Drop Edge of Yonder

When I bit into it, I could hear the ocean.

Archive for Freelance Is a Funny Thing

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Please note that this website contains my personal blog as well as links to/information about my freelance business. As such, it comes with violence, strong language, and enough nerdgasms to embarrass even me. If you’re interested in freelance services only, please proceed to the About Professional Me and About Drop Edge of Yonder Freelance pages.

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Diplomatic Immunity

I’m fond of saying I have more degrees than a pot of boiling water, although that’s not really true (no matter what temperature scale you use). That said, I am really good at going to school, and I kind of love it. Today I was filling out the education portion of my new Facebook profile, and I remembered that I never technically graduated high school.

I was really busy in high school…with extracurricular activities. In fact, I was so busy with three kinds of band and two kinds of choir and two publications (but absolutely no sports whatsoever) that I couldn’t fit all my academic classes into the regular school day.

But because pretty much all the academic classes I did take were advanced placement or college level, the guidance counselor let me fulfill my last math class via a correspondence course. In fact, I took the paperwork in one day to show her I’d enrolled in it, and she promptly wrote it down on my transcript as completed—even though I hadn’t cracked the spine on the book.

I did do a few lessons, but come on: it was math. Eventually I realized the guidance counselor would never know the difference, and it was already on my transcript as a done deal. That was enough for me.

So despite my not, strictly speaking, having enough academic credits to graduate, I still came out at the top of my class. Because of that, I was invited to attend a special event the Clintons hosted at the Governor’s Mansion for that year’s high school valedictorians. At the time I didn’t think much about it. Arkansas is a small state, and I’ve met each of the Clintons several times; once I even played in a band wherein Bill sat in and shared his smooth sax sounds.

In retrospect, though, it was a pretty sweet deal. It was May 1992, and it was the last time I’d see either of the Clintons in person. Six months later, the nation would elect him as its president.

Frank Bonner, best known for his four seasons on WKRP in Cincinnati, attended the event as well. While I was busy schmoozing with the next leader of the free world, my daddy was chatting up Herb Tarlek about the state of Razorback athletics at the University of Arkansas. Good to know he had his priorities straight.

In retrospect, I suppose it’s fitting that over the years I’ve lost my diplomas from high school as well as three universities; after all, I never technically earned the first.

Perfect Moment Monday: The Write Stuff

My Perfect Moment Monday for this week actually came on a Monday. (Note: that’s probably the only time this will ever happen.)

Today I started a creative writing course. If you’re reading this as a potential client, you’re probably freaking out and wondering, “How can she bill herself as a writer and editor if she thinks she needs to take a writing course?” Fear not: I have a perfectly legitimate explanation.

The key word there is “creative.” I’m fantastic at technical, journalistic and academic writing. And if you give me a topic, I can usually do “creative writing” pretty well, too. But I absolutely stink at coming up with ideas on my own. My hope is that this course will help me grow more comfortable with that style of writing and help me generate new and original ideas. We’ll see how it goes!

Beginning Jan. 03, 2011, I commit to participating weekly in Perfect Moment Monday, sponsored by Write Mind, Open Heart, in which I will reflect on and share a perfect moment from the previous week. You can join in, too!

All Out of Love

It’s no secret that there are a lot of stereotypes about home schoolers, and some of them have roots in reality. For instance, many families who choose to home school do so for religious reasons. Other common stereotypes I hear revolve around home schooled kids being way better educated than your average public school student or, alternately, way more poorly educated than your average public school student. (Both of those have merit, too.) And, of course, there’s the argument/belief that because they don’t go to school, home schoolers don’t interact with peers and are socially inept.

Regarding the last point, “my” two home schooled kids (that is, those for whom I serve as a learning coach) get tons of social interaction. On occasion they even do things with a statewide home school organization. Most recently the kids attended a field trip with other home schoolers at a local television studio. I tagged along with the kids and their mom (who is also my cousin) with the promise of Taco Bueno.

While the kids played around the green screen and explored the sets, my cousin and I sat off to the side. She eyed the other parents and students critically, then leaned down to whisper to me, “The stereotypes are true: home schooled kids really are nerds.”  Then she paused.  “Of course, my son is watching Air Supply videos on my iPhone as I say this.”

NPR Debut: Diamond in the Rough

You can listen to my NPR debut on the “Tales from the South” radio program here on the local affiliate. My story appeared on the Dec. 16 broadcast. You can also download/listen to the podcast at NPR’s website or at iTunes. It’s a 30-minute show, and I present about 20 minutes in. And finally, you can watch the video of the live recording here on YouTube or watch it below.

Please view, comment, “like” or all three on the video if you’re so inclined. The show chooses the year’s best stories to go in an anthology, determined in part on the number of hits, likes and comments the video recordings of the readings get on YouTube. If you can, please do one (Or all!) of those three things on my video. That would give me a leg up, and perhaps I’ll officially be a published author under my own name instead of as a ghost writer!

Almost Falling

I’m so far on the drop edge of yonder that I’m almost falling off into the ether.

This is the fourth incarnation of this blog.  The first two were on Blogspot, but I had my own domain name for the third.  I couldn’t afford the fees to renew the hosting in the summer of 2009.  Four months later, I realize that I’ve lived without a blog long enough.  Too much of my life happens online because of the nature of my work and my relationships, and I can’t pare all that down into 140 characters on Twitter (You can find me there listed as @DropEdge) or a cheesy status update on Facebook  (You can find me there if you know my real name).

In the last four months things have managed to somehow remain the same and yet change dramatically.  After more than a year of unemployment in a decidedly uncertain economy, I’m doing the kind of work I’ve always dreamed about doing--and I’m doing it online from the comfort of my own home.  (And usually naked.  But don’t worry; it’s not that kind of online work.  I’m working as a freelance writer, editor, and virtual assistant.)  On the other hand, I found out today that my home won’t be my own by this time next month, which means that I have to find a new place to live ASAP.  Part of me wants to pick up and move somewhere totally new and unexpected, and part of me wants to stay right here in this lovely little community in the gently rolling hills of rural Arkansas.

As usual, I still don’t have any idea what I’m doing when it comes to customizing a personal blog.  Expect this space to remain plain and ridiculously unadorned.  If I could figure out how to do cool stuff, I would.  Probably, anyway.  Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to transfer everything from the last blog to this one, but there’s no time for that now.  I have an eBook to research, 33 product descriptions to write, and 1200 people to request as friends on Facebook for various freelance jobs.