Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Special

Valentine's Day is just about here. Feeling stymied? Flummoxed? In a conundrum? Lots of us feel that way around Feb. 14. And the reason for all this wringing of the hands? Presents!

Seems no matter the stage of the relationship – from the early days of "what if s/he gets the wrong idea" to the comfortably yet horribly unromantic been-married-a-long-time phase of "we need to get the sprinkler system fixed" – choosing the right Valentine's Day gift is a relationship minefield.

Worry no more! I have got a solution for you. Buy Beth McDonald's "The Very Generic and Experiential Zodiac-Based Guide to Valentine’s Day Bliss." Click here to check it out. Not only is it gift to yourself as it is a very entertaining read, but it is a very good bargain. (OK, it's downright cheap.)

Actually, Beth co-authored the book with Jamie O'Toole, who did the wonderful and beautiful artwork. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that I had a pass at proofreading the book ... so I really know what a great book it is. "The Very Generic and Experiential Zodiac-Based Guide to Valentine’s Day Bliss" go buy it now. Click here,sweetheart.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Extra! Extra! Read all about me!

My new membership to the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications has certainly more than paid for itself. The newsletter's Member Spotlight feature shines on me this issue. Check out what I have to say! And a big "thanks a million" to interviewer extraordinaire and writing colleague Leslie Westbrook.

In addition to getting my name in lights, I learned a lot from this month's panel "Why Women in Communications Need to Negotiate." With their varied experience and expertise, panelists Lisa Gates, Britt Andreatta, Renee Grubb, and Lois Phillips covered a lot of the sticky territory of negotiating. Definitely am doing my homework on that ... last night I made some changes to my fee schedule. I made a separate category for proofreading.

Plus! The next morning I received a referral for a job. Now that's an amazing return on investment. Can't wait to see what next month's meeting brings.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What does it feel like to be a writer?

I subscribe to "The Writer." The print magazine arrives in my mailbox 12 times a year. It offers practical tips on writing for a living, writing because you want to, and writing because you need to. Typically, I find more than a few tips in each issue and easily can justify the subscription cost. (Actually, the subscription rate is very reasonable.)

"The Writer" frequently addresses how many writers don't really think of themselves as a "writer." I know the feeling. It's not like I think I should be wearing a beret to my office or anything. Maybe if I wrote more fiction I'd feel more like a writer. Maybe I should be yearning to write. (One thing I do yearn to do is use my forearm to swipe all the stuff of my desk. A swift and definitive windshield wipe.)

As one would expect, advertisements for writing programs punctuate the magazine. There is something for every level and for all types of degrees and certificates. One quarter-page ad was about "writing in Paris," which of course is the stereotypical dream of all writers.

That ad made me feel like a writer fraud. When I went to Paris I did not want to write. Indeed, I went there on vacation ... to get away from writing. I went there to see the sights, eat the food, drink the wine. I went there to get away from myself. To rejuvenate. So I could come home and pick up the writing.