Tag Archives: life

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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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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So I’m Still…


trying to figure all this out. LOL

I get asked a lot of questions.

What’s your favorite color?*

Who’s your favorite band?**

Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke?***

Why do you always wear bandanas?****

For the most part, I just answer the question and keep it pushin’. But there’s one question that makes me cringe when dread whenever it’s asked because I never know how to answer it.

What do you do for a living?

UUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

Now you might be wondering, “Kim, why is this question so hard? Surely you know how you make a living!”

Well, yeah, of course, I do. But explaining it to people…

UUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

So, why is answering this question so difficult? Let me show you:

Person: Hi, Normal Person, what do you do for a living?

Normal Person: I’m an accountant.

Person: Oh, cool.

—————————————-

Person: Hi Another Normal Person, what do you do for a living?

Another Normal Person: I’m an attorney.

Person: Oh, okay. Cool.

———————————————————-

Person: Hi Yet Another Normal Person, what do you do for a living?

Yet Another Normal Person: I’m a teacher/ mechanic/stylist/Walmart Greeter’

Person: Very good.

———————————————————-

Person: So, Kim, what do you do for a living?

Me: Do I tell them I’m a writer? If I say I’m a writer, which kind do I tell them? Copywriter? Articles? My books? Do I tell them I’m a mystery shopper? A former teacher turned craft pro? A YouTuber? What? WHHHAAAAATTTT?!?

Person: You DO know what you do, right?

Me: <laughing nervously> Of course I do! I’m an animal anesthesiologist.

No, I’ve never actually told anyone that, but I’ve been sorely tempted. It would be easier for me to fake my way through that conversation than to explain how one person has five different professions (with countless subsets). Because that’s just not normal.

Yeah, I know, neither am I, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now.

Or is it?

Sometimes, and especially when I have my planner sitting in front of me, I wonder why and how I manage to juggle all this. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, I manage it. (I’m kinda taking a break from YouTube at the moment until I can upgrade my equipment or at least settle on a place to film on a regular basis.) I guess I am not a one job/career kinda person. I’ve got too many interests and way too short an attention span to just do one job every day for the rest of my life. I thrive on trying to write blog posts and articles, complete mystery shops, and still have enough time to get my items made so I can sell them (and donate part of the proceeds to charity). I’m no longer in an actual classroom anymore, but writing, YouTube, and even mystery shopping to an extent help to educate people. I cannot imagine my life without all of these things in it.

So, instead of fighting the steering wheel, I’m going to turn into the skid. The next time someone asks:

Someone: Hey, Kim, what do you do for a living? I’m going to respond with:

I’m an unconventional educator who uses words, videos and covert operations to inform the masses. Oh and I make and sell stuff.

Then while they’re unpacking all that, I’ll run away.

*Red

**Too many to choose.

***Coke

****Stay tuned…

perfect ball of yarn

 

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My Return to the Beginning of the End of the Start


Hi everyone,

They say the first step to conquering a problem is admitting you have one.

I’m floundering.

There I said it.

I have spent the last couple of years going through the motions. I’m all of the things I said I wanted to be, but low-level and or barely. I’m kinda tired of being a “kinda” writer. I’m tired of being a “sorta” jewelry/accessory designer and creator. I’m tired of “kinda” dating, being “sorta” social…

This ish is getting old. No, it’s been old, I’m just owning up to it.

I thought posting videos on YouTube was the answer, but all it really did was illuminate the fact that I had NO IDEA where I wanted my life to go. I want the platform to mean something, to stand for something. I want to use my channel to ultimately help those who need it.

But damn if I can figure out how to get there.

So, I’m starting over. No “sorta” or “kinda,” just “.”.

However, I’m not sure where THE beginning is. If I take it ALLLL the way back, I caught the craft and writing bug practically at the same time. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 10, and I first discovered crafts were cool that same year as well.

I honed my writing and I know that my passions lie in personal essays and How-to/Help topics. Anything that helps someone is fair game. Craft wise, I lean toward crochet, chainmaille and Native American loom beadwork. I do other crafts as well, but these are the ones I always have supplies on hand for projects when the mood strikes.

As a weird aside, I include commentary on political and social issues a form of helping people. We’ll never get along without an open dialogue and free communication.

So, to summarize:

I’m a crafty writer who enjoys helping people via crafts and social commentary via YouTube.

A video of my making scarves with beaded uplifting quotes for everyone coming soon!

I kid…I kid.

Sorta.

I do want to figure out a way to combine all these interests. So, maybe I’ll record (a how-to?) me making a craft item that ties directly into a social issue I want to discuss, sell it and donate part of the proceeds to a charity.

Huh…

That just might work. What do you think? Let me know!

Anyway, this is my attempt to figure out my life and help others at the same time. Think it could work? Think it has a fighting chance? Again, let me know.

 

 

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So…About These New Ideas…


I’ve been hinting at these new plans and ideas I had about my career, so I figured I’d let you all in on the secret.

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might remember that I said I was thinking about starting a vlog about my dating experiences. The idea was met with high praise.

Well…

I’m gonna do it. I’m going to start a channel on YouTube called Unapologetically Mocha. In case that sounds familiar, that’s also the name of my Instagram page. It will also soon be an active Twitter account and a Facebook page.

Yeah, I’m going big with this one.

Provided I work up the nerve to post a video.

Those of you who know me realize that I hate Hate HATE how I look in photos. Well that goes double when it comes to video. I just think I look goofy.

But…

I truly have a lot I want to say and I really think video is the perfect format for it, so I’m taking the advice from a book that I recently read How to Be a Bawse: I’m going to step out of my comfort zone. It’s the only way I’m going to accomplish what I want to achieve.

Sidenote: Read this book. It’s awesome. Lilly is awesome. I’ve watched her videos a ridiculous number of times.

Back to my plan.

I’m writing the script for my first video now. I’m picking out my outfit. I’m deciding what to do with my hair. I might even get a manicure.

Yeah, it’s THAT serious. 🙂

But once I get past the first two or three videos, I’m gonna need help from you guys. I need ideas. What do you want to see? Anything in particular you want me to talk about? Keep in mind, this won’t be just about dating…

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation via email, text, or Facebook and while you’re typing out a lengthy reply you realize, “This would be so much easier if I just picked up the phone?” Well, consider my vlog that phone call. I’m going to talk about my dating adventures plenty. But I’ll also rant about other things….think of my vlog as an extension of my Facebook page. Same content, just in video format.

Anyway, I just wanted to *finally* let you in on what I was planning. Like I said, I’m writing the script now, so watch this space and my Facebook page for the launch date.

I hope you come with my on this new adventure. I haven’t been this excited about a new venture in a long time. And seriously, if you have ideas about what something you want to see, let me know, either as a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Chat soon! 🙂

 

 

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Two Weird Experiences and the Lessons That Came with Them


Hiya peeps!

I’ve had an interesting (last) week. Things have happened that have made me really think about what I want to do with my life and my career. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and I think I’m formulating a great plan that will allow me to accomplish my goals while contributing to the greater good. I can’t wait to tell y’all about it.

Next week. Later this week.

Sorry guys, but I have other things to discuss today. Don’t worry, they’re just as important and interesting.

And if not, you’ll definitely be back next week later this week to hear all about my plans.

<insert evil genius laugh here>

Anyway…

I want to talk about two things I experienced in the last couple of weeks that have made me wonder about the state of the world. I’ll explain and then offer commentary at the end.

On Mother’s Day, I was coming back from a trip to the store to pick up aluminum foil. We were having a cookout and you can never never have too much aluminum foil. As I drove, I noticed a man who was surrounded by scattered grocery items and a bicycle that was sitting on its side. I surmised that he had fallen off his bike and his purchases had been tossed during the fall.

There wasn’t any place for me to pull over and he was standing in front of a driveway so I had to drive to the end of the block, turn around in the gas station parking lot, double back and park in the lot next to the one where the man was standing. As I pulled into the lot, another car pulled in in front of me. We both got out and approached the man, both of us armed with an empty plastic bag. By the time we got to him, another  person was helping him retrieve his groceries. We joined in and helped pick up his items. The whole time the man just kept saying, “I can’t believe I fell over like that.” While we were rebagging his items, a car slowed down and lowered its window. A woman offered the man a canvass shopping bag. He tried to turn it down, but she said, “so you have something sturdier for the next time.” As we all walked away in our different directions, I felt like humanity wasn’t all lost and that humans still had a fighting chance.

And then I went to Sheetz.

Now, I’m not bashing the entire company. I’m not even bashing everyone at this particular location. But I am bashing one employee from now until the next 6th Saturday in June. I ordered food online from Sheetz. As I was leaving to pick it up, the daughter’s boyfriend asked if I would grab him a beer. I said “sure,” he handed me the money, I left and headed for the store.

I get there, and it’s business as usual. Lots of teens and 20-somethings. Gas and oil workers grabbing their greasy food and cases of beer. Exhausted looking parents getting gas and snacks and doing a last potty break before getting on the road.

I get in line so I can pay for my food. There’s three or four black guys in line in front of me. Probably Diva’s age, or a little younger. Well one of them apparently didn’t have an id, so the cashier refused to serve any of them. They were annoyed and disappointed, but they weren’t making a scene.  While I was waiting in line, I remembered I actually wanted a raspberry ale, so I jumped out of line, got my ale and got back in line. At this point, the guys had left.

I get to the counter and I pay for my food and alcoholic beverage. The cashier was pleasant enough to me, but I could tell he was agitated about the previous customers. At this point the guys had left the store and were outside, standing by what I am guessing was their car. The cashier gave me my receipt and I ventured to the food side to wait for my order.

Once I had my food and was leaving, I realized that I forgot to buy J’s beer. Not only that, but I had left his money for his beer in the car. So I went to my car (which was parked directly in front of the doors), dropped off my stuff, grabbed J’s money and went back into the store. I walked directly back to the beer cooler, grabbed the beer and walked straight to the checkout. I said, “Okay, this is the last time you’re gonna see me in this line.”

And then then wheels fell off the bus.

Cashier: Sorry but I can’t sell this to you.

Me: Why not?

Cashier: Because if one person in the group doesn’t have ID, then I serve anyone in the group.

Me: What group? I came here by myself.

Cashier: I saw you talking to someone outside. I can’t sell this to you.

Me: No, you didn’t see me talking to anyone outside because I didn’t talk to anyone. I went to my car which is (pointing out the door) right there, dropped off what I had already purchased and came directly back in to buy what I forgot.

At this point, the realization of what he was implying set in.

Me: Oh, I get it. Since there’s a group of black guys and I’m black, we must all be together, right? So, I’m buying this one, lone 40 ouncer so they can pass it around among tbemselves?

Cashier: I can’t sell this to you. You can get as violent as you want, but it’s not going to happen.

Admittedly, I was mad. But violent? Seriously?

Me: There is nothing violent about me. I’ve said nothing violent, I’ve just called you out on your racist profiling. Funny…you didn’t have an issue with selling me the ale, but the beer is a problem? Why? I can’t drink a 40? You said you saw me talking to someone outside? Point them out. Where are they? You’ve got cameras? Let’s look at the footage. Show me who I was talking to. Please, I’m dying to know!

At this point, the manager comes over and asks what’s going on. The cashier tells him that he saw me talking to someone outside and because of that, he doesn’t want to sell me the beer.

Manager: Sorry ma’am, but if someone in the group doesn’t have id, no one in the group can be served.

This again. So, once again, I explain that I came in alone, made a purchase alone, realized I forgot to buy the beer came back in (say it with me) alone and was trying to make this last purchase…alone.

Me: And like I told the cashier, if you’ve got footage of me talking to someone during the 15 seconds it took for me to walk to my car, grab money and reenter the store, then I’d love to see it.

Manager: (looks at cashier) go ahead and sell it to her.

Cashier: (shakes head and backs away from the register): If you want to sell it to her, then you ring her out. I’m not a racist.

Me: Maybe you aren’t. And if that’s the case, then stop acting like one.

So now I’m boycotting this particular Sheetz location. I have no problem with a store adhering to an underage drinking and tobacco purchase policy. But I do have a problem with someone who uses that policy to be a douche at best, racist at worst.

So, my takeaways from these two encounters:

  1. there are still good people in this world who see the good in others and are willing to come together for a common goal.
  2. There are still jerks in this world who will look for any reason to promote a stereotype or make negative assumptions…and then lie about it to cover their own butts.
  3. The gas station down the street from Sheetz has the same beer.

Later this week I’ll be back with some announcements and to fill you in on some other things going on with me. Until then, have a good week! 🙂

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Coming Events


This post is a breather from the craziness of the last few days. I’m planning a roadmap for the blog, so I figured this was as good a time as any to let you in on what I have planned.

I think it is important to educate my fellow writers — especially the ones just starting out. This is not a career for the thin-skinned, those lacking passion or anyone who can’t dig deep and work hard. However, there is nothing like seeing your byline, or receiving messages from your readers thanking you for something you’ve written (Even the negative messages are cool!).

So, I’m going to tell you how I went from “wannabe writer” to writer, with bits of my life thrown in for fun. A writer’s professional and personal life often intertwine, and it seems silly for me to write about one part of my life, but not the other.

So, there will be lessons to learn, hopefully some things to laugh and think about, but most of all, I hope it will be enjoyable for you to read.

And if there is anything in particular you’d like me to address, shoot me a message or leave a comment and I’ll try my best to accommodate you. In many ways, this is just as much your blog as mine.

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