Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Hello, friends! Happy New Year!

A non-zero number of you have asked about my writing schedule for 2011. I think this was spurred by the fact that you (they) saw less of me over at UpTake and Beyond Megapixels in November and December. The special project I was working on at UpTake occupied my writing quota – if you follow me on Facebook you may have seen the “playlists” I was publishing for a while (like this one). Now that the project is wrapped up, I’ll be going back to my regular posting schedule of two vacation blog posts per week. As for Beyond Megapixels, I’ve decreased my writing quota over there a bit (7 per month at the moment, plus the contributions of a very excellent guest writer), but we’re hoping that will pick back up in the new year (oh, and I know I pimped it on Twitter and Facebook, but if you haven’t read my latest article, you should! I’m proud of it, and it’s been getting really positive feedback! Which was the point.). Finally, I’m still writing for Demand Studios, to the tune of about three or four articles a week.

It strikes me, as I peruse the job boards for more freelance work, that I’m much more optimistic about being able to one day support our family on my writing income. It also strikes me that, as much as I love photography, it is to my writing that I continue to turn to pursue my ambitions. I guess one’s first love is always one’s strongest love. Plus, of course, it’s easier to freelance in writing when one has a full-time job – I can write at night and on weekends and only have to contend with my own schedule. It’s harder to line up photography gigs around a full-time job.

Not that I plan on backing off on my photography goals. Quite the opposite is true – I am now a card carrying member of NAPP and I bought a subscription to Kelby Training just last week (both tax write-offs!). I’ve only watched a few training videos so far, but the very first one, a photo walk of New York City with Jay Maisel, was worth EVERY PENNY of that subscription. If you’re serious about learning photography, and you’re looking for a great alternative to formal education, consider signing up for Kelby Training! It’s a truly excellent resource. And I’m totally plugging them for free – I seriously doubt that anyone at Kelby Media Group even knows that I exist.

Bill continues to encourage me on the photography front – he got some overtime over the holidays and wants me to spend it on gear. That was a supremely generous gesture, wasn’t it? So I’m looking at a 580 EXII Speedlite. Further along on the gear-purchasing front, I still have plans to turn Amanda’s bedroom into a small studio eventually, and now that I have Kelby’s “10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs to Know” training under my belt, I know exactly what I need. A wide roll of white paper on a rod and stand to serve as a simple yet effective background, this Elinchrom strobe kit, this Elinchrom softbox, and this Westcott strip bank. For $1600 and an understanding of how lighting works, I can do professional work that rivals, well, the professionals! So, that’s my next big purchase to be worked for over the coming months.

Then I’m going to get this 70-300 telephoto (there’s a much more expensive L-series of the same focal range and speed, but I’m not convinced the extra GRAND is worth it, and reviewers agree with me). This macro lens and this wide angle lens will wrap up all the lens purchases I wish to make. I hold no expectation that I’ll be able to purchase all of these within the next year, or even within the next two years. A wish list is named thus for a reason.

When I worked with my friend Karen’s daughter and her friends back in October, I found that I really enjoyed the experience. I think my niche just might be that sort of assignment. I like going to client’s homes or working on location (as my work with Sandstone attests to). My friends have asked my why I don’t want to be a wedding photographer – to which I respond that I don’t want that kind responsibility. I don’t want the responsibility of capturing the details of the most important day of a person’s life. I work much better in a less formal atmosphere. Hence wanting to develop my own studio, and enjoying location work that doesn’t involve gowns and cake and nerves. I would much rather attend a wedding and gift the bride and groom with the shots that I took as a guest.

I also like shooting a variety of subjects – people, sure, but also products and architecture and landscapes and food and sports. I guess I liken it to being a General Practitioner, rather than specializing in a particular service. One of my goals for this year is to further formalize my portfolio, which demonstrates examples of all of these types of photography. I have a portfolio on my media site, but it needs to be updated and re-vamped. Plus, it provides access to ALL of my photos on Flickr, and, well, many of them are NOT portfolio-worthy.

Finally, there will be a total overhaul of Snerkology, its domain, and its off-shoots. Snerkology (including the original site), World Famous Nosh, Snerkology Media, and Photos by Tiffany will all finally be under one roof, and hosted on Dreamhost. I am very excited about this in particular, as the site redesign has been a long time coming. Details are just about finalized (yes, I’m hiring someone, and she comes highly recommended), so rest assured you guys will be receiving regular updates. For now, I’ve just finished my own About.me page which helps to summarize my Internet domination. I think it needs a better picture on it still, but for now that one will do.

I think that’s quite enough ambition for one year, don’t you? AcronymCo continues to find me employable for some unfathomable reason, we have a trip to Maine and a trip to Indy planned this year, I have grand plans for debt payoff and eventual solvency (mostly), tax season is upon us so I have to get all of THAT crap together in the next few weeks, I have a workout schedule that I think finally jives with my level of ambition (snort) and my schedule… and I don’t understand what it is within myself that disallows even one SECOND of laziness.

I’ve been reading everyone else’s blogs on the subject of the coming year, so I know I’m not alone.

BRING IT, 2011!

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I can finally say we’ll be in Maine “next week”. We’re close enough now that I can start seeing the extended forecast for the days we’ll be there – as of right this second, the day of our arrival should be sunny and 80 degrees. Of course, that also means I’m a bit over halfway through my Sabbatical, but that’s okay. I have a good feeling about life. We’re going to experience a positive change in the near future, one that will make us very happy about the direction our life is going in. I know this to be true.

You’ve gotta be upbeat about these things, you know? I’ve suspended my goal-tending for the duration of this vacation, but I’m a goal-oriented girl at heart, and I enjoy forward progress. So it will actually be good, in a way, to get back to the grind. Buckle down on the debt. Figure out how I’m going to finish my degree. Manage my fitness goals. Take the next step in my career. I have thoughts and vague notions about the achievement all of these subjects, but I have told myself not to worry about any of them until August. So that’s what I’m going to do.

My goal for the next month is not to make goals.

I applied for a new writing gig, and was accepted. It’s for the folks that manage the articles for such sites as eHow and AnswerBag (and thanks very much to Sherry for pointing me in their direction!). It’s a much more structured format than I’m used to, and much more heavily managed by editors. It’s good experience for me. Our articles are even graded, after a fashion, with a rating system. I’m delighted to be able to continue to pad my writing resume – eventually, some day, I hope to become a full-time writer, and these types of writing gigs that I’ve collected can follow me wherever I happen to live. Which jives quite nicely with our wish to move back to Maine.

Oops, there I go, goal-tending again. See? I can barely help myself.

I have my follow-up appointment with the OB-GYN this morning, to make sure everything is kosher after the Essure procedure. I feel mostly back to normal, perhaps less energy than usual but I can just as easily chalk that up to Aunt Flo, who stopped by a few days ago for her usual visit. I can also chalk it up to my deplorable eating over the past several days – I keep saying I’m going to give up bread, then keep eating sandwiches and hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh, it is to laugh. I’ve been gently getting myself back into the exercise routine – I hope by the end of this week to be back up to the pre-procedure levels of cardio and weight training.

I have a little over a week to finish and pre-schedule all of my writing obligations to take me through to the other side of our Maine vacation – nine more total as of this morning, which would have been less had I not slacked off completely yesterday. And this it the part where I shamefully confess something to you all.

See, up until this point I have snobbishly refused to read Nora Roberts, because she’s so prolific and supermarket check-out-ish that I figured she would hardly meet my (vague) standards for authorship. Laws, how I was wrong. I loved her Irish Trilogy so much that I personally rated the first two a coveted score of 10/10, and the last one a 9/10 (just because it didn’t hold my attention to quite the same degree). I loved ’em. So that’s what I was doing instead of writing. Fortunately I got a bunch done on Saturday and Sunday, otherwise that nine article obligation would have been closer to fifteen.

I think I mentioned on Twitter or something that following our anniversary dinner at The Keg last week, Bill ordered a glass of port to enjoy in lieu of dessert. It was absolutely fantastically delicious, and after we got home we got to thinking that we needed to buy us a bottle of our own. So I called the restaurant to find out the name – Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port. I got my butt down to BevMo and secured a bottle. We have been enjoying a wee dram every now and then with a bit of raspberry-infused dark chocolate, or these frozen chocolate lava cakes that I discovered at the grocery store, microwaved per instructions, sampled, and deemed OH MY FREAKING GOD GOOD.

And, of course, as you saw a few days ago, I had to take pictures of the bottle. Because it’s cool.

It’s a measure of how well Bill accepts the inevitable that he didn’t even blink when I started hauling out my little mini photo studio getup. It’s what I do, people, and he knows better than anyone else that I take pictures of, and write about, just about everything. Case in point (the bastid).

So! Yeah. I’m kicking off the start of one busy-ass week by procrastinating. You expect nothing less and nothing more of me, my beloved readers. And that’s why I love you.

Newsy News.

Posted: April 28, 2009 in Blogthings, goals, Pimp, UpTake, vacation
Tags: , , ,

beachumbrellaHey, gang! Things have been quiet on the Snerkology front for the past few days, eh? Well, I now have News To Share. I am very excited to say that I have joined the ranks of freelance writers! I waited to say anything until the deal was sealed and the contract was signed. Now that it has been, and I’ve officially started work, I can share the deets with you all.

I will be blogging, several times per week, at UpTake. I will be participating on the Vacations Blog as “LauraC”, and I will write about the vacations we’ve taken, the trips we will be taking, local guide articles, my favorite places to visit, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s a blurb from UpTake’s About page:

“UpTake.com is a travel search and discovery site – the first step for travelers to decide where to go, where to stay or what to do. We help users make informed decisions about what best fits their travel preferences. We scoured more than 5,000 sites to collect 775,000 places to go, things to do and places to stay in the U.S. Then we analyzed and organized over 20 million U.S. travelers’ opinions to enable search based on exact travel requirements and preferences.”

I’m very excited about this opportunity. Obviously, as you all know by now, I will not be particularly challenged for subject matter. This gig jives so well with what I like to write about, and photograph, that I’ve got a million ideas just off the top of my head already. It won’t make me rich, but it’s a foot in the door, perhaps, to other professional writing opportunities.

Hah! I can call myself a professional writer, now, and it’ll be the truth!

So, if you’re interested, you can subscribe to my RSS feed over there and follow my posts. I’ll probably post links from here over to my entries after they’re published, as well. Such as this one, my inaugural post (be kind – it sounded stilted to me, who knew I’d be nervous?). I’ve also put an UpTake badge on the left-hand frame of this site, which will take you directly to the Vacations Blog, as well.

So! That’s the news! I’m kind of proud of myself, actually.

(p.s. – I’d like to thank Miss Britt, who pointed me toward the opportunity in the first place, AND gave me a nice recommendation. She’s an absolute peach, she is.)