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Brandana: A Discredit to Women in Politics August 1, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, politics, writing/editing/blogging.
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As I watch (and live) the local campaign season, I find myself completely disappointed in one of the Democratic candidates in the race for State Representative for Michigan’s 22nd district, a seat made vacant by the term-limited Hoon Yung Hopgood.  In full disclosure, one of the candidates happens to be my husband, hence my statement about living the campaign season. There are two men vying for the seat and one woman. Sadly, it is the woman, Jill Brandana, who is proving to be a discredit to women in politics regardless of how large the arena is or how high the office. I would say this even if my husband were not one of her opponents. There are five reasons and indisputable facts why. (more…)


Wave of the future? June 13, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, shameless self promotion, writing/editing/blogging.
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What happens when American Idol meets the wild, crazy and competitive world of freelance writing? Deb Ng’s innovative approach to finding a blogger/columnist for Freelance Writing Jobs (FWJ), that’s what. For those not in the know, FWJ is one of the top-rated sites for freelance writers, a place that many from the experienced and serious freelancer writer to the novice go for information, to learn, to connect and for job leads.

Last Friday, Deb announced an American Idol-styled contest for the search. Interested applicants were to place their applications in the comments field of the Open Topic for the week, announced on Monday. This week’s topic was the pitch/query letter for this specific position. Between Monday when the topic opened and today at 12 noon, Eastern time when the topic was closed for new entrants, 22 people had thrown their hats into the ring. among them, me. A group of 12 will be selected from the first round, and a new topic will be posted for those 12 to present their responses next week and then voted upon at the end of the week. Then it’s lather, rinse, repeat until there is one person selected.

So, of course I’m asking for your vote, but this isn’t just about voting for Erika, not that I’m going to question any votes in my favor. Unlike Idol, which can turn into a popularity contest and get away from being about who has the pipes and presence for the recording industry, the contest at FWJ is about reading the applications and voting for the person that you think has the best qualifications, skills, street cred and passion for the job.

Deb even states in the instructions for voting:

When voting, please cast your vote with the following in mind:

  • The candidate’s ability to follow directions. One disappointment on my part is I asked candidates to pitch a specific freelance writing niche for their twice weekly blog posts and only a few did so.
  • The candidate’s experience – Is this someone you trust to share ideas and tips with you?
  • The candidates ability to create conversation with you, the FWJ community.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be the lucky winner, maybe not — but anyway that you look at it, Ng may just be onto something and sparked a new model for how potential employers who have a community-based medium screen job applicants. With that in mind:

View the applications here

Vote here

The game is on!

ETA: Voting is open through Wednesday, June 18 at 12 noon Eastern Time.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

What *not* to write (and why) June 8, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, writing/editing/blogging.
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The nature of blogs is such that commentary and dialog can occur. Most of the time, such conversations are good, even when there is criticism. Criticism can, in its best form, generate further conversation whether with the post originator or among other commenters. It can also provide food for thought and in some cases a perspective shift, or at the very least a “hmm, hadn’t thought of it that way before,” even if one is unyielding on their stance or opinion.

Here’s where it gets murky. (more…)

Look Ma, No Clones! June 5, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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Today, I can be in several places at once…and I didn’t even have to be cloned. Woo!

Can you tell I’m just a little punchy after being up very late because of the WAH Expo after-hours party? What happens when a bunch of work-at-home professionals kick back, let loose and enable the web cams? Crazy karaoke, that’s what. All I can say is: “Jazz Hands.”

Thankfully, though anything that I wrote prior to that is lucid, which you can view in the following places.

(I have been a busy, busy little bee.)

Join me at MediaPost.com in the Digital Editions group that I started. Let’s talk about digital magazines (a pet project and love of mine)…is print dead? I think not, but digital’s the wave of the future. Sign up and join in the discussion…you can be a digital edition professional or a reader…let’s talk!

Join me at MetroMode Media, where, for the next week, I am the featured Guest Blogger.

And, you can get a double dose of your Erika fix today at the THIRD & FINAL DAY of Business and Learning’s SPRING WAH Expo.

At 1 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be speaking about theWAHMmagazine, the only content-driven digital magazine for work-at-home parents and at 9 p.m. Eastern time, as a featured speaker I’ll be speaking about how editors are important to the small business owner, especially the work-at-home professional. But, it’s not just about me…there are many amazing presentations throughout the day along with networking and fun. And speaking of networking don’t miss Jennifer Gniadecki‘s talk about Non-toxic Networking, at 8 p.m. eastern, tonight’s other featured speaker.

View schedule.

Enter conference room.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 06.04.08 June 4, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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Join me tonight for this week’s edition of the Cyber Savvy show when my guest is Mary E. Lewis, founder and owner of Blog Stop Book Tours.

Mary will be talking about the virtual book tour, how she got started, and if you’re an author with a new or forthcoming title, you’ll want to be sure to tune in to find out how you can have a spot at Blog Spot Book Tours.

It’s a savvy new way for authors to reach their intended and new audiences…all in cyber space.

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about Blog Stop Book Tours.

Listen “Live” at 8 p.m. (click)

Now, if you can’t listen live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time because you’re at the Spring WAH Expo, both Mary and I will understand, as Mary presented at yesterday’s session, tomorrow, I’ll be presenting and tonight there are two fabulous featured speakers.

You can listen to the archived podcast, which is usually available about an hour after the live broadcast here.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

A huge tranformation June 2, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, Uncategorized, writing/editing/blogging.
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A series of unrelated events led to needing a new head shot. I needed one anyway, since the one that I was using was one of those done “on the fly” in the yard, with my husband playing the role of photographer. The giant maple tree that I sat under, while beautiful, cast way too much of a shadow on me. And several friends, who know me in real life have commented that I wasn’t smiling in my old head shot.

Then a few weeks ago, I was struck with a raging case of iritis. Iritis is an inflammation of the iris that causes extreme pain and light sensitivity. It is not fun by any stretch of the imagination. I had it once before, in the ’90s during my first semester of graduate school. Being an art historian, having a sudden and acute vision problem was alarming and scary. This time though, I knew what it was right away, but while not as scary, is still alarming, because as a writer, eyesight is pretty important. It’s all better now, but one of the side-effects, probably more from my age than from the iritis, is that I now have to wear my glasses more often. Far-sighted with an astigmatism, I formerly only needed them for reading and when my eyes got tired. Now, it’s most of the time that I need to wear them, even when my eyes aren’t tired. Why? It’s probably part occupational hazard, part the aging process, also clearly indicated by the new-found strands of silver hairs in my coif. (Somehow, they don’t show up in the photo.)

Follow that delicious development with post-partum hair loss. I knew it was bound to happen, but it’s still disarming to find clumps and clumps of hair coming off in your hands at every turn. So off it went…what was left of it anyway.

So bye-bye braids and hello sassy boy cut.



Well, at the very least, the new head shot makes me look more like a literary professional and less like a hippie-mama, as my darling husband would quip. At least that’s what I’d like to think. And hey, I’m smiling this time.

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Tools of the trade June 1, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, writing/editing/blogging.
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There are many tools that writers (and editors) use regularly. Staples in their bags of tricks are of course, paper, writing implements (many of them), style guides like the AP and Chicago and MLA manuals, correction tape, dictionaries and thesauruses and of course, the phone, computer and printer. Technology has certainly made the life of writers and editors much easier, the Internet allowing us to maintain constant contact (and incessantly check e-mail) and send and receive submissions with greater speed if not ease. It also means that we can network with one another more effectively, supporting one another and nurturing our craft from miles and timezones apart, going beyond the traditional in-person groups and salons. (That’s “salon” in the old sense, not the place where many of us wish we had time for touch-ups and pedicures.) Oh yeah, and we have an outlet for sharing the fruit of our creative juices, that might not be fit for traditional publication in extemporaneous writing on our personal blogs.

As a technogeek of sorts, I find that there are just some things I cannot live without, that go well beyond my arsenal of resources, laptop and DSL. Things like my headset, scanner and the external half-Terabyte hard-drive, which amazingly, between photos and files, will need to be upgraded much sooner than originally anticipated.

So imagine my surprise when my husband relayed a recent experience with a reporter. Scheduled for an interview, he arrived at his appointment. Now being married to a writer, who’s also a stringer for her local paper, he’s got a leg up on many other non-writers who would have been in a similar situation. Knowing that he would need to supply a head shot at the very least, he took it with him, in the event that the staff photographer was not scheduled to be at the interview. Many people would have arrived with physical copies of the photo and other graphic materials that might be needed, something that while is better than a photocopy, I hear from some professional graphic designers that I know, can still be a bit of an annoyance. And since my husband is also a bit of a technogeek, he arrived with his materials not on disk, but on a flash drive.

But back to the crux of his story. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the reporter had forgotten about the appointment and had to reschedule, she was shocked when he presented the flash drive to her. “I’ve never seen one of those before,” she told him. Now being technogeeks, both of us realize that we might be just a tiny bit more aware about “new technology” than others, especially if there’s a generation gap. (Not that flash drives can be described as “new.”) I asked him if that was the case. Nope. The twenty-something reporter was unfamiliar with a little tool of the trade, that as a writer, I find as essential as any of the other supplies that were enumerated at the beginning—the USB 2.0 portable flash drive. They’re pretty nifty little devices, aren’t they?

Portable flash drive

So, writers … what are your essential tools of the trade? Speak up and chime in by posting a comment.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 05.28.08 May 28, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, parenting & family.
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It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means … another installment of the Cyber Savvy show with Erika Geiss on Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio.

Continuing our theme for May on Cyber Bullying and e-venge, tonight’s guest is Michael Fertik, owner and creator of Reputation Defender. Mr. Fertik has helped hundreds of people find out what is being said about them online as well as help them create damage control (and take action when necessary) when it’s the most important.

Join us tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time to listen to an original broadcast, that was recorded earlier due to both my and Mr. Fertik’s schedules. Hear Michael’s story, learn about Reputation Defender, who is using the ‘Net to get the scoop on you and how you can protect yourself, your family and especially your children. After all, with the Internet, today, we do have a permanent record.

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about this very important topic.

Listen “Live” at 8 p.m. (click)

If you miss the original broadcast, the podcast will be available about an hour after the show airs: here.

We hope that you’ll tune in to tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show, with guest, Michael Fertik.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

To sleep or not to sleep…or rather, when May 23, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Cyber Savvy Show, Green & Frunchy, Humor & Satire, networking, parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff.
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My mom and grandma used to marvel at how I was such an early riser as a baby. Apparently, even after my birth, which was late at night and when most sane people getting ready to turn in, I was up the next morning…at dawn.

Now, not so much. My late-teen and early adult years turned me into a bona fide night owl. Maybe it was the late nights studying. Maybe it was the late nights partying. I don’t know. Whatever it was, it definitely made a marked shift in my sleeping vs. waking patterns and preference. In fact, in many ways, it’s what’s made being a work-at-home professional with a kid (um, a WAHM that is), a bit easier. It’s quiet at night. And the chances for any interruptions in thought process or work flow are slim to none. (more…)

What this mother’s day means to me May 11, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, parenting & family, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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Oooh! Ahhhh! Another Mother’s Day meme. Today, the blogosphere’s probably chock full of them. But beyond being a mama, and celebrating my third Mother’s Day with my husband and son, this Mother’s Day also marks an important anniversary for me in my writing career.

A year ago, my Mother’s Day gift from my husband was a set of books. Not just any books, mind you … I got the Deluxe Edition of the 2007 edition of the Writer’s Market and Christina Katz’ Writer Mama, and a couple of other writing resources. Nothing that sparked or shone when the light hit it just right. Nothing to make other women wonder “if he got it a Jared.” But they were things that were more valuable and precious than any new piece of raw hunk of crystal or ore harvested from the earth and then transformed into something pretty. (Not that I don’t like jewelry … don’t get me wrong.) (more…)