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pandemic and writingA pandemic and writing? Who me? Yes, just like you, or like you in ways we could count.

Many of you know I live at a Zen Center just south of San Diego and just north of Tijuana, and the border with Mexico. We have about 20 people living in 10 cottages, and a couple of rooms situated on a large city property with some truly lovely gardens as well as meditation spaces. I’ve been here maybe eight years and it’s proven to be an ideal writing space – with as much or as little interaction with others as I want.

On March 11, the Covid-19 world around infection was declared a pandemic. Like many freelancers, in spite of warnings that a pandemic would come, I never expected I’d be experience a pandemic and writing at the same time; who did?.

I went down to a nasty case of bronchitis probably on Saturday March 9. I’m familiar with bronchitis and simply went to bed taking allergy meds to stop my post nasal drip. I slept through the worst of it for about a week, hardly aware of what was going on in the world, and feeling badly enough so I didn’t care. As I got better I realized the my world had made one heck of a transition while I was sick. I began to get bits and pieces of writing done between lots of naps. I stayed home. It was raining most of the time, unusual in southern California this time of year. I kept getting better and began to attend some meetings, by this time on Zoom.

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water pipeIt’s Easy to Stop Pipes From Freezing

Is there anything worse than discovering your water pipes have frozen? The first problem is you can’t access water from frozen pipes. The second problem is the pipes may explode or at least spring leaks because the water expands as it gets colder and finally freezes. Not only does that create a watery mess, it damages floors and carpet and you also end up with large plumbing bills because you generally need to replace most if not all of the system.

Heatline Protective Systems offers a great pipe heat tape. Their Retro-Line is a safe, efficient and reliable system that offers internal pipe freeze protection. It can be used to protect new construction, existing water supply systems as well as sump pump systems without the need to excavate. It’s certified Drinking Water Safe and works with both metal piping and non-metal piping. Each system is supplied with the necessary plumbing components. The electrical setup at the factory is properly terminated, making your installation much easier.

How to Mark Stainless Steel

Stainless steel and its derivatives are strong materials fulfilling many needs in both industry and fashion. The metal is also used to make gifts, create fittings for boats and as all sorts of building materials. The very qualities that make it strong and durable are the same ones that make it resistant to marking for identification, and/or with beautifying engraving. The eCobalt machine – https://lasermarktech.com/products/ecobalt – is a desktop unit that allows you to permanently mark stainless with a powerful laser, safely, reliably and inexpensively.

The eColbalt is easy to use, impact free, creates high contrast marking using High Speed Galvo Steering and does so automatically. It’s safe, easy to set up and ideal for all your entry-level marking needs.

This compact unit arrives at your office or facility as a turn-key unit, ready to go to work for you almost at once. It  offers a100,000 hour laser lifetime. It comes with a one and two year warranty on Fiber Laser Engraver. You’ll have 27/7 support.

Great Compression Stockings  

Legion compression stockings and sleeves offer both healthy compression and the sense of a lovely boost in your energy level. Compression socks support your recovery from injury and/or strain of your foot and/or leg.

At Legion, you’ll find all sorts of compression stockings, from high tension, to more normal compression, to stockings that offer leg warmer and even pairs that have copper woven through their construction.

There are lots of styles as well, from a subdued black or grey perfect for the more formal office to the brightly multi-colored and even patterned stockings or sleeves ideal for more casual wear.

You’ll be impressed with the variety of compression strengths, enjoy special packages like the Airport Package and be impressed with their 58 different products.

Be sure to sign up for their email to get your 10 percent discount.




ice roadsIt doesn’t matter if you’re a freelance writer, artist, construction worker or something else, having the right tool is a key ingredient to your success. What follows are brief descriptions of three wildly different tools. Each addresses a challenge in a specific way.

Making Ice Roads and Bridges

In the Great North, Northern Mat and Bridge – https://northernmat.ca/services/winter-road-construction/ – are true experts in providing winter access. They’ve been building roads, bridges, and providing mats for traction for over 19 years. Small wonder they know their stuff so well.

They’ve recently expanded their operations to include the construction of ice roads, and ice bridges. This extends their ability to help you get where you need to go even when the weather is at its coldest.

Of course proper equipment is crucial. Among their major tools are snowcats and snowmachines. The snowcats can not only move an amazing amount of snow out of the way, they can grasp materials like pipes and maneuver them to exactly where they’re needed. Snowmachines are the bedrock of building ice roads and bridges. The trick is to get the snow where you need it most and the right snow making machine lets Northern Mat and Bridge to exactly that.

Hair Clipping and Trimming At Its Finest

OmniCord provides quality barber trimmers to buy in a large variety of styles. For example, we offer transparent clippers in many colors, each with Ceramic Blades and no-slip grips. We also have a good selection of upgrade kits and power cords.

The OmniCord is not only good looking with its colorful transparent body, it takes up less space than many other clippers. Its smaller size, however, doesn’t mean less power. In fact, the OmniCord is adds more power. It too comes in a selection of colors as well as styles and lengths. With more power you’ll spend less of your own energy during a full day of trimming and clipping.  A one and two year product protection plan is also offered.

High Flying Camera Drones

I’d call it a flying camera; others know it as a drone with a camera. You’ll find the OmniView Tech Mavic-2Pro at: https://omniviewtech.ca/products/mavic-2-pro It shoots in beautifully in high resolution color while it avoids running into trees, buildings and what-have-you because of its obstacle sensors on all sides, protecting the drone, camera and whatever might get in its way.

It’s amazing the world you’ll enter with this magical seeming drone and camera. Imagine what you’ll see when you send it high over your location. Are you on a street? What’s on top of that building over there? In a meadow? What happens to your world view if you simply go straight up?

Your options include a Hassleblad riding securely on the Mavic-2Pro. Or a 28-48mm optical zoom onboard the Mavic 2 Zoom. There are plenty of accessories and excellent customer support. Order yours today.



Of Writers, Dogs, Moving and Strange Codes

freelanceFreelance writers often need to handle the stuff of life. Dogs, moving and unknown codes are part of the freelance writing life. This may seem like a strange combination. It is, and it’s also an example of how a professional writer can make almost any three topics work together.

Dogs can be a real boon

Many freelance writers benefit from owning a dog or two. One of the biggest pluses of most dogs is, because they require walking once or twice a day, they get their writer-owner away from their computers, clients and keyboards out of the house and into fresh air on a regular basis. This not only helps the writer stay healthy because walking is such a great exercise, the break and activity can help spark needed creativity.

Many freelance writers who have worked with their dogs for some time recognize Healthy-Chews.com offers safe and delicious treats for their canine companions. They also know that the right kind of snacks for dogs can help with training and can be just plain fun. A play session with healthy chews creates bonding between dog and writer.

Moving house and home

Writers occasionally need to move. Packing up the writer’s office as well as their household goods isn’t easy, but is necessary when a move is called for.  If your move is down the street or around the world, moving is never truly easy, with or without a dog. MyBekins.com links you to easier moving with a company that knows just how stressful it can be and will use its experience to make your move, and your dog’s move, as easy as it’s likely to be. Their services range from full service, which includes packing and unpacking, storage and pretty much anything you might need to get to and settled in your new home. On the other hand, you can save considerable money by doing the packing yourself. The choice is yours.

Is it a typo or a code?

Moving or not, professional writers know they have to cast a careful eye for typos. Finding typos in our own work can be hard. Most of us have come to realize the built in spell-checker will help, but not as much as we might like. We also need to watch for things like complete sentences and accurate grammar.

A few of the tricks to help with accuracy include setting the work aside for a day or two, reading the work out loud slowly enough to really hear it, and/or using software like Grammarly to act as an additional check.

Writes also realize that some groups of letters that seem to be typos may not be. In this example the lowercase designation, psw, is a code; the link takes you to an employment site. Why is it like that? If it’s what the client wants, it almost doesn’t matter. The successful freelance writer works to make the client look good as well as following their wishes.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

‘We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.’ – Margaret Atwood

With so many free and premium WordPress themes coming out each day, the sheer amount of theme choices can be overwhelming. While it might be a whole lot easier to just go with the popular choice, most of the time it won’t be the best choice.

To ensure long-term success of your website, ditch the herd mentality and follow along as we look into the criteria for the best WordPress theme.

And while the “best” can be subjective and differ for everyone, there are some guidelines that you can follow in order to cherry pick the best theme for your website.

  1. Lightweight and Fast-Loading WordPress Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme that is lightweight and fast-loading may well be the most important step that should not be missed.

The theme you use affects your website’s performance and loading speed. Load speed matters a lot as it not only affects SEO but also user experience and ultimately… your conversion rates.

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Do You Need a Rate Card for Your Writing Business?

rate cardIn our Forum someone asked if he needed a rate card. It seems a potential client expressed an interest in his writing and asked specifically for a rate card. I was startled. Last I knew the term ‘rate card’ was pretty much tied to advertising rates.

A quick google search disabused me of that notion. These days a rate card includes everything from creative fees to hosting costs.

I don’t think I’ve ever been asked for a ‘rate card,’ although I’m often asked how I charge or what my rate is to write XXX.

Of course, for me any attempt by a possible client to tie prices before I know exactly what I’m getting into is a big old red flags for me. That’s one reason I’m not a great match for large companies that have strict rules that may or may not make sense for freelance writers, nor do I want to be.

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No More Comments, Please

I’ve been thinking about dropping comments for several months. It turned out today is the day. The reason is simply too many comments that amount to spam. Easy to spot and terribly time consuming. My apologies to those who have consistently made cogent comments over the years; I trust you’ll understand.

You can, of course, send me email. Just check the contact page. I’m really not hard to reach.

Just to be clear, I’m turning off the comments today.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer
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When a Client Ruins Your Writing

client ruins your writingWhen a client ruins your writing your first reaction is likely to be shock and anger. I remember to this day, probably 30 or even 40 years later, how one of my first pieces for a magazine was, in my opinion, totally ruined by an editor. It was a humor piece and apparently he didn’t get my humor. I was furious. I was also embarrassed and felt, still feel actually that he made me look like a fool of a writer.

It’s probably not as important as you think

A more experienced writer talked me down. “After all,” he explained, “not only did I have a byline but I’d been paid. Besides, there’s really not much you can do about it.”

After some more sniveling I let it go.

The same thing is true when a client ruins your writing. A truth is they hired you to write something for them. When you submitted it they felt it wasn’t right so they ‘fixed’ it. As long as you’re paid or going to be they own it unless you’ve made other arrangements. Other arrangements are hard to get when you’re writing commercially. The copy you love may be the copy they hate, or their recent nephew who just graduated with a BA in creative writing made some suggestions they used. Whatever the reason when a client ruins your writing there’s not much you can do.

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Why 4/40 Flash Coaching Works

4/40 flash coachingAs some of you know a month or so ago I began offering what I call 4/40 Flash Coaching. Up to  setting up this program all the coaching I’ve done, both writing and life coaching, has been in hour increments.

Frankly (there I go with more F sounds) I liked the sound. Alliteration can be fun and it can also be memorable. I was, after all, hoping to attract interest. It was an experiment. I didn’t know if people would be interested or not. Nor did I know how much work we could actually get done in a 40 minute session.

40 minutes is more time than I thought

It turns out 40 minutes is plenty of time to get some solid coaching done. Maybe it’s because with this package (4/40 flash coaching is 4 40 minute sessions for $100, price soon to go up) we take most of the first session to do a Visioning around the client chosen topic and decide exactly what we want to accomplish in the next three sessions. This provides a laser-like focus to our sessions, making it fairly easy to stay on topic. When we stay on topic we get an amazing amount done. There’s still time for the client to describe the problem and then the progress or lack of it so we can figure out what to do next. But we don’t get lost in the client’s story.

Forty minutes doesn’t interrupt the day

A forty minute session is 20 minutes short of an hour. Somehow it doesn’t seem to interrupt the day as much as a full hour of coaching can, for both me and the client. Those shorter sessions are easier for me to manage – to make sure the client stays on track. My clients tell me they like the shorter sessions, some because of the focus it requires and some because it leaves them with more time to do other stuff.

What we accomplish together

Although every person who works with me in 4/40 Flash Coaching is different and every session is different too, here a list of the four items I’m able to provide:

  1. Deep listening
  2. Re-framing of the problem
  3. Ask questions that are different the client asks themselves and often provide a new perspective.
  4. Provide a gentle accountability that allows celebration and reinvention

It’s also true that my wide and varied experience as a writer, a mother, a grandmother and an adventurous spirit means I’m able to bring many things to the table. That same experience has taught me that I don’t have any stock answers, or maybe any answers at all. Instead I am convinced you know, within if not consciously, the answers that are right for you. My job isn’t to fix you but to help you open things up so you see yourself more clearly which helps you take the right action for you.

What would 4o minutes a week focused on only you and your dreams and wishes improve for you. You can sign up for your own 4/40 flash coaching here: https://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2019/10/17/4-40-flash-coaching-for-writers/

You can also contact me with questions.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer





I rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog…

apologizeI rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog, mostly because I dislike reading why people have not posted in ages. Obviously, I’m going to both apologize and explain today. I think it will be a cautionary tale for you and maybe even an optimistic one.

Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean almost on the way home from the family dinner I started to get sick. I had the beginnings of a cold and sore throat and taking some aspirin went to bed not thinking much about it. By morning I knew I was in for a longer siege, but didn’t expect what happened. Apparently I’d caught the real flu, perhaps even A(H1N1). I began to run a mild fever, thought umpteen times about calling my doctor and just kept rolling over and sleeping… for about three weeks. No I hadn’t yet had the flu vaccine. According to my doc, whom I did talk with yesterday, I caught it early for our area.

I won’t apologize for the fatigue

The biggest talked about symptom with A(H1N1) is the incredible fatigue that goes with it. I was absolutely drained of all energy, including the energy to write for at least three weeks, maybe longer. A better way to say it may be that I’m still recovering. I was so drained that it took me a couple of weeks to come to enough to notice I hadn’t done any writing, and I usually write daily or close to it. When I did notice I couldn’t find enough internal energy to even worry about it.

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