Friday, December 27, 2013

Kristine M Smith's Word Whisperer Logo

Registered Trademark

Newest Review from a Local Tacoma-Area Client

A primary reason why I love doing what I do is that I get the most enthusiastic client feedback. And although money is important (it allows me to stay in business as a copywriter) the kudos I get from clients mean far more to me!


You are the word whisperer. Nicely done. You are a gifted writer and very thorough while delivering the final project in a short period of time.

John B. Merz, Administrator
Memory Haven Sumner

Memory Care Cottages
5107 Parker Road E.
Sumner, WA 98390

(Copy written to SEO keywords without talking points provided)

Links to pages I've written
(Clients gave me permission to disclose that I wrote their copy for them.)

(Copy written to SEO keywords without talking points provided)

(Copy written to SEO keywords without talking points provided) (I wrote the home page and the English Language version of the video at this site.)

The script is amazing.

Thank you again,


(Copy written to SEO keywords mostly without talking points provided)

“I love taking the time to read what you do with what you are given. You amaze me! I don't think I could give higher praise to any vendor we use - and we have 20 to 30 that we use regularly. There are gifts that God gives that cannot be explained by any man or
science - they are living examples of a miracle,  tangible to even the highest skeptic. This is what I think each time you submit any writing to us. We are blessed to count you
as a partner.”  — James C. Whelan, Michigan

(Copy written to SEO keywords mostly without talking points provided) (I didn’t write the moving banner ads)

I wrote the above websites in their entirety, some via talking points provided by the clients, some by the seat of my pants.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Feast or Famine: Life as a 'Creative' is Both Glorious and Gut-Wrenching!

A few weeks ago I had clients in holding patterns, waiting to land as soon as I completed the project I was on. 

This week both of the clients who were scheduled to employ me have decided to wait until after the holidays have come and gone. ACK!  So here I sit, praying for some unexpected drop-ins: former clients, new clients, some editing work, anything! 

Moral of the story: get down payments or retainer fees up front so that when (not if) clients decide to delay, it doesn't throw you into "OMG!" Mode, wondering how you're going to make ends meet. "There goes my Christmas plans and packages. I'm dead in the water..." T'is NOT the season to be a pauper. I can handle it any other time of the year, off and on (it's a way of life for most Creatives) but this time of year it makes me come across looking like a penny-pinching Scrooge when I'm feeling more like Bob Crachit--or Tiny Tim!   Grrrr...

Not that I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs, mind you. When my schedule frees up unexpectedly, I start writing for myself, doing the marketing stuff that shows my wares and abilities on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

I also write complimentary copy, during these droughts, for power networking partners who have sent work my way this year. I just finished writing 4000 words of copy for Internet Earle (who is creating a complimentary website for a friend of his) to thank him for the number of times he has sent clients my way and saved my bacon this year, and for Lisa Taylor, who offers two services that lots of people need: computer tutoring for seniors here in the Tacoma  area and other technophobes and custom WordPress sites. It makes me feel very, very good to be able to do this for them. Words are the only gifts I can afford to get them this year for Christmas, and it's a great gift--one that most people have to pay serious money to get.  Oh! And I bathed my sister's two dogs yesterday, too... in my spare time. So I'm not twiddling my thumbs, by any stretch of the imagination!

But of course none of the above pays the mortgage; it just keeps me from stressing too much over something I can't control while blessing people who have been such blessings to me.

I'm watching the websites that offer writing jobs (usually for peanuts) to see if I spot anything that will carry me through this dry spell that I can bid on. That takes a lot of time out of every day, including weekends.  I must spend 50-60 hours a week looking for writing work when I'm  not engaged in writing projects.  Very few people understand the enormous amount of time and attention it takes to make a living this way. But there's nothing else on earth I'd rather do than write, so here I am... writing for free when I can't write for pay!

Please keep me in your prayers for a sudden, surprising upswing in business--sooner rather than later. (Now would be a good time!) 

I appreciate it!

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Article I Wrote for the Living Without Family Network--Enjoy, Like and Share!

New article I wrote last night ("Where is Love?") is up now at Life Without Family Network. Check it out if/when you have time or the interest--and feel free to Like and Share!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Five Ways to Find a Great Freelance Copywriter

5 Ways to Find a Great Freelance Copywriter
©2013 Kristine M. Smith
Professional copywriters usually charge one to three dollars per word. Here’s how to get one for less—without sacrificing quality.
Every business and entrepreneur needs a professional writer now and then—for web content, a brochure, content marketing articles, you name it. Unfortunately, too many have fallen victim to tens of thousands of charlatans and wannabes who have hung their shingles at scores of online freelance websites and proclaimed themselves copywriting experts. (No certification or testing is required so anyone can claim the title.)
1.      IF you elect to use an online freelance website to look for copywriters (not recommended!) be sure to carefully review each candidate’s profile page, client history and feedback, certified test results, and portfolio. Most of the reputable copywriters have fled online freelance websites (or are fleeing as fast as they can) because the reputation of these sites has plummeted because of the overwhelming numbers of impostors and their resulting unhappy customers; few professionals want to be associated with them anymore. If you go this route, expect to spend hours (perhaps days) sorting through often-laughable sub-standard profiles and portfolios in search of the remaining reputable providers. Bottom line: Don’t settle for less than the best. You’ll get what you pay for at these sites. Remember: you’ll need a result that you can be proud of, not sub-standard copy fit only for lining the bottom of a bird cage.
2.      If you want a local provider, do a search on “your town + copywriter” and see who pops up. Visit their websites and look at their histories, portfolios and client testimonials.  (Note: no professional copywriter tackles all niches; only hacks and wannabes do that—and they usually do it poorly.) When you find ones that impress you, give them a call and make arrangements to meet them to discuss your needs.
3.      If the physical location of your copywriter isn’t an issue, run a search on the kind of copywriter you’re seeking (SEO copywriter, real estate copywriter, web content copywriter, content marketing copywriter, etc.) and check out the credentials and client reviews of the ones you find. I highly recommend that you hire a native professional copywriter from within your own country (wherever you are in the world) when your target audience is also where you are, since he or she will be well-versed in your nation’s idioms, culture and customs and won’t be making major mistakes because of cultural and language issues. If your target audience is in another country, hire a professional copywriter from the same country your target audience is in unless the copywriter can show you copy he has already written for that audience. Why? Because (for example) UK Englishmen speak, spell, and write differently than do Americans, Australians and Canadians; readers can be put off if they run across unfamiliar colloquialisms, spellings or cultural references that they don’t hear at home.   A metaphor like “You hit that one out of the ball park!” resonates in the United States, where baseball is a national pastime; it’ll just raise eyebrows (and sometimes hackles) in other places.
4.      If you aren’t well-versed when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation or if you confuse words when you’re writing (there, their, they’re; its and it’s; accept, except; then and than, etc.) find someone else to help you select your copywriter. It’s what you don’t know about spelling, grammar, punctuation and other matters that can come back to bite you professionally unless you find an ally to help you choose a copywriter.
5.      Agree to pay a small fee to the copywriter you’re considering hiring. Have them write a short one-page/250-word sample web page, article or letter on your topic of choice (give them the source materials for this piece); or (ideally) have them edit and enhance a substandard one-page/250-word piece you already have on hand.  Let them know you want the piece back in under an hour (unless they’re absolutely swamped with deadlines). If they can produce the piece to your satisfaction within this time frame, it’s likely you’re dealing with a professional candidate.
6.       Using due diligence you can find an exemplary freelance copywriter to do your bidding, one who won’t charge you an arm and a leg for their services. But please note: if you aren’t able (or willing) to pay at least $100/hour for the services of a professional copywriter, wait until you are. No professional copywriter worth his or her salt is going to write for you while going backward financially. Consider a U.S. copywriter’s reality (which may mirror your own if you’re an American business person or entrepreneur)…
Self-employed freelance copywriters in the USA...
Ø  don't get paid vacations
Ø  don't get paid sick days
Ø  rarely get bonuses for outstanding work
Ø  don't have employer-paid insurance plans
Ø  don't qualify for unemployment when work doesn’t materialize
Ø  have to take into account the time it requires to find and quote on projects
Ø  have to pay 100% of our Social Security, FICA, and other federally-mandated fees instead of just a portion of them
Although freelancers enjoy writing great copy...sadly....enjoyment doesn't pay the mortgage.

Kristine M. Smith is a professional freelance copywriter and the author of seven books. To discover the kinds of projects she tackles and the ones she leaves to other professional writers, please email her at
Permission is hereby granted to reprint this article as long as the copyright notice and this byline is included wherever the reprint appears.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

JFK Assassination 50 Years Later -- My Memories of that Horrific Day

I have been depressed for about a week. Very unlike me. Then I figured it out.

I have been trying to "shove" the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination out of my mind with every ounce of my being ... but it keeps resurrecting itself like a bad nightmare that just won't go away.

It won't go away. It never has. I don't see how it ever will.

Thirteen years ago November 22nd began to have a happier association, when my grand niece Casey was born. Since then I have always been able to superscribe this one great joy over one of my childhood's greatest sorrows--but this year I can't because everywhere I look, online and off, JFK's life and death looms large. As it should. It happened fifty years ago tomorrow. In less than an hour's time, a nation changed.  

I was twelve when President Kennedy was killed. I was sick at home on the couch in Cle Elum when a news flash came on: President Kennedy has been hit by a bullet or bullets in Dallas, Texas. 

I was only half-listening to the TV when it happened. But for the next four days I was glued to the TV--we all were.

When Walter Cronkite came on a half hour or so after the news bulletin to report that our President had died, and took his glasses off, trying not to cry, I went into a kind of unbelieving shock. What?  Good guys don't die; they always survive gun shot wounds, no matter how grave. I'd grown up on westerns. 

For the next few days we tried to "do" Thanksgiving at my Aunt Marie's home in Seattle even as corteges and flag-draped coffins and a little boy named John-John and a little girl named Caroline said goodbye to their daddy, even as Jackie and Bobby  Kennedy did their best to "keep it together" despite their very personal losses.

I wrote a journal back then, trying to make sense of it all, trying to find some kind of 'happy ending' for this unbelievably sad story. Bobby Kennedy would marry Jackie, I decided. Then Mom told me that Bobby was married and had his own family and children. I didn't understand, then, why he couldn't have two families. I could tell he loved them.

I watched for five years as Uncle Bobby helped raise and inform Caroline and John Jr. alongside his own boisterous brood. Then, on June 5, 1968, Caroline and John Jr and ten (soon to be eleven) other Kennedy children lost Bobby to another assassin's bullet as he ran for President to pick up the torch his brother had carried before him. 

This was too much for me. This wasn't fair. This wasn't right. This was inhuman. This was ungodly. 

So... I've been trying to "keep it all together" all month, to move on, to say 'that was then and this is now'. 

Casey sees all this as ancient history, I'm sure. But I was just a year younger than she is now when this "history" happened to my heart, soul and brain-- and I have never been the same--for better and for worse.

The story still shocks and saddens me. I still (almost desperately) imagine a better outcome--I imagine the Kennedy brothers surviving their assassination attempts and a different trajectory altogether from the one our nation entered following those dark days. No Watergate. No Iran-Contra. No trickle down voodoo economics. 

When will I wake from this nightmare to find that so much of the past 50 years has been a bad dream, that most politicians haven't misbehaved (in the public interest and arena) as it appears they have (most of the time) since 1968?

I imagine a nation that cares about all of its citizens, not just the 1%.

I imagine we all do. 

What can we do about it?

We can vote to bring compassion, justice, fairness, and equanimity back into the political space. Statesmen used to serve us. Have they all been silenced or murdered?

No. Thankfully, no. So it isn't to late. It's just almost too late.

If we don't vote for the changes we still need, we'll keep getting the shaft we've been getting.

Don't give up. Don't ever give up. 

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."  JFK

"Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say 'Why Not?'" RFK

"The dream shall never die." EMK

Three rich men who could easily have afforded to sit on their rear ends their entire lives and done nothing. Instead, they gave their all.  
And we are better for it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

'Life Without Family' Website Goes Live--and I'm a Featured Writer in Its Inaugural Presentation. Check it out!

Here's an article I wrote (for pay!) for a new website for people who are living a "Life Without Family". Enjoy--and if you have a story to contribute that fits the LWF theme, please get in touch with the owner: she is welcoming well-crafted pieces (you don't have to be a stellar wordsmith to contribute, though) and pays up to one hundred pounds per piece (whatever that translates to in dollars...)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Humane Officer Days at Animal Protection Institute

The first requester, Lisa Twining Taylor, has asked me to talk about my time as a Humane Officer in California. There isn't much to tell, but here goes. (In fact, the above photo captures the first of only two times that I ever wore the uniform--thank God! I felt like a hippo in a tutu in it.)

I started at API as a Field Representative for the Pacific Northwest. When I moved from Eatonville to Sacramento in 1981 I became a Field Services Director nationwide, flying all over the country for various animal welfare-related causes. Neither of these positions required a uniform.

Then, along about 1982 or so, I was given an additional position: Executive Director of Humane Educator's Council, the law-enforcement branch of API. That's when things got interesting (as in the old Chinese curse, 'May you live in interesting times'). 

The powers that be at API decided that I needed to take an Arrest, Search and Seizure course, which was the last thing I wanted to do. ("Damn it, Jim, I'm an educator, not an enforcer!") But I obliged them, anyway. 

There were plenty of people at API with law enforcement backgrounds and some of our Humane Officers wanted to go undercover and visit dog and cock-fighting operations in various counties well-known for these illegal practices. So I had to know about the proper protocol for arrest, search and seizure, although I knew darn sure that I was never going to be one of these underground activists. (Most illegal animal-fighting enterprises are also heavily into drug and prostitution activities, too, which carry far-heavier fines and jail sentences, and any undercover officer who was outed was likely to be murdered before they ever got back to report what they discovered.)

Needless to say, as Executive Director I was the one responsible for sending officers into the field, and I was a miserable wreck about the responsibility. I didn't want to send undercover officers to possible early graves, so I back-pedaled all the time. I said no and no and no; I don't ever recall saying yes to any undercover activities at all.  I had no intention of being answerable should someone come back in a body bag. That isn't what I'd signed up for when I agreed to work for API, a humane education organization. 

Needless to say, the law enforcement folks willing to take the risks probably considered me chickenshit but I just couldn't see how to square the possibility that an officer I sent out undercover might not come back; not with my belief in humaneness and humanity: I consider a live humane educator a helluva lot more effective than a dead martyr...

So I never sent anyone out undercover. The guys who wanted to do that ended up serving another animal welfare organization whose Executive Director didn't mind taking the risk and that worked out just fine.

So...yes.. this photo captures one moment in time: the day I had my photo taken as a State of California Humane Officer. And I wore the uniform to the Arrest, Search and Seizure class. Those are the only two times I ever wore it.  

I love animals. I love people. 'Nuf said? 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Amazing What Treasures You Find When You Open Old Scrapbooks...

It's late, so I'll just upload a few of the treasures I found as I went through my photo albums and scrapbooks earlier this evening. 

Every one of these images has a story worth telling as do the ones I haven't uploaded yet. 

Which one(s) do you want to hear about first? 

Let me know and I'll tell the stories in the order requests are received! 

Mom and Kris playing on Laramie Street, Warner Bros, 1995

Autographed Jerry Lewis Photo 1965

DeForest Kelley and Kris Seattle Convention about 1995

Deaken kissing Kris about 1992

Kris in Rollerblading Garb

Kris is Humane Officer Garb
(Yes, I really was a Humane Officer for a time)

Deaken and Kris,  about 1989
Deaken about1982

Kris with tiger cub. Gentle Jungle 1977 or '78

Kris with Natasha at Shambala about 1991

Kris at Gentle Jungle 1977 or '78

Kris with lion at Gentle Jungle 1977 or '78

Kris with Sneakers Serval 1977 or 1978

Kris with Linda Lavin at Actors and Others for Animals Benefit about 1991

Kris with Cindy Marshall at Actors and Others for Animals Benefit about 1991

                          Kris with Earl Holliman at Actors and Others for Animals Benefit about 1991

Kris with Ed Asner and Mike Farrell at Actors and Others for Animals Benefit about 1991

Newspaper article re animal sanctuary I volunteered at (no longer in existence) about 1978

Demetrius Bobcat about 1978

about 1978

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Have Panda and Penguin Pummeled Your Page Rank? Blame Whoever Wrote Your Copy or SEO-enabled Your Site!

A lot of SEO companies are scrambling right now to wipe the egg off their faces and pacify now-irate former customers.  I know why. It should never have happened, but this is why it happened.

Back in the day,  when the Internet was new and the powers-that-be in cyberspace didn't know how to build a serviceable Dewey Decimal System (of sorts) to help visitors quickly find the information they were looking for online, they came up with SEO--search engine optimization. SEO-based searches worked well for a while, right up until unscrupulous web content producers (clueless copywriters and hired hacks) began to behave badly, stuffing SEO keywords and phrases into their copy with total disregard as to whether they were providing anything else of value. As long as the keywords boosted their sites to near the top, they felt their jobs were done. So what if the rest of the information on the site was crap? It wasn't their job to write helpful, seeker-friendly copy, was it? They'd been hired to boost rankings, to get seen topside on Google and other search engine sites, not to get visitors to stay and play.

The result? You remember, I'm sure. When you'd go looking (for example) for a "Tacoma copywriter"  the first several pages of returns were all about, "Learn to be a copywriter," "What does a copywriter do?" "copy writing defined", etc. 

What you'd get were ads and definitions, not a single name for a Tacoma copywriter. It was frustrating as hell.

Back then, you got that result because a bunch of people calling themselves internet writing gurus figured out how SEO worked and started stuffing SEO-friendly keywords and phrases into the copy they wrote to divert seekers to their employers' websites, even though the sites were rarely allied with what you were looking for. So you'd find yourself scrolling down the page, often page after page, until finally--maybe!--you'd find an actual Tacoma copywriter with a name, website and phone number. Hallelujah! But it took for-freaking-ever!

Google developed the Panda and  Penguin algorithms (and most recently as of this writing, Hummingbird) to weed out the black hat operators who were/are abusing their filing system. Google's goal, always, is to point seekers to the sites that are most likely to satisfy their needs. Google isn't in business to mislead and frustrate its users; it's in business to stay in business and, to do that, it needs to help weed out the cheaters.

So a lot of SEO firms and copywriters (and, sadly, their clients/victims) that are adversely affected by algorithm changes more or less "have it coming to them". They "cheated" their way to the head of the class under the old system and they've been caught red-handed.

Good copywriters have never had to worry all that much about algorithm changes. Good copy is "sticky"; that is, it's helpful--when people find it, they stay and play, stay and read, stay and buy. In a nutshell, they find what they're looking for. 

This is why, in a world filled with self-proclaimed and unregulated SEO companies and copywriters, it's always good to seek proof that the company, entrepreneur or writer you're thinking about hiring has a clean record, pre-Panda and Penguin and post-Panda and Penguin. Ask to see the sites their work appears on and ask how long they've been there. If their sites are still high and dry, toward the top of search rankings after each of the algorithm changes, you can feel pretty secure that they're doing things the right way and serving you well. They're making sure that the sites they build and the copy they write for you will be enjoyed and used by the people who are looking for what you do.  

If they can't produce proof of their SEO acumen pre- and post- algorithm changes, maybe they don't have any. And that should be a red flag to you.

Another thing. Some SEO companies have you pay a lot of money for monthly "services" to make sure you continue to rank well. Just a word to the wise: a well-written website doesn't require monthly monitoring. It will stay put. 

So don't let anyone charge you outrageous monthly "monitoring" fees under the guise that your rank can plummet if they aren't watching. It won't--not if the visitors to your site keep coming back for more and pointing their network of friends, family and business associates to you. Keep it active, keep it relevant, keep it helpful, and your page rank will take care of itself.

If any of these blog posts give you a grin or anything else of value please tweet them! Thank you!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This Blog is Approaching 100,000 Views! WOW!

OK, I'm officially astonished. I just noticed that this blog has been viewed over 94,000 times. Either I have a very stalwart 49 followers or a lot of people are checking here on the sly. Welcome! Who are you? Where are you? What brought you here today and in days past? What do you want to see more of? Less of?

I'm wondering if we should have a contest and give away one of my books (your choice) to the 100,000th visitor. I expect whoever the winner will be to cross the finish line sometime before Christmas this year, so a book would make a nice little gift -- to keep or to give to someone else. I'd sign it to whomever wins it. 

Does this resonate with anyone? If so, let me know. And if YOU'RE the 100,000th visitor, let me know by email (kristineMsmithATmsnDOTcom) and let me know which book you'd like to get. They're all listed at the top of this blog and you can find out more about each of them on my book and business website at

Are you IN? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

R.I.P Dear Friend AC Lyles

AC Lyles and me on the Hollywood Walk of Fame circa 1995

Kristine M. Smith, Dorothea Smith and AC Lyles
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame circa 1995

It was a great sadness to learn of AC Lyles' passing just yesterday via email. He passed away on Friday, September 27th.

I talked to him last in February when he was in the hospital. He wouldn't tell me why he was there, so I figured it was something serious. His wife Martha let me know it was, but she, too, didn't tell me what it was. 

That was quintessential AC; he never talked about anything negative. All he wanted to talk about, ever, were positive things--a trait that made him a delight to be around.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about AC was that he made you feel like the most important person on the planet when you were with him. Two different times while I was visiting him in his Paramount office, his secretary at the time, Mary Ann Dunlap, buzzed in from her outer office to report to him that Kevin Costner and Buddy Ebsen were on the line. 

The first time, I was flabbergasted to hear AC tell Costner, "I'll call you back. The most beautiful woman in the world just walked into my office." Surprised, I turned around to see if someone else had entered his office--Elizabeth Taylor, perhaps?  

No ... he was talking about me!  After he hung up, I told him he needed  glasses!  He smiled, "No, I don't." 

When Buddy Ebsen called, he asked Mary Ann to let him know he'd call him back.  I objected: "Buddy Ebsen is getting up there, AC. He might not be around when you get to calling him back. Take his call!"  He said, "No. I'll do it later."

I polished AC's and De Kelley's stars on the Walk of Fame for twelve years (nearly every week) until I moved away in 2003. AC used to let visitors know that he had a star polisher. (Very few stars do.) When he told a tour group leader from England, a man named Clive, the group leader made arrangements to stop by with his UK tourists when I would be polishing AC's star the next time they came to Hollywood!   

As the big day approached, I called AC and joked, "Hey, it's high time you came down and watched me polish your star. Why don't you stop by and surprise the tour group this weekend?"  Of course I expected him to beg off. But he said, "I will!"

When Mom and I got to the star on the designated morning (we planned ahead to be sure to get there 20 minutes early), AC was already there, surrounded by his fans from the UK. Of course the gathering caused other tourists to wander over to see what was happening. In no time at all, there was a crush of people on the sidewalk watching how AC's star polisher did her thing and to meet the man himself--Paramount Producer and Goodwill Ambassador for at least 55 years at that time (1995)!

AC stepped over to Mom, took her hand in his, and said for all to hear, "I have to confess something: I'm in love with your daughter." I cracked up. Mom joked back, "Spare me the details! I don't want to know!" 

That was AC. He made everyone feel  adored. That's because he genuinely did adore everyone. He was one of the very people in Hollywood (De Kelley among them) who never got drunk on their own corks, didn't buy their own press. AC, like De, wasn't full of himself. He was genuinely interested in everyone he met.

I will miss knowing he's not holding down the fort at Paramount. I simply cannot imagine the Paramount lot without him and his white 1955 Thunderbird on it. An era has truly passed...

Godspeed, AC. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Catch My Radio Interview at Encore Living Radio NOW!

Let me know what you think.

(Scroll ahead about eight minutes to avoid the ads...)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Check Out STARTREK.COM Today! My interview is up!

Let me know what you think!


If any of these blog posts give you a grin or anything else of value please tweet them! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Heads Up-- Four Updates Elance Encore Life Magazine

I'm less than $200 away from earning $100,000 (cumulatively) as a copywriter/editor at Elance. They asked me if I'd do an interview with them to celebrate the milestone. I said yes! So mid-week (this week) the interview I did will appear on the Elance blog. Go to to see it.

Sometime soon (this  month I believe) an article I wrote about being DeForest Kelley's caregiver will appear in Encore Life Magazine online. (You can get a free subscription. If you do, they'll ping you whenever a new edition comes out.)

In June. will publish an interview with me about my long association with DeForest Kelley


Friday, March 15, 2013

Drunk on The Idea of Public Speaking (on the Side)...

All week long I've been basking in the afterglow of speaking at the Tacoma South Rotary Club luncheon on Monday. Public speaking is becoming as much a positive adrenaline rush for me as is writing for a living. I absolutely love inspiring people to step outside their comfort zones and pursue what they really want to do with their lives and talents. 

I'm going to be posting a few 2-3 minutes snippets of public appearances I've made and see if they generate sufficient interest to make public speaking another viable way of making myself known, meeting and greeting new people, and boosting my income in a way that is totally me (as is my writing) and totally energizing to the people who come see me. If I can do that, I would be one happy camper!

What do you think of this idea? 

Would you come out and see me (those of you who haven't already)? 

Would those of you who have seen me speak endorse and encourage others to come see me?

I'd like your feedback.  I'm all ears! Email me at kristine m smith AT msn DOT com (all one word) and let me know! Thanks

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sandra Jerke and me after a Rotary Club presentation I gave today. What fun it was!  And I sold some books, too--AND reconnected with Marika Brink (nee McIlheneay) after 25 years!  What a total treat and surprise!  It seems that more than a quarter of the 30+ people there knew either me or my sister Jackie, so it felt like  reunion. I was very comfortable.

Sharon Uhlig (Third Eye Imaging) videotaped the presentation, and will upload snippets of it to You Tube and let me know when it's done so I can point you to it...

Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I've Exceeded the $100,000 Milestone as a Copywriter!! WOO HOO!!!

I'm happy to report that I've exceeded the $100K milestone as a copywriter. I remember (when I officially hung my shingle and "went for it" in November 2008) how impossibly distant $100,000 seemed. And now I've surpassed it.

Actually, if I include the year that I was employed as a fledgling copywriter for an on-hold company (all of 2007 and the first week in 2008) I exceeded the $100K mark well over eight months ago. 

How cool is that?

It's official: I make my living as a copywriter and author. And I have never been happier in any job I've ever held. It consumes my life, but it's going by in the way I always dreamed of living my life, so what's not to love?

So tonight I'm congratulating myself on the beauty of my dreams and encouraging all of you to go for yours. If you'll work for yourself as hard as you work for other people, you can make it, too.  

Read SETTLE FOR BEST: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be. It's a blueprint to your future! It works. I'm living proof!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Salute to Pat Derby and Other Animal Welfare Advocates I Have Known

This afternoon I've been thinking back--and feeling like Forrest Gump! 

I have had the pleasure of meeting and/or working side by side (briefly or longer term) with so many renowned animal welfare advocates over the past forty years--Cleveland Amory, Roger Caras, Jerry Brown and Virgina Handley (of Fund For Animals), Tippi Hedren (of Shambala/the ROAR Foundation),  Pat Derby and Ed Stewart (of PAWS--the Performing Animal Welfare Society), Virginia Knouse (of PAWS--The Progressive Animal Welfare Society), Eric Sakach of HSUS, Belton Mouras (Animal Protection Institute of America), Dian Fossey (gorilla savior), Vernon Weir (American Sanctuary Association), Penny Patterson (Koko's benefactor), Joyce Tischler (Animal Legal Defense Fund), exotic veterinarians and advocates Ned Buyukmihci and Chris Cauble, and on and on--and now I see we're losing them at warp speed. We lost Cleveland Amory years ago; we just lost Pat Derby on February 15th.

And there are the names of lesser-known animal welfare advocates whose names will not be shared on national television as they are shoveled off this mortal coil--stalwarts like Edward E. Smith, the late, great Rick Hendrickson (Yuba County Animal Control), Nancy Graf, Cathy Strote, the volunteer staff at Shambala ... so many others.  

Animal lovers share a special bond. We're not confined to feeling concerned about each other--we share a common concern and affection for the rest of the beating hearts on this planet, animal and human. We know what's at stake if we continue to be callous and unconcerned about our fellow creatures.

It's sad to see animal advocates with big, big hearts passing on. The only good thing about it is that on the other side of Rainbow Bridge they will be welcomed with open paws, flippers, and other kinds of digits by the critters they've loved who have gone on before them, critters they served with every breath they took.

I salute you all. I'm honored to have met you and called so many of you "friend." Because my legacy (minuscule as it is) will include working shoulder-to-shoulder with so many of you, I have the small consolation of knowing that I actually did something of note beyond stringing words together, taking care of the Kelleys when they needed help, and being a sister, daughter, aunt, friend, nursery supervisor, employee, and "mom" to too many critters of my own to mention here.  

Animal advocates are angels of God, send to remind us that because we're made in God's image, we have an obligation to care for the creatures He gave us dominion over. Animal welfare advocates are doing it right. Applause, applause!


Gee, maybe my next book should be about the animals and animal advocates I've known and loved...or maybe I can share the stories right here in this blog. Who wants to hear them?  (Let me know! Silence is deadly when I ask a question.) I remember the stories well enough to tell them?  ACK!  I might need some help from the advocates who are still alive!

The Beaver Rescue (never before told--with Cleveland Amory)
The Beginning of Pat Derby's PAWS
Shambala Memories
API Memories (read Burro-ing In: Animal Advocacy 101 in "Let No Day Dawn that the Animals Cannot Share" for one of the API stories!) (Dr. Ned, Mt. St. Helens eruption and fawn care, etc.)