Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Writers Life: How to Recycle Rejection

Rejection by a friend, a colleague, or even by a potential client hurts.  It can set off a series of emotions like anger, disappointment or even depression.  These setbacks can push us away from your goal to be a published. 

Take stock of your hidden assets… 
If you have submitted a story idea or a sample article and been rejected you have several things going for you.  But before I share those assets, let’s take care of the business of any hurt feelings. 

Your first task is to regain your emotional equilibrium. You may be tough as nails, but somewhere deep inside you know that some critic or editor shut you down.  Acknowledge your feelings – for about three minutes -- then get back to your desk and write!

The hidden assets of rejection - what you already have going for you:
  1. Return to your original enthusiasm for your article. What was it that got you excited to write on this topic?
  2. You have a first draft to refine and redirect to another publication.
  3. Your rejection letter may have been accompanied by a ‘professional critique’.  Learn from it.
  4. Redirect your work.  Spruce up the article by adding photos or graphics. 
  5. Do you have enough material and research for several shorter and more publishable articles?  
You are one step ahead in the writing process! 
Collect a few new links, videos, news clips and illustrations to enhance your work.  Post it on some of the research-related websites.

If you have a substantial document with all the background, updates and graphic content, publish it yourself in PDF form.  You can offer it as a premium on your website.

Print it as a booklet, lesson plan or a How-To brochure and sell it through your website.  
This is your original material and you can determine its future.   

Self-Assess and Reassess
Repurpose all your hard work. Go back and learn from the original rejection.
Stay in touch with the client who rejected this submission and take a closer look at the style and content of their publication. Add new information to the posts they have currently published.  Remember, your research gives you credibility in their subject area.

Rename and Reframe
Rename that disappointing “rejection” message and reframe it as a “not now” message. 
Stay in a positive conversation with the publisher. Find another opportunity to submit again. 
By recycling and enhancing your work you could find another publisher eager to use your story.

Get Over It
By following these strategies to get past that initial rejection you can become a professional writer who knows how to use what you have already accomplished to reach your long term publishing goals.

What is your experience with rejection and 

what is the next step you will take to move forward?      

Monday, March 14, 2016

Casa del Herrero


I was hoping for a beautiful His & Her day with my partner beyond of the hustle and bustle of our city life.  I found that peace, and much more, in an unexpected location that he liked as much as I did!

Casa del Herrero is a beautifully preserved home, garden and workshop that welcomes visitors and reveals fascinating secrets of life in the 1920’s & 30’s.  The first secret is in the name: Casa del Herrero translates into English as “house of the blacksmith” – a crafter’s and tradesman’s treasure!

If you enjoy architecture you will view this as a gracious and nationally recognized example of Spanish Colonial Revival. Architect George Washington Smith completed the house in 1925.  It is included on the National Register of Historic Places.  The city of Santa Barbara adopted this same style to give the community  a unified Spanish character after widespread destruction in the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. Its County Courthouse is a prime example of the style.  Casa del Herrero first opened its doors on the day of that fateful quake!

If you are a craftsman or engineer you will be captivated by the personal workshop that created many of the home’s detailed designs.  George Fox Steedman, an industrialist, engineer, and amateur architect, had a vision for the house and grounds that went beyond fashion. His over-site of every detail of the property’s buildings, furnishings, and gardens is the reason the estate makes a single artistic statement that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Horticulturalist?  Photographer? Historian?  Visit and be delighted on a solo tour or with a friend. Your visit to this beautiful oasis will restore your soul.  Take a private pre tour right now on your screen.  It will confirm all that I have said.

I am sharing this with you because I now have the experience and the memories of this hidden gem that we discovered close to home…but a world away.  Our photo opportunities were countless but we also enhanced those memories with architect Robert Sweeney’s book, Casa del Herrero: The Romance of Spanish Colonial.

When you are ready to plan your get-away to Casa del Herrero, contact them for a reservation and enjoy! or call 805-565-5653 x 202

Unpublished Sample Letter - Copyright Pending -  Casa del Herrero

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

School of Leadership in Afghanistan

Have you ever saved a child’s artwork on your wall and dreamed of her bright future?   
This is Maryam’s drawing.  She was a student at SOLA, the School of Leadership in Afghanistan. 
I am dreaming of her future.

SOLA is working to improve the future for Maryam and others from all across Afghanistan by creating high quality educational opportunities for girls.  

Creating’ is just one of the important words in that sentence. 

It means launching, beginning and taking a big risk to initiate something that has not existed before. 

The bravery of the leaders, teachers and students is far beyond any experience we westerners have had in our educational experiences. 

The learning at SOLA is deeper than basic skills and tasks necessary for survival.  

SOLA is dedicated to creating new leaders, courageous women who are committed to the progress of their country.
Our daily actions, miles away, have an impact on Maryam and all the students at SOLA.   
Make yours a positive impact by supporting their learning, growth and leadership.

As you consider your support, please see SOLA’s website and read about the progress of the school.  
Meet the students and read their own words. 

Remember them with your thoughts, prayers and contributions. 

Sample Only - Unpublished Sample Letter - Copyright Pending -

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recipe for Inspiration

When the future looks bleak turn your eyes to the nation’s students to renew and encourage your hope for tomorrow.  When tragedy and political squabbling fill the airwaves, consider the dreams and innovations that faithful teachers are sharing with their students of all ages. 
As the holidays conclude students return to the classroom…if their families can afford it.  

For college students this is a special challenge.  Tuition and fees at our colleges and universities are on the rise.  Completing a college degree in 4 years is no longer possible for most students who struggle to get into their required courses each semester.  The most common reason for student drop-outs is not poor academic performance or lack of interest but a lack of sufficient funds.  

Many first generation students report a need to return to their family home in order to support the household income.  Among those students who do manage to complete their college degrees, most are graduating with record amounts of debt on their student loans.

There is a small miracle going on in our community that addresses these issues with the help of people like you.  The facts and figures tell the story that The Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation is beating the odds, keeping students in school and increasing their graduation rates.  Their special outreach to first generation students and to all families in financial need is a recipe for inspiration.
Individuals, philanthropists -- large and small -- private businesses and corporations are part of that miracle and you can be part of it too.

Business leaders in our community are on an active search for the next wave of skilled workers. Thousands are needed to fill job openings created everyday by retiring baby boomers. Many of these businesses have invested in technology upgrades to classrooms in order to help create a modern and capable workforce.  But how do you keep the students in school long enough to complete their degrees?

Your participation and donation to The Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation <> makes a difference to a qualified and deserving student today.  You can make a contribution and be assured that it will be used in a responsible way. 

Our new graduates will provide us with the medical, legal and technical services that we need to sustain our lives in the days to come.  When we help a student, we help ourselves.  Ultimately we increase the quality of life in our community in the years to come.

If you act today you will be a part of a bright future. Take a step toward tomorrow and picture yourself in the lives of our students today at <>.        

      Sample Only - Unpublished Sample Letter - Copyright Pending -  SB Scholarship Foundation