Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Respect the Email

By Laurie Epps

We've gotten so used to corresponding by email, that the very idea of sending a letter via snail mail seems foreign to us. I don't know about you, but I love the feel of a handwritten letter written on pretty stationary. I've got a friend named Betty that our handwritten letters are still the main form of correspondence. However, for the business world, waiting for the postman to arrive is very inefficient.

The norm for the business world is to send a thoughtfully written email. Problem is that it's often taken for granted since it's also the main way we communicate with our friends too. An important thing my professor in college used to say was "to remember you're not writing your buddy." I think that little tidbit of advice is important to remember when querying for work, or even if you're reaching out to readers. Email is tragically overlooked.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cherish Your Email Signature Line

My mentor, Edie Melson
By Laurie Epps

Sorry about the long break in my posts. But as the cooler temps, and autumn air is sinking in, we're all adjusting to our new schedules. Routines are being established, and I'm adjusting to life without school. 

Now, it's back to work. Be sure to check back on our new day, Tuesday. This will just help me tremendously with my schedule. We're still working in my mentor Edie Melson's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Morning Book Club, Revision

By Laurie Epps

I don't know what it is, but I just love old worn books. I always have. Even their musty book smell is intoxicating to me.

So Monday Morning Book Club, is going to dormant for a little while. For those of you who were enjoying learning about Social Media and Writing Techniques that has been moved to Tuesdays.

So join me now on Tuesdays to learn about Social Media using Edie Melson's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Edie Melson and I
I hope you'll join Edie and I now on Tuesdays with your morning coffee or tea.

Blessings,
Laurie

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sundays: Back to Basics

By Laurie Epps

Looking for my mainline in work, I lost myself. By definition, I'm a writer. Love it, or hate it, that's my roots. I've found looking tirelessly for work is both arduous and exhausting. It sucks out your very soul. But what's a girl to do between gigs? The answer is simple. Create. Create like nobody's watching.

Ok, so I've been stockpiling a little work here. The next phase is the query. Find publishers who might be interested, but the key is sometimes it's ok to write for our own edification. I took some much needed time off for this process.

My most popular column, "Monday Morning Book Club" is now being moved to Tuesday. We'll continue in Edie's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

At the conclusion of Edie's book, we'll get back to fundamentals. The column is going to redirect to the process of writing. I need to stay entrenched in what I love. 

Writing itself, is sort of a weird endeavor. You go into seclusion to communicate to the world. 

I hope to see you all on Tuesday.

Blessings,
Laurie

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Changing It Up

By Laurie Epps

Hello, my dears. Pull up a chair with your favorite hot beverage and let's talk.

I've had this column for close to three years, and it's time to make some changes to it, don't you think? Since graduation, the purpose of this blog is changing, and I'm going to be revamping it's look. However, that doesn't mean that I've got to stop posting. If you think it's a different blog when you post one week, it just may be that I'm making some formatting changes.

In the last little bit, I'm realizing that I too, have had some major changes in the last three years. I've gone up and down in weight, and I've graduated college. I'm still adjusting to life out in the real world. I've gone from being a wife to being a single mother. I've gone from being a student and intern to writing professional.  Sometimes it's elating much like the cliche ideal of the mountain top experience, but other times it feels like I'm running on empty.

Luckily, for every empty tank there's a nearby gas station, and every different disappointment there's a new beginning. For me, my rock has been my faith. Without God, I'd not have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and the tremendous privilege of raising my two daughters that are still at home. I know that I'm embarking on a new season of my life since nothing in my life is familiar (Ref: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Shouldn't my blog reflect that? I thought so too.

Due to time constraints, I'm moving my Monday Morning Book Club to Tuesdays, and I'm in search of the perfect name for it too. If you've got any suggestions, please share them with me below. We'll still finish up Edie's wonderful book on Social Media, but at it's conclusion, we'll refocus and talk about writing technique. Of course, this will lead to discussions on books about writing, but when appropriate, it will also mean you'll see some columns that are more freelance in nature where they're not based on a book at all.

Well my dears, as we're at the beginning of fall, I recommend that you get out there and get lost somewhere. No, I don't recommend being lost literally, but instead metaphorically. Take your kids to a pumpkin patch, take a drive in the mountains to see the fall colors, or head to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Who knows, you might find a writer working feverishly in the corner of Starbucks, or with a small notebook jotting down notes while hiking the hills. 

Till we meet again... Hopefully on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 with my new writing column.

Blessings,
Laurie

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Love Letter to My Ex

By Laurie Epps

Breakups are always hard. They’re painful, and this heartache is multiplied if the couple had children together. My ex, I can absolutely say, didn’t know where I was coming from at all. Even though he abandoned me, he seemed to be oblivious to the fact that’s what he’d done.

So as an exercise, I thought I’d purge some of those negative emotions. I’ve lived in constant turmoil too long. Share with me in my journey, and realize that if you were abandoned, and are reading this, that you’re not alone. My life was broadsided, and if nothing else, my spiritual life is growing by leaps and bounds. Recovery is painful, and you don’t have to stop loving your ex to know that they’re no good for you. This is the point that I’ve come to realize.

Here’s my love letter to my ex husband:

Dearest,
            After spending half my life with you, I must tell you that I did this gesture out of love for you. The part that’ll be hardest for you to understand is that I was still in love with you even when I filed for divorce.
            I know that you’re moving on, and that picture doesn’t include me. You’d been distancing yourself from me for years, but I’d refused to accept it. However, by your final act of abandonment I was forced to face it.
            Now, I confess, I miss you. I can remember the good times and not only the break up. Sometimes, I imagine that you still love me, and that things are still good. I’ll wait for you to pounce on the bed on all fours, wagging your tail, and draw out the nickname “honey” with long vowel sounds from your mouth.
            Things weren’t always so bad as they got the last 4-5 years of our marriage. By then, I felt the loneliest when you were around. I knew, it shouldn’t be that way, and that things weren’t right.
            I was resolved to weather anything with you. I could’ve taken on just about any problem except your silence and withdrawal. I’m even still foolish enough to ask myself why you’d leave me, or our girls… They didn’t deserve that, and I can finally say, I didn’t deserve that.
            Oh, I knew I’d cry when I wrote this letter to you. Damn you. But as a writer, I knew that writing this letter was an essential part of my healing process. So today, I release you, and my romantic love for you, so that I can grieve. I loved you with my whole heart, and part of me always will. I know now that you’ll never be able to answer all my questions about why you allowed yourself to abandon our love. It was a beautiful love, and it was worth fighting for.

Affectionately yours,

Me

Laurie Epps is a recent graduate of Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet.  A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell the many stories of those she meets. Columns include: Monday Morning Book Club, and Thoughtful Thursdays, a column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is Hootsuite?

Barn Owl
By Laurie Epps

What is Hootsuite? In my opinion, it's the most valuable tool in your social media tool box. But, to understand how valuable it can be, you've already established yourself at least on Facebook and Twitter. Hootsuite's a valuable tool that keeps you from making social media a part-time job. Hootsuite can free up your time to do more writing.

To learn the basics, we'll continue to work with my mentor, Edie Melson in her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. We're focusing on pages 119-120. 
Owl taking a look at Hootsuite