Tag Archives: author

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 works 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 whom 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

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

Book And Music News


 Hello and welcome back to Clara54 Writers Blog!

When you’ve been in this writing business for a long time, you tend to get perks from folks who can appreciate your expertise, talents, connections (whether perceived or real) and most of all, your integrity. Folks will want to know you for your authenticity, moral and ethical compass.

I’m always grateful and oftentimes humbled when stellar companies send free books/stuff for me to review and oftentimes, direct contact info to authors, musicians, medical experts and others for personal interviews.

I’ve shared how my time management skills aren’t the best and so I pick and choose which projects I endorse or promote in my professional space. Doing book reviews are time consuming, so I’ve taken a hiatus from doing them.

This came from Chris over at Miles High Production:

Hi Clara!
 
Clara, Thanks for checking out our newsletter. Would you be interested in reviewing ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’? Currently we have a digital edition available as a .pdf or an .pub. Limited physical copies of the book will also be available soon. Let me know if you would prefer a physical copy to review. I understand that you probably receive a great many review requests and you aren’t able to get to every book, so if you can’t get to ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ I understand. However, if you’d be interested in posting the following press release, please let me know!
 
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts if you’d be interested in spreading the word on this special story!

I declined the book review, although I do plan to read it and perhaps review at a later date. Here’s a book blurb and a bit about the author/musician, Mr. Charles Wright, along with an added video of “Looking For An Ugly Woman.” Enjoy!

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Do you remember the 70s hit song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright? I want to let you know that the legendary soul singer is releasing an autobiography ‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ out October 26th!

 

 
Writer of hit song “Express Yourself” and band leader of the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, soul music great Charles Wright is set to release his highly anticipated autobiography which chronicles his tumultuous, life changing upbringing in 1940’s southern Mississippi.
 
Charles Wright is a world-renowned musician and songwriter best known as the leader of the ’60s-founded Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and for recording the enduring 1971 classic “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop – Billboard). The ensemble also recorded the classics “Loveland ” (sung by drummer James Gadson who became an ace session musician in Los Angeles), “Do Your Thing ” (featuring lead guitarist Al McKay who went on to become a star member of Earth Wind & Fire) and the racial equality anthem “Comment” (also recorded by jazz legend Les McCann, alternative rockers Wilco and others).

 

 
‘Up From Where We’ve Come’ touches on first hand accounts of racism is an honest depiction of how the now world-renowned musician went from poverty to prosperity. Written in the raw dialects and rhythms of how Blacks and Whites communicated with each other in the era, it is a riveting insider’s glimpse into the realities of the times.
 
“Some may consider these chapters a vital part of American history which has yet to be told in this particular fashion. “
 
I wanted to reveal just how thin the line between sharecropping and slavery really was. It’s important to me because I spent a significant part of my life under that regime. I started writing this book 40 years ago. It’s something – given the right circumstance – I wish I could have shared long ago…But now is the optimal time because discrimination never went away. Racism simply vaulted to a whole ’nother level. Honestly, in some cases, I’d take the way it used to be over what it is today. The process of systematic racial elimination is extremely ugly to me. I can see it so clearly. I need others to see it, too. So I’m expressing myself.”
– Charles Wright
 

I loved Express Yourself and Mr. Wright’s other songs! Now I can put a Face to those ‘oldies’…Y’all got memories too? This book appears to be a great source on race/racism in the South, as one famous musician lived it.

How To Get Better At Your Craft


thsnoopy

This week, I received rejection letters in my email for two short story submissions. I thought, Okay, back to the drawing board, people.

I could have used those competition winnings,for sure, but I learned early on in this business, you don’t cry over cryptic rejections. Trust and believe, those fiction pieces will be proofed and re-edited for submission in due time.

Get this: You can become better at your craft!

Those of us in the business of using our creative gifts, in hopes of making a sustainable living , understand this process. It takes time to create something great! Success will not be a walk in the park. But, every writer,  poet, author, entrepreneur business owner and artist, can become a winner if they keep practicing their craft.

The late comedian Bernie Mac learned the lesson of rejection and practice the hard way. He started doing standup in various venues and really won over the crowd . When he got an offer to appear on stage with Arsenio Hall, at a famous comedy club, Bernie knew he had finally made it.

His wife remembers asking him if he was going to write his monologue for the gig, but Bernie reportedly told her that he didn’t have to write any jokes because they were all in his head.

Needless to say, Bernie Mac bombed. He was mortified and it took him four months to regain his confidence and get back to what he loved doing most.

This time the comedian came prepared. He took notes on some of the biggest names in comedy. He studied their movements, mannerisms, timed their improve; took note of their deliverance and zingers. When The Kings of Comedy came knocking, Bernie Mac answered and became a rising star in comedy, film and television.

A participant in the creative arts have to develop a thick skin and persist. Rejection comes with the territory and are mere stepping-stones to seeing that return on your investment. You have to keep going; take classes in your area of expertise and study the experts.

(Study the experts,creative; don’t try to emulate them. Be yourself)

I can’t guarantee continued practice will make your work perfect, but I do know you will become better at your craft.

Today’s quote sort of put things in perspective for me. I hope it brings a smile.

Enjoy!

“Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.” — Timothy Egan

5 Ingredients To Spice Up Your Fiction


Happy Valentines Day, my Valentines! Have you been rejected by major fiction publications because your story just didn’t have the spice? I cannot tell a lie:) I have, many times. But, you know what, even though writers tend to follow the golden rule when it comes to writing fiction- adding sex, religion and money to the mix,it’s not always about that sizzle. Sometimes it’s the butter that makes a great batter. (famous for analogies I’m not)

is put it in writing

Here are five ingredients that will add spice to your fiction and bring it up a notch!
1. Conflict
2. Action
3. Dialogue
4. Feedback
5 Editing

Whoever said, “Easy reading is damn hard work”, made a believer out of this writer. It’s no secret that in order to become one of the greats (writers) you have to read and write. It’s how creatives learn how the writing process is done. Now go out and write your greatest fiction to date!

Feel free to add your saucy ingredients to writing a great piece of fiction with my readers and always treat yourself special, not only on Valentine’s Day, but, every single day of your life.

“Running In Heels” A New Memoir by Mary Ann Perez


Hello readers, writers, authors and creatives! I’m always overjoyed to receive an email from writers I’ve connected with, informing me they have finished their manuscript or found a publisher for their masterpiece. You know the icing on the cake comes when I’m told that their book is ready for purchase and would I please aid them in promoting their baby?

Running In Heels, is a heart wrenching memoir, written by Mary Ann Perez and it’s available for purchase. For those of you who follow my blog, you know I don’t recommend a book I wouldn’t read or haven’t read myself. At this point, and after reading the synopsis to Mary’s new memoir, I’m looking forward to reading it in its entirety.

Running-in-Heels.round2_.Mary-Ann.v4-642x1024

Pre-orders are available and can be ordered in soft, hard, or e-book. All printed pre-orders will be signed.

Go here to read an excerpt of “Running In Heels” and purchase your copy today. http://charthousepress.com/books/running-in-heels-a-memoir-of-grit-and-grace/

Everyone have a blessed (count your blessings) week-end and always treat yourself special…

What I’m Reading For A Holiday Amazon Review


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I will be reading Kathy Pooler’s new memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead, for an upcoming holiday review at Amazon.com, courtesy of Story Cartel where you sign up to receive free books for review. I’m one of those long time members who always come back to pursue great reading material when time permits- I promise to get the review done! Go here if you’re interested in joining Story Cartel. https://storycartel.com/?awt_l=OcCo.&awt_m=3lB3fBnhAInXk5r

Also, if you’re in the spirit of continued inspirational reading material and gratitude, make sure to pick up my short ebook to read this holiday season on your Kindle or from Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Woman-Story-Clara-Freeman-ebook/dp/B008FF6BH8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-authentic-woman-story-clara-freeman/1111834210?ean=9781623092276

Happy Holidays!

Always “Treat yourself special!”