What’s in the Works? Write The Novel.

I write when I need to write. When the words are in my head and need to come out. Sorry about that, but all the “coming out” words are going into my novel rather than this website.

So, the novel. Now that I’ve mentioned it, I should expand upon it. The novel now has a goal for completion (not final final completion… completion in the sense that it can be pitched). I plan to have it ready for the speed-dating  Pitch Slam at Writers Digest 2018 in August.

Can I do it? This is where you all yell “YES YOU CAN!” in unison and I have a horrible flashback to that children’s show with the builder guy and his talking vehicles. Maybe you should skip the yelling.

If you want to know more about the novel, then comment on this blog. Really, I have no idea if you’re even interested if you don’t tell me. Would you prefer to have more reviews? Talk about TV and movies? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Phew. Got that out of my system. Now it’s your turn.

State of the Website Address

pink backhoeIt’s time for an update/overhaul from the Verge. I haven’t been updating in anticipation of the change, so please be patient. A new look with new content will be coming this summer.

If you can’t wait… you actually have no choice. But you can connect with me on LinkedIn where I blog on occasion.

Watch for a new site in this very spot from the Verge in mid-July.

Welcome, New Followers!

There seems to be quite a few new followers of this blog. I am receiving many notifications that people are following me, which results in a little paranoia, combined with gratefulness and a little confusion.

I’m not sure how you found me or why you are following me, but welcome. I have a very busy life and have been sporadic in updates. I am attempting to improve (not going well), but I’ll keep trying. I am also trying to separate the book reviews from the general freelance blog (also not going well). So, I’ll keep trying and hopefully you’ll stick around.

This is my site, welcome to it, and hopefully you will find some good information or at least some fun.

WotV

Freelance Life Post: Everything Hits at Once

The_Scream

 

Have you noticed, if you are a freelancer, that right around the holidays everything happens at the same time? Everything. EVERYTHING. Enter: Stress Threat Level Orange. We’ll be leading into Red by Christmas.

My brother, who will be blogging with me as soon as he feels a bit better, is ill and was recently in the hospital. He lives a few hours away, so I am communicating by text, email, cell phone, and tying messages to the legs of ravens. I don’t recommend that last one. I think it only works on TV. I don’t like not being able to see him, so I get very stressed. When someone I love is sick, I want to be there to make sure they are well taken care of  (even though I know his wife is doing this for him). I once was the “last straw” in having a Physician’s Assistant fired for being a jerk… he was – there were witnesses – and trying to bully me when my mother was in the hospital. I do not fear nurses, doctors, lab technicians, or other hospital personnel who need to pay attention to their patients. I am not nasty unless they are uniquely horrid. My sister wants to make sure I’m at her side if she’s ever sick. ANYWAY… I feel helpless because I can’t help.

In addition, I have/had a client. I can’t say for sure because I’m trying to cancel the job and the whole situation is like gum on my shoe. Let’s just leave that there.

My sons were home for Thanksgiving and the sewer clogged at my mother-in-law’s where we were having dinner.

My phone has rung 14,586 times today and only 2 weren’t telemarketers or charities.

It’s December already. I have done no shopping at all for the holidays and don’t even have one decoration up.

My router stopped working and the 5 minute firmware update took a day and a half.

I have deadlines upon deadlines and I’m writing a blog post instead.

I hope you haven’t read this far hoping I have a solution. I’m just putting out fires as I go along. I guess that’s one of things about being a freelancer: you must be able to prioritize, multitask, and just keep moving forward. Are you still here? Shouldn’t you be doing something?

The Walking Dead Goes to College

Walking_Dead_Season_3_CastAMC’s huge hit, The Walking Dead, has been integrated into a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by UCIrvine. The course, Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead starts tomorrow and runs through December 21.

From the course description: Each week we’ll watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test our learning with quizzes. We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.

Yes. I am signed up. You should too, if you’re a fan of the show. This looks incredibly interesting and engaging. I’m up for it and willing to set up Google discussions to chat if you want. Who’s in? Let me know in the comments. With enough interest, I will set something up!

Oh, and don’t forget: The premiere is tonight!!!

Never Stop Learning

courseraI’ve heard a lot about MOOCs lately. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it means massive open online course. There are several outlets for these courses and many were recommended to me before I stumbled upon Coursera.

A Facebook friend mentioned that she was taking a course, so I decided to check it out. I was shocked to find that everything was free. Everything. Access to textbook readings, material that usually requires website membership to access, videos that are not usually available for viewing online, and video lectures made specifically for the course.

I took Social Psychology from Wesleyan University, taught by Professor Scott Plous. I cannot begin to tell you how engaging Professor Plous is. His lectures were never boring and he made the material easy to understand and absorb. Assignments were interesting, and most were peer reviewed for grading. I even got to participate in a discussion group with members from all over the world!

I took my final exam yesterday and hoping to pass and receive a certificate for the course. The best part is that I am already applying Social Psychology principles to my life! I updated my Linkedin profile and immediately got a new job. Coincidence? Maybe…

Anyway, Coursera has classes for everything from computer science to the arts. I highly recommend taking a free class and continuing your education.

Freelance Summer

computer

**Update: Very shortly after I wrote this I found a very cool virtual company called Fire Engine RED. Cross your fingers for me. I applied for a job with them!

My summer has been hot, rainy, and slow. I spend a lot of time juggling everyone’s calendars so that they can be where they want to be when they need to be there, but as far as work goes? It’s a little slow.

I’ve read job postings for $1/500 words; jobs with impossible scopes for budgets of under $500; and jobs with no scope at all that are just baffling. I do find work on Elance, but I’d like to increase my private clients as well. This summer isn’t great for either one.

What am I doing with my “spare” time besides scheduling and driving and making a mess of my office? Looking at job postings. I still don’t know why “anywhere” or “telecommute” isn’t a choice under location for most job sites. And when I went to a Mashable event (online), I found that Internet based businesses don’t even hire telecommuters.

I have worked as a writer and a supervisor from a distance. Isn’t that what Skype, Mikogo, and other tools are for? Why are we still limited by physical space?

I have asked this time and again and still get answers like, “We need to collaborate” or “We need to have access to each other”. Right. Like on Skype, right? Or Go To Meeting? Or Mikogo? Or Google Drive? The biggest disappointment is to hear these answers from Internet businesses. Especially those who call themselves experts on technology and say they are on the cutting edge.

Guess what? I’m on the bleeding edge. I can write, supervise, conduct meetings, collaborate, and access team members ONLINE. And I’m damned good at it. I can only hope that companies wake up and realize that I am one step ahead of them, because I am not slowing down for them to catch up. I’ll find one willing to take the leap at some point, but for now I’m going to keep moving forward and adding to my expertise – taking classes and working.

So if anybody out there thinks they can take the challenge and break the mold… You know where to find me.

I’m Baaaaaaack!

When I saw that it had been something like 48 days since my last post, I was appalled. To those of you who actually read this blog, please forgive me. It’s been about 48 days since I’ve been able to find the time and energy to blog.

I’ve been to numerous doctors in attempts to diagnose the severe pain I have been experiencing in my ear and throat. It’s funny how they all want it to be the same thing and try to force a label on it that just doesn’t fit because they don’t know what it is. Calling Dr. House!

I finally ended up with a neurologist who was willing to look beyond my healthy ear and non-TMJ riddled jaw. He diagnosed me with Glossopharyngeal neuralgia and prescribed medication before even scheduling the MRI to check the severity. Very House-like, no?

What does this all mean? I’m adjusting to the medication, still having pain, and trying to work. Oh, and clean my house, do laundry, take care of the family… the usual. Hopefully, within a month I’ll be in better shape. Cross your fingers for me, will you?

New Service: Tutoring

I have worked with my own children as well as others in English Language Arts. I write lesson plans (ghostwritten) for several websites and have also ghostwritten copy for educational apps. I created a book club for families. With all that in mind, I have started offering tutoring services.

I have my first client through WyZant tutoring as well as a response to my craigslist posting. One is a college freshman and one is a high school student. I am looking forward to working with them.

This should be an interesting change from my solitary writing jobs! I love to read and write and can’t wait to share that love with students, while helping them improve their skills.