Monday, October 27, 2008
For my first order of business, I intend to read and review Dr. Ulmer's sites and blog. Reading what he has done will prove to be enriching, educating, inspiring, and above all telling of the projects I'll be updated and/ or undertaking. Secondly, I need to locate the books -- a few are actually in the on campus libraries. Luckily, I enjoy the benefit of the UF libraries as a UF employee, so it would appear that I have the luxury of reading these books for free. As I have a... "discrepancy" with the county library, I'll have to wait to clear that up before utilizing it for the remaining books I can't find on campus. Suffice it to say I need to stop forgetting to drop off that book to the book mobile. Next, I'll take notes from the books much like I did in Ulmer's classes. Finally, I'll revisit my projects from Internet Literature and Hypermedia to either update what I currently have or build from scratch.
As it stands, I have much to read and so much more to learn. And with that, I realize my auto-time has already been set back an hour. Didn't WP get the memo that we won't get our hour back until November 9th?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Regrettably, I am 100% guilty of blog neglect. It would seem I work in phases of writing activity. Perhaps I could blame an increase in my work load between mid-August and late-September, but I'm merely grasping for a scapegoat when I should only blame myself.
While directing a professor to the chair of the English department to find technical writing students to edit papers, I decided to check in on Dr. Ulmer, my favorite English professor. Okay, let's be honest -- my all-around favorite professor. I discovered that he's created a blog, of course in typical fashion as well. I've been inspired to sit down, review his course syllabi, start revamping my MyStory, and taking on new projects. I certainly could use the direction, and Dr. Ulmer is a pioneer on the subject matter. After all, he did coin the term "electracy." I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to take his classes.
I've been inspired to sit and write a bit more after reviewing a couple pages of his blog, so hopefully I will manage to be more productive with my writing in the coming days and weeks.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed it was growing new foliage -- and the previous foliage had been forced forward as the tree was placed against the wall. I decided it could use a little room to stretch out, so I dragged it into my desk area. Its new leaves are stretching in the opposite direction, and I'm very pleased to say it livens up my work space a bit more. At least this one tree survives my non-green thumb.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I also find myself wanting to share images at times when my digicam usb cord is sitting somewhere inconvenient — say, my desk at home while I’m at work. For example, I captured an image of a hawk or falcon while on my way to work one morning, and I was just so awe-struck by the whole incident. The last time I had such an opportunity, my digicam was merely a wish rather than reality. It the simple beauty in life that inspires me, as corny as that may sound.
Maybe soon I’ll break from this obnoxious phase of unactivity. For now, I suppose I’ll continue to entertain thoughts of a prosperous writing career.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I've spent the past two days scouting magazines and journals for submission guidelines. I must say the process is just as overwhelm as I had assumed it would be. However, I've currently found sixteen promising leads during my search thus far. Amazing!
Unfortunately this has eaten into my time, so I've not gotten much accomplished on my next article/ blog entry for FFOM. I should be sure to do that first tomorrow as I at least need an outline to feel better. Then I can continue my hunt. I should aim for a rough draft by Friday morning so I can get some peer review and submit my entry to the board. I may be setting myself up for disappointment with that time frame, but we shall see.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I absolutely have to start work on a few articles for the fall newsletter, my next article/ blog entry for FFOM, writing here more often, and compiling a list of publications to send queries and/ or submissions. The first two tasks are relatively simple -- I have the topics, access to the information to write about send topics, and the (self-imposed) deadlines for the topics. The third task involves a bit more thought and a lot more spontaneity. The fourth task absolutely terrifies me. Have you any idea how many publications exist in this world? For every niche, there is an outlet. For cat lovers, you have Cat Fancy. For parents of babies, you have BabyTalk. For those domestic goddesses out there, you have Better Homes & Gardens. These are only examples of my point. In general, one is expected to have clips geared towards the publication's overall theme and essentially choose topics pertaining to that genre. The difficulty I have is choosing one genre. I do not feel that I can be boxed into one genre.
For starters, I have never fit into a particular category. I find it degrading to be labeled as something because we are all individual people with differing tastes, beliefs, opinions, values, ideals, dreams, and motivations. For example, my blogs have mostly pertained to the "slice-of-life" genre, yet I've written and edited for a materials science and engineering newsletter and written for a midwifery advocate group. Each of these relates to me as a whole in that they make up parts of who I am. I can't just stop doing one thing or another to fit into some category that will dictate my writing for the future. Perhaps if I was one of the professors in my department, I might have to choose a specialty to write about. However, I'm not a professor specializing in ceramics or polymers, therefore I do feel the need to limit myself.
That being the case, I have several interests that I feel I'd love to write about -- which explains why I've got to compile a list of publications first. Then I suppose I'll need to narrow down my options based upon the overall feel of the publication and the copyrights. I simply cannot allow someone to own my writings forever. One time rights? Certainly. Non-exclusive rights? You bet. Exclusive, permanent rights? Not a chance. Once I've narrowed it down, I have the even greater task of writing letters. However, I also face the issue of my clips not pertaining to their genre. I suppose I'll have to cross my fingers.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
So I've been getting a taste of being on the opposite end of the angry mob -- you know, the side where you're running for your life from people chasing you will torches and pitchforks? This situation made me realize something very deep and personal -- the reasons why I've taken the stand I have. I choose my sides based on my values and beliefs. I want my children to grow up in a world where they are safe, respected, and given the rights they deserve. I'd like to think my writing and efforts can at least fix some of the atrocities I see everyday. But then you always have the people who don't always agree with every thing you say -- or worse, you say something that comes out completely wrong in front of the wrong people. Of course in writing, everything seems cold and insensitive because it's merely black text on a white background. Unless you change the color schemes and/ or add emoticons, the connotations and context of your words may be misconstrued to varying extents. This situation has completely pushed me back down a few notches today.
For a while now, I've been feeling rather pleased with myself for getting my writing career started. I've published four blog entries with the Florida Friends of Midwives to date, and I served as a writer and associate editor for my department's newsletter. I have my fifth blog entry to the outline stage, and I'm working on a second newsletter for the department. I might even have an article (or maybe more) published in the FFOM newsletter. I've been feeling so good about my writing that I've taken the time to start searching for publications to send either queries or submissions. Now today, I'm questioning why I've decided to be a little "freedom fighter." I've heard it can be a thankless job. In fact, I don't write for the FFOM for payment -- I write for the satisfaction of knowing that my writing is going to a cause I feel personally invested in. I write because it's really all I can do for this cause. I don't have the extra money to lobby for change. I don't have the means to traverse the nation in hopes that I'll affect change in the system. I do have my Bachelors degree. I do have my thoughts. I do have my fingers, keyboard, and an internet connection. I'm doing my part for what I feel is the right cause. Of course, I also believe that working mothers are getting unfair treatment. I believe children deserve safer toys, safer vaccines, and safer environments. I believe animals deserve love, care, and respect. I believe fathers deserve to play an important role in their childrens lives. I believe children benefit from having their fathers in their lives. I believe in family. I believe in love. I believe in freedom. I believe that certain things mean certain things to certain people. I believe we all have varying opinions that make us unique individuals. I don't believe we'll ever achieve world peace, but we should at least strive to be as respectful and caring as possible.If my opinions make me unpopular, so be it. I'm not trying to win a popularity contest -- I'm trying to do what I believe is right. The right way isn't always the popular way, to paraphase a wise saying.
As an aside, I haven't been keeping up with cross-posting my WP blog to my Blogger blog. Sorry about that.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
We went inside a neighbor’s apartment to wait for the fire rescuers to extinguish the fire. Brian realized that he had inhaled far too much smoke while trying to help put out the fire – he had a severe asthma attack. A neighbor escorted him to an ambulance for treatment where our puppy was also receiving treatment for smoke inhalation. I called my friend Karen to get her help. The wonderful people who let us into their apartment offered comfort in the form of clothing for my daughter – who was in nothing but a diaper as she had been awaiting bath time – as well as snacks for my son and blankets for all of us. I found out that Brian needed medical assistance at the hospital and retrieved the puppy. Of course, the EMTs neglected to tell me which hospital they were taking him to. Once Karen arrived, we took the kids to find out where Brian went and to follow him. We were stopped by a reporter and the front office staff. American Red Cross collected all the residents of the building – who, by the way, were NOT mostly students as some incorrect sources might have you believe – to fill out paperwork and receive assistance and lodging. Rob’s idea of clearing the tension was farting loudly in front of everyone. I heard someone say, “at least he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.” Once I finished getting the paperwork done with Laura Mager of the Red Cross, Karen brought us to the Shands at UF emergency room. As usual, the ER was packed, the staff was rude sans for one shining gem named Jay, and Brian was absolutely frustrated at his situation. Apparently, he had two people attempt to start IV fluids – a fire fighter and an EMT. The first try Brian’s veins were blown, the second was not much better. He discharged himself against medical advice for two reasons: one, he felt he was needed with his family; two, he couldn’t tolerate the inconsiderate staff any longer. Of course, Shands at UF’s ER deserves their own special topic for a later date.
Karen drove us to the Days Inn on
By the end of the day on Friday, we learned what caused the fire. Early investigations found that someone had dropped rose petals and lit candles. Whoever did so left our next-door neighboring apartment. They had two cats, who more than likely knocked over a candle – or more. The poor cats didn’t survive. All of this stress could have been avoided if a little commonsense had been exercised. Sadly, my neighbors learned their lesson by losing everything and their two cats. I hear some people may want to sue them, but I know I could not possibly be involved in such a pursuit. While I have been inconvenienced and will be losing pay, I have my family and belongings. They lost everything. As for myself, I’m certain I’m suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I never wish to witness such a disaster again. The image of the burning apartment will forever ingrain itself into my mind.