Tag Archives: Writing

My First…(What Are You Thinking? It’s Not What You Think…)

 

Smudge

I had always considered myself a dog person. My co-worker Angie was hell-bent on my adopting a cat. We debated for the afternoon, with no consensus. I was on the fence. Another heartbeat in my apartment would be nice, but a cat? You don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know cats.

I arrived at my apartment complex after the sun had set. I made my way to the mailbox station and I heard the distinct sound of a cat’s meow. It sounded sad. It sounded nearby. I looked out into the shadows and I saw two pencil thin white lines moving. They were the front paws of the thinnest cat I had ever seen. She meowed again and stopped. We looked at each other. I instinctively reached out to her. She came to me and meowed again. She wasn’t sad as much as hungry. She was beautiful, white with black spots and a spot on her nose.

I ran up to my apartment and brought down a can of tuna. I put it in the bushes for this poor, pathetic animal. I went home. The next day, I told Angie about my encounter with the stray. “THAT’S YOUR CAT!” screamed Angie. I stopped mid-sentence. “You’ve got to be kidding. She’s a wild cat who’s starving. She’s not My Cat” I said, defensively. “No, you don’t understand, cats don’t come to people easily when they are feral. They shy away from people. This cat has picked you out as her person. We have to get her tonight.” Now Angie is a force of nature and what she says will happen, happens. So I found myself looking for this elusive cat that night with Angie who was experienced at catching strays.

There she was. Unlike the night before, she ran away, Angie and I frantically trying to keep up with her. We split apart, each going a separate way around the apartment building. Angie yelled at me, “I’ve got her!” She turned the corner with the little white cat squirming in her arms and her fur was flying in clumps. “Why is her fur flying off her?” I asked. “It’s what cats do when they are really scared” she replied, struggling to hold her.

We took her up to my apartment, I felt unsure about a wild cat running loose in the small space, who knows what diseases she could have. We put her in the bathroom and closed the door. I made plans with Angie to take her to the vet the next day and get her checked out. Angie said “It’s wonderful to be owned by a cat, you’ll see!” I sat in the living room, amazed at what we had accomplished and feeling anxious about the entire unknown wild cat in my house situation.

About an hour later, the bathroom door opened and out came the scrawny white cat who then ran onto my lap and she lay down. I was so surprised, I didn’t move. Was this the same cat I had chased downstairs? She was purring loudly as she lay quietly on my lap. How had she opened the door? The mystery would always remain. Transformed into the picture of domestic bliss; we stayed on the couch for hours. I forgot my caution regarding potential disease, she was purring, she was sleeping, she was on my lap. I knew then Angie was right, I had been chosen to be owned by this particular cat. I named her Smudge and realized at that moment that I was a cat person after all.

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Five Writing Blogs Worth Reading Part Three

After this post, I will update you as I come across blogs of note. (I’m always looking for new ones). Here are five more that have provided me with usable information and insights into the writing life.

C. Hope Clark Hope is a talented writer who writes about writing and is currently promoting her excellent book Low Country Bribe (which I will be reviewing this week). She also writes the next blog:

Funds For Writers Voted one of the ten best blogs for writers since 2001, this blog will provide you solid information and leads  that will result in a freelance job, a contest, a job, a grant, you name it. There are two versions of the blog. One is free (the one I get) and one is a subscription. I am thinking about getting the subscription in the future.

Men With Pens James Chartrand is a pen name for the owner of this blog.Shes (Yes, she) a copywriter author, business expert from Montreal. Again, an insightful and informative blog about wrining and blogging. It’s a Top Ten Blog For Writers for the past four years and a Top 15 Copywriting and Content Marketing Blog That Makes You Money.

The Well Fed Writer Peter Bowerman’s blog and website. He published the book The Well Fed Writer and has maintained the franchise for years. He specializes in copywriting and blogging. A top blog in 2010, he is well established.

Nick Thacker Writes about writing and blogging. He wrote Building a Blog For Readers (Which I will be reviewing soon). He is informative and provides a new spin on what others are talking about. He will answer your emails if you contact him. I’ve gotten a lot out of his book and blog.

I hope you get as much out of these sites as I have. Are there sites you would recommend?

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Five Writing Blogs and Sites Worth Following- Part Two

I hope you enjoyed the first five blogs I recommended in Part One. Here are five more to investigate. I hope these will help you achieve your writing and blogging goals. I find these sites and blogs informative, encouraging and enjoyable.

Making A Living Writing Carol Tice’s blog site. She is a successful freelance writer and she writes about writing. She believes a freelancer can earn good money and she offers tips and information to make that happen. She also has the next site:

The Freelance Writers Den Carol Tice has a membership site that features extensive education resources, boot camps, webinars, online classes, forums, weekly meetings and personal coaching. I got a basic membership for $25.00 a month. You can withdraw your membership at any time, and I got a lot out of my month membership. The Den is not always available, you have to wait till it opens to new members. This insures that you get attention and can attend the online events. I find the classes expensive, but that’s just me.

The Passive Voice An awesome daily feed of writing and publishing information. I’ve learned so much from this blog. They do have a slant towards self-publishing, but they try to give information from both points of view. Subscribe to this to stay current on the industry.

Jeff Goins, Writer Jeff writes about writing and is very informative and insightful. I see him coming into his own as a writer and I’ve learned with him.

Wow! Women On Writing Interesting and informative blog that not only informs writers, they will actively help you with your blog. Recently they put out an email inquiring into people wanting guest bloggers. I have a start-up blog so my numbers don’t support a guest appearance, but they have another vehicle to help me. I can review a chosen book and be scheduled for a mass announcement via their extensive network directing readers to participating blogs. My first review will be on July 27th. I’ll let you know how it goes. As a writer, you can buy into the promotions they can do.

Look for another five blog post soon. Until then, enjoy these.

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I Am Free

I am free.

Three simple words that carry such meaning and weight.

It’s Independence Day here in America, one of my favorite days, not because of the cook-outs, but because of the celebration of freedom. It’s a day that makes me stop and think about my country and all that it affords me. I am a free woman in the greatest country in the world. I can do anything I set my mind to here. I have been afforded a life free of tyranny, free of oppression, free of retaliation. I have made decisions in my life that have caused me to take the path less travelled, and it’s OK here. I am free to do that.

I love my country.

We have many faults, and we can be obnoxious, and there are many broken things in our country, but the freedom we enjoy supersedes all the negatives. On this day, the dissention we experience in Washington doesn’t matter. On this day the problems each family experiences in the wake of decisions being made in the government doesn’t matter. On this day the rivalry between presidential candidates doesn’t matter. On this day my life choices, mistakes and triumphs both don’t matter. All that matters is Freedom. As a country and as an individual, we are free and that is what this day is about.

I wish you a wonderful day and I hope your celebrations with family and friends bring you great joy.

We are free.

 

 

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Five Writing Blogs Worth Reading – Part One

Finding good blogs to follow can take a lot of time and research. I want to share some of the great blogs and writers sites that I’ve found over the last few months.  Since there are a lot of them, I’m breaking the list down to five sites per post. I know when lists are ten + sites, I never have time to go to all of  them hence the manageable number of five.

Nina Badzin’s Blog Nina is an accomplished writer and blogger. She writes about the writing life, social media, parenting, being Jewish and a host of other topics. She regularly appears on the Huffington Post blog. Her essays are excellent.

Kristen Lamb’s Blog Author of “Are You There Blog, It’s Me, Writer” and “We Are Not Alone, A Writers Guide To Social Media” (an outstanding book on social media for the beginner). She writes about writing and life. I’ll be reviewing both books in the coming weeks. But don’t wait for the review, go ahead and get them…they are excellent.

Lisa Ahn’s Blog I discovered Lisa on Nina’s blog. She was a guest. She crafts words brilliantly. I love her essays. So Talented. You will look forward to her postings.

Paltry Meanderings Of A Taller Than Average Woman (the blog for Christy Carrington Lewis) I didn’t know what to make of this blog’s title. But Christy is a brilliant and talented writer and I enjoy her posts immensely. She has been “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress several times. Not an easy accomplishment. Freshly Pressed means the blog post was chosen out of hundreds of thousands of posts to be featured as an example of excellence.

Susan Kiernan-Lewis One of my favorite authors. She’s written the Maggie Newberry series all set in Provence, France as well as other books. I love her descriptions and the way she has crafted her stories. Thoroughly enjoyable. She writes about writing and life.

Five more blogs/sites coming soon. Do you have favorite sites you’d like to share? Please do. Thanks for reading and hopefully following me.

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Filed under Blogging, The Writing Life

The Week In Review

WordPress

Since there are people reading this blog who are in the same boat, trying to get published, build a platform and establish themselves as a writer, I will post a recap of my activities from time to time to generate some discussion about what it takes to get published, what things work, what doesn’t work and what steps one took towards the goal. Please jump in and share your activities. You never know if it will help others.

This week I split my blog into two blogs. One is now Losing A Person and Finding Myself (a weight loss story), and this one is my writing blog. The results have been well received. I posted some older essays which garnered new followers to the blog. Makes me think it’s a good idea to re-post every now and then posts that you feel are strong. People miss them the first time around.

I was informed that I was on the Creative Writing page at WordPress. How I was there is a mystery to me. It must be the tags I’m using. Could be that there was a lot of activity from my blog and maybe it brought some attention? I don’t know, but I like that it happened. Now, I’d like to shoot for being “Pressed”. If you read something on this blog that you like, hit the Press button please.  I would appreciate it greatly.

I submitted an essay to Guideposts Magazine this week. I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual, and the essay is about a profound experience I had in my twenties. I can’t post it because that is considered to be publishing a piece and it makes it less marketable. I am waiting to see what my lawyer says about the Real Simple essay contest’s terms and conditions. I want to know if you give up the rights to your work by entering the contest. That is how it was with the Purina contest, so I didn’t enter it.

I am planning many book reviews. Some are how -to’s on writing, some are fiction, and some are general interest books. I am being approached my authors to review their books which is exciting. I am debating whether to post only favorable reviews or if I should post both favorable and negative reviews. They both serve to inform the public, but I am uncomfortable writing a negative review.  I’ll keep you posted on this subject.

Thanks for reading and following me.

 

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Book Review – You Are A Writer, So Act Like One – Jeff Goins

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

The title made me notice this book. It was offerred for free on Amazon last week, but I missed that offerring. I bought it, since the author seems to be everywhere. He seems to know what he’s talking about, so I took the plunge and paid for the book.

As a beginning writer seeking out information on publishing and the writing life, I am doing a lot of reading. Some of the information is redundant. The basics being touted by everybody. Goins take on it seemed more believable than others, like he was writing from experience not unsubstantiated research. Why do I say experience, again, I’ve seen him around the internet at prominant websites that he couldn’t be on if he wasn’t the writer he claims to be.

His premise is simple. You have to write. You have to market yourself and build a platform. He gives you his take on that. But the message he keeps coming back to is doing the work of writing. Unlike other “experts” that tout the riches to be had freelancing, Goins says the pay isn’t good (when you are starting out, it isn’t) and I believe it make always stink for some people. Since marketing is so vital to progression in this industry. Not everyone can market themselves effectively.

I have yet to read an author other than Goins that says you have to write for yourself, not for others. By writing for yourself, the following will come as a result, if you are authentic. He says you do have to have talent, but that the platform will “bring the gatekeepers to your door”. He does say you can accomplish this in a short period of time, which I question. It isn’t easy to build a platform and it does take a long time to accomplish, no matter what he says. It’s part of doing what he says to do; do the work of writing. Platform is a numbers game, and he says it’s about building relationships. Well, it’s been my experience that relationships take time and effort and they will yield positive results if you work at it. So his saying it will happen in a few months, I don’t believe to be the case.

For those of us working towards our first book, he does reccommend building your platform early on. Do not wait to do this. This I believe to be true. Because it takes time. OK enough about time, I’ve made my case for it. I say read the book, and then apply what you’ve learned, and do what he says: Write. Keep writing. Keeping working and dreaming and moving forward. I say, buy the book if you are at the beginning of your writing career. He practices what he preaches. I am glad I read the book and spent time with this author. Now we will see how his advice works for me.

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