Tag Archives: blogging

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!

Jumpstart To Your Creative Juices…

Hey Guys! Hope you all are up & about -and ready to go out and make things happen- or stay in and let those fingers ignite your keyboards:) I’m just getting ready to do the same thing, so, these are briefs to what I hope might get your creative juices flowing and plant seeds to jumpstart your morning…

They are casting for HOME COOKS in Chicago! Information to Bobby Flay Food Network:



Who remember the Film SANKOFA? Watch the intro here:



How many of you are familiar with Chicago’s Bronzecomm Newspaper?

Keep abreast of all the Chicago happenings here and sign up for their newsletter:


If you’re interested in writing a Short Story for inclusion in ebook and for part of proceeds after publication? Join or submit a story hereat the Independent Authors Index:


My first story “Technicolor Love” will be published in the first Independent Authors Index Compilation—am working on second short!

What’s on your “CREATIVE” agenda of late?

Psst, Have You Gotten Your Copy?

Psst, because my site is in Marcie Hill’s new book, I can’t give a review. However, you didn’t hear it from clara54, but, this book is so right for “the trendsetter” in blogsville, meaning you guys… Support Marcie by picking up your copy today!

Pre-Order 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block

62 Posts to Overcome Bloggers Block - Marcie Hill

Hey all! I am happy to announce that my book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, will launch this month. This is the first book EVER  that focuses on blog CONTENT only. I’m so excited.

To help me celebrate, I am offering you an opportunity to invest in your blogging education by taking advantage of my pre-release offer to buy my book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block for $99, and get the workbook FREE ($39 value) through August 17, 2012.

Your investment will get you:

  • Instruction on how to use different forms of media to create blog content consistently
  • Enough content to keep you busy for over a year if you post at least once a week
  • The expertise and knowledge of over 60 bloggers that have over 10 million global followers

Bonus bonus: nearly one-third of the sites featured in the book are blogs about blogging which will help you learn more about the art of blogging

This is more than a book; we are transforming lives through writing and blogging. Pre-order to book now!

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Thank you for your support and let me know if you have any blogging or writing questions.


Clara54 Celebrates Her Blogosphere Birthday!

I don’t mean to brag but…it’s my Birthday! Yep, four years since clara54′s inception into the wide, wide world of blogging! My first post, “Welcome To My World” in June 2008 was an intro into one transitional nurse-freelance writer wannabe’s life! Let me recap a few highlights of a trip down nolstalgic writing lane:

Before Clara54? Doing the nurse thing while writing columns for free sites: alumbo.com, ezinearticles and Useless Knowledge… What I gained from writing for these sites? Experience!

Exposure! The renewal of The Writing Bug!

Confidence in my writing ability surges and clara54 moves to query online websites and print magazines- yay! My first freelance writing contract came with a $15.00 pay off from a premiere issue of a fashion mag. Next came a $250.00 gift card for winning a contest at a myithings.com competition where I would place in their 10 top article category again & again…

Ultimately, my veteran nurse experience kicks in & clara54 takes a gamble by applying for nurse advice columnist for a nurse magazine and gets the gig- it’s great to know and do better:)

Somewhere along the line of clara54 doing book reviews, celebrity interviews and entertainment copy, gaining awesome connections, becoming part of a bodacious writing community; she began to reflect upon the true meaning of this gift for gab via the blogosphere-  For clara54, it’s become about truth seeking. Making a difference and shining her light!

Clara54 is four years old people! She’s become wiser, humbled, focused and commited to paying it forward… I suppose she’s grown:)

Look out world- clara54 is coming at ya!

How about your writing growth? Please share guys…

A Special Featured Article…

The Persistence of Memory (novel)
Image via Wikipedia

The Power of Persistence
by Christine Kloser

What would be different if you were more persistent about “going for” the shifts and goals you want to experience in your life? 

Whether you want to write your book, grow your business, experience more love in your life, surrender to a spiritual path, feel more JOY, etc… any endeavor you take on requires a certain type of persistence if you are going to get through to the other side and have the experience you desire! 

So, it’s important to understand where you stand in relation to being persistent when it comes to goals in your business, and your life.  There a few common “persistence profiles” you may fall into… only one of which is truly beneficial and serving you at the highest.  I’m going to use a “Goldilocks” analogy to illustrate this point and help you discover your “persistence profile.” 

Persistence Profile #1:  Too Much
If you fit into this profile, you may be persistent to a fault… continuing to pursue goals and endeavors that are NOT the highest and best ones for you.  You are likely unwilling to release a goal because you are committed to doing what you said you would do, even if it means self-sacrificing and doing something that perhaps doesn’t fuel you anymore.

Persistence Profile #2:  Too Little
If you fit into this profile, you may not be persistent enough.  You have a tendency to quit when the going gets tough and assume that it must not be meant to happen if it isn’t easy.  You often stop just short of experiencing great success and totally fulfilling personal shifts, because you didn’t hang in there long enough to bust through to the other side. 

Persistence Profile #3:  Just Right
If you fit into this profile, you have a great way of discerning between being too persistent and not being persistent enough.  You are willing to forge forward and “dig in” when the going gets tough.  But, you’re unwilling to continuously knock your head on a brick wall when you hit one.  You have the intuition and savvy to know the difference between a temporary block and a solid brick wall.  You are committed to your goals, yet are willing to change course when all signs point you in a different direction.

Take a moment to assess which profile you fit into.  And, begin to focus on finding a workable balance when it comes to your persistence.  I wish there were an easy “cut and dry” formula I could give you for striking this balance, but only YOU will truly know if you are pushing too hard for something or giving up too easily. 

For now, simply reflect on a goal or two and think about where you stand in terms of your persistence as it relates to that goal.  And, the goals can be anything… not just a material/external pursuit.  The goal you may need to be persistent with is having more patience with your spouse or children, reaching out to new business associates,  setting aside time to write your book, or to exercise, etc.

You get the idea here.  Think about these goals that are truly important to you.  Do an honest assessment of how persistent you are in regards to them.  And, if something doesn’t feel right (you’re being too persistent or not persistent enough), make the decision to have a “just right” experience when it comes to persisting with your goals and dreams.

And, if you want to get started now, I encourage you to take the action step below…

Action Step
Identify a breakthrough or goal you want to experience.  Next, choose one action you will take consistently in order to achieve your desired outcome.  The outcome you desire can be in any area of your life; professionally, personally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.  Get crystal clear on the breakthrough AND the specific action you’ll take consistently.  Finally, pay close attention to how persistent you are the pursuit of your breakthrough (or goal) and aim for a “just right” balance.

©2011 Christine Kloser

Christine Kloser is a three-time award winning author, coach, and creator of the Get Your Book Done® program and the Beyond Mindset Village.  Often called a spiritual guide for entrepreneurs, Christine’s mission is to help shift the consciousness of humanity by shifting the consciousness of entrepreneurs and authors around the world… through their inspired businesses and transformational books. 


Clara54’s “Whatcha Doing!” From Colleague Mark Anthony Hall

Barack Obama Text Message Marketing Screenshot 1
Image by DavidErickson via Flickr

Let’s see,

in 2009 I published a book titled, “Human Solitaire – The Dirty, Dangerous & Deadly Game of Internet Dating.”

in 2010, I published a book titled, “Secret Romantic Memos & Private Love Letters – Straight From The Heart.”

For 2011, I will be releasing a book about President Barack Obama that is sure to rattle the literary world. It will give a unique insigt never seen or never told. Needless to say, I am very excited about this project.

Clara, I’m glad to see that you are still making efforts to enhance the worls through your own efforts. Stay strong and keep writing.

Sincerely and with love. Your friend,

Mark Anthony Hall

Thanks to my friend and former Chicagoan, Mark Anthony Hall for answering clara54’s shout out to “Whatcha doing?!” for my readers update. Trust me, there will be a series of such responses, along with touching sentiments from friends and creatives in the biz of writing down their authentic bones this Holiday season…Peace and blessing to you all and thanks for all you do! 

P. S. If you’d like to become a part of my Whatcha Doing Series this month, hit me up with a response here, DM via twitter or email me directly!

“That Loving Feeling”

Image representing The Printed Blog as depicte...
Image via CrunchBase

 Ok, so Clara54 is actually posting a bit earlier than usual:) It’s because I’ve got that “loving feeling” for you guys and for this whole creative vibe that’s going on, online and off. I mean I’m in a place where my spirit soars and I need to share some Good news! Good news!

First off, my poem SYLVIA was accepted in Poetry Rivals 2010 competition & scheduled for publication November 30th 2010. I’ve known about it for a while and thought what a perfect time to share the great news with my loyal readers! As you know from reading clara54, I spent the last weeks working on writing short stories of Fiction. At present, I’ve recycled one story from years ago. Fashioned another that I opted to send via snail mail for submission to Zoetrope-All Story Contest. This contest has a submission deadline for October 1st and a small fee. I also submitted an online essay to SimpleLife for their contest that states “I Never Thought I’d Become” and of course, I had plenty of ammunition to complete that one!  

Sylvia Browder, founder of National Association Women On The Rise has welcomed me into the fold of Women Entrepreneurs where I will be contributing to their expert page on Women Issues. Ms. Browder has also kindly retweeted my last post on facebook and other venues associated with NAWR, which have caused an onslaught of readers for clara54!

I returned to work today after spending some time off and I was literally welcomed back with open arms by co-workers and patients! This outpouring of love from the staff and my beautiful patients, made me humble and think that maybe I should take a respite more often:) As one nurse put it  “Wow, seems like everybody’s coming up & giving you hugs” …Ok, so there’s always going to be “haters” in the group:) Moving on…

Today, I got the best news from opening my emails. The editors over at The Printed Blog Network reviewed  both my blogs and liked what they read so much that they have asked me to join their network! Joshua karp, the founder also let me know that that this is the first Print publication as well as a paying publication. I wasted no time accepting this one.It’s a good thing when editors invite you to join their team and I’m feeling good because my blogs got some love from The Printed Blog Network. You can check these guys out (and very soon yours truly)  at www.theprintedblog.com on twitter at www.twitter.com/theprintedblog  and http://www. facebook.com/theprintedblog

Well, that’s my good news for today & clara54 is just going to bask in ‘That Loving Feeling” for a bit longer because not one day is like the next!

How about it?  Come on, share the good news and feel the love!

How Child’s Play Can Unleash Your Creativity

I’m beat tonight, but, it’s all good because I’ve gathered more food for fodder/posts this last week from hanging with children than I have in recent months. Let me clarify. Mother’s Day brought out visits from children of various ages, temperments & sizes (grandchildren) to be exact… Great times @ granny’s place armed with flowers, happy tidings and where do I sleep? Add to that, the little ones wanting to watch ‘scary movies’ and tell imaginary tales of fright on their own time and your dime, as in “Grammy,dinner ready yet?” .

I became a mother hubbard, mother goose and follower of the yellow brick road rolled up into one as I found myself in the midst of little legs, arms, shoes, little girl brushes, boy’s jeans and god forbid, pop tarts without the toaster! Kids, you gotta love them for the sheer joy and chaos they bring into the stillness that is no longer recognizable as a place of peace, tranquility,and your comfortable writing nook.Just accept that your writing flow is wrecked…

Ok, so tonight, clara54 get to spend the last night with the younguns. Prepare one last amazing meal of Shrimp Scampi in a creamy garlic butter sauce & steaming brown rice pilaf, with a banging salad on the side (their fav) from my secret recipe “GORTONS”… kids ARE so gullible, and so easily satisfied:)…

All in all, a fine ending to a week of chatter, kid’s laundry,scary movies and pretense at culinary skills…Oh, did I fail to mention the stories I get to expound upon? Sometimes, the secret to jumpstarting a stalled muse is simply a kid’s visit away…Hmmm, I think I’ll blog something for a killer guest post…

“That’s One Small Step” @ Clara54

That famous quote of Neil Armstrong’s as he became the first man to step foot on the moon in reference to his great accomplishment, ends with “One giant leap for mankind.” I’m sort of feeling like that for the stuff that’s been happening here at clara54 since its inception in 2008. Needless to say, this site started out as a single black female nurse, woman in transition who needed to find her purpose,release her literary & insistent muse kept under lock and key and explore all of that great feedback from folks in the business of writing back in the day… Pondering those long ago tidbits of ‘light’ from a creative writing professor’s “You are a great writer, my dear!” to a Louisville Theatre calling my One-Act play submissions, “a work of merit,” to pocketing small checks from poetry contest winnings while folding away reception invites to read my works…Those days of denial in dealing with my muse attack are past AND

I’m happy, humble and ecstatic really, to report how much clara54 has grown since the journey of emergence began. I’ve published a bit. Made a bit of profit. Started my freelance writing biz, which has been picked up by Google. Wrote my first advice column for nurses, promoted my blog for women (great feedback) and landed a free one years’ membership to The National Association For Professional Women Charter in my city… Clara54 continues to make important connections with bloggers, authors, fashion designers, celebrity,filmmakers ,folks in government positions and work a ‘day’ job. Life as I live it, is sweet, productive and doable, so why complain?

It’s impossible to follow the path of others when I’ve been following my own path for decades and that’s what I’d encourage all creatives wanting to “create their own vision” to do. Not to get it twisted. The business of writing is a lone one, but, it doesn’t have to be a lonely one-sooo many networking venues/ ole & new writing friends are there to encourage & offer assistance if and when the need arises. Two such writers clara54 recently had the pleasure of connecting with are:

1. Mary Aagaard @ Play Off The Page, where she journals about music (a pianist) art, kids and drama. Her great ‘found’ quotes at every post are quite inspiring.

2. Roxane B. Salonen and I connected via The Urban Muse. She’d commented upon “How I built A Popular Blog For Women” and has since become a frequent flyer. Roxane, a newspaper columnist and author of best selling children books writes Peace Garden Mama, awesome storytelling on following the muse. She also has a Wednesday blog @ Peace Garden Writer.(she deems more professional)

As Sonya Carmichael Jones would say. “keep dancing!”

Blog Etiquette-“To Comment or Not to Comment?”

And so therein lies the rub. Hmmm, I wonder how Shakespeare would ponder the dilemma? Anyhow, I’ve been riding the waves of the blogosphere of late and something seems to be running amuck on most sites I’ve visited in regards to what I’ve termed “blog etiquette”…the debate on whether bloggers should comment when they visit other folks pearls of wisdom/writings/two cents and so on. I’ve sort of stayed silent on this one, until now in an effort not to offend, or cause folks ne’er to comment on clara54 again, (as if!)

I think that bloggers who blog in an effort to obtain/solicit/garner/response are well off the mark in their purpose for blogging. Let me clarify a bit. I started clara54 well over two years ago; for me. I didn’t take into consideration how folks in the blogosphere would respond to my proverbial rants, pet peeves, ‘aha’ moments, or ramblings of a woman in transiton on a journey to finding her muse; They do. In fact, most people who visit clara54 make it a point to add their voices of inspiration,encouragement and sometimes educational stances-all to a welcoming audience of one…me. I’ve always replied with kind thank yous, followups and such.

When I visit blogs of similar interests, intriguing content , political enticements, I can’t help myself, I feel compelled to respond. Most times if I visit blogs that doesn’t have much to offer in terms of value to my endeavors as a freelance writer, blogger, opinionated woman, I don’t stick around long enough to offer comment. Should bloggers comment for the sake of commenting? In my opinion, that would be a resounding “NO!”…Ok,so just for the sake of community, this is my take on the subject… But, we all know the ideology behind opinions…shine on!