Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yes, I'm a shareaholic

Now that I'm splashing around in the shallow end of the "social media" pool, I've discovered that not only does the whole "social marketing" lexicon sound pretty bizarre when taken out of context -- digg, stumble, tweet, etc -- it also takes a lot of time to implement.

I don't remember how I originally found it, but the Shareaholic toolbar has been a great help. It doesn't reduce my browsing space at all; it just puts a little icon near my "home" button. Clicking the icon gets me a petite pulldown menu from which I can zap directly to the social networking/sharing tool of my choice.

Pretty smooth, and definitely useful for any writer trying to consistently promote their work online.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've always been skeptical about revenue sharing publishing deals, yet here I find myself on board with one of them. I'm now officially the Anchorage Outdoor Recreation Examiner with I'm still not quite sure what I think of the whole idea, and I'm not counting on it ever making me much money, but I like the professionalism they've displayed so far, and so far it's having a very good effect on my motivation to vanquish that most hideous of self-employment beasts: Laziness.

Much like NPR's Terri Gross with Fresh Air, some of the Examiners seem able to make the most mundane of topics interesting. Witness the Tumblemoose in action.

2011 Update: I quickly decided that Examiner was not for me... too much work for far too little pay. Big ups to those of you who find a way to make it worth your while.

Hooray for a President that writes his own speeches!

I'm shocked that none -- NONE -- of the blogs I read have made any mention of Barack Obama yet. I mean come on, folks, it's been over five hours since he officially took the oath of office. You might think, at first, that his election has nothing to do with writing. But just as Bush before him, then Clinton before him, and so on back into infinity... the person in the big P-Man's chair will have a major effect on everything in this country. Everything. Including us writers.

The #1 reason I am glad that Obama was elected president? He writes his own speeches. I'm sure that he gets some help along the way... but in the end, he writes his own speeches. Think about that. A president that's actually speaking to us in his own words. I never did understand how somebody could call Bush an eloquent speaker when he was using what other people wrote.

If you're looking for transcripts of Barack Obama's speeches, this is a great resource. Historic quotes, anyone?

Oh, and if you still think this post isn't relevant to the world of writing, please note my proper use of the word "effect", as opposed to "affect", above. Really, I'm being a good example!

Learning Through History

I've never actually written for Learning Through History, but I love that they make it so easy for you to sign up for updated calls for submissions.

It doesn't pay much -- $75 per 1,000 to 1,400 article -- but it does pay. You can find their list of requested topics for upcoming issues here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Editorial Rates

I can never find this page when I really want it, so I'm putting it here, right under my nose. At least that way, when I still can't find it, my confusion will be amusing to the rest of the world.

Editorial Freelancers Association: Editorial Rates

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An island does not a writer make.. but might

Sometimes the inspiration just flows -- and other times it gets gunked up in the good ol' series of tubes. I'm not talking about you, Internet; I'm talking about the series of pipes, tubes, and whatever-else-is-in-there that makes up the creative part of my psyche.

And then, after four years of trial and error, I got it. I finally got it! The inspiration flows -- and with it, enjoyable, rewarding work -- when I interact with others. So yes, giving up the day job last year was the final step toward realizing my dream of writing full time. I don't regret that decision for a minute. But it was also the final nail in the full-time work at home coffin. Nowadays, I don't need to leave the house -- ever -- except for the occasional supermarket run for groceries and toilet paper.


So, what's my number one favorite source for inspiration right now? Just in case you're not familiar with it, it's basically a social networking site where you can connect with and then join -- both virtually and in person -- groups of people with similar interests. Despite the somewhat date-y sounding name there is nothing romantic about the general concept, although there are meetups specifically for singles. No, this is just a great resource for finding a way to get out in good company and also a handy source for locating interview subjects, too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's baack... again

Did you miss me?

While I'm not much for New Years resolutions, I'm making one here. It's time to get this blog rolling again. If I don't get my focus back, you see, I'm going to have to fire myself and turn myself out into the world to get a "real job". This is the first step in rediscovering my focus. Here, focus focus focus... come here, focus... I know you're out there.

Granted, there've been some extenuating circumstances. Aside from the usual holiday hustle and bustle, I had a heckuva car wreck on Christmas day and was incredibly fortunate to walk away in one piece. Talk about a Christmas gift... and I'm not being facetious. Being able to get out of the car by myself and doing a visual inventory of limbs and extremities -- all there. Merry Christmas! Checking for signs that I'd hit my head: Nope. Merry Christmas! Total strangers (Thank you, Heidi and Eric!) stopping to make sure I was okay, directing traffic and taking care of me until the police came... Merry Christmas! Side air bag deploying in spite of the safety recall I received a couple of days after the accident, stating that it might not: Merry Christmas. And the list goes on.

So in spite of the sometimes excruciating neck pain I'm going through as I get treated for whiplash, in spite of being so behind on e-mails and correspondence that it feels like I'm perched on a shaky kitchen stool, beating them off as they swarm around my ankles, I'm so very happy and thankful to be alive and in one piece. I should be able to take this gratitude and turn it into something fabulous, right? Right?

Stay tuned... I'm about to find out. Starting with this blog.