It Must Be Monday

It’s been a while since my last link-love, and I usually do it on Wednesdays. However, I’ve run across some great info over the last few days; some news, some fun, some thought-provoking, some helpful. Dig in!

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“Strange Bird” is a must-read for this Monday. Written by JD Riso, it’s a story of a trip to Costa Rica, told in a personal and very unique way. Excellent read.

Sun and Oracle combine forces. What do I care, you say? Sun is responsible for Java, one of the most widely-used software technologies, and this union may give pause to giants like Microsoft. The software universe may never be the same.

If you’re single and looking, living in the Montana region, this young man is looking for a sweetheart. Forget Match.com, eHarmony, or any of the other meat markets — check this guy out. He seems real. It’s not “Rock of Love” but I’ll be keeping an eye out and wishing him well. Heh.

Is there anything better than ice cream? Why, yes, yes there is. FREE ice cream. Hit your local Ben & Jerry’s on April 21st and get you some.

Finally, the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” is slated for a September 15th release by Doubleday. 5 MILLION copies ofThe Lost Symbol will be released to a long-awaiting public. Amazing. And that’s just the FIRST print run.

Unfortunately,scientist and professor Stephen Hawking has been reported as “very ill” and has been hospitalized. Author JG Ballard passed away this weekend. Very sad…condolences to Ballard’s fans and family, and good wishes to Mr. Hawking.

Nick Usborne has provided a page of some fabulous information for freelancers. WOW. Excellent resource.

If you’re looking to monetize your website, here are 6 Fool-Proof Steps to Make More Money With Your Website. Very detailed and informative.

10 Websites for Book Lovers — need I say more? I know, I know…you’re cursing me now, but you’ll thank me later.

And finally, you know I couldn’t just end this edition of Link Love without a couple of fun time-wasters. Take a look at this video if you’ve ever wondered what sheep herders do with their spare time, and then you can turn your brain to oatmeal with Seinfeld’s 100 Quotes About Nothing. Heh.

I’ll probably do another Link Love post soon — two weeks without internet access, and the stuff piles up. The next one will be strictly writing related.

Until then, enjoy the Monday. The best thing about Mondays are, they only come once a week. Heh.

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Organizing the Freelance Way

Andy Containment Facility
Image by andyi via Flickr

One of the biggest challenges of a freelancing career is organization, at least in my experience. There’s a fine line between being organized yet flexible; after all, flexibility is one of the best perks of being self-employed. However, if you don’t stay focused on some level, all kinds of things can fall through the cracks and become lost and wandering. This, friends and neighbors, can cost you money and inspire a level of frustration in which you invent scathing swear words not fit for human ears.

There are some things to keep in mind when you’re embarking on a freelance career. It’s not as simple as just reaching for a pen, keyboard or crayon and scribbling away. You have to think about an online presence; marketing; pricing; accounting; prospecting, and at long last, writing. (And you thought you were just going to be writing, didn’t you? Hah. A freelancer must wear many hats.)

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Tuesday Round-Up of Worthy Links

The Lady of Shallot, based on The Lady of Shal...
Image via Wikipedia

Sub-title: Traveling Around the Blogosphere

I run across so many great sites, I thought I’d list the best of the best here every Tuesday. Some of them are helpful, some of them are inspiring, some are just quirky. They might be writing-related, and they might not. A good freelancer and flasher is a well-rounded person, and you can learn a lot by wasting time visiting other sites.

A combination of the useful and the quirky, I highly recommend Mercenary Writer’s Press. “All the writing without the pretention” is their mantra — their Kung Fu is strong, even though their preferred torture device is plural gerunds. You might need to invest in Depends Undergarments, but it’s worth it.

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Filling Your Basket

Blood Roses
Image by Pablo Moran Jr. via Flickr

Today’s economy sucks, and we all know it. The daily news is rife with information about how difficult it is to work in ANY profession, and freelance writing is just one of them. Freelancing as a writer is difficult under the best of circumstances. Situations change on a daily, almost hourly, basis. What can you do to ride the waves?

Two words – flexibility and persistence, my friends. If flexible and persistent aren’t part of the vocabulary, it might be time to think of another profession. Work opportunities will come and go as fast as blinking your eyes. What might be a great paying gig today could be gone tomorrow. The competition is fierce, reliable job opportunities scarce, and staying motivated and focused can seem impossible.

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Essential Tools For A Writer

NGK spark plug (type BP6ES).
Image via Wikipedia

Just like you wouldn’t open the hood of a car with a vegetable peeler in your hand and expect to change the spark plugs, there are certain tools that are essential to your writing career. Sure, you might be able to get the spark plugs out and changed, but it would take a lot longer and you won’t do a good job. Here are some must-haves for embarking on a writing career:

1. Computer , website and internet access. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, the truth is the writing profession has undergone many changes as technology has erupted. It’s much easier to send articles and manuscripts via email; many places offer online submission; some won’t take them any other way. Often, employers will want samples of your work, and the easiest way to showcase these are on your very own personal website.

Investing in a state-of-the-art computer is a must. Get as much as you can afford — this is an investment that will pay off big-time. To start with, the only software you need is a good word processing package. Websites, or blogs, are easy to set up and can be done at low or NO cost. You’ll need a reliable internet service provider with an email address you can access several times a day.

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And Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

La fine del giorno
Image by DanielaNob via Flickr

That’s a good question, and I wish I had a good answer.

The truth of the matter is, as some of you might know, I lost my momma in August and the world has not been the same since. I’ve been trying very hard not to fall into the Abyss of Depression, but it’s been a difficult battle. Words don’t come as easily now as they once did, and this causes me no small amount of angst.

I guess everyone deals with a Major Life-Changing Event in their own way, and I have to constantly do a self-check — and I have to stop being so hard on myself. Why is it so difficult to be as kind to myself as I am to other people? Dunno. A Mystery of the Universe, at least for right now, because it’s too damned early in the morning to do an intense self-examination.

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Market Monday Week One

Wellenbrecher
Image by Torsten Hofmann via Flickr

Haunting the markets used to be a habit of mine.  Time and circumstance has limited me somewhat recently, but I’m happy to report the majority of my bookmarks are still working. Small markets come and go at a fast pace and some excellent online publications, sadly, faded out of the marketplace. It’s a loss for everyone, because those ezines produced some excellent literature.

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Searching For Sasquatch

Wall To Wall Books...Image by appaIoosa via Flickr

You have created a literary masterpiece, a gem of a short story. You just know you’re destined to be the next Great Thing in short fiction, and the money will be rolling in. Just a short word of caution: I’ve heard earning a living from writing short fiction can be done, but I’ve also heard people have seen a Sasquatch.

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