Freelance Writing

April 11, 2014 at 3:15 am (Education) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

RoyalPort30grnI wish this blog was a post about me receiving one of those… see Daphne, above, a royal portable from 1930.  Green, no less.

It’s not.

But it is pretty exciting.

I’m pursuing supplementing my income with freelance writing jobs.  So far, I have been hired on by and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.  Money-Fax has me writing about Kid & Family Budgeting, which is pretty perfect because I’m a homeschool mom chronically on an author budget.  (That’s code for mommy who lives off nothing.)

Here are links to my published articles, so far:

The Economics of Cloth Diapers

How to Entertain Your Child for Free This Summer

How Much Does it Really Cost to Homeschool

The more traffic my articles get, the more people will want to have me write them – naturally.  So, please, if you have someone in your life any of these articles would interest, share them.

There are more to come.  Keep checking for budget friendly pets and ways to celebrate Easter.  Browse through their site for other helpful articles as well.  They are an education service geared toward helping the public learn to improve the state of their finances.

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Oh the fabulous things…

March 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm (The Whim) (, , , , )

we find on facebook.

Mission Statement

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Young Adult

January 10, 2013 at 10:06 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )



I have an illness.  I see an indie film and no matter how awful it looks, I feel the urge to give it a shot.  It’s an indie film, which to me means it’s an underdog, and who knows, what if it’s a hidden gem of awesomeness?

Take that and a love for authors, books, stories about authors of books, and Charlize Theron in all her hotness – how could I pass up Young Adult on Netflix?  I just couldn’t.

youngadultposterOh dear God, give me that hour and thirty-three minutes of my life back.

That’s not fair, the movie is good for what it is.  It is well done.  It has a bit of wit to it.  The director of photography did this brilliant thing with a cassette tape and player and the beginning that I totally loved.

But I really don’t think it is possible for a character to stress me out anymore than Mavis Gary just managed.  I mean seriously, what was wrong with that crazy lady?! Everything! That’s what!

She is an alcoholic who drinks way too much diet coke first thing in the morning – out of the bottle.  She is chronically unsatisfied, sleeps around, divorced, 37, at the tale end of writing glory (she was a ghost writer of a young adult series that is a few years past its prime selling years), and oh yeah the most important part: she’s chasing down her married ex-boyfriend who just had a baby with his wife.  It’s a pretty ballsy role for Theron, and she pulls it off brilliantly; I just want to strangle the whole demented story, if strangling a story could ever be possible.

Patton-Oswalt-young-adultThe best part, the part that does make the movie worth a damn, is Patton Oswalt.  I sort of love him.  A lot.  He is an awesome supporting actor that shows up in everything, but I know him best as Joel Mynor in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.  He is Mavis’ voice of reason in this little fiasco of a man hunt/coming of age story.  Can you call it a coming of age story if the protagonist is 37? I think not, but I promise you, it fits.  And in the end when the Patton Oswalt’s on-screen sister asks to go back to the Mini-Apple with Mavis, I desperately wanted her to say ‘Can’t I’m taking your super awesome brother.’  Of course, that didn’t happen because despite the Esmeralda/Quasimodo dynamic, Young Adult’s own Quasimodo character was way to good for the likes of the star beauty.

Oh dear God give me that hour and thirty three minutes of my life back – except don’t.  Even though it was kind of painful to watch, it resonates a bit.  Check it out.  Let me know what you make of it.

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Delaney Rhodes at Half Price Books Humble

May 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm (Events) (, , , , )

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To Eden Phillpotts

April 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Agatha Christie opened her novel Peril at End House with a dedication:

To Eden Phillpotts

to whom I shall always be grateful for

his friendship and the encouragement

he gave me many years ago

Immediately, I was intrigued.

Eden Phillpotts

Eden Phillpotts was an English author, poet, and dramatist born in 1862 in India.  He lived near the Christie household when Agatha was young and still unpublished.  She visited him reguarlary under the advisement of her mother, so he could mentor her and guide her writing into a lifelong career.  Phillpotts was the first professional writer to read any of Agatha’s unpublished pieces.

A letter survives of some of the advice he had to bestow on the young budding writer:

“You have a great feeling for dialogue… You should stick to gay, natural dialogue.  Try and cut all the moralizations out of your novels; you are much too fond of them and nothing is more boring to read.  Try and leave your characters alone, so that they can speak for themselves, instead of always rushing in to tell them what they ought to say, or to explain to the reader what they mean by what they are saying.  That is for the reader to judge for himself.” ( )

Phillpotts’ family moved from India when he was three years old.  At seventeen, he worked as a clerk for an insurance company, where he fell in love with theatre and decided to become an actor.  When he realized acting wasn’t for him, he pursued a career in writing instead.  So young when he began, its no wonder he enjoyed encouraging another young talent when he saw one.   Phillpotts’ own first publication was his poem “The Witches Cauldron” which kicked off a slew of published articles, reviews, short stories, plays, and novels.  Later, he was know to also write under the name Harrington Hext.

Phillpotts was known to befriend many of history’s greats: Arthur Conan Doyal, Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, Jerome K. Jerome, and obviously Agatha Christie.  As a sign of both friendship and his faith in Christie’s writing ability, Phillpotts introduced Christie to his agent at Hughes Massie.  The dedicated novel Peril at End House was the seventh in the Hercule Poirot series, published in 1932.  Its nice to know that she fit in a dedication to a friend and advisor long before his death in 1960, many times friends are not so lucky to appreciate each other prior to memorial memos.

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Inner Voices and Elizabeth Kostova

January 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Swan Thieves

Author: Elizabeth Kostova

Publisher: Little, Brown

Genre: Fiction

Length: 561 pages

Buy Work by Kostova

There are writers whose voices fall in step with some inner voice of my own.  They have a seamless and perfect tambour that has no problem intertwining and conversing with the language of my soul.  F.Scott Fitzgerald is one of those writers, Tanya Egan Gibson is one of those writers, John Steinbeck is one of those writers – their sentence structures find a rhythm that beats to my own personal drum.

Elizabeth Kostova is not one those writers.

Her stories are so fascinating.  I have every desire to read everything she’s ever written.  But making that desire a reality is a struggle.  I find myself saying “Just get through this chapter so you can find out what happens next,” both in The Historian and The Swan Thieves.

Therefore, as I’m reading The Swan Thieves, I feel as though I am not the right person to review her books.  Kostova is talented and inspiring: such captivating stories! such a high word count for a debut novel! (The Historian was a little over 241k words) such interesting ideas! But she just doesn’t speak to me.

When I come across books like these I become exceptionally curious.  I’d like to know who she does speak to, what’s the difference in our brains? Is it a geographical dialect issue? Do I not follow her phrasing because my inner voice is either southern, British, or some indistinguishable ‘Yankee’ and she speaksMichigan? I don’t know, I’ve never been toMichigan.  Please read it yourself and come discuss with me, I’d like to find out!

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On Writing, a Review (of King’s Craft)

December 14, 2011 at 3:42 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

Title: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Author: Stephen King

Paperback Publisher: Pocket Books

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoirs, Writing Guides

Length: 291 pages

My mother saw me reading Stephen King’s On Writing and scowled at me.  “That man is so weird, I don’t know why you would want to read any of his crap.”  Says the woman who may or may not have read one of his books.  Admittedly, I don’t read much of his stuff.  I couldn’t really get into Gunslinger, but I loved Low Men in Yellow Coats from Hearts in Atlantis.  I have no desire to read most things published in the horror genre, but On Writing isn’t horror, its not even fiction, it’s an amazing memoir and guidebook to how The King’s mind really works.

On Writing is solid advice from a successful writer to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a storyteller.  King is entertaining, down to earth, and extremely informative.  He is passionate about his work, and despite many blunt criticisms about typical writing flaws, he offers sound wisdom to budding authors.

I found reading On Writing highly motivating.  I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’ve always loved to journal and write tidbits of stories that come to me.  But reading this really got me in a dedicated routine.  I’d start my day off with a little advice from the master of fiction, write the recommended 2000 words for the day, and then pick up some handy little piece of fiction that took my fancy and read until my daughter woke up from her nap.

Since reading On Writing, I’ve got myself on a more solid path to finishing a complete draft of my novel than ever.  King doesn’t offer any kind of magic fix for suddenly getting published; he just reminds you that you already have the tools to do the job.  He gives you the confidence to press on and keep writing because you love it, not because someone told you to try to make some money at it once upon a time.

King encourages every writer to keep what he calls a writer’s toolbox.  In that box he includes the Elements of Style by Strunk, but I think you’d be remiss not to include On Writing in that toolbox as well.

Buy Here:

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