Writing to make ends meet…

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

2011 Is Here

I cannot believe it is 2011 already!  Time sure flies.

This will be the year I get my finances under control.  I need to find more lucrative writing gigs and get out of the hole I’ve dug for myself over 2010 financially.  I’m constantly worried about how I’m going to make ends meet, so if I could just get back out of the serious debt I’m in, I would relieve so much stress.

So long to 2010 and let’s get 2011 rolling and on the right track!

I Voted, Did You?

It’s election day all across the USA and I did my civic duty and voted. I had a governor, senator, and representative up for vote today, so I made my voice heard. Even if my candidates don’t win, I did my part and voted for who best represents me and my values. I’m keeping my eyes on the results now that the polls have closed, but I don’t plan to stay up too late.  I’m tired!

I’ve been writing as much as possible these last few days and my eyes are starting to glaze over.  I did get into Break Studios today, but so far, there are no articles I am comfortable writing about up for grabs. One of their sites, however, is a NASCAR blog site, so I’m going to pounce on that as soon as something opens up.

A Peek Into My Sunday

First of all, let me say that I am thrilled because I was accepted into Demand Studios to write short articles.  I’ve been scouring all of their requirements and picking out titles for my 3 probationary articles, and I hope to write those later this afternoon.

Meanwhile, we’re getting ready for another Sunday at the Scoville household.  The Sprint Cup NASCAR race is on in about an hour, so we’ve got our popcorn ready to be microwaved, and the fabulous (and super easy) cheesy chicken enchilada soup is in the crock pot.  Later tonight, we’ll dress the boys up for Halloween and head out Trick or Treating.  This year we have a Vampire and an Iron Man.  The evening will end at the in-laws for  chili dogs and more candy.

What does your Sunday look like?  Do you want some delicious cheesy chicken enchilada soup?  Here’s how we make it:

1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 can Nacho Cheese Soup

3/4  soup can of milk

1 can Medium Enchilada Sauce

1 large can of chunked chicken breast (drained)

1 bag Fritos

Combine cheddar cheese and nacho cheese soup in a crock pot with the milk.  Stir until creamy.  Add enchilada sauce and chicken.  Stir until blended.  Heat in crock pot on medium heat until hot.  Ladle into bowls and top with Fritos.  For a less spicy version, use 2 cans of cheddar cheese soup instead of 1 cheddar and 1 nacho, and use a mild enchilada sauce.  For a more spicy version, use 2 cans of nacho cheese soup instead of the 1 cheaddar and 1 nacho, and use a hot enchilada sauce.

Someday…

Someday I will be independently wealthy.  I know this.  I’ve worked too hard to always be behind in bills and in debt up to my eyeballs.  I believe in Karma, and I believe I have good Karma.  I’m generally a good person, and gosh darn it, I deserve to be rewarded.

Waiting for that money to come rolling in leaves me in a tight spot, however.  I already have a full time job teaching and tack on extra curriculars like yearbook and dance team and I actually work overtime.  Then, of course, I write in my “spare” time to make a pittance just to be able to cover some of the bills.

If I could just land that “one” gig out there that would make me not necessarily independently wealthy, but rather comfortable, I would be satisfied.  If About.com would just finally get around to reviewing my applications for them (I currently have 3 sites I’ve applied to be a guide or a contributing writer on and I keep getting the “we have not had a chance to review your application…” messages when I check the status), I know they would hire me and that extra income would solve some of the drowning in bills problems I have.

I’m willing to work for my money.  I don’t expect it to just fall in my lap with no effort (although I’d be okay with that if it were to happen).  I just need that “break”.  I need a good lead and affirmation of my skills by actually being hired.  Or maybe I need a marketable and lucrative idea of my own.  If you have any ideas, let me know!

Long Time, No Blog…

Well, hello there little neglected writing blog!  I almost forgot you existed.  Life got really busy, like writing 3 blogs, having another baby, switching teaching jobs, and of course all the other crazy stuff I do on a daily basis.  I’m back now, though, because my finances are, once again, overwhelmingly in a downward spiral.  That means it’s time to get back out actively searching for freelance writing jobs and sprucing things up around here to send potential employers when they are looking for my published clips.

I started with a new theme for the blog.  Do you like it?  I love the colors.  They are bright and unusual for a blog.  Hopefully, I convey the same things with my writing.  I like to market myself as bright and unusual.  The goal is to make the company I want to write for think that they can’t live without my outstanding services.  We’ll see how that goes.

I also briefly contemplated starting a resume writing service.  My only hesitation is that I’ve never created a resume for someone I don’t know.  I think I have a real talent for writing cover letters, but I realized that I’ve only written cover letters (and resumes, for that matter) for myself and my husband.  I think I know both of us pretty well, so it was a natural thing.  I’m not sure how I would do trying to talk up strong points of strangers unless they are really good at conveying who they really are and know themselves well enough to know what to highlight as a strength.  Anyway, it’s something for me to think about, I guess, and it seems it can be a pretty lucrative gig if you’re good at it.  Anyone out there had experience with resume writing that would want to share some tips?  Let me know in the comments!

And, of course, if you want to hire me (or just give me lots of free money…), let me know!  I’m back and ready to write!

Iowa HOBY and What it Means to Me

I’m departing, for a bit, on my writing about writing to talk about Iowa HOBY and what it means to me. First of all, HOBY stands for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program and its aim is to develop leadership skills in high school sophomores by empowering them to step up and contribute to their communities. One high school sophomore from every high school in the US (and 20 other countries!) is invited to represent their school at a weekend long leadership seminar.

I was chosen from my high school to attend the Illinois-Central/South HOBY seminar back in 1994 and it changed my life. Before I went to the seminar, I was very shy and reserved. While I considered myself intelligent, I didn’t think I had the power to change anything about the world. After I attended the program, I learned that with hard work and by believing in myself that I could make a difference. I went back every year after that to participate on staff and hopefully inspire other students the way I was when I was a sophomore.

After I went to college in Iowa and moved here permanently, I looked up the Iowa HOBY organization and started volunteering on staff. I was asked to help out on the seminar planning committee after that and eventually got my shot as seminar chairperson for 2 years. I had the opportunity to give back what I had gotten out of HOBY. When I finished my two years as chairperson, I was appointed Iowa HOBY Corporate Board president. And to think that only about 10 years before that when I was chosen by my high school to go to HOBY, I didn’t think I had the power to get anywhere in life. I looked back and realized that I was the president of a Non-Profit corporation before I was 30. How many people can say that?

Unfortunately, Iowa HOBY has been shrinking in size due to lack of funding. HOBY International started charging a fee for service in 2003 and the small rural schools in Iowa just don’t have that sort of money in their budgets allocated to one student. We work hard as a corporate board to make up the difference and give even more students the opportunity of a lifetime, but sometimes we come up short. Hopefully we can raise enough this year to increase our numbers.

Surviving the Winter Weather

Iowa has been hit hard this past week with deadly winter weather.  My own house was completely without power from about 2 pm on Saturday until 8:30 pm on Tuesday night.  We stayed one night in a hotel and bought a generator just to have a space heater and keep our freezer going so we didn’t lose our $600 of beef.  My poor in-laws are still without power a week later.

Many people have died from the cold and horrible driving conditions.  Schools have been canceled all over the state and the interstate system was completely shut down last night for a time.  Winds are topping 50 mph and the blowing snow is making visibility almost zero.

I am hopeful the warm front that is supposed to come through the area will melt the ice and snow and we can get back to some sort of normalcy.  Enough people have suffered through this week and some good news would be much appreciated at this time.

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