Tag Archives: blogger

Amazon Review: The In-Between By Jeff Goins

Happy Friday, writers and authors! Here’s my Amazon review of Jeff Goins book, The In-Between. This is a must read for all creatives for when we find ourselves doodling during those precious moments of in-between times- such a waste of time:) Enjoy!


A Reminder To Find The Message In The Slowing Down-My Amazon Review Of The In-Between by Jeff Goins

I finished reading The In-Between over the remainder of my time off for the Holidays and it was gratifying for me during this down period to reflect and consider the points made in Jeff’s book about the state of busyness in our lives, how we are bored for something to happen within the waiting periods when we’re actually growing during those in between the waiting times. I wasn’t caught off guard entirely from how important those moments of ‘quiet’ really is in our lives if we stop to in essence ‘smell the roses.’

I enjoyed the anecdotes of his life learning’s unfolding during times when he felt like he needed to be somewhere or doing ‘something’ to those reflective, in-between times he began to cherish with family, baby time, friends long gone. There are truly moments in those in between times Jeff Goins writes about that we all need to be reminded are some of the most memorable times in our lives. We create the lives we think we should have, when oftentimes we find ourselves on a detour of a much more meaningful origin.

I would recommend the book for everyone to read because it’s inspiring, motivating and offers meaningful insights that could very well define your own “aha” moments of the in between times.

Have you read The In-Between? What was your takeaway value?

The Memoir & Personal Story Surge…


Happy Friday, readers and writers. The thing I’ve noticed over the span of the last 6 years, is how much we’ve come to share our love for “Story.” When I first started writing online (reluctantly gave up my Smith Corona) it was all about ‘blogging’ and getting to a place of PROMINENCE by blogging with the “big dogs”, of which there are many well-known accomplished folks. Here I was, blogging from a “writer’s” perspective; wondering if I might not ever grace the table among the bigwigs. Consistency in my love for story keeps me afloat in this writing arena and this is where I’m supposed to be.

Well, wonders never cease. These days, nearly everybody is turning a keen eye to writing and sharing their personal stories. When James Frye came under fire from Oprah and other critics for lying about his personal story in A Million Little Pieces, I was attempting to write my own truths… After losing the first 40,000 words of the work to computer virus and no back up files, I became disillusioned and put the idea aside. Needless to say, like a lot of writers, struggling to return to story, I welcomed sage advice of authors who had traveled the publishing path.

Where bloggers and blogging became the new ‘Black’, seemingly, story has become ‘Evergreen.’ April is National Poetry Month ( my beginnings) but, we’re going to spend the weeks ahead discussing the Memoir. I’m reading Home Sweet Hardwood, an inspiring book by one of the first women to play in the sport of women’s basketball back when it was deemed “taboo.”


I’m so enjoying Pat Mckinzie’s amazing memoir. Naturally, I’ll be having a conversation with several memoirists who have agreed to share their expertise with you guys. I cannot wait to welcome them to the forum:)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a personal essay, short story or working on your novel…you’ll want to be right here this month for insights, introductions and community discussions on writing the memoir. Meanwhile, I’ve included some other great reads in this genre you might want to check out. My essay, Second Time Around, appears in When One Door Closes; the first book in the Reflections on Life’s Turning Points series by Terri Spahr Nelson.


The moment

Have any of you guys started or completed your memoir? Care to share your writing experience in this genre? Anyhew, STORY is the thing, and it’s high time writer, you began to share your awesomeness with the world.

Happy writing!

Guest Post: Marcie Hill

10 Ways to Keep Your Freelance Writing Mojo Going

In 2008 I left my human resources career to pursue my passion of writing. I was published in a local magazine the following month. That was a great start to my journey, which seemed very promising. I thought that one success was going to get me published in my “dream” magazines without having to query first. I was wrong.

I submitted a few query; received either rejection letters or no response at all; got discouraged; and gave up freelancing completely. During that time, blogging became the “hot” thing to do, and I was drawn to it like a magnet. That was a blessing and a curse. While it helped to improve my writing skills, it took my focus away from what I should have been doing all along – freelance writing.

To keep you from making the same mistakes I did, I would like to share 10 things ways you can keep your freelance writing mojo going. These tips apply whether you are a full-time or sometime writer.

1.      Write out your story idea. Flush out your story as much as you can during your first few drafts. Be sure to identify the central point. This will make it easier to select audiences.

2.      Who is your audience? Think of all of the audiences that may be interested in your story. Some will be more obvious than others, but after a little brainstorming, you will have a pretty full list.

3.      Which online and print publications cater to these audiences? To find print publications, use Writer’s Market. You’ll find information categorized by topic, genre and name of publication. They also detail the audiences served, topics accepted, and the best way to submit your story. Conduct a search for online magazines or visit Twitter to find online publications.

4.      Review the writer’s guidelines for each publication. You will find these guidelines by doing a general Google search or going to the websites of the individual publications. Be sure to write and submit the story as specified. Sometimes publications want the entire story, but query letters are preferred in many cases. You may even be asked to mail your submission.

5.      Write query letters. When writing query letters, share your idea and tell editors why their audience would care about the story. To get better results, specify in which department your story would fit. If you have an editor’s name, use it. If you don’t have the editor’s name, find it. Also, keep your query letter to one page.

6.   Be sure to submit your query letter. This may sound obvious; it isn’t. If you second guess or doubt yourself at ANY time, your dream of seeing your name in a byline will continue to be just that – a dream.

7.      Wait. But don’t wait too long. Some magazines will tell you when you should hear from them if they are interested. Others won’t say anything at all. If you don’t hear anything within a month, follow-up.

8.      Follow-up. You want to do this for two reasons: 1) to confirm that your story had been received, and 2) to let the editor know you are serious. If you don’t hear from the publication at all, move on. There are more audiences waiting to read your story. Continue to submit future stories to that publication, though.

9.      Have a tracking system. Keep a log of the date you sent the query letter, the title of the story and the name of the publication. This makes it easier to follow-up on your submissions and to see additional opportunities with other publications and audiences.

10.  Keep on moving. Laugh in the face of rejection. Keep submitting stories to the publications in which you’re really interested; they will notice you. Also, continue to build clips and credibility by submitting your work to smaller, lesser-known publications.

If being published is your desire, keep on writing, even if you only have a little time. This will build your confidence and credibility.  Most importantly, though, writing often will help you keep your freelance writing mojo going, which will ultimately increase your visibility and profitability.

Marcie Hill is a gifted writer and blogger who loves sharing stories, educating her audiences with little known and unknown facts, and giving people a platform to tell their stories. Find her at www.marciewrites.com.

Why Hollywood Should Honor The “Blogger” Awards!

Red Carpet
Image by mrecuay via Flickr

How many of you watched The Emmys last night? Isn’t it awesome to see all of our favorite celebrities walk the Red Carpet in all of their fashion finery? Talk about their latest picture, who they’re wearing and posing for the GlamCam? Okay, so who watched The Emmy’s last night? I didn’t.  I’ll tell you why.

As a celebrity blogger, I’m knowing I should be front and center, eyes glued to the television screen (next best thing to actually being there) to get scoop for my column…but, I didn’t feel like doing that. Am I a g-mogul? “You betcha!”

Did I feel like I would miss something great by not watching the Emmys? No!
Throughout the years, Hollywood Honors abound: The Oscars. The Golden Globes. The VMAs. The Teen Choice Awards. The Country Music Awards. The Latino Awards. The Soul Train Awards. The list is endless…When will Hollywood honor The Blogger Awards?

Is this a rant? Not really, just an observation. As a blogger and writer whose work garnered an invite to speak in London, I’m just wondering about the big picture of the state of bloggers. I’m sure all of you “big dog” bloggers get my drift:) anyhoo, I didn’t watch the Emmys because I was thinking of this well known little ditty about the Oscar Mayer Weiner in regards to the blogger.

“Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner. That is what I truly like to be….cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner, everyone would be in love with me.”  Or, at least let go of some free “Swag!”

Okay fess up.  Don’t you think bloggers should walk the Red Carpet, or at least get some free swag?

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Clara54’s 2nd YEAR ANNIVERSARY/ In Review

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Things have been popping so much this start of 2010 that, oops! I forgot to send a shout out to yours truly for clara54’s 2nd anniversary. Actually, my baby came on board wordpress June 3rd! and like I’d written from the start; at clara54, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get 🙂

Actually, you’ve gotten quite a lot of great stuff here. Let’s do a wee summation in honor of  Clara54, shall we?

1. Loads of viewers/comments/networking friends

2. Great interviews with:

a. Celebrity & Authors

b. Filmmakers & Fashion Design

c. Poets & Politics

 Clara54 joined Twitter and LinkedIn and see encouraging growth in professional resources & also picked up some awesome followers, including Marketing guru, Jeff Herring…Thanks for the follow Jeff!

Became a contributing guest post writer for WritersRoundAbout…thanks for the opportunity, Rebecca Lafar Smith.

Promoted a popular motivational blog for women@ Wisewoman2.com, to a receptive audience of professional & everyday women on a journey to authenticity.

Landed a seasoned nurse advice column @ a nurse magazine & just sent in a 2500 word+ pics for their annual feature… finally I can breathe again 🙂

Clara54 is no longer the newbie kid on the block, but still a bit moist behind the ears of freelance &  these last two years I’ve come away with great respect, on a grand scale for writers of all caliber. It’s not an easy thing to write your passion to an oftentimes world of critics, naysayers and people with an opinion, but, one must learn the how-tos of not making it personal as Guy Finley so eloquently put it, “your opinion of me-is none of my business!!” Psst, not editors & publishers Guy!

My hope is for Clara54 to continue the journey started 2 years ago. To continue to bring a bit of life, laughter, and human connection to my loyal readers AND make a good & lasting impression on their minds, hearts & spirit…(ya’ll feel me?!)

PS. Stop by to read my motivational blog for women at http://wisewoman2.wordpress.com & speak your mind!

It’s A Nurse Thing…

Mother’s Day is over, but for clara54, the celebration continues. For folks unaware, May 6 thru 12th is also Nurses Week! AND because I’m a vet in the nurse profession, I feel it’s only fitting that I give a shout out to my fellow “Nightengales” and give my readers the 411 on how nurses do it!

First off, every unit receives an itinerary for the six day event… Good foods from vendors in medical supplies,ambulance services,regional hospitals & healthcare facilities are on the nurse agenda, along with massages, manicures and gift bags from administration….

Nurses deserve these few acts of kindness & appreciation because it’s rare that recognization is given to those of us caught up in the trenches of striving to provide quality care to our patients. Surely, nursing isn’t for the faint at heart and for those without compassion as anything can happen when dealing with other folks lives…I’m grateful to have spent the better part of my life as a caregiver for others, but, now, it’s my time to shine and here at clara54, I’ve found my niche as freelance writer/ blogger/columnist…

Thanks to all of my loyal readers here @ clara54 and to my followers on Twitter for all you do and if you know a nurse/if there’s a nurse in your life? Give ’em a shout out as well. We’ll truly appreciate knowing how you appreciate us for all we do!

Mother’s Day Special-Article Blast-Off @ Clara54!

Hey guys, just as promised. I’m wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all of my loyal readers & new kids on the block, with some of my best articles ever written for the web, right here for you guys @ clara54! These gems are not your everyday postings, let me assure you. Some of my babies have garnered over 2000 views at last count, so sit back, relax and read some of my pearls…leave comments if you must and enjoy your Mother’s Day Article Blast-Off! PS. It’s also Nurses Week, so here’s to all that you do-my colleagues in the business of taking care of the business, “Florence Nightengales”…

Appreciating Our Daughters –http://bit.ly/arfLDT

The Year Of The Woman- http://www.blogher.com/year-woman

Catty Women In The Workplace – http://www.blogher.com//catty-women-workplace

Letting Go Of Women Drama-http://bit.ly/aYEgHT

Shine On!

I Got People Coming…

My saturday off from work…supposedly, i’m in the kitchen right about now making a huge meal for family visiting from out of town & surrounding areas, but, I’m at my trusted computer still! since 8 am this morning , 4 hours later, I haven’t even started the main course:) What’s wrong with this pic?

I’m a writer. I feel it in my bones, my genes, my DNA if you will, but, I’m also a woman, a mother, a grandma and I’ve got people coming over!!! I’m going to just get up now and go into the kitchen, but, first I have to visit a few other writing sites…write another post that’s burning in my brain for BlogHer…then, I’ll just go into the kitchen… Hold up, there’s that blogger site I need to put in a query to right about now…

Ok, I’m up now…that bird on the stove has been thawed for a few hours now…actually, it’s a rooster…just how does one cook those?

Anyhow, my day off…there’s work to be done, but, in the words of the terminator, “I’ll be back!”


I’m not distraught…I’m not exactly estastic either. I suppose I’m just trying to take the bitter with the sweet here folks. Today marked 2 days back on the job. Yes, the month of September went by in a whirlwind of queries, writing, submissions and networking with other folks in the business of writing. Admittedly, there were some stress-free days of visits with friends, family and being with myself …Oh, how I enjoyed the 4 weeks of blissful ‘living the way I wanna live it’

So, I’m back with co-workers, patients, and employers… the first day was grueling…Although welcomed back with open arms, I still feel disconnected… like I’ve hung up my nurses’ stethoscope… yet, one must do the job 100% when you’re in it… Today, after work, I managed to send a query to a relationship website…got prompt response…will get verdict on gig in a week or, so.

I also revisited myitthings where my article for fall fashion is among the top ten finalists in their monthly contest … I try hard to get excited, but, I’ve placed amongst the top ten for several competitions before…just maybe, fourth time’s the charm! Those babyboomer magazine articles I’d mentioned? One was recently published on the site… So is a  post I’d written about women over 50 for America’s Next Top Blogger over at AllWomen Stalk…I visit these sites practically everyday to remind myself of my recent accomplishments…

I’m constantly meeting/greeting other writer/bloggers whose friendly & welcoming nature keeps me encouraged! again, I’m not exactly thrilled right now, but, neither am I throwing myself a ‘pity party’