Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Funnies: I Want Money (Don't We All)

This guy might be willing to pay, but would you really want to work for him?

"$200 per proposal, 10-20 pages max, you write it until I like it. Proposals are very straightforward, business/commercial. I have a methodology I want you to use. This should be a no-brainer. Interested parties should send me an email. If you like, send me a resume too, but I'm not interested in formalities, just getting the job done."

And this guy is obviously frustrated with the writing jobs listed:

"I need money. No specific reason, but since it's apparently okay for non-writing related posts to pollute this section and go unmolested, I thought I'd give it a try. I need cash, bills are fine, preferably fives or better. Please don't waste my time with change, I need paper money. Please, no phoney offers, I am totally serious and this is the appropriate group for such a request. I will be writing this post 29 times over the week. I'm also looking for a female writer to help me with a script I've already written that has nothing to do with females. Okay, it's just a lame attempt at getting laid. Thanks!"

Thanks to Gwen Moran and Heather Larson for submitting these and giving us a laugh.

Hurry! There’s only 2 more days to enter my snarky reply contest (see post below)!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Fun, Creative Contest for Writers - Tell us What You Would Have Said

I look at job postings on jobs boards every single morning before I do anything else. Some of these jobs have actually worked into nice gigs, but it took me a long time to know what I was looking for.
I admit, sometimes I’m pretty cranky at 5:30 a.m., the time I usually start browsing the boards. Most of the time, I can take my frustrations out on scam postings by reporting them to the administrators of the sites.
But what about posters who actually advertise pay – even if it is sometimes as low as $1?
Most of the time, I’m able to just shake my head and note them as an entry for the Hall of Shame. But sometimes, I let my heart override my common sense.
As an example, there was a posting for a writer – on an as needed basis. The poster wanted people to write short articles, about 400 words, for $1 for every 100 words, making that 400-word article worth a grand total of $4.
I’m no math whiz, but even at that early hour, I knew that worked out to a penny a word. A penny a word? I didn’t even start out making that low of pay. The poster also cautioned that if they caught anyone using other’s words, they would know it. They said they’ve had problems with this before.
I wrote the poster and said, “The reason you probably have people copying others work is that you only pay $1 for every 100 words. Are you kidding?”
I received a reply, from a person identified as Kelly Lowe, telling me that no, she wasn’t kidding and that this type of pay is the going rate for this type of work. She then told me how unprofessional I was in this matter and threatened to “remember my name.”
I chuckled and wrote back, “Please do remember my name, and I’ll make sure to pass yours along as well.”
That bothered me all day. I could be more creative than that! I could have written, “Thank you. Please also remember me when your rate increases to $1 per word, the going rate on the dimension on which most writers want to live,” or “Thank you. I love people remembering me.”
That didn’t work for me either. Hit the comment button here or email me and tell me what I should have/could have said in reply. Let’s keep it clean, witty and creative! I’ll have a group of non-participating writers tell me which is the most creative. If your reply wins, I will send you a signed copy of my book, “No Immediate Threat: The story of an American Veteran.” Oh, and you’ll also receive my promise that I’ll remember your name. ☺
You have to give me permission to use your answer and your name on my blog post.
Hurry, this contest will end with the month. Last day to submit entries is September 29. I’ll announce the winner in my October 2 blog post.
Make sure I have your email address, so I know how to notify you.

Update on the $120 Extra a Month Winner From Last Week

Upon browsing the job boards this morning, I found a posting from a person obviously disgusted with the "earn an extra $120 a month by writing" that I named winner of last week's Hall of Shame. It read: "STAY AWAY!!! They claim to pay you $5 for each article you write, but you have to write 6 articles for FREE...they'll keep that $30 to cover the fee they charge for using their site..." which makes the scam an even worse one than I previously thought.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Best Compensation Lines and Update on Being Money Hungry

· The Michael Zavala Show needs a press release written. Compensation is a possible $20, with $10 being paid upon receipt of writing, and another $10 if the release is picked up by a news outlet. You will receive a minimum of $10, and a maximum of $20.
· Here’s from a reader of the blog: “I enjoy your blog. It is refreshing. I recently ran across an ad for someone to ghostwrite a book for $1. It was interesting, given the concept of the book is “Bullying in the Workplace.”

· The best compensation lines this week:
“Unfortunately, there is no expectation of money at this time. There's only the respect of your peers...”
“What will you get in return? My everlasting gratitude and the ability to share whatever you have on your mind.”
“Compensation will be discussed, please note though, this is definitely a working-towards-future-payment job.”
“A new website needs ideas about how to make money. For each idea you will receive $1 while for each article you can receive $5 to $10.”

And the winner this week is: An ad was recently posted on multiple city sites on Craig’s List directing people to a website where they could learn how to make an extra $120 a month writing articles. Once at the website, you learn that all you have to do each month is write 24, 500-word articles at $5 a piece.

An update on, otherwise known to some of my colleagues as the “Money Hungry Writer Guy": This website was supposed to be launched in mid-August. After my exchange with the man purportedly the editor, who called me a money hungry writer for asking why they were not compensating their writers from day 1, a note came from the supposed publisher saying he had been terminated for his unprofessional behavior. To date, the site still has the web hosting advertisement and appears not to have been launched. Maybe there were just too many money hungry writers out there not willing to give a month worth of work to see how well the site was received before being compensated.

Friday, September 01, 2006

On the Wings of a Butterfly

A truly remarkable thing happened in our backyard in the city. It started 2-3 weeks ago when I noticed a caterpillar curled up in a ball under our deck railing where I sit and watch the dogs play.
He wasn’t a particularly pretty caterpillar – he wasn’t fuzzy – and he was yellow and black striped with dots. I touched him very lightly to see if he was still alive. At first he didn’t move, but upon my second slight nudge, he uncurled and turned his head toward me.
I left him alone and the next day I noticed the most beautiful worm sack I’ve ever seen. This time of year, we’re used to pulling bagworms – those nasty little bugs that will eat your bushes off of our landscaping.
But this bag was different. It was light green with a little glittery gold braid dotted around the top. Specks of gold were also flecked on different parts of the sack.
I wondered if it was such wonders of nature where ancient people got the idea for jewelry.
Everyday I sat on the steps of our deck, while Emma, Molly and Dakota played and kept an eye for what the little green sack would produce. Although the little bag dangled from a railing, the dogs never seemed to notice and I was satisfied they wouldn’t disturb this little masterpiece.
I did wonder why the caterpillar chose this particular spot. It was subject to the elements – wind anyway – and it seemed pretty venerable to predators.
I was curious, but afraid I would damage or disturb the process, I left it alone. It would have been different had a spider or other natural predator would have come along, I would have accepted it a fate of nature, but I didn’t want to be the cause of ruining whatever would materialize.
Several days ago, the sack began to change. First, it developed what appeared to be dewdrops.
Yesterday it happened. Early in the morning, the sack had changed colors to a darker green and the gold band was less noticeable. By mid-morning, a beautiful monarch butterfly emerged. The winged beauty lit on the remainders of its sack, dripping from its metamorphosis and seemingly gaining his confidence before flying off into the world.
I called for my husband and this time, we left the dogs in the house, afraid they would chase something that flew. We watched him for a long time, took photographs with the digital camera and marveled at the new life form.
The next time I went outside, he was gone, ready to begin his new life as a winged creature, no longer land-bound to inch along railings. For the first time, I touched the sack, which had lost all of its color and was now transparent. It reminded me of one of those facial masks we women do every so often to pull the dirt from our faces.
The experience with the butterfly not only gave me a chance to see up close the marvel of life anew, but also gave me a deeper appreciation for my life and my writing. I’ve been frustrated with the first few chapters of a new manuscript I’m writing. What to leave in/what to leave out? More importantly, what is the point of it all?
My friend the butterfly reminded me that I only have the breath to give to the idea, an idea that may inch along until I find that right spot to curl up and let it gain new life.
When I’m ready to get back to it, hopefully, it will emerge as a beautiful butterfly, ready to take flight in its new form.