Ummmm…

Published September 6, 2011 by The Author

I’m title-less today.

Here’s another new experience: being an online professional but a “real-life” amateur. Our local newspaper has an insert and online-magazine that focuses on women and women’s issues in the area. On a whim, I emailed the editor, as I think it would be fun and interesting to write for a different sort of format. It would broaden my experience, beef up my resume, and give me a chance to do something for the place where I live, that I love madly.

She emailed me back asking for a resume and clips package, and said she hoped we could meet in the next few weeks.

O.M.G. (Not to go all high school or anything.) I have a writing resume, and I have a website that has links to all of the online content that I’ve written, but I’ve never done hard clips before. Now I’m kind of frozen like a deer in headlights: do I send her links? Do I copy articles into Word and send her those? Aieeee! It’s exciting and completely nerve-wracking all at the same time. Now I’m staring at a list of dozens of articles I’ve written and have no idea which I should pick, and how I should present them. I think pasting them into word files is the way to go… and duh! I need to look at what the magazine usually prints and get my best clips that fit that general flavor! See, I just needed a few minutes to get over my initial panic. Now I have an excuse to get a hair cut and wear some of the clothes I got earlier this summer! Working from home, I confess, doesn’t really push me to get out of my sweats or my big, baggy comfy dresses. Or the same hairstyle I’ve had since the early 90’s — one length down to my behind, worn up in a bun.

Today was a weird day writing-wise. I worked on a travel piece that’s due in a couple of days. Sometimes this kind of material comes easily to me, whether I’ve been there or not. If I’ve been there, I have actual sensory experience. If I haven’t been there… well, I AM a fiction writer, I have to be able to make this stuff up. With travel pieces, if I haven’t been to the site, I have factual information about it. I just have to take that information and paint a picture for the interested traveler. Anyway, this one is sticking a little bit. So I wrote up a first draft, and then switched gears entirely.

Since we had our little brush with Hurricane Irene (and our very close neighbors in Vermont were half wiped out) I’ve been thinking more and more about how unprepared we really were to get our beloved cats out of the house if we had to leave, or how to protect them if things got hairy inside the house. This being Disaster Awareness Month, I decided to do some research, and write an article at the same time, about Pet Disaster Preparation. Just a quick 700 words or so, two drafts in a few hours, and submitted to Suite101 (since I’ve been a member there for a while an haven’t submitted anything yet.)

Now I think I’ll work on a lit piece I have coming up, then after dinner, take another look at the travel piece. I think what sticks sometimes is using keywords. Sometimes it’s really awkward filling a clients’ specific keyword requests. So I end up re-writing pieces a few times to get the keywords in the correct number of times without the writing sounding like some weirdo just sputtering random words.

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