New Year’s Eve – Same as Everyone Else?! 2013 to 2014

Wow, we’re far enough along now to be aware that there a lot of cognizant people born in the 21st century. My son was born at the end of the 20th century. I think we were years into this Millenium and Century when I realized that as long I don’t die prematurely most of my life will occur in the 21st century – a fact I often overlooked despite having been a very future oriented child.

Congratulations on another year all of you out there. Lately I have been saving feedback from you to get more of a sense of who is really connecting with this.

New Year’s Eve. Wow, I guess the best way to celebrate depends on how old you are, where you are, who you are with and your lifestyle preferences. Is it the equivalent of Kosher to use a pinyata at New Year’s parties? Culturally, I honestly don’t know. I had about 3 lessons in proper use of a pinyata and that’s it.

At this point my son is an 18 year old and I am some lady in her 40s. My life expectancy is about 85 going by grandparents ages at their death, so it is a bit premature to feel old but more and more I meet adults who weren’t even born until after I grew up. If you weren’t sure it took me FOREVER to grow up but then suddenly it had happened anyway. Many of you out there may have felt the same way or know someone else who had that experience.

As a child a few friends and being allowed to stay up until midnight was good enough. Around 18 & 20 for me, going out until 3am and getting safely but really intoxicated with a lot of walking and fresh air or being at a private party and still a couple of fireworks and the ball dropping was enough. Ages 30 and 40 I did something along those same lines the more it involved including the baby the less it included getting intoxicated.

This year, I have bought and already lit off a few low level fireworks here in the village. I am not sure if what I have would be legal or illegal over in the USA in New York state.

Have fun, but take care to be safe and to protect any loved ones!

More Writers Advice

After yesterday’s harrowing look at freelancing let’s tone it way down today and think about writer’s groups.  Writers groups are great for amateurs but not useless for many professionals and hope-to-become professionals. 

Have I belonged to any writer’s groups myself?  Answer: yes, but.  Many years ago now, while in my 20s I tried a local writers group.  I had written before, a little more than what was necessary in a literate culture and good schools.  In this case, by good schools I’m including university, which definitely kept me doing some evaluated writing. 

Around the era in which I was a graduate student in England and mother to a toddler and ‘partnered’ the guy who was my partner had to give me rides most of the time and he brought me to at least one writer’s group at my request. 

I tried it.  It was English people.  It was ok but did not last long.  Much more recently, I have only been involved with online writer’s groups that I found at LinkedIn and I was more active in 2011 and 2012 than in 2013. 

Writer’s groups are recommended as ‘Kosher’ for developing writers.

“Writer’s Advice” Final Entry 2013

The type and amount of writer’s advice I feel qualified to give is greater than nonexistent but limited.  I believe I wrote about some types of professional writers for one or two posts.  Even so, there are still more. 

There are corporate writers, and there are freelancers and there people we may think of as book writers or novelists or as academics who get something published. 

So called freelancing is not always the way it seems.  There are times when it is a lead in to getting a real job as a staff writer for a magazine or a newspaper.  Most of us remember the amazing freelance journalist who was offered a job by NBC after some of his investigative journalism in the Middle East made prime time news shows a few years ago.  People were impressed by his work and sort of flustered and dumbfounded that he was a freelancer. 

Many have heard of Peter Parker in the Spider Man story when a middle aged newspaper man tells a young man to freelance because he is too immature and inexperienced to be granted an actual job at the newspaper.  Then, only thanks to being a super hero in disguise, is the young man able to regularly freelance for the newspaper.  That’s how difficult it can be to get anywhere freelancing.  Good luck with it: that was even though the editor was willing to give him the time of day.

There are people who write well and somehow meet the right editorial staff somewhere.  This can happen simply by submitting a good piece of work and then not messing up the relationship with the editorial staff.  Events of that nature sometimes lead to long term and repeat business.

When that happens often enough at good enough rates of pay, a freelancer can actually be a person who runs his or her (their) own little writing business. 

What % of writers does that happen to?  I honestly don’t know. 

Guest Post : Author Deborah Blake Dec. 2013

Saturday is ‘Guest Day’ here at the blog. This week, the guest author is a lady who has been in my Facebook Friend News Feed for over 2 years but when asked told me that she is much too busy to give me an interview or anything like that right now. She did grant permission to quote from her newsletters or website. So, the below is an excerpt from one of her author websites. Her demeanor is approachable middle aged American woman.

Welcome to the website for author Deborah Blake.

Deborah is best known for her Pagan/Wiccan books, but also writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Have fun wandering around the site, and be sure to check out the excerpts from the published books and sneak peeks of what’s to come.
What’s New:
Deborah signed a two-book contract with editor Leis Pedersen at Berkley Publishing for her paranormal romance, THE BABA YAGA, and its follow-up, THE BABA YAGA’S SISTER (titles subject to change). Tentative release dates are September 2014 and December 2014. See “Fiction” page for a blurb of the first book.

Coming in April 2014 from Llewellyn publishing, Deborah’s 7th book on modern witchcraft, THE WITCH’S BROOM: The Craft, Lore, and Magick of Broomsticks.

Thursday, shortly after Christmas 2013

One question is always about ‘narrative voice’ for writers.  This is the case both when it comes to writing nonfiction and fiction.  This issue can be a little complex mainly due to two or three closely related factors.  Finding, nurturing and using one’s unique voice is especially important for singers and writers.  Of course it matters for people in general, but there is a lot of talk about it for singers and writers.

With writers, it is a little trickier in that publications often have their own established style and want their writers to fit in.  Also, ghostwriters may be asked to hide their own voice or to deny that it is themselves, because the ghostwriter is often not the official author.  There are gracious and generous authors who do give their ghostwriter some degree of credit for their help.  Ghostwriting is not authoring because ghostwriters write for a fee some work that he or she would not have written on their own.  A ghostwriter may handle only a small amount of the work or do the vast majority and often it is in between. 

To completely change the subject: many people who have guests in from out of town for this holiday still have them there whereas others have said goodbye.  Either way, the energy has shifted, since most of the Christmas presents for this year have not been given and received and there has been some level of feedback about them. 

Out there somewhere in it all, are the voices of the writers who wrote articles for this season that have appeared throughout the world.  Some wrote the article last Summer, or half a year ago.  Others dug out something years old and managed to sell it to a magazine this year.  There are many that were written this year, shortly before the holiday but more were prepared months in advance than I had ever realized when I was young. 

Somewhere, for people we may or may not know, this week he or she discovered that unique artistic ‘voice’ for the first time.  Maybe it was a poem or a short story or essay or novel, but there it is and the author is transformed.

Congratulations to everyone who has found that creative voice.

White Collar Crime? Is there such a thing?

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Name of your Book: The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead

Personal Day: Nonsequiters

Wow, Christmas Eve! 

Thanks again to everyone who keeps reading this blog.  Be sure to tell your friends about it! 

Reminders about Uranian Fiction and access to more of my creative material: there is work for sale and there are freebies.

Religions and world cultures.  Christmas is mainly a Christian religious holiday and a “European & culturally descended holiday”.  Winter Solstice and Christ’s birth happen consistently around this time.  Hannukah apparently ‘moves’ like Easter and sometimes is conjunct with Christmas or Yule.  Asatru, Druids, Wiccans and people of other other religions who live in Christian nations and real Christians living in nations that are really not officially or culturally predominantly Christian will celebrate ‘if they feel like it’. 

For those who live in Christian nations, they may love, like or feel stifled by all the Christianity and Christmas.  For people living where Christianity is not even close to actually being the dominant or ‘state approved religion’ then, the situation is actually very different and they don’t have the same feeling about it being so overwhelming.

For those living in Christian nations: there are some people who really aren’t Christians and there are Christians who are so judgmental of others that they actually believe that less than 98% of the other Christians they meet are really Christians.

‘Stuff to keep in mind’. 

I have eaten well and have wrapped some presents and emailed the parents today.  The son will arrive after he has a big deal and opens presents ‘the German way’ which is tonight.  Then he will come here, play around then go to sleep and tomorrow morning we will do it the ‘American way’ and he’ll get his presents from me then.  If I wrote this yesterday, I guess I’m getting a little whacky. 

I spent about an hour outdoors today.  No snow drifts here like where I come from gets in the depths of the snowy season, and no Beach Ball like in Australia and South Africa where this holiday occurs during the Summer.  Bikini wax and Christmas presents together: that’s the Southern hemisphere. 

That’s about it for today.  I’m alright but I haven’t socialized much today.  I notice that when other people are with me in person interactively I hardly notice the Internet stuff in certain ways but when I am not dealing with other people in person that much online seems more dramatic.  Ultimately, it is really interactive, however, and it does have as much of an effect as at least some conversations and business transactions.