Category Archives: Freelance

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Unfortunately my creative writing has taken a backseat this last week while I compiled a schedule, contact sheet and action requirements for the Heritage Day my Board and another organization are holding in June. In all I spent seven hours going through hundreds of emails to find contacts and actions made and needed. Having so many people involved is wonderful for the work share but a logistical nightmare. Now it is done I feel confident that everyone knows the status of what is happening, who is attending and special information.

After all that creating my writers foundation Board’s agenda for tonight’s meeting was a piece of cake!

I will use some of my long weekend to type out the personal experience notes my ghost writing client gave me and insert it into the draft book. I’ll also be putting the finishing touches to the workshop I am presenting at a writers conference on 22nd April – I want to ensure it is informative but also fun.

Conference logo 2017

Hopefully I can also take some time to continue my edit and revision of The Twesome Loop. It is tantalizingly close to the finish prior to going back to beta-readers.

Twesome Loop 002

How is your current work in progress coming along?

Books:

The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney- I am on the last few chapters of this wonderful narrative – I will not spoil the ending for anyone wanting to read it – that’s so unfair. So will put up a Goodreads review once I’m finished which will be this long weekend for sure.

faraday

The Other Life by Ellen Meister – so excited to read this story. If you could choose a different life, one you actually knew about – would you?

The Other Life

Do you have a recommendation?

Do you want to hook up on Goodreads? Follow the link on the side bar to my account.

Writing Tips:

Join a writers’ group so you can gain support from the writing community and enjoy camaraderie in your craft.

From personal experience a writers group is invaluable for any writer as long as you receive constructive critique, your style and voice are acknowledged and respected and there is a strong sense of support and encouragement. My group: www.wfscsherwoodpark.com  encourages writers any stage, any age of their writing career. We have local and virtual members.

Be observant. The people and activities that surround you will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes. (And people watching is so much fun!)

Use writing exercises to improve your skills, strengthen your talent, and explore different genres, styles, and techniques. My favorite ‘inspirational kick’ is finding a word or picture prompt. I create a prompt on our website every Saturday – scroll back and find one that ‘speaks’ to you – top right on the calendar www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

Happy Writing…

Image credit: http://www.mywritingblog.com

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

With an ‘extra’ day off work this week (Canadian Family Day), I managed to focus on my ghost writing project. A total of four hours spent mainly in a silent house resulted in an extensive review and a lot of added content. I am confident this second draft is more in line with my clients view and deals with all the factors she requires. The draft has been sent and I await a reply.

My other freelance writing project was completed on Saturday and my client now has everything she needs for the launch of her online lesson plans. It will be interesting to see the finished product.

Have you read something to a live audience which made you uncomfortable?

As I have my ‘erotic’ reading this Saturday I will be working on that for the rest of the week, and trying not to let nerves overtake me! It’s one thing writing but quite another reading it out loud to an audience.

Books:

Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic.

Although I am only several chapters into this book, I must mention the beautifully structured writing, the rounded characters and a sense of place it has given me.

beyond-the-precipice

An old school pal in England sent me her daughter’s novella to read and it is next on my TBR pile. The Outcasts by Maddie Andrews.

https://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Maddison-Lily-Fox-Andrews/dp/1908128720

the-outcasts

My other reading commitment is a friends manuscript as a beta-reader.

What are reading at the moment?

Writing Tip:

writer-tips

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week will be a rescheduled Board meeting for the Arts & Culture Council, due to last week’s awful weather conditions. I was not happy for Board members to drive on dangerous roads so postponed it until this Wednesday.

Saturday will see us at the Arty Party – networking with artisans from Strathcona County and possibly beyond. Our venue is a gorgeous art gallery space, Spark Gallery and with refreshments, art on display and information on the Arts & Culture Council, I’m sure it will be an interesting and enjoyable evening.

arty-party-web

I am continuing with my edits of The Twesome Loop and managed to send another manuscript, Life in Slake Patch to the local writer in residence for evaluation.

The freelance ghost writing project I am working on required quite a large amount of thought and planning. Now it is in the hands of my client if they wish to proceed. Fingers crossed.

I attended a Q&A panel yesterday hosted by our current Writer in Residence – Industry Insiders: Making a Living as a Hybrid Author. Local Edmonton authors gave us an insight into the multiple ways a writer can broaden their scopes of opportunities. Options include not just writing novels, but also articles related to your specific genre/subject and public speaking. There are also opportunities for interviews either for magazines, newspapers, radio or television.

I have two television interviews to my name and also a radio interview, both experiences were nerve racking but well worth the effort. Have you been spotlighted by TV or radio?

I am also co-hosting at a writing circle this Thursday for local seniors lodge. This is part of a program run by my writing foundation, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. We encourage the seniors to tell their stories/memories. This project began with a guide book published by the foundation and Dream Write Publishing : http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/your-lifetime-stories

YourLifetimeOfStories

Local Alberta events: Writers Guild for Alberta – January 20th   

Loft 112, 535 8 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 5S9

What does this week hold for you for writing projects, events and plans?

Alternative Living – The Wandering Part 2…


Around-the-World

As I said this subject required a second post. So for those of you yearning to travel the globe but still earn some income, here are the other options open to you.

11. This option depends on your personality and if you are willing to put in a few months research. Affiliate Marketing may be the source of income to give you your freedom.

12. Another option is selling goods online. These can be your own crafts where you set up a website or shop on a online sales outlet. There is a good deal of marketing that is required but it can work.

13. Day-Trading is another option that requires research and knowledge on the markets but again can be maintained remotely.

14. An ultimate job is to be allowed the option to work remotely thereby giving you freedom to work anywhere while still receiving a good salary.

15. Why not look after someone’s home when they are away? It can be a couple of weeks, months or even years dependent on the location and type of home.

16. Teaching is not limited to languages, how about dance classes, or yoga, or tutoring another subject as well as musical instruments.

17. For those of you with an artistic or creative personality, try joining an international traveling show, such a circus, music band, theater group or dance show.

18. If you are multilingual becoming am interpreter or translator is another way to utilize your skills to travel.

19. This is not for everyone, but online poker can reap rewards as long as you are good at the game. Remember that not all locations allow online gambling (United States) so check before you play.

20. If you are good with children there is the option of employment as an au pair.

21. If you have great skills in photography sell your images online. People love photos of exotic locations and images of life abroad.

22. Why not sell your art and crafts at local markets? There is a wealth of tourists wanting souvenirs. There are many market circuits to follow.

23. With an artistic talent there is always busking – you can dance, juggle, play an instrument or sing. Just check the legalities first.

24. Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – although you will not be paid you will have room and board and travel. You can do good while exploring the world.

25. Peace Corps is an option but remember it is a two-year commitment. You will receive a housing and living allowance, student loan assistance and full medical and dental coverage. Working in third world locations assisting with health, agriculture and environment issues.

26. WWOOF is World Wide Organization of Organic Farms – you work 4-6 hours a day in exchange for food and housing with a host family.

Travel-World

What other skills or jobs do you know of that allow you to travel?

Part One here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2016/04/20/alternative-living-the-wandering-part-1/

 

 

 

Alternative Living – The Wandering Part 1


 

traveler

The freedom to travel the globe while making money to live on (or barter for accommodation & food) can be a pipe dream for many of us. However, the question many of us ask is “how do you do that?” The list is actually longer than I expected so this post will also have a part two!

1. The most easily utilized skill is to teach English. Many places do not need you to have a teaching degree/qualification to teach, just so it is your native language. Areas looking for teachers include but are not limited to Thailand, Japan and South Korea. However, other languages are in demand such as Spanish, German, Italian, French, Arabic and Mandarin to name a few.
2. If you are a natural sales person try selling time shares in Thailand, Mexico, Greece or the Caribbean.
3. The largest job market is resorts and hotels are there is a whole subsection of opportunity:
a) Work in a resort where a variety of positions are open to you. Front desk, entertainment host, bar work or restaurant worker.
b) A little known job is editing English signs and menus – we have all seen the mistakes while abroad.
c) If your skills include beauty and hair you can offer your services to hostel guests or approach resorts that do not have these services.
d) As above you can also offer massages.
e) Another unskilled opportunity is a surfing instructor (as long as you are better than the clients)
f) This job does need certification though – scuba diving instructor. With your qualification you can teach around the world. Places such as Mexico, Australia, Hawaii, Egypt, and Thailand.
g) Again you will need to be accredited but a skiing instructor can travel extensively and follow the snow!
h) If you find a place you would like to stay in for a while, why not sign up to be a tour escort? Although the pay is low you will gain great experience.
4. Rather than constantly traveling you can work in the travel and tourism industry and find that perfect place while getting a regular paycheck.
5. Why not get a free bed in exchange for some cleaning, cooking or reception duties? Hostels are a great way to exchange or barter for a bed and food.
6. Freelancing online gives many people the ultimate freedom. Whether you are an expert in travel writing, consulting, legal work, website development or other skills that allow you to work remotely, this is a great source of income.
7. The other online opportunity open to many is blogging, it can be travel related but does not need to be. As long as you can earn an income from your blog.
8. Have you always wanted to be an actor? Well overseas movie makers send out scouts to find extras – Mumbai and Kenya are two countries that do this.
9. Many countries offer working holiday visas allowing you to work and experience new places. France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Singapore are among the countries you can apply to.
10. For backpackers and travelers a regular source of income is fruit-picking. You will be out in the sun, making friends and enjoying some nourishment.In Australia for instance you may be paid per kilo or get room and board.

compass

Have you opted for any of these options? Why not share your experience?

Getting To Know You


 

getting2knowu-2

I am pleased to be included in Robyn’s blog series – Getting to Know You – today. Thank you, Robyn for the opportunity!

Please follow the link – http://justbitsandpieces.com/2016/02/16/getting-to-know-mandy-eve-barnett/

WIth 2014 my table

A Host of Writing Events – A Busy Author’s Life…


I tend to say Yes much too often to requests to attend book related events. But I quantify it by saying – if you are not ‘out there’ how will people know about your books and your writing? So I agree and enjoy the experience. An added attraction for me is meeting book lovers and other authors and writers as well as experiencing new places, and new people. All of which gives my writing Muse more fuel for more stories. A win, win situation.

Let’s take this month – November 2015.

My writing group’s monthly sharing meeting, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County- 3rd November. I hosted and started a new format for the meeting.

Writers Foundation Strathcona County

Pandora’s Boox, Olds, Alberta – Book launch for a couple of author friends, Barbie-Jo Smith and Malcolm Mills. I accompanied my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. – 14th November.

Pandora Boox  14Nov2015

Business Seminar, Strathcona County, Alberta – attendance for my freelancing business. 18th November.

Carbon library Christmas Fair, Carbon, Alberta – set up my table along with fellow authors, Linda Pedley, Barbie-Jo Smith and Malcom Mills. – 21st November.

Carbon 1 (1)Xmas Market

Common Ground Cafe, Sherwood Park, Alberta – Author reading. – 25th November.

Common Ground

Radio interview with CKXU Productions, University of Lethbridge – 27th November.

AuthorInterview

Christmas in the Heartland, Strathcona County, Alberta. Reading Christmas themed stories to the general public. 29th November.

Xmas in Heartland

As you can see I’m a busy author who juggles full-time work, family, home and other events with my writing life.

How do you juggle your writing life?

 

 

A Writers Conundrum – Finding Time to Write..


To have inspiration for our writing we must observe life, to avoid our family and friends abandoning us we need to engage with them, to pay the bills we must usually work a day job, to maintain our word count or deadline we must organize writing time. So the question is, how can we juggle all of these demands on our time with failing at each one?

Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between these is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap, a teenager ‘must’ be taken to a friends house, your husband needs help with a project or dare I say it your boss needs something from you? We inevitably crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later? We may scramble to jot down that idea, phrase or even paragraph before being torn away. I have looked to other writers, famous or not, and tried to delve beyond the obvious and gleam an insight into their methods of finding time. There are numerous hints and tips populating the internet but in the end you know your life and its limitations best. You may get up extra early, stay awake until the breaking dawn or cram a few paragraphs into your lunch hour – whatever works for you and your writing – is the right way to go. The trick is how to organize your time productively.

How do you schedule your writing?

What time of day works best for you?

I have to admit my writing is not scheduled. I take advantage of any time I’m left alone and once absorbed find it difficult to let go. Weekend mornings are good for me as I get up early and have several hours while my daughter is still sleeping and my husband is playing about in the garage! Other times I can use are the evenings when I arrive early for writing group meetings and write until the allotted time. Other ‘escape’ opportunities do arise and I always take advantage of them: a cancelled appointment, the house to myself or the glory of a  writing retreat! Obviously, I dream of the day I can shut myself away with my laptop and not have to answer to anyone…it will happen I just need to be patient.

With my freelance work increasingly demanding more of my time, I have to split my writing with that of clients. Maybe I am wrong but I tend to complete a client’s work prior to my own. Having a deadline for a paying job and completing it is, to my mind, more important and vital: a) for repeated work b) for remuneration. That is not to say I believe my own writing is secondary, far from it. Within my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I am fortunate to have other writers who engage in an annual novel workshop. At the beginning of the year, when several of us have participated in NaNoWriMo and others are ready to share their first draft, we meet every month until June (sometimes longer). We section our novels and email them to each other, then edit and comment on the narrative. Then at month’s end email our editing and meet to discuss the stories. It is beta reading within a ‘safe’ environment if you will. This mutual assistance enables me to edit my current manuscript with the views of several other authors and a ‘faster’ editing process too.

Care to share your writing schedule or tips you found useful?

My writing area expands a little each year! Where do you write?

New Writing DEsk 003new writing deskPicture Wall

Magazines Overloaded with Adverts and a Prompt…


magazines-in-a-bunch This week Alberta magazine awards were announced and received – see link.  http://www.albertamagazines.com/news-events/news/ampa-news/item/announcing-awards-winners 

I occasionally glance through magazines when visiting the hairdressers but find most are so full of adverts that I put them back. I prefer something with more substance, such as National Geographic and Writer’s Digest. In reality the magazine company’s require the revenue from the advertisements but surely not so many! Do you find it annoying?

In my current research into freelancing, I have found many magazines, who welcome articles from freelance writers. I have compiled a long list and will create specific articles for them in the coming months.

Do you write for magazines?

What is your experience? Any tips?

Quotes:  I love magazines. It’s such a McNugget kind of information.  Scott Adams

When I was 16, I started publishing all kinds of things in school magazines. Margaret Attwood

“It’s so important to have a genuine curiosity not just about magazines, but the world around you.” Anne Fulenwider,Editor in Chief, Marie Claire

 FunDayWrite in the style of a magazine or newspaper article of a everyday mundane event to make it ‘exciting and newsworthy’.

Please share them once written.

Cross Pollination of Genres…


articles

As a cross genre author, I find juggling different writing methods to be exciting and engaging. There are many aspects of each genre that you begin to notice cross over into one another when you write multiple forms.

With children’s stories we are aware of the language limitations and simplistic plot arc. The writing requires quick action and characterisation to keep the reader engaged and interested. With YA, we find teens require even more action but the language can be more forthright and the plot must be intriguing to keep them reading. Adult fiction can run the gamut of red herrings; extended descriptions and complex plot arcs. However, depending on your story structure you can ‘borrow’ rules from each genre to use in another. When I write non-fiction, such as articles, newsletters or workbooks, the rules are again different but to absorb readers, some techniques of story writing can be put into play to make the subject stimulating.

In recent times the romance genre has seen an increase in multiple genre novels. Romantic sci-fi, paranormal or fantasy, are becoming increasingly popular. When I was defining my novels, it was the most basic theme of each I had to recognize. It turned out to be love in its many forms, whether romantic, familial or love of a cause or lifestyle. In The Twesome Loop, reincarnation was the subsequent theme to a love story across time. For Life in Slake Patch, my protagonist, Evan found love and was instrumental in changing laws under  matriarchal rule. My up coming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, deals with two forest sprites who, not only love each other but all the animals within their home that they assist.

Common GroundMy recent article in Strathcona Connect – http://strathconaconnect.ca/common-ground-community-cafe-p308-90.htm , highlights a local community cafe. Without the love of its instigators and volunteers it would not have been created.

What is your experience in cross genres?

Did you find identifying a genre difficult?

What method did you use to resolve which genre your novel was?

genre