I started this site for two reasons. The primary reason: I needed a place where I could write what I needed to write regardless of whether I could make money doing it.

The secondary reason: To make money doing it.

Like so many others, I’m looking for the infamous “alternative income stream.” A former editor pointed out that it’s risky for a freelancer to rely on just one paycheck source. He’s right. After all, I am supporting myself, paying for my own health insurance and building my own retirement.  If my day job went away, I’d be so out of luck.

Plenty of people blog for free, for the sheer joy of words. Let me tell you something: Joy doesn’t pay the bills.

read more

H Lee D received the random number generator love this week, snaring a $25 Mastercard gift card.

She really was lucky, as this was the most-commented (nearly 200) giveaway thus far.

I get the message: We likes our gift cards. We likes them a lot. I’ll try to do more in the future.

Not sure what this Friday’s giveaway will be, so I can’t even hint. It won’t be Godiva chocolate just yet. Soon, though.

read more

Thanks for stopping by after reading my guest post over at Smart Spending. I hope you have a chance to read some of my work here.

Pressed for time? The “Popular posts” tag is a good place to start. In particular, the posts “Why I’m writing, and why you should read it” and “Turning invisibility into stealth” will give you an idea of what I’m about.

Then again, so will “Dr. Demento and the desecrated turkey” — this site is my playground for words, which can mean serious issues or fun stuff.

Please consider subscribing, either through RSS or e-mail. And don’t forget to enter the weekly giveaways. This week it’s a $25 Mastercard gift card.

The deadline to enter is 9 p.m. EDT today.

read more

There is a cricket in my dad’s house. Upstairs. I sleep upstairs. I had planned to sleep peacefully upstairs, but three or four times per night the critter tunes up: Eek-eek-eek.

My eyes fly open and my heart starts pounding. The noise isn’t scary, just unfamiliar – and unfamiliar sounds trigger the hyperarousal has been my companion ever since my daughter’s illness. It’s the one part of post-traumatic stress disorder that I haven’t been able to shake.

I’ll calm myself down, finally doze off and it happens again. Eek-eek-eek. My dad’s home has a nice big downstairs and a huge basement, but naturally Cri-Cri just had to choose the penthouse.

I’ve got nothing against crickets – outside.

read more

J. Money, my favorite wedding-gift giver, thinks that plenty of things should be rented, not bought.

Tools. Textbooks. Prom gowns. Coffins.

read more