Category Archives: Freelance Writing

Freelancer: Hits, Misses & Mentions


Good Monday morning! I hope the juices of all creatives are flowing like water in a river baptism this fall season . I can’t complain because I’m still loving what I do, although, it can get hard out here for a creative pimp-tress:)

So, today, I’m updating my loyal readers and followers on a few things happening in my neck of the writing woods, with a brief run-through of some of my freelancer hits and misses, along with a big ole congratulatory mention to a well deserving poet and visual artist.

Misses:

You guys recall me writing about how thrilled I was to open an email from Quaker Oats contest a while back, informing me that my delicious recipe submission had been selected?  Well, just like most of the five hundred thousand hopefuls out there, I waited with bated breath, months even, to claim my winning prize…

Not! The three finalists have been selected and yours truly is not on the list. Bummer! But,  because I love to eat my share of delicious foods instead of demonstrating my culinary skills or lack thereof, I’ve gladly moved on. It’s always a good thing when we release and let go, because something great hangs in the balance.

Misses : #2

I will be sharing my thoughts on traditional book publishing from my own experience with Unleash Your Pearls, including the ups & downs one might experience after signing on the  publisher’s dotted line. I will discuss research findings on the industry, including the length of time it takes from initial contract to actual book release. Patience is truly  required and a couple of glasses of spirits can’t hurt much. Anyhew, when those people call my people about my book release, we will have a celebration!

Hits:

I’ve learned not to wallow in feelings of freelance defeat or rejection and to just keep going with other interesting and oftentimes lucrative distractions.  I recently sold my 2nd nonfiction story to the Book of Hope Anthology, scheduled for publication after the holidays.

My contributing story appearing in the “Lessons from Losers in Love”  Anthology recently went to YouTube.

Dr. Alonda Alloway-Higgins, PhD, LSW,  Author and Life Coach

Uploaded a video to talk more about her book and upcoming series:

I’m working on my fourth assignment as part of How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women from Iowa University’s free Writing Workshop. This class is mentally challenging and educationally inspiring. We’re penning new stories to upload every week and so far, the feedback from class participants have been encouraging and useful. My love of learning is evergreen and when I feel the need to advance my writing aspirations, I always do.

There are numerous narratives on the informational highway in regards to getting something for ‘free’ and I’m of the opinion that one should always be a cautionary ‘buyer’. When it comes to free learning modules, however, in the form of free classes in writing, website design or advanced YouTube tutorials in your field of expertise, I’ve found them to be quite beneficial, and in some ways an advantage over many fee based online workshops.

For example, free classes offered by college institutions oftentimes differ from online writing workshops that cost, in that these curriculum based classes are taught by esteemed professors of writing, with several book fellows and awards under their belts and do not in any way, fashion or form, diminish from  a freelance writer’s creative abilities – they can, in fact, impact ones’ productivity and profit-making capabilities.

I’ve taken my share of online fee based and free classes since 2010.  Before the internet surge, I thought nothing of hopping a train in real-time, to attend fee based writing classes at Harold Washington Colleges. So, my advice, when in doubt, is to go for your gusto the way it work for you and don’t be swayed by negative  hype.  If you haven’t done it, then you can’t speak on it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mention~

A big ole congratulations going out to Henry Jones; Poet, Artist, Entrepreneur and friend out there in Nashville who I hold in high regard. Mr. Jones just won the National Gifted Artist Neo Soul & Poetry Artist(GANSPA) Award!

Congrats to you, Mr. Jones!

Quote for today:

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women


Happy  October everyone!  I love to watch the seasons change and fall is one of my favorite times of the year, just because Mother Nature brings vibrant colors that are so darn awesome 🙂  This is also the time for freelancers to take stock and do inventory on their accomplishments and yes, failures, in order to make strategic plans to learn more, grow more and implement better. Knowledge is power and I love learning.

On that note, I’m happy to share information on another upcoming Iowa University’s free fiction writing class. This class, although opened to everyone, is geared specifically toward women stories! Take a look-see  🙂

Registration begins on Oct 11th for Iowa University’s~How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women. I think these 6-8 week classes are valuable because seasoned writers and newbies get to interact on  the class forums, with these alumni professors of writing and teachers who critique your work and offer valuable nuggets to drive your stories to publication. And did I mention that the classes are free?!

Participating writers who take the class are provided class discussions before assignments are handed out and get to share with other writers who become this family of creatives from different areas and stages in their careers. I love this class and recommend it to all who want to up their game. Certifications are available to those wanting to showcase their achievements.

I look forward to seeing you all there. https://novoed.com/how-writers-write-…

As you all know, I will be posting at my sites monthly, preferably on Mondays, but I wanted to get this info out because the time to register is fast approaching and for all of you  Johnnie-come-latelys, you can opt to register later, but who wants to be late for an exciting writing class!

Quote:

freelancers feel more empowered, respected and motivated than ever before. Let’s use that energy to come together and make freelancing better for all.

Yours in solidarity,


Sara Horowitz
Founder & Executive Director
Freelancers Union

Save

Save

Women Artists Who Dared to Create From A Room Of Their Own


I want to  dedicate this post to all women, irregardless of whether they’ve been written up in the pages of history books. Women, by their mere existence, create history that is unforeseen and untold every single day that they live and breathe~ so for all women, let me say, Happy Women’s History Month!

The novelist,George_Charles_Beresford_-_Virginia_Woolf_in_1902 Virginia Woolf wrote in her famous essay, A Room  of One’s Own, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Viewed in a broader sense, the essay could reference any author’s need for poetic license and the personal liberty to create their art.

The artists I’ve chosen to honor for Women’s History Month, in essence, created from a room of their own. The “room” for the most part were of their own choosing, but sadly, one  young girl had no say in the literal sense.  Nonetheless, these women (and many more) craved out an impressive body of creative works that became a historical legacy.

1f30f05d-b3d0-4f97-a720-e238d5d018f7-originalMaya Angelou had me at I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. She was brutally raped as a little girl and only shared this secret with her brother, Bailey. When her uncles found out, the molester was killed. Maya did not speak for 5 years, blaming herself for the molester’s murder.

7f3df4e8-d3f7-31df-921d-cc3810d0eed7ANNA 13-year-old Jewish victim of the Holocaust… Anne Frank went into hiding from the Germans with her family and another family for two years in a small annex above the office where her father once worked. It’s reported that Anne, her mom and sister died in the concentration camps and only her father would survive to publish her diary, written while in hiding. 

Anne wrote in her diary that she wished her writings to live on in life. How prophetic her words were.

k2-_5b518c7b-c8ff-4653-9263-14c828b2365a.v2.jpg-14c1e4e6ef225f4d3e85fd206095436e0ca8323a-optim-450x450

thnikkiNikki Giovanni has often been called a “Revolutionary” poet. All I know is her writing are often based on fact and it is those poems that touches the sensibilities of a nation of readers, including myself. A prolific writer, activist and highly guarded educator, Ms. Giovanni is currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.

My very favorite of her many works includes: Those Who Ride The Night Winds, poems about the mass murders of young black boys in Atlanta totaling more than 29 young children killed. Ms. Giovanni poems, in my opinion, are a loving eulogy to the memory of those children.  thIf you haven’t read any of Nikki Giovanni’s work, you are missing out on one of our greatest literary contributors.

220px-Pearl_Buck I read Pearl S. Buck’s, The Good Earth in High School. The book introduced me to another culture and people with a different way of living. Although American, Ms. Buck lived in China for a while and associated with Chinese culture and tradition. I was impressed by the humanity of The Good Earth as it relates to a country’s change affecting regular people.

51zRzieodBL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Ms. Buck died in 1973, but her Pulitzer prize novel lives on. 

In another life, I opt to come back as Lorraine Hansberry! Not only was she the first African-American woman playwright, she was the first woman of color to have a play produced on Broadway! A Raisin in the Sun was inspired by Poet Langston Hughes poem, Harlem that asks, ” What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the Sun?”

Ms. Hansberry’s play would later inspire Nina Simone’s song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black!” You know what they say, “The Play’s The Thing.” Lorraine Hansberry was the “ish” and sadly, gone too soon… The playwright died of pancreatic cancer in 1965. Sheer Brilliance!

Here’s a special clip for y’all 🙂

And:

thtoni Toni Morrison’s-The Bluest Eye,Tar Baby, Song of Solomon, Beloved and Sula.

thzora Zora Neale Hurston’s  “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Their_Eyes_Were_Watching_God_us

thalice When Alice Walker was a little girl, she was playing in the backyard with her brothers, one of whom accidentally hit her in the eye with one of the pellets from his BB gun ( I remember those. My brothers got them for Christmas) . That accident never stopped Alice from living her dreams. One of the biggest dream in history was:

thpurple

I’ve had several books from these historical women on my bookshelf,  in what I can only describe as a stationary library for many years and felt that I could never part with any of these great works, but, alas, I have and I don’t regret passing them along (donations) to new readers and creatives and curious children who just might dare to dream 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know that the works of these and other women history making artists are sitting on your bookshelf, vying for a little Women History Month love shout… Please share a few of your fave with us.

Writer’s quote for today:

“Only I hold the pen that will write the story of my life.” Tia Kelly

Worldreader: Empowering Literacy Through Reading, Thinking and Growing


Hello readers and writers and those who are published authors!

So, I just got of the phone with my publisher and everything is going well. On our next session we’ll be discussing the book cover for Unleash Your Pearls. YAY! The book won’t be out until sometime in 2016, but I will keep everyone posted.

 

Speaking of books? I received this awesome email from Jennifer Jacobson, PR advocate for Worldreader and Jacobson communications. Jennifer wanted to share the story  about world famous author Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) and his recent donation of three of his titles to Worldreader’s digital library.

Here’s more about their collaboration and links for you to visit to get better acquainted with this awesome pursuit of literacy.

http://www.worldreader.org/blog/paulo-coehlo-now-our-supporter/

About Worldreader
Worldreader is a global nonprofit bringing digital books children and their families, empowering them to read, think, and grow in order to improve their lives and their world. In its first five years, Worldreader has reached 5.6 million readers in 69 countries with a digital library of 28,500 local and international e-books via e-readers and mobile phones, and plans to reach 15 million readers by 2018. To read free books on your mobile phone, visit read.worldreader.org. For more information on Worldreader, visit www.worldreader.org
About Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 195 million copies worldwide; have been released in 170 countries and translated into 80 languages. Born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1947, Paulo Coelho is the author of some of the most read titles of our time, such as The Pilgrimage or The Alchemist, the book that made him internationally famous. Paulo Coelho has written many other books which have touched the hearts of people around the world, among them Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, Aleph and Adultery.
He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the 2009 Guinness World Record for the most translated Author for The Alchemist. Also, he is the writer with the highest number of followers on social media. To learn more about Paulo Coelho, visit his blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/.

 

Wasn’t this great news to share in the fight against illiteracy?  And not to mention we have a  direct link to Paulo Coelho’s blog and awesome web videos. I’m a fan who should have purchased The Alchemist years ago:)

Thanks Jennifer.

Quote for today:

“When its positive she’s all for it”. Clara Freeman

Happy reading all!

Kudos, Complimentary Tickets And Print Book News


kudos

Good Morning Creatives!  I want you to join me in sending kudos out to my two granddaughters and their dance troupe-Dancers Be Like. They have auditions Saturday for America’s Got Talent. Break a record,  my dancers!

If you are an author looking for agents for your manuscripts, I happened upon  a great article over at womenfictionwriters here:

https://womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/10-literary-agents-seeking-womens-fiction-now-8-query-tips-by-chuck-sambuchino/

Here’s a treat for those of you in the Chicago-land area. Tomorrow, (November 7th from 6pm),”The Transformation Showcase” headed by C. Street, one of my LinkedIn connects, is offering two complimentary tickets to see their Performance. I’m not able to attend because my great-granddaughter is celebrating her two-year old milestone:)  Anyhow, I was given permission to pass the invite on to other women.

It’s all about sharing the love over here, y’all 🙂

The showcase focuses on fighting body shaming and building self-esteem by celebrating, primarily women of color, who set out to become their own SuperMe, regardless of size, shape or body type. If you’re free this Saturday (November 7th from 1-6pm), and would be interested in attending,  you can e-mail info@transformationshowcase.com, and let them know you were offered two complimentary tickets by  C. Street and they’ll leave them at roll call.

This news from the pages of The Web Writers Spotlight should bring a smile: Despite earlier predictions that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply and the tune has changed. Now analysts predict the print industry will “thrive” over the coming five years.

Bamidele Onibalusi  of writersincharge just published 50 websites that pay $50 + for Articles:

http://www.writersincharge.com/sites-that-pay-writers-50-per-article/

My book update~ the first  book coaching session went well. Linda Ellis Eastman (publisher) took on coaching yours truly and I’m totally blown away by how down to earth she is. Her affirming voice and real coaching expertise, immediately put me at ease.. She truly walks the talk and I have my fingers crossed that the next session goes well.

Your writer’s quote for today:

A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
Anything you’d like to share with u today, please speak on that!
My lesson learned from social media interactions this week~ Stand in your truths and never waver under intimidation. Shine a  ‘kindness’ light onto yourself and heal from within when faced with harsh critics and acts of hate filled rhetoric. And continue the journey. . . C.F.

 

 

Favorite Songs From Down Memory Lane


Hello Creatives!

I admit it, I sometimes take a musical trip back down memory lane leading to my Southern roots. Not all memories were good ones, for sure, but music always fills the heart and lifts the spirit.This post  came about from last week’s introductory post, highlighting the famous singer, musician and author, Mr.  Charles Wright who tweeted his thanks. Way cool:)

Charles Wright
@Charles__Wright
A BIG thank you to @C50something for talkin about my new book & my song “Looking For An Ugly Woman”! Read more here: bit.ly/1N8efN3

Come on, groove with me a while 🙂

Hurt was Johnny Cash last song before his death- introspective and sobering.

Okay, so these are just a smidgen of my country favorites. Hope y’all like the Saturday selections. What are some of your favorite childhood song memories?

Here’s the writer quote for today:

Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche.” — Julia Cameron