Archive | February 2013

Resumés: Digital is King

Get it right.You have a lot riding on it.

Get it right.
You have a lot riding on it.

If you live in an area that has been heavily dependent on manufacturing you understand the shell shock of workers who are now desperate for a job but who do not have the education and basic skill sets deemed minimal in the second decade of this century.

Resumes are now digital.  Without a computer, or at least regular ACCESS to a computer, job search can be futile. You cannot apply without an email address. Paper resumes, for most jobs, are obsolete.

Even the few jobs that are still being posted the old fashioned way, in paper “newspapers”, specify that you are to email your application.  (Hint: They want email addresses for your references, too.)  Paper filing systems are going the way of the dinosaur, and companies no longer keep resumes “on file”.


The first test for potential candidates is compliance.

The employer wants to know how well you follow instructions. If the employer asks for email and you snail mail or drop off a paper resume, you are out of the running.

She’s right, you will need to hire a few professionals, even if you self-publish. A sloppy book cover, messed up e-book formatting, and lack of editing will all SCREAM “novice”.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Happy Friday! Today Jenny Hansen is going to talk to you a little bit about LinkedIn…hey, she gave me cookies. Who can say no to COOKIES?

You might be wondering why to bother with a LinkedIn profile, even if you aren’t a NF author (for NF authors, LinkedIn is a must). For one reason, a lot of agents and publishers are there, so it’s a good place to connect professionally.

Also, many of us will do additional work to supplement our writing income, especially in the early years. LinkedIn can be vital for getting freelance work that pays the bills or even gives us a little extra spending money.

Finally, if we self-publish (which many of us will), we will need to hire a team of professionals—content editor, line editor, book cover designer, book interior designer, e-book formatter, web designers, etc. LinkedIn is a wonderful place to find endorsed professionals 

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I can live without it, thank you.

Just because it happens doesn't mean I want to watch.

Just because it happens doesn’t mean I want to watch.

I live in Southern Ontario, Canada. Our Amish are called Mennonite here. As a faith and culture the community is not without hypocrisy or secrets but I enjoy the novels about these people because I can count on them to be safe for any age group, uplifting and wholesome.

Hopelessly out of touch? Idealistic and naïve? I don’t mind.

Here’s a simple question. Are there things you will not do in the conduct of your job or business for moral or ethical reasons, regardless of how this decision may impact you financially? Is the bottom line always dollars and cents?

The art world is comprised of every imaginable segment of society. All men and women, of every creed, colour/color, faith or orientation are of equal intrinsic value. There is little that is objective about art. Even its definition can be open to debate.

There is a market for every form of art that any human mind can devise and create.

You could be excused for thinking that editors are not censors, and you would be right in that no editor has the right to decide what any person may see or appreciate.

No human being, regardless of profession, is obligated to read or view anything he or she finds personally disturbing. Once an image is in the mind it will continue to crop up, unbidden, at random times, and there are images I do not want in my mind in the first place.

Gratuitous sexuality, with or without pictures, is something I can do without. There are things I simply do not need to know about people whether they are real or fictitious characters. No matter what the story, or how much a part all of this ‘love’ played in it, I am of the opinion that these things are not necessary unless you are writing pornography; which, incidentally, I will not edit. You can elude to it. I will get the picture. But please leave me on the other side of your bedroom door.

I am not trying to force my sensibilities onto anybody. I don’t preach or point fingers. I just reserve the right to choose for myself the types of material I will read. I am not a prude. I have been married for forty-five years and we have three children.

If you are offended because I won’t edit or aggressively promote something that means the world to you, I do apologize. But I won’t compromise. Thanks for understanding.

Charlie Doesn’t Live Here Any More

(This is a repost. Originally I put it out there several years ago at Christmas. I noticed several ‘Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day’ messages on Facebook this morning and felt it was time to resurrect this one.)

The Poster Boy for Bullying

The Poster Boy for Bullying

How many Charlie Brown fans are out there? Who else grew up anticipating the seasonal specials on television, and carried that eagerness into adulthood, safely concealed within the inner child?

Most of Charlie’s fans literally relate to him. He taps an inner suspicious insecurity that whispers into ears and creates performance anxiety in all walks of life.  Despite clear and irrefutable evidence of a person’s capability in one or more areas, that little Charlie sitting on his shoulder will always misread a situation and tell him he made a total fool of himself.

If you give voice to it, and allow others to realize how much you undervalue yourself, you diminish your estate in the eyes of other people and your self-pronounced assessments become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Have you ever come away from a meeting or gathering convinced that the whole world now knows what a lunk head you are?  Have you pondered extricating yourself from the group or committee, only to be astounded by the feedback suggesting that you did an admirable job and your esteem in the eyes of others has been elevated?

You limit yourself when you maintain an underdog mind set. You squander the talents and gifts bestowed upon you at birth by genetics and celestial power. You sabotage your own potential. You may even subconsciously do it thinking it will speed the process up since it is inevitable anyway. Give your head a shake! Gently.

No more self-flagellation.

Rosie is a beautiful soul, who walked mile for mile with her late husband on his journey through cancer. I have not lost my husband, but I did lose a son, and I know this will be a long journey with interesting stages. At some point, all who grieve hit a brick wall. I pray I can be there for her when it happens. We don’t seem to be exempt from any stages of the process because we have strong faith. Blessings Rosie.

Age. Stability. Experience. Does it work for you or against you?

Experience and Wisdom.Often a Good Thing.

Experience and Wisdom.
Often a Good Thing.

Stratford Ontario sketch artist Al McKerracher did this caricature of me some time ago. I was not sure I would ever use it. Then I had a conversation with a few people in the arts and I decided it was time.

Ageism. It is nothing new. Even in our society, where Baby Boomers make up the biggest bulge in the population demographic, youth still rules.

I know actors who stand against age discrimination and fight for meatier roles.  They are vibrant people who don’t want a gray wig, a cardigan and a rocking chair on a porch. Some who are just approaching middle age find themselves wondering if they got this far in their careers on talent, or did youth and looks play a larger part  than they were aware.

There is something about being steady, dependable, experienced, tried-and-true, that does, indeed, seem to work in my favour. (‘Favor’, without the ‘u’, for my American clients.) I appreciate it, but it is not fair.

The dynamic women (and men) with whom I rub shoulders are multi-talented with a wealth of experience, all of which should be valued and fully marketable.

These people, with so much to offer, should not have to begin working behind the cameras, or be forced into teaching their craft instead of continuing to work productively doing what they love and know so well.

That is my little vent for this evening.

Most of us have done this, if we are honest. Honest with ourselves. You don’t have to admit to anyone else. I have met the enemy. Ta da!

Maxine Owen

Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight knows that we often tell ourselves little lies and make up secret rules. We don’t tell others about this thought process. It would surely be too humiliating. 

We also come up with little ways to hide the overeating that we have done. We are very creative in this endeavor. Our ability to hide these little secrets would make a spy proud.

Here are just a few of the little unspoken rules:

  1. If no one saw us eat it, it never happened.
  2. If we eat our cookies with skim milk, we have made a healthy choice.
  3. If we buy a diet soda with our fast food meal, it won’t be so bad.
  4. If we eat very quickly, we won’t feel bad about it afterward. Plus, if we aren’t caught in this process, rule one applies.
  5. Doughnut holes have no calories.
  6. If I eat…

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