Today I spent the day at the art desk. I haven't done a pencil drawing for a while and I had had an idea for one floating around in my head for some time. I had been thinking about this image and wanting to get something down on paper but was busy with one writing job or task; so when I got some time today I busted out the pencils. Anyways, here is what evolved and I think I kind of like how the lady turned out; a bit creepy, what I was going for although I wish I would have done a better job with the wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and overall so she would look a bit older. Oh well, what's done is done; and when I had originally thought about it I was going to put her on top of a painted background but I decided to do a pencil background for now and maybe attach her to a painting later if I wanted to. I just wanted to finish something today, and I will call myself out for being a lazy/slacker artist today because the background is quite lacking. Oh well, if I decide to come back to her later I'll just do the painting thing. But for today at least here is my drawing...Cheer! :)

Bookmark and Share

Starting out in freelance writing? Avoid the content mill trap

Breaking into the freelance writing business is tough; if you don't have a clue about what you are doing or any connections to speak of it can be like finding yourself stuck amid an epic sea and you don't even have the island of Lost to at least build a shack on. I know that was my experience, and still has been the case up until this point; the truth is that I am still new to this whole writing scene and while I've always loved words, how to get them in print and visible is no small feat.

Well, perhaps that is not wholly true especially in these times when anyone can have a blog (these very words are a testament to that) and the growing market for content mill articles is abundant. Because so much business has shifted to online venues and with page hits and rankings being more important sometimes than actual content, the work of keywords and SEO has run amok. That's why writing online for such outlets is a far cry from traditional print; there is a place and a reason for his content and it is still necessary but I am just pointing out that it is in fact different.

What is sad and what I will come out and say is bad is that what these kinds of articles or web content has bred is the perfect environment for all of these content mill sites dangling pitifully low wages in front of anyone who can write a coherent sentence and sprinkle in the right words here and there. The poor souls then are stuck in a similar situation to an overworked mule horse who never quite can reach that carrot; busting your but for $5 an article and netting an income on par with a high school senior working as a perky Jamba Juice pusher is not fun.

I think spreading the word that there are far greener pastures is the first thing to do and from there those that are comfortable working for those lower rates are more than welcomed to continue on that path. Yet for those that are striving to achieve something more they can have the information and then go on to break into the business. I think it is hard for anyone to dive into a new niche or market if they have no idea where to start, and if the first wave of information they get is telling them one thing and they don't know any differently that only perpetuates the cycle. I was completely overwhelmed with first trying to muddle my own way into writing and there are plenty of places and sites screaming to hire you but they are really only looking for someone to string together their specific words and aren't willing to pay for quality, even if what you end up writing is.

So hopefully if anyone reading this is new to freelance writing or are stuck in the content mill merry go round I hope this posts on how to break into freelance writing 'the old fashioned way' will help. Yes it still will take time and it won't be easy but the rewards will be better; here the author Carol Tice proves you don't have to have majored in journalism to make it and you can get your foot in the door by writing for local daily papers, the alternative press, and go out to nearby business and non profit organizations that need content. This can be newsletters as well as for their own websites; the fact that the online world is a burgeoning market can still work to our advantage and you can get some copywriting credits without having to work for beans. From there you can progress and move onto 'bigger' things; but like she says you are still going to be making more than $5 here and there.

Bookmark and Share

I guess I'll make my own hours

Well today I woke up at a freakishly early hour and couldn't get back to sleep. So I got up, got in a run and pounded out some freelance writing work in the wee hours of the morning. Well, that's all good and fine in terms of getting my productivity on but now it's barely late afternoon and I'm dragging...very tired. I have horrible sleep problems and for whatever reason wake up literally in hour and a half increments throughout the entire night. I can be down in the sack for hours but never really wake up refreshed and then I often have the ongoing problem with not being able to shut off that brain at night; thinking of an article I want to write, an email to send, a picture to draw. I like that, but it sure makes for odd sleeping habits.

That is one thing I like about being a writer, I am able to set my own schedule. So if that does mean getting up before 4am and then petering out by the late old hour of 3pm so be it. I guess it all will even out in the end...

Bookmark and Share

A Princess Lady Gaga Wedding

So today's little cartoon actually comes from an inspired Twitter conversation with @brendaboo when she wrote, "Trying to convince my 3 yr old that #LadyGaga does not have a princess movie. She is in love with just dance. ha ha" From there we went on to create the latest Disney flick centered around one Miss Gaga. Of course the tale would include plenty of paparazzi, could never be without Perez Hilton, and the beautifully lavish wedding, complete with a Prince rendition of Purple Rain fused with Paparazzi, would take a shocking turn when a fame jealous Lindsay Lohan crashes her car onto the aisle narrowly missing our Gaga princess. From there...we can only guess what kind of cat fight throw down would sure to check back for updates on this masterpiece of the theater sure to be making its way to the big screen soon! hehe

On another note, I'm thinking I may color in this doodle and put it up as a wedding congrats card on Pigspigot...we'll see.

Bookmark and Share

A birthday card for all us geezers!

"Happy birthday. Enjoy those golden years."

Here's my latest little card doodle that I've done, and that's what it reads on the inside of the card. I've been having some fun doing some cartoons when I can fit them in and I've been working on a dummy for my latest kid's book idea. I've finally gotten all of the rough sketches done and now working my way through the inks. Which brings up the fact that I've now got a headache from breathing all of those pen fumes! I guess if I've got to kill off some brain cells in the name of art, so be it...hehe. But I've only got 9 pages left to do, and I'm hoping I can get those finished and get everything assembled soon!

I'll be sure to keep you updated on that status and hopefully I'll get hooked up with an agent and one day you'll be able to read it in a Borders near you. :)

Bookmark and Share

Twitter Bird Gets Taken for a Detour

In case you missed my tweet....I miss you!

Well, this is going to have to be short one today, sorry! I've been a bit busy as of late, but tonight, or more like early this morning, I got to drawing and wanted to put up my latest one. Anyways you can see this card at Pigspigot along with my others. Nighty nite all! :)

Bookmark and Share

Creative mind on hyperdrive

I think a lot of creative minded people, not only writers and artists, but plenty of others like inventors or others with quite active imaginations have a whole lot of 'stuff' constantly floating around in their heads. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and while I fully accept all of my little quirks and idiosyncrasies, I don't think I"m the only one who feels like my brain is going a mile a minute sometimes. Not all the time, but for the vast majority I could say I'm thinking about far more than one thing at a time.

This has always been the case; in school I actually did better if I was drawing, doodling, or at least writing something down during the lessons; I'm bodily kinesthetic was the 'fancy' term they taught us when we learned how everyone comprehends things differently. And just as I seem to always need to be doing multiple things at once, my mind sort of works the same way. This can be a good thing as I'm an excellent multitasker but sometimes it does get a little cluttered in there and overwhelming when I feel like I've got so many ideas and don't want to forget them, or have all these things I want to do I find it hard to focus on one project and see it all the way through before getting started on another.

I've become markedly better at buckling down and finishing things, and always when I've got a deadline or work agreement, but one thing that helps me stop from going insane from thinking I'll lose my 'precious' ideas is I keep lists. Lists like you wouldn't believe, and they are scattered everywhere; but I know exactly where they are. Although don't many seemingly unorganized people say that they in fact know where everything is, and when someone actually cleans up that's where their trouble begins? But I do find inspiration in the oddest places, so I literally try not to go anywhere without at least a scrap piece of paper and a pen. It at least puts my mind at ease knowing that I can get something down no matter where I am and revisit it for the future if need be. I may not wind up using all of my 'ideas' or even a fraction of them, but at least I've got them written down on a list...somewhere.

Bookmark and Share

Do you feel lucky???

While I did spend the last few days working on my freelance writing jobs, I did get to sneak away some time to do some cartoon doodling! I did this one while watching 'The Invention of Lying' which was quite funny if I may say so myself. But because I always have a hard time just sitting and watching movies without DOING anything I like to draw at the same time. I didn't really have a specific inspiration per say for this one, but I just started going and saw where the pen led me. I thought the end result was ho-hum, okay for kind of a loosey goosey drawing without having an idea in my head before to work off of. Anyways, I've added this one to my cards at Pigspigot so if you want to take a look at the finished one, be my guest! :) Take care all and until next time...try to avoid sleeping with the fishies!

Bookmark and Share

Slowly, against my will at first, I became a Twitter convert

I will admit, I was more than hesitant at first to log onto and partake in the Twitter mania that has seemed to befallen the rest of the world. I couldn't understand the point of reading what everyone was 'up to' every hour of the day; there are in fact some things that should remain private...say the going-ons in the bathroom! But I finally came around to signing up and sending out my first few hesitant Tweets.

The thing was, I figured that there couldn't really be anyone all that interested in what happened to be on my mind or what mundane task I was up to. Unless I was suddenly hit with creative inspiration that would regale my followers, I didn't find any need to post a new Tweet.

Days passed, and I was still listed as up to the same activity...then weeks. Gasp, I had committed a fatal Twitter crime in neglecting my updates. The truth was I still didn't understand all of the hoopla that surrounded this crazy bird. I didn't even understand half of the messages being put up...what was an @someone and the meaning of RT passed over my head. I didn't get the # signs and I was confused over the whole reply thing. Yet something possessed me to find the answers and so I shamefacedly Goggled what all of these things meant and found I was not alone in my cloudy understanding. Albeit I may have been in the company of the old, techno challenged, and other wayward Twitter newbies, but I was not in fact alone.

So I become a student of the Twitter, joined some groups and even a few Twibes. I learned how people network on this blasted thing, and realized the nuisance of Spam Tweets. I don't care if you lost 25 pounds in a week thanks to the miracle drink you're hawking! But I actually DID start getting interested in what actual people were writing and did some replies to sort of connect. I then found it a bit addicting once you got started.

I learned that Twitter can be a fun way to not only share what's on your mind and also yes, promote what work you're doing as long as it isn't to the excess, but also meet up with some like minded individuals you may never have had a chance to connect with. While I'm still new to this whole Twitter business, I think, in fact I have crossed to the other side.

Bookmark and Share

Echos of the past

Footsteps echo
like sounds of laughter
days long past.
Memories only left...
empty bed
vacant seat...
Gone but not forgotten.

Course of time - intended progression
happy on the other side.
Door shut - locked.
Closing one chapter
venturing onward.

Where does it leave the past?
Slowly fading - drifting away
one clings behind
the other breaks forward.

Crying in the wake - left torn
once thought lost
made murky with unrest, unease
captured momentarily
Only to be delegated to the past.

Bookmark and Share