Improving Your Global Image as a Freelance Writer

Many U.S.-based freelance writers have come to realize that working with foreign markets can easily triple their income without having to learn a new trade. If you want to deal with editors and clients in foreign countries, you'll need to improve your global image. This means that all methods of correspondence must be globally friendly without being too obvious.

Improving Your Global Image: Telephone

Your telephone is one of your most valuable tools as a freelance writer, so you'll want to use it to improve your global image. For one thing, you'll want to include your full phone number on all correspondence, including your international dialing code. This will help editors and clients enormously because they won't have to look up the information just to ask you a question. It's an expected courtesy when dealing with international clients and editors.

Improving Your Global Image: Voice Mail

When you are only working with U.S.-based clients and editors, your voice mail message can be pretty standard. However, when you're working with foreign individuals, you'll want to make it as friendly as possible. For one thing, you can't expect everyone to get the time zone differences right on every try, so you'll definitely need voice mail for clients and editors who accidentally call you at three o'clock in the morning. For another, you might want to include a message in English as well as in the language of whatever countries in which you have clients.

Improving Your Global Image: E-Mail

When sending e-mail to foreign clients and editors, make sure that they're globally friendly. For example, if you're communicating with a client from Spain and you want to write in Spanish, make sure that your e-mail won't automatically change words that are correct in Spanish but not in English. Furthermore, you'll want to use an e-mail account that offers web-based mail in case you wind up traveling. That way, you can access your e-mail from any browser in the world.

Improving Your Global Image: Spelling

You will have to communicate in writing with editors and clients from foreign countries (obviously, since you're a freelance writer), so you'll want to make sure that you have a spell check system that allows settings to different languages. Even if you're corresponding with someone in England, the spelling will be different for many words (i.e. recognize; recognise) and you'll need to show that you can communicate using both versions of the written word.

Improving Your Global Image: Language

Even in English, you'll find that some words have different meanings when translating across oceans, so familiarize yourself with those differences. For example, if you were writing an article about fashion for a UK magazine, you wouldn't want to refer to "pants" as the things you wear over your boxers. Instead, you'd call them "trousers" as "pants" in the UK go underneath trousers. Make sense?

Improving Your Global Image: Query Letters

I hate to tell you this, but even if you've mastered the art of writing query letters in … Read the rest

Wine, Music, and Books a Part of January, 2020 Events

It's new. It's exciting. It's 2020, the beginning of a new year and its coming at you bringing a variety of events the whole month of January. The holiday season may be over but the city is still rocking; the neighborhood still bopping with something going on for you.

Winemaker's Dinner
Come out to the Park Grill and join Tom Leonardini, representing Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards of Napa Valley for an evening of food, friends, and fine wines on Thursday, January 20, 2020.

Sure to be a hit with wine connoisseurs, host Tom Leonardini will introduce you to his family's specials, plus award-winning wines of the vineyard. Sample top wine selections: Whitehall Lane 2007, 2008, 2009 with friends and new acquaintances.

Wine Spectator Magazine has selected Whitehall Lane as one of the top 100 wineries that produces wines that are rated among the top 5 in the world! They made the list an impressive 3 times. Wine lovers have to say–that's awesome!

The evening starts with a Wine and Butlered Hors d'oeuvres Reception at 6pm. The reception is followed by a 5-course dinner at 6:45pm as you learn from Leonardini more about the Whitehall Lane Vineyards and get a few lessons in Wine Pairings. For those of you already familiar with the Whitehall Lane brand, one of thire top wines will be featured at dinner: '07 Reserve Napa Cabernet, 92 points.

The seating for this event is limited, so make your reservations soon by calling The Park Grill, 11 N Michigan Ave at 312-521-PARK

Too Hot To Handel
"It's hotter than hot!" Get ready to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day filled with music and neighbors gathering together to commemorate the holiday. Join everyone at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University Saturday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 16 at 3 p.m..

Exelon and The Auditorium Theatre present The Auditorium's annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with their production of Too Hot To Handel, the Jazz, Gospel Messiah.

The evening features the Too Hot Choir; the Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Combo conducted by Suzanne Mallare Acton; arranged by Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson. Artists making an appearance include Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, and Karen Marie Richardson.

Lakeshore East residents — Magellan allows you to save $10 on the price of level 2 and 3 tickets for this show. Just mention the promo code when you purchase your tickets.

The Magellan promo offer is only valid for the Saturday, January 15 performance. This offer may not be combined with any other discount offer. Also, discounts are not available on previously purchased tickets. Subject to availability; restrictions apply.

There are four ways to purchase tickets: call 800-982-2787; Online at or go here; stop by the Box Office located at 50 E. Congress Parkway; Groups of 10 or more call 312-431-2357. For more info, check out the website here.

Book Club Reminder
New Eastside residents listen up! Just a reminder that the … Read the rest

Writing is My Favorite Addiction Ever

Life is so rich when every moment is an article waiting to happen. I will leap out of bed to jot down ideas, and pull into parking lots to scribble down ideas that popped in my head on the way there. As a result I have ideas written down and stashed in just about every corner of my house, evidence pointing to my addiction to this site.

I get a thrill out of submitting each article and seeing the "Thank You! Your content has been submitted" message that appears. This is one of the subtle things that gives me a feeling of accomplishment for the day, and has made writing for Content addictive. It's kind of a gateway drug. I know that I have a lot of opinions and stories, but it always comes as a shock that someone might find them to be of interest.

Checking on my articles to see what offers I got is the highlight of my day. In fact, I hate to let a day go by without submitting something, because then I might have a day with no offers. Going to my Content page and seeing that my articles have been reviewed is such fun. It's like Christmas morning, winning at the slot machine, and getting your tax refund in the mail all at once.

Having the stream of income into my paypal account is one of the best parts, of course. I have other addictions that cost money, and I am able to pay for them with my Content addiction.

Writing for this site has changed how I communicate. In conversations, a topic will come up and I'll say "Oh yes, I just wrote an article on that". It's like I'm instantly branding myself as an expert. I try to strike a delicate balance between getting the word out about new articles, and actually quoting myself in the third person like some kind of know-it-all. I don't, after all, want anyone to stage an intervention.

Writing for this site has given me a reason to start writing again. I do a variety of small part-time things for extra money, and it's been great to add "freelance writer" to my list of gigs. Having had formal art training, I am painfully aware of how challenging it can be to find compensation for your work. I had looked at my interest in writing as something that was of little benefit, kind of a parlor trick. Writing for this site elevates it to something that is valuable both financially and intellectually. It's a habit worth picking up.… Read the rest

Teach the Preach

Where is Joseph Smith in the Bible?
Nowhere, Joseph Smith wasn’t born until December 23, 1805.
Maybe you should be more factual.
“Do you know Satan and Jesus Christ are not brothers?
With those two questions, you tried to hand me a lot of jive.

This Mormon woman has got to
Teach the Preach.

I am a MORMON,
not a MORON.
You are a bigot, maybe
you should try being
Then you can
better lead your flock

This Mormon woman has got to
Teach the Preach.

There is only One
who judges.
It is not you.

~Therese Anne Schmidt~
Tuesday, July 24, 2012… Read the rest

Basic Steps to Create a Scrapbook Layout in Photo Frame Studio

Although this program is not aimed towards creating scrapbook layouts, you can use it for that. In this tutorial, I am going to walk you through the basic steps of creating a scrapbook layout using Photo Frame Studio. I will show you the basic things you need to do and you can run with the rest.

Creating a Blank Document

Your first step is to create a blank document to work on. You can do this by clicking the New icon at the top of your program. When the box opens, click the Editor button. Now you will see the different document sizes in the right panel. Click the size document you want to work on. If you can’t find the size you want to use, you can enter your own measurements.

Finding a Background

Your next step is to find the background you want to use. You can click the background tab at the bottom of your window to open the backgrounds. Browse through the backgrounds and find the one you want to use. Then double click the background to apply it.

Adding Your Photos

You are now ready to add your photos. Click your Photos tab at the bottom of your program and click the folder with your photos. Then find a photo and drag it to the document. Drag as many photos as you want to the document.

Adding Frames to Photos

Next, you can add frames to your photos. Click the Frames tab at the bottom of your program and find the frame or frames that you want to use. Once you find a frame you want to use, click it and drag it on top of the photo you want to apply it too. You can continue doing this until you have framed all of your photos if you want.

Adding Masks to Photos

If you would prefer to use masks instead of frames, you can. All you have to do is click the Mask tab and select the mask you want to use. Click the mask and drag it to the photo you want to add it too. You can’t use a mask and frame on the same photo, but you can use both mask and frames in your layout.

Adding Clipart

Next in line is your clipart. You can click the clipart tab at the bottom of your window and select the clipart you want to use. Drag the clipart to your scrapbook layout and place it where you want it. You can add all of the clipart you want.

Adding Text

You can now add text to your scrapbook layout. Click the Text button in the left panel and click your layout. Then erase the text in the right panel and type what you want. Then adjust the text settings to what you want.

All that is left to do now is export your scrapbook layout.… Read the rest

Southern Sweet Tea

I love sweet tea! The inspiration for this poem is my tea recipe. To make Southern Sweet Tea: Place four family-size tea bags into a pot/bowl of very hot water and allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes (do NOT boil). Transfer the tea to a tea jug (at the sink) and stir in 1 cup (8oz) of sugar. Add enough water to fill the jug to the top. Let the tea sit in the fridge overnight for best results! You can add up to 1/4 cup more of the sugar, if you like your tea even sweeter. Note: Sweet tea gets sweeter after it has been in the refrigerator; it will be sweeter tomorrow, than it is today. Enjoy!

  • sweet tea with sugar
  • four bags, hot water, steeping
  • enjoy with lemon
Read the rest

A Defensive Stance on Stay-At-Home Parenting

Recently I read something demanding to know why stay-at-home parents automatically jump to the defensive side. The simple answer- society has painted the stay-at-home parent into a corner where the simplest comment can come off as an attack.

In an economy that almost requires two incomes just to make ends meet, society puts the blame on the parent that's not working when times get tough for the family. This is not fair. I know the contributions I make to my family are far greater than any monetary gain I would make if I were employed full-time. I know my children are safe and fed. I know what they are being exposed to. That, to my family, is the most important role I can play.

There's also the question of codependency. To this, I say, children need to be taken care of. They need to know they are loved and when darkness falls someone will be there to have their back. Codependency results come from a child not having room to grow and explore, NOT by having a parent around to guide and encourage them. In fact, proper guidance and encouragement can lead to higher self-esteem, in turn leading to a stronger, more independent individual.

Last, but certainly not least, is the stigma surrounding the stay-at-home parent: that they just lay around all day and do nothing. This is not the case at all. As a stay-at-home mom I can tell you my work is never done. There's always toys to pick up, or dishes to do, or meals to cook, the list is endless. To someone who faces these chores day after day, the idea that they don't "work" is highly offensive.

I'm not saying working parents aren't good parents. I've said on other occasions that what is right for one family won't necessarily be right for another. I honestly believe this, but I also believe that children are becoming so out-of-control and disrespectful because moms are returning to work (either out of necessity or desire) too soon in a child's life. I think, because of this, more and more people- children especially, are losing sight of family values.

Parenting choices are among the most important and personal choices you will ever get the honor of making. Each person is entitled to their own ideas and the ability to put those ideas into action. Rather than outsiders worrying about who will be working and who will be caring for the children, why don't we all start focusing on what's really important- the children?… Read the rest

Peppermint Tea

As I sit and sip

my peppermint tea

I remember the times

that you laughed with me

I ponder the future

and relive the past

I savor the present

for it never lasts

I’m lost in the moment

and I don’t really care

For though time is fleeting

I have plenty to spare

Right now I’m content,

to just sit and drink

It’s nice to relax

and let my brain think

I’ll sit on my bed

and look out at the rain

It cleanses my soul

and heals all my pain

When all my tea’s gone,

I’ll start living again

But I don’t want to think

about life until then

I’m sick of the world

and all of its worry

Can’t life take it slow?

I’m in no real hurry

One thing I’ve learned

is to let some things be

So I’ll sit and I’ll sip

my peppermint tea.… Read the rest