Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Article "Why You Shouldn't Work For Free" was written by The Famous Ashley Grant of www.thefamousashleygrant.com Read the entire article HERE
Hey Crooked Table viewers!! Do you have an article that was recently published?
Tell us about it!!! Post a comment with a link and we'll do an article spotlight on you!!
If you are one of our Crooked Table writers then post an article spotlight on yourself. The whole point of being part of The Table is to bring your talent to The Table!!!
Besides there are 2 things every Table viewer/member should remember:
1. There is no harm in shameless self promotion as a writer and
2. Every article you post could give another writer an idea for a new story/Table post!!!
Its versus It’s (and all other apostrophes):
According to a copy editing instructor for California-based copy editing service provider Edicetera, confusing “its” and “it’s” is the most common error in the English language. That one minuscule apostrophe (or lack thereof) drastically changes the meaning of the entire sentence. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is,” whereas “its” refers to possession. Also, watch out for “your” versus “you’re.”
Sales versus Sails
Can you imagine writing on your resume that you “increased sails by 20 percent”?! Unless you’re applying to a job for a sail boat manufacturer, this careless mistake will probably get your resume sailing right into the recycling bin.
Affect versus Effect
There is a lot of confusion around this one but here’s the rule: “Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun. It’s as simple as that.
Would Have NOT Would of
The subtlety in pronunciation leads to the rampant misuse of this phrase; however “would of” is never correct and may make you appear as if you are not well-read.
Through versus Threw
“He threw the ball through the window.” “Threw” is a verb and “through” is a preposition. And speaking of “through,” be careful to make sure you don’t actually mean “thorough” or vice versa. The slight variation in spelling will not be picked up by a computer, but writing “I am through” when you mean “I am thorough” is quite ironic, don’t you think?
Then versus Than
Six is more than five; after five then comes six. “Than” refers to a comparison, while “then” refers to a subsequent event.
Supposed To NOT Suppose To
“Suppose” is a verb, meaning to think or to ponder. The correct way to express a duty is to write, “I was supposed to…”
Wonder versus Wander
You can wander around while you wonder why “wander” and “wonder” have such different meanings, yet sound oh so similar.
Their versus There versus They’re
OK, once and for all: “Their” is possessive; “there” refers to distance; and “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.”
Farther versus Further
While both words refer to distance, grammarians distinguish “farther” as physical distance and “further” as metaphorical distance. You can dive further into a project, for instance, or you can dive farther into the ocean.
Please check out www.thefamousashleygrant.com
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Very late on Monday/early into Tuesday I said I was going to be more optimistic and that I would praise myself for things accomplished rather than kick myself for things left undone and I gotta say it was a GREAT day!!!
I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I did get a lot done and am now motivated to get even more done today. I was able to publish a couple of articles, do a few blog posts, got a lot of errands done and purchased the main piece for a photo project I have been saying I wanted to do FOREVER!!!
Today I am pumped and looking forward to a great Wednesday! Happy Hump Day ya'll!!!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I was reading this fascinating story today about two women that took a regular kitchen tool and turned it into a lifesaving device. If you haven't read the story, read the story HERE The reader's digest version of the tale is that Rice University undergraduates Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis were given an assignment to "diagnose anemia without power, without it being very costly and with a portable device."
What the girls did was transform a simple salad spinner into a centrifuge which "separates blood to allow diagnosis of anemia with no electricity."
The story got me to thinking about how crucial creativity is with freelancing. There are literally thousands of story ideas out there, but coming up with a creative angle is the key to getting your name and your story into the magazines and newspapers.
I used to write business advertorials for a local Tampa magazine and three issues in a row we has to write stories about tile. Yes, boring tile. How did we write three different stories?
The first story was about using tile to be fashionable in the home. You could choose colors and patterns that could transform a room for blah to fabulous.
The second story was about the background of the tile store's owner. We mentioned the fact that he had all kinds of patterns and colors, but focused more on how long the company had been in business and the reputation the company had built in the community.
Last but not least, the third story was about how tile could give your home a cleaner look and upgrade it's value.
One story can have multiple angles. Your job is to find a different one from what has already been published. Sometimes the same angle can be rehashed, but wait a while before suggesting it again. The same story every three months will get old. Give it a year if it isn't timely.
A brainstorming technique that we had to do in one of my journalism classes is find one classified ad and come up with 5 story ideas based on it.
Example- I found an ad for a single man seeking a single women that liked dogs.
5 story ideas I generated from the ad:
-do relationships that start from a want ad ever work out?
-having things in common with your partner will help the relationship last longer
-how does one go about putting a want ad in the paper? what words work best? what do all those abbreviations mean?
-who likes dogs more? men or women?
-does owning a dog mean you're responsible?
Happy Brainstorming everyone! Be Creative and get more gigs!!!
Monday, July 19, 2010
As per usual I'm reflecting on the day since it is late at night and kicking myself for all the things I set out to do and then didn't do.
Here's what I've realized today. When you wake up in a pissy mood, it's easy to stay in a pissy mood. I let myself believe that the day was already ruined because of my mood and thus ruined my entire day because I didn't kick it in the ass upon realization.
What I could have done was gone for a jog, written an article, something proactive! Hmmm...reminds me of a post I read at The Crooked Table about fifteen minutes ago by the fabulous Robert Yaniz Jr.
I actually did accomplish a few things today though. I went grocery shopping, threw out some crap I don't need and began to see the light at the end of the tunnel of disorganization and lack of motivation.
Early this morning I sent off sets of galleries that were going to be published today. I sent off an invoice that has been needing to be sent for a few weeks. I also finished burning 9 CDs worth of images tonight that should have been done a couple of days ago.
Okay, I have huge dreams, but the thing I have to keep in mind is that it is progress to be taking baby steps. I have held onto my dreams for more than 4 years and they are not just going to come true over night. The fact that I did do a few things even though I didn't accomplish everything I had planned to do today is a step in the right direction.
On the docket for tomorrow?
I will be performing as Bubbles the Clown at AMC Regency 24 in Brandon and after that I have a long list of plans towards my dreams and career. I would love to post tomorrow night that I checked off every single thing on my list, but rather than beat myself up for missions unaccomplished, I have decided I will instead praise my self for things I do get done.
Hopefully in praising myself for the stuff that does get done I will encourage myself to continue on and eventually my dreams will come true and then I'll have a chance to come up with new dreams.
What do you do when you don't accomplish the tasks on your to-do list? If you beat yourself up, take a moment and think about the things you did do!!! Positive reinforcement will go a lot further than feeling like a failure.
This week my personal mission since I was not very nice to Monday is to look at the glass half-full.
IMAGE CREDIT CLICK HERE
Sunday, July 18, 2010
As artists, we always are dreaming of the day that we will get our big break! It excites us to think of the moment we will have thousands of fans and finally have all of our hours of work somehow legitimized.
I found these two stories of art being made popular and I found them so inspirational I decided to share them with whoever is reading my page.
The first is an amazing story of an unknown waitress becoming famous overnight thanks to the show So You Think You Can Dance. Christina Perri wrote a breakup song called "Jar of Hearts" that inevitably ended up in the hands of a choreographer from the popular reality dance show. The song is played in the video below, but you can read the story HERE
The second, although not about a traditional artist, is about an artist nonetheless. A man who used to live in a 4,000 sq. ft. home has made his business, but more importantly his life out of now living in a home that is bare 100 square feet. Jay Shafer is showing people how to live with less. Do you think you could handle a life with less?
If you are anything like me you have too much excess in your life and there is a lot of downsizing you could do that would probably make you happier than you are now. See inside this man's tiny home below and watch his Yahoo! news story HERE
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I went on a much needed vacation to Kentucky for a few days and now I feel recharged and ready to get my career back on track. Sadly, I have said this many times before but have been too damn lazy to actually act on anything I have talked about for the past 3 or 4 years.
The first piece of good news now that I am back in Tampa is that I am so excited to report that I will be taking pictures on Fridays and Saturdays at Club AJA at Wiregrass for the next several weeks and possibly even beyond that!
I've been looking for a little more regular income and this is truly a blessing!!!
I still have lots of plans rolling around in my head and I'm anxious for all of them to start being played out, but definitely needed to get some dollars in the bank before I could move forward.
I can't wait to see where the next few weeks take me, but here is a taste of what is to come:
1. Full redesign and upgrade of three of my websites:
- We Are Full of Bull
- The Photographic Times
- The Famous Ashley Grant
2. Official launch of Tampa Bay Freebies
3. More posting and linking to The Crooked Table
4. I don't know what else at this point...but I'm working on it =)
I'm also doing a body makeover on myself. In an effort to have the energy to do all of the things I want to do to make my dreams come true, I'm going to make a more valiant effort at getting my body in the condition it needs to be in. I got my hair did and I worked out today and plan on trying to get myself right in body and mind and hopefully spirit.
Photo: Warner Bros.
Christopher Nolan Never Created A 'Bible' For 'Inception'
'You don't want to go back in and change the rule set,' he says of restricting himself with a guidebook.
By Eric Ditzian, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
There's a moment early in "Inception" (beware mild spoilers) when Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page meet within a Parisian dream world of Page's creation. Leo is a former architect turned professional dream thief, and he's trying to convince Page to ditch her architectural studies and become part of his crew.
In the course of their discussion, DiCaprio raises a metaphor about the act of creation: When you're truly inspired, it's almost as if you're not creating so much as discovering something that already exists. Their dialogue exchange, writer/director Christopher Nolan revealed, is actually ripped directly from his experiences penning the script.
"That's how this felt to me," he explained to MTV News. "It felt like there's a world here that I'm just trying to understand and put together for the audience. ... You feel like it already exists, and you're kind of uncovering it."
Unlike James Cameron in the writing of "Avatar," Nolan declined to create an "Inception" bible to track his various ideas, characters and plot threads. "I kept thinking about doing that," he said. "But what happens is, you come up with a rule set, then you're writing the script, and you need the story to go somewhere else, you don't want to go back in and change the rule set."
Because, as Nolan made clear, he would have had to do a ton of revision to that bible over the course of the writing process. "The backstory, the rules of the world, they evolve as the picture of the whole movie evolves," he said. "You also want to bring actors in and technicians in and really keep the thing fluid until it has to be locked down. So to me, the rules are sort of evolutionary in a film like 'Inception.' You have to be true to them. There's no question about that. You can't cheat with them. But you don't want to sit down and put one to 10, 'OK, these are the rules.'
"Writing is a strange thing, because sometimes it's cart before horse," he added. "Sometimes you know there's a scene that's going to happen, but you don't quite know how you're going to get there. And that's one of the things that I really enjoy about writing."
Monday, July 12, 2010
Boredom is a rare thing for me. I do my best to keep myself occupied by something because the feeling of "stir crazy" never sits well.
Tonight, I was bored.
I felt a headache coming on and decided that even though it was late, I'd make a little bit of coffee to hopefully knock a possible migraine right back to wherever they come from.
I texted a friend who was busy reading. I realized I hadn't read in a few days. I didn't think I had anything good on the shelf even though it's full of ones I've never even read the back covers of. I remembered a book the friend lent me about a month ago. I knew it was about writing. I knew it was supposed to be some type of self-help, motivational thing and I wasn't in the mood for that.
Somehow I found my way to the bookshelf anway and saw the book sitting there.
"A kick in the ass," one critic wrote.
Two hours later, my life is changed.
Resistance Doesn't Have to Live On
The Book (totally deserves to be capitalized from here on out) is Steven Pressfield's The War of Art.
You may have heard of him if you've read The Legend of Bagger Vance.
I haven't. Now I want to. This guy is that good.
The Book is divided into three sections and they all share one common theme: Resistance.
This blog is full of articles about all of our little resistances.
Not to offend anyone (and I know I'm guilty of it) but how many times have we posted on here about how we "need to be writing"?
We need to "just do it!"?
How many tips can we give each other about "how to overcome writer's block"?
We're not overcoming anything by just talking about it.
The Book opens with Mr. Pressfield telling us how "he rolls".
He wakes up and WRITES.
It's a job.
There is no calling out on your 9-5 most of the time is there?
If we're writers, we're writers.
It's what we do.
There's a part of the Book that talks about what we do if we were the last person on Earth.
If you answer writing...guess what? Yeah, you're a writer.
Now you can proceed.
The War of Art declares resistance the enemy.
Steven Pressfield even goes as far as to say that resistance is the Devil himself.
That it's self destructive and that self destructiveness spreads to the entire planet.
Resistance is fear.
"The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it."
He doesn't sugarcoat.
This guy tells you like it is.
And he tells you how he feels about it.
Whether you like it or not.
You find yourself wanting to throw the book down.
Then you realiize that's resistance.
And you don't want that garbage anymore.
The second part of the Book discusses ways to "combat resistance."
This is where he tells us how "the pros" do it.
He makes it seem so simple, really.
"It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write."
It's a short section but it explains a bit of his background and how he got to where he is.
It's a strategy guide.
It's also telling us that we can do it.
And many will.
Don't Get Freaked Out
The last section of the Book may be a bit controversial for some.
Keep an open mind about it.
Pressfield has no problem with sharing his religious and spiritual beliefs and I truly feel he considers writing to be his purpose in life and he treats it as if it's a spiritual journey.
A few chapters might fly over the heads of some because there are some metaphysical and "new age" principles in it.
To me, this is Pressfield's Philosophy 101. It's going to work for some and not for others.
But it helps you to move beyond that five-headed dragon now that youv'e defeated it.
And if you respond to the Book as quickly as I have, you may find yourself immediately setting a gameplan to make some changes or to suddenly write after not being able to really put anything down for like *cough cough* a year.
So Do Yourself a Favor....
I feel it can be applied to all aspects of life and not just our creative endeavors.
For me, it helped to remind me of what I missed most about really working at writing.
It made me realize all the resistances I was giving in to.
I have an older writer friend who's pretty darn amazing.
I told him once that I had an idea for a novel.
"Don't spend one minute on it if you can't throw it in a fire and watch it burn into the Heavens," he said.
I didn't quite understand what he said. I only thought I did.
Now, after reading The War of Art, I do.
And my hope is that you will too.
Tomorrow's going to be a new day for me.
It couldn't have come at a better time, either.
As always, good luck comrades and I hope you get a chance to check out this amazing book!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
A little bummed because a project I was supposed to work on this afternoon that would have paid me 1/3 of a standard week's pay got pushed back. On top of that I am waiting on 3 checks from 3 different clients and watching the dollars in my account keep going down. My husband Jeremy continues to try to comfort me by saying that when I begin to get regular work I won't feel the pinch of waiting on the money as much...but getting to the regular work part is becoming more difficult than the feeling of waiting on a check.
When work slows down for you, what do you do for extra money?
Monday, July 5, 2010
On my way to a coffee shop today I saw this sign and had to take a picture of it. To me it is a sign that the writers of Tampa need to unite and make this blog all it was meant to be. We should post job openings, freelance gigs, contests, ideas, story assistance and so much more on this blog. As I see things that is exactly what I plan on doing from here on out. Hope you and some of your writer friends will jump on the bandwagon and do it too!