Stepping out of my comfort zone

This past weekend, I attended an exhibit for my friend’s son, who is a photographer. I was happily surprised when a picture of my living room was there and told him so. He apologized and I told him how honored I was to have my living room in his photo exhibit.

As each photographer presented, I noted that some were less confident than others in talking about their work. Some of the students were nervous, fidgety and it was clear that speaking was not their forte. Enter me with my bright idea.

I quickly jotted down the idea to talk to one of the staff members at the program about working with the students on their speaking and presentation skills. Then I picked up a course calender to quickly scan for classes on speaking and presentation. I didn’t find any there.

Surprised at myself, I waited (a bit nervously) patiently until the end of the exhibit to speak to a staff member who enjoyed my comments on the students’ work. (The audience was invited to share comments on the pictures exhibited.) She asked me how I was connected to my friend’s son and when I replied, I added that young people need support from adults who care about them.

It was here that I launched my pitch to work with the teens on speaking and presentation. I asked if there was any thought given on working with the teens on presenting their work and added that I didn’t find anything on that in the course schedule. She stated that the students are busy for the ten weeks of class and don’t get the chance to work on it whereas students in the year-long program had presentation lessons scheduled in. The staff member then stated that it’s definitely a need that someone could fill. So, I presented her with my handy, dandy business card (since I keep them with me at all times). To which she replied that she would pass it on to the program manageer.

Yes, I was scared, but I was also really excited about my idea. My goal in life is to make a difference. Whether it’s with my writing or counseling skills doesn’t really matter as long as I can help people be better for themselves. I’ll keep you posted! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And the Bad Mother Award goes to…….

Raising a liar? The Chicago Tribune reported that the story of the Botox Mom was a hoax and that she did it for cash! What does that say about her as a parent – lying about something to collect money?

According to the article, she was paid $200 to read a script of incident by The Sun. This modest fee led to another for $10,000 for licensing rights of pictures to Good Morning America.

Regardless of how horrible the idea of injecting a child with Botox, even worse is the fact that she is a prime example of a poor role model for her daughter. Lie and get money is the lesson here. Do whatever you have to do NOT to be yourself, don’t be open with people and you’ll get paid for it. Sure, you may feel bad for not telling the truth and then getting caught in a lie, but you’ll make money off of it.

Do I feel this woman should lose custody of her daughter now? Well, she was caught lying and not actually injecting her daughter with Botox. The former is not as physically harmful as the latter so I’d say no she shouldn’t lose custody. However, she SHOULD be mandated to take a parenting class and forced to pay back the money she obtained.

Hopefully, the bad press that this woman receives over the hoax will be enough of a motivator to get her to show her daughter what it means to be honest and decent rather than untrustworthy and dishonest.

Chugging Along

Well, October was pretty good for me. Got a new blogging job while maintaining the one I already have, plus my dayjob and kiddo. I’m pretty proud of myself. The new blogging gig is a parenting site and right up my alley.

I’m blogging more and more now and it’s starting to feel like this is my niche. Blogging is a great avenue for me as a writer. Not only do I keep the writing short, but my work is usually up in a few days, which is great for me because I like instant gratification. lol

My goals are to keep blogging/writing regularly as well as to plan out my editorial calendar for the month so that I can keep up. I felt a bit stuck today and I don’t like the feeling.

Also, it’s National Novel Writing Month. I chose not to participate this year since it was a disaster for me last year. My dayjob craziness took over to the point that I stopped writing for months. So, I’m cheering on my writer pals taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge this year! Way to go peeps! Freshman Writers can read about it here.

Other than my writing goals, I also have a studying goal. I’m studying to pass the exam to be a licensed mental health counselor. Since I’m doing this, I really need to be on top of my writing. That’s all folks!

Mid-week Check In

Well, I’ve had a lot of things happen writing-wise this past week.My day job had taken over all of my attention the last couple of months. So much that I only wrote only one or two articles a week. And that’s with the examiner site as well as The Freshman Writer.

Then this past weekend I found out about a deduction in pay for one job and a raise in pay at another. Where one door closes, a window opens. So, it’s not all bad, just unexpected.

Last Saturday, I went to a local history museum to see a kid’s science show with kiddo along for the ride. That’ll be an article for the examiner site. I also posted about National Organization Month (January) earlier this week at the examiner site.

At The Freshman Writer, I posted the editorial for the week along with the Notable Quotable. And I scheduled a new post for Friday for a new feature I’ll have there as well. I’m excited about it and glad to add to my writing rather than moving backward. It’s nice to see my progress as it happens, which is why I love posted my accomplishments rather than my goals.

Besides that, I’ve dug out some old ebooks that I had printed out so that I can study up on query letters and magazine articles.

One booklet I have is from a class I took with Christina Katz, “Writing and Publishing Non-fiction Articles.” When I first took the class in 2006, I did the work on separate pages so that I can use it again. Katz told us that we should so that we can use the booklet to write articles in the future. Thank you Christina for offering such a great class with resources to help me along my path to being a successful writer.

I hope to do much more this week. At least another article for the examiner site and maybe applying for another online writing job. I’m limiting my job search because I want to focus on my magazine writing. 2010 is my year and with the way I’m going, I’ll do it! 🙂

So, that’s what I’m doing – writing, posting and studying. And tweeting along the way. lol Come back soon for more updates on my writing journey.

2009 Accomplishment List

Well, my pal Annette Fix just issued a challenge to her writer pals and readers. What did I do in 2009? I met and surpassed my expectations for the year and had a great time doing it. I also learned alot about myself as a writer. Learning about what makes me tick as a writer and how I can meet challenges that come along the way.

So here’s my list for 2009:

Wrote 63 articles as the NY Parenting Examiner on Examiner.com

Wrote 64 posts at The Freshman Writer (including a two month stint without writing).

Wrote 50 posts here at my portfolio (again including a two-month period without writing).

Landed a blogging job at Flaimahmy.com (pronounced Flymommy.com).

Maintained my discussion leader position at Momslikeme.com.

Jumped into Nano for the first time ever.

Earned triple the amount of money in 2009 than I did in 2008.

Met Annette Fix in person. lol Love you Annette.

Went on vacation with kiddo to California and had a blast!

And all of this I did while being a full-time therapist and mom to the kiddo.

I did alot in 2009 and I hope do to much more in 2010. Thanks for the challenge Annette.

What a relief!

Just to update on my writing progress, things are going well. I’m still posting regularly on here, at my parenting site and The Freshman Writer. But, for the last couple of weeks now, I’ve found it hard to apply to writing jobs because I hadn’t been getting any bites previously. So, I’m hoping to dust myself off and start applying again.

I also found out today that the salary from my day job will not be cut as planned. So, I’m very relieved though, I won’t be slowing down my writing. In fact, I intend to keep it up. 🙂 That’s all from me! Later!

Surprising Myself

I actually wrote some song lyrics. Now, if you knew me in person, you’d know that I haven’t written a complete song in a few years. I’ve written lyrics here and there, but nothing that makes me want to finish it and do something with it. I was sitting in the tub and sang out some words. I had to rush to write them down so I wouldn’t forget.

Then I started thinking of my dream to sing for the Pope and to record a duets album with famous singers like Bono, Andrea Bocelli, Shania Twain, etc. Letting my imagination get the better of me, I dreamt of being in a recording studio singing and recording my music. That would be awesome!

In other writing news, I’ve been looking for and applying to jobs every other day. I applied to three more last night hoping that I’ll get a bite this morning. I did get a nibble last week, but I’m still debating whether or not the gig is for me.