Author Archives: writeratthesea

About writeratthesea

I am a publish journalist, screenwriter/instructor, awarded poet, and proud mother of two grown children. Some of my professional experience includes: Published Freelance Writer Copywriter/Editor Ghostwriter (Fiction & Non-fiction) Screenplay Writer/Screenplay Coach Awarded Poet Broadcast Journalism Newspaper Reporting Web Content Developer Social Media As a professional writer, I admit to being a bit of a "word chaser." I love the interplay of words. Rudyard Kipling so wisely stated, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” They can bless or curse, breathe love or spew hate, and words create impressions, images and build certain expectations. They influence how we think. Since thoughts determine actions, there's a powerful connection between the words we use and the results we get. Advertisers know this, business guru's know this, and the media exists from this premise. Given my belief about word power, I try to "fill my pages with the breathing of my heart." (William Wordsworth)

The mindless madness of text messaging

I am certain that I’ve expressed my disdain for text messaging before, but in case I haven’t covered that topic on this blog, now might be as good a time as any.  Where do I begin?  Text messaging is an open affront to the English language and to all the rules of grammar.  It is frankly an insult to human intelligence.  While I am certainly voicing my “strong” opinion here… I can do that–it’s my blog and I’ll bitch if I want to.  🙂 The thing is… I am NOT alone.  There are tons of language enthusiasts who are grossly offended by the current text-messaging take-over.

The following rules reveal all too clearly just why text messaging conveniently ignores these important structural guides:

1. To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier (yeah, right… it’s doubtful that anyone text messaging is going to be concerned with independent clauses, comma placement, conjunctions, semicolons or sentence modifiers).

2. Use commas to bracket nonrestrictive phrases, which are not essential to the sentence’s meaning (this could easily get misinterpreted in a text message)!

3. Do not use commas to bracket phrases that are essential to a sentence’s meaning (of course, you will have to actually have a sentence for this to work, and the sentence will have to have meaning… doubtful this rule can ever be applied to text messaging).

4. When beginning a sentence with an introductory phrase or an introductory (dependent) clause, include a comma.

5. To indicate possession, end a singular noun with an apostrophe followed by an “s”. Otherwise, the noun’s form seems plural.

6. Use proper punctuation to integrate a quotation into a sentence. If the introductory material is an independent clause, add the quotation after a colon. If the introductory material ends in “thinks,” “saying,” or some other verb indicating expression, use a comma.

7. Make the subject and verb agree with each other, not with a word that comes between them (verbs and nouns are not important when text messaging.  It’s all about the less is more theory.  Symbols are preferred)!

8. Be sure that a pronoun, a participial phrase, or an appositive refers clearly to the proper subject.

9. Use parallel construction to make a strong point and create a smooth flow (Smooth flow? Hahaha… this is nothing short of comedic)!

10. Use the active voice unless you specifically need to use the passive (GUD2NO…LOL).

11. Omit unnecessary words (since there are no actual words used in text messaging, this rule can be omitted completely).

For the heck of it…let’s take a look at text messaging and the symbols… (You won’t find this in your local library)!

Text abbreviations aren’t just for cell phones

Text message abbreviation don’t just have to be used in a text message either, they can easily be implemented into emails between friends or even through the use of chat functions on social networking sites or the use of MSN or Yahoo messengers, texting slang is growing ever more popular across the world through these online methods of communication. Text abbreviations are used more widely now than they ever have been and their popularity continues to grow as is the case with text message symbols!

Of course I do not suggest that you go ahead and use any text abbreviations or text symbols in formal correspondence though, for instance if you work for a company where you have to send out letters and emails to customers they will not appreciate a ‘lol’ or ‘:)’ when you are writing to them! This is mainly because most text message abbreviations are seen as slang and thus there is a time and a place for them and this is not through any means of formal correspondence.

This list of text abbreviations that are on this page can also be a very useful tool for parents that are trying to decipher the content of a child’s email or text message in order to make sure that they are safe and not up to no good (lol, that is the understatement). What may have just looked like a jumble of letters and random texting symbols can all of a sudden become a lot clearer with the use of this website as these text abbreviations and text symbols are often a code for something they want hidden!

So let’s first go through a brief guide as to what the differences between a texting symbols, texting acronyms and texting abbreviations actually are.

Texting Acronyms

An acronym is a word that is formed by the initial letters of a series of other words, for instance arguably the most common texting acronym that you are going to come across is ‘lol’ which is ‘Laugh Out Loud’ and another texting acronym is ‘ROFL’ which is ‘Rolls On Floor Laughing’. These are both used as a response to saying or receiving something of some amusement. Whereby this page is based solely on text abbreviations and text symbols we do have an additional page with a comprehensive list of texting acronyms.

Texting abbreviations

An abbreviation as we all know is how a longer word or phrase is shortened. For instance a texting abbreviation could be shortening the word ‘later’ to ‘l8r’ or ‘mate’ to ‘m8’. There are simply loads of text abbreviations being used everyday and they can make your own text messages not only shorter but also cheaper because a shorter message does not overlap into a second that will charge you twice when you send it. Please see below for a list of texting abbreviations. These are a very common form of texting slang and are used by everyone from teenagers to the elderly, the beauty of text abbreviations are there is not set list you have to stick to as it is easy enough to create your own!

Texting symbols

There are a whole range of texting symbols and these include the commonly used smiley face ‘:)’ or a sad face ‘:(‘ which are used to express a mood or reaction to another text message. Please see below for a list of texting symbols.

List of texting abbreviations

Here is a full text message abbreviation list for you!

A – Abbreviations

  • ABT – About
  • ACK -Acknowledge
  • ADD – Address
  • ADDY – Address
  • ADMIN – Administrator
  • ADR – Address
  • AIGHT – Alright
  • AWESO – Awesome

B – Abbreviations

  • BK – Back
  • B2W – Back to work
  • B8 – Bait
  • B9 – Boss is watching
  • B4 – Before
  • B4N – Bye for now
  • B/C – Because
  • BCOS – Because
  • BDAY – Birthday
  • B-DAY – Birthday
  • BF – Boyfriend
  • BHL8 – Be home late
  • BOYF – Boyfriend
  • BRD – Bored

C – Abbreviations

  • CIAO – Good-bye
  • CMON – Come on
  • CONGRATS – Congratulations
  • COS – Because
  • CR8 -Create
  • CUL8R – See you later
  • CYA – See you
  • CYAL8R – See you later

D – Abbreviations

  • D46? – Down for sex?
  • DNR – Dinner
  • DNT – Don’t
  • DV8 – Deviate

E – Abbreviations

  • E1 – Everyone
  • EMA – E-mail address
  • EMSG – E-mail message
  • ENUF – Enough
  • EVA – Ever
  • EVO – Evolution
  • EZ – Easy
  • EZY – Easy

F – Abbreviations

  • F2F – Face to face
  • FWD – Forward

G – Abbreviations

  • GNIGHT – Good night
  • GNITE – Good night
  • GR8 – Great
  • GRATZ – Congratulations
  • GRL – Girl
  • GUD – Good

H – Abbreviations

  • H8 – Hate
  • H8TTU – Hate to be you
  • H-BDAY – Happy Birthday

I – Abbreviations

  • IDUNNO – I don’t know
  • ILBL8 – I’ll be late

K – Abbreviations

  • K – Okay
  • KK – Okay, Okay
  • KEWL – Cool

L – Abbreviations

  • L8R – Later
  • L8RG8R – Later, gator
  • LEMENO – Let me know
  • LIK – Liquor

M – Abbreviations

  • M8 – Mate
  • MKAY – Mmm, okay
  • MNSG – Mensaje (Spanish)
  • MSG – Message

N – Abbreviations

  • N00b – Newbie
  • N1 – Nice one
  • N2M – Nothing too much
  • NANA – Not now, no need
  • NE – Any
  • NE1 – Anyone
  • NO1 – No one
  • NTHING – Nothing (SMS)
  • NVM – Never mind
  • NVR – Never

O – Abbreviations

  • O4U Only for you
  • OIC Oh, I see
  • ONL Online
  • ORLY Oh really?
  • OVA Over

P – Abbreviations

  • P911 – Parents alert
  • PEEPS – People
  • PIC – Picture
  • PL8 – Plate
  • PLS – Please
  • PLZ – Please
  • PROLLY – Probably
  • PROGGY – computer program
  • PRON – pornography
  • PRT – Party
  • PU – That stinks!
  • PZ – Peace
  • PZA – Pizza

Q – Abbreviations

  • QSO – Conversation
  • QT – Cutie
  • QTPI – Cutie pie

R – Abbreviations

  • R8 – Rate (SMS)
  • RLY – Really
  • RU – Are you?
  • RUT – Are you there?
  • RUOK – Are you okay?
  • RX – Regards
  • RUMOF – Are you male or female?

S – Abbreviations

  • S2R – Send to receive
  • S2S – Sorry to say
  • SH^ – Shut up
  • SIG2R – Sorry, I got to run
  • SK8 – Skate
  • SK8NG – Skating
  • SK8R – Skater
  • SK8RBOI – Skater Boy
  • SPK – Speak
  • SRSLY – Seriously
  • SQ – Square
  • SRY – Sorry
  • STR8 – Straight
  • SUX – sucks or it sucks
  • SUP – What’s up?

T – Abbreviations

  • T+ Think positive
  • T4BU – Thanks for being you
  • T:)T – Think happy thoughts
  • TANK – Meaning really strong
  • TANKED – owned
  • TANKING – owning
  • THX – Thanks
  • THNX – Thanks
  • THNQ – Thank-you
  • TLK2UL8R – Talk to you later
  • TTLY – Totally
  • TU – Thank you

U – Abbreviations

  • ^URS – Up yours
  • U-L – You will
  • UN4TUN8 – Unfortunate
  • UNBLEFBLE – Unbelievable
  • UNCRTN – Uncertain
  • UOK (Are) – You ok?
  • UR – Your / You’re
  • UR – Your
  • URA* – You are a star
  • URH – You are hot (U R Hot)
  • USU – Usually
  • UT2L – You take too long
  • UR2YS4ME – You are too wise for me

V – Texting Abbreviations

  • VRY – Very

W – Text Abbreviations

  • W@ – What?
  • W/ – With
  • W3 – WWW (Web address)
  • W8 – Wait
  • WAN2 – Want to? (SMS)
  • WAN2TLK – Want to talk
  • WBU – What about you?
  • WC – Welcome
  • W/END – Weekend
  • WE – Whatever
  • WK – Week
  • WKD – Weekend
  • WRK – Work
  • WRU@ – Where are you at?
  • WUP – What-s up?
  • WH5 Who, what, when, where, why

X – Abbreviations

  • XLNT – Excellent

Z – Abbreviations

  • Z – Said
  • ZUP – What’s up?

List of texting symbols

  • XD really hard laugh (where D is a smiley mouth)
  • X Kiss
  • XOXOXO Hugs & Kisses
  • Z% Zoo
  • ZZZZ Sleeping (or bored)
  • :<> Amazed
  • :-, Hmmmm…smirking
  • 🙂 smiley
  • 😦 sad face
  • O:) O:-) Angel
  • O-S-< In a hurry
  • :-ll Angry
  • :-* Kiss
  • :-X Big Kiss
  • 😀 Laughing
  • *:-) Clown
  • ❤ Love Heart
  • %-) Confused
  • 😮 Ooooh!!shocked
  • d8:) Cool Guy
  • O-G-< Pointing to self
  • :’-( Crying
  • @>–>– red rose
  • :e Disappointed
  • 😦 Sad
  • 😐 Disgusted
  • :-@ Screaming
  • o-&-< Doing nothing
  • 😎 Sunglasses face
  • :-)….. Drooling face
  • :-O :O 😮 😮 Surprised/shocked
  • :*) Drunk smiling face
  • 😛 Tongue in cheek
  • :-& Tongue tied
  • :-)) Very Happy
  • 3:-) Develish smile
  • 😎 8) B-) B) Smile with glasses
  • 😀 😀 =D Grinning
  • 😡 >:-( Grumpy expression
  • 😥 Crying
  • :v Pacman
  • 🙂 🙂 :] =) Smile

As you can see there really is a huge range of texting abbreviations in this list of ridiculous text message abbreviations and also texting symbols that can be quickly and easily be inserted into any text message or online social communication (oh the joy). Let’s not forget the texting acronyms which are perhaps used more commonly than the text abbreviations and text symbols highlighted on this page. Remember texting slang is mindless, lazy and easy to use.  It’s not advised to take it to work or school with you as it is not seen the same way either professionally of academically!  In other words… You might appear DUMB!

If the above does not help you in your quest to learn how to text message, surely this book will do the trick…of course, it is for DUMMIES…so…

Mindless, brainless… Text messaging…

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The inconvenience of deadlines

I am getting ready to fly to Boston on Wednesday for a Creative Writing masters program residency at Goddard College, and boy is my plate full!  I have to finish editing part of a manuscript for a “hopeful” book, write two articles for a newspaper and a magazine, knock out a press release, pack and find time to sleep.  While I seriously appreciate the work, these current deadlines are most inconvenient!

So, what do you do when you are running out of time, but have immediate deadlines to meet?  Perhaps making a 1,2, 3 list would be a good idea.  You know the deal. It might look something like this:

  1. Wake-up
  2. Coffee
  3. Take a walk (fresh air always stimulates my mind)
  4. Make a protein shake (protein is good for the brain)
  5. Shower (I cannot work dirty and/or sweaty)
  6. Organize your desk
  7. Organize your notes
  8. Start writing (the process could vary)
  9. Lunch (don’t skip meals, it’s unhealthy)
  10. Back to the grind
  11. Break (take another mini-walk or mini-nap… it can be very rejuvenating)
  12. More coffee
  13. Write
  14. Write
  15. Write
  16. Keep writing

You get the picture… However, sometimes even with the best intentions and organizational skills, it doesn’t play out that way. So far, my day has gone something like this:

  1. Woke up at 4:30 (tossing and turning)
  2. Fell back to sleep around 6 am
  3. Rose at 8 (an hour later than usual)
  4. Got a phone call, then dealt with a rodent of unusual size
  5. Decided to shower
  6. Forgot to make coffee
  7. Drank a protein shake
  8. Made some green tea
  9. Noticed it was 11:20 am, and began to panic.
  10. 11:40 another phone call
  11. 12:14 someone befriended me on Facebook
  12. 12:30 ate lunch
  13. etc., etc.

By the time 3:00 rolled around (it’s now 4:14), I had still not done much of anything.

So, even with the best intentions, and plans for the most productive and organized day, we are subject to interruptions of all kinds and sometimes–just sometimes…it’s inconvenient to have deadlines!  🙂

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When all else fails, JUST WRITE!

Recently, I  had occasion to do some…errr…research on writer’s block. Yeah, research. That’s what I was doing. Like a scientist.

I found lots of great ideas to get unstuck and wrote the best ones on index cards to create an Oblique Strategies-like deck. Swipe, share, and add you own in comments.

  • Talk to a monkey – Explain what you’re really trying to say to a stuffed animal or cardboard cutout.
  • Do something important that’s very easy – Is there a small part of your project you could finish quickly that would move things forward?
  • Try freewriting – Sit down and write anything for an arbitrary period of time—say, 10 minutes to start. Don’t stop, no matter what. Cover the monitor with a manila folder if you have to. Keep writing, even if you know what you’re typing is gibberish, full of misspellings, and grammatically psychopathic. Get your hand moving and your brain will think it’s writing. Which it is. See?
  • Take a walk – Get out of your writing brain for 10 minutes. Think about bunnies. Breathe.
  • Take a shower; change clothes – Give yourself a truly clean start.
  • Write from a persona – Lend your voice to a writing personality who isn’t you. Doesn’t have to be a pirate or anything—just try seeing your topic from someone else’s perspective, style, and interest.
  • Get away from the computer; Write someplace new – If you’ve been staring at the screen and nothing is happening, walk away. Shut down the computer. Take one pen and one notebook, and go somewhere new.
  • Quit beating yourself up – You can’t create when you feel ass-whipped. Stop visualizing catastrophes, and focus on positive outcomes.
  • Stretch – Maybe try vacuuming your office.
  • Open a window – a little fresh air is a natural stimulant.
  • Add one ritual behavior – Get a glass of water exactly every 20 minutes. Do pushups. Eat a Tootsie Roll every paragraph. Add physical structure.
  • Clean off  your desk.  You know the saying…”Clutter on your desk is clutter in your mind.” 🙂
  • Rearrange your pens. I often arrange them by color and size.
  • Listen to new music – Try something instrumental and rhythmic that you’ve never heard before. Put it on repeat, then stop fiddling with iTunes until your draft is done.
  • Write crap – Accept that your first draft will suck, and just go with it. Finish something.
  • Unplug the router – Metafilter and Boing Boing aren’t helping you right now. Turn off the Interweb and close every application you don’t need. Consider creating a new user account on your computer with none of your familiar apps or configurations.
  • Write the middle – Stop whining over a perfect lead, and write the next part or the part after that. Write your favorite part. Write the cover letter or email you’ll send when it’s done.
  • Do one chore – Sweep the floor or take out the recycling. Try something lightly physical to remind you that you know how to do things.
  • Make a pointless rule – You can’t end sentences with words that begin with a vowel. Or you can’t have more than one word over eight letters in any paragraph. Limits create focus and change your perspective.
  • Work on the title – Quickly make up five distinctly different titles. Meditate on them. What bugs you about the one you like least?
  • Write five words – Literally. Put five completley random words on a piece of paper. Write five more words. Try a sentence. Could be about anything. A block ends when you start making words on a page. It’s like music to your ears, really…

On the other hand, remember Laurence Olivier.

One day on the set of Marathon Man, Dustin Hoffman showed up looking like shit. Totally exhausted and practically delirious, Olivier asked what the problem was, Hoffman said that at this point in the movie, his character will have been awake for 24 hours, so he wanted to make sure that he had been too. Laurence Olivier shook his head and said, “Oh, Dusty, why don’t you just try acting?”

So, when all else fails, just try writing.

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Wanted Writer

Today a friend sent me a link to an ad on Craigslist, and I simply had to post it.  It speaks for itself wonderfully! 


WANTED: WRITER (Anywhere)

Date: 2011-04-22, 11:29AM PDT
Reply to: gigs-zbmxd-2340731751@craigslist.org
[Errors when replying to ads?]

We’re looking for writers to write about scammers who steal the services of professional writers. CL has shown many complaints regarding this problem. We want someone to write a piece on how NOT to get ripped off. Use the following common-sense outline:

1) Get ALL specific financial details UP FRONT. If the post doesn’t specify an amount, IGNORE the post. If the post implies that you should work for free or for “deferred payment,” or for anything other than money, FLAG the post.

2) Do thorough background checks. If they don’t have a website (but you think they should), IGNORE the post.

3) IF YOUR CLIENT REFUSES TO PAY: Compose a polite email calmly pointing out that the employer is legally obligated to make payment as promised. Mention that you’ve saved all their phone and email messages, and don’t forget to use the word “LEGALLY.”

4) In the event that these selfish creeps still fail to pay you, write another polite email explaining that you have spoken to an attorney and that if payment isn’t sent immediately, you will have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Smaller amounts are handled in Small Claims Court.

These steps usually work. I should know. I’m a writer too. I don’t get ripped off anymore. Hope this helps.

Location: Anywhere
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: Your deadbeat employers will pay you what they owe you.
PostingID: 2340731751

I would also like to add that there is a union for Freelance Writers to help protect those of us who have been taken advantage of.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!    http://www.freelancersunion.org/index.html

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Helpful hints if you’re self-sabotaging your writing career

Five Signs You May Be Sabotaging Your Writing Career

By Writers Relief Staff On March 1, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Self-sabotaging writerMany professional writers credit their success to both hard work and to being in the right place at the right time (note: Writer’s Relief can help with the latter!). But sometimes, being in the right place and working hard simply aren’t enough. Unless you’re truly open to success, you’ll have stacked the deck against yourself even before the cards are dealt! Here are five signs that you might be self-sabotaging your own writing career.

Sign #1. Writing doesn’t make you happy anymore. Maybe, at some point, you truly loved your work. But lately, your stories feel flat. You find yourself twitching and getting distracted when you’re supposed to be working, and when you finish a piece, you don’t get that lovely glowing feeling that follows a big accomplishment.

SOLUTION: Get back to basics. Stop and assess where your listlessness is coming from. What used to make you happy about writing that isn’t making you happy now? Make a list of what you love about writing, and read it before you sit down to work. Then, focus on what you love, and let the rest go.

Sign #2. You don’t feel your writing is strong. Perhaps you have many publication credits, perhaps you have none. Either way, you’re feeling down about your writing—and that feeling is leaking into the actual words you write.

SOLUTION. Time to reevaluate how you look at your work. Take drastic measures to do whatever it takes to begin to love your own stories and poems. Ask friends and family to tell you what they like about your work. Make a list of what you like about it. When you love your writing and are confident in your own talent, your chance at success improves!

Sign #3. You sit down to write, but there’s no inspiration to be found. You want to write but your fingers remain quiet on the keyboard. How will you become a well-regarded writer if you’re not writing? You’re caught in a downward spiral.

SOLUTION: Time to reinvigorate your muse—but there’s absolutely no reason to do it alone. Find a local poetry reading series—even if you don’t write poetry, you’ll be inspired. Join a writing group or a book club. Just being around words that inspire you—or even words that fail you and make you long for something better—will revive your muse. Also, consider going to an art museum or a concert, or take a class on glassblowing. Sometimes changing the direction of your creativity, if only for a moment, will reinvigorate your passion for words.

Sign #4. A great opportunity comes your way—maybe a literary agent is interested in a book project, or an editor wants to publish one of your poems, but she or he requests a few revisions. You worry. You worry so much that you end up sending multiple emails to the agent or editor in a single day. You call and pester. When you finally do get in touch with the agent or editor, you’re cranky and suspicious—you question everything. You feel you’re not getting enough attention. You think you’re being mistreated. You wonder why literary agents and editors aren’t taking you seriously and why good opportunities dry up.

SOLUTION: Your nerves may be blocking your path to success. Time to relax—but also to be aware of your own proclivity to botch situations that could help your career. When in doubt, treat people as you want to be treated—with trust, patience, and kindness.

Sign #5: You’ve finished your book, short story, poem, or essay, and after a period of procrastination, you send your work to a handful of literary agents or editors. Rejection letters ensue. You think: Well, I’ll send it out to a few more people, but then you don’t actually do it—or you do very little. Your work, which you suspect is quite good despite your handful of rejections, languishes and remains unpublished.

SOLUTION. Rather than relying on vague goals (I will send out my work), it’s time to make concrete, specific goals and stick to them (I will send my book to X number of agents per week/month). Tell others who will hold you accountable to check in with you and encourage you to stay on track (and remember to be nice to them even when it feels like they’re nagging you). Then, even if the prospects look glum, you won’t lose momentum.

Writer’s Relief can help you if you’re having a motivation problem. We keep our clients writing and submitting. Our system works and gets results!

BOTTOM LINE: This list of five signs of sabotage are symptoms of deeper issues. If you’re self-sabotaging your writing career, it’s time to do some deep introspection. Although you’re going after success, is there something that’s keeping you from getting it? Journal, listen to your own voice, and learn what may be blocking you.

QUESTION: Did you ever catch yourself in the act of self-sabotage? What steps did you take to curtail the problem? Share your story for the benefit of other writers!

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Social media with a twist: To buddy or not to buddy

Wonders never cease!  First of all, it’s 3:27 am, and I am up (not writing as you might suppose), but sitting here drinking hot lemon and agave nectar, blowing my nose, sucking on a cough drop, and pretending that I don’t actually have a cold.  Since I am up and here, I thought I would share something that recently happened to me on one of our social network sites.

It doesn’t happen too often, but a number of months ago someone contacted me on my website and asked me to write a press release for them.  So, naturally I did.  They were very happy with the outcome, complimented my work, yada, yada, ya, and I emailed them a typical billing invoice.  Because it was only a press release, I didn’t charge them a deposit, which I normally do for larger writing/editing jobs, but told them that payment would be due when the final draft was completed. This should have been obvious.

However…

One month passed, two months passed, and now we are at the 9 month mark… sort of like a pregnancy… I am “still” waiting for payment.  Small claims court would work “if” the client was local, but he’s about 2,000 miles north.  Naturally, I re-sent the invoice several times with an accompanying letter that became more direct with each revision.  It’s been to no avail.  One would think this person dropped off the planet.

But SUDDENLY…

I received an email yesterday on my Linked-in account.  It’s always exciting to see the little orange box lit up with a new connection invitation.  I have actually met some amazing people on Linked-in, and gotten a number of clients through Linked-in.  Linked-in is great.  Linked-in is not a problem.

However…

It did come as a complete surprise to find an invitation for connection from the client who stiffed me.

It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor, because I did send him another reminder that he never did pay for services rendered, and it might be a good idea to reconcile his bill with me before buddying up on Linked-in!

Just a thought…

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An embarrassing moment: you’re not the genius you supposed

There’s nothing like being asked to write stories for a reputable newspaper.  The idea of turning out news that is pure, well-written journalism is exhilarating, and getting your first job as a full-time reporter is one of those unforgettable moments.  Picture it… you’ve been sending out clip after clip, racing to interview after interview, and on occasion, sharing a Skype moment with editor after editor in hopes of landing that perfect job.   You are convinced that it’s only a question of time, before someone discovers your genius!

Since you were hired because of your experience as a feature writer, you can hardly wait to strut your stuff, so you pitch an idea to the publisher for a feature, and he says, “Great idea… run with it!”  Wow!  You have barely come aboard, and already you’re in full swing!  This is going to be good!  You are fully convinced that you’ll be getting the “two thumbs up” sign soon.  He says, “So, can you have that to me in about a week?”  No problem… you have been used to much tighter deadlines.

You are doing all you can do to contain your excitement, and don’t want to brag to other reporters… but…

You are on the project like a bat out of hell, and really go all out with this article.  Heck, you even show off your photographic skills and  grab photos to turn in with your article (normally, this impresses an editor).

You are on a roll, and finish the article two days ahead of schedule.  Being the responsible and conscientious reporter that you are, you send off an email to the publisher, letting him know that you’ll be emailing the article with photos the next morning.  You are so happy… that night you go to bed with a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

The next morning, you email the article with the photos as planned.  You are, after-all, a man/woman of your word, but by the time nighttime falls, you begin to wonder why he hasn’t acknowledge receiving your article.  Day two comes and goes, and then day three does the same.  By day four, you are beginning to wonder why he hasn’t even acknowledged receiving it.  You have a dozen explanations in your head.  “It was so perfect that it doesn’t have to be edited.”  “The guy is probably so busy that he hasn’t gotten to it yet.”  “Perhaps he has been away from his desk (oh right… a publisher avoiding emails, and staying unreachable to his reporters?) That is almost laughable!

By the middle of day five you decide to look at your sent box, to make certain that it actually went out.  Of course it did.  You sit at your desk sulking, and staring at the sent mail box when suddenly something happens… You decide to look at an old email from the publisher about submissions.  So far, everything is fine, however, you notice in an older email sent by him that you have mistakingly reversed two letters in his name.  In seconds, you can feel heat rising to your head, and your breathing is restricted, but you immediately calm your self with the thought, “There’s no way I did this with the out mail I sent to him.”   You take a close look at the email address that you sent the article to, and it’s WRONG!  You are mortified!  Suddenly, you realize that you sent your article somewhere else.  This fully explains why he has not responded!  He NEVER RECEIVED IT!  You no longer are two days early, but three days LATE!!!!  Basically, you look like a serious flake.

There simply are no words to express how stupid you feel in that moment, especially because you will undoubtedly have to tell him what happened. There’s not going to be any way around it.

Just imagine your embarrassment.

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