read. I have a great time reading this story, especially when it doesn't follow the same old route for stories of its kind and it also features some pretty intelligent drama taking place within its pages."

Now these are just excerpts and you can read the entire review here. I can't tell you how happy I am at this very moment!

More Space

I just received some really happy news in my email box. Amazon's Create Space is extending it's offer to allow you to upgrade your submissions to their pro-plan for free until the end of the year! This is great news for me because I still have a couple of books that have gone out of print that I want to get up online again and the pro-plan version of create space's book publishing offers such a great value. Even when it costs money to convert to it it is a fantastic value, but with re-prints it's hard to justify spending even 39 dollars because they really don't sell that well. Mostly I just like to have past work available for the few that may find my work after all these years and still want to read past novels--or maybe it is just ego, lol. Either way, I'm excited that it isn't going to cost me anything to put them and even new work up until the end of the year. That's plenty of time to get my act in gear and finish preparing them all... maybe.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Time for All Seasons

I just saw on the Pub Rants blog that the RWA convention is in full swing. I suppose those days are past for me. I used to enjoy doing writing conventions. I would still like to but my days are pretty busy now with the freelancing I do, taking care of my mother-in-law, and picking out things like a new table lamp to replace the one the five week old kittens in the house knocked over.

Maybe my life has become more hum-drum lately than it was a scant five or so years ago, but there's a cycle to everything. Seasons to live and experience each thing. I can at least say I once did that. Perhaps someday the pendulum will shift and I'll once again be jetting around to conventions and such... maybe not. Come what may, I'll be doing what I'm meant to do at the time I'm meant to do it I suppose.

Diversity is the Spice of Life, and a Freelancers Sustenance

Freelancing is a great way to make a living online. There are as many forms of freelancing as their are people who do it. I have probably done most of them at one time or another, often all at once. Of course, there's paid blogging which I do all the time, it's great side money. There's ghost-writing which I've done off and on, and actually done quite a bit of in the last few weeks. I've written ebooks on gambling on horses, selling on Amazon, and even healing through divine belief as well as others. It's always interesting to say the least, and you actually learn a lot as you go.

I love the diversity of freelancing. There are days when I'll write a few articles on Leptovox reviews and then turn around and write a couple of articles on cat pregnancies, and cat behavior. In fact, that was my day today along with an article on SEO development, Golden Retrievers, and some web content for a used car company.

I always get a kick out of it when I get to write about things I know a lot about like cats, dogs and other animals, but even then there are times I learn a lot such as seventy five articles on Sugar Gliders last week. Actually really cool animals and although I'd heard of them, I really didn't know much about them--boy I do now.

Yes, there is money to make online. Sometimes LOTS of money to be made, but the really great thing about freelancing is the amazing diversity involved, and the knowledge you accumulate. I was watching 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' on TV tonight with my mother-in-law and, well quite frankly, amazing her with my abilities, and I simply said 'yep, I'm a font of useless information', but the thing is, you really develop quite a diverse knowledge base when you write about such varied and diverse things.