Tag Archives: blogging

I Finally Did It…


I’ve been blogging for fun for YEARS. I’ve been a writer for money for even longer. But today is the first time I’ve ever launched a blog…just for writing.

And by that, I mean this is the first blog I’ve had that was about writing and only writing.

I’ve always had a “coverall” blog, one that I used for everything; personal, writing, you name it. This blog was the closest I came to a “writer” blog. It has writer in its name and I dedicated pages for my resume and writing clips. And for a good while, it was good enough.

But now I think it’s time my writing and personal blogs were separate entities. Those of you who have been around for a bit know I’m not particularly shy about my opinions. If you need reminders, look here, here, here and here for examples. But I also know that some of my opinions might turn off potential clients, especially if they think that’s all I write about. So, I decided that clients will get access to my writing blog, aka KAFrancis, Writer, a site chock full of writing samples, updates on my writing work, etc. It’s clean, it’s polished, it’s professional and it’s as uncontroversial as I can make it and still have my personality shine through. Because even though I’m creating a relatively neutral territory for my work, I’m still not going to take certain kinds of work or work with a certain kind of person. Yes, money is money and it’s all green, but some is dirtier than others.

This also means that since clients will no longer be referred to this blog, I can say whatever the eff I want. Sure, there’s a chance someone tries to screw me over and sends a potential client to this blog, but hey, it is what it is. I want a forum where I can say what  I want and I’ve never been afraid of the repercussions of my statements.

Anyway, just wanted to give those of you who follow my writing career a heads up that that info has moved.

 

 

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Remember Your Worth!


Hiya!

This post is for my writer friends, but I think anyone could benefit from the reminder I’m about to layeth upon thee.

Yeah, I’m in one of *those* moods. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Anyway. Here’s a little story:

I was looking through job ads looking for new gigs. Cuz, you know when you freelance there is no such thing as too many eggs or too many baskets, no matter how pretty the eggs and baskets you already have happen to be.

I warned you: mood.

Also, this house needs stuff. I need stuff. The kids need stuff. In other words, I need to be buried in work so I can do what I need to do in this thing called life.

I found a couple of decent (foreshadowing kids!) possibilities so I started the tedious process of writing the cover letter, tweaking my resume and gathering my clips for requested writing samples. As I as was putting together the first app, I paused.

All of my sample clips paid a minimum of, we’ll say just south of three digits. But the gigs I had deemed decent paid a fraction of that.

Why in the hell was I going after gigs that paid less than the samples I was submitting to get the gig? 

No! If my samples were worth $100 (for example), then I should be using them to get gigs that pay AT LEAST THE SAME AMOUNT. Yes, I screamed that. And yes, I am screaming it to you.

This isn’t about knowing your worth. Just like mine, your writing samples and clips can tell you that much. This is about remembering and respecting your worth. Now, granted I do still need more work, but I refuse to go backward. So, I scrapped those gigs and now I’m on the lookout for better-paying ones, because I know I deserve better.

So my advice to anyone reading this: If you make X amount, then your next job, gig, whatever should pay X + more. Equal if you have to, but never ever less.

Anyway, that’s my story and advice for the day. Go forth and progress. 🙂

abundance achievement bank banknotes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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Miss Me With That


I was going to do a big ‘ol set up and gently ease y’all into this topic, but nah. I’m too old, too tired and quite frankly too ticked to extend that courtesy right now, so I’m going to jump right in:

Y’all* need to miss me with this “Oh, you understand that mindset, you must be like that or agree with it”…

Nonsense. (Not the word I wanted to use.) It’s both asinine and insulting. I’m going to start with asinine because it’s easier to explain.

The fact that I understand how people whose views you find distasteful, disgusting and even horrifying doesn’t mean (and I really cannot believe I have to actually say this) I agree with those views. It just means I took the time to try and figure out WHY these people hold these views. I’ve said this a dozen times, but what the hell, let me make it a baker’s dozen: You can’t fight what you don’t understand and you can’t win a game if you don’t know the rules.

Oh…I said baker’s dozen…must mean I agree that bakers can discriminate.

I can’t even…

Sigh. Anyway.

When a person goes to medical school it’s because that person wants to learn how the human body works and what it looks like when said body is malfunctioning so they can fix it. Mechanics learn about engines and other parts of vehicles for the same reason. It’s why stylists go to cosmetology school. Teachers get education degrees. Accountants study and take the CPA exam. Writers study English and grammar. The point is to learn about the subjects so we can…say it with me…UNDERSTAND.

You can’t help solve a problem if you don’t understand the problem. You can’t help people see things differently if you can’t see what they see, or understand why they it. Posting on social media how horrible you feel about how things are and that you “just don’t understand how or why people can be like this” without trying to find the answer is just words. Empty gestures. Close to meaningless and just short of useless. Are you willing to do the work to get to the point of understanding? If you aren’t, then I politely ask that you take several seats and let those of us who did the work DO the work.

As for the insulting part, do you know why I learned to try and understand why and how people think they way they do? Do you think I woke one Tuesday morning and decided , “Hey today would be a great day to learn how racists, incels, and homophobes tick. Let me head to the library!”

Uh, nah, bro.

I learned because for most of my life I’ve had to quickly determine if the person walking toward me means to harm me or is just being friendly. I’ve had to quickly decide whether the house/bar/ store I just walked into was safe for people like me or not. And I’ve had to decide whether or not a person was actually my friend or was trying to set me up for something horrible later. So, if my having this understanding and ability to see things and people for what and who they are bothers you that much…

You can miss me with that too.keep-calm-and-miss-me-with-your-bull

*Y’all = “some of y’all” in this instance, but that phrase would have ruined the flow.

 

 

 

 

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Hi There!


I know, it’s been a while, I’m sorry. If I had to describe the last six months of my life, I’d have to say it looked something like this:

tangled ball of yarn2

Between health issues, work issues and an overall displeasure with my life’s path, I knew changes had to be made. But look at all that tangle and mess! Where does one begin?

Well, I started with the obvious. I started taking some meds and I started changing up my diet. I’m still getting around to exercising more, but since the meds seem to be working, I’m dealing with less pain so now I can seriously look at the exercise options.

I also made some professional decisions. I went back to a regular, 9-5 day job like normal folks.

Yeah, stop laughing. It was worth a shot. It didn’t last long but I did learn some valuable lessons. No, I’m not sharing them here, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

There’s something I’ve always known about myself that I tend to ignore for a myriad of reasons. I don’t “do” normal. I don’t think normal, I don’t react to things the way normal people do, my brain has some different wiring. And I’m okay with that, until I start to believe when people say I shouldn’t be okay with it. When people (who for the most part only want me to be happy) tell me that if I just “play along,” or “play the game,” or “think of it as a role and I’m going for the Academy Award,” I’m tempted to buy into it because quite frankly, being me is exhausting. So, I try it. Then I quickly remember why I stopped playing along in the first place.

Because you see, as exhausted as I am being me, at least I don’t feel defeated. As tired as my own brain makes me, at least at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and stare down my own reflection. And as weary as being me can make me, at the end of the day, I’m proud that I am who I am and when I get up the next day, I’m ready to do it all again.

If that’s not enough for some people, if the real me isn’t good enough, I really don’t give a damn.

Okay, got a bit off topic, but apparently I needed to say that, so there you go. 🙂 Now to the real reason for this post: I’m switching this blog to writing only. That’s kinda what it was supposed to be from the beginning but me being me, (see I get in my own way!) I kinda let it become a catch-all. Well not anymore. This blog is about writing. My books, articles, rants about clients, all that will be here. My personal thoughts have a new home: Unapologetically Mocha. Follow me over there for my thoughts, feeling and rants about the world.

This is just my attempt to unravel the tangles and make my life more doable. If I had to wager, I’d guess my life currently looks like this:

not so tangled balls of yarn

Progress! 🙂

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Apparently…


I need to declare my worthlessness to the universe more often. I had one of my most productive days in a very long time today. It’s as if the universe looked down on me and said, “Well, you know that the first step is admitting you have a problem.”

Well, as great as it was to get stuff done, I’m so far behind from such a long dry spell, I’m still not out of the woods. So, Universe, if you could see fit to keep things rolling tomorrow that’d be great. I had forgotten what it was like to actually get stuff done. It was awesome. I want to feel that again.

Don’t really have much to say otherwise. I’m living a pretty boring life right now. But that’s what happens when you’ve been sick. It throws everything off. But this is the week leading up to my Birthday week, so I’m determined to get as much done this week as possible so I can enjoy my birthday week. I’m getting excited for that. It’ll be fun! I’ll fill y’all in on the possible activities tomorrow.

Okay, I’m off to do a bit more work before calling it a night. Namaste all!

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If you’re snarky and you know it write a post…


I’m in a strange place today. Not in a bad mood, not in a good mood, but in some sort of mood nonetheless. When I’m in this kind of mood, I tend to be snarky.

For those not in-the-know, snark is annoyed sarcasm wrapped in humor. I’m quite frequently sarcastic (you know, in case you didn’t get the memo), and annoyance and I go way back, so snark and I being acquainted should come to a shock to no one. But today, I decided to share my snark in a whole new way. Because I’m a giver. Here are a few of my snarly comments about the happenings of the day so far:

(Sidenote: how many of you are regretting being happy that I’m blogging again? Careful what you wish for, eh? 😉 )

Email subject line: How long is a real novel?

My snarky response: One word longer than a fake one.

*****

Post on Facebook from Allen B. West calling Bernie Sanders a democratic socialist

Why can’t you be more like your wife? You sir, are an idiot. Democratic socialist =/= social democrat. If you can’t make a point without lying, then stay dull and quiet.

******

Email from potential client: I need 500 words with the keyword phrase used 10 times (the phrase was six words long and ridiculous). I’ll pay you $5.

My response: Yeah, no…that’s not even realistic.

Reply: Why do you writers keep turning down this gig? It’s not hard to throw the keywords phrase in.

My response: You really think the keyword phrase is the issue? Don’t get me wrong, 12 percent of your copy being keywords is a bit ridic, but only wanting to pay $5 is more of an issue.

Reply: Okay, so make it 600 words. For $6.

My response: We’re done here.

*******

Guy at gas station: You gettin’ gas? (I’m standing next to the car, nozzle in gas tank)

Me: Nope. Glitter. My car is too fabulous for gas.

*****

Phone call from mystery shop scheduler:

Scheduler: hey Kim, is there any way you can squeeze in an emergency shop?

Me: When?

Scheduler: Today.

Me: Where?

Scheduler: Columbus. It has to be done by 3 pm.

Me: It’s 1:30.

Scheduler: Is that a problem? I see you’re in WV and OH is right next to it.

Me: It’s two hours from here.

Scheduler: Not according to our tool.

Me: According to your tool, I’m five miles from my house, even though I’m sitting in it. Trust me, it’s two hours away.

Scheduler: <getting annoyed> According to our tool, it’s only 45 miles from you. If you don’t want to do it you don’t have to lie about it.

Me: You need to put a “1” in front of that 45 lady. And you’re right, I don’t want to do it, but it’s not because of the distance. It’s because the only successful tool in the situation is you.

I’m pretty sure I’m not safe for polite society today, so I’m just gonna color and call it a day.

Jpeg

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Free Speech Does Not Exist


Yes, you read that correctly. There is no such thing as free speech. There was never supposed to be such as thing as free speech.

“But Kim,”  your shocked voices are screaming, “there IS free speech. It’s covered by the First Amendment!”

Um…No, it’s not.

Freedom of speech is covered. Freedom to say what you want and not be persecuted by your government is covered. But as the Great Haired One and many others have recently found out…

Speech is not free. You are free to speak about almost anything you choose in this country.

  • Democrats and Republicans can insult each other as much as they want.
  • The KKK can leave fliers anywhere they want, even in a black neighborhood (though I think they’ve missed their target demographic).
  • People can stand on sidewalks wearing sandwich signs stating “Repent: The end is nigh”
  • I can write this blog post.

But for every phrase you speak and every line you utter, there is a cost. For you see, although you are free to say what you want without fear of government persecution, Freedom of Speech does not protect you from the court of Public Opinion. And sometimes that court doesn’t side in your favor.

So, the next time someone says, “It’s free speech!” remind them it’s FREEDOM of Speech that’s free. Free speech costs extra.

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Random Thoughts on Race (No Hidden Meaning Here)


A few minutes ago an article came through my Facebook newsfeed. “Rachel Dolezal’s Unintended Gift to America.” The blurb under the title: “Troubled as she is, she has opened up a candid, long-delayed conversation about the meaning of racial identity.”

On the surface, this seems like a wonderful thing. Except for the fact that I have lost count of the number of titles and subtitles I’ve read that said practically this same thing. Whenever the latest race issue rears its ugly head, as the story starts to die and people are about to move on to the next shiny news story, someone trots out the “We’ve started a conversation,” or “We’ve begun a dialogue” mantra. And again, that’s well and good.

Question…

When are we going to FINISH the conversation? Cuz, I gotta tell ya, I’m tired of talking about the same things over and over.

Race is a man-made construct. It was created to divide people. And if we human beings aren’t good at anything else, we’re damn good at pointing out differences.  We don’t just separate our whites from our colors,  we separate our whites into different shades and our darks into different hues. I could go into reasons both biblical and historical to explain why this happened, but that’s not what this post is about.

Here’s what it’s about, and another question…

Why does it matter?

In 2015, this is what we are:

Race A blames Race B for what Race B did generations ago.

Race B doesn’t like Race A because Race B thinks it’s superior because of how some of Race A behaves.

Interestingly enough, Race A and Race B will come together in hatred of Race C, again because of how some of Race C behaves.

Pick a continent. Any continent. It applies.

But, here’s a concept; instead of hating an entire race of people because of the acts of a few, why not just hate the acts of a few? You don’t chuck the whole set of china because of one broken plate. You don’t dump the car because of one broken taillight and you don’t throw away the whole bag of cookies because some of them are broken. You fix what you can, discard what can’t be fixed and you enjoy what’s left. We can do that with dinnerware, autos and cookies but not with people?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, but I am saying that we’re all human beings. We are all born the same, we all need the same things to survive. We all bleed red. We all have whites of our eyes and black pupils that can go from pin heads to nail heads. Some of us are dark, some of us are light, some of us are black and some of us are almost transparent, but our hearts beat the same, our brains form thoughts in the same manner and deep down we all know that hate based on a man-made construct is stupid.

Don’t believe me? Watch young children play. They could care less what color the other kids are. As long as there is room on the merry-go-round and space in the sandbox, kids will play together. Happily. Forever.

I know it’s going to take an invasion from Race #42 for the races on this planet to start acting like they have some sense. And I know that for the most part this blog post is preaching to the choir. But if we’re going to have the continuous loop of “race issue occurs/social media all atwitter/furor dying down/insert comment about dialogue here,” I at least want my blog post to stand as a reminder that we still have a conversation to finish.

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Channeling My Inner Peter Gibbons


For a while now I’ve not been happy with my career trajectory.

And by “awhile,” I mean several years. Heading into a decade actually.

Now technically, I am a writer. I write words. I get paid. I write more words…

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The problem: I don’t like the words I’m writing.

The other problem: I don’t like what I’m getting paid for the words I write.

The third problem: I don’t like the crap I have to deal with while writing the words I write.

Not liking what I write + Not liking the pay for what I write + Dealing with crap while I write =

A PETER GIBBONS MOMENT

I hope that most of you get the reference to the guy who was the hero of all cubicle dwellers in the early ’00. But for those of you who are not familiar with the guy or the movie in which he appeared, check this out:

This is the attitude that greeted me this morning. It’s not the first time, but this go around it was accompanied with a declarative statement:

I’m done.

I’m done working for peanuts.

I’m done writing about stuff I don’t give a crap about.

I’m done with being too tired to work on writing I WANT to do because I have to work on so much of the crap to make ends meet.

I’m done dealing with clients who do not appreciate what I do for them.

I’m done feeling guilty for crocheting, chainmailling or just watching a tv show and not working at the same time.

I don’t like working for peanuts, for people who don’t appreciate what I do for them anyway so I’m just not going to do it anymore.

I’m. Done.

So here is my plan:

By the end of next month, I will have my book completed (“From the Minds of my Family” is the tentative title. I also like “Words with Skip and Mary,” but that might be limiting.) and a solid first draft for my online dating book. No idea what I’m going to call it.

I have two clients that I will continue to work with because I actually enjoy working with them. I will seek new clients, but I’m going to be picky.

I’m going to go back to my first love, which is feature writing.

And finally, I’m going to crochet and chainmaille more, hang out with my granddaughter and watch tv….without feeling guilty about any of it.

Life is about to get more interesting because I’m finally going to, you know, LIVE IT!

🙂

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46(?)/46/46 – Day #6: It’s Monday


That’s the best thing I can say about it. It’s been a long day, I’m cranky and I feel like I am receiving karmic retribution for every stupid, mean or obnoxious thing I’ve done in the last decade. Oh well, this will pass.

But I’m tired of feeling like I’m sitting around, spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I think I’ve made changes that will correct that, but I’m impatient by nature and want it fixed now.

Yesterday actually.

Well, I’d love to stay and chat about any number of random or mundane things, but I have deadlines. Lots of deadlines. Yeah.

FYI – I’m not complaining about having too much work, I’m complaining about  the work process. That’s all I’m going to say. Sometimes the process sucks. Sometimes it’s awesome. It’s like any other career. Some days, you wake up, smile, sip some coffee and get right to work. Other days, the last thing you want to do is string words together in any cohesive order. Today would be one of those latter days.

The thing is, although I don’t want to write today, I’m blogging about not wanting to write.

The humor of the concept is not wasted on me.

Later peeps!

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