Saturday, May 30, 2015

Freelance Author: What is NaNoWriMo?

   
The creators of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) wanted to find a way, for amateurs and professionals to find common ground. They desired to bring more aspiring authors, into the competitive market of novel writing. All of the participants are solely based on the amount of writing, which they produced in thirty days, instead of the quality. Basically, NaNoWriMo program was created about eight years ago, in order to showcase a writer’s dedication to their writing.

However, since the contest creation, the program has expanded into a global revolution that is sweeping the world of writing. According to the Office of Letters and Light (2006), over 79,000 participants entered last year. Unfortunately, only about “13,000” (office of Letters and Light, 2006), were able to actually finish their novel. Each participant will try for their chance to become a new novelist, but only a few will be reaching their goal.

Basically, anyone can join, as long as they are able to write a “175 page (50,000 words) novel” (The Office of Letters and light, 2006), during the month of November. Fortunately, the aspiring authors will not have to worry about the daunting task of perfecting each word or sentence. The NaNoWriMo program mainly focuses on an artist’s hard work and their commitment to writing daily. 
This contest encourages amateurs and professional authors to enter into the friendly competition. Don’t worry about the mistakes that will be made, since only they only judge the total word count. Every contestant is judged and rewarded for their daily perseverance. Also, the website offers a community to gain encouragement or to talk about the joys and sorrows of writing.  

For more information or to join the revolution that is sweeping the writing world, go to www.nanowrimo.org. This program allows a would-be author, to work hard and attempt to write a novel in thirty days from a blank page. Most of the aspiring authors come from several countries and different walks of life. Yet, each one has a sincere desire, to see their novel published and circulating in the local bookstores.

Therefore, this year’s many contestants will be attempting to write their way into, “NaNoWriMo superstardom” (Office of Letters and Light, 2006). On November 1, 2015, a new round of contestants will be shooting for the finishing line.  So, get ready to join them in a program, which will showcase the hard work of both amateurs and professionals alike. The contestants enjoy writing their heart out, while competing for the chance to be noticed by others.

Reference:

The Office of Letters and Light (2006) National Novel Writing Month
      Retrieved on the World Wide Web on July 8, 2007



Previously Published in 2007/Revised 2015

©2007, Crystal S. Kauffman

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to Spot Publishing Scams


If you have to pay them to publish your creative works or to send you a book...it's a scam! If you are a well developed writer, a publishing house will give you money and copies of your creative works. As a struggling freelance writer, you must beware of publishing scams that exist on the internet. According to Mrs. Allen (2007), you should investigate the publishing company that you plan to sell your work too. So many, gifted writers actually get caught up in these types of scams.

Before signing any contract with a publisher, please take time to investigate the history of the company. Start, by calling the Better Business Bureau and ask them about the company's history of complaints. Then, look for local or online writing communities and ask other writer's about the publisher that you was approached by. Many of these writing groups have information about current scams that exists.


Then, take time to research the many paying markets, which are waiting for a talented writer to come their way. Your writing should speak for itself and it will, if you treat it as a career and keep learning as you write. Keep submitting your work often and listen to the editor's notes, because they know what they want or need. Never allow other people to edit your work, instead taking writing course online or at the local community center.


Next, search the internet or your local bookstores for books that list the current paying markets. There are many books that deal with every writing market like: magazines for children and adults, novel and short stories, poetry, and song writing. You may find a home for all of your writing and you won't have to deal with annoying scams. Also, you may find some freelance markets or communities on the internet.


However, watch out for the freelance communities that exist on the internet that charge you money, but don't bring you any work. Always look for communities, which allow you to speak with their other authors through discussion forums or chats. Only you can protect yourself from being swindled, by the phony promises of a swindler. As an author, it is your job to sell your writing, so spend time researching the market and its preferences.


Finally, never sign any contract without reading it and seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer. This way, you will know, whether it's a scam or a reputable publishing company, who is ready to give you a place for your writing to shine. It doesn't matter is you are a struggling freelance writer or a passionate hobbyist. If you can choose to submit your articles for publication, you should treat it as an important business deal!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Communication Builds Success in Business

As a new business owner, communication with existing and potential customers is important to the businesses bottom line. Every customer is important and should be treated that way, because they keep a business running. Staying in contact will also help the owner develop friendships, which keep the customers coming back and the business growing. Thanks to new technology, many ways exists to keep in contact with a loyal customer or attract new ones.

Friendly Emails


A business owner can send a friendly email, in order to update a customer or let them know that the business owner cares about their business. Currently, many types of email marketing software are available for anyone to use and they have many features. Unfortunately, the owner must shop around, because he or she must choose the best software for their individual company. In addition, whatever program you choose should allow the customer to opt-out of receiving the emails.


Monthly Newsletters


A newsletter can be sent monthly, in order to update the customer about special sales or discounts on each product. The owner should also include information and reviews about their new products, along with a picture of the product. Another way to make the customer feel special is to offer coupons or discounts for the loyal subscribers. However, each newsletter should contain a picture of the business owner and offer a short message about him or her.


Phone Calls


An occasional phone call to a new or existing customer can build a business relationship and personal friendship. Fortunately, at the time of purchase, the business owner can ask for the customer's telephone number. After about a week, they can follow up with the customer and ask if they are still satisfied with their purchase. This way, the customers will feel important and keep coming back with their friends.


Greeting Cards

The perfect way to communicate with an existing customer is to send a greeting card, especially for you. This way, the customer knows that the business owner appreciates their loyalty. They can start sending greeting cards for birthdays and seasonal holidays. Also, enclose a coupon or discount certificate inside of the card, just for the customer and one for a friend. Then, the customer will feel like the business owner values his or her business and friendship.


Post Cards


These little cards are perfect reminders for appointments or updates for your customers. In fact, they can be used for many other reasons too, which will help the business owner. In addition, the business owner will develop a line of communication that will work to his or her advantage. Take a few moments to send a simple "Thank you" to a new customer and they will keep coming back. All customers enjoy knowing his or her business is appreciated.


Conclusion


To sum it up, friendly communications of all kinds will improve the business owner's relationship with the customer. A simple post card or greeting card can make a customer's day, while letting them know they are special to the business owner. A simple yet professional newsletter should be used to feature only the products on sale. Therefore, communication is the key to catching a customer's eye and keeping their business.



©2009, Crystal S. Kauffman
Previously Published

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spending the Day With My Beautiful Daughter

Today, I finally got to see my beautiful daughter after weeks of not being able to go visit her. So, we celebrated Mother's Day this week. She gave me the best gifts ever! She has been collecting books from the author "John Grisham" for me for a few years now.

She made me a flower headband, which I actually love and we took pictures together. She works, so getting together can be hard at times. However, I enjoy getting to spend what time I can with her. Additionally, she gave me a candle which has the scent of sunshine.

Oh, it smells so good!

Next, she gave me a card that fit her to a tee, This time with her is special and I hope I can get her to squeeze me in when she can. However, I know she is busy, but even 15 or 30 minutes with her is so special to me.

Right before I left, she cooked me lunch and she gave me some vanilla exfoliating scrub that she made herself. I cannot wait to try it out and write a review about her new hobby.

She is so talented! I love her with all my being. She is an amazing young woman, who has any future that she chooses to follow. She may be busy working and more, but we communicate in many different ways. I know she loves me beyond words. I feel blessed to have seen her today. It truly made my day!

Take time to make memories with your family!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grandpa's Sweetheart


RIP: Ray L. Amon/Grandpa
As a young girl, I met my Grandpa on my dad’s side of the family. For those of you who don’t know Ray C. Amon adopted me and my two brothers, as his legal children when he signed our birth certificates. So, legally he is our father and I reconnected with him about ten or more years ago. During that time, I always asked about my grandparents and I learned a few months back that my Grandpa had cancer.
As I first talked to him recently, I began to remember his voice from when I was a young girl and we were living with my dad and mom in Jacksonville, FL. Anyway, I remembered that he came to visit us and I vaguely remember what he looked like then. However, I remembered his voice when he spoke on the phone. He always called me “Grandpa’s Sweetheart”, which he called me again when I spoke to him recently on the phone.
When he became sick, I got sad because I wanted to see him before he passed away. Unfortunately, I was unable to visit him and he went to be with the Lord, but I know he will be watching over me. I hope he gets to meet my other family members and loved one that have already went to rest in the Lord. When I spoke with him, his voice sounded excited and he said, “Hello sweetheart!”  I haven't heard his voice or him say this to me, him since I was a very young girl.
It felt so good to reconnect with him, but I wish I could have seen him and hugged him before he passed away. However, during the conversation we had; he said that, "He was proud of me and he would see me on the other side.” I knew he loved me throughout the years we were apart and I knew he missed me as well. I just wanted to let him know that I love him and will miss his voice so much, but I am glad he is with the Lord. Thanks to my dad for letting my grandpa and I reconnect with each other, because it meant a lot to me to hear his voice again.
Previously Published
©2014-Crystal S. Kauffman

Meet Crystal S. Kauffman

About the Author

My name is Crystal S. Kauffman (Pen name: Imogen Rayne). I am a Freelance Author/Poet/Songwriter with 16 years of experience. I have published over 1000 articles online and offline, since I began my writing career. Additionally, I enjoy using my talent to help small business owners, who need help with their everyday business communications like press releases and articles. I also enjoy making fliers and brochures, as well many other forms of business communications. Most of all, I love reviews of books and products, so please email me for more information. Email: laughatcancer@gmail.com

Glimpse Into My Life 

Currently, I live in Jacksonville, FL with my husband and my two beautiful children, who are my biggest fan and contributors for my new novels. Personally, I am a twelve year cervical cancer stage 2 B survivor, who loves to create and write. Therefore, for the last 8 years, I have been using the talent God gave me to create and maintain a support community for those touched by cancer. The Laugh at Cancer Support Community is for patients and families touched by cancer, who has been touched directly or indirectly. Visit our support community, if you would like to help make a difference or if you are in need of support. Laugh At Cancer Support Community

My Published Work 

Rhymes of The Heart- This is an uplifting and inspirational collection of poems. These rhymes come from my heart, throughout the good and bad times I experienced. I believe many of my readers and fans can relate to the poems I have written. Additionally, ten percent of each purchase will benefit the . Laugh At Cancer Support Community on Facebook.
Planting Seeds to Grow- This is a collection of short stories I previous published for children. I really hope that enjoy my work, because each story is fictionally based. However, you will know what stories are based on my own life. I believe that this book is wonderful read for you and your children. Ten percent of all purchase will benefit the . Laugh At Cancer Support Community




New Novels Coming Soon
 
Ana’s Stand-Available Soon
Angel’s Tears-Mystery, Drama, and Crime
The Birth of Veil-Fantasy Genre

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Papa's Can Be Angels Too...


Thinking to when I was a little girl,
His words were my world.
Little girl wrapped like a gift,
Is closing her eyes and making a wish.


Lord allow him to stay,
In my life every day.
Words hurt sometimes when he spoke,
My heart he never broke.


Always working till he bled,
Too make sure his family is fed.
He went without just to make sure,
His family was safe and secure.


When he flies away to his home in the sky,
Hope he won't see his granddaughter cry.
Tears will fall the day he passes away,
He will be the angel, who is watching me play.


Isom "Ray" Plyler

Previously Published
©2002. Crystal S. Kauffman


Friday, May 1, 2015

Devotional: Get Over It and Move On


Sometimes you will find yourself in a situation that you don’t want to be in, however, you must face the situation and continue moving forward. The situation may concern having a horrible childhood, not getting a promotion at work, or a dispute with the new neighbor. Nevertheless, you must not dwell on things and are beyond your control, instead focus on things you can change. You cannot change a childhood, so you must forgive your parents and focus on changing your future. This way, future generations will not continue the abuse or neglect that you felt as a child.
The promotion at work was given to a younger person, who may not have had as many years with the company as you have. However, this is beyond your control and the person who got the promotion may have a college degree that you don’t have. In this situation, you must continue to do the job that you’re given or find another place of employment. Either way, you must forgive your boss and the person who got the promotion, if you have gotten angry about the situation or angry with both parties.
Furthermore, you can work hard and take some college courses, which may guarantee that you will not be passed over whenever the next promotion takes place. If you have a dispute with your new neighbor, you must try to dissolve this dispute in a civil yet timely manner. Unfortunately, some people are impossible to deal with and that will not come to any kind of compromise. So therefore, try to stop the argument, by producing all documents that show your land line or what the argument was about. Additionally, you must forgive you neighbor and move forward in solving the issue at hand.
 Sometimes this means, you must compromise or even seek legal advice on solving the problem. However, you must forgive your neighbor, if you get angry with him and let God handle the situation. Don’t let yourself stay in a pity party, instead get up and change your situation. Sometimes you are going to come across situations that you can’t change. Therefore, you must learn to pray and give your problems to God, because he is only one who can change the situation. Don’t be a negative person, because of something that was done to you, which was beyond your control. Additionally, get over it and dwell on things that can change your situation, while helping you move forward in your life.
©2012 Crystal S. Kauffman
Previously Published