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This is what happens...

...when I stay up all night! I get bored and start to play with things.

Anyone have comments on the new template? I just felt like the old one was a bit dismal for Spring. (if it should ever decide to show up!)

Absolute Write Blogroll

Ladies and gentlemen, if you would look to your right, you will find a new addition to the scenery around here. The Absolute Write blogroll has links to many of the blog of the members of the Absolute Write community.

If you have never visited this website, you don't know what you are missing. Take some time to check out the articles, markets, and other information provided here. Definitely stop by the forums and sign up. There's loads of participation from writers all over the world!

Am I Dense or What?

Every year I end up giving at least a couple family members a magazine subscription as a Christmas gift. Recently, I've used to do the ordering, as they really do have some great buys. Well, they send out regular emails with their current specials and it just now occurred to me that I was deleting a valuable resource every time those emails came in!

Their website lists everything they sell, by category. While there isn't always a link to the website, I can get titles of on-topic magazines to query with ideas. DUH!? Why didn't I think of this sooner!?

So my hot tip for today is: Before you delete what you think is a junk email, make sure you aren't deleting a lead at the same time!!

Snow in APRIL?!

Would someone please give Mother Nature a calendar, a clue, a Prozac...something? My current weather report is telling me that we have a chance of up to 3 inches of snow overnight tonight and through tomorrow morning.

Can you tell I'm a tad irritated!? First, just MONDAY I had all the windows open, the fans blowing, and was contemplating calling the A/C tech guy to check out the system for the year. It was 82 degrees! Now this morning, the heat's blasting and I'm still cold.

Not to mention, I had planned to take the baby to his first Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow. Guess that's going to likely be canceled, unless it gets moved indoors. If the hunt is off, I suppose I'll have no excuse not to get some work done tomorrow...

Sorry for the non-writing related mini-rant, but I had to complain somewhere!

Update On My Blogging Job

This, too, has been a bit slow in coming, but I finally got my first review launched for my new position at Hubpages.

I'll be covering products for children and families. There will be reviews of toys, games, baby products and more. If you have time, stop by and check out what I'm up to! If you have suggestions of something you think I should cover, feel free to send in suggestions!

Here are the links to my profile and to my first Hub about Kids Spy Toys.

All My Excuses...And A Meme

I know things have been a bit quiet around here lately, but for fairly good reasons.

I've shared all of mom's hospital escapades with everyone already. I've still been helping her out, as she's just been cleared to drive, but still has quite a few limitations on what she's allow to do otherwise.

Hubby's burns healed up fairly quickly and he wasn't in pain too terribly long, however we ended up taking yet another trip to the ER for him about a week following that fiasco. This time he stepped off a curb and messed up the ligaments in his ankle. That had him on crutches and out of work for a few days, and of course totally dependent on his ever-devoted wife. Thank goodness he had plenty of personal time to use!

With all of this, my normal 3rd trimester pregnancy issues, chasing the baby, and entertaining the 12 yr old, I've pretty much had my hands full. Top it all off with a few deadlines and well, blogging fell to the wayside a little bit! Hopefully this will be my last "break" until I have the baby in May!

In the meantime, it seems my good friend Harmony, over at Writer In The Making has tagged me with a meme.

The topic is Words To Live By and the rules are as follows:

1. Give a quote that you love, live by, you get the idea.
2. Give your reasons for why you chose it. Does it have special meaning? Is it just LOL funny?

One of my favorite quotes is:

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." ~Bette Reese

I just plain love this quote, as it is true in so many ways. It serves as a reminder to everyone that even one little person can make a difference and an impact on the world!

I'm having a rough time thinking up people to tag today, but I do have one person who I'd like to see respond to this one! Diane Penna of The Write Path should have an interesting answer for this one, once she gets her move completed! If anyone else wants to participate, consider yourself tagged by me!

Laura Spencer is planning a WAHM week on her Writing Thoughts blog. The focus of her posts for the week will be the challenges faced as a WAHM. There should be lots of wonderful information for all of us, as owners of home based businesses and as writers. Laura's blog posts are always thoughtful and packed with information and I expect next week will be no exception!

It looks like she has lots of fun topics planned, including interviews with WAHMs, tips, and book reviews. Her own post about what we can expect to see can be found here. I'm looking forward to gaining some knowledge and insights from her blog next week! If you are a WAHM or even just a writer looking for some new ideas, why not stop by?

Interview Meme

When visiting Harmony Cornwell's Writer-In-The-Making blog this week, I couldn't resist volunteering for the fun meme she was participating in. The idea is simple, read the blog entry and decide if you want to volunteer to do a 5 questions interview on your own blog!

Here are the questions Harmony gave me to answer and my ever-so-profound answers:

1. Why do you write?

I write for many reasons. I'm fairly good at it, it brings in cash, and it gives me an outlet for my creativity. The main reason, though, is that it allows me to be home for my kids and more recently, to take care of my mother until she's back to normal. I'd been encouraged by family and friends for years to write for a living and am so glad that I made the decision to give it a shot. It is ironic, though, that I was the first one to cringe in high school when it was time to write a report or essay, yet now I get excited over every new writing venture.

2. Where is your favorite writing spot?

I can't say that I have a favorite spot that I could actually use. I'm stuck at this cheap computer desk with its uncomfortable chair. If I had my way and a laptop, I'd be writing on the porch or somewhere outside every time the weather would allow it. I suppose I need to work a little harder and make some extra cash to fund that dream.

3. What are your hobbies?

With a 12 year old, 13 month old and one on the way, I haven't much time for hobbies anymore. Though when I do get a few extra minutes, I love to curl up with a good book. I also enjoy cooking and have turned into something of a Food Network junkie. Other than that, anything I get to do with the boys and my hubby always makes me smile!

4. Who is someone you talk to everyday that does not live in your house?

My mother is probably the only person I talk to every single day, without fail. She is my best friend and the best mother anyone could ever ask for. She is my biggest fan and always is so proud of my successes and encourages me when things aren't quite going the way I had planned. I honestly do not know what I would do without her.

5. How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions?

Perfectly! My only resolution this year was not to make any resolutions because I always break them before January is over! That tactic worked like a dream!

Wanna play? just do this:

Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate!You WILL update your journal/bloggy thing/whatever with the answers to the questions.You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Anyone who wants in, just leave me a comment and I'll come up with 5 questions for you!


My week is looking up! I have been applying for various blogging positions lately and it looks as if I have finally landed the perfect blogging job for me. I was offered the job today and just accepted, so as soon as things are up and running, I'll be sharing the information with all of you!

Now let's see what else I can get myself into this week! It takes so little to really get me motivated!

Have a great day!

I always knew it was possible, I just wasn't quite sure how to make my blog work for me. Well, today I have been hit by a fit of inspiration, which goes by the name Paula Neal Mooney! She has written a great post on her blog about how she has managed to make well over $4000 online.

Her post covers a range of different opportunities and discusses how she made them work for her. I'm certainly going to take the time to look into a few of them and expend a little energy sprucing up the place. If I can take something that I really enjoy and make it work harder for me, then all the better!

If you are a blogger who wants to start earning extra income, take a few minutes to check her post out. You'll be thrilled that you did!

Back to Reality

Well, I'm back again, for a couple days at least. Mom's doing better and can handle herself during the day, but I'll still have to run her to appointments and such for the next few weeks. A day here and there was fine, but that whole lost week of work has put a real dent in my checkbook!

Hubby gave me a scare on Friday when a gas line on a fryer he was working on caused a flash fire in his face, but a few blisters and a bruised ego later, he's back at work.

Today I'm back catching up on projects that I have outstanding and snooping around for some hot new leads!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Just A Little Update

I just wanted to pop in for a minute and let everyone know how things are going.

Mom is doing better, but still needs help, so I'm over there all day, every day. She's up and around, but gets worn out quickly. Every day is bringing improvement and she seems to be taking the idea of taking better care of herself quite seriously.

I thought I'd be able to work from her house some, but with trying to keep the baby out of all of Gram's goodies, that's nearly impossible. Looks like I'll be doing some late nights and early mornings for a few more days!

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers, keep them coming.

Have a great week and I'll hopefully be back this weekend.

Gotta Get My Groove Back

Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything seems to just turn into a major fiasco before you even get a chance to start? I'm (hopefully) ending one of those long, drawn out periods myself, right now.

It all started Sunday when a molar started nagging at me. I tried to ignore it and work through, but by Sunday night I was ready to go through the roof. After battling with that through Tuesday, I was totally gung ho about getting work caught up and starting a couple of new projects.

Wednesday I just couldn't find the motivation, inspiration, or whatever it is that gets the words flowing freely. I wrote and froze, wrote and froze. It seemed nothing, including switching topics, helped. The rut just got deeper as the day went on.

I tried for a fresh start on Thursday and knocked out everything I had wanted to accomplish for both Wednesday and Thursday, plus an extra quickie article for a friend who was ill and about to miss a deadline, and all of that before it was time for Idol. I was BACK!

I watched some TV with dh, got the baby to bed, caught the 11pm news, and decided to bang out another article or two to get a jump on Friday's work. I log on, check my email, and the phone rings. Not a good sign.

Check the caller ID and its my dad's cell 11:45pm. REALLY not a good sign. Grab the phone to find out that my mom's heading to the hospital by ambulance with a heart attack. If that wasn't bad enough, my almost 12 yr old son was there with them for the night. Throw on clothes and fly out the door to get him, while trying not to have a nervous breakdown.

After sitting by the phone all night, I finally get a call at 7:30 from dad, saying she's been admitted to the ICU and is going for a Cardiac Cath in a few hours. Ok, we've been there and done that with her before, so it pretty much eases my mind. Grab a nap and then back to sitting by the phone. Updated from dad around 2, the cath showed a few blockages, one of which was in a major artery and needed a stent, the others were ballooned or weren't enough to warrant treatment. Mom's back in ICU for the day and will likely be released Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

So much for my mini groove that started Thursday! After spending my day on the phone with half the family, passing on dad's updates and fielding calls from concerned friends and relatives, I'm spent. However, it looks like I will be spending at least part of the next week playing nurse, so I have to make this weekend count. I'm hoping that taking a minute to get it all out here will help.

If you made it through the novella, thank you! Keep mom in your prayers and thoughts and cross your fingers that I get rolling through these projects this weekend to make what I need to pay the bills and still help mom when she gets home!

Hope everyone's weekend ends better than mine started!

It seems that the current blogger meme has taken a turn toward the serious. Thanks to Wendy at Wendy's Writing World for tagging me for participation!

We have all been asked as a blogging community to become part of Blogger Power:The Safeguard the Web for Children Project.

The purpose of this project is to safeguard children from the dangers of freely available pornography that is readily accessible on the internet. Some of their information states that the average age that children are first exposed to internet pornography is 11 years old. This fact is particularly frightening to me, as the mother and stepmother of 11 and 12 year old boys. I know just how internet savvy they are and how easily they could hide the evidence, were our computer not in the middle of a common area of our house.

Whether they know how to hide it or not, this type of information should not be freely accessible to children in any way. As stated in the text of the project, webmasters should require a full, password-protected account before allowing any explicit information to be viewed. No more free "sneak peeks" that our kids can see! Here is the complete text of the meme and our plea to those who manage internet porn sites:

Please require a password-protected login before allowing even free access to explicit adult content. We understand that selling porn is your business and we respect your right to make a legal living. But understand our legitimate concerns and work with us. You already have the “warning adult content” on your websites. Yet kids, who are not legal customers of your product, ignore the warning. So to prevent them from having direct access to explicit images, texts and sounds, the simplest way is to have a password-protected login. No more “free tours” before a visitor supplies basic information.

I believe Laura at Writing Thoughts tagged just about everyone I know, so my list is short. I'm tagging:

The Joys Of Being A WAHM

This is one of those days that is a bit frustrating, but so funny I can't get mad. All of it just reinforces the reasons that I chose this route for my life.

I'm sitting here at the computer, working on a couple of queries before starting on articles I have for a client. My one year old has decided that the computer is his, too, and keeps trying to help me.

However, the only key he can reach from where he stands is the "3" on the keypad. So every few words, I find myself deleting a few randomly placed 3's. Annoying, but no big deal, just have to proofread before I send.

That got old, so he decides its time for a snack. Gave him a couple of crackers, keeping him distracted for a whopping 5 minutes. I guess he got full, because now he's breaking off pieces and "sharing" them with the printer. He "feeds" one to the paper tray and says "mmmmmm". Fun stuff. Thankfully it's a front loader, so he can't get the crumbs too far in. Again, annoying, but no big deal, just have to get the air canister and blow them out later.

Now, he's noticed the pretty orange light on the surge protector. Now that is where mommy draws the line. Gotta relocate the big couch cushions over the front of the computer desk to cover the distraction.

Now somebody explain to me why my husband thinks I have the "easy" job around here?! Easy, I think not, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Life's Little Lessons

I'm not going to get too in depth with my embarrassing personal screw up of the week. I had I job for a client that was causing me a lot of personal stress and taking me away from the reasons I chose to work at home in the first place. This was causing major blow ups at home and affecting the quality of the job for my client. Not a good situation, so I decided it was time to bow out before things got any uglier.

However, I'm going to try to find a way to turn my mistake into a growing experience. I'll be taking the time that I'd have otherwise spent on that project and querying for new work. Work that pays more, is more enjoyable, and less time consuming. Hopefully, I can turn my own self-picked lemons into lemonade!

The moral of my short little story is:

When you get in to something that is causing you more drama than the money is worth, admit it and get out early. Don't follow in my footsteps hoping it will get better or easier, because chances are it won't.

A hard lesson learned, but hopefully an experience that I won't repeat again.

It looks like the Google search engine monsters needed a snack this week and ate our friend Deb's blog. She has had a top ranked blog for freelance writing jobs for some time and it suddenly is no longer showing up in searches.

If you have been looking for Deb's link with searches, she does still exist! She's just not quite sure at the moment why Google has dropped her. You can find her here or at the link in my blogroll. Make sure you bookmark her, to find her easily until the Google issue gets worked out.

For anyone who does not know about Deb's blog and what she does there, you are missing out on a wonderful resource for freelance writers. Nearly every day, she scours the job boards and Craigslist and finds some of the best freelance writing opportunities. These are posted on her blog for anyone to check out, completely free of charge.

Many writers that I know use her blog regularly to find new clients without having to do extra leg work. This generous lady does the hard work for us, putting the best freelance jobs all in one place. If you haven't checked her site out, take a few minutes to visit her at Freelance Writing Jobs!

What An Inspiring Day!

After all my recent complaining about not being motivated enough, today brought a couple of events that made the struggles seem worthwhile. Approval is definitely a very high form of flattery. Not trying to toot my own horn here, just make the point that a few words can make or break your day.

I returned from a 3 hour long battle with my ISP to find a couple of emails. After spending my week struggling with a sick baby and a computer that keeps attempting suicide, I almost didn't want to even know what they were. Little did I know that they were going to lift all my frustration and validate my work!

The first email was from a client, letting me know just how much he'd appreciated the job I had done recently and offering some more work. The praise and compliments were enough to make me smile. Knowing that I had made him happy enough to want to repeat his dealings with me made me feel wonderful!

The second email was from a fellow writer in need of some help this weekend. While I had to decline the job, due to my own looming deadlines, I was again flattered to know that I had been recommended to her by another writer. I think the peer approval even outshone the client approval!

While knowing that you have a satisfied customer is rewarding, there is something about finding out that another writer respects your efforts enough to recommend you to others. Particularly when said writer is someone you admire and respect. What a true compliment!

To both writers and my client, thank you for making my day! Those emails were just the kick that I needed to get myself going in the right direction.

To everyone else, if you appreciate someone's work, let them know. They could be having a week like mine, and really need that pat on the back to get them going again.

What's Your Motivation?

Why is it so hard to get motivated some days? I'm having one of those off-days where finding the energy and motivation to get anything done is much more than I can handle.

I have deadlines and plenty of work, but none of them are immediate enough to cause me to panic, so I'm loafing. Tomorrow, when things start coming due and I'm down to the last hours to get things done, I'll be kicking myself as I scramble to finish up. Why am I sitting here doing nothing?

How do you deal with those days where nothing seems to come easy and you know that it is going to come back to haunt you later? I need some motivation or I'll be joining the baby for a nap in a few minutes...

5 Reasons Why I Blog...

Five Reasons Why I Blog

Wow! I’ve been tagged! I suddenly feel as if I’m part of the “In” club. Either that or Carson was looking for some kind of sick satisfaction in making a baby blogger squirm when he tagged me in his own post about the reasons why he chooses to blog.

Good, bad, or indifferent, here are my five reasons…

An Escape From The Monotony – First and foremost, my blog is a place to run and hide when client work becomes overwhelming. The chance to write what I want, went I want, without deadlines, keywords, or specific topics keeps me going.

Opportunity For Feedback – Since most of the people who would bother reading my blog are in the same boat with me, I can get outside opinions and thoughts on the issues I deal with as a writer.

Networking – Though my blog is fairly new, I’ve made a couple of wonderful new friends and contacts in the freelance world since I started out. Eventually I’d love to see it get to the point where I can market to clients through my blog writing, but I’m nowhere near that point yet.

To Help Other Writers – Again, I still have a long way to go, but eventually I’d love for people to see my blog as a resource. I have learned so much reading other people’s blogs, and would love to give back to other writers through my own successes and failures

It Gives Me A Home – Before I started my blog, I felt homeless in the writing world. Now I have a place to call my own and be comfortable. Friends can stop by and visit and I can relax and kick back.

Now for the hard part...who do I tag? Some of these people may not have half a clue who I am, but they will now! I'm choosing bloggers that I read regularly! Hope they don't hate me now!

Working For Ad Revenue

Everywhere I seem to go lately, article submission sites want to pay in ad revenue. I know there are many others who feel that this method pretty much stinks. I don't like the thoughts of relying on the so-called strategic placement of a link on my article's page to generate my income.

Am I missing the beauty of this whole writing for revenue phenomenon?

What about the reader who just wants information and isn't looking to purchase what the ads have to offer? I get no credit for that. What if there is a total screw up and the ads don't even fit with the topic? No credit there either. Do these people have to actually buy once they click or is it just about the click? I need a nice little "For Dummies" book to understand this whole thing.

Yeah, maybe after 3 years and 89,047 clicks, I might have made more than what most flat rates for articles would pay me, but I'm an instant gratification kind of chick. Even if the payment is slightly below what I'm used to, I'd rather have it all right now, rather than a few pennies a day, forever.

If there is something more to this that I am missing, will someone please enlighten me? I'll be your friend forever!

Baby Steps To The Deep End

The majority of people are creatures of habit and, admittedly, I am one of those people. This early on in my career as a freelancer, I had found a comfort zone and was sticking with it. Note that I said "WAS" sticking with it.

This week, over at Content Done Better, Carson posted some insightful comments on getting in over your head. He compared "jumping off the diving board" to "picking pennies off the bottom of the shallow end." This analogy really made me think.

Sure, picking pennies is fun, and it does pay the bills, but I'm missing out on all the fun (and profits) that the "kids" in the big end are having. So, with that inspiration in mind, I took that first little jump off the diving board.

Guess what? The deep end is fun, and I can do it! On my first attempt, I gained a client, so I decided to jump again. The result was the same, SUCCESS!! What a confidence booster!

While I'm certainly not ready to give up my penny picking, or start doing neat tricks off that diving board, I have gained the confidence to enjoy both ends of the pool.

For those who haven't tried out the diving board, come on in, the water's fine!

And to Carson at Content Done Better, Thank you!!!!!!

What A Weekend!

I'm so sorry to have disappeared for a few days so early into my blog, but I found myself eyeball deep in client work over the weekend! I'm certainly not complaining about that!

My only beef with marathon writing sessions all weekend long is the time I lost with my family. Well, maybe not the only beef...I really need a more comfortable chair. It really made me think long and hard about managing my time better. After all, being available for my children and husband is my original inspiration for staying home.

I've been working to get my one year old on a better schedule, but I think its time to think about one for myself also. I'm really gaining nothing from working at home if I'm sacrificing my own happiness and enjoyment for working time.

If you have found yourself in the same boat that I am currently in, I encourage you to step back and look at why you chose to work from home. Are you able to accomplish what you set out to do, while working on the schedule you are? If not, maybe its time for some mental reorganization!

Blogging As Marketing

I'm about to start a fun venture with a few writer friends. We're beginning a new website/blog network. I'll give more details as things begin to come together.

Right now, the purpose of the site is two-fold.

The content of the site will be directed toward moms, particularly work at home moms, but many parts will be applicable to every parent. I will be running a blog about family time, giving advice and ideas about making the time necessary to spend with our children, even at the expense of working hours. The content of the pages should come pretty naturally, as it is a subject I deal with every day.

While the site's purpose will be helping other moms and families, the secondary reason behind it is to give us a marketing tool for our own writing. In theory, this sounds like an amazing idea for me, I'm not totally sure how to really make it work.

Does anyone use a non-writing blog to promote their writing work? What aspects of that site or blog have received the best results. I'm ready for trial and error, but if there are any tips or suggestions, I know that I'd be glad for the insight and so would the others involved.

Thanks for reading...Have a great day!

Finding Direction

I have read a lot of posts on different blogs throughout the day and have really starting thinking more about what it is that I want to be when I grow up as a writer. Just saying "I'm a writer" is great, but if even I don't know exactly what I mean by that, how successful can I be?

A lot of people feel that just having your name in print makes you a writer.My name's in print already. I'm not that impressed. I don't feel much like a real writer yet, I feel more like I'm training to be a writer. I'm quite certain it will be a never ending learning experience.

I am also finding that the writing websites that originally appealed to me just aren't quite cutting it anymore. The people are nice, the conversation can be good, but they are lacking a learning element. Its more about how to grab a quick few bucks than learning to become a better writer.

Frankly, I'd rather get by for awhile and learn all I can. Exploring every avenue of writing while working to perfect my skills can only lead to better things. Eventually, the bigger paychecks will come, with less work to get them. I hope, anyway. Maybe I'm delusional, but I think I'll work hard to find out instead of waiting for it to fall in my lap.

Work + Quiet = Productive?

This should be a productive writing day! I have two major clients with decent sized jobs for this week, so there's lots to get done. My mom is being nice enough to come and take the baby for the day to give me a little peace and quiet to work. Let's all hope that I actually take full advantage and get some work done.

Besides working on the client articles, my other to-do list item for the day is investigating magazine queries. While my article clients are great for consistent work, I'm ready to branch off in another direction. Step one is learning how to effectively query a magazine to submit my work. I hope to find enough understandable information to have at least one in by week's end. Wish me luck!

I'll be sure to share any tricks and tips here that I discover along the way!

Have a great day!

In the beginning

For those who don't know me, I'll start with a brief history of how I came to be here today.

I spent the last few years of my life as a retail manager. I didn't love it, but didn't hate it too much. However, last January, the company I had worked for since 2002 went out of business. The timing was perfect for me, as my new husband and I were having a baby. 10 days after locking up my store for the last time, I gave birth to a little boy.

Rather than rush back out to find a job, I decided I'd take my time and find something "perfect". I enjoyed my time home with the baby so much that when the severance and unemployment ran out, I just couldn't bring myself to leave him. So rather than taking a job I didn't want and leaving him in the care of strangers, I decided to look for a home based job.

I poured over message boards and websites, trying to find a job I could handle while taking care of a baby at the same time. After a few days of desperate searching and dead ends, I came across a forum of writers.

People had told me for years that I should be a writer, but I pretty much shrugged the idea off. I suppose I am my own worst critic. But suddenly, after reading what people had to say there, the idea became appealing. I was blessed enough to make some friends who gave me a start in keyword work, and for the past five months, that is what has been paying the bills.

My confidence is building and I'm just about ready to start taking steps to get to the next level of my writing career. That's why I am here. Join me on my journey. Learn with me. Laugh with me. Hey, laugh at me. Follow me as I make a valiant attempt at becoming a successful writer.

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to my little corner of the web, where you can read about my adventure into the world of freelance writing. Sit back, relax, and watch the journey unfold. Watch me on my way to success or insanity, whichever comes first....

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