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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Page A Day: 8/365

Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now8/365
Page-count check! You should have at least 8 pages.  Do you have more? Less? What makes you work harder (or less hard) now? What is it that makes you work frantically (or procrastinate)? Figure out the answers to your relevant question and you’ll conquer all stumbling blocks.

Final Word
"If and When were planted, and Nothing grew." ~Old Proverb

Monday, September 12, 2011

Page A Day: 7/365

Are you stuck in a writing rut? Don't fret. Keep writing your page a day, even if it ends up on the cutting room floor. The main idea is simply: to write. One page.

Final Word
"Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book." ~Stephan Mallarme

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Supplement Your Income: ChaCha!

Earn Money~Work From Home~Choose Your Hours

~Do you need to supplement your income?
~Do you want to work from home (or your choice of location)?
~Do you want to work around your everyday life?
~Do you want to choose your own hours?
~Do you enjoy helping others?
~Do you like trivia and knowledge?
~Are you a self-motivator?

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, consider working on my ChaCha Team as an independent contractor.

But first - ChaCha, if you haven't heard by now, located in Carmel, Indiana, is basically "like a smart friend" you can call or text for answers to all your questions at anytime and for free.  ChaCha was founded in 2006 by Brad Bostic and Scott A. Jones, who launched the mobile service early 2008, with a huge promotion at the Sundance Film Festival.

The founders claim the ChaCha name came from the Chinese word, Cha, which means "search," the Cha Cha, the dance, a "fast-paced ballroom dance, and our Guides can be thought of as dance partners who will lead you to the best answers quickly and smoothly," and because... it's just plain silly.

And so, there are different independent contractor ChaCha guide jobs (I'm a generalist and a specialist), and at the moment, it does seem as though the new Vetter position is the one that's most available.  Either way, you'll earn between about .02 - .20 per question.  It's up to you how many you answer, whether you answer during a bonus perioud where money is added to what you earn, whether you are in the midst of a contest where you can win additional money, how quickly you work, how often you work, how much time you put in. It's up to you.

Ironically, people save aluminum cans often more for the money than for the environment or recycling, and that's sometimes not even an entire penny per can––but they do it.  So, I know that this puts ChaCha's money making opportunity into perspective.  You are simply supplementing your income, learning, and having a bit of fun (yes, you really do, because some of the questions are absolutely hilarious!).

I probably really have confused you here and put you in a position where you have to just go try it to understand.  Basically, you'll fill out an application with the bare minimum, including where you put me as your referring guide ( - they CANNOT change that later) so we can be on the same team and I can help you. Altogether, this takes about a half hour or less, which includes some of your training.  It's easy to understand, they explain well.

And to jump the gun, assuming you are accepted as an independent contractor, ChaCha is INCREDIBLE with their help. There are tip sheets, videos, practice quizzes, and an entire forum dedicated to helping you be most successful. The only way you can fail is to not show up. 

Whether your goal is to answer just one question a day, work for eight hours, work only weekends, earn $3000 by the holidays, you can do it because you are in charge.

Read the flyer below, then click on it to go to the ChaCha application form. In order for you to be a part of my team, and we deliver quality work,  type in where the application asks for "ChaCha Guide Referral Email Address"  Again, you cannot change this later and I will not be of much help to you.  Don't worry, there's still help, it's just not me.

Good luck, let me know how it goes and if you join using my good reputation (so far!), send me a note or comment here so I can do something special for you.

ChaCha Facts

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The More You Do... the More You Do

We've all heard it said that busy people are the people to give "the job" to––they're the people who will get it done.  Whomever said this is so right.

When I look into my past, I remember how much I relished having a full calendar and when I had an odd day off from most everything, I cherished it.  More than likely, my appreciating quiet time made my busy time a thousand times better and a million times easier.

It's high time to get busy!

Page A Day: 6/365

Writing a page a day is great––if you are actually doing it. Are you? Many writers find being accountable to someone other than themselves keeps them on track. Do you need a push? A tugging? Pulling? Join a writing group and tell them what you are doing, why, and when you expect to be finished. Write them when you have a down day. Someone just may have the solution to motivate you to keep writing even when you do not feel like it. Check both on and offline.

Final Word
" It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Page A Day: 5/365

The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life5/365
From whose point of view (POV) are you writing? Yours? The Almighty Third Person?  Know and understand WHY you chose this particular viewpoint, because it will show in your writing.

Every now and then, go back about twenty pages and make sure you’re consistent.  The right POV will flow naturally.

Final Word
"If the narrator's identification with the protagonist is strong
enough, it might make more sense to let the character tell the
story herself, in her own words and voice..." ~The Blue Quill

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Page A Day: 4/365

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft4/365

"No, it's not a very good story—its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside." ~Stephen King

Listen to your characters talking. Let them be true to themselves. Most of us need a character driven story. Allow them to drive.

Did you write yesterday? One page? Today (or tomorrow where you are) is page four.

11/22/63: A Novel  Full Dark, No Stars  Under the Dome: A Novel  The Long Walk

Times of Stress

When you think about it - when is there NOT stress? Somehow, you must go on. I must go on.

For me, this week, the stress is one of those "it's not the first time, it's the last time" kind of things. That's when those five minute spurts work extremely well.

All energy is zapped. All motivation is zapped.  Out the window is everything I'd been planning to do - and it's replaced with things I'm now forced to do.

But my will power is strong. I will NOT let this completely throw me off track. For five minutes, I am going to write here in this blog.  I will take another five minutes and write my page a day.  You all know how I feel that business and exercise goes hand in hand, so I'm also taking a few five minute work-out breaks.  And five minutes to do a quick clean-up.

Lastly, five minutes to write out a list of what I hope to accomplish tomorrow. I'm including the hope of having a no-stress (or let-it-roll-off-my-shoulders) kind of day.

Did I mention that I sent in a book proposal?  It took less than five minutes to print it, address the envelope, and stick it in the mail. Who'd have guessed?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Page A Day: 3/365


Good day to all Page A Day writers! Thank you for staying with us, we are pleased and pray you are as well.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style, 2nd EditionIf the Page A Day turns out to be too much for you, try five minutes a day. You will be surprised how much five minutes a day adds up. If it still adds slowly for you, perhaps you will feel how I feel: "At last! I feel like I’m worth something once again. I've been writing daily and I have never felt better."

Avoid the Truth
There are "experts" who believe that in your writing you must please everyone. We don't. If you are too liberal, you will become stuck in a rut and, sooner or later, your work/writing will take second place and being politically correct will take first and is bound to get you into trouble at some point either way.

If you must, put a disclaimer in the front of your book, stating "for ease of flow in reading…" Fear of being a sexist pig is the number one avoidance, according to too many books and writers (thank you Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style).

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style, 2nd EditionPick a pronoun and stick with it. That works and pleases real readers in the long run. If it works for you, it should work for them.

Final Word
If you are writing a page a day for a book, please do reply. Let us know: which day you started, if you have found it to be fairly easy, if you have hope this will work for you, and any tips and ideas you can share with others.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Page A Day: 2/265


FreeWriting is the action of writing, without premeditation, freely, as thoughts flow from your mind to your paper (or computer screen). A great way to bypass "writers' block" is via FreeWriting. If you stay on target with your book, all the better.

Set a timer for five minutes. Write ANYTHING until the timer goes off. Do this every day for thirty days until you have formed a new habit. Continue five-minute freeWriting during your entire year of a Page A Day (PAD) and watch the ideas and pages add up faster than a scientific calculator.

Final Word
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quotation: Lee Iacocca

"As everyone knows, there are only two ways to make more money: you can sell more goods or spend less on overhead."

Page A Day: 1/365

Welcome to the second edition of Page a Day

Goal:  a complete book
Accomplishment time:  one year
Steps to reach goal:  write a page a day
Commit to bang out one written page a day (edited or not--these are your rules) and you will have a complete book in a year. It is so simple, you will swear you are cheating.

In general, we will share one short note here each day, written to remind and inspire you to sit down and write--just a page a day.


Fantasy is not for paper only. Use fantasy to your advantage. Consider this: You are a real writer. Imagine it. Now fantasize you are a rich writer. Add to your fantasy that you are a well-known writer.  Lastly, imagine your writing changing lives for the better.  Makes you want to work, doesn't it?

... are you still hanging around?  Get out of here and write, will ya?

Final Word
Instead of MAGNiTUDE (noun) try:  extent, abundance, and consequence

Start Date: September 1, 2011
Pages:  1/365


Please, if you are committing to a page a day, let us know so we can share your progress!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No Rest--or Work--for the Wicked

Accept my apologies for not updating recently; I'm extremely sick. Prayers and good vibes are needed and much appreciated.  All work is on hold.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm here, tonight, on behalf of writers who suck at drafting, editing, and self-proofing (go ahead and throw outlining onto our list). An email called, was mine, and described me to a T; it still does. But now... after proofing a political true crime book -- because of it's potential to be a country-changing vessel -- I do believe I remember what I learned all those years ago and may actually apply it at some point.

I'm talking about predicates, primer language, run on sentences, and all that other stuff I'm guilty of messing up completely (or using incorrectly/ erroneously/stupidly). I remember: they exist; therefore, one must check for them. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not going to do it right now, but I'm going to do it when I'm not the actual editor of the publication.

Let me say it again: if you want to write well, do proofread a serious book.

In case you forgot, or in case you never knew, proofreading does NOT equal editing.  As a proofreader, your concern is not the story telling, but the writing.  You are in charge of double checking the nouns, verbs, pronouns, parentheses, commas, splice commas... you get the er, uh, picture

WordPerfect Office X5 Home and StudentBefore you write anything new or begin any proofreading job, let me suggest the best of the best, in regards to grammar information (and self quizzes), found on the 'Net:   Guide to Grammar and Writing.  It's an amazing and interactive--yet simple--website.

For proofing, I also suggest you print out the entire book instead of reading online.  Not only will you be able to read faster, but you can use the actual proofreading marks.  Better still, when you are finished marking the hard copy, you are, in effect, double checking yourself when you get back to the computer copy and type it all in.   Somehow.  I'm unsure how to do much more than writing and editing in word processing programs.

I've been having one other problem while proofing this book.  MS Word lets me make comments and allows me to correct everything in the book, but I want to proof one page at a time and send each single page to the author (in order for us to work more efficiently), but I've yet to discover how to SAVE one page (and then send). I can print one page, or twelve, or all, but not save or send.  Are you able to help me  out here?  Please!?!?!

Does what I've said even make sense?

And that question leads to this question - why do I write, when it'd be so much easier and faster to just sell the AtHome America stuff? BECAUSE IT'S IN MY BLOOD!

However, in case you missed it, AtHome America's new fall catalog is out and it's fabulous.  If you want to get your favorite things FREE, book an online party this week (either go to the website and click on "more information" or inform me the old fashioned way, via email); we'll get it going on!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


How do you focus on work, while at home?  How do you concentrate when your children are present?  Are you able to feel comfortable working while your spouse is watching TV? 

These questions, and more, should have been well researched and studied before you started your business-even more than the actual business itself, after all, if you cannot commit focused time, your business will not thrive even if it was named Disneyland.

At first glance, babies appear to be the most difficult distraction, however, this is false.  Sure, they'll make sure you know they need you and, yes, you won't be able to move forward until you deal with the precious child's needs and wants, yet babies and their schedules (and lack of moving about and talking), work for you.  In fact, even if your babies are anything like every single one of mine [were], it's a simply a matter of not blocking set hours of time, but allowing yourself to work 30 minutes, take 15 minutes off; work 30, take off 15; work 30, take off 15. Smaller increments, but extremely productive (so much so, that I've adopted the "five minute plan") moments.  It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you commit to those 30 minutes.

Obviously, you'll substitute your increment times according to Baby and your schedule.  

Toddlers are not as easy to deal with, and they tend to be the most difficult.  They often can understand you a thousand times better than you understand them.   That's the cause of your needing to supervise nearly every single moment.  Thank God for naps!  

Though toddlers are extremely mobile and even more curious, you can make this work.  Choose the things you can nearly count on to occupy five to ten minutes without standing over Toddler, like playing blocks (cars, ball, etc.) to do the things you most have to concentrate and get them done in small sessions (or wait a couple of years to start your home business). Use a high chair, a coloring book, and Crayolas once a day for fifteen minutes of business concentration.  If your toddler can sit quietly for a cartoon, know that "their brains won't turn to mush" if they watch a limited amount each day you need to work.  This can be a bigger break, generally a half an hour to two hours, and you can even sit beside Little Guy.

Never leave your baby or toddler alone in the bathtub and I do NOT advise you working whatsoever during bath time (I know, this is a no-brainer, but statistics of children drowning in a tub while the parent is home is staggering).

If you absolutely cannot share the concentration, hire a young sitter to play with Toddler for a few hours (or use an older sibling or the other spouse). 

School age kids, unless homeschooled, and your business work magically. It's a natural home business progression that your work hours equal their school hours.

Teens don't want to need you and will continue to do so as much as possible.  However, I find that my needing to focus on work brings about their neediness almost without fail.  I set everything down and look into their eyes while they talk and secretly be thinking, "Hurry up! I love you, but I have work to do and you didn't give me the time of day while I was washing dished, folding clothes, or watching Jerry Springer!"  This brings about some paralyzing guilt on my part once they leave my side, until I remember I'm working from home in part for them.

You can cure this one by doing two things:  work while they're at school or socializing, and deep clean the house daily (the second idea's a joke, of course, get it?).

Your spouse. For me, it's my hubby.  I don't know what to say about this because my husband doesn't even care if he talks to me, as long as I am near him.  I try focusing at the table near his Call of Duty TV, but I can't. He's cussing at his online buddies and it's distracting.  And back to kids for a moment, this is also the time when Dad can totally deal with all their needs--but their inclination is to come to me and ask me something.  Hubby says, "Hey!  Mom's working, whatever you need, come to me."  And I inject my theory that they already interrupted me so that just makes it a longer interruption.  Sigh.

Murphy's Law, right?

Anyway, my working is a no-go while Hubby's home. I work while he works or I work in the wee early morning hours.  You may have a completely different situation (and we did set up a home office where I can close the door, but sometimes, me working by his side is all the free time I have to spend with him) and will learn to know it, work with it, and love it.

Maybe you can't sit and focus for hours at a time, but with a bit of creative maneuvering, you can run a business and run it well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing From the Heart: A Work of Love

Proofreading (something I never do, but should, for myself) is a natural progression/extension for a writer. Like most writers, I've done it several times. This week, a friend's third book is ready to rock the World; I was asked to proofread.

First of all, I assumed, wrongly, that editing and proofreading were the same things.  Secondly, like Latin, I'm learning all there is to know about writing-- through proofreading. This is TOUGH.  Wow!

For instance, I never understood why we sometimes use one hyphen (-) or two (--).  Now, I realize, duh!, it's for the reader to know whether you are combining words to make them stronger (think: compound) or if you are sharing qualifying words (like parentheticals). Obvious? Sure, but so much so, I never got it.

I'm challenging all writers out there to proofread a serious book (and you can return the favor when your manuscript is complete); by doing so, your work will become more serious in return - and that's worth it's weight and more in gold.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working, working, working.

Nothing spurs you on to work hard more than the need for money. Right? Yet, working for yourself is a bit different than picking up an hour or two here and there: the gratification is often not instantaneous. Even a 9-5 job that pays per hour each two weeks is often more reliable. But we did choose to work from home, right? Why did we do this?

Answering "WHY" is important. If you need money fast, working for yourself is not always the best option. If you need money and have time to obtain it, it's a perfect option and can possibly earn you the needed money and keep you from a future need of money (because you'll already have it via your business). If you simply want to work from home, for whatever the reason (I personally did not have kids so others can raise them), then, duh, working for yourself is more than ideal.

Here's my personal deal - we are military and were told my hubby is deploying to a scary place. We made plans, we made decisions, and we put all my businesses on hold (writing, victim's advocation, ChaCha researching, and AtHome America consulting) until he left.  Except, nearly $8,000 later, they changed his assignment (many times in the course of two months) and left us hanging.  We don't WANT hubby to leave, especially to be in such a dangerous position, but we would have NEVER EVER made the decisions we made, in particular the financial decisions, nor had me stop my work if we had known there was even a 15% chance he'd be deployed as planned. If we thought there was any possibility in having his orders changed, we'd have waited and made decisions accordingly.

Now, we need money.  Now.  We have not only lost our entire savings and reserve, but we have four unexpected high payments to make before the end of the month; last month, with company, an 18th birthday, graduation, and seeing our son off to college, we were already at the end of our rope.

Putting this into perspective, I know it'll pass and we are not going to die from the lack of money.  This fact alone pushes the stress level way down.  Still, writing is lucrative in general, though the time and money ratio is extremely off balance in a negative way... I simply don't know when the money will come in, as each publisher is different.  So that's out for quick monetary relief.

Since being a victims' advocate costs us money, we cannot even consider pushing it harder.

AtHome America is the practical and obvious money maker.  But... no one is booking at the moment in Hawaii. Dang it.  The best I can do is beg a few mainlanders to host online parties in exchange for bonus free homewares, which will take at least two weeks to host the party and close it, but if I do, I can have an immediate 20% cash back reward (AtHome Specialists earn more than 20%, but for immediate money, that's the highest amount, the rest is delivered via direct deposit).  

That leaves me to my only other option:  ChaCha!

ChaCha pays when you have earned a minimum of $150.  It's also direct deposit; I won't even have to wait for mail or the bank.  I guess you have it.  I'll be working ChaCha as much as possible.

What do YOU do when you need fast cash?  Do you sell things? Do you babysit? Do you pick up the slack on your home business?  I'd love to hear from you, though if I plant the seeds right, I'll be sowing enough green cash to make sure we're never in this predicament again.

By the way, if you'd like to be a part of my ChaCha! team, follow the link, fill out the application and be sure to let them know referred you.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I doubt if Stephen King waits for inspiration; he probably writes everyday no matter what. What's wrong with me? I am pretty depressed over several family things, including the fact our son is leaving for college any day now, and I've been sick. But that can't be what's bringing me so far down I don't even want to write. Can it?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mentally Physical, Five Minutes at a Time

"Mom," he asked, in exasperation more than curiosity, "how do you keep running so well?"

His mother jogged in place. "You have to make all your physical challenges into mental challenges.  You put your lungs inside your mind, and think your way around the path. The same way that you have to make your mental challenges into physical challenges. When you're doing your homework--when you do your homework--just imagine that you're riding your bike, and you just have to push your way through."
~The King in the Window, by Adam Gopnik

The past two weeks have been physically horrendous. My lungs have felt as if they're on fire and an elephant is stepping on my chest, yet it's the medicine I use that keeps me awake even longer than usual.  If I nap, it generally takes two to three hours to fall asleep for one hour, and that's if no one comes in after a while.

When I get up, I feel nothing but guilt. Here's the thing, each day I rise, loving the day, wanting and needing to do so much, having a focused list. When I physically get out of bed, I am wheezing and hurting and exhausted (as I'm lucky to get four hours of interrupted sleep at one time) and everything is thrown back on the burner.

It's a vicious cycle, you know?  Such wasted time.

Luckily, I'm a reader, this keeps my mind structurally busy.  Writers must always read, otherwise, how can they know what readers want?  I rarely read fiction, but the past three years, I've been reading whatever my kids are reading. I love having the commonness and dialog.  

Ironically, the chose some great books, without knowing they've actually met the writers at a publishers' function or a writing conference I've been in, making us have a few more things to talk about.

After the Twilight series, Venice got into Glass and all the Ellen Hopkins' books.  She and I had a laugh when I told her she may have met her through our "Darcy," of the former Northern Nevada Family Magazine (don't ask!).  Oh, how I miss those days, before I was sick.

But that's the way it goes.  I read from The King in the Window about the lungs and making it mental, and though I know it's not in my mind, I love it.  And likewise, I love making the mental into a physical challenge.

You know how I said I was unable to concentrate clearly, unless I was reading? No?  Who cares, it's still true. Anyway, by putting what I need to do mentally, more or less, into a physical challenge, I see the beauty.  Combine this with my five minutes throughout the day, and even the worst days can be more productive.

My primary focus with true crime at the moment, is for sure Lue Vang and Sue Russell's Missing Mondays, which I was working on before Lue went missing. Lue, as you might remember, is a 17 year old from Carson City, Nevada, who has been missing since April 29, 2011.  There's a chance he's headed toward Seattle, but this is not a sure thing.  Wherever you are, keep your eyes open and spread the word.

To work on these cases (and the True Crime Fanatic website), I merely have to take five minutes at a time and instead of thinking of it as researching, asking questions, etc., I'll think of it as five minutes until I can rest again. Five minutes of staying busy, on task.

As for all the other work, well, my lungs are in pain and talking is not really such an option, so if it can't be done via text and email, it's just not happening.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day - Missing Teen, Lue Vang

Happy Mother's Day to all you work-from-home mama's!  I'm wishing you the best, and as mothers, I'm wishing us all a profitable and joyous business to keep us happy, satisfied, and paid up on all our bills.

To celebrate Mother's Day, won't you please help just one mother have a reason to celebrate?
Lue Vang, a 17 year old Carson City High School student, has been missing from Nevada since last week, April 29, 2011.  He was last seen early in the morning.  Using his family's 1995 blue Honda Prelude, he took his computer and a few other possessions with him, and it's possible he headed to, or is in Seattle, Washington.

If you've seen Lue Vang and/or the Honda Prelude, license plate 321VPP - Nevada, please call your local authorities, the Carson City, Nevada, Sheriff's Office at 775-887-2011, Neng Vang at 651-308-6885 or Debbie Thao at 651-955-2667.

Thank you for your help, and... Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Are you ever just tired?  Tired of virtually everything?  I am, but I know this is one of the pitfalls of working from home and I have to pass it.

The first thing to do is try to identify the reason behind being tired of it all.

Could I be weary of cold calling and getting nothing positive from it? Maybe I'm tired of working my butt off and seeing no extra money?  What about positive feedback; are you getting any?

Second, we must figure out what motivates us?  What do you need to make you excited again? What excited you so much, you decided to work from home, to be your own boss?  What makes you feel like you can "do anything?"

Lastly, you try to "fix" the reasons, make them obsolete if you can, and you attempt to recreate the excitement.  Even in love, you have to go back to basics, to start over once in a while, lest it become stale.

Your home business, emotionally, is much like love (the kind that leads to and resides in marriage).  Home business (as is marriage) is NOT a feeling.  But feelings do dictate your actions oh-so-many times!

As you are following my personal journey and trials of working from home, I figure I may as well let it all hang out:

Oh. My.  News text alert, BRB.

Ironically, as I wrote this earlier, something happened that pretty much changed EVERYTHING. With Osama bin Laden's death, I can't possibly concentrate, as we are a military family (if it's in the news; it's safe to use™ - IIItNIStU™) and are on alert. Work your business while you wait!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

ChaCha Tip

Are you a ChaCha guide?  (Do you wanna be?  Go to ChaCha and let them know referred you so we can be on the same team!).  There are two ways to get started as a ChaCha guide, provided you're in and signed as a freelance - you either put one toe in at a time or you jump in, just like a pool. I'm typically the person who jumps, but in this instance, I'm barely at my calves, right now.

It's important to me to be a good ChaCha Guide, not just someone who works a job and that's that.  I want my answers to matter, because they matter to me.  I like to do things right; I like to be accurate.

My ChaCha tip for the day:  After you log in, check out at least one tip sheet (re-read if you've read  them all) and go to the forum for a post or two.  ChaCha can't exist if it doesn't work, which is why the particular rules are in place and need to be followed. You don't always have to learn by trial and error - that's what the tip sheets are for! 

As you read more and more tip sheets and answer/research more and more questions, you'll feel more comfortable and perhaps, along with me, we can get go above the knees and beyond. For now, though, I'm taking it slow and watching my quality. 

Love Technology

The biggest boost to my home businesses, aside of hard work, integrity, and dedication, is technology.

Thanks to the geniuses who took chances and shared them with the world, I not only can have a business operated from home much more easily than my predecessors, but I also have the ability to know my true market for each aspect.

For the blogs, which I write for myself, to stay accountable and on top of things, for example, even those who come here "anonymously," share terrific information. These days, even your website or your blog can tell you so much about who's interested in your product or service.

At a glance, each day I can see who is visiting, where they live, their Internet and computer information, including what browser they're using, how long they've stayed on the website, each page they are looking at, etc.

This information is invaluable, and as you know if you've ever been at a public retail store requesting only your zip code or phone number, not easy to come by normally.

Technology is good; embrace it and use it to the fullest.

Is Being Honest Negative?

In the home party business, and I've been successful in a few over the past 25 years and not so successful in others, I've noticed a new trend - God forbid we are just honest with one another and what's going on!  It's like instead of being honest with your downline or your upline, because, GASP!, they might take it negatively (when it's really the dishonest person contributing to all negativeness) and... what?

When you are not honest and realistic with the people you work with, in your own business or any other, lest someone takes it the wrong way, guess what? They're going to take it the right way.  Yes, the RIGHT WAY.

If your business is great, then why does it matter once in a while when you admit something could use improvement?

Macy's, the huge department store for years and the inspiration and genius of the Macy Day Parade, knew that good salesmanship was honest salesmanship.  If there's something your company cannot or will not do, just admit it!

When Macy's said something to the effect of, "You're right, you can get it cheaper at so-and-so, and by the way, here's the quickest route and store hours so you don't miss the sale," customers loved them more and were more loyal, spending even more money to shop Macy's than elsewhere because of their integrity and honesty.

I'm sad to know I come across a bunch of people who speak before they know the answers, and always to defend something that's not even defensible.  What the heck, it's an observation, in most cases.  It's someone remarking, hey, I noticed this and it's not really working, and guess what, there's a way to make it work, easily, and make even more sales for us and the company. The people sabotaging possible greatness are the very people who would most benefit, since they make money off the lower end, which propels them into business starshine status and yet, they are sabotaging themselves in the longrun.

For instance, when I first joined AtHome America, I was devastated to learn there was no direct shipping - behind the times!  And instead of anyone saying, wow, you know, I see it works, and even if there was no one else doing it, I can see how it's necessary in today's world, they told me all the reasons it was okay, to avoid the question at a home party (yes, someone told how to do that!), and well, you know me, I wrote nearly daily about what was needed and how it can happen and guess what?  Less than 6 months later, the very people who told me how to deal with it and how it's okay and so-and-so company doesn't have it and we have the best company (yada, yada, yada) are the very ones who exclaimed loudly how great our company is because guess what, now they're doing this and they're so great, etc.

What I am saying is that it's okay if you are not perfect and you admit it. Those who admit it can change, those who don't, especially for the sake of "looking good," will forever be dependent on someone else for their good fortune.

Me, I'm changing. I'm changing for the better.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bonus on Bonus Income

I'm using my five minutes of time wisely - write here, research a few questions, then an hour on the website. I'm finally understanding CSS much better than ever (or maybe it's Dreamweaver I have had trouble with?) and the brand new website is not depressing me any longer; it's exciting and I can't wait each day to get started... and I can't wait until I've got the original 50 pages back up and running and HELPING those in need. Check out True Crime Fanatic when you have time.

You know, I think I better hurry, we were just alerted there's another bonus for us ChaCha users and I love bonuses on top of bonuses.

Considering ChaCha is freelance and not a major source of income, I do consider it a "bonus."  What I love most of all?  My bonus income gets a boost from ChaCha because they're constantly adding bonuses for researching and/or answering a certain number of questions, which only makes my per hour money go up, up, up, something I love, love love!

If you want to earn a few more pennies a month researching and/or answering intriguingly crazy questions, consider joining my ChaCha team by clicking the link, filling out the application and going through the Expediter or Generalist/Specialist training (yes, they TRAIN you and it's excellent!).  Be sure to give them my email to make sure we're on the same team, and then write me and let me know so I can congratulate you and help out with anything.  Teraisa @ the ChaCha team I want YOU to be on.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wanna Be On My Team?

In between writing and waiting (for checks), I work a home party business (and online), AtHome America and at ChaCha (as a Specialist and a Generalist - let them know sent you). If you're interested in earning a few dollars here and there (more if you're willing to work!), please click on the links and join me.

Happy Easter everyone; God bless you and Us.

Five Minutes Again

Always, I have five minutes of time at some point to do something with work.  Home businesses not only do not run themselves, but they take what seems like much more time than a big business outside your home, and why not?  You're the one running your business, your family, and your "me" time.  Of COURSE it'll take more time.

Maybe you don't have more time. Maybe your senior middle son is going to his first and only prom and there are tuxedos to pick up, hair spray to be found, pictures to take?  Perhaps you're taking time out to grill the driver, to find out exactly where the prom is being held, and laying down the rules.

Plus, you have all your other kids, your spouse, maybe some in-laws (not me), lunch, dinner, and it's Easter tomorrow, and... and... and...

By this time, I WANT to work my business! I need a break from real life.  Don't get me wrong, I can handle putting work away and swimming in the ocean, but everyday life, dealing with it, and knowing it all starts over again tomorrow with new stuff replacing what you just did is, well, it's life.

Take a break from life, just a moment, maybe you can think of it as time to yourself, even if it's not for yourself, give yourself those precious five minutes we're always talking about.

Seriously! Find a quiet space, make a phone call.  Make that cold call you've been dreading: one minute to practice, a minute to call and introduce yourself, a minute to sell yourself and your product/business, and a minute to LISTEN, and lastly, a moment to congratulate yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone (regardless of success).

I'm using five minutes to share this thought, answer an email, and check out my recent article query.

The minutes flew by, I'm off to real life again, but I have a fresh attitude, which is great, because it's Prom picture-taking time!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here's My Secret To Using Writing Skills To Earn Extra Money

Writing may be my passion, but it's not my favorite paycheck.  It can be great money, but you never know if or when you'll be paid (unless your name is Ann Rule or Stephan King, for example). I've had one huge magazine holding my article (and money) for YEARS.  I've even tried resubmitting it several times, thinking maybe they just forgot, only to get a call or email back saying thank you, they have an article just like that one in cue.

For us character writers (think: character actors), we have plenty of jobs, but we're not well known and we'll never get the best tables at a restaurant.  If you write for money as little as I do (I tithe 90% of my writing), you need to supplement your income. 

For me, it was natural to turn to a place where I can combine writing with my other love, information. I am an information freak.  There are a couple of options if you want to freelance with ChaCha (I'm hereby referring you-use email

I can work as much or as little as I like; it's up to me how much money I make.  One thing I love about being a generalist/specialist is that you already know you'll earn a dime or so for each question, but there are times all month long where bonuses are given away, depending upon several things, maybe how many questions you answer, and maybe you simply are given a surprise bonus.

You won't get rich answering questions (unless you're the owner), but you'll be keeping your researching skills sharp and honing your writing craft (cutting words down to only what's necessary) and still get paid.  If you're looking for a few extra dollars each month, want to work your own hours, have a computer and Internet (or have access to both), and are willing to try, ChaCha may be the place you've been looking for.  Earn money freelancing while you write that next big novel.  Use me as a referral, be on my team:  - referred by


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Technical

Get It In Writing! was the first website I ever created; it was made from scratch. I jumped into HTML long before Google was invented.  It probably helped that I had taken computer programming years before and kept up on computer literacy over the years, but only in that I knew it was going to involve math somehow and appear complicated.

I remember the first few months with smiles, I had asked everyone I knew who owned a computer and had the Internet to click as much as possible on the link so I could watch my counter move.

It worked, though. Before you knew it, I merged with Writing Corner and ran them both through It Is Written, Ink, our corporation.  We enjoyed being celebrated in the covers of Writer's Digest Magazine and being asked to talk at writer's conferences. Our paper newsletter for unpublished and newly published writers was still free and being distributed in four countries. All good things come to an end; a couple of years later, my family lost our home and all the contents - including the business and computers - due to toxic mold.

It's been a decade now and I've gotten our lives back on track best I can.  The last thing I could afford to replace, a bed for myself, was bought last year and I couldn't be happier.  With the bed.

The website, now True Crime Fanatic, is bugging me.  Where I used to be able to crank out an entire 20 page website in  a weekend, it's taken me over a year to figure out how to make the front page look decent (forget about keeping it current, sheesh!).

I can plan the website (and I do) on paper, but I cannot get it to look that way on the computer.  Not even close.  That's how I used to do it and it worked beautifully. I could picture it, write it down, recreate it.

To make things easier (really?), last year, after purchasing the bed, I researched, then spent a huge chunk of money on Adobe's Dreamweaver, figuring what could be easier than a website program with what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) action?

Thank God for tutorials online, Dummies Books, and nothing else, because it's been a year and I barely get it!  I understand CSS and what it's for, and it SEEMS like I get it... until I try to move forward.

Here I am, for the upteenth million time, trying to redesign something I can live with and will function up to its needs.

I'm reading everything, again and again, and it's nearly Greek to me.  And then I saw it.  I saw one thing and I'm hoping it will lead to other little things I overlooked. This thing is so silly and obvious, I'm not sure how I missed it.

Typeface and font size do NOT refer to the same things. WHAT?  In word processing, the tool I use far more than any other, you don't care about either because you simply change it to what you want and you can immediately see it. They can call it anything (a rose by any other name...) and you could still do it.

CSS is not like word processing.  In theory, it's EXCELLENT, but when you're as ignorant as I am, you wonder what the heck they were thinking changing all this technology on us.

Check it out, I can barely get past what the words look like.  If I go to change one letter, they all change!  If i want to center an image or a title but not the rest of the story, no way. I mean, there's a way, but not the way you used to do it.

I'm not going into that (for great information, go to the Site Wizard and pick up the Dreamweaver for Dummies I mentioned earlier), because as I mentioned, you will never learn how to build a website by me. But I will say that such a little thing, typeface and font size being explained so I understand CSS is an amazing thing.

Size does matter!  Well, when you are speaking of font size vs. typeface.  Okay, I'm rambling and not making sense. The whole point is this is one small tiny thing, but is enough to get in my way for a year. I read and reread, created and recreated (from scratch all the time, oh boy), and just this one little thing has slipped me up.

I'm laughing now, having gone from doing all hand coding and making it all work great to a beautifully set-up program and getting lost.  It's funny. Mostly.  Unless. You consider how much I was unable to help absolutely no one during this time (and if your website is a business and you were me, you can imagine this in dollar amounts) and I was so frustrated I was seriously depressed.  A year.

It never occurred to me that I might be misusing a term and it's worming it's way into everything I do (or am not doing), keeping me stuck in a rut...

Little things do count and often, in big ways.  Maybe you don't file (right away, correct?). Perhaps you let your bank account go unchecked.  These things are small enough, you assume you can "get to it" when the "feeling" comes over you.

I hate to get technical, but don't you have five minutes? Isn't that little thing little, because if it is, then that's all the more reason to take care of it right away.

In my defense, I couldn't do what I didn't know, but on the other hand, I never considered such a little thing being a downfall; I never looked.

Look, be aware, and stay on top of the little things.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It could be from my life as a competitive gymnast, and it could be that my mother was so smart, I had too much to live up to, but I am a serious perfectionist.  It's horrendous because it leads to procrastination, which leads to depression and feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

This DOES affect my home businesses.

I spend HOURS writing a thank you letter, for instance, making sure it's just right and second guessing what each word may mean to the receiver, regardless of what and why I wrote in the first place.

Even here, on this blog, I never ever re-read and edit it because to do so is death.  I would never get anything published. I have to close my eyes and push "publish post."

Great ideas are easy to come by in the wonderful world of writing-I write on the wall ideas all day AND night long. I have ideas for books, articles, screenplays, essays, poems... you name it. And they really are great ideas (I know because after a while, someone else thinks of it and makes a ton of money), but that first word gets me each and every time. It must be perfect. It has to be right or I cannot go on.

I self edit as I write, yet I'm a one-draft-deadline writer, and here's why:  the first chapter of The U-Haul Murders is the Littlest Angel/The Last Day; it's been rewritten more than one hundred times and I'm not joking.  No matter how good it is, by my standards for fellow readers, it can always be improved. Knowing Shakespeare and the Bible can be rearranged and changed for improvement - two perfect works of art (Shakespeare=all his work) - doesn't make me feel any better or edit any less.

I've been trying to earn the ChaCha bonuses (tell 'em ChaStriss sent you so we can be on the same team!), but I'm slow because I want the answers to be perfect. I want to earn 100% on the quality scores.  As a former ChaCha user, I know for a fact I'm too hard on myself compared to others, but still, I sweat it each and every time.  It's a hindrance, I tell you.

When I decide to make cold calls for my AtHome America (which, yes, I am re-instated and working until June to see what happens and how the customers deal with the new direct shipping) business, it's the same thing. I take hours to prepare and make sure I know the specials of the month and the next month. I make sure I have everything at hand, either the hard copy or the reproducibles on the computer... and I'm scared to death that I'll either be asked something I do not know, or worse, I'll know the answer and will not be able to recall it, even with everything in front of me.

Now, I know that no one is perfect and I also know that I probably won't lose a penny by a stutter or two, yet, there I am, striving to get it right before I start.

By the time I've gathered my wits about me and am ready for ChaCha or the cold calls, I've pretty much gone into the next time crunch for me, where the kids are home and I need to work on homework, or dinner's supposed to be ready, or the time zone where the customer lives is wickedly late... always something.

This perfectionism not only does not work, but it works against me.  By wanting to be perfect, I am earning less money by researching less on ChaCha and earning less money by having less home/online parties/sales with AtHome America.  0% of 0 is $0, no matter how perfect it is.

Taking the five minute idea and the knowledge my way isn't working, what if I spend just five minutes a day on ChaCha and five minutes a day making cold calls with NO PREPARATION and let whatever comes my way... come my way?

As for the writing?  I'm going to have to change it up a bit more.  No more "freewriting" because I know it's just a bunch of rambling with no intentions ever of going anywhere.  Instead, I'll have five minutes of completely unedited REAL WORK that has a preplanned purpose.  Every other day I'll write, and the next day, I'll take five minutes (and only five minutes) to edit the piece and improve as needed.

Practice makes perfect; nobody's perfect.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's a New Day!

New days are beautiful and nearly magical. They give you the confidence to "start over." If you had a unusually demanding day the day before, you can nearly count on a new day to give you a boost, an outlook differing from only hours before.

Remember your elementary education?  If you used the socially acceptable public school system in the United States, you probably have felt as I have.  The drama was amazing but changed each day. One day you were best friends with Betsey Lou, the next, she was your sworn enemy.  And then you wake, it's a new day and she's invited you, and only you, to her exclusive multi million birthday celebration on Mt. Everest.  

Okay, that's ridiculous, but that's sort of what it's like.  The things that mattered the day before were serious and clouding your judgement and paralyzing you and... ridiculous when you put it in perspective.

So what if someone is wrong about something and can't see the light!  Who made it your job to make them admit they're incompetent?  And let's say they did, how does that change the world? What would happen then?  The same thing, more than likely, that happens while you are wasting your time and energy harping on whatever-it-is: NOTHING.

Yesterday, I woke to an email that normally would drive me crazy all day.  The reason is that it was not rational thinking by a person. That and the fact I could "fix" it always stresses me out.

Instead of first emailing back and letting them know why this thinking (whatever-it-is, did you forget already?) is nearly outrageous, I realized this: I don't have to reply at all.

They know the same things I know, they came to a conclusion, everything we know is objective, everything we feel is subjective and that's that.

Them knowing how I feel (right or wrong) does nothing for me, nothing for them, besides that, what could they say to make me be "done" with it all?


I replied nothing.

The next day, today, I woke, and sure enough, nothing's changed, but a new email in the box reinforced the idea I did the right thing. I didn't sweat the little stuff and instead, what I had focused on, my family, are still talking about our nice evening last night.  What matters, matters.

Pick and choose your fights, not based on feeling, but based on possible and necessary outcomes. If I have cancer, I'm going to fight for treatment. If I hate your shipping charges, I'm just not going to buy from you or suggest anyone else to do so.

It's a new day and I'm alive!