The Library Lady Goes Abroad

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If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad – Jane Austin

 

LL travel posts have moved to a shiny new website! To follow the Library Lady on her many adventures, click here.

Sell Your Writing – Face to Face

SEO Keyword Density: Writing 1.6%, Freelance Writing Business 9%, Freelance Writer.9%, Writer .8%

492034302-170x170Tell Them What You Do – It’s  a Good Thing

Well, that was embarrassing.  I shake my head as I contemplate my failed attempt at describing my freelance writing business. I had just bumped into a long lost friend at the mall and she asked what I was doing these days.
“I’m a freelance writer,” I replied with confidence.
“Really, so what do you write?”
Here’s where I dropped the ball.  “I um, write articles . . . and blog posts.”
“Oh,” she said. “What’s a blog?” (I know; my friend needs to get out more.)

Don’t Miss the Boat

Luckily, in this case, my lackluster response wasn’t a big deal, but it could have been. What if my acquaintance had been a potential employer or a friend of someone who was looking for a freelance writer. I’d have missed the boat. Here’s the thing about being a writer – word of mouth is important. And that day, my mouth wasn’t working.

So why did I stumble over my job description? Because I usually rely on my writing website  – that perfectly choreographed depiction of my best writing self.  Ideally, I don’t have to describe what I do, I simply link potential clients to my writer’s website, and shining examples of my craft pop up on the screen.

Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on a remote interaction or written version of our abilities. Occasionally, even in this high tech world, we need to talk to real people and promote ourselves face to face.

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Fortunately, this is not as frightening as it sounds if you give it some thought ahead of time.

Write the Script

I once attended a writing conference where would-be novelists could sign up to pitch their book ideas to an agent. We were advised to prepare a brief summation of the plot, along with an explanation of why this book would change the world.  We each had two minutes to sell our idea. In retrospect, this seems like good advice for freelance writers trying to promote their writing skills.

If you had one minute or less to describe your freelance writing business and how you stand out in a crowd, what would you say? Do you have a niche? Do you write business plans, or host a website on bitcoin?  Are you a technical writer or home and family blogger?  Take a few minutes to think of a short and snappy answer, then commit it to memory.

Needless to say, I’ve done some repenting for my previous lack of preparation, and the next time someone asks me what kind of writing I do, I’ll say something like this.

“I write content for personal blogs and businesses. I also write product descriptions and newsletters, but I specialize in real estate and travel. “

Or:

“Well since you ask, I‘m currently working on a neighborhood review for a real estate agent, I’m writing web content for a friend’s business blog, and a travel article for a vacation site.  I also host a couple of blogs of my own, and of course, I’m writing the great American novel.”

“Wow, you stay pretty busy.”

“I know, I like it that way. If you know anyone who needs a freelance writer send them my way.”

And there you have it. The next time anyone asks what you’re up to, you’ll know exactly what to say. Talking about your business is a snap when you’re prepared, and now you have a new way to promote yourself – face to face.
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Cube Crazy

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My young friend Noah is into the hard stuff, and that’s a little surprising for a 10-year-old. To be clear, I’m referring to Rubik’s Cube puzzles, not the hard stuff that leaves you with a hangover the next day.

Some of these are really complicated!

rubiks-cube-1390088__340The regular cubes-

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those that leave me scratching my head are child’s play for Noah.

Would you care to try the Rubik’s Snake Cobra, or the Triple Two by Two?  Here’s a  guaranteed headache – there’s a  Chinese version that has a thousand cubes and they’re all the same color. What?? (They do have tiny braille-like designs on each square.)

Noah recently attended a Cube convention, and his fan club came along to cheer him on.

In case you hadn’t heard, there are Speed Clubs and Rubik’s competitions everywhere these days.  Some are casual, low-stress events, while others are high stakes tournaments where “speed cubers” are flown around the world. These celebrities of the puzzle world are so good it makes your eyes spin. Catch this video of a boy in China who can solve three puzzles at once. Two with his hands and another with his feet.

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Library Lady’s Favorite Books of 2019

I’ve been doing a lot of travel writing lately but feel it’s time to get back to my roots and write  some book reviews!  I’m lucky enough to be a book-lover who works at a library, so have plenty of opportunities to learn about great reads. As many of you ask me for book recommendations, here’s some of my favorites for 2018.

Fiction Books

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Dear Mrs. Bird – A.J. Pearce

Set in London during WWII this book is about an adventurous young woman who takes a job as a war correspondent, or so she thinks, but when the dust settles, she finds herself working as an advice columnist for a women’s magazine. Emmaline can’t resist answering letters that her boss has deemed unfit, and so the fun begins.  Warm and funny, an eye opening look at life during the bombing of England.

gentlemanA Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

The Author takes us to Russia in 1922, where the aristocratic Count Alexander Rostov, has been condemned to death by a Bolshevik tribunal. Thanks to his popularity and social prominence his life is spared, but the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. As he adjusts to his new circumstances, we get to know this witty and elegant gentleman and the profound effect  he has on those around him. (One of my favorites!)

indigoIndigo Girl – Natasha Boyd

Set in the 1700’s, this is the story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a young Southern woman who must run her father’s plantation when he is called away.  To save the family from ruin, Eliza decides to grow Indigo, an unheard-of crop for that area.  With help from the plantation workers she attempts this risky endeavor, but not everyone is on her side. Based on a true story. “Reader’s Choice” winner for Salt Lake County Libraries.

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Rosie Bear Retires

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Rosie Bear

As many of you know, this blog originated in 2013 as “The Library Lady and Rosie Bear”.  While I wrote adult book reviews and web content, my lifelong friend and teddy bear Rosie, focused on children’s book reviews  and acted as adviser on all things blog related.

At this time, I am sad to announce Rosie’s  retirement. At the age of 61, she feels it is time to explore her options.  I can’t wait to see what fun plans this adventurous brown bear has in mind. Rosie’s parting words? “Read till your eye falls off.” Excellent advice for all.

As for the blog, it will  continue without her (bearly) and in the future will  be known as The Library Lady Writes.  For a humorous look at the world in general, travel tips and whatever else crosses my mind, please continue to read and follow.  I’m grateful for those who have been with me all these years, and hope to continue our acquaintance. Best to all!

Night of the Tarantula or, The Spider Transport Theory


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Is it Charlotte?

My son believes all creatures have the right to a long and happy life, and that even spiders who have wandered into the house should be gently transported back to the yard or garden from whence they came.

While I don’t always agree with this theory, I’m not entirely hard-hearted either. Largely due to repeated readings of Charlotte’s Web as a child, I’m willing to do my part to for the insect world and am happy to alert my son if a spider needs rescuing. I don’t intentionally step on ants, and I’ve been known to hold the door open and shoe flying things outside rather than resorting to more violent methods of dispatch. But even I have my limits, and these were sorely tested on the night of the tarantula.

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Cutting Cable

 

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We recently cancelled our cable T.V. subscription, and now get a wide variety of local stations with our rabbit ears antenna. Our favorite, “Grit”, features old westerns and lots of infomercials. We love the westerns, the infomercials not so much, but have found them to be exceedingly funny.

“Hurry!” my husband called from down the hall. “They’re selling a flashlight that works even when it’s frozen in a block of ice. I bought two!”

Thankfully he was kidding, about the purchase, but not the product.

Remember Al Borland form the 90’s sitcom Tool Time? He’s hawking a hose that magically rewinds itself when not in use. Not only that but it won’t break, even when stretched between two large pickups pulling in the opposite direction!

There’s a cooler that folds down into a compact, easily portable form. In fact it’s so  lightweight that Grandma is shown dancing with one of these in each hand. Trucks are also featured here. This cooler won’t break even when RUN OVER by a large pickup.

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