Spring 2011 Update
• I was adopted as an infant in 1960. In 2009, I began an active search for my birth family and learned that I had a sister and a brother. On Nov. 15, 2010, after 50 years of feeling like a part of my life was missing, my birth family found me.
I was stunned to discover that I had not one, but three half-sisters, as well as a half-brother who thought I had died as a baby. My sister, Cyndie, had been looking for me for 30 years, going as far as consulting psychics in her search for me. On Jan. 1, 2011, we all met for the first time. I have also been in touch with my birth father, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Belize.
I don't know whose smile is bigger in this picture, my birth mother's or mine.
Fifty years is a long time to wait for a first hug.
Meeting my brother, Joe, for the first time was very emotional for me.
I took tons of photos to share with Madge, my birth mother.
We had a lot of catching up to do!
Here it is, our first-ever family portrait.
Left to right, that's my sister Tyna, my sister Cyndie, my birth mother Madge, my brother Joe, me, and my sister Heather.
• In the fall of 2010, I was accepted as a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
• In January 2011, I was named senior editor for Cleaning & Restoration, the association magazine of the Restoration Industry Association. The magazine covers the business of disaster clean-up and restoration.
• I've entered several of my stories in national competitions from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Wish me luck!
August 19, 2009
Winners announced in e-course drawing!
Well, the winners have been selected. A total of 63 people entered the drawing; I am so psyched about all the interest in the class.
First, I wanted to explain how I did the drawing. Originally, I was going to go old school, write down everyone's names on slips of paper and draw names out of a hat. But since Tuesday was my husband's birthday, I really didn't want to spend the evening cutting up pieces of paper. So, I went to him and asked him to give me two numbers between 1 and 63. He picked 49 (that's how old he is now) and 18. Then I asked him if I should count from the top of the list down, or from the bottom of the list up (I had them in a folder in Outlook, arranged chronologically). He picked top down. My only involvement in the process was counting from 1 to 49. Trust me, he felt the pressure knowing that it was all on him!
The winners are:
First place, winning a premium version of my e-course
Second place, winning a basic version of my e-course
Congratulations to them both!!
For everyone else, registration for the September class is open now at www.TheRenegadeWriter.com. As always, I offer a money-back guarantee. If you get through the first two weeks of the course and it's just not what you thought it would be, you'll get a full refund of your registration.
August 17, 2009
Exciting news about the e-course drawing!
We’re down to the final 48 hours before the drawing for a free premium version (a $240 value!) of my Renegade Writer e-course on writing for trade magazines. I’m really excited about the drawing. As of Sunday afternoon, 59 people were entered. I’ll announce the winners here and on the Renegade Writer blog on the 19th.
To make the drawing even more exciting, I’ve decided to add a second prize, a free basic version of the eight-week course, which is worth $120. But that’s not all! (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. I’ve seen wayyy too many ‘As Seen on TV’ commercials.)
I really want everyone to win something in this contest, so I’ve decided to offer a discount to everyone who enters before the deadline on Aug. 18, and to everyone who is already entered. Here’s the deal:
Anyone who is entered in the drawing by the deadline on Aug. 18, and signs up for the basic version ($120) of the class by Sept. 1, will receive a 10 percent discount. Anyone who signs up for the premium version ($240) will receive a 20 percent discount. Plus, if you enter the contest and refer a friend who signs up by Sept. 1, they’ll get the same discount.
Is this is a blatant attempt to get people to sign up for my class and help me expand my marketing? Of course it is. But it’s also my way of acknowledging that things are tough right now. I know everyone is keeping a really close watch on the bottom line. Plus, I’m still firmly committed to trade magazines as a great market for freelancers who want to expand their portfolio of work.
So, if you haven’t registered for the drawing yet, do it now. And pass the word along to other writers who might be interested in learning about writing for trade pubs!
July 27, 2009
My new gig as a blogger for Cyberhomes.com
I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the new contributors to the blog at Cyberhomes.com, which the National Association of Real Estate Editors recently selected as the year’s best real estate Web site. My first post went live on Friday, July 24. I’ll be writing about real estate trends; I’m scheduled to add two to three posts per week.
I’ve been writing feature articles for Cyberhomes.com for about a year and a half now; I’m thrilled to be asked to contribute to the blog as well.
July 13, 2009
Win a free premium version of Fall 2009 Writing for Trade Magazines e-course!
I’ve just submitted the dates to the powers-that-be at The Renegade Writer, for my next session of my e-course, Writing for Trade Magazines. The eight-week course will start Sept. 14 and run through the first week of November.
You can read all about the course here on my site.
I’ve been teaching this on-line course since the beginning of 2008; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed introducing writers to the world of the trade press. Here’s a note I got from a student who took the course this spring:
I’m taking the Plain Jane Vanilla Version of your trade pubs writing class but I had to email you this morning after going over Week 2’s outline. Just the amount of links you’ve given us in Week 2’s lesson is worth the cost of the basic class alone. I am totally blown away by the options available to me and am really looking forward to what I’ll be able to learn in the coming weeks.
The ‘Plain Jane Vanilla Version’ she referred to is the basic, do-it-yourself version of the class that comes without email support. In the premium version, students email the homework assignments to me. I critique them and provide feedback. It’s more like a one-on-one mentoring relationship.
The premium course fee is $240; the basic class is just $120 for information that can help you earn thousands of dollars a year. Best of all, you can be eligible to win a free premium version of the course that starts Sept. 14. Just send me an email that says “Enter Me Into the September E-Course Contest” by Aug. 18, 2009. I’ll have a random drawing and announce the winner here and on The Renegade Writer blog.
I’ve never had a drawing for a free spot in the class. I’m excited to find out who takes advantage of it!