Saturday, May 24, 2008

take the holiday poll

So, how do you, my fellow freelancers, balance holidays (travel, family, etc.) with a need to work 24/7 sometimes? Take the poll and comment below.

Have a safe and restful weekend everyone -

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

write your own teacher guides

I ran across a excellent blog interview on the topic of writing curriculum guides for teachers to use in the classroom.

This interview is helpful for writers who want to find work writing teacher guides as well as writers for children and teens who want to create their own guides for their own books.

I would like to do more work writing teacher guides. What about you? Do you have any suggestions for finding this kind of work? Do you think there is business out there for writers like me who are former teachers? I'm thinking of some of you teacher-writers who visit this blog regularly...have you ever thought about offering this kind of service to writers? hmmm...


"Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on"

Monday, May 19, 2008

blog road trip

I wish I was going somewhere this weekend. My husband is taking two of my kids to a graduation ceremony in another state, and I'm staying home with the other two. I decided to take a virtual road trip.

Here is who I ran into:

Anastasia Suen posted her usual Monday Non-fiction Round-up. This is a great place to find kindred spirits if you write non-fiction. Go there just to check out the nifty WordPress Snapshots function - scroll over the links to writer blogs and a little snapshot of the blog pops up to give you a preview. Love this feature.

Lisa Albert sounds so very busy - a real writer who inspires me to keep sending out queries so, like her, I can walk into my dining room and wonder where to eat because the table is covered with work. I don't know how she manages a day-job and so much writing. No way I could pull that off.

Lisa Schroeder reported on some funny and wonderful things that happened at an SCBWI conference. I'm not a member of SCBWI, and I've never gone to a writer's conference, but whenever I read about both I think I'm definitely missing out.

Someone else at Literary Mama wakes up at 4:00 in the morning to write with the dog. What else can you do when your children are young?

Speaking of moms, this one just finished her first year of medical school. How amazing is that? One year ago we were both sad that a cushy, good-paying, steady writing job ended, and here she is - well on her way to being an MD. Life does move on.

So, on down the road...The Urban Muse Writer just wrote on the same topic as a recent post - should you write for free?

Pieces of Me has a new blog site. Welcome back to the U.S.

L. Shepherd commented on the above-mentioned topic of writing for free. From one Bella Online writer (and former Suite 101 writer) - howdy and have a great writing week!

That's it for now. Let me know if you have a blog you think I'd be interested in.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

education wfh jobs update

I'm finally updating my wfh jobs links list along the right side of this blog. If you are looking for new job sources, scroll down until you get to: education wfh writing jobs . With luck, you'll find a company you didn't know about.

I'm sending out updated information to all of these companies. First, I checked each website to look for changes. Then, I looked through online catalogs (if there are any), and ordered catalogs that looked interesting.

Once I'm sure the company is still a good fit for me, I send a cover letter and resume, usually to Human Resources, Editorial, unless I have a current contact name.

I'd love to add to the list. Please share! If you have a blog with an excellent list, let me know.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

where are your kids when you write?

Where do you put your children while you write?

I don't really mean it that way, but, seriously, I'm curious to know how those of you who are parents are able to write at home with children around. Do you write while they are at school? Maybe you are like me and you wake up in the dark, early, predawn hours to write. Maybe you are a night-owl and write after your children are asleep.

Do you have a place in your house that is quiet, or do you have the ability to write with child-noise surrounding you - the ultimate in multi-tasking.

I do all of the above, depending on work I need to do. At times my laptop is on the kitchen counter and I work with family life going on around me. Some assignments require complete concentration for longer than a few minutes at a time, so I either work when everyone else is out of the house, pass the kids over to dad and escape to the basement office, or leave the house and write in my neighborhood library.

Being a WAHM freelance writer means I am home when kids are sick, when school has a teacher-work-day, and during summer vacation. But, it also means I have to make money and balance my family life, figure out how to finish an assignment on days when kids are home with strep throat, and teach my children to respect my time working in my home office.

So, how do you parents do it? Do you find trying to balance it all worth the challenge? What works for you?


Thursday, May 1, 2008

what do teachers want?

Teacher Appreciation Week in my house means a list is sent home by the Parent Association with items to send to school for the teacher each day. Sometimes my children and I are inspired by excellent teachers to go beyond the list, and sometimes we aren't. But in every case, I feel gratitude for these people who spend each day teaching my children.

I have spent the past ten months working in three schools with many great teachers who care deeply about doing their jobs well. I also noticed educational publishing trends that show publishers do listen to what teachers want. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I thought I'd pass along these observations to my fellow education freelance writers. Here are the top things I noticed this year:

-Teachers wanting MORE, MORE (!) science and social studies content related texts because they have less and less time to teach those two subjects. The teachers use language arts time to squeeze in some science and social studies content by reading related text whenever possible. (although everyone admits this isn't actually "teaching" science and social studies - but feel it's better than nothing)

-NF book purchases for the classroom and library aligned to state standards (including math which even the upper grade teachers want more of)

-Need for more NF materials that can be used for differentiated instruction (ELL, hi/low, etc)

-Questions about instructional materials being "research-based"

Have you noticed these or any other trends since last year? How has any of this affected your career?


ps visit my post about my little Louella - a student who inspired me - Teacher Appreciation Week