Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm IN! '50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"



Kristine M Smith Wins Inclusion into the 2012 Edition of "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"

     SEATTLE,WA         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                


Today Kristine M Smith was named as one of fifty winners in The Authors Show (TheAuthorsShow.com)contest.

To become eligible for the honor, hundreds of authors were interviewed by The Authors Show radio hosts during the past year. All interviewed authors were eligible to write an essay of up to 1,000 words about their writing endeavors; the submitted essays were then read by The Authors Show judges. 112 finalists were chosen to be finalists. Each finalist was notified of his or her status and was responsible to get the word out about it to friends, relatives, co-workers and other networks and ask them to vote for them to be included in the upcoming book; the fifty finalists who received the most votes won the honor.

Of her win, Smith says, "I've been stringing words together as a writer since early childhood. It's been an obsession. I've made my living the past five years as a profesional copywriter and have earned a lot of return clients and many, many friends during this time. I have my clients, family, friends, networkng partners, publisher, and DeForest Kelley's fans across the globe to thank for making this win possible. I simply would not be in this position were it not for each of you who turned out to vote for me and then LIKED and SHARED my candidacy virally with your many networks. You're the best!!!"

The Authors Show will announce the publication date very soon. Find out more at TheAuthorsShow.com.

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Kristine M Smith is the author of seven books, six of them available here at Amazon. The seventh, "The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend" (an e-book), is available at Payloadz.com.

Futureword Publishing has been Smith's publisher for the two most recent titles, "Serval Son: Spots and Stripes Forever" and "Settle For Best: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be". Both titles reached the top two spots in their respective categories here at Amazon when they debuted. Smith's earlier titles will be updated and re-published by Futureword sometime in the future.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

I'm a FINALIST at The Authors Show!

Only YOU can make me a WINNER at the Authors Show so I'll be included in their 2012 Edition of "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"!

"From November 2 through November 10, the public will have the chance to vote for their favorite authors from the finalists" at theauthorsshow.com.

VOTE FOR ME when the time comes, please!!!

Rest in Peace, George Stanley McGovern

I'm saddened today by the passing of the first candidate I was ever able (old enough) to vote for, Senator George McGovern.  

A gracious, loving, dedicated man, he worked all his adult life following his heroic service in WW II to make life better and war obsolete.  I have never cast a more honorable vote in my life. (I've always cast honorable votes, but never one more honorable than the one I cast for him.)

I was able to shake his hand once (I have the photo somewhere; must look it up and post it here) and I received Christmas cards from him and his wife Eleanor for several years after his defeat (by Richard Nixon) for the Presidency of the United States.  

As we all know, Nixon and his VP resigned in disgrace two years later; McGovern carried on, blessing the country and the world he served every day of his life even after he left the Senate.

A true Christian, he was a priceless treasure. I will always love him.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

WOO HOO! Broke My Own Personal Best in Income This Month


Gotta shout it to the moon.  This month I met my fondest financial goal for the first time ever: I made four times what I need to live for a month in just thirty days' time.  This may not seem like a lot to a lot of small business owners, but it's HUGE to me!  I'm so flippin' happy I could dance on the ceiling right now!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS: 'They're all the Same"???

I keep reading disgruntled Americans who profess to believe that there's no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Some of them are going to stay home and grouse about the perceived "sameness" of the two parties while others are going rogue and voting for candidates in other parties who appear to better-reflect their sensibilities. 

Although I honor and respect the dissenting voters who go with other parties, I simply cannot fathom why anyone who has been paying any kind of attention at all considers the choice that is before us this November--the choice that will elect one of the two major party candidates (Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan)--considers them clones of each other!  It's absolutely appalling to me that anyone can believe this!  I must call it what it is: ignorance. Blind, resolute, unmitigated ignorance.  As opposed to stupidity. Stupid people cannot discern differences; ignorant people can discern differences, but they're too lazy or otherwise-occupied to take the time to do so.

There has perhaps NEVER been as stark a difference between the two parties as there is this year.  On the one hand you have two candidates (R-R) who want to roll back the family planning and reproductive rights of women--a party that refused to listen to a single, solitary woman when they debated a controversial reproductive rights agenda--a party that now pushes an agenda to overturn Roe v Wade and deny women the right to an abortion even in the case of rape, incest, and the threat to the life of the mother; on the other hand you have a party (O-B) who champions women's causes including violence against women (which the Republicans voted against), equal pay for equal work, and a plethora of other issues.

On the one hand you have a party (R-R) well-funded by gazillionaires that is so dedicated to gazillionaires that they're willing to gut this nation's safety net and social programs (not to mention education, jobs, and other necessities of life) to give themselves additional tax cuts; on the other (O-B) you have representatives who are dedicated to making sure we don't bankrupt ourselves or our moral responsibility to "the least of these".

I could go on and on, but those of you who have been following the political situation would be bored to tears.

I implore all of you fence-sitters and counterpoint-voters to truly look at what is at stake in November. Don't fiddle while Rome burns.

The GOP talks about being the party of Family Values.  HAH!  Read BLINDED BY THE RIGHT: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative to discover what goes on behind the scenes. It was written by a political operative who worked to create the image of the Democratic Party that you're hearing about from the GOP "viewpoint." It's a viewpoint filled with lies, slanders and libels that should be legislated against.

If a party can't win based on its own merits--if it has to win by lying about and slandering its opposition--it's not a party anyone should support.

Although DEMS have been known to exaggerate or misspeak, the GOP fabricates stuff and repeats it often enough that people begin to think it must be true. That was the plan of the Nazis--a propaganda campaign that almost brought the world to its knees.

You want to be careful. Fact check your party. (Dems, too, although Dems usually dance to truth because they have enough facts and integrity and lack the sociopath's twisted sense of "justice").

I have a lot of Republican friends. A lot of them. What I see them doing, almost to a person, is burying their heads in the sand. They think they're upholding America's highest ideals by doing so.  God bless them, but they're wrong. The new GOP will crush them as easily as they will crush the rest of the 98%. The GOP doesn't care about them... or about God... or about what this nation was founded on, despite their protestations to the contrary. You're deceived if you think they do.

I'm praying that there are more people paying attention (of those who plan to vote) and that they will discern exactly what their choice will do to America moving forward. I pray that everyone will vote for one of the two major parties so that those who DO vote will have them counted and we get the people we want in there. And when we do, we should follow them because they will be duly-elected by us.  This didn't happen when Obama was elected--to a man and woman, the opposition party filibustered, opposed and denigrated every policy the President put forth, defying the will of the people who elected him into office. In my opinion, this is sedition. These people should be tried as traitors. But voting them out of office this time around will suffice for me.

We need to get this nation moving forward again. Lock-step opposition to the leader of the free world is unacceptable. It is treason of the highest order.

Pay attention, voters. Pay attention!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

YOU have been selected as a candidate to ... take part in the final selection for our Top 50 featured authors


Thursday, August 16, 2012

THE NORTHERN KITTITAS COUNTY TRIBUNE PUBLISHED A NEWS STORY ABOUT "SETTLE FOR BEST" AND ME!


Thank you to Lyn Derrick for writing a FABULOUS news story about my newest book, SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be.  It's so good I'm going to laminate it and put it on the same wall next to the article she wrote about SERVAL SON when it came out...  

It's in today's edition. Order one today. LIKE the paper at FB and ask them how to get a copy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Presented to 40+ People at Networking on Lakewood Today -- Fun Fun Fun!

In what is at least some kind of mini-miracle, I talked about copy writing for eight minutes at noon today in front of more than 40 people at Networking in Lakewood, James Fowler's group that takes place at the YMCA. 


I must have been on auto-pilot (or semi-hysterical) because I only remember one or two things I said during the entire time... one of which got a big laugh (which I intended, thank God!). The real miracle is that I don't remember being scared--not even a little bit, although certainly I must have been! I'm usually miserable when the center of attention at large gatherings. I'm MUCH better one-to-one (but even then I'm not comfortable; I've just learned to cope! It wears me out to interact with people. Gregarious people love it; we shy types usually go along to get along and hope no one notices how out of place and "fish out of water" we feel!)


It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to get scared or even to organize my thoughts--but after it was all over, several people came over to say I did GREAT--and I could tell they meant it!  Some of them even reiterated on the NIL Facebook page later in the day (by LIKING one gal's comment) that I did well, putting their own names and integrity on the line while doing so!


It blows me away.  I usually stew over presentations for days or weeks before I feel "ready". Maybe it's because I know almost everyone there after all this time... and because I feel absolutely confident when it comes to copy writing tips and tricks after five years of writing copy as a full-time profession. 


Whatever the reason(s),   the presentation didn't  feel threatening at all...even though, had I messed up royally, I would probably NEVER get a writing gig from any of the 40+ people there! (Had I thought about that beforehand, I might have become catatonic and been unable to speak at all!)


Anyway... eight minutes is waaaayyyy too short a time to share much about copy writing, so I'm going to offer a free 30 minute or 60 minute class in a month or so.  A number of people told me they want to hear and learn more.  


Today's handout was nine pages (five of which were "do later" homework for those who want to); my actual copy writing crash course is 32 pages long! It would be fun to try it out live before I offer it for sale to the public.  It'll give me an opportunity to receive feedback and see if there's anything I left out that I should include...


Oh!  But I'm sure you want to hear about the line that got the laugh!


I was talking about how writing great copy requires cadence and rhythm so that a sort of "hypnotic" effect sets in.  I said, "Adding a lot of links or exit points to the home page confuses the issue and your visitor; knowing they're supposed to go somewhere else eventually keeps them rattled and from relaxing sufficiently to succumb to the mesmerizing effect that good copy should have on them.  So... instead of capturing their attention entirely, it's like this... You know the Beatles song, 'Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover...' ?  There's a story within the lyrics that seduces you and brings you along, almost against your will, isn't there?  Good copy writing should do that. But when there are a lot of links or exit points staring your visitor in the face, the effect is like this... (I began to sing): 'Something in the way she moves.... attracts me... SQUIRREL!' (said the same way that cartoon dog did)!


The roars that reverberated across the room were so joyous and delirious that they embarrassed me! I expected a laugh, but not one like THAT!   Twenty minutes later when Rebecca Joy stood up to speak, her first word was, "SQUIRREL!" and the roars reverberated again!


I got the point across, for sure!  It was memorable!  They won't forget what too many links and exit points do to a great piece of copy writing! That's for sure!


I have to come up with more analogies like that when I teach!



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thank You For Making SETTLE FOR BEST #1 for Three Days Running!

I've been over the moon, basking in the early success of SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be at Amazon. This simply would not have been possible without those of you who ordered, LIKED and SHARED the debut announcement on Facebook, encouraging others to check it out... 


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


Thanks, too, to my publisher, Cheryl Haynes (Futureword.net), the most helpful, amazing, hard-working publisher on the planet. Cheryl has been instrumental in formatting and getting the world out about SETTLE FOR BEST. 


Special thanks to C. S. (Shon) Trent at Din Faction (dinfaction.com), who found the cover photo and designed the cover layout. All too often, a cover makes or breaks a title; in this case, the cover was instrumental, I believe, in making the title as compelling as it is. I'm asking Shon to design my copy writing business logo, too. He's brilliant...


It is also time to thank my publisher for the cover and layout of SERVAL SON, my previous title at Futureword; I knew the second I saw it that it was the only possible cover for the book.  The cover has sold the book all by itself: I carried it to a store one day to find mailing envelopes for it, and the lady at the cash register bought it from me on the strength of the cover alone! It blew me away--made me want to carry a copy everywhere I go (but I don't, of course)!


The creativity of the people I've surrounded myself with astonishes me. Without them, so few people would be picking up my books to give them a try that I'd still be considered a "hobbyist" writer.   (I suppose, to J.K. Rowling and other mega-blockbuster writers, I still am considered a hobbyist writer!!! It isn't as though I can retire on book residuals--not that I'd ever retire from writing, anyway. I'd have to drop dead to retire from writing!)


My copy writing business is staying just above the waterline, praise be to God. I've been at it for five years this year and have managed to stay afloat despite the "feast or famine" nature of the business.


I'm raising my rates, though. It's getting more expensive to live and I've started attending networking meetings to interact with local businessmen and women to earn their trust (up 'til now I've been a "virtual"copywriter to businesses all over the planet--everywhere except locally!), so that pursuit steals time from stringing words together at my keyboard. The networking contacts are beginning to bear fruit (I'm getting local work), so it's worth the time I spend away but, at the moment, there is more outlay than income to the networking process (it takes months of one-on-ones and lunch meetings to develop the kind of relationships one needs to garner full-throated referrals) so I have to compensate. 


Besides--let's face facts: To all intents and purposes, I've been under-pricing my services at the rate I've been charging when compared to other professional copywriters. Most pros charge between $1 and $3 per word (not a typo).  I charge $75/hour and can write upwards of 500 words an hour... so to say I've been under-pricing my services is quite the understatement!  It's goofy to try to stay afloat on such slim margins when the market will bear higher rates. I just have to get over the desire to be the savior of every last start-up small business that is trying to survive on a shoestring marketing budget. They get more than they pay for with me; they still will.  It will be a cold day in hell before I'll charge $1 to $3 per word unless my client is Time Warner, GE, CNN, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco or any of the major players who can well afford $3 per word!
(I have ghosted for a couple of CNN talking heads already. Would like to do more of it... 'cause I happen to adore the talking heads I've written for!)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mission: Impossible: Teach Copy Writing in Eight Minutes

I have been tasked with presenting an eight-minute mini-course on copy writing at the end of July during a networking meeting. Whatever possessed me to say yes?  It's sheer lunacy!

I'm going over a manuscript I wrote several months ago to see what I can pull out of it to use as a quick "tips and tricks" kind of lesson. Naturally, the idea is to show expertise in eight minutes so that people will be interested in hiring me (or referring me to others they know who need a great copywriter). But I have another reason for agreeing to be a featured speaker, too.

Michael McCoy (NuSkin and Empower Network Associate)and I have already been talking about offering a paid writing session re: social media and the Empower Network, so this eight minute intro will segue nicely if we can come up with a date and time not long after the eight-minute session to announce on the 31st. At that time I can actually roll out the entire 24 page document and use it to teach the class... but for right now, I just need to choose some quick talking points. Eight minutes goes by very, very fast...

In Other News....

We're just eight days away from the debut of SETTLE FOR BEST: SATISFY THE WINNER YOU WERE BORN TO BE, my seventh book. My publisher, bless her heart, has been racing against the clock to get the manuscript numbered as a PDF file so we can upload it for the final time. Today she got it to happen but some of the chapters start on the left-hand side of the pages, which is a no-no... so she's back to the drawing board...

When I got the initial galley proofs I noticed that the back cover photo looked yellowed with age and blurry, something the original photo isn't. I asked for some tweaking to see if we could fix that and, if not, if we can swap out the photo for one that doesn't misbehave. But my publisher loves the photo that's on there now (see it below) so we're trying to do what we can to keep it... Pray for success!


On July 16 I'll be able to announce something else that's happening in my life right now, even as I write this, but I have to keep it under my hat until then. I'll be taking pictures of all that's happening right along so you can re-live it vicariously "after the fact" on the 16th ...so stay tuned!

My new "goaties" are doing fine. They used to live in a small pen, so they arrived extremely rotund. After just four weeks they've slimmed down noticeably ; Curly (who we estimate is about eleven) can run real fast now and no longer acts as arthritic (stiff-legged in the rear) as he did. The exercise he gets in the larger pasture seems to be doing him a world of good.

Laverne now has three goats to boss around, so Shirley has some leisure time that she hasn't enjoyed before. She's also pretty bossy with the smaller boys--but the boys don't seem to mind all that much--they follow along like puppies wherever Laverne and Shirley go and just make sure they MOVE OUT whenever either of the "boss ladies" give them the bum's rush.

Our hens are about two months away from laying their first eggs, we estimate. They're practically pets, too: we let them out of their hen pen and they follow us around like imprinted ducklings... It's pretty funny.  We have three Rhode Island Reds and three Black Sex Links (a cross between a Rhode Island Red and something else...)

What else? I'm delighted that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court. Hallelujah!  I pray that this bodes well for President Obama's re-election in November... We're pulling out of the rut as a nation. We're aren't out yet,  but we're getting there. Obama is headed in the right direction and is picking up speed. 

I say let's actually follow the leader for once and see what he can do for us in the next four years without being hamstrung by naysayers.  I hope the Tea Party-hamstrung GOP is soundly defeated in November so they wake up and smell the coffee and we can get on the same page in D.C. for the first time in decades to get something done for the American people.  The present quagmire is totally unacceptable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE FOR SETTLE FOR BEST: SATISFY THE WINNER YOU WERE BORN TO BE

FUTUREWORD PUBLISHING ANNOUNCES SECOND NONFICTION TITLE

“SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be” Debuts July 7th 2012


Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today the President of FutureWord Publishing, Cheryl Haynes, announced the upcoming July 7th release of SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be by author and copywriter Kristine M. Smith.

Smith’s seventh title, ‘SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be’ is loosely based on Napoleon Hill’s seminal bestseller “Think and Grow Rich.” The book details twenty commonalities that “up by the bootstraps” millionaire philanthropists shared during the first part of the last century before, during and after the Great Depression. Each chapter title reveals one of the commonalities; then, Smith takes it from there, inspiring and encouraging readers to think and act boldly while so many others are hunkered down, thinking and acting scared, diminished and defeated.

Publisher Haynes’ announcement reads in part, “Smith’s books is an eye-opening look into the ways successful entrepreneurs think and behave their way to success. ‘SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be’ debuts at a particularly apt time in our nation’s history, when so many people are out of work and finding it hard to land a job in the public and private sectors. Smith encourages these folks to use their time of unemployment to dig deep into their souls and re-establish the dreams they had about setting the world on fire when they were children, teens and young adults."

Author Smith says, “Now is the time to use your free time to consider whether your career ladder has been leaning up against the wrong wall. If so, there’s not a thing in the world to stop you from forging the career you want out of your freed up time and energy. You’re the only one standing in your way. Kick it up a notch! Move!”

Smith’s 2011 title, ‘SERVAL SON: Spots and Stripes Forever’ reached the #2 and #4 spots at Amazon in two niche categories when it debuted and landed among the top 1000 books sold at Amazon among the more than 5 million titles offered at the site that day.

Kristine’s earlier titles include ‘DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories,’ ‘The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend,’ ‘Let No Day Dawn that the Animals Cannot Share,’ ‘Purposeful Christianity’ and ‘Floating around Hollywood and Other Totally-True Tales of Triumph.’

SETTLE FOR BEST will be available at Amazon.com and at FutureWord.net on or before July 4th. Not long after, it will be available at all online bookstores and on Kindle™. It measures 6 x 9 and will be perfect bound.

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Futureword Publishing publishes award-worthy fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Find out more at FutureWord.net or Amazon.com. Author and copywriter Kristine M. Smith is an author and well-regarded copywriter who writes for businesses globally. Discover more about her at kristinemsmith.biz.



The cover photo is much better/sharper on the actual book. This is a low resolution version of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Check Out Tacoma.com SOON!

My business and books are spotlighted there this week....

Friday, June 1, 2012

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: STUDENTS JAZZED!

Today I spoke at Hunt Elementary to two classes about writing and the writing life. I spoke for about 50 minutes; the students and teachers were with me all the way--asking great questions.

Wendy videotaped the whole thing; Phil will send me a disk of the presentation so I can post it to YouTube or my blog or wherever else I think it'll do some good. I'll make several copies of it on DVD, too, so I have back-ups... If you'd like copies, let me know...

I want to thank the teachers for the opportunity and the kids for being so great! It was a lot of fun!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Networking is Getting to Be a Lot of FUN!

I've been attending various networking meetings lately, learning new things and meeting some truly terrific people.

I started visiting a networking group (very tentatively) back in October or November. Back then, I simply put my toe in and watched for a while,except when required to stand and say what I offer as a businesswoman.

I'm not a gregarious person by nature (or if I am, it was trained out of me at an early age--those of you who have been reading my blog for years know all about that!)so deciding to start networking was traumatic and scary at first. I read BOOK YOURSELF SOLID by Michael Port before setting out so I'd be going in for all the right reasons and so I'd know what to do and how to behave when I got there.

Now (after several months) I feel a lot more comfortable and can be myself, for the most part, and contribute at these things. And because I am, I'm actually forging some great strategic partnerships and an extended referral network that is beginning to mutually bless us in several ways.

I've had the big tree in our front yard trimmed back by Rafael Contreras (R&S Construction in Federal Way) after hearing a testimonial about his integrity and diligence from Phyllis Kaplan (Stimulate Your Economy). He did a fantastic job and I feel completely comfortable recommending him to anyone else who needs a great contractor. Everyone else who has ever used him in the networking group gives him similar high marks. To hear us tell it, the man walks on water... He really is a terrific man to have taking care of your contracting needs. (Tree trimming is a sideline service. He's usually busy building and remodeling homes, erecting gazebos, and doing other outstanding work.)

Phyllis Kaplan (Stimulate Your Economy) is a vivacious, engaging individual who appears at trade shows, county fairs and other large public forums as the "face" of various companies. She also offers relational training to individuals and companies whose employees need to interact with their customers and clients face-to-face. She always wanted to be an actress, so she's completely in her element when she's meeting and greeting people and demonstrating wares, techniques, or anything else. She even teaches canvassing, cold-calling, and how to transform gatekeepers into allies. She's worth her weight in gold to the companies she serves and advises. Her tagline ("Face-to-face matters, because you can't shake hands with a screen)" perfectly mirrors what she offers. She offers quality representation and representational training.

And this week I took a 90 minute class with Joyce Singleton (Referral Institute, Tacoma) that covered the differences between a lead and a referral, and much, much more! I want to take some of her other classes, too. She is a wealth of valuable insights and knowledge.

Another Joyce--Joyce Joneschiet of Aging in Place--helps Baby Boomers and their parents stay in their homes longer by showing them how to adapt their residences to make them elder-friendly, safe and accessible. She loves what she does and adores older folks, so she is living out her passion, too.

And there are others, too numerous to mention in a single blog entry. Perhaps I'll throw a spotlight on more of them as the weeks pass.

All of these people are passionate about what they do; as passionate as I am about what I do. Having 1-on-1's with each of them and getting to know them better makes all the difference in the world. And hearing other peoples' "shout outs" about what others in the networking group have done for their own businesses helps us feel good about referring our own friends, family and neighbors to them. (A referral is someone you're willing recommend to others; your own integrity is on the line when you make a referral. A lead doesn't always meet that standard.)

It's just after midnight on Saturday morning. I haven't made much money this week, but I have had a truly successful week in a lot of other ways. The money will come as a result of it.

I'm just days away from presenting at Casey's school (Hunt Elementary in Puyallup). I'm creating a mental outline so I remember what I need to say to encourage the young writers in her class. Wendy will videotape the event so I can use it later. (I mentioned this in an earlier log entry, I think.) Looking forward to it... but I'd sure like to find an appropriate, good-looking, writer-type outfit to wear that day that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I think I'll visit a thrift store and see if I can find something "artsy" or avant garde that will still be "me"...

Got any ideas? Let me know. Wanna take me shopping (if you're local) and dress me? I could really use a wardrobe consultant right about now!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Confirmed: I'll Be Talking About Writing and the Writing Life with Casey's Class

WOO HOO!!!

Wendy just called to say I'll be talking to Casey's class about writing and the writing life early in June. That's ENORMOUSLY exciting to me. I'm really looking forward to it. There is so much more need for writers now than there was when I was a kid... today's kids who love to write won't have to worry about IF they'll be able to find work, as long as they work hard to get really, really good at it; there will be plenty of opportunities out there.

I wish my newest book would be out by then, but Casey can take it later on and share it with the kids who show a real interest. It'll be helpful to them.

In Other News:

I'm reading C. Hope Clark's new book,LOW COUNTRY BRIBE, and freaking out because I haven't been able to finish it in one sitting. Deadlines have interfered. I usually don't read fiction, but in this case, I'm delighted I am. It's a real page turner. I told Hope I might have a stroke before it's all over. Just when you think the main character will get some relief, something else happens. I can see this as a movie. It probably will be someday! Yes, I encourage you to get it and read it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

I'm going to take in a movie and a meal with a good friend this weekend. It's time to get out and stretch my legs a little! I've been sitting on this chair at this desk for what seems like "forever!" That's not true, though. I've been out and about, off an on, all week long, making business connections... a few minutes here...an hour there... I come and go like a leaf in the wind--but it's all bearing fruit.

My publisher and I are reaching out to well-known pastors (as mentioned in my last blog entry) to see if any of them are willing to endorse SETTLE FOR BEST: SATISFY THE WINNER YOU WERE BORN TO BE. I already have five endorsements from other folks (*sigh*)and expect a few more before the book goes to press. We were thinking of releasing it June 1st but now we're holding off to make sure the pastors and other folks have a chance to weigh in and possibly get into the book via endorsement...

In Other News:

Sometime in June, Laverne and Shirley (my two goats) will be joined by two Nigerian Dwarf Goats, two wethers. Jackie and I have a friend who needs to find new homes for them. We've been looking for--and wanting--goats that are small enough to be petted by the wee ones who visit us regularly on weekends and some evenings. Laverne and Shirley weigh close to 200 pounds each now, and they can get TOO playful and rowdy--goats tend to bounce sideways almost as often as they bounce forward, which can inadvertently hurt even an adult, so we're happy to take in some goats that will remain short and sweet. Our friend assures us these two neutered boys will be fine with small children--and I've read up on the breed and seen written confirmation: Nigerian Dwarf Goats are often taken to hospitals as therapy animals. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Casey's class is beginning a series on writing, illustrating, editing and publishing. (Casey is my grandniece--Phil and Wendy's oldest daughter, 12). She has invited me to speak to her class sometime soon. This is going to be a hoot! I did the same thing once before, years ago, when Amber White invited me to her class to talk about writing, and we had a very good time.

Casey herself is quite the writer. She's also a voracious reader, which should go with the territory--but all too often doesn't. I have never understood how people think they can become good or great writers without reading good and great writing. It blows me away! Without investing time reading (even if only for the sheer joy of reading), it's the equivalent of expecting a brain surgeon to be able to pick up a scalpel and dive right into the first available brain without serious repercussions! Malcolm Gladwell writes in THE TIPPING POINT that to become an expert in any realm you have to invest 10,000 hours reading about it, studying it and doing it. I agree! I passed that milestone decades ago and I'm STILL learning things about writing(to my complete and utter joy)...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SERVAL SON WRITTEN INTERVIEW UP NOW!

http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/2012/05/kristine-m-smith-serval-son-spots-and.html?showComment=1337312556342#c8007407844665184508

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Second Prepub Review of SETTLE FOR BEST

Settle For Best: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be by Kristine M Smith is a delightfully good read for people who want to improve themselves or find their inner happiness. This book is invaluable, jam packed with Kris's zest and love for life and how she is willing to share it with the world. Like her mentor (and my inspiration) DeForest Kelley did for me with the show he was in (Star Trek) and the way he looked at and lived his life, Kristine's new book has helped me put life's challenges in a new light and, along with De Kelley, has re-sparked my zest and love for life and my commitment to reaching my goals. Can't wait 'till it hits the shelves. [This review is based on a pre-publication review copy.] — Greg Barton, Australia

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The First REVIEW of My Next Book Has Arrived!

Here's the VERY FIRST review of of my upcoming book. “I’ve just read SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born To Be by Kristine M Smith. This is a valuable reference book, indeed, infused with the author’s signature lively use of the English language. It sure helped me in my current challenge!” —Edward E Smith, Yelm, Washington (No relation to the author, but a very good friend!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Finished Writing My Seventh Book Last Night

Last night I finished writing SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy The Winner You Were Born to Be. It's now in the hands of eight people who will be going over it with a fine-toothed comb and letting me know what they think of it and whether I typo'ed anywhere.  (It's very, very hard to proofread one's own writing, but I THINK I caught everything. I'm about to find out!)



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Freedom!

Yesterday was my last day working off-site (occasionally) for the first 4 1/2 months of 2012.  I feel ten years younger just knowing I'm back to writing full-time again. I still have the occasional church gig but, other than that, I'm free and clear to navigate as a full-time copywriter again!  I will probably sleep better at night not having to keep three balls in the air every week.  It's a relief.  Three jobs is too many (especially when the one that just ended cost me more in lost writing projects than it was worth, which is the opposite of the way I expected it to work out; oh well, live and learn!)

This past weekend Jackie, Phil, Wendy, Casey, Jamie and I built a hen house and a chicken pen for our six chickens, which we raised from infancy.  They are now looking like pint-sized versions of what will become their adult selves, so we had to get the facilities made for them. They have been freed from a small (goat-sized) cage to the great outdoors, and they love it. They have started to teach themselves to fly.  They sure know how to peck for food already; that comes naturally!

I set a large dog igloo in the center of the "barnyard" so they have a place to get in out of the rain and sunshine if they don't want to climb the ramp into the hen house.

They don't know how to climb the ramp yet. They will descend it, but I haven't seen them ascend it yet, so I have to collect them to put them in bed at night until they figure that out.  (Some night time critters are small enough to get in through the chicken fence, so they need to be shut in at night.)

We put plastic netting over the top of the pen so flying predators (eagles, hawks, owls) can't get at them so I have to walk hunched over slightly to get around in their pen (no fun for older backs, but do-able).  I'll take some photos soon so you can see the new chick digs.  I swear the hen house looks like Snoopy's doghouse (except for the color). I want to put a plywood "sleeping Snoopy" on top, but Jackie says no.  Too bad.  It would be fantabulous, methinks!

I'm thinking of laying down some sod in the chicken pen. We seeded the area a few weeks ago but I think the wee hens are going to eat that all up in no time at all...  Sod is very inexpensive right now at McLendon's Hardware... something under $2 a roll, if I'm not mistaken...  I could put down the whole expanse for $50, probably... or at least enough so they'd have forage while the rest grows in!

Today I pushed some of the cable spools up the hill so Laverne and Shirley (goats) can get up into the prickly trees and eat the new buds that are emerging. It's a hawthorn tree, I think, and they just LOVE it, so they've been standing on their hind feet to get at it for days. Today I figured I'd help 'em out. The spool elevates them another three feet (approx) so they have more of their favorite forage now.  I'll take pix of that during the next sunshiny day, too...

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BRAVO, WASHINGTON STATE! #3 Least-Corrupt State in the Union

Washington



> Overall Grade: B- (83%)


> Public access to information: B-


> Legislative accountability: B+


> Political financing: C+


> Ethics enforcement agencies: B-


Washington stands out among states for its exemplary level of transparency. In 1972, the state was the first to pass a Public Records Act, which is a series of laws intended to guarantee public access to public records of government bodies at all levels. The state has strict ethics laws and campaign disclosure laws, and an Open Public Meetings Act that requires transparency. The state’s judiciary are elected directly by citizens at all levels. State legislature committee meetings and floor action are open to the public and often featured on state television.



Read more: America’s Least Corrupt States - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/03/22/americas-least-corrupt-states/#ixzz1qLEIsuAa

Monday, March 12, 2012

What Does a Copywriter Do?

WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER DO?       © 2012 by Kristine M. Smith


Consider the power of words when eloquently aligned. Words have inspired great works of art, terrible acts of war, and selfless acts of love. According to Genesis, God’s words alone created the universe and everything in it, seen and unseen.


As a business owner, speaker, coach, or entrepreneur, what kind of world are you creating with the words you’ve posted or spoken to let others know about you and what you can do for them?


Are you pushing a product or service at people and wondering why your conversion rate is laughably low?

Is your “target audience” not fully-understanding the rock-solid value of your offer?

If not, is it because you’re targeting them rather than transforming them into mini-you’s who “sneeze” your products and services virally because they’ve been transformed by what you’ve done for them?


The value of a professional copywriter can’t be calculated and should never be underestimated...but sadly, all too often it is.

Perhaps you consider copywriters to be paid product pushers, ad men and women, shills for the people they serve, undeserving of respect or wealth. Certainly there are those in the trade who will work on any project regardless of its value, just as there are vanity publishers who will publish trash because they’re in it strictly for the fees they can charge.


But good copywriters pick and choose the people and businesses they serve. Ethical copywriters won’t write false testimonials for start-ups, or a great sales page for an e-book that reeks. Great copywriters look high and low for projects they can invest themselves in 100% for people they respect and admire.


A great copywriter is a wordsmith, a transformer, a magician, a spellbinder.


A great copywriter dances with words, distills benefits into compelling, converting talking points, clarifies hard-to-understand technical papers.


A great copywriter builds brands, creates memorable slogans and taglines.


A great copywriter sells, tells, compels, and propels the people who are in need of your product or service.


A great copywriter knows how to approach your prospect and blow in his or her ear, how to create a little intrigue and romance.


A great copywriter knows that social media is no place to behave like a bull in a china shop. They’ve taken the book LIKEABLE SOCIAL MEDIA to heart and will not behave badly when writing in that realm.


Great copywriters almost never offer their services at bargain basement prices, even in this economy. If/when they do, it is usually out of the fullness of their hearts for causes or people they know and feel compelled to serve out of a commonality of purpose or an abiding friendship.


If you consider professional copywriters expensive, consider these facts:


Like many (if not most) of you, freelance copywriters are entrepreneurs.


We don't get paid vacations


We don't get paid sick days


We rarely get bonuses for outstanding work or holidays


We cover the full costs of any insurance plans we have


We cover 100% of the costs for our federal Social Security and other mandated plans


We don't qualify for unemployment if work doesn’t materialize


We live in an expensive economy


We must take into account the time it requires to find and quote on projects


Although freelance copywriters enjoy our work...sadly....enjoyment doesn't pay the rent!


The National Writers Union and other folks in the know suggest that professional copywriters charge $1 to $2 per word. (That's not a typo.)


Please Note: Because I usually serve start-up entrepreneurs and small businesses, I keep my rates as low as I possibly can because I know how cash-strapped most businesses are in this economy and I want to help--but without losing my shirt!


A lot goes into landing copywriting work (in both time and treasure). It takes (according to Malcolm Gladwell’s THE TIPPING POINT) 10,000 hours to attain proficiency and expertise in any realm. Some freelance writers (including this one) exceeded this exalted milestone before they turned twenty years old. (Air-breathers have to breathe; fish have to swim; writers have to write—the activity isn’t optional. What we do keeps us alive, inside and out.)


If you’ve read this far, you’ve passed the only test I’ll ever give you. I needed you to understand what you’re getting if you choose me to serve you. You’ll get my absolute best efforts based on years of study, practice, and experience—nothing less.


                                                       ##


Kristine M Smith is a freelance copywriter and the author of six (soon to be seven) books

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Likeable Social Media -- A MUST READ for Businesses Large and Small

I've just finished reading LIKEABLE SOCIAL MEDIA by Dave Kerpen.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn in the social media realm. I "understood" that social media has to feel social--personal, friendly, one-on-one--and not come across as a giant "in-your-face" ad...that much I understood from reading other copywriting books...but I had no idea how many ways there are to find the people most interested in what I'm so passionate about (DeForest Kelley, critters, the books I've written, the job I love). NOW I do, after reading this insightful, amazing book! 

My only concern now is finding the time to implement what the author says needs to be done to make online social interaction worth the time I spend doing it... There are only so many hours in the day, and I spend most of them looking for copywriting work. (A little thing called "the cost of living" dictates how much "leisure" I can spend on social media, networking meetings, and the like. You know the drill, if you're in a business that's running just a wee bit better than "breaking even.") But he's right: the more I do it RIGHT (social media interaction) the more I'll develop "fond bonds" with others, and at some point down the road they'll need (or know someone who needs) a copywriter and they'll think of me when they do...not because I "sold" myself all the time, but because I've become a real human being to them and they trust me to do my best to hit their project out of the ball park for  them.

It makes perfect sense.  Get the book. It's worth its weight in gold. I downloaded it on my Kindle Fire and plan to read it at least once more right away... There's too much in it to grasp it all the first time around.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why Are Post-ers so MEAN These Days?

I just read through some of the Whitney Houston "traffic" and was appalled by the number of people who went out of their way to trash her legacy because she was an insecure, wounded human being with an unhealthy way of dealing with it.

What has happened to the soul of America?  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Is another person's tragedy fodder for gloating like the Pharisees of old, whose "prayers to God" were self-serving propaganda meant for the ears of bystanders? 

Instead of "There but for the grace of God go I..." we get "She got what every addict deserves."

Really?  Really?!!!

I'm not an addict (except to too many calories) so I have no skin in this game. But I have known and loved addicts...and they are, for the most part, absolutely BEAUTIFUL wounded souls looking for  something to take away the pain, the loneliness, or something else that every other human being on the planet requires, too.

Anyone without compassion for them needs a heart transplant. 

OK. I feel better now.  I've had my say.

I am so sick and tired of people trashing each other politically, spiritually, and in every other way.  Have we forgotten what the term "civil-ized" means?

Seems we're becoming a nation of verbal barbarians...and I loathe it.

REPENT!  Unless we do, America is doomed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Laverne and Shirley: The Continuing Saga

Today, because it was decent weather, I decided it was a good time to trim the goats' hooves.  The problem: Laverne didn't think it was a good time. (She never does.)

When they were kids--25, 30 pounds tops --trimming their hooves was relatively easy; now that they weigh close to 200 pound each, it's still relatively easy...with Shirley! She's an easy-going sweetheart who knows I would never do anything to hurt her.  I reckon that's the nature of Boer goats, because she has always been the sweet, easy-going one. She'll tuck her head into my shoulder or neck and let me pet her. When I was putting up the fence this summer, she followed me the whole way, "helping" me by putting her head between my arm and my body so I could pet her every few minutes.  It took longer to finish up that way, but it was waaaaayyyy more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise.  (I just love an appreciative "apprentice".)

But Laverne is a red goat--I swear she's at least half Kalahari goat, because I saw a photo of a Kalahari goat and she looks exactly like that one; her horns even curl the same way (differently than Shirley's).  Laverne is probably at least ten percent heavier than Shirley and half a hand taller.  And she has always been the comedienne of the two.  She figures out ways to make me laugh every day.  But she's a big problem when it comes to hoof trimming.

I can trim Shirley's hooves without putting a leash and collar on her. All I have to do is put apple slices or grain in her bucket and she lets me work on her because, let's face it, hoof trimming doesn't hurt one bit.

But I have to put a collar and leash on Laverne and then tie the leash to a heavy vertical beam because she'll drag me all over hell's half acre if I don't. She's just convinced I am about to amputate her foot at the knee.  Even as closely-tied as she is to the beam, she darts and ducks and spins and bolts and rears and crashes to the ground trying to avoid having me pick up her feet.  I have to cavort with her in this bucking bronco way for three or four minutes before she decides to let me pick up her feet.  Then, when I do, and I finally get her all taken care of she becomes as docile as a newborn lamb. She stands there regarding me with gentle eyes, allows me to pet her and run my fingers through her thick winter coat.  It's like she suddenly realizes what Shirley knows from the get-go:  Just because I pick up a pair of hoof clippers doesn't mean I have lost my mind and become Jack the Ripper.

Needless to say, by the time I get both goats' feet taken care of, I'm easily as worn out at Laverne is!  We both sit there (well, I sit; she stands) looking at each other. I'm laughing; she would, too, if she could.

I sometimes think she isn't half as scared as she's pretending to be. I think she just enjoys giving me a run for my money.  She doesn't pant or cry out at all; she just acts "flighty" -- as if I'm a coyote about to eviscerate her, even though she knows I won't.

It's just part of what makes her unique.  I don't know if all Kalahari goats share this trait, but I can say that I'm glad I only have to wrestle ONE of my goats to care for their hooves!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Copywriter/Wordsmith for Hire -- by the Hour, Day, Week or Project


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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Face of an Angel... ALPHA ROSSETTI -- Gone 28 Years, Never Forgotten!

ALPHA ROSSETTI:
MORE THAN A SCHOOL TEACHER
(AND I REVERE SCHOOL TEACHERS!!!!!)

For many of you, this is the first sight you have of the woman who first believed in me as a writer. I received this photo today from her daughter, Susan , who has also been a school teacher for many years. (I'm happy to report that the apple didn't fall far from the Alpha tree.)

Of course, for those of you who grew up in Cle Elum during the same time I did (and in the decades before and for a decade or so after), you know, remember and revere Alpha Rossetti every bit as much as I do. She was an institution in our town. Her husband Mike was the mayor of Cle Elum (more than once, as I recall).  With only 1600 people in the little burg (at that time), we were scarcely more than a village. Everyone knew everyone.

Ten years after I graduated from high school I went back for a visit. Mrs. Rossetti asked me, then, to call her Alpha, but I was never able to do it. To me, she earned the august title "Mrs. Rossetti". The familiarity of Alpha just never felt right to me.  There are some teachers who inhabit their titles. She did.

Susan tells me her mom loved me.  I have a feeling she probably loved a lot of her students. But I know she loved me. I absolutely do.  She wasn't obvious about it, of course.  She wasn't even "obviously" Susan's mom in class!  She was a Teacher. Back in those days (the 1960's), Cle Elum High was "old school", scarcely past the knuckle-rapping days of yore.  Teachers were Teachers. You didn't mess around. You Respected them. And because we did, we learned a lot. Our school's scholatic rating was always among the highest in the state.

But back to the major thread of this story...

While my dad was telling me to "get my head out of the clouds" and stop being so foolish as to think I would ever make a living as a writer, Mrs. Rossetti was telling me I was an amazing writer and buying me subscriptions to THE WRITER magazine. She did this, I suspect, because one time when she told me I was a very good writer, I asked her, "Teach me how to be better!"  She told me that great writing wasn't something she could teach. (I get that, now, but back then I thought any English teacher could be a great writer if they decided to sit down and write: they knew all the rules and had stories to tell. What more did great writing require?) 

She told me, "I can't teach you how to be better. I'm not a writer. But I'm a reader--and I know good writing when I see it." 

I reckon my request preyed on her mind.  Not long after this brief exchange, she handed me a copy of THE WRITER magazine.  I have no doubt my eyes flew right out of their sockets! 

Then she said, "I've paid for a two year subscription for you."  (We were a poor farm family. We could no more have afforded a magazine subscription that only one family member would read than we could fly to the moon.) This was her way of teaching me how to be better--the only way she felt she could reliably!

I practically memorized every issue.

She also loved me enough to set me straight when my teen-age personality begin to segue from sweet to sour.  She took me aside one day after class to advise me, not unkindly, "I don't like your new personality."

OMG!  OMG! OMG!  Red Alert!  The very thought of losing Mrs. Rossetti's high regard for me catapulted my racing heart into my throat!  I quickly regained my sanity. She never spoke of it again.

There are some people who become so much a part of your heart that you know they're sitting in heaven just waiting for you to beam up. These are the same souls you're half-compelled to go AWOL from life to see again, sooner than God has scheduled your leave-taking. 

Alpha Rossetti is one of those.  I simply cannot wait to see her again. But alas, I must.  Until then, this new photo will sit to the right of my flat screen monitor, smiling at me...

She has been gone 28 years. In 28 years I'll be gone--probably sooner.  And that's okay with me. I've got great friends over yonder that I'm missing like crazy. And a Savior I'm aching to embrace.

Cowabunga.  It's going to be great!