Friday, June 20, 2014

"Too pretty for jail" - Jeremy Meeks and why you are an idiot if you support him...

If you support "I'm not some king pin" Jeremy Meeks simply because of his looks ("too pretty for jail") then you are what is wrong with society. Please, for the love of humanity, do not procreate. You are a special kind of stupid.

I don't care if you are a member of the media or the member of the general public swooning over this are an insult to humanity. If you are a woman, you are a disgrace to the gender. Why? Well, let me try to explain it. I'll try to use little words since so many of you get distracted so easily by a pretty face.

Meeks has been called "too pretty for jail." If you agree and if you support him or his gofundme, then you are an idiot, a disgrace to women, and a human failure. Do you know how many victims and survivors of domestic violence weren't and aren't believed simply because the person that abused them "didn't look like that type of person" or my personal favorite "they're too nice for that." So, if you are judging this situation on his looks instead of his charges and evidence (and he is innocent until proven guilty), you should just stop talking. In fact, you should get the fuck off of the Internet. You are setting feminism back by 1,000 years.

You are now distracted. So, what's your local and national government doing while you're swooning over a pretty boy with some serious charges. You are also an idiot. You are why Kim Kardashian is famous...for absolutely nothing other than the fact she's a rich girl with a big ass. Now you're making a felon need an agent for no other reason other than you think he's attractive. Way to go, 'murica.

While you're swooning over him, imagine how you would feel if it would have been a woman. What if a very attractive woman had a felony charge and her mug shot went viral? Would you think she didn't do it or that she's too pretty for jail?

All the while throwing women (and men) in jail over sex crimes and pot...while you swoon over someone with a felony record for weapons. Yes, that seems like a great idea. Please don't wear purple in October and say you support those of us that lived through or that currently live in domestic violence. After all, you don't want someone who is this pretty (who also had a weapon in the trunk of his vehicle) doing any time. It might mess up his face. Seems a bit unbalanced that you don't want a violent felon behind bars, but someone who chooses sex work and also has no direct impact on your life you will condemn for their choice of employment.

So, if you don't think he belongs in jail because of his looks - you are an idiot. Never, ever judge someone by their looks. I hope none of you are ever in a situation where someone is violent with you and then you aren't believed because the other person just "doesn't look like the type to do that."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Making Lemonade

Someone recently said to me in a private message that when they see my posts from the last year on Facebook, they realize they don't have such a bad life after all.  I used to work with this person.  She was and is a phenomenal person.  Her simple message and the nice things she said about me to a mutual friend that came to one of my lectures as a guest speaker made me cry.
Tonight I am watching a documentary on Lemon Andersen.  He is an amazing individual and poet.  I just heard him deliver his poem Watch Me.  At the end he says, "Watch me make the best goddamn lemonade."
He makes an incredible and valid point for any person regardless of the life lived.  Life throws challenges to all of us.  What I might find to be a challenge may not seem like a challenge to you.  What you find as a challenge may not seem like a challenge to me.  It doesn't make those experiences any less challenging.
That one line in his poem made me consider my life.  How is it that I have been able to overcome so many things and continue to go through things yet still move on?  It's just like Andersen said - watch me make the best goddamn lemonade.  Life continues to hand me lemons.  Those are not things that are within my control.
I don't believe God punishes people with sickness or chooses to not heal based on the concept of sin.  I do believe from whatever perspective you look from that this world (and life upon it) is not perfect. We all suffer in some form.
So what do I do, at almost 35 years old, with a heart attack, heart damage, kidney damage, and Systemic Lupus?  I am not (nor have I ever) sat around feeling sorry for myself.  I don't believe in pity parties.  I will make the best of what I do have and what I can accomplish.  I will take advantage of the current medical treatment being offered to me.  I will continue to be the best adjunct college instructor within my capability.  I will continue to fight for my children to the best of my capability.  I will continue to love my fiance  and my bonus son.  I will continue to really not give a damn what others think about me.
In short, I will take all of the things that life has thrown at me and I will overcome them.  I will make lemonade (and most likely spike it with vodka).  Lemon Andersen is my new hero.  I want to be just like him when I grow up.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Things in life I hate (as opposed to things I hate about being freelance)

Hate is a seriously strong word.  In fact, I'm one of those annoying people that believe we should all be more careful with our words...and use the right words.  Not everything is awesome...and we don't love everyone we meet.  This is my list of no particular order:
  1. I hate the Hunger Games.  I find it revolting that it was published.  It's even more revolting that society as a whole made it popular.  Take children, set up a lottery system, and the "winners" get to fight to the death.  Why, yes.  That seems great.  As much as I love survival of the fittest...that doesn't include the encouragement of murdering others for the advancement of self.  Those "winners" are fighting for the amusement of the rich.  Like someone on Twitter said: it's rich versus poor.  Here we sit, as a whole, glorifying this twisted version of entertainment.  For the record, I didn't like Lord of The Flies when I read it while in high school many moons ago.  At least those boys were stranded.  There was no twisted concept of fun for the adults.  It was a story of survival with no ulterior motive.
  2. I hate the expense of education.  No, I don't believe that everyone needs a college education.  It's true.  Not everyone does.  Consider Bill Gates, Christine Comaford-Lynch, and other successful individuals who did not go to college.  Those that want to go should be able to afford to go.  At the end of the day, I'm all for student loans.  Why?  Because people can't take your education away.  Your house could burn down.  Your dog could get hit by a car.  Those things are terrible...but those things can be replaced.  No one can suck the education out of your head (but some will suck the intelligence out and give you the dumb).  I understand the need to charge for higher education.  I work in that capacity.  I have bills to pay.  Let me tell you - I don't get paid very well.  I am only paid for the teaching time they assign me.  I am not paid for preparing, grading, or things that get done off the clock because they must be done.  The profits and interest generated on student loans is staggering.  Again, no one can take your education away.  If you want one, get one even if it means loans.
  3. I hate people who conduct smear campaigns using information they know isn't true.  People like that are the jock itch a football player can't scratch in the middle of a play on a 80 degree day.  This is particularly true for people who aren't public figures.  News sells and it is said that even bad press is good press.  Yet saying shit that isn't true...knowing how it can damage the profession of someone...or life.  It's sad that people have so much time on their hands that they have to lie about others to keep themselves entertained.
  4. I hate the rape culture that is so prevalent in our society.  A girl wearing provocative clothing should not be raped.  A girl whose nipple is showing shouldn't be raped.  Men can show their nipples all the time...yet a woman's is some how deemed obscene.  A girl who drinks too much shouldn't be raped.  In fact, even if she says yes...if you know she's drank too much, your answer should be no.  A woman who flirts should not be raped.  There is no room for jokes or victim shaming.  Control starts with yourself.  You wouldn't want that to happen to your mom, your sister, your grandma, or your daughter.  That woman is someone's daughter.  Doesn't matter if she's a scantily clad stripper or a nun.  No means no.  Drunk means no.  Passed out means no.
  5. I hate narcissists.  I don't mean people who are obnoxious and slightly self centered.  I mean those who are or who could be diagnosed as a narcissist.  The ones who project their bullshit actions onto their victims to make themselves feel justified in their behavior.
  6. I hate all forms of abuse.  I hate child abuse.  I hate physical abuse.  I hate emotional abuse.  I hate verbal abuse.  All forms of abuse are valid.  Just because you don't hit someone doesn't mean you didn't abuse them.  It just makes you smarter than the average douche bag because you didn't leave a physical mark.  In some ways, it makes you worse than the average abuser.  You know how to try and beat the system.
  7. I hate judgmental people.  This is particularly true for those who claim any particular religious view.  If God had one true religion, he would have made sure any other religious texts burst into flames as soon as someone deemed it a religious text.  "No, mother fucker...I did NOT say that."  -boom-  You do not have the market on morality, marriage, sexuality, or the after life.  If you'd do a little research you would find out that most religions have their own version of the "golden rule."  You'd find that even those who do not believe in God or participate in a religion also know how to be decent people.  While it is fair to make a judgment call and not participate in the activities you don't agree with, it is not fair to judge someone as hell bound or sinful because you have a magic book written in a different time.  If we're going to go off of the validity of old books, I can probably find a book to justify any behavior.  Then you'd say, "But we live in a different time."  Well, yes we do...and that's why your religious text means very little to me.  If you want to be a good person, simply act like one because it's the right thing to do and not based on fear.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A day in my life...

--Note: This is originally from last year on my now defunct blog that was hosted by WordPress that they decided to hold hostage since I wouldn't renew my domain through them...---

I thought I would give all of you a glimpse into the 
mundane glamorous life of a freelancer.

9:00 am - There's a loud crash.  The four year old is up and throwing things down the stairs.

9:15 am - Feed him cereal.

9:30 am - Clean up vomit because he throws up in his bowl.

9:35 am - Bleary eyed 13 year old mohawk punk boy comes into the kitchen.

9:40 am - Help punk boy find the waffles.

10:00 am - Take punk boy out on the porch and spray paint his hair with hair paint.  He's now gold and glittery.

10:15 am - Dishes and kitchen cleaning.  Start work in my brain about articles.

10:45 am - Take a shower and continue brain work.  Also think about the seminar I will host.  Try out some new one liners in the shower.

11:00 am - Make pancakes for husband.  Yes, sometimes I enjoy being Little Suzy Homemaker.  Answer various inquiries about my paralegal business.

11:20 am - Start this blog post while still contemplating today's articles.

12:30 pm - Prepare for a call for another client...that was cancelled at the last minute.

1:00 pm - Stomp up the stairs to get dressed.

1:20 pm - Load up car with husband, punk boy, and the itty bit.  Head to the skate park.

2:00 pm - Itty bit and I watch punk boy and husband jump the fence at the skate park with all the other law breakers.  No clue why it was shut down.

5:00 pm - Come home to make dinner.

5:30 pm - Start thinking about the article again and decide to stop procrastinating.

5:35 pm - Alternate between trying to find out why itty bit is so quiet and writing my article.

6:30 pm - Dinner.

See?  Isn't that exciting?  What an exciting's okay that you're jealous.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Choosing Contentment

How often have you said or heard any of the following:
  • If I only made more money, I would be happy.
  • If I had a better job, I would be happy.
  • If I had a boyfriend / girlfriend, I would be happy.
  • If I had a new house, I would be happy.
  • You make me happy.
  • He makes me happy.
  • My car makes me happy.
What is the common factor in all of the statements?  The common factor isn't you.  The common factor isn't me.  The common factor is relying on something other than self to provide a feeling of happiness.

So - what is happiness?  Happiness is commonly defined as experiencing something pleasurable.

Why are so many people unhappy?  They are unhappy because they seek fulfillment outside of self.  They find their pleasure in money, better jobs, significant others, a house, and other inanimate objects.  Is this wrong behavior?  Not necessarily; it is, however, overly relied upon as a source of happiness and pleasure.

Why do we seek happiness from things and others?  Simply put, we do not see ourselves as enough.  As an entire society, we rarely feel like we are accomplished enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or have enough money.  Instead, we transfer our feelings of need on to things we want to acquire or on to other people.  Without those things or people, we feel "unhappy" with our existence.

Often, you will hear people use the words happiness and contentment as if they are the same thing.  They are not the same thing; they are close, though.  Both bring what we would consider peaceful or serene feelings.  So what's the difference?

Contentment requires something that happiness does not.  If you look up the word content, you find that it means to limit desires and actions...and to appear desires.  Contentment requires simply being at ease and peace with what we have or don't have at the moment.  It's similar to being mindful.  It is dealing with exactly what you DO have at the moment and being in that moment.  It isn't thinking, "Well, I have hamburger for dinner...but I'd be happy if I could have steak."  It's being in the moment and realizing you have a meal - and that's something so many people don't have.

If you're Christian, consider the apostle Paul.  He stated in Philipians 4 that he learned to be happy no matter how much (abound) or how little (abase) that he had.

If you're Buddhist, then you can remember that Buddha left his palace and riches and he became enlightened while he had nothing.

Happiness and contentment aren't found in things.  It's found in you.  It's found in me.  When you learn to find contentment...and it does take time to will find happiness.

How can you learn to be content?
  • Be mindful of your current situation.  Literally - think about what is going on right now.  Are you physically safe this very minute?  Are you relatively comfortable?  Do you have the bare necessities?  So what if you had a fight earlier today with your best friend?  What's going on right now?  Stop dwelling on it.  
  • Realize that tomorrow NEVER comes.  It really doesn't.  What do we say every single day?  We refer to tomorrow.  It's always tomorrow.  When will tomorrow become your today?  Think about what you have today.  Today is what counts.  We aren't promised tomorrow.
  • Stop putting the heavy weight of your happiness on other people or things.  Own your feelings. You are responsible for your own self worth.  Having a baby or a significant other won't make you happy.  In fact, those things often bring problems of their own.  Then, because you entered into that relationship for the wrong reasons, you might become resentful and then blame them for your unhappiness.
  • Enjoy the little things in life.  I know it's harder than it sounds.  I've been there.  I have to practice mindfulness every chance I get.
  • Count your blessings.  You have so many more things than most of the people in the world.  Have you ever considered that while you are eating dinner someone else in your neighborhood doesn't have groceries?
  • Volunteer your time.  You don't need to devote a lot of time.  You don't have to join an organization.  You can work one on one with someone that needs help.  You can help at a food pantry.  You can become trained as a domestic violence advocate.  You can mentor.  It will make you feel good.  You will realize you are valuable without having things or more money.
There isn't a single person who exists on earth that is always happy or always content.  We aren't perfect.  Neither are you.  Don't get too wrapped up if  you have a bad day.  Cut yourself a break.  As you become more content, happiness will come to you.  You will place it where it belongs.  It will become a precious treasure that so many seek and you found.  It is a work in progress.

Things I hate as a freelance writer

Okay, so technically...I'm living the dream.  I am able to do what so many other aspiring writers would love to do.  I have enough consistent freelance work that, if I wanted, I could stay  home and write on a full time basis.  I keep my outside contracts as a paralegal because it's important I stay up to date in the legal field...and it helps me combat isolation.
Every career has its ups and downs...including freelance writing.  I was inspired by a list I read on Tumblr about what a person shouldn't say to a freelance writer.
  •  I hate when people assume that because I am a freelance writer and work from home that I don't have a "real job."
Yes, my job is nontraditional.  Yes, I can work anywhere that I want as long as I have access to the Internet (including using my Windows phone because it has Word).  However, that doesn't mean that what I do isn't work.  Think about your favorite witty website.  Think about ads that you read for your favorite products.  Think about the content you read on professional websites.  Someone has to come up with those words that pull you in...from brain candy to brain caviar, it is still work.  Those words don't string themselves together in a key word dense and interesting format.  It takes talent, knowledge, and time to please you, the consumer.  Also, most freelance writers (including myself) often work more than those with a standard job.  A lot of contracts pay less than you would be willing to accept.  There are days children in a sneaker factory in a third world country make more than I do.  There are days that I make more than most of my friends.
  • I hate when people think I can just drop everything and do something for them.
Sure, my schedule is flexible.  If you think about it, the schedule of a traditional worker is flexible IF they have paid time off in the form of sick leave, flex time, or vacation.  Guess what?  If I take off, I'm not getting paid.  If I need to take someone to the doctor or run an errand, that's time I'm not getting paid.  Traditional workers have the option to use paid leave.  Freelancers don't have that option.
We have deadlines just like anyone else.  One client wants her novel finished by February.  I have another client that requests a certain number of professional industry articles...and no matter the amount, they are all due by Sunday.  I get the occasional client that needs something turned around right away.  I have a schedule for a reason.  Working under pressure is nice, but I need time to research, write, and edit.
So, unless I gave  birth to you or I am married to you...I can't just drop things 'whenever' to do something for you.  If I need a break, I'm probably going to say yes and help you.  Primarily speaking, freelancers can't just NOT work.
  • I hate when people need a content writer offer slave wages.
Sure, I might not spend as much in gas as someone with a traditional job.  I might not need new clothes quite as often.  I still have electricity, rent, natural gas, car payment, groceries, Internet, and the same basic expenses as those with a traditional job.  I am also highly educated and a professional.  I am not someone who just aspires to be a freelance writer and looks for gigs because I'm laid off (and there's nothing wrong with doing that, by the way).  I am a bonafide professional industry freelance writer.  I can't write 24/7.  Right now, I write about 12/6.  I live in a developed country.  I have to pay my bills and take care of my family.  It is absolutely offensive to be offered contracts of just $1 (yes, you read that right) for 1,000 words.  Depending on the subject, that could take more than hour to produce a well written product.  I cannot afford to accept $1 per hour.

Questions people ask me about freelancing...

Q1 - So you're still writing your little book/poems/etc.?

Yes, when I have the time.  Most of my time is taken up by writing web copy for you to read for the rare chance you might actually visit a webpage besides Facebook.

Q2 - Must be nice not having a real job.

Must be nice knowing that you will definitely get paid on a regular basis.  While I've never been stiffed by a writing client, I've heard it happens.  Must be nice having your taxes done for you.  

Q3 - Writing doesn't sound too difficult.

Rocket science isn't difficult for Sheldon Cooper.  Conceptualizing, writing, and editing isn't always a picnic.  It can also drain your energy.

Q4 - I always thought I'd write a book after I retire, once I have some time to kill.

Well, let me know how that works out for you while you're working at WalMart because your pension from your employer and SSI doesn't cover your needs.  

Q5 - Wait a second, creative writing degrees are a real thing?

Yes.  I don't have one.  It's not necessary for the industry; I am sure that having one helps for certain projects.  

Q6 - Have you been published yet?

Short answer: yes.  Long answer: yes.  My work appears in a literary journal.  I also have two chapbooks of poetry and a published novel.  You've also read my work on and other professional websites without realizing it.  I'm a ghostwriter.  

Q7 - Can I be a character in one of your stories?

I usually only write in people that I'm going to kill.  How would you like to die?

Q8 - So I have this great idea I think you should be using in your book...

So I wonder why, if it's so great, you aren't writing it for yourself.  I love reader perspective, but I also know when someone is an idiot.  I also know what people want to read.  Go to Dollar Tree and get yourself a notebook.  Write down all you can about your idea and then hire me to ghostwrite your novel.  

Q9 - Aren't writers just professional liars?  They tell stories for a living, after all.

Short answer: maybe.  Do you consider those who write non-fiction of any sort a liar?  As far as fiction, you love the way we lie to you.

Q10 - You're writing a book?  Tell me everything.

No.  You can buy it just like everyone else.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another awesome night

Becoming a freelance writer can cause some really awesome times. Last night I got to hang out with a really talented local punk band. I won't put their name here because they are planning a surprise benefit concert...and we don't want to let the cat out of the bag. Additionally, I was given a free t-shirt and a free copy of their CD. We sat outside to finish the interview because the venue was freezing. Some people saw them interviewing with me and saw me with a others started buying their shirts. I'm not saying that was because of me at all...I'm just saying that if you are a musician...have a friend or a writer go with you and have them get some of your goods in front of others. We all love to buy, but no one likes to be sold. That action may create a freedom in people to start buying your stuff. The interview for the band will eventually appear here. It will most likely be after the benefit show.

Two other great bands played as well. I've heard The Costanzas play several times. I wanted to stay and watch Against the Grain...but by then, I was very tired. That's one of the worst parts about having a heart problem. I can get tired quite fast. On the other hand, being that tired seemed to fix my chronic insomnia for at least one night. I didn't wake up until about 9 this morning. Usually I start working by 8 am. Eek...or yay. I haven't decided yet.

I don't understand why everyone wants to be a travel writer. I guess I'd have to like to travel for that, huh? I really enjoy interviewing people involved in the creative in music, art, or anything. I love being able to delve into who they are and what makes them so unique. It's absolutely amazing. That being said...I may start a small series here about becoming a travel writer. I've done a little bit of it...I just prefer to indulge in other avenues. Yeah, I'm that hermit that generally stays home.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why I freelance - Reason # 465

Last night and today and tomorrow night feature some of the best freelance benefits around.

I freelance because I get to meet interesting people and talented musicians.

Yesterday I met Komatryp, Kinda Creepy (okay - sort of... I watched them play at the Punk Rock Prom), and John Wayne's Bitches (also at Punk Rock Prom).  They all have FB pages as well. I will get paid to talk to these fabulous and talented people. I am also able to look at their sites and if they need help, I freely offer it. I think that's the sort of behavior that we could see more of in the indie community.

Tomorrow night I get to go to VZDs and hang out with Kinda Creepy to get to know them.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Why I Freelance - Reason # 546

First, know that the numbers I will add for these posts (like Reason # 546) are nonsensical. There's absolutely no reason I chose that number other than that's just what I hit when I touched my ten-key pad. With that said - welcome to Why I Freelance - Reason #546.

I choose to freelance because getting up at 6 am increases my general dislike of society.

Seriously...whose idea was it to start the day that early?! I mean, it's fine for those that fall into the category we all love to hate called "morning people." Life and work would be much more pleasant in and outside of the corporate world if we didn't have such rigid day constraints.

Unless I'm your mother or your wife, I do not want to talk to you about anything until about 9 am. My natural body rhythm wakes me up by 9 am. When I can wake up by my own devices then I am able to more fully enjoy what the day holds.

It's evident that at 6:30 am most people cannot figure out how to property operate their motor vehicles. This causes major frustrations for the rest of us...and then, of course, we can't forget the morning commute.

I am really, really glad that I rarely have to get up that early. Today was a necessity. I wasn't able to fall asleep until after 3 am and that was after taking a sleep aid. I had to be up at 6 am. I hadn't slept for three days prior to that.

I freelance because I can work when it is most optimal and convenient for me to work. Even though I'm awake I'm not starting on my freelance activities. I haven't even checked my email. I'm rebelling.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Obligatory Introduction Post

Well, this is by no means my first blog. It's more like a blind date with your best friend's sister's cousin's brother's uncle's neighbor. I think I'll just do this bullet style. Meaning that while this isn't my first date with a blog, it's still just as awkward to introduce myself here as it was years ago.

  • My original blog as a freelance writer can be found here. The change was necessitated for a couple of reasons. I'll discuss those later. I'm not removing that blog as it includes some lovely writing samples. I won't repost them directly to this  blog because I know that search engines penalize for duplicate content. 
  • I am a full time freelance writer. My credentials can be found here.
  • I am a published poet. My work can be found in the December 2013 edition of CandleLit Journal. 
  • I am a published author. I've written one novel, two poetry chapbooks, and the very short and amazing Crash Course Freelance Writing guide. 
  • I am most likely the most honest person you will ever meet. I'm like your grandma...but my boobs don't touch my knees or disappear into my arm pits. Just like your grandma, I love you enough to tell you the truth about's just that this time it's about the freelance lifestyle. 
  • I am a practicing witch. Read: I am not a Christian. Read: the devil is a creation of the Christians and y'all can keep him. We don't believe in him and we don't want him. I believe that people are responsible for their own actions, good and bad, and I know the Bible better than you do. However, I have no problem with any faith that is different from mine or those with no religious belief system. It's all good. I'm Wiccan, my husband is Buddhist, our 16 year old is Atheist, our 13 year old is Pentecostal, and our 4 year old just doesn't care. 
  • I've lived an interesting 35 years on this earth. 
The rest you will come to learn from the posts. Clearly this place is under construction. Make sure that you wear a helmet for your protection. I'd hate for you to get a concussion from being hit in the head with the truth. Freelancing is great, but it is a lifestyle...and it is NOT for everyone.