Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Multitasking Mom's Soul ... Write For Them!

Have you ever wanted to write for the ever-popular Chicken Soup series of books? Now is the time! Check out this great possible book they are thinking about publishing. They are waiting for YOUR submission! Deadline is July 31, and some guidelines are below. Good luck! Oh, and if you missed Chicken Soup for the Soul Inspiration for Writers like I did, you can purchase it here at Amazon. This can be my late birthday present from my husband!

Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide 
Moms are the busiest people in the world! They juggle kids, husbands, jobs, housework, paid work, volunteer work, parents, pets, etc. How do they do it? Sometimes they are successful and get everything done. Sometimes... disasters happen! Busy moms - here is your chance to pass along your words of wisdom, your lessons learned, your funny or embarrassing moments. Pretend you're talking to a friend and share your wonderful stories with other busy moms. The deadline for story and poem submissions is July 31, 2013.

Recipe for A Winning Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple, inter-denominational, living art piece that touches the soul of the readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. They are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.
Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an ending that often closes with a punch, creating emotion rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have heart, but also something extra…an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A story that causes tears, laughter, goosebumps or any combination of these. A good story covers the range of human emotions.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Make sure that you introduce the character(s). Please know that your story should be written in the first person.
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh or get goose bumps (the good kind!) Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?
3. The story should start with action; it should include a problem, issue or situation. It should include dialogue and the characters should express their feelings through the conflict or situation. It should end in a result, such as a lesson learned, a positive change or pay-off.
4. Above all, let it come from your HEART! Your story is important!
What a Chicken Soup for the Soul story IS NOT:
1. A sermon, an essay or eulogy.
2. An "as told to" story written in the third person.
3. A term paper, thesis, letter or journal entry.
4. About politics or controversial issues.
5. A biography or testimonial.
Story Specifications
1. We are no longer able to accept or consider any submissions sent by fax or postal mail. Please know that the only way to submit your stories or poems to us is via our website: If you have any problems when trying to submit, please contact our webmaster Responses usually take several days to receive.
2. Stories and poems must be non-fiction and should be no longer than 1,200 words.
3. No anonymous, author unknown or "as told to" submissions, please.
4. We prefer that you submit your stories only once, but if you believe your story fits in more than one book topic, please indicate which other topics you have submitted it for in the Comments line on the submission form. Submitting the SAME story more than once to the SAME topic causes delays, so please resist the urge to submit your story multiple times to the same topic.
5. Be sure to keep a copy of the stories and/or poems that you submit to us. Please do not contact us and ask us to send you a copy of anything you have previously submitted. We are unable to do that.
6. Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. The only exception to this is if your work has only been published in a small local publication with limited circulation.  
If the story or poem you wrote is published by us, you will be paid $200 upon publication of the book plus you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Working From Home During Summer

I'm assuming that if you're reading this you likely have kids who are school-age who are affecting your working environment. Youngers throw a different dynamic into the mix, and I will have special posts just for them coming up (posts about Babies, about Toddlers, about Homeschooling and more).

I'm often asked how I work from home while caring for my own 5 children, as well as having extra kids over. How do I keep track of everyone? Do I hire a sitter?

Check out my article at North Texas Kids on How To Manage the Kids When You Work From Home.

I'd love for you to share your tips in the comments section here or over at North Texas Kids, and share with your Work-at-Home friends!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Getting Through a Large Project

Lately I might find myself with several large proofreading and writing jobs on my to do spreadsheet. The deadlines are looming, and I don't know how I'm going to get them all done, but I know I will. Here are some tips for you who might have a large project you're working on from home.

  1. Take frequent breaks. Instead of looking a 100-page project like I have to do it all RIGHT NOW just because my kids are sleeping or are watching a movie or are out of the house, I take it in bite-size chunks. I might stop after every 10 pages and go to the bathroom, refill my water, make some coffee, check in with my Facebook peeps, send a few tweets to promote some blog posts, do 10 sit-ups, return a phone call or ...
  2. Reward myself with a piece of chocolate! Rewards are important! I'm not talking about a Prada bag here ... something small to give yourself a pat on the back for working from home, which is something many people want to do, but which few possess the discipline to do.
  3. Consider breaking up the job into chunks on your task sheet or Excel spreadsheet or whatever you use to stay organized and keep track of your deadlines. Instead of writing "8 BlogHer Tweets for SlimFast" with a deadline of June 30, I might assign 8 separate tasks, breaking out the income each task will bring, the time each task will take, etc. That way I can cross of each item as I do it and ensure I stay on task and on time. On that 100-page project for proofreading, I might assign 10 different tasks to it to make it seem manageable.
  4. Try to break up and schedule the project so you can still have a life! This is super important to me since I homeschool lightly year-round and want to make sure we hit the pool or do something fun outside of the house almost daily.
What are your work-from-home tips?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How Does a Parent Conduct a Phone Interview?

Here's my latest dilemma:

I need to interview a couple of sources for a magazine piece. The editor prefers I do it over the phone. I've never done this! It's going to be hard to do on phone with kids running around and no husband in town this week. Plus I have no recording equipment and don't want to misquote. Email lets them think about their answer and there's no misquoting.

Here's a great post about pros and cons of email interviews.

I asked the editor if I could do email interviews and she said it's not her preference and it's not the norm but she trusts me to make the call.

PARENTS ... how do you conduct telephone interviews for magazine articles?

Update: I'm reading that g-recorder might be the way to go and I can try it for free. I'm REALLY uncomfortable thinking about using Skype for my interviews while I have kids running around the house. It's a plus that I write for parenting and family magazines, but I should be professional.

Still ... I don't want to have to hire a sitter so I can do an interview! I'm thinking a good kid movie and some sugar treats might do the trick. And threatening them with NO POOL TIME if they interrupt my interview?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Rockin' Income and Sources for May 2013

Total income for May 2013 = $1,313.94

Here were April's numbers. Quite a change, and all while I homeschool 5 kids and take on June Cleaverdom!

Disclaimers: For the record, I have no reason to lie to you about any of the income I’m reporting, and the most underhanded, nasty, smarmy thing I’m going to do is give you my referral links so I can make a whopping dime or so off of each person who signs up to do what I’m doing! The dollar amounts I show are what I actually RECEIVED in my hot little hand or PayPal account, not what I EARNED because things show up at different times and take different amounts of time to come around.

This all means: I do not count my eggs before they are in my PayPal account. Now, let's get started:

1. Fiverr. I received $763 here in May, only because I didn’t sign up until April 16th. The majority of my income is from proofreading in the wee hours of the morning when my kids sleep, but I also have gigs for selling my ebooks cheap, writing blog posts, selling reprint articles and promoting things via my social media outlets. I've disable the writing gigs and now focus on proofreading and am growing my Error Police Force so we can take on more word crimes as a unit. I received $120 on private proofreading projects.

2. Bubblews. Signed up here on April 26 and received $150.51 by the end of May.  

3. Regional Parenting Magazine print and online articles and reprints: $120. Yeah, still working on the 5th edition of the ebook (see right sidebar for 4th edition) and someday plan to query the nationals but am too busy on Fiverr!

4. BlogHer. Made about 5 more bucks for May, but have not received payouts yet. Added one ad and a TV dealy jobber to my main blog, plus they have me in another $50 tweeting program.

5. AdSense. HOLY FLIPPING CRAP, I got a check from them for $110.40 on May 28. Keep in mind that's for about 2 years of blogging! Still, I will take it and not complain!

6. I don’t make any money here, but it’s fun to receive free stuff in the mail and just do a quick review. Then you can either keep, regift or sell what you got!

7. PostLoop. I'm going to send you here because I have a lot of information on this and it needed its own post. Bottom line: probably worth it and potentially $10/hour while you watch TV. I ended up receiving $5.08 from them very quickly after cashing out, as in the same day.

8. LikeNation. I have to push them again this month because I've seen my followers increase, which is good for a lot of reasons; namely, the bigger my fan base, the more I can charge for social media stuff like on Fiverr and Sponsored Tweets (AND I look better to get stuff on Tomoson to review). You know how you enter giveways and have to like and follow countless people? Well, if you have your own sites that need a’followin’,check this out. You like and follow and get “points” to do it. Then you can post what you want liked or followed and can use those points you earned. So you’re trading favors.

9. SponsoredTweets. I've been with them for probably 2 years and rarely get jobs. Earlier this year I got a bunch of tweeting jobs, then they dried up. I played with lowering and increasing my per-tweet rate, but I didn't get any more business. I'm was sitting at $21.92 and there is a $2 fee for cashing out under $50, so I just went ahead and did it on May 28 to see how long it would take to receive it. Well, forget that ... I kept getting error messages. I'll try again.

10. I forgot to mention that I also do MyPoints and have for years. If you want to sign up under me you have to send me your email address ... they are dumb to not have a referral LINK! Anyway, I've earned about 31,000 points there and 2,000 points is about a $10 gift card to all sorts of places (your choice). So I've gotten a lot gift cards. You get points by clicking through on email, doing surveys, surfing the web and BUYING STUFF with COUPONS!
11. I briefly tried writing for a penny a word and did not love it, but I did get paid $30 for doing it.

12. Ebook sales from were only $14.95 because I am too busy with other stuff to work on the ebook UPDATE. I also sell the ebooks through Fiverr but count those in Fiverr income. This post is holding me accountable to get the flippin' ebook update done!

Come back to see June's numbers!

*Yes, I pay taxes on every stinking cent!
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