The Adventures of a Freelance Writer and Editor

Archive for August, 2011

I Survived Irene

Usually, you hear the saying “the calm before the storm,” but I have been experiencing the opposite. Before Hurricane Irene, I was stressing out. I was rushing around trying to get things ready before the storm, and I was hoping Irene wouldn’t be as bad as they expected. Now, that the storm is over, I have a new sense of calm. I am no longer rushing around like a crazy woman, and I am revealed that the storm wasn’t too bad (at least for my house). Plus, the weather is perfect! I wish every day was this beautiful.

Weekly Update

Besides worrying about Irene, I have been doing a little bit of work. Here are a few blogs that were posted this week.

Book Review: Irises to Ashes

A Garden Party Presents… Our Gift Card

Three Unusual Bridal Gowns (This is my favorite blog of the week!)

Four Places to Find Wedding Inspiration

Should You Rent or Buy?

Should You Hire an Editor?

The One Thing Every Bride Needs…

I’d love to hear your feedback. Enjoy the weekend!

Preparing for Irene

Unfortunately, it looks like a hurricane is heading our way. I’ve spent the last two days preparing for the storm: grocery shopping, doing laundry, getting done any work that needs to be finished by Monday, etc. I am hoping that all of the prepping is unnecessary, but just case, keep South Jersey and all of the other areas in the hurricane’s path in your prayers. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, I am enjoying a few days away from the computer because I have no electric and I am hoping that all the food in my freezer doesn’t go bad. Good luck everyone on the East Coast!

Sparkfest

Well, I am a little late, but I just found a great campaign called Sparkfest, which encourages writers to blog about the inspiration behind their writing. I am currently working on a few picture book manuscripts as well as a YA novel manuscript. The inspiration behind my picture books is actually a teacher I had in a writing for children’s course. She did an amazing job of teaching me the ropes of the children’s writing field and sharing some of the best picture books ever written. She also shared her experiences as a children’s writer and showed me that publication is possible.
The inspiration behind my YA writing is more diverse. I’ve always enjoyed books that are edgy and a bit dark. I want to read about events that are worse than what I am experiencing. Some of my favorite YA book are Speak, Monster, Ask Alice, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and Kinda Like a Rockstar. Okay, and I also love Twilight.
I’d love to hear what your favorite picture books and YA books are. Please leave comments!

Labor Day Blog Fest

While checking out fellow campaigner blogs, I stumbled upon this interesting event happening September 6th: Labor Day Blog Fest.

Here are the rules:

1) You must follow the Random Thoughts blog. (I’ll be super excited if you follow my blog as well.)

2) Spread the
word. Mention this Blog Fest on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc.

3) Sign up by clicking here.
4) On Tuesday September 6th,
post on your blog the American Flag and your State Flag with five American
Historical sites you have been to or wish to see.

If you are not in
the United States, please post your country flag and five American Historical
Sites you have visited or wish to visit.

Be sure to check back on September 6th to see my Labor Day post!

Third Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign

In today’s technology obsessed world, an online platform is essential for aspiring authors. Agents, editors, and readers want to be able to find you online. They want to see what you are doing and hear what you are thinking, but building a following can be challenging. In walks the Third Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, which provides support for writers trying to build their online platform. The campaign provides a community to help bloggers build their platform. The campaign runs from August 22nd to October 31st, and features three campaign challenges. I am very excited to meet other writers, especially picture book and YA writers. To learn more and sign up, click here.

Reading is Working

So far this week, I’ve had a hard time focusing. My personal life is demanding all of my attention, and I’m lacking the motivation to get much work done. Luckily, my writing to-do list is fairly short this week, but I still feel guilty for not concentrating hard enough. I should be sending out emails to potential clients, pitching articles to magazines, working on projects that are due in the upcoming weeks, and organizing my growing pile of expense receipts. Instead, I’ve spent most of the week reading books, browsing Barnes and Noble, and “researching” online. Luckily, as a writer, I can consider reading in the middle of the afternoon productive. After all, they say the best writers are avid readers, since reading is the best way to study the craft of writing. Unfortunately, reading and creative writing don’t pay well, so I’ve also been “productive” by registering for a grant writing webinar and flipping through marketing books.

Yesterday, I finished reading a great book called Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom (Hardcover) by Real Simple Editor Kristin van Ogtrop. It a memoir about life as a working mother and is written in dictionary form. Even though, I am not a “working mother,” I am a working woman who cooks, cleans, cares for a husband, and hopes to one day have children, so I could relate to many of the stories and terms. Here are a few of my favorites.

“Technological bipolarism: When you wake up in the morning and can’t imagine how you would get through life without your BlackBerry, but by bedtime you want to strap a bomb to it and blow it to smithereens.” Even though I refuse to buy a phone that allows me to be connected to the internet all day, I have the same love/hate relationship with my computer, Facebook, email ,and the internet in general.

“To-do haiku: The list of tasks or semi-important things to remember that replay like a song stuck in your head until you finally find a pen and write it down… To-do haiku are also useful for some of life’s bigger issues: How is my marriage?/Do I even like my job?/Does my ass look fat?” This is pretty much the story of my life. If you think I’m ignoring you because I’m not responding while you’re talking to me, it is probably because I’m mentally repeating something I don’t want to forget. I’m not good enough of a multi-tasker to talk to myself and you at the same time.

“Flamethrower e-mail: The incendiary message you don’t expect that promptly ruins an otherwise lovely day. The e-mail may be from a boss, an annoying coworker, a difficult friend, a teenage daughter. Regardless of who send s it, suddenly your whole world is on fire.” I seriously feel like Ogtrop was spying on when she wrote this.

“Usual suspects: The panel of forces you must consider before you commit to having a full-blown working-mother existential crisis. Before you allow yourself to question your entire life and any decision you have ever made, check: hormones, sleep deprivation level, messiness of house, whining level of children, ridiculousness of colleagues. If none these is the guilty party responsible for your unhappiness, then you may indeed have bigger problems.” This is definitely true for all women, whether or not you  have children.

“Homeward bound: The powerful drive you feel to get back into your house at the end of the day. The drive is so powerful, in fact, that sometimes it makes you do things that are irrational or completely out of character.” I’m glad to know I am not the only person who feels a magnetic pull between my body and the couch at the end of the day.

“Stress test: The self-analysis you must undergo when you are acting like a completely unbearable person. The test consists of one question: Is there something deeply wrong with me, or has stress taken over?”

If these terms describe your life, I suggest you go to the library or the book store and find a copy of Just Let Me Lie Down. By the end of the book, you will realize you are not the only crazy woman in America. In fact, you can rest assured that at least 90% of the people around you are probably just as crazy, or maybe even more, as you are.

 

 

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