Tag Archives: blog

For Musicians and Music Lovers Everywhere

“A drop in the bucket followed by continuous drops will eventually fill the bucket.”

Happy Friday artists! I’ve done PR for a few years now and I’ve helped to promote and bring attention to several artists work as a result. If you ask me how this all started, I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. Perhaps it’s my season for sowing.

I’m committed to bringing awareness to artists and creatives whose authentic passion for doing great work shines through.This artist hails from Liverpool. I selected her work from a list of several artists sent by Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music, to feature on the blog today.

A budding lyricist myself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this artist and songwriter’s music with American audiences. Enjoy!



What are you passionate about that benefits others?

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.

Writing Outside of Your Niche


Happy Friday readers and creatives. What a glorious morning to be doing something productive!

What do you do when your muse calls you to write outside of your niche? Are you fearful that by tackling another genre that you might forget to focus upon your calling? I used to struggle with this creative dilemma in the beginning of my writing career, until I realized that what God gave to me shouldn’t be kept boxed in fear, but opened to explore in every aspect of my creativity.

Life writing is my purpose and my brand. Becoming a voice that empowers women to passion, purpose and living their truths became my mission. In this instance, I make a life with my writing, rather than a living. Writing is looked upon these days as a trade rather than a calling. I can see how simple economics adds to this popular train of thought.

As a freelance writer and creative entrepreneur, I use my talents, skills and gifts in other areas where my creativity continues to educate, inform, and entertain, while paying penance to my economic sustainability.
Genres that I’ve written for and found a bit of success in, includes:
Short stories of fiction and nonfiction
Book Reviews
Song lyrics
One Act Plays
Celebrity News and Entertainment Features
And Content Writing.

I believe writing is a calling whose logistics can be improved upon as one sees fit to garner acceptance and or publication and validation. Your purpose is defined as that thing that nags at you to do what you must to make a difference in the lives of others and becomes your brand or niche.
Do not fear your gifts and abilities beyond your passion and purpose. How will we grow if we never expand our creative horizons?

How do you feel about writing beyond your comfort/niche? Share other genres you enjoy.

A Five Year Clara54 Surprise!


Thanks WORDPRESS! Time simply flies when you’re doing the thing you love to do:) Thanks to all of my faithful readers, writers, book authors and all around good folk for keeping me interested and interesting!!!

Enjoy your Summer Time Fun weekend and I’ll see you guys back here on Friday with an amazing interview with Nigerian Author, Poet and Screenwriter, Abiola Olatunde.

Clara Freeman

What The Freelance Writer Should Consider When Working Smarter

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Working smarter is a catch phrase that includes everyone from parents in the home, to teachers in the classroom. This solution to problem solving is far reaching, extending from the lips of sage Pro Bloggers to best-selling authors and their number one fan. Working smarter, not harder, has become a phenomenal motivator.

The essence of “working smarter, not harder” is a good reminder on the how-tos of alleviating long winded avenues to finding a simpler mode of achievement. It is on the basis of good and well meaning intention when those in leadership provide potential clients this same definitive take-away value in their startup business endeavors . As leaders, it’s imperative how we define this ideology of working smarter for ourselves.    

 I recently had an opportunity to participate in a ten week Leadership and Coaching course offered at  Illinois Depaul University. It was an eye opener in the instance of how the word “smarter” is perceived. I knew the basis behind working smarter, but taking the class reawakened a better understanding and conceptual method to working smarter.

 The participating class were given weekly modules for learning . The bold lettering spelling out the word S. M. A. R. T. E. R in the first session , served to set the tone for the course premise in relation to freelance writing, leadership, coaching, and marketing. As a professional writer and entrepreneur, this information seemed an important addendum to an already awesome way of problem solving.

Below you’ll find the module’s lettering and wordage. The definition to each word is how I perceived my goals and vision as an individual freelancer. Defining  what these words mean for you, whatever your platform can only add to your success.


S. Specific be clear in your goals. What is it that you’re focused on accomplishing. As a nurse it would be to provide the best possible care and return a patient to their activities of daily living. As a writer, I will focus upon my passion and purpose as I work from a place of helping others.

M. Measurable- Have you mapped out a master plan, as in a business plan? A map to guide you on your journey to achieving your goals? Is it doable?

A. Agreed-If you are a solepreneur with a family dynamic to consider the question arises; have you and your spouse discussed the potential for failure? finances? support? Is everyone of concern in agreement? If not, what avenues must you initiate to come to an agreed upon conclusion?

R. Realistic- Are your goals doable? Are you going to write what you know? Will research suffice. Are you “walking the talk”?

T. Time-bound- What’s your time frame here? Have you prepared  yourself for failure? For success?

E. Ethical- As professionals, we are bound by an indelible code of honor. There should be no question about how we want our work to encourage and inspire, empower and entertain. As leaders we should base our motivations upon teaching others the path that leads to truth and humility.

R. Recorded- How do we want the world to remember our contribution to society? What we leave as legacy should find favor with our loved ones, our colleagues and the world, as a permanent record. A deed to the the life we’ve lived.  

Working smarter, not harder, when viewed from where I’m standing as a freelance writer, activist and motivator, suddenly takes on a whole new meaning!

Happy 2012 to all of my readers and thanks for visiting clara54 during my absence. Lots of good stuff, hard decisions and career motivators to update y’all on in future posts. Meanwhile feel free to weigh in on the components of working smarter as it applies to your freelance endeavors!  

Sooo Excited!

Book Review
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I know, right?! This just couldn’t wait another day. I’m so excited to bring you guys the news and to thank all of the authors and their publishers who have kindly allowed me to review their Masterpieces (books) for my readers here at clara54! I know a mouthful, but, I just yesterday received another great anticipated read from the publishers & I will be bringing more  about that review shortly. HOWEVER!

I am a book review blogger & yet, it hasn’t really resonated with me over these five years, due to the fact that I love to read and share what I’ve read with others; you guys/gals. Same with movies, tv shows, etc. Anyhow, today Clara54 Weblog is proudly displaying her WordPress Book Blog Listing Badge because my work as a book blogger has been recognized by RANDOMIZE ME who publish & share information about WP Book Bloggers!

Okay, I gotta go apply a cool compress to my forehead now! Keep it here for more good stuff headed your way, ok?

Book Review: The ABC’s of Blogging: Blogging Basics From A to Z

The ABC’s of Blogging ebook is presented in a simple to understand alphabet format. The book’s cover design in a lime green font and dark, bold lettering grabs your attention and just like in the movie Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise & Renee Zellweger? This book had me at the letter “A”. With respect to the ebooks author, friend and colleague, Marcie Hill, I wanted to make sure that as a book reviewer, I remained objective and fair in my critique of ABC’s of Blogging: Blogging Basics From A to Z:    
Marcie Hill got the idea for this ebook from a 24 hour blogathon sponsored by Blog2Print in 2010. According to Marcie, she completed the book in the 24 hours stipulated, but wasn’t published by the end of the year. However, today and in this year 2011, the books are available and out there for your blogging pleasure and resource. This ebook isn’t just for newbie bloggers. It’s for bloggers at every level.These are the basic tools to get started, stay the course and refresh old ideas in blogging. A blogger for nearly five years, I can certainly appreciate the back to blogging basics found in this 32 page ebook. I’m not going to review every letter/word/definition here, but, I’m going to tell you guys what resonated with me at this stage in my blogging career.
G. Google Analytics & Google Adsense: A few weeks into hosting my own blog for women, I’m in the process of researching advertising leads . This books tells you how Google Analytics measures your website traffic by tracking how many visitors came to your site; where they came from, the posts viewed and so forth, something many advertisers want to know. Google Adsense enables a website owner to display revelant Google ads and earn cash from popular advertising.
K. Keywords or tags are words and phrases people use to search for topics on search engines. According to the ebook, keywords,and categories, the C lettering in the book,  increases your blog search engine ranking.
P. Plug-ins and Podcasts. Plugins are used on self hosted sites to make them function the way you want (love those!)  Podcasts, I’m quite the newbie and the information the author provides will guide me along this journey that will be attempted at some point.
Q. Quality over Quantity- enough said!
X. Becoming an expert in blogging doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work, dedication and a keen knowledge of your subject matter. At some point, according to the author, you will earn the title as “expert” where folks value your opinion & use you as a resource. Heck, according to the book, you might even becomes “famous!”
Y. YOU are a reflection of your blog in design,writing style, topic…
So where are you in your blogging career? 
Marcie L. Hill is an entrepreneur, journalist, blogger, live blogger and social media strategist. She is founder and president of The Write Design Company, which was recently nominated by WeBlackBlogAwards for their best Business Blog. She will be presenting at this years Blogging While Brown live blogging conference in California, in July. More of her work can be viewed at www.thewritedesignco.com/blog, www.goshorty.net and http://marciewrites.wordpress.com

An Update From Clara54

Memorial Day Flags
Image by eddiecoyote via Flickr

Hi Guys! Just a prelude to what’s coming up for your reading pleasure this Memorial Day Weekend🙂 I know you’re going to just want to chill and enjoy good times with family & friends and believe me, “I feel ya!” however, you might also want to check out an upcoming book review on Monday. Yep, another book review! Marcie Hill, a Chicago journalist, entrepreneur, blogger, live blogger, social media strategist AND a colleague has asked me to review her new ebook, The ABC’s Of Blogging: Blogging Basics From A to Z!

 Marcie Hill is a rare talent in the world of freelance writing and professional blogging. She owns and manages three blogs, one of which have landed her in the top five finalists of The Black Weblog Awards for Best Business Blog. She will also be attending at the Blogging While Brown Conference  hosted in California in July where she is presenting on live blogging ! So this VIP dynamic is a very busy entrepreneur and I’m proud to showcase her ebook here!

Anyhow, this ebook is a no nonsense and sensible read that has something for the newbie blogger as well as the seasoned pro. Come on back after the good food, good friends & fine wine on Monday for The ABCs of Blogging:Blogging Basics From A to Z.. And let’s not forget to honor our troops for all they do and sacrifice for us! 


5 Take-Away Blogging Tactics Of 2010

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I don’t have an aversion to learning new things, or even implementing fresh ideas into a tried and true game plan when it comes to growing my writing business. I’m in total agreement with the adage “even old dogs can learn new tricks” in this arena; not that I’m calling myself old- mind you. Okay, maybe a tad seasoned:)

In 2010 there were definitely lessons of take away value I learned when it came to blogging. The information highway via the blogosphere is ablaze with something for every blogger, whether labeled newbie, or, seasoned . Here are 5 helpful & strategic tactics I took away from 2010 that will insure my blogging success in 2011 and beyond.

1. Establish relationships- bloggers know by now that networking and communicating with other bloggers and writers is a necessity for a blog’s survival. How you network is just as important as where. Most of us think of Social Media outlets: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for starters. Those are the popular ways of connecting with people. Attending non profit organizations is another. I met quite a few people at one such meeting, networking and exchanging business cards keeps me in the loop about upcoming fundraisers, jobs and so forth.

2. Reopen communication with past clients- I’m finding myself biting the bullet these days by being proactive and contacting folks to ask how they’re doing; what projects they’re working on and is there anything they’d like to share with my readers. Most times, responses are positive. Reconnecting with past clients are popular with your blog readers because they’re familiar with that person’s prior work.

3.It’s about your clients- By being sincere in your work, you’re going to earn people’s trust. Blogging about what’s important to us is a good thing, but, if we’re trying to offer our services to others, we have to remember, it’s about them and not us. When we establish trust, the word quickly spreads that your product, or, brand can be trusted as well.

4. Inform Family/friends of your blogging venture – This can be a bit tricky because sometimes it’s your closest relationships that will ultimately disappoint you. They might wonder why you want to go that route, or shut you down as a dreamer. On the other hand, family and friends in business for themselves will understand and embrace your efforts. They might even connect you to friends of theirs in business as well…I landed a gig blogging for a realtor through family recommendation. 

5. Advertise- Yep, I said advertise, as in spend a little money on exposing your business to the masses. Local Premium Business Listings in your area promotes brand awareness by placing newspaper, banner ads, customer reviews and testimonials.

These take away lessons will surely aid your blogging success in 2011…Onward and upward!

What take away blogging tactics will you carry into 2011?

Clara54’s “Whatcha Doing?!” Series With Marcie Hill

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Image via CrunchBase

Watcha Doing?Very interesting question.  One, I’ll be glad to answer.

This year was my year to secure my space in the journalism and blogging worlds.  I think I did it.  I currently edit stories for True Elegance Magazine; I write profile stories for How They Living Ain’t No Joke (I love sharing the stories of others); and I contribute to the Chicago Independent Bulletin newspaper. 

As for blogging, I targeted my blog topics so I would not be all over the place like I was last year.  The Write Design Company’s blog shares information on entrepreneurship, blogging, live blogging, social media and writing.  Readers of my community blog, Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource, can find resources and information on culture, education, employment, health and youth programs activities on the South Side of Chicago.

Before the end of 2010, I will be adding author to my name with ABCs of Live Blogging and Blogging 101.

Next year will be my year of great prosperity; this year was preparation.  In addition to more clients and blogging workshops for The Write Design Company, there is a third blogging book in the making as well as a completed draft of a roller skating book.  This is going to require A LOT of research but I expect a good draft by the end of the year.

I plan to present at all of the known blogging conferences as well as some local conferences.  Also, I am going to have a summer multimedia program for young people ages 12-14.

Lastly, I will start submitting query letters for magazines again.  I got discouraged after a couple rejections, but I’m so over it.  I plan to get published in at least five major magazines next year.  I’ll start local, though, to build my portfolio and credibility, but I will be published.

Clara, thank you for allowing me to put my goals in the Universe.  Now, it’s time to get busy!!

Marcie Hill
Journalist – Professional Blogger – Live Blogger

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