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Easter
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Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
Our Friend

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Little Girl with Doll
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A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
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Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
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Autumn Still Life
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Boadicea
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Sketch of children playing
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beltane Image

Panna Cotta

Wonderful Recipe from our own Radish mag; Rose Water Panna Cotta 2 teasp or 1packet unflavored gelativn 3 TBSP cold water 1c. heavy cream, divided 1c plan greek yogurt 3 TBSP rosewater 3 TBSP honey, plsu fmore for drizzling 1/d pistachios, chopped rose petals, optional In small bowl, springle gelatin over cold water. Stir and set adie ten mins to gelatin can soften. In medium bowl, whisk togher 1/2 cof cream, all of yogurt and rose water. Heat remmaining 1/2 c cream bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove cream from heat and whisk in gelatin and honey to dissolve. Pour hot mixture into cold and stir to combine. Pur panna cotta into 4-6 small containers and refrigerate till cold. When chilld and firm, cover tightly with poastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, garnish each with shopped pisachios and drizzle of honey or rose petals. This is an Italian dessert meaning cooked cream. For more Italian ideas, google Cucina Italia with Marianna Esposito.

Earth Day 2012 Highlights

I've always loved Earth Day, notwithstanding the fact that one of it's founders/supporters turned out to be The Unicorn Killer. Look up Ira Einhorn in The Crime Library. In any case, I went to the local festival this past Saturday, and came away with all kinds of freebies, ideas, reading materials, trinkets, and seeds, and I paid for nothing.
1. Earth bracelet; using pony beads, one booth featured bracelts made on black chenille pipe stem cleaners. Each color of pony bead meant something. In order, it went somethin like Black/night; yellow/sun; pink/animals;purple/flowers;brown/earth;blue/sky;clear/air;red/fire. What a neat idea! 2. Hats made out of the funny pages, always popular, were giveaways.
3. Wildflower seed packets and many, many brochures and ideas for compost. There were also examples explaining the layers that go into the compost heap. 4. Several University Extension services were there, and not all were local,w hjich isg reat. There were articles and materials for turfgrass management and nonchemcial alternatives for the home lawn. These suggested soil tests and organiz fertilizers, thatch lessons, pest managemetn, weed control, watering and the best time to do it,guides to lawn diseases, guides to lawn pests and when they show up. 5. Beautiful poster giveaways for the gift of trees campaign. At the garden festival, I was actually given a free red maple sapling to plant. 6. Our friends at resuable usables made collage pins, or had the kids to them, one of my favorite personal crafts to make. There were also restoration hardware stores shwoing how to make crafts from recycled house parts and materials inlcuding a wine stopper door knob, a deacon's bench made from an old door; a planter made from a file cabinet, a kids play ktichen from an old entertainment center. Really cute, clever ideas that promote recylcing! 7. Newsletter on Regiona Air Pollution situations.
8. Literature from local river centers on activites, eagle watc, nature displays, and activities. 9. borchrues on wildlife resources and getting wildlife license plates. Very Cool. 10. Pamphlets on county parks and activites and conservation board areas. 11. ID theft prevention, infor on document destruction and recycling services. 12. Waste commission info. 13. Habitat for Humanity info. 14. Hidden Habitat Hidden Pictures from National Assn. of Coservative Districts, League City, TX, this and others on recycled paper. 15. Waste Management Items with things that require appointments and things that are accepted on the pick ups. This is very useful. 16. Earth Cycle Garden Products on Copmpost 17. Announcementsof lawn and landscape programs with public works and water companies 18. Community recycling literature 19. Mother's day programs at local botanical centers featuring herbal plants 20. Summer Camp info. 21. From Rainscaping Iowa, sil quaity and lawn tips 22. Partner in Horticulture events and displays on how to eat/cook local 23. Wild Places Orga nd Rvier Action 24. Horitculture Hotline Info. 25. Local Sierra Club book group; including books Eaarth, The View from Lazy POint, Four Fish, Eating Animals, Food Politics by Nestle [no kidding!], A Walk in the Woods, Seeds of Destruction. 26.Plant sale announcements. 27. Infor and displays from companies that recyle metal 28. Bookmarks from Backyard Conservation What was great is that the whole thing was next to one of our local botanical centers. My flowers are doing great, and lilacs and hydrangeas were super early. In fact, the violets, whose glory is May Day, are nearly done. Early summer conditions. I planted wild flowers and morning glory this morning, and am eying a bonsai pine for my terrariums. It is bittersweet without my mom; I do the flowers for her and take ACS daffodils to her each year, just as I did when she was living. I ahve been trying to mulch leaves and recylce twigs and wood for different things, and am mixing wild plants, even pretty weeds, in ports for effect. I also tried to reseed pumpkins and gourds to see if I can get volunteer plants. Our butterfly bushes are attracting some brown and orange examples; I am tempted to take a monarch class for myself. Happy greening this beautiful spring. May your seeds blossm into beauty soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Fun Information; Freeware

W R I T I N G W O R L D A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World http://www.writing-world.com Issue 12:08 13,183 subscribers April 19, 2012 ***************************************************************** MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors. ***************************************************************** IN THIS ISSUE: ================================================================= THE EDITOR'S DESK: Brave New World... Or Not? by Moira Allen THE WRITING DESK: One Time Rights, By Moira Allen NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES FEATURE: Ways to Profit from Writing for Free, by Audrey Faye Henderson THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers WRITING CONTESTS WITH NO ENTRY FEES The Author's Bookshelf **************************************************************** WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you can reach our web site, you can take our courses. http://www.WritersCollege.com ***************************************************************** PURSUE YOUR WRITING DREAM. If you've ever dreamed of writing and seeing your words in print, this may be your best chance to test that dream. Learn to create the kind of stories and articles that will sell to editors. Train with an experienced pro author. Free test. http://www.breakintoprint.com/W1802 ***************************************************************** THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR: * Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write. * Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter. * Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing. http://www.fanstory.com/index1.jsp?at=38 ***************************************************************** DON'T GET SCAMMED! Choose the right Self Publishing Company for your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing company and the questions you should ask. http://dogearpublishing.net/self-publishing-companies.aspx ***************************************************************** THE WRITING NICHE THAT PAYS THE MOST... No writer should be without "Writing World". But there's an almost secret publication that could have an immediate impact on the amount of money you can earn writing. You must be invited to get it. Visit http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=589681 ***************************************************************** FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK ================================================================= Brave New World... Or Not? -------------------------- It seems one can't open a writing publication, print or electronic, without finding a headline proclaiming that "the way we read is changing." The gist of most of these articles is that print books are rapidly headed the way of the dinosaur, and that soon (the definition of "soon" not always being crystal clear), we'll all be clutching some form of e-reader, downloading texts, and explaining to our grandchildren just what "paper" was. An article in the May issue of "The Writer" sums up this prediction nicely. It quotes from another article, by Michael Todd of "Miller-McCune," who shares his view of the future of reading. In Todd's brave new world, he walks down the street "with an electronic device that fits in my pocket... As I walk, I pass a handful of newspaper stands. There aren't actual papers in them, but electronic bulletin boards. I like a couple of headlines... and so I press a button..." whereupon his device "uploads the day's content... while subtracting a very minimal amount from either my bank account or a media escrow account... If I go to a bookstore, it's the same procedure. There will probably be a few proper books for me to examine, but it's button-pushing time when I want something." OK, so far, nothing really thought-provoking here. I mean, we've heard it all before, and we're going to hear it again -- and one day it may even be true. But then, a few days after reading this, I received an e-mail from my friend "John" in Nigeria. John and I were brought together in the first place over the subject of books. John wanted them, but couldn't get them. He couldn't set up an account on Amazon and have books shipped directly, so I agreed to act as his intermediary. (You can read his account of what it's like to actually try to pick up a package delivered from overseas to Nigeria at http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee21.shtml) Since then we've maintained a correspondence. In his most recent e-mail, John was explaining why I was getting a fairly long e-mail a section at a time. It was, he said, because he had to compose it in segments on his cell phone. "I'll only get a home internet when I'm able to have... a fairly used laptop or notebook. So I read with the phone on charge because you never know when you'll see electricity. For example, we are just coming out of almost a day of outage and I've just rushed to put the phone on charge while I compose this email. Isn't it interesting to complete a novel under such condition? But I bet you, Moira, you would write better and faster here when you remember the bulb glowing above you won't shine the next minute." I couldn't get that image out of my head. Somehow, I don't see John strolling along with his pocket-size electronic device, pushing a few buttons to download today's news or tomorrow's bestseller at the book or news kiosk of the future -- not anytime soon, anyway! Michael Todd and John of Nigeria write of two very different worlds. Michael's is a rosy projection of the future; John's is a not-so-rosy picture of a world that is all too real, for too many people, right here and now. What bothers me about Michael's "vision" is that it's not simply a vision of how the reading world will change. It's a vision of how the world will change for people who can AFFORD it. Michael's vision is of a future for the affluent. He describes his pocket device as being inexpensive enough that he won't be devastated if he loses it, but costly enough that he's "careful with it" -- and he adds, "think iPod." One doesn't have to travel all the way to Nigeria to find people who can't afford to own an iPod, iPad, Tablet, Kindle, SmartPhone, SmarterPhone, BlazingGeniusPhone, or whatever the latest gadget happens to be. Nor does one have to travel to Nigeria to find people who can't afford the cost of a home Internet connection -- who, if they go online at all, must do so at a public library or an Internet café. Yet, increasingly, the world seems determined to leave such people behind, no matter where they live. More and more companies insist that one transact business with them via their website, rather than on the phone or in person -- and impose extra fees on people who insist on speaking to an actual human representative. Such tactics impose extra hardships on the people who can least afford them. Now imagine a world -- Michael's world -- where there are, in fact, few of what he (rather oddly, I think) refers to as "proper" books. At least today, if John in Nigeria wants a book, I can buy one and mail it to him. But as publishers and distributors (like Amazon) place tighter and tighter restrictions on how e-books can be purchased, viewed, and most of all, SHARED, there is a growing danger that more and more people will, in fact, be cut off from the growing flow of information. John, for example, says that he can't even use the free Kindle reader that Amazon provides -- which means that he has no means of accessing books that are available only on Kindle. And if you have to sit at a library computer or take your laptop to an Internet café just to read a novel, how many novels will you actually read? There was a day when books were so rare and precious that only the very wealthiest could afford them. To highlight their value, they were bound in fine leather and their covers often embellished with gold and jewels. The printing press changed that -- forever, we fondly imagined. But I am beginning to fear that part of the driving force behind this brave new electronic world of the future is a desire to shift information back into that elite sphere. Publishers aren't creating e-books out of a warm, humanitarian desire to share knowledge and entertainment with the world. They're doing it because there's a PROFIT to be made. For example, a few months ago, my book "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer" was available on Kindle for $9.99. Today, it's selling for $13.83 -- that's just $2.64 LESS than the print version, for an edition that requires no printing or shipping costs! Now, it may prove that I, as the author, will get a higher royalty out of this (not having seen a royalty statement in months, I don't know) -- but you can bet that the real profits are going somewhere else. More to the point, I can't help but fear that such a price increase will simply discourage people from reading my book and benefiting from it. And there's the question that I think pundits like Michael Todd are overlooking as they visualize this future filled with handy electronic devices: Who benefits? Is it the authors? The readers? Or is it the publishers -- and those who MAKE the devices in the first place? The articles that I keep reading about "how reading is changing" seem to assume that this change is a consumer-driven choice. We are reading on devices because we LIKE devices -- and print books are going to vanish because we, the enlightened public, have decided that we don't want them anymore. But here's a not-so-rosy vision: Imagine a future in which publishers decide to issue information ONLY in electronic format, thereby REQUIRING consumers to purchase expensive devices if they want to keep up with the news or with their field of expertise, or just read the latest bestseller. Imagine a future where, if you can't afford a device, you can't read -- and if your power goes out, you're out of luck. The printing press was the great leveler in the information field. It took books -- information -- out of the hands of the rich and the elite, and redistributed it to the world at large. Today, thanks to the printing press, even if John in Nigeria has to read by candlelight, he can still read a book. So can a child in Inner City USA, so can my 89-year-old mother-in-law, so can you, and so can I. And while I do enjoy my Kindle and I am delighted when people buy electronic versions of my books, I don't look forward to a future where the person who controls my device can control what I can, and can't, read. Let's make sure that as we rush toward Michael's future, we don't leave John's in the dust! -- Moira Allen, Editor Copyright 2012 Moira Allen ***************************************************************** YOU WILL NETWORK WITH 30+ EDITORS Over 400 editors contribute their unique news and views each year. That's news and views to improve your chances to get published. Monthly newsletter. Get 2 issues FREE. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AY305 ***************************************************************** The Writing Desk: One Time Rights ================================================================= By Moira Allen What is a magazine buying, if it wants one-time rights but no reprints? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I am confused when magazines state in their guidelines that they will buy one-time rights but also mention that they don't buy reprints. What rights are they saying they will buy then--first rights but one-time usage? There is a magazine that offers certain payment for first rights, and another magazine that pays less but buys one-time rights and no reprints. Can I sell my article to both? Also, what if the situation changed a little: I find a suitable market to sell my article to and they buy only non-exclusive one-time electronic rights. Can I sell first rights after this to a different publication or will this count as first even though it is one-time use? A: One-time rights are not synonymous with reprint rights. One-time rights simply means that the magazine is not buying FIRST rights, and technically not buying exclusive rights. I think, however, that since the magazine also specifies that it doesn't buy reprints, the editor is probably a little confused about what such rights mean. Still, if you sell this magazine one-time rights, you could turn around and resell the same material to someone else at the same time. Even if the other publication actually publishes the material first, the first publication can't consider it a "reprint," as they bought it before it was published. (Doesn't make a great deal of sense, does it?) Next, the "two-magazine deal." One magazine buys first rights. The second magazine buys one-time rights but no reprints. I don't think you can manage a deal here. The magazine that buys first rights has to be the first to (a) buy the material and (b) print the material. The second magazine won't accept reprints, so if the piece has already been purchased by the first magazine, they're probably not going to take it. If the second magazine buys it because it hasn't been printed yet (even though it has been sold), and the second magazine then actually publishes it before the first magazine does, you've violated the terms of the first magazine contract, because someone else was able to use it "first." So I'd avoid this one. If a publication buys non-exclusive one-time electronic rights, and uses them, that is still a use of "first" rights, even if the term "first" is not actually used in the contract. Keep in mind that "first rights" is not simply a contractual term; it is also a usage term. The first time a piece is published in a particular medium (or location, or language), that is a use of first rights -- regardless of what rights the publication actually claims to be buying. Again, keep in mind that there is a difference between "buying" and "using." So regardless of what rights an electronic publication buys, the first time your piece appears electronically, those first rights have been used. That publication is simply making sure that you have the right to sell the same piece to other electronic publications -- the "one-time" clause in this contract has nothing to do with "who's first", but rather, with the issue of exclusivity. You can sell this article to more than one electronic publication, but whoever uses (or buys) it first will the one to use "first rights" -- regardless of what rights were contracted for. However, you can sell "first print rights" to that same article, if you sell it to a print publication. And keep in mind that you can also sell different types of first rights -- e.g., "first UK rights," "first English-language rights," and so on. You don't have to be limited to just "first print" and "first electronic" rights. To summarize: I'm not sure what a publication is doing when it buys one-time rights but no reprints; again, I think the editor may be a bit confused. If it buys no reprints, then it is asking for first rights, by definition. Second, once a piece has been published, first rights have been used, regardless of what your contract may specify. After that, the piece is a reprint, simply because it has already been published. This is important to understand, as many people feel that if they aren't paid for a piece, they haven't "sold" any rights -- and so can still offer "first rights." Many also suppose that if they publish something in their own e-zine or even on their own website, they can still offer "first rights." First rights, however, refers to the usage of the piece -- once it has been used, whether it was paid for or not, or whether it was used by the author in a self-publishing venue, first rights are "used up" and the piece is considered a reprint. Copyright 2012 Moira Allen *************************************************************** AUTHOR SITES FOR LESS gives authors a virtual home without breaking the bank. Choose from a variety of author-specific, classy, and tailor-made templates starting at $399. We offer a choice of three plans. Our set-up enables you to update your site without needing a developer. Social media pages also available. Please visit http://www.authorsitesforless.com ***************************************************************** NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING ================================================================= Are Publishers Turning Their Backs on Amazon? --------------------------------------------- Depending on which news site you read, the so-called "big" six mainstream publishers, HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan, have said they will not sign the latest Annual Contract from Amazon. Others say that two have definitely refused to sign the contract and yet others that all six will still be represented on Amazon. The problem, it seems, is Amazon's desire to be able to discount books as it wants, thus lowering the profits made by the publishers. For more on this confusing story visit: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/two-us-publishers-turn-backs-amazoncom.html Faber to Launch Shakespeare App ------------------------------- Faber's 'Shakespeare's Sonnets' app, read by actors, is due to hit the shops by the end of April. The app features all 154 sonnets read by famous Shakespearean actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Fiona Shaw. It will also include a commentary by Shakespeare scholars. The app will cost around £10. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/bpu86bv James Bond Returns Home to Cape for Next Novel ---------------------------------------------- Yes, yet another James Bond novel will be written, but this time it will be published by the original publisher of the series, Jonathan Cape. The last two Bond novels were published by Harper Collins, but it was Cape who published the first Bond novel by Ian Fleming. The new Bond novel will be written by William Boyd and will be set in the 1960s. For more on this story visit: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/boyd-write-next-bond-novel.html ***************************************************************** EVERYHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTING FREELANCE FEES! Find out how to negotiate agreements, choose pricing strategies, define tasks, deal with difficult customers, and much more in the award- winning "What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants" (2nd Edition) by Laurie Lewis. In print and Kindle from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/setyourfees ***************************************************************** Writing Jobs and Opportunities ================================================================= Adams Media Call for Submissions -------------------------------- Adams Media has a new romance ebook line called Crimson Romance. This romance eBook line is open to romance submissions in five popular subgenres: romantic suspense, contemporary, paranormal, historical, and spicy (sexy) romance. They're looking for full-length novels, and while they prefer to work on the shorter end of the spectrum (50,000 words, give or take), they say they're not going to rule you out because you go shorter or longer. http://www.adamsmedia.com/call-for-submissions Kentucky Her Story 2012 ----------------------- Now accepting submissions for a collection of short stories about Kentucky women. A new e-zine journal will be published summer 2012. Authors can be any gender. Stories should be 2,000 - 10,000 words. No exceptions on length, no poetry, art might be okay. Send one paragraph bio, author photo or representation, one sentence describing your story, and your story to parker.owens@gmail.com Digital files only. No payment, no fees. Deadline June 15, 2012. Acceptance notice by August 1, 2012. ************************************************************** A FREE MASTER CLASS IN CREATIVE WRITING SUCCESS. Enroll FREE in a 14-part 'mini course' in short-story writing success. This highly acclaimed Writers' Village 'Master Class' shows you how to get published - profitably - and win cash prizes in fiction contests. Discover how to open a chapter with 'wow' impact, add new energy to a scene, build a character in moments, sustain page-turning suspense even through long passages of exposition... plus 97 additional powerful ideas you can use at once. Enjoy the course without charge now at: http://www.writers-village.org/writing-success **************************************************************** FEATURE: Ways to Profit from Writing for Free =============================================================== By Audrey Faye Henderson Writing is one of those functions that many people don't think anyone should be paid to do. Worse, a whole segment of the population believes that anyone who can produce a sentence, coherent or not, is entitled to call himself or herself a writer. As a professional writer, you may resist perpetuating such ideas by producing your work for free, and you would be well justified in harboring that resistance. Nonetheless, whether you're writing guest blog posts or producing your own blog, distributing a newsletter or providing writing services for a worthy cause, writing for free now can pay significant dividends in the long run. In many cases, you'll realize monetary benefits much sooner. In his book "Get Slightly Famous," Stephen Van Yoder promotes the idea of generating more clients by taking a proactive approach to the Law of Attraction. Namely, the best clients are those who seek you out, and his book spells out the means to cultivate those clients. And he's right. If someone approaches you, he or she is more likely to be willing to pay your going rate without balking because, and this is important, that client is already positively disposed toward you. In other words, you've been pre-sold. A definite potential advantage of foregoing immediate cash compensation for your writing is the opportunity to reach that pre-sold client. Your efforts may also generate publicity that would otherwise cost big bucks in ad space or air time, if you could manage to generate that sort of publicity at all. You may not wind up on Today, but you may very well find yourself invited to appear on your local newscast at noon or during the dinner hour as an expert on a given subject. If you are so inclined, you may be able to generate lucrative speaking engagements or a paid position as a commentator for print publications, radio or television. Guest Blogging -------------- Although guest bloggers sometimes receive financial compensation, more often than not, guest bloggers are not paid for their posts. At least not in money. My guest blog posts not only serve as high-profile writing samples, they have increased my "street cred" as someone who possesses expertise in my field. If you decide to seek guest blogging gigs, target blogs that are compatible, or at least not in conflict with your work, and, just as important, in line with your core values. For instance, I focused on blogs that deal with issues such as affordable housing and progressive politics. I wrote several guest blog posts for JustMeans, a website promoting socially responsible business practices. I also wrote a one-time guest blog post immediately after the 2008 Presidential election for tcrBLOG, the online venue for the left-leaning, well-respected publication The Chicago Reporter. One indirect benefit I realized from guest blogging was to be invited in 2009 and again in 2011 to be a presenter for the Chicago Green Festival. After my 2011 presentation, I was approached by a staff member from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, who informed me that she had specifically sought me out. Since our initial encounter at the Green Festival, this individual has provided information and contacts for organizations in and around Chicago that are involved with sustainable development, many of whom frequently use research services such as mine. Your Own Blog ------------- You may also choose to launch your own blog. However, unless you have already built a following, your blog is unlikely to generate more than pennies in revenue, if that. Instead, the purpose of maintaining your own blog would probably be either to provide increased exposure for your work to potential clients, produce work product samples for your portfolio, or both. In the former case, you must supplement your writing with efforts to increase online traffic to your blog. Specific strategies to accomplish this goal can be found elsewhere on this website (see "To Blog or Not to Blog" at http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/blog.shtml). At the same time, your blog entries must contain sufficient substance to avoid giving the impression of serving as so much window dressing for banner ads and affiliate links. In the latter case, you have the luxury of focusing on your writing without an overt emphasis on increasing eyeballs examining your blog or enhancing the bottom line by prompting ad click-throughs or page views. What you don't have is license to produce written or electronic diarrhea pouring forth any random thought that comes to mind. Choose a theme or direction for your blog that you would be willing to maintain over the long haul. You don't have to box yourself into a corner -- acceptable themes include subjects as broad as commentary on current events, reports on local nightlife or as specific as your favorite hobby or following the career of a single prominent person. If you're blogging to provide a showcase for your talents, the key is to develop a consistent voice and unique perspective that makes your blog compelling. Come to think of it, this is important for a blog for which you wish to cultivate an audience, as well. In either event, a well-produced blog effectively presents you to potential clients as someone who is capable of providing high-quality work. Working with Nonprofits and Charities ------------------------------------- You would be far from the first professional writer who obtained lucrative freelance work by offering your services gratis to a local charity or nonprofit organization. By working for free, you become a known quantity. When the opportunity for paid work arises, nonprofit organizations, many of whom have no dedicated HR staff, are often relieved to turn to you rather than plow through a physical or virtual stack of résumés. Find an organization that is launching a major initiative, such a collecting warm coats for needy families or conducting a food drive to restock local food pantries. Offer to write press releases and promotional materials supporting the initiative to submit to local media. Another approach is to offer to generate website copy for a charity or nonprofit agency, assist with drafting the annual report or write letters designed to reach out to potential donors. Email and Hard-Copy Newsletters ------------------------------- Many people, probably including you, already suffer from email and junk mail overload. However, a well-written, content-rich newsletter that is targeted to the interests of the recipient(s) is more likely to generate a reaction of "I want to read future issues." Your newsletter can provide a soft-sell, value-added vehicle to promote the services for which you charge money. For instance, if you write white papers and other content for corporate clients, your newsletter could include as analysis of current events as they relate to the general business climate. If you are a grant writer who works with nonprofit agencies, your newsletter can provide insight about how to motivate donors to give. For an e-mail newsletter, it is absolutely essential to include a prominent opt-in (preferable) or safe unsubscribe (acceptable) mechanism. Most people are tolerant of one well thought-out prospecting email. However, no matter how well written your newsletter is, no one wants to receive an endless deluge of unsolicited e-mail in-box traffic. Hard copy newsletters should allow would-be subscribers to opt-in via a postage-paid subscription card or some other convenient means. However, unless you have an angel investor or a very flush personal bank account, conducting an unsolicited direct mail campaign to generate an audience for your newsletter may not be financially feasible. Direct mail marketers often consider a return rate (i.e. responses or paying customers) of 1 or 2 percent to be excellent, which translates to an expense far out of reach for many freelancers. A better tactic may be to arrange to leave copies of your newsletter with merchants or in offices in your local area where your prospective readers are likely to see it. How do you find merchants or offices willing to serve as pickup points for your newsletter? You already know the answer -- generate a carefully constructed prospect list and contact the individuals on that list personally, a process that will be explained below. Approaching Your Prospects -------------------------- Once you've determined the appropriate vehicle(s) for your unpaid writing, it's time to construct a proposal and generate a list of prospects. Whether you've chosen to write a blog or newsletter or if you've decided to offer your writing services for hire, one of the best ways of finding receptive markets (yes, they're still markets even though you're not being paid in cash) for your work is to make contact with individuals included on a carefully constructed mail or email list. Check that, a VERY carefully constructed mail or email list. The idea is to prequalify those organizations and publication outlets that could benefit from your writing services. Perform your due diligence about the type of person who is likely to want to read what you have to say on a given subject. Start with an Internet search using your blog subject or cause you wish to promote as a keyword. Talk with friends and professional colleagues, especially those who are experienced writers, subject matter experts or who have connections with potential targets for your work. When talking with fellow writers who might be potential competitors, you don't have to give away the store. A general inquiry like "I was interested in writing a blog about cats, what are your thoughts?" can yield fruitful results. On the other hand, be as specific as possible with subject matter experts who may be potential interview targets or contacts who may provide leads to possible outlets for your work. The end result will be a list of potential organizations, news outlets or individual subscribers (in the case of a blog or newsletter). Because you've done a lot of work on the front end, your efforts will be more likely to generate positive responses from the recipients of your outreach efforts. Potential Tax Savings --------------------- In working for free, you may generate out-of-pocket expenses, not to mention the time you are taking away from paid work. You may be able to recoup at least some of those expenses on your federal income tax return. Keep diligent records of the expenses you rack up in executing your unpaid writing gig, including receipts. A signed statement or receipt from the news outlet or organization would also enhance your claim. If you're working with a nonprofit organization or even a for-profit news outlet, you cannot claim a deduction for compensation to replace your customary hourly or project rates. However, the IRS may allow you to deduct the cost of the fruits of your labors if you can demonstrate that you provide a tangible product for which the organization would otherwise pay someone to perform. The distinction is subtle but real. For instance, you cannot deduct your hourly rate for the time you spend writing website copy. However, if your organization paid someone to write website copy in the past, you could claim that you provided a tangible product to the organization by writing fresh website copy. You may use the figure the organization paid previously as the basis for claiming a deduction for the website copy that you produce for the same organization. You may be also able to deduct the costs of cross-town commuting or even out-of-town travel you undertake on behalf of your client. You may also deduct the cost of paper, stamps, phone calls and other legitimate expenses directly related to your unpaid writing work. However, you must be able to document your efforts or the IRS will disallow the deduction, hence the need for a log and receipts. Consult with an attorney or accountant before claiming any tax breaks pertaining to your unpaid writing work. You definitely do not want to trigger an audit because of an improperly claimed deduction. Negotiating Non-cash Compensation --------------------------------- One of the first determinations you must make when negotiating an agreement with a publishing outlet or nonprofit agency is precisely why you are willing to write professionally without receiving monetary compensation. The key to successfully writing for free is to negotiate non-cash compensation that is mutually beneficial to you and to your client. Writing for free does NOT mean working without a contract. An organization you choose to work with may have its own boilerplate agreement for pro bono services. If the terms are adequate to deal with the services you wish to provide, that's fine. Otherwise, you may draw up your own specific agreement that outlines exactly what you will provide for the organization. The document need not contain an overload of legal jargon; however, it can't hurt to have an attorney look over your agreement for potential pitfalls. Your contract should state who owns the rights to whatever written copy you produce along with how and where it will appear. If you are relinquishing the rights to your work, ask if you would be able to provide excerpts on your website or as work samples to potential clients. If you are negotiating a long-term working relationship, consider provisions such as confidentiality agreements and deadlines. Your contract should also include provisions for the non-cash compensation you will receive for your services. At the very least, you should receive a byline for individual written features and public acknowledgement for promotional materials. You should also request copies of any printed materials including your work or mentioning your contributions. A written reference or verbal referral for potential future clients is totally proper. Press credentials or even a place on the masthead as a contributing writer constitute legitimate compensation for ongoing contributions to a newspaper, newsletter or magazine. That said, you must be careful to avoid the appearance of quid pro quo. It's well and good to receive recognition for your work or to recoup the financial expenses of your pro bono efforts. However, if it seems as though you've struck a deal with an organization or charity to realize a profit for your efforts, you run the risk of destroying your credibility. Back-links to your blog, Twitter feed or public LinkedIn profile are fine. A week-long, all-expenses-paid jaunt to an exotic resort destination, not so much. Further Benefits of Your Efforts -------------------------------- Career experts often advise job hunters that volunteer appointments, internships and similar experience can greatly enhance their résumés. The same benefits apply to your freelance pro bono efforts. By all means, include your blog, newsletter or column contributions on your online portfolio or professional website. Unless you are producing confidential documents, consider including samples of your work along with testimonials or references from your clients. If your work contributed to or was directly responsible for a huge jump in donations, don't be shy about claiming your share of the credit you're your own promotional materials or in approaching potential new clients face to face. Document your claims with statements from your client organization or reports from published news sources. >>--------------------------------------------------<< Copyright 2012 Audrey Faye Henderson Audrey Faye Henderson is a writer, researcher, data analyst and policy analyst based in the Chicago area. Her company, Knowledge Empowerment (http://www.knowledge-empowerment.net/, specializes in social policy analysis concerning fair housing, affordable housing, higher education for nontraditional students, community development with an asset based approach and sustainable development in the built environment. For more advice on writing for free and when you should and shouldn't do it read: http://www.writing-world.com/basics/free.shtml **************************************************************** EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks. http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com ***************************************************************** SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, the professional association with a career-building difference. We partner with you to create a strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com! ***************************************************************** THE WRITE SITES ================================================================= BooksandSuch blog ----------------- This is a blog written by the Books and Such Literary Agency and it is jam-packed with useful advice for writers. It covers finding an agent who is right for you, writing across different genres, publicity for your books and much more. Scroll down to find the articles that interest you the most. You will be here awhile. http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/ NovelRocket.com --------------- This is another blog that any novelist would find of interest. It is updated constantly and features interviews with published authors as well as articles and hints on tips on getting your novel published. http://www.novelrocket.com/ Query Shark ----------- If you are brave, if you are very brave, you could submit your fiction query to the Query Shark for a free critique, but be warned, she is fierce! Make sure you read the blog posts and don't submit queries full of the mistakes she has already corrected, and yours could be the next query to go from failure to success. http://queryshark.blogspot.co.uk/ ***************************************************************** IT'S HERE! COMPLETELY UPDATED AND EXPANDED FOR 2012, Moira Allen's "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" is now available. This is the largest, most comprehensive guide to writing competitions available in print (and Kindle). The 2012 edition features over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide - including over 450 listings new to this edition. No matter where you live or what you write, you'll find a competition that's right for you! The guide is updated with the latest deadlines, entry fees and prizes. Get it now at https://www.createspace.com/3778183 or visit Amazon.com to order the Kindle edition. ***************************************************************** WRITING CONTESTS ================================================================= This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" (http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml). SCRIPT FRENZY ------------- DEADLINE: April 30, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories DETAILS: Entries must be the first 2000 words of a screenplay, play, graphic novel, or other kind of script. PRIZES: $50 first prize, $25 second prize URL: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/script-frenzy-contest/ WE THE LIVING ESSAY CONTEST FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ---------------------------------------------------- DEADLINE: May 5, 2012 GENRE: Young Writers OPEN TO: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. DETAILS: Answer one of the three essay questions on the website about Rand's novel 'We the Living' PRIZES: $3000, five 2nd prizes of $1000, five 3rd Prizes of $300, 25 finalist prizes of $50, 80 semifinalists of $25 http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.com/WeTheLiving.aspx?theme=blue VOCABULA WELL-WRITTEN WRITING CONTEST ------------------------------------- DEADLINE: May 31, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories, non fiction DETAILS: 200 - 500 words of readable, well-written, even beautiful writing (fiction or nonfiction. PRIZES: $200, $100, $50 and publication. URL: http://www.vocabula.com/popupads/VRWritingContest.asp HILLERMAN MYSTERY COMPETITION ----------------------------- DEADLINE: June 1, 2012 GENRE: Books OPEN TO: Authors with no published books in that genre. DETAILS: Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime. The story's primary setting is the Southwestern United States, including at least one of the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and/or Utah. Minimum 220 pages/60,000 words PRIZE: $10,000 advance against royalties and publication by St. Martin's Press URL: http://www.wordharvest.com/contest.php LITERARY LAUNDRY COMPETITION ---------------------------- DEADLINE: June 1, 2012 GENRE: Poetry, Short Stories, Scriptwriting DETAILS: Poetry: 1-3 single-spaced pages; Fiction: Maximum 10 single-spaced pages; Drama: One-act play, maximum 15 single-spaced pages PRIZES: Prizes of $500 for best poem and story, $250 for one-act play URL: http://www.literarylaundry.com/submissions L. RON HUBBARD'S WRITERS OF THE FUTURE CONTEST ---------------------------------------------- DEADLINE: June 30, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories OPEN TO: Those who have not had professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. DETAILS: 17,000 words maximum. Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror: All types of science fiction, fantasy and horror with fantastic elements, are welcome. PRIZES: $1,000 first prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual "Gold Award" grand prize. Each quarter, 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500 URL: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/contest-rules ***************************************************************** AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers ================================================================= Creating Blockbusters! How to Generate and Market Hit Entertainment for TV, Movies, Video Games, and Books, by Gene Del Vecchio Find these and more great books at http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml Have you just had a book published? If so, let our readers know: just click on the link below to list your book. http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml ***************************************************************** ADVERTISE in WRITING WORLD or on WRITING-WORLD.COM! For details on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your product, service or book title, visit http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml ***************************************************************** Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com http://www.writing-world.com Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors@writing-world.com) Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial@writing-world.com) Copyright 2012 Moira Allen Sutton House, Meads Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit: http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?LEyszKyMtCwcrMxs7GwMtEa0jCyMDOxMrOw=

Friday, April 13, 2012

Barefoot Sisters, Ticks, and Friday the 13th Karma


I have so much more to talk about than what is below, but what I am posting is some practical advice for health and safety this spring. I have been reading Barefoot Sisters, about two sisters who hike the Appalachian Trail barefoot, living off of nuts, seeds, and the land. They are the original hunter/gatherers, and I can't help but think of Rice's Maharet and Mekare. To my friends Nellie Blue, Carol Josten and Linda Cox, Happy Birthday today! The date with the Full Moon have combined to make this a miserable day for me, full of bad and odd things happening, but these two, shall pass.

It is also Good Friday for those of us who belong to The Greek Orthodox Church, so Kali Anastasi and Kallo Pascha!



Read below:

Ticks can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. Everyone needs to start protecting themselves against tick bites. For information on how to prevent tick bites and tick removal when a bite does occur, please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information at www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. For guidelines on the safe use of insect repellants, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=DEET_factsheet. The most common tick-borne disease in Iowa is Lyme disease; 85 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH in 2011.The most diagnostic and earliest sign of infection is a rash that may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite. The rash will first look like a small, red bump, then expand until it begins to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring surrounding a clear area. Unfortunately, this rash does not appear in everyone. For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=Lyme_Disease_factsheet.

Be safe and enjoy the great outdoors.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Auctions featuring Steiner

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Auctions featuring Steiner: Years ago, I used to correspond via email with Florence Theriault. I love their auction catalogs, and their write-ups. I am posting a coup...

Passover

A blessed Passover to everyone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: 17 to 1000 and Patty Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: 17 to 1000 and Patty Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe: We are near 100 viewers on this blog, too! Thanks! Am reading Just Kids, by Patty Smithy, a memoir of her life and her time with Robert Ma...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Doll Museum: More General History of Ancient Dolls; From one of...

Doll Museum: More General History of Ancient Dolls; From one of...: The Goddess Figures and Ancient Dolls No one could possibly know who made the first doll. As many have speculated before me, perhaps so...