Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Please leave the holidays alone, they are not bothering you…

(c) 2014   P.Lynne Designs 
I am making a statement, which is one of my motto's for 2015.   For those who have been following me, do not worry, I am not going to be some militant writer, who is going on a 50-state rant across the country.  I am not going to ignore what is going on either, but I do have something to say about the holidays.
Lately, I have been hearing about all these cities across the United States trying to cancel Christmas, because the very thought of celebrating the holiday may offend some people and their beliefs.  My question is how are the cities doing that?  Let me you in one a little secret: ignore it.  You do not have to participate in anything you do not believe in.  Let those of us who love the idea of going downtown to see all the lights, sounds, and smells have our season.  Let me give you an example:
Where I live in Columbus, Ohio, we have horse drawn carriage rides.  They are only given during the holiday season.  Now I have never rode in one, unless you count the time when me and my family visited downtown San Diego, California in 2007, me and my mom rode one, while my father, nephew (then 11), and a family friend walked by the water.  I love seeing them around Columbus, because it is part of the Christmas season.  I am a Christian, but nowhere in the bible does it say that I cannot ride in a carriage taking a tour of downtown Columbus.  I do not have any restrictions so it does not bother me.  I just personally have taken the time over the years to fully enjoy a good carriage ride.  Ok, now say it did offend me.  Do I have the right to take away from others, just because a horse-drive carriage offends me?  No, I do not, because it is about freedom to do what you want, because it is within the context of the law of this country.  I am not an island, and no other person should feel like that they need to put others with them, just because the celebrations of the season put them in that position.
Now to those who live in the towns where Christmas is “cancelled.”  Christmas is not cancelled.  It is on the calendar, and no one has the right to take away your right to celebrate the season.  This is only year one.  After this is over with, write your congressman, and tell them your feelings about the cancellation.  These so-called elected officials have one year to restore celebrations to your city.  Do not let a few people take away your celebration.  Celebrate anyway.  The police do not have right to tell you what you cannot do in your own home.  This is the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends in your home.  There are more problems in the world to complain about, then the cancellation of a downtown Christmas tree, though it is pretty to look at. 
Try to find out why this year’s celebration is cancelled.  Have you ever heard of the game called Telephone?  It is a child’s game, where the first person whispers a name or a phrase.  The idea is to make sure that last person repeats exactly what the first person has started.  Most of the time that last person gets it wrong every time.  What does this game have to do with the cancellation of the Christmas celebration?  Simple.  The real reason for the cancellation gets lost in the shuffle, and the reason may not have anything to do with offending a few people.  It might have been due to budget cuts, construction, anything but being offensive.  By the time the reason gets to a news person, it turns into something that gets a town stirred up and then the anger starts.  That is how most fights get started.   Other names for this type of talk are called “rumors” and “gossip”. 
Whatever the reason, please have a pleasant holiday, and I am looking forward to my presents and celebration the birth of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

To Blog or not to blog, that is the question…

(c) www.howtostartablogforfree.com

Writing is one of the most freeing things you can do in your life.  I mean, after all, I have been writing in a blog since 2009, and I find it therapeutic for me.  It does not matter if I am writing out my heart and soul because I am angry at someone or something in my life on my personal journal, to telling would be card makers what glue is best for the type of paper they are using.  I even find writing a grocery list exciting, especially now that I can go into my smartphone, access the MS office app, and start typing (or speaking).
It does not matter what I do, I always do not want to give it up.  I know I have to sleep sometime, but even now, it is 1am EST, and I am typing out this post for this blog.   I have not given it up.  As a matter of fact, I have 5 blogs to keep up with, plus an account on a site called Hubpages. This is not my reason for the random thought.
My reason for my random thought is something that I have said over and over again:  If you are going to start blog, JUST DO IT.  You do not need anyone’s permission to start a writing blog, or any blog for that matter.   My tips:
·         Know what you are going to write about.  You cannot just start writing about fuzz balls and thinking that it is going to hold water, until the year 2044.  It is not (unless there is something you know that I do not know about).
·         Be an expert on that subject.  I.E. I know about papercrafting, Disney, organizing, and writing.  I also sell organizational items.  I have a passion about these subjects, and there is plenty of content out there.  I have no business writing about Quantum Theorem Physics (what the heck is that anyway?) See, and I am not looking it up.
·         Gain a following.  After all, you need someone to read it.  The newest thing to gain readership is to add a video to the blog.
·         Finally, have fun.  Add visional effects to it.  Add a little humor to your post, but at the same time, be respectful to the grammer (grammar) police.  Have something that will make a person crave for more.  Do not write just for yourself, which why there are personal journals out there.

I hope it helps. If you want a blog, just start one.  No one is stopping you but you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What is the one skill you see in other bloggers that you wish you had?

From Lifehacker.com
Today, I am answering one of the prompts from BlogHer. It is the first one I have answered in a long time. The prompt for today is asking about a skill that I might see in other bloggers throughout their own blogs. In true Patricia style, I have to give more than one answer, because I’m like that.
The first skill, is consistency. I know, I know, I keep on saying that I am going to blog more than once a week, and I have an answer for that. The problem is I am a yes person. I constantly say yes to people who I should be saying no to, and that is bad. I am always trying to correct this problem, but I always have people, who when I say no to, they come up with a reason why I should say yes. This is especially true with my nephew, who is 18. He has no driver’s license, refuses to take the test, and get himself a car. More on that at another time. When that happens, I get behind in my work, then I find myself going weeks without submitting a blog post, creating product, or even picking up a piece of paper off the floor. That last part is an exaggeration, but that is how I feel, sometimes. Take today for instance, I am trying to finish my work and pick something to eat, before tonight’s episode of Scandal. Yes folks, I am a diehard Scandal fan, and I do comment on a Facebook group every Thursday. Okay, it could not kill me for once, to take this man child to the movies, but is cold outside, and I am now at the moment, warm and toasty. Who wants to go out in the polar vortex’s baby brother’s weather, when you have a heater? I am just saying.
Okay, I got a little sidetracked for the moment, but the problem is consistency. My next problem, is sponsorship. I can see some eyes rolling already. One of my dreams with this blog, as well as my other blog, is to have revenue comes from it. Again, I can see the eyes rolling. Not a lot, but just enough money to pay for things like web hosting fees, and other things that are associated with monitoring a website or blog.
I am going to throw in a bonus, and say that there are some bloggers who are great with words. And I know that comes with practice, because I can see a difference from my very first blog post so now. I have been blogging since 2009, I think that is around the time that most people start blogging, but there are some people’s blogs look like they have been blogging longer. In other words, they know how to pitch their blogs to others. Another name for marketing oneself, and letting others know why you should read my blog, or sponsor me. I guess I am going to have to hire myself a blog writer, which is the same as a speechwriter for people who need someone to give them the right words to say. But then again, I would feel like that these are not the words, and they are not from the heart.

So now you know my flaws, I am getting better every time I write a blog post. And in closing, I will give you a little tip: use a speech to text software to type a little faster. It is my little gift from me to you, and I love my speech to text software.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Buyers, Beware?

This will be an antique in 2214
The year is 2214, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.

Dear potential Buyer:
Thank you for purchasing my hard drive.  I want to let you know before you unlock the secrets of this hard drive, what you will find on it.  I have no doubt that things are a lot sophisticated now with your new technology, I know you will wonder how people got along in 2014.
First of all, I am from the Northwest part of country (if there is still a country called the United States.) Columbus, Ohio to be exact.  You may find a lot of reference of the city and state on here.   You may also out about a company called Longaberger as well.  I am an Independent Home consultant, and I have a lot of business stuff on the hard drive.  I hope the company is still in operation.  I have good faith that the company is still striving, and that Dave Longaberger’s legacy has not gone to waste.
I like Disney, a lot, and you may find planning materials on the hard drive.  I was trying to plan a trip since 2009, and had to revise the plan several times.  We finally went in 2016, and had a blast.  I was able to scrapbook the trip in 2017, and had found memories of making the scrapbook.  I did not digitize it, I made it the traditional way, and my offspring should have the book.  I did make copies, so if you want to know what Disney was like through my eyes, you can take a look, before you erase the contents (I assume that is what you are going to do with the drive).
Scrapbooking was another hobby of mine, turned into a business, a booming business.  By the time I died, it was a billion business.  Something I never thought of happening in 1995 when I first got started.  You may have heard of the company, P. Lynne Designs.  Well now you can see the humble beginnings of this company unfold before your eyes.  There were several times that I wanted to just close the business, even a few days before I died, but my daughter, my niece and nephews, and even my parents convinced me not to do it.  I am so glad I did not close the door on a company that was my heart and soul.  You will find several files pertaining to it.
You may find that I was also spiritual and that I love inspirational pieces, especially pieces that pertain to God and His son.  I wrote for a living as well, and became an author.  I never thought in a millions years that I would being doing something like that, especially the number of marks I received from my papers in school.
Finally, you may find random stuff, like a schedule of me working at the Longaberger Homestead, birthday reminders, meetings, and other appointments.  Most of all, I hope you will find what kind of person I was, which a person who cares about people, especially her family, her customers, and life in general.  I cannot say that my life was easy, because nothing is easy in life.  You have to roll with the punches.  Don’t slouch, it makes for a bad back. 

If you really want to get to know me, the real me, you will find some personal journals as well.  You will see my entries on how I went through life in 21st century, hopefully getting alone with my 50 year old body and beyond. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Introduction to Blue Apron

Introduction to Blue Apron

I got my first box of Blue Apron today, and it is so simply to sign up. Note I am not Affiliated with the company, nor this was given to me to try. I purchased this subscription with my own money, but they do get you 2 free meals for trying it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Everyone has an opinion….Can’t we Just Get Along

Comments, they are everywhere.  They are just merely opinions dialed down a notch, or are they?
I propose this question, swirling around in my head for one reason…. Raven Symone.  The last Cosby Kid to leave the nest, if the series had continued on for at least 8-10 more seasons.  Bill Cosby himself shut down production, after he wanted to quit while on top of Thursday night lineup.  I don’t blame him.
Fast forward, about 25 or more years later, and the youngest kid has given Miss Oprah Winfrey an interview to catch up viewers and fans on what she has been doing since the last episode of The Cosby Show.  She was on Hanging with Mr.Cooper, That’s so Raven, and other shows and other guest appearances and is a singer, but I’m not here to tell you about Raven’s many achievements, you can read about them on the web.  What I want to talk about is what she said in the interview.   In case you missed it, you can read about it here.   
Basically, she said that she did not want to be labeled, simply put.   What doesn’t she want to be labeled as?  She did not want to be labeled as a Gay and an African American Woman.  At first when I saw the interview, I said, “OK, your opinion.”  She wants to be called just “American”, no judgments is the name of the game.  By the way, she is currently dating a woman. 
The reason behind the “colorless” remark was, she does not know what part of Africa her people came from.  I can see that reason, because I, myself do not know what part of Africa my people came from.   When people see Raven Symone, They see a light-skinned black woman, which she does not mind people calling her, but she said that she feels she represents the Asian, white, and Indian American too.   I feel the same way too, because although people see me as a medium to dark skinned black woman, my bloodline is also Caucasian American (nationality unknown) and Cree American Indian.   Just like Raven Symone, my parents, parents, parents never discussed the origins of the African Slave trade with anyone in my family, to be passed down to me and my siblings and cousins, on what part our family played in, but that does not mean I am in denial of where my roots come from. I prefer ‘Black American’ as oppose to ‘African American’ for that reason alone.  But does it matter?  It should for this reason:  Actual Africans have come by way of plane to live here.  They are the ones who should be called African American.  Most of us, who are born in America, were mixed in with other races during the time of slavery.  Masters wanted a child or a side thing, without the little woman knowing about it.  After that, the slave woman was often shipped off to the next plantation, while the child was cared for by another slave.  They often became the ‘house slave’ so that the master can make sure that their offspring thrived without as much as a peep from the others.   Side note:  Did you know that Raven Symone played a young Queen in Alex Haley’s Queen, later played by Hale Berry?
So my next question is why light up Twitter?  I thought that Facebook or even Google plus would be a better arena for this little firestorm.   To me, that is Raven Symone’s opinion.  If she does not want to be labeled, let her be.  She isn’t killing anyone.  She just wants to be labeled “An American human who loves humans.”  I can see her point.  In other words, she does not want people to say, “You know, that Lesbian African American Woman who had a hit show on the Disney Channel.”  To that I have to say, “at least they are not calling her “Angry Black Woman”, and some of the other names people usually call black women, when they do not know your name.  I prefer, Miss Logan myself.  At least they have my last name right.

My point to the firestorm is this:  People have an opinion.  We all have opinions, and if Miss Raven Symone Christina Pearman (her full name) does not want to be labeled a Lesbian (the correct term for women who fall madly in love with another woman sexually) and African American (the correct term is Black American), do not waste my computer bytes by complaining about it, but then again, You have the right to your opinion, and the moral of the story is, at least she has you thinking about it. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vlogging it 2.0

I realize that life has given me so many battles during the past few weeks, until I did not want nor had the strength to post anything much.  This is what happens what happens when you are overwhelmed by the stench of what is known as grief for someone or something, financial woes, and just feeling sorry for yourself.  The very idea of sharing my life with people is still new to me, as I am a known introvert.  When something happens in my life, rather it is through my own doing, or something happening in someone else’s life to the point where it affects you, it will affect you hard, depended on what type of person you are.
To that end, this past month, I have projects that I did not get to because of the events of July, August and September, rather good or bad.  I have lost three months out of my life, which could have been productive, but due to me being too busy to stop, or my own sadness during these events, I am playing catch-up.  It is a good thing that none of it had due dates, except from me.  No clients were involved.   But were they?
In a way they were, but they were what I like to call invisible clients.  They were people, who happened to wander into my Etsy shop, and saw 5 notebooks for sale day in and day out.  I did not make any new cards to sell, nor scrapbooks, so I left my shop as is.  Making new products was one way to get new clients, who have not heard about you into your shop, rather it is online or brick and mortar.  They were people, who could have been looking for a new writer to create a document for them, their blog or website, or their business.  The document, post, or even a printable could have been just the thing to put their services over the top.  These were the people, who could have sent me that contract, which could have been of something big for me, but I was so into the stuff that brought me down, until I wonder if I have missed my blessing.   Let me tell you why that was not necessarily a bad thing…
I had friends who needed someone to reach out to them, and to say, “I’m here for you”.  I had things that I needed to take care of, but I was so busy trying to make my businesses work, until I felt drained and overwhelmed with the business and other personal situations.  I had a God who said to me, “you need to rest”, but I fail to see that I needed all of this, because I was going too long without it.  I was not focus on Him, but I was focus on stuff, to which, my friend is not good. 
The things I am saying to you, as a Christian woman, what good is it to accumulate all this stuff, if:

A)   You are not blessing someone in the process, and
B)    You cannot take it with you.

Sure, we need to eat, we need to interact, and we need to pay for all of this stuff.  So, I am glad I did not catch up with all the things I did not take care of in the product making business. This rest gave me a chance to make some changes, some that I will share here, while others I will share on my other blogs, because they fit the subjects I have on them.  I will not share them in this post.    I will share this:  I am vlogging again.  I have computer with a webcam and I am looking into getting a tripod for my regular camera and smartphone for tutorials.  When I bought my Sony Camera for my birthday, they gave me a mini tripod, which is not the friendliest tripod in the world (I have seen better brands), but it will do for right now.   I asked a YouTubber named Gabrielle Flowers Raider of Gabe and Babe TV and The Gabe Fix in her Google Hangout last night if she had any pointers for my channel, and she said to Be ConsistentStart with once a week, and see how that goes.  So I have already made one new video before I asked her that question, so I will put up another one next week.

Anyway, I have ran over my time, so I will also be constant with my next blog post as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014: Tell us about your favorite autumnal edible treat.

OK, I have not writing in about a week.   The reason is I am was trying to gain some sales for my Longaberger business, and I am not dealing very well with being 50.  I will admit it, but I will save that topic for another time and place (if I feel like talking about it here.) Do not worry, I will get through it.
Today,  I want to talk about my favorite treat for fall. I am going to break it down into 4 categories:  savory, sweet, beverage, and all-time.
First for the savory…I love soups in the fall.  Nothing says warmth by the fire like soup.  I love clams, so my go to soup is a big bowl of New England Clam Chowder Soup.  I used to be a fan of Campbell’s regular NE clam chowder, but it does not have enough substantial pieces of clam for me.  I have gotten spoiled with the Chunky’s Soup line, but now even that does not do it for me.   I started eating Progresso’s NE Clam Chowder Soup, and I will stick to that.  Every time I go out, and the eating place has NE clam chowder for soup of the day, I buy it.  The treat is a big piece of bread, lightly toasted, so I can sop up all the sauce from the soup.
Now for the sweet… my mom’s Sweet Potato Pie.  I love it.  I do not like pumpkin pie, so this is my orange-colored pie, which is a great substitute.   What make her pies special?  It is a recipe that was handed down from my grandmother.  I do not know what all goes in other SP pies, but with my mother, there is brown sugar, nutmeg, clove, all-spice, evaporated milk, and butter, all mashed up in the sweet potato.   Next month is the month for it.
My beverage of choice is anything that I make in my Keurig Coffee machine.  I recently started back drinking Starbucks, but only when I travel, but nothing better than standing at the counter, sticking a k-cup in the machine, and hitting the start button.  While I am waiting (which does not take that long), I put in my cup some sweet cream, chocolate powder or syrup, and if I am good, and little bit of whipped cream (which has no calories, ladies, and only in moderation, my doctor says).  I stop putting granulated sugar in it. 
My all-time favorite fall food is…..Mac and Cheese.  There is nothing like melted cheese over a plate of noodles.  I am not talking about the box kind.  OH, NO!  I am talking about the kind where you make a white sauce and melt cheese in it.  While it is melting, boil the macaroni, don’t forget to salt the water, and cook it Al Dente.  Fold the mac into the cheese sauce, and you have loving in a bowl.   Now, I hate to admit this….bbbbuuuttt, my mom does not make that kind of Mac and Cheese.  She makes the kind that my grandmother (same grandmother who taught her how to make the pie), which is custard style.   I eat it, but it is not the same.  What I like about the cheese sauce kind, is you can throw in anything with the cheese sauce.  On The Kitchen, a show on The Food Network, I saw four kinds of Mac and Cheese being made, yummers!!   
Oh, I am going to the grocery store today, all this talk is making me go buy my favorites and have a theme dinner for tonight.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

A random Video and a visit with Galaxy

This is my first video in a while, and I thought I would challenge my phone, the android version of Siri to see if she was as smart as Siri. Nope, they are both dumb on conversation.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tell us about your favorite autumnal sound.

Hello, and welcome to October.  I have not officially welcomed anyone to September and the fall yet, so consider it late.  September was one of those months that rather not revisit at all. I have been in so of a depressive mood all month because of the different situations in my life, including the death of a couple of people, who I really had hoped would pull through, but God had other plans for them, and for one of them, I am still trying to wrap my finger on why she entered the world the way she did, and died just that quickly (yes, I am talking about a baby bared a day old).  I was hoping I would get to know her as she went through babyhood, into toddler, going to school, and I had hoped that I would get to see her get married and have a kid of her own, but again, God had other plans. 
I went through other things to during the month of September, and I realized that the world does not stop because a friend of yours lost a baby, a person you know collapses into a coma and dies a week later, or that you feel like you are stuck.  For that reason alone, I still needed to make my sales goals for the month (I was pulling a Hail Mary move at 2:30pm yesterday, a move I have not done since the 2012-13 selling season); The house needs cleaning (I will tackle that Friday); and finally I need to clean out my closet, put away the spring/summer wardrobe, pull out the fall/ winter stuff, and give or throw away the stuff I no longer can fit.  I also need to do a final spraying of the weeds on my patio so they will not come up, pull out the fall décor, and find some fall bedding. 

Despite everything that has happened last month, I need to do some things in the second bedroom to make it more livable (currently masquerading as a junk room), I want to talk to you about my favorite autumn sound.  It goes along with my favorite smell, Pumpkin.  That sound is sounds from the apple orchard.  It is people looking for that perfect apple and it depends on who is making that sound.  The sound could be, “mommy pick this apple”, “we can get 4 more to fit in this bag”, to no sound at all, just studying on how to get the apple.  I want to take my niece and nephews apple picking, but to be honest, I do not know where I want to go for this?  There is one, maybe two I can go, but I am not sure, since I have not been since my parents took me years ago.  While we are at it, we can pick that perfect pumpkin to go on the porch on my sister’s house.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Please Get a clue Martha, try to be helpful

Image from www.metro.us
On this Mentoring Monday, I want to once again address Martha Stewart.  Yes that queen of all things lifestyle living and telling everyone that it is “a Good Thing”.  I have no problem learning from her.  Martha’s ideas are wonderful, and she makes some valid points on how to clean, throw a dinner party, or providing a punch or two to cut out paper shapes (to which I own two).  She has an empire that is second to none in her field.
So why is it that Martha feels threaten when a blogger or a celeb like Gwyneth Paltrow steps into her territory?  In a world with population of over 800 billion people, I am sure there is plenty of room for both Ms. Stewart and Ms. Paltrow to give us their tips on how to make the perfect peach pie (although I say that my mamma make the best one).  The only difference is one is in her early 70’s and one is in her early 40’s.
So why is it that when we are experts in something, we feel threaten by another person who has that same knowledge?  Martha went off on bloggers last year for the same reason.  She said both in the interview with Porter magazine a few days ago about Ms. Paltrow and an interview about lifestyle bloggers last year that people should not quit their day job and stick to what they do best.  She said last year that bloggers should not make their family and friends become guinea pigs when creating a new recipe, then putting it in their blogs.  “Now Martha, isn't that how you started out?” “How would you have liked it, if the late Julia Childs said that about you when you tried to make Coq Au Vin for the first time and served it to your guests?” 
Instead of finding fault with a person who just want to give helpful hints on their blog, a person like Martha Stewart should be in a mentoring mode.  If there is something that isn't right, go to that person and say something like, “congratulations on your new venture.”  “I know that people will like your insight on the
subject.”  “I have noticed a couple of things on your site, and if you do not mind me saying, these are hints on what would help your site become better in the long run.”  Once that is said, give the advice, if they give you permission to do so.  If not, move on, and do not criticize.  They will find their way.   This is how you mentor, NOT tear down.  Encourage someone who admires what you do, enough to help them along the way.
I am sure that if Ms. Stewart would have done just that for us and Ms. Paltrow, the Paparazzi and others would steer away from that line of questioning. 

My wish for you this day forward is to give helpful and healthy criticism to others and not wishing that person to keep their day job.  There is room for everyone and plenty more. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Truth About Rates and freelancing.

Oh boy, I am tackling a tough writing subject today.   The next few posts, I will attempt to tackle the subject of freelancing.  Not only am I a freelance writer, but a freelance artist and designer.  I design the following:
·         Scrapbooks-both using the commercial albums that are out there, and making mini books, journals, and folios, as well as art journals.
·         Greeting and note cards
·         Alternative items.  In case you are wondering what that is, most people call it Upcycling.  It is where you decorate something to make it a different piece to function differently or function the same.
Anyway, that is the basics of what I do, but lately, I have been feeling a little stuck.  My Etsy shop has the same old 5 items in it and I have not written for someone in about 2-3 months.   You would think that I have gobs of money in my account.  Nope, ask me later on how I cope.  If you are freelancing, sometimes it is OK to hit a dry spell, right?  Not really.  If you are a writer, a cook, or a crafter, you need to remember that you need to put food on the table.  You have bills to pay, people to entertain (for those with kids), and it would be nice to not work in your jammies every once in a while. 
So how do you earn that extra $1,000 a week, if you still have a job, or if you going at it full time, have the ability to buy at least toothpaste?   Simple, start small.  Sometimes, you have to except projects that pay low or nothing at all, and you need to build from there.  That is what I am tackling for the next few posts and the first one is on the rate you expect your clients to pay you for your services.
I saw this article in Carol Tice’s website, and it is called 113 things you can do to grow your freelance writing-now.  She covers writing, but after looking at this article, I feel that it would apply to any freelance job.   Freelancing, in case you are not familiar with the title, is just a fancy way of saying, self-employed.  You are working for yourself.  You have a time clock, but it is in your head, and you can report to work any time you feel like it.  I do not recommend it, because just like a 9-5 job, the money you earn allows you freedom to do anything you want.  Well not anything, but you get the idea.
With that being said, she gives 3 these tips on rates:
  1. Tell your clients your rates are going up.
  2. Raise your rates for new clients.
  3. Raise your rates every year in the fall, to take effect the following year.
OK, you are probably telling me, “Tricia, that is all well and good, but I am just starting out, and besides that, I am doing a project for Aunt Millie, and I really do not want to charge her.”   I thought the same way, and if you are just starting, I can see why you do not want charge a lot for work at first.  For me, it is ok to do a project for Aunt Millie, the neighbor you have been friends with for 20 years, or your church, but at some point, you cannot do every project at low-no cost.   Again, you have to eat and pay bills.  There is also nothing wrong with bartering either, just as long as it is equal to the amount of services you give a client.
Upon my own research one of the problems that freelancers have is “what is my work worth to my client?”  This means are your skills top notch to the point of charging a rate to begin with?  That is something that you have to ask yourself.   Start by listing your skills.   I will use myself as a guide:
1.       Creative in
a.       Needle crafts
b.      Candle making
c.       Scrapbooking
d.      Card making
e.      Altering items
f.        An eye for detail
g.       Music
h.      Dance
i.         Journal making
j.        Writing
2.       People skills
a.       Good listener
b.      Follows directions well
c.       Investigator
I only listed a few, but note that I did not list just the physical skills, but things that would tell a new client what they need to know about me.   So, the things that you learned in Preschool and Kindergarten do matter.
Next, check out the rates of people who do the same thing.   In the corporate world, it is called checking out the competition.  If you are new to this, you can call to ask questions on how that person charges similar services.   For example, when I started, I checked everyone in custom scrapbooking.  I looked at their websites, and made note of the basic rates.  I looked at the years of experience, comments, and if they charged by the hour or per job.   Most custom scrapbookers and card makers charge by the piece.  Most writers charge per word.  For example:  an 8.5 x 11” scrapbook could run $7.50 per page.  So a 20-page scrapbook, without the fluff (no embellishments) can run about $150 (USD).  An example of a 791 page doc (the point where I typed 791), at $.10(USD) per word, could run a client $79.10.

Last, ask yourself, can I live off charging $150 for a scrapbook and $79.10 for a document, using the same examples?   Probably not, which is a good idea not to quit your day job just yet.  Keep in mind when charging your rates that there is no such thing as an overnight sensation.  You have to build up to the reputation, and that is why Ms. Tice suggest that you change your rates every fall to go into effect by January.  So how do you quit your day job?   Well, that is the next step in this process called freelancing, and the subject of my next post.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How do you remember blog posts you want to write until you're ready to sit down at the computer? Do you have a system in place, why or why not?

(c) Disney
As a line from the song, Poor Unfortunate Souls (The Little Mermaid), goes, “The boss is on a roll”, I would have to say, yes she is, and that I am. I am on my third blog post of the night, and I am smiling.  I may not be a believer of playing catch-up, but I am doing pretty well, to say that I did not blog hardly at all in July.  (Love my birthday month)   It is bittersweet when you are the owner of 5 blogs, and I get comments from amateurs to experts saying, that I only need one, to how do you keep up with them?   This leads to today’s question about remembering what posts I want to until I sit down at my computer.  
It is funny, because I am on this computer all the time.   If I am not answering a social media question, I am writing a post.  If I am not doing that, then I am watching a video, playing a game, making orders for customers, or making or listing products for customers to buy. 
As for creating posts, I have to it right now.  I create a post on MS Word, and I tweak it.  I tweak it by doing research if it calls for it, upload the research into the post document and check grammar.   Lastly, I cut and paste it into either Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Hubpages, or BlogMutt, depending if it for myself or for others and the subject matter.  Once I am in the editing area, which is when I do photos and last minute spell and grammar check (because Google Chrome is like that)
I am now starting to keep track of blog post subjects on Outlook calendars, because I write so many, and for those who follow Google, knows how Google hates duplicate topics and posts.  Why?  Because I would be lost, and I do not want my blogs shut down by them. 
Getting back to the line from Unfortunate Souls, I find it funny that there are days when I do not want to write anything, and other days (like today), I am spitting them out like a fully automatic rifle.     Yes, the boss is on a roll, but this is my last one for the night, so, as character from “War Games” puts it….”Shall we play a game?”

So what do you think?  I would love to see your comments below.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014-What is the single best thing you do to keep your career goals on track….

Today, I am back to writing prompts with Blogher, because when it comes to this blog in the last couple of months, my mind draws a blank.  They say in order to get readers to tune into your blog, you have to be consistent.    Consistency is the least of my problems.   I have worst problems than that.  There are the “Nephew needs a ride to X place, because he does not have his learner’s permit, let alone a driver’s license and a car” problem.  There is the “Sister needs a ride to work and other places” problem.  She rides the bus, but barely keeps any money.   There is the sales problem, probably because I am hardly in the house to make a sale.   There are the “social media distractions, needs a new website, but not enough money to hire someone to create one for you, but how are you going to attract someone so you can build a new one, but have little knowledge of HTML” problem. (This run-on sentence was intentional for rant purposes).  Do not misquote me, for the complaint is very real and very bittersweet.  This is what happens when you are an Aunt Entrepreneur, which is the same as a Mom Entrepreneur.  The only difference is the children do not stay with you 24/7.  That is about the change come September (more bittersweet drama - cues violin) I am turning into a Mompreneur.
So where was I…Oh yes, the single best thing I do to keep my career goals on track?  As with any writing prompt, I do not know how to follow instructions. (Giggle, giggle).   Sooooo, I am going to give you two for the price of one.  You did not come here for my rants, and if you have gotten this far without going to someone else’s blog, good for you.  You get an A++ sticker (it is the first day of school in Central Ohio)
My first way to keeping track is to plan out my goals.   With Longaberger, as well as with my scrapbooking and writing, I have monthly goals, and I try to remember to write them down.  Next with those monthly goals, I check to see if they are part of my bigger goal for my career.
Next, I do an accountability check.   One day I do hope I can hit the one million dollar mark, but I am not thinking about that at all.  My ultimate goal is to see that I help someone to either become an Independent Longaberger Home consultant to start, or learn how to become a freelance scrapbook designer, card maker, or writer for either themselves or as a business.   Who knows what a person can learn.   Speaking of which, I am also constantly learning what I can do to better myself.  I want to be certified in certain subjects that has to do with organizing, crafting tools, writing, and the internet. It takes time, and if my family allows it, and I do not allow them to distract me, it can be done.  (So sorry, I gave you three, my bad, giggle)

I am 73 words over at this point, so I am going to leave you with this tip:  never stop learning something new.  You will never know if it is the pentacle of starting something great in your career. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My bout with Suicide

(c) National Suicide Center Logo
All this talk about suicide and Robin Williams made me do a little soul searching.  Everyone who knows me always see me as this bubbly person, and I have been all my life.   I think God for this amazing life, with an amazing family, and He has blessed me with so many things, including being able to sell for a great company like Longaberger and own my own company, and He has given me all this talent. 
I am here to confess that at age 22, I almost took my own life.  Yes, I was so upset that I was not in school, I did not have a job, and I was still living with my parents.  I had problems with the constant itching from Eczema, and the doctor prescribed for me Atarax (Sp?).  So one day, I was sitting in my room, on the floor, and looked at them.   I poured them all on the floor, and thought, "If I took 10, which would do the trick, my parents will never have to worry about me anymore."  God dispatch his angels to stop me, and I all of a sudden heard myself say, "What the heck am I doing?"  So I picked them, and put them back into the bottle, and never thought about taking my life again.
It only takes a second, and if you really think about all the amazing things you have in life, and if they outweigh that one bad thing, then your life is not half bad.  You are going to have some problems, because I have them now, it is called life.  I know what I thought about at age 22 was nothing compared to what Robin Williams went through.  He had all this amazing talent, but after the cancellation of his show, rehab, and whole host of things that only he and God truly knew what he was going through.  I just hope and pray that he did make peace, although it does not sound like it, because if he did, this would turned out much, much differently. 
Please, if you even for a second thought about taking your own life, like I did, please get help.  I should have, because those thoughts can easily creep on you again.  Thursday, at Longaberger's consultant's convention, there was not a dry eye, when the story of Jackie was played.   
Jackie, (I am not sure if I can reveal her last name, so for privacy, I have deleted it) had gone through so much.  First, she had a stroke, then her husband left her because of the stroke.  Next, her sister, her only sibling died.  My guess was that her parents were already deceased, they were not mentioned in the video.  Her son, who had been serving in the Navy in Texas, had come home from a tour.  While he was at home, he showered his mom so much, Jackie never knew the pain he was harboring inside.   He even told his mom, that his dad was not worth keeping and for Jackie to not go after him.  Her son spent 9 months at home, and one day, Jackie found him in his room, and he had taken his own life.   She knew why.   After the funeral, she mentioned that she did not want to live at that point, and went into a bout of despair.  She said that if it wasn't for her team, her faith, God, and Longaberger, she would not be here today.
I wish that Mr. Williams could have heard this, and say that despite my problems, I am so glad that I am still here, and that this too shall pass.  That is what I always tell myself before thinking the worst.
If you know someone, who may decide to take their own life, the National Suicide center suggest you to look for these signs:
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
There is a hotline for you to call, and that number is 1-800-273-8255

I hope that this will bring you some comfort, and if you are contemplating taking your life, please get the help you need.  Your life is much more precious then you will ever know, and so much more.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Correction is a big deal to me…..5 ways to improve your writing.

(c) Wikihow.com
I am filling an application to write for BlogHer.   Blogher (or BlogHer) is a blogging site for women, but it is much more than just writing about how to improving your blogging skills, it is women writing about topics.  OK, no big deal, but it is a big deal to me.  I am trying to increase my readership and ranking on all my blogs.  It is also a big deal to me, because I know the style they are looking for, because I have been a member for over 5 years.  
I first applied for the position about 2-3 years ago with a different blog.  I still have the blog (P.Lynne Designs), which is about my scrapbook and card designs, but I was turned down.  I never gave it a second thought on why I was turned down until now.  I am submitting this blog, because I feel that it more of Blogher’s style, but more important, I have a variety of topics on it.  Before I can submit it, I wanted to give them a reason to accept this blog, so I went over the past few posts I currently have on the blog, and I am mortified.  I am finding missing words in sentences and I found myself singing Weird Al Yankovic’s Word Crimes song.   This is also a pet peeve of mine, so that makes me really upset, until I had to write this post for all to see.
You do not have to write a blog post to see the error of your ways.  I have seen whole tweets, grocery lists, even notes to a boss with these errors, and I have to wonder what the next generation has in store for them, as they fill out applications for employment, write business reports, or even give instructions to the babysitter.  They want to text, and I know, Twitter started it with their (not there) 140 character count, but why should I care about how you write.  Check these out:
1)      I thought Ebonics was dead.  Yes I said, I mean it, and now I am…oh never mind.   The point is grammar is very important.  It does not matter if you speak English, Spanish, Chinese, or Klingon, learning how to form a proper sentence will get you far in life, because no one understands your quirkiness like you and a few of your friends.  With employers looking at everything you do, you have to watch the way you talk to (TAKE THOSE SELFIES DOWN THEY LOOK TACKY TO AN EMPLOYER!!!!!)  I am sorry, but technology can be mean.
2)      Watch your words.  Know the difference between their, there, and they’re.  Also two, 2, too, and to.   Equally important is you, your, and you’re. 
3)      Did you catch the mistake? I said “is” instead of “are” (not r) in the last sentence.  Know the difference between the two.
4)      It is ok to make one or two mistakes and live with it.  Um, no it is not.  (Humm, double negative, got to fix it.) You really need to proof-read your stuff, before it goes out towards cyber-space.  If you do not towards monetize your blog in the future, that is fine.  If you are not looking for employment, that’s fine too.  But, if you want readership, get a job, and all the good stuff that comes with having proper grammar structure, you need to brush up on your grammar.
5)      Do not depend on the following:  Spellcheck, grammar check, or any computerized checking tool.   They are good for basics (and you should really know how to spell anyway), but if it is not a common word, expect the red Line (blue line for grammar in MS Word), double check proper names (nothings worse than misspelling someone’s name), and proofread for flow.

6)      Bonus:  I do not want to c (see) this:   r u reddy 2 lern hw 2 spell?  The proper way is: Are you ready to learn how to spell?  Business people are not your buddy, they are not you pal, your homie, or anything like that.  They are ready to see what you can offer them, and they like what they see, when they see it.  Give them a reason to see you shine.

P.S.  By the way, I decided to wait a few months to apply.   One of the requirements are posting at least once a week, which I have been slacking.  I will wait until I start doing that again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why can’t I just enjoy food anymore?

(c) www.whats4eats.com
A few minutes ago, I was going through my email, when I ran into a coupon offer from an eating place that I have never tried.  It was for a Lobster salad sandwich.   I love lobster.  In fact I love all kinds of seafood. (Can you tell I am not allergic to shellfish?)  In Ohio, it is rare to get any type of seafood, anywhere, unless it comes from Red Lobster, The Columbus Fish Market (I highly recommend it-but expensive) or is breaded (a la Long John Silvers or Captain D’s), so I thought I might stop in today on my way home from a meeting.  After all, it has a coupon attached to the offer.
Like most emails with a coupon attached to it, you have to click in to get to the coupon that contains the reward (which is to print the coupon), so I click on the button.   Once inside the website, I was not greeted with coupon I can print.  Oh no, that’s too easy.  I was greeted with a “Pavlov-like” greeting…”Did you know that the sandwich you are craving to eat is 440 calories?”  It seemed to say.  I was upset that I was greeted with that fact finding tool, that the government seems to demand on eating places these days, but more important, no coupon.
I just realize that people cannot enjoy food no more.  Gone are the days, where we can just go out to eat, and not worry about how much fat and calories we are piling in our bodies.  Since when did the government get so concerned about how much food we consume?  I am not worried about the amount of calories I consume, I am worried about how big of a portion size we are consuming.  I am sure that this one little sandwich is most likely going to have more lobster meat on it than the average sandwich, but what is average anymore?
I heard that my meat portion size should be that of a deck of cards (3 oz.), and that is not all.   A medium baked potato should be about the size of a computer mouse.  A half cup of rice should be able to fill a cupcake wrapper.  One ounce of cheese should be the size of four dice.  And finally, they say that sandwich meat should be the size of a standard slice of wheat bread.   That still does not answer the question on how big the lobster sandwich should be. 
OK what is really in that sandwich?
The other thing that you have to worry about these days, is what is actually in a dish.   There are groups out here who actually gone to “picket line “methods to protest chemicals, such as GMO, BHA, and that chemical that has been reported in Chinese food (I cannot think of the name right now).  I am not here to warn you about these groups, because they actually have some good, legitimate points that makes congress, FDA, and food companies think, but now, I have to police everything that I eat both inside and outside of my own home.  No wonder everything is so expensive from food in the grocery store to a simply meal at Wendy’s.   Remember the McDonald’s scare of 2011?  I refuse to eat a hamburger from there now, because of the fluff. 
So what to do….

Do I still want the lobster sandwich? Yes.  Nothing’s wrong with it except it is high in calories.  Am I cautious of what I eat?  Yes, but you have to weigh out what you think is good for your body.  My doctor says everything in moderation, and that is one the best advice she could give me.  So it is settled.  I am getting the sandwich, but it will be a while before I get another one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Random thoughts-May 28, 2014

photo by P.Lynne Designs-
New Courthouse, Downtown Columbus
These are my random thoughts for today.  This is actually the first time in a long time I have written this way.  My thought process is usually the following:

  • Plan a topic for a blog (I STILL have 5 blogs)
  • Write my thoughts in Ms Word.  although there are other softwares out there, I enjoy the ease of Microsoft products, even though I do not always agree with the way the company handles things, which is often cold and a little underhanded, like Google and a couple more companies I can think of in the technology world.
  • Edit what I wrote and research to make sure my facts are straight.  This is a little backwards sometimes.  If I am writing for someone else, I will write and research at the same time, but for me, I kind of get it backwards.   This post is not one of those reseachy (is that a word, Google spell check hates it, I am leaving it), post.
  • Finally, I place pictures and other things in it.   I learned a valuable lesson  last year.  Always, always, always (how many times I have to say "always") document where you found the image, even it if came from your own camera/phone you pushed the button type image.   Reason:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T and authenticity.  Respect for the person who took it (you may have to event ask permission to use said photo-more on that later), and you would want to someone to do the same for your images.  As I grow more and more as a business person and artist, the less and less I want to just look in Google's library.   I know this because of what the musician, Prince did for his own music.  There is a post waiting on another blog, so you will either have to Google it or wait until I post my thoughts on the subject on royalties.
I had a wonderful time at my aunt and uncle's house over the weekend.  I have not seen my cousin, who lives in Indianapolis, IN in years, nor the friends I made in Detroit.  Me and my parents went to help celebrate my uncle's 70th birthday.  I met a new cousin (well, she is not so new-11 months old).  I did fell a little left out for a moment.  If anyone has read my post on May 7, 2012 (Yikes that long ago), I talked about being single and childless on a Monday morning (see actual title and post Here ), well, I had one of those moments on Memorial Day, and I had to remove myself from everyone else.  So I went to the porch and prayed.  My mother decided (or God showed her) that I was gone for a bit, and came to the porch.   I did not want to talk about it, but found myself discussing it anyway, and before I knew it, she actually for a second, accused me for trying to ruin the last few moments of my little get-away.   I quickly corrected her, and said that it was nothing like that at all, and it wasn't.   I explained that I felt like that I was blessed with so many things, including having the children who are in my life, BUT they are not mine to tuck into bed each night, sing to them, hug them, and invoke my wisdom as a mom should.  I am doing from an aunt's or cousin's Point of View, and that never should take the place of what a mom gives her child, which was missing in my life.  I feel blessed to be a part of their lives and to be working on building my business.   In the state of Ohio, I have 4 more years to adopt (I will be 50 in July), and I have wanted to be a mom since I was in my 20's.  Mom, then informed me that I should never count out what else that God has in store for me, which may include being able to still get married and to adopt.  I hold on to that promise.  It gets a little lonely in this condo of mine.

Finally, I leave you with this note:  do not take your blessings for granted.  You may or may not get to the point, where you say that you have made it, and that you have arrived, because there is always room to grow.  Sure we all may want the latest and greatest gadgets, the best technology you can afford, but is it all worth it at the end of the day?  I think that I can truly say that I have a ways to go and grow.  I still need to do somethings that will mentally and physically prepare me for motherhood in her 50's. Most people tell me to stay where I am at, but they can only say it, because they have children, but I wish that they would for once see it from my point of view.  I don't have a fur baby, which to me is a lot less work (no talk back from the unhappy charges, or paying for college tuition), but to others, it yields the same results, which is I am taking care of someone in addition to myself.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Call of Jury Duty

We all had days where we don’t want to do things that dis-please us.  In America, we are a society of people, who take pleasure in doing things with passion. It doesn’t if it our favorite hobbies, a career we have always dreamed of doing, or even robbing a bank, we take pride in doing it.  That does not mean that others enjoy watching the criminal.
So, what does that have to do with jury duty?  I do not take pleasure in deciding the fate of another human being.  I realize it is my civil duty as a member and citizen of this country, but, the person in question has not done anything to me, nor my family and friends.  Call me a softy?  Hardly.  I am sure that whatever this person has done, God is not pleased, but on the other hand, this person could have been innocent, but society decided that he/she/it looks like somebody or something they have seen before. 

So what happen, and how did I get selected?

Unless you are a criminal, non-citizen, or a child, you may have already been selected, your name just has not come up.   My pastor has been three times.  If your name does come up, you have a choice to make.  If you have a problem, such as your employee not paying you for serving your civil duty, you may be able to get out of it.  There are excuses you can come up with.  I will explain later. 
Back in March, I received a green piece of paper with instructions on how to park, where to park at the county courthouse, and so forth.  I thought I was being sued, because I never received the first piece of paper, the official piece of paper.  I ignored it, and decided to tackle it after I got back from San Antonio, TX.  When I checked my mail, I was told that either go, reschedule, or pay a fine (yes, boys and girls, they fine you if you do not acknowledge that you have received the OFFICIAL piece of paper.)
So I sent an OFFICIAL piece of email stating that I have not received it, and to reschedule, and I gave the dates that I will be available.  (After all, I am a business person).  They gave me May 19 to reappear (as if I was a criminal), and I was allowed to reschedule one time.  So I started rearranging my schedule so I would not have any excuses to miss.

So here I am at the present time…

 ….and I am sitting at Scrambler Marie's.   Why?  I have excuse from the jury manager.   I got up, ran late, got lost in the county courthouse and their parking garage (who told Franklin county, Ohio to build this many courthouses?). The jury manager handed me the rules and regs paper of being a jury member, and I looked over it.  Even though it is your civil duty to be a member of the jury, they do not want to denial your right as a private citizen, and keep you from earning your keep as an entrepreneur.  Yes, my business got me out of jury duty.  I went back to the jury manager, told her that I owned a business that earned a commission based on sales, and she asked me for a business card.   I handed it to her, she stapled it to my OFFICIAL piece of paper, and I was on my way.

So what am I doing with the rest of my day?  Exercising my rights as a business owner, and working, like a BOSS!

Photo by Abovethelaw.com

Thursday, May 15, 2014

All the world is a stage….

Where are the sensitive-acting people?   This is my question for this week.  I have said that after writing about Abby Lee Miller that I was done with writing about celebrities.  I leave it to the experts.   This one however, intrigued me.
By now, unless you are living under a rock, to which I wish I was on this story, have heard about the whole Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Solange elevator story.   But in case you have not, let me bore you a bit…
It seems that these three attended some after party for a mega-event.  You know the type, you go to be seen, take a few pictures, and hob-knob a bit; drink, and take a few
selfies alone the way.  Hey, if you are under 18, at least your parents know where you are or not supposed to be.  I am picturing Blue Ivy doing this in the future.
Anyway… the mega-couple and sis get into the elevator to go home, alone with Bey’s bodyguard, and Solange goes at it on Jay-Z like he just took that very last piece of chocolate on the whole planet.   Bey is just standing there, but soon steps in the middle.
My take on the situation…
What was going on in Solange’s head?  She should have taken that home.  I hope she realizes that every time Bey and Jay-Z breathe and make a move, the paparazzi are there to invade their world.
Who taught her those moves?  I wonder if she have any resentment towards her parents getting a divorce, having a baby brother who is not her mom’s, if that has to do with it.
I can understand Bey not wanting to get in the middle of the situation.  Solo (as some people like to call her) have some moves that can not only put an eye out, but can permanently paralyze a person, if you are not careful.  I can understand why she left with Solange as well.  She probably told Jay-Z that she will go to try to calm Solange down, then come home.
Folks, this is clearly a family squabble and all families go through it.  Please do not act like this is the first time you have seen this type of behavior.  Chuck up this behavior to
·         Too many drinks (possible)
·         Too high (also possible)
·         She saw Jay-Z hitting up on another woman (also still possible)
·         And bringing up old baggage that should have left a long time ago.
These are the things I heard…
·         Solange erased all references of Bey from Instagram, Facebook, and her phone except one photo.
·         Bey and Jay-Z were seen at a basketball game, smiling, laughing, and he even had his hand on her knee (Awww)
·         Someone took a photo at that same B-ball game, and noticed that a certain tat (tattoo) was missing from Bey’s finger where Jay-Z used to be (Wendy Williams reference)
·         The media keeps making a big deal out of it.

So boys and girls, I am going to leave it at that, and I will go back to my original question:  Where are all the sensitive-acting people?   They are NOT in Hollywood I can tell you that much right now.