Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Looking for Winter Holiday Pet Story Quotes

Waiting for Santa.

Our pets and the holidays -- is there a better recipe for a cute story?  

As a pet blogger, of course I can't think of one! I'm working on a post on that topic right now for CANIDAE's Responsible Pet Ownership blog. While I adore writing about my dogs, this time around I would love to include you and your pet's special winter holiday memories!

So, do you have a hilarious, heartwarming or just special-to-you winter holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, etc.) memory to share? 

Maybe your pet reacted over a gift, destroyed the tree, had babies, ate the holiday meal -- there are so many possibilities! 

"Oh, I have a story..."
If so, you can take the survey for the article on Survey Monkey (it's just a few simple questions) or just send me a message on my Facebook page. Be sure to include your pet's name and breed, if you know it.

You can also send me a picture of your pet on Facebook, if you have one, to include with the article.

"I'm all ears!"
   You can find the survey here

   And my Facebook page here.

"That's a good one -- tell it again!"
   Feel free to share the survey link      
   ( publicly or with   
   anyone you think might want to take it. Anyone can answer.        

   Taking answers until noon EST on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. 

Happy Holidays!

Image credits: levork/; AZAdam/; sadiehart/; adrigu/

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free Freelance Writing eBook: Learn how to turn your writing into a business and make more money

Seriously, who doesn't want more money for their writing?

I sure do. And I've made more since reading "Managing a Freelance Writing Business: A Writer's Guide to Building a Strong Business," by Angie Mohr, CA, CMA. I still refer to the tips in this book today. That's why I'm so excited to let you know this ebook is free on Amazon today and tomorrow.

I bought the book and found it to be invaluable. Now you can benefit from it for free.

No, thinking about the business end of our craft isn't what typically drags us to the keyboard, but "Managing a Freelance Writing Business" is filled with tantalizing tips on how to turn one idea--even one article--into multiple revenue streams. More money? Now that's inspiration!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yay, Bottlenose! Social media app saves drowning writers from a sea of constant status updates

Using the Bottlenose app feels just like this.
Come up for air and enjoy social networking again!

Looking for real-time results on what your network is talking about, but don't want to spend an hour surfing the feed? Same here.

So I checked out Bottlenose, a social media app that reads your Facebook and Twitter feed and lets you know what topics are popular.

How does it do that? With real-time Sonar, an interactive visual way to see your network's trending topics, people and more. It even shows you how these topics relate to each other and lets you click on each topic to really delve into what people are chatting about. Next to the Sonar graph are the related messages in your social sphere.

How does Bottlenose help writers?

In multiple ways--from social to promotion. Now you don't have to waste time finding someone

Friday, April 27, 2012

Xenophobia produces poor journalism, writing

That is an obvious statement, perhaps, but think about it. How true could the reporting of xenophobe be if they are writing from a skewed lens of unfounded fear or suspicion of the strange or foreign, especially in regards to people? Even the form of uncritical stereotyping renders their writing dishonest. Maybe not intentionally so, but still inaccurate.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pinning My Writing Inspirations on Pinterest

Pinterest is a magical tool for visually inspiring writers.  I know I said that before in January, but thought it was worth stressing again. The photo pinning social network can be used to create topic boards on all the topics you like to write about, but it's more than that. If you just use the site to pin things you like--and create niche topic boards for these pictures--it hones in on things you really love.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Keeping Old Writing Clips: Super smart, sweetly nostalgic or just plain old hoarding?

Maybe I should make a clip book like this.
Throwback Thursday

Do you have a massive stack of old clips sitting lonely in a box? I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I do. The frail newspaper could-set-your-house-on-fire kind. Okay, even the xeroxed almost as flammable paper kind, from junior high. The problem is figuring out whether they've outgrown their usefulness, professionally and personally.

It started out innocently enough, even naturally. I wanted to be a journalist growing up, so I saved the yellow copies of my junior high paper and the newspapers from high school. Making a spiffy neon clip book, I proudly showed my work to my college newspaper adviser. It's what I had read writers do.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Joke Time! Writing humor and gags worth a giggle

Writing can be serious business. So today I want to lighten the mood by sharing a few of my favorite writing jokes and gag gifts.

Sadistic Mouse

Want to keep a writer productive? Gift them this chocolate bar ice cream sandwich mouse, from Amazon. Tell them they can have the real thing when they make deadline. We really will work for food--if it's yummy enough!

Exception to the Rule

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Identifying interesting interview angles & subjects

Interview, originally uploaded by smiling_da_vinci.
 It would be nice to have instant access to the most famous or obviously newsworthy people on any given subject we're writing. While it doesn't often work that way, freelance journalists can still dig up some interesting people to interview on any given subject. All you need is an angle.

Writing about a movie? Interview real life people who have been in a character's situation or worked in the portrayed profession. Talk to fans.

Political news breaking? Get the opinion of lesser known or retired politicians. Talk to the people who the news will affect. 

Big event? Look for the smaller story within the larger picture. Go after that interview. Here is an excellent recent example by freelance writer Marie Anne St. Jean: "Dogs of the Titanic: a Dozen Aboard, Three Survived."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Here's a harebrained idea.. drop that horrific client

Wave buh-bye to terrible clients. 
Seriously. Just do it. Live longer.

Yeah, it sounds crazy to fire a paying client. Maybe also a little tempting?

Don't get too eager--I'm talking about that client that gives you nightmares, fills your days with dread and prompts spontaneous bouts of sobbing at the thought of writing for them.

You know which one I'm talking about. They are literally ruining--and stressing years off of--your life.

Be professional, but tell them your writing services will no longer be available after x amount of time.

Then take a minute to breathe and go out and find a better client. Actually, you may want to do that last part first, depending on the severity of your situation. Just don't remain trapped in a cycle of unhappiness and unrealistic

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Google Plus: Balancing socializing and promotion

It's hard to tell if my friends are really beginning to use Google+ or if my circles are just growing. Either way, it's been months since my news feed could span days in a few seconds. Which meant I could check in a few times a week and be all caught up.

It has expanded to a social network that I need to be tuning into daily, but at first it was hard to break my less frequent habits. For me, Google+ was just, well, forgettable. 

Which was slightly mystifying, since I enjoy the design, functionality and customization. 

Was it just one too many social networks to handle? Perhaps, but months after joining I added Pinterest and Empire Avenue to my daily routine.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Freelancer Fantasy: A fiction writing vacation

The perfect writing spot: Decatur Street, New Orleans.
Lately my mind has been wistfully conjuring images myself typing away as indifferent strangers pass by with unknown purpose, shrouded in the mystique of a locale that thrives on its crush of humanity.

Now that would be a proper writing vacation.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Err.. What was that about enthusiastically embracing new writing endeavors?

An A to Z Throwback Thursday

For my 'E' post last year, I wrote about "Enthusiastically Embracing New Writing Endeavors" and I guess it's time to fess up to my success...and failure.

Of the two new projects I mentioned in the post, Pundit This is off the ground and running. My dream of turning it into a website and featuring the political voices of average Americans has come true. We are on to building readership, consistency--both of which already far exceed

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dogs: Taking care of writers since 2008

Okay, maybe the year just applies to me, but my canine companions definitely get credit for keeping this writer healthy. Which is important, because if I'm not feeling well--I'm not thinking well. And unclear thinking leads to sloppy writing.

My canine caregivers.
No, I don't have a trio of Doggie Bowser, MDs on my hands. Just normal, lovably active dogs.

As a primarily online freelance writer, it's not hard to get lost for hours down the internet rabbit hole. There are days where I'm so engrossed in what I'm writing that it's doubtful I would leave

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cowboy Up: Find a home for those rejections

Writers get rejections. It's inevitable and what you do after receiving these disheartening emails often decides whether you can make a living as a writer or not.

What do working writers do? They cowboy/girl up and get creative.

Because we have bills to pay.

You probably do too, so take a look at the rejection and decide if the piece is salvageable. Give it an honest once over and decide if it is publishable. Is it out of date? Have too many errors? Need fixed?

Is it worth fixing?

Yes? Then look for other--preferably paying--avenues of publication. Find websites, blogs, trade magazines, newspapers, contests, etc that accept that type of content and send it off

Monday, April 2, 2012

Branching out towards your writing bucket list

Are you moving towards or away from your goals?

When it comes to a writer's bucket list, it matters not whether you take cautious steps or brash leaps towards your goals. The importance lies in the actual movement and the direction it takes. 

That story or novel you want to write before you die isn't going to automagically appear. 

Especially if you are spending all of your time writing to a niche that has nothing to do with what you want to accomplish. Not to say you should give up all your paying gigs and live the not so romantic life of a starving writer. Just take--or better yet create--at every opportunity a chance

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools from Klout

Have you hooked up your MySpace account to your Klout profile? No, I'm not joking...but Klout is. In exchange for pulling our influence-seeking legs, Klout is offering a glitter-rific animated makeover for your score.

To get your--admittedly female-centric--MySpace inspired score:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are you taking the A to Z Challenge?

April Blog-A-Thon

It's almost A to Z Challenge time! Throughout the month of April over 1,000 blogs will be participating in the challenge, which was started by Arlee Bird in 2010.

We will start on April 1, 2012, with the letter 'A' and continue blogging through the alphabet.

Not only will I be participating in the challenge here on Tamara Writes, but I will also be tackling political trivia from A to Z over on Pundit This.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Promotion Tips to Breathe Life into Older Content

Pin It
Remember that blog post you wrote six months ago that was so popular or the one from when your blog was just a baby that failed to gain traction? Of course you do. Unfortunately, your readers might not or missed it completely.

That's OK. Older content doesn't have to instantly die as soon as you hit 'publish' on another piece. You can promote content year-round, even if you're a busy freelance writer like Lana Bandoim.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Infographic: Top 5 Twitter Mistakes Writers Make

Fail whale moments for freelancers.
Freelancing Fail Whale

What writer doesn't look back on their first few days of tweets and cringe? I sure do. Here's a chance to look back and laugh at the mistakes we made before getting the hang of the Twitterverse. For new tweeps, take this as an opportunity to shorten your learning curve.

*Infographic after the article.

5. Irrelevance & Obscurity

Twitter isn't the social network to go to the artsy outfield. If you aren't tweeting something relevant or current, you aren't going to be relevant to the medium. Attention spans are short and no one is going to follow your storyline 140 characters at a time. There could be 50 tweets in between each one. Who could keep up with that? So save your novel excerpts for your blog or website, where they'll be

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Go! Go! Go Shorty! I Nominate @PunditThis for a Shorty Award in #Government because people should count in politics, not stump speeches

Up for a Shorty Award? Don't let those Hanging Chads get you down--there's a workaround!

Nominate Pundit This... for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!
Vote for Pundit This... for a Shorty Award.
Is anyone else up for a Shorty Award?

My website, is, in the 'government' category.  The voting period ends at midnight on Feb. 17, so this is the final push to let people know how they can vote--it's quick and easy. I also wanted to take a minute to thank those who have already voted and let everyone know why this year's awards are so important to me.

Pundit This began eight months ago, on the vague idea that we should be able to discuss political topics on a site that is dedicated to how these issues personally affect our daily lives. I didn't really have a firm vision then, but that just my own voice wasn't enough.

It needed to be a collaboration, and a balance between news and commentary, in order to be meaningful.

It's a continuous work in progress--and that's not a bad thing.

For those of you that have been following along in recent months, you may have noticed that other writers' voices have been added. Something we were extremely excited to see come to fruition. Winning a Shorty Award would bring even more traffic and therefor more paid writers and voices to the site.
Have Uncounted Votes?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Have you seen my D.A.R.E. Bear?

Throwback Thursday

This post was going to go one of two ways: 1) Reminiscing on the first writing award I can remember receiving or 2) The same thing, plus a tangent on how much of a return on our investment we expect from our writing. Well, 1 + 2 = I can't find my D.A.R.E. Bear.

Not that I expect to find the actual teddy bear 20 years after winning it--I really don't know if I have it and it's cold in the garage--but I did fully think that I would at least be able to find a picture of him online. (Yes, 'it' is a 'him.')

Minus one traumatizing exception--his head was stuffed into an ATM, so I couldn't make a

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Goals, SOPA, Tricks, Pics and the Super Bowl

I posted a short list of my 2012 writing goals as a separate page on this blog earlier today. Instead of worrying about what I have or have not completed in January, I'll start checking things off starting the first of next month.

Look for a progress report at the end of every month and some helpful tips in between. Shaping up to be an amazing year! Remember: Experience, Love and Achieve are the buzzwords!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Spirit of Writing Goals Trump Actionable Lists

The spirit of my goals are my 2012 writing goals.
I'm going to fly in the face of conventional wisdom for a moment and state that nebulous aspirations are just as--if not more--important to writing goals than yearly navigational checklists. (Gasp!)

That's right. 

Because I believe that you need to know what state of being you want to be in, or view your work from, before you know in which direction to head. And all that comes before envisioning all the little steps (or epic leaps) it's going to take to get you there.

The spirit of your writing and the manner you embark upon doing it should matter. That should be the way in which your proceed, the momentum that carries you towards your goals--be it successfully starting a new


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