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thI’ve written before about why online surveys can be worth the time. Making money by sharing your opinion sounds pretty good – especially compared to the times you shared your opinion and then had friends stop inviting you to parties.

In my upcoming book I note that while you won’t earn a full-time wage doing this, you’ll at least bring in some extra money and/or gift cards, and maybe even get some new products to test.

For example, I was paid to cook a taco dinner, try a new shampoo, use a new kind of mop, eat a new variety of chocolate chip cookie and join a focus group about doughnuts that earned me $60 for less than three hours’ worth of work (but which, unfortunately, left me obsessing about crullers).

 


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thI just got back from voting in the primary election, a civic duty made pleasant by the beauty of the weather: blue skies after many days of rain, big puffy clouds and a slight breeze that stirred the faint but unmistakable fragrance of decaying vegetation.

Yes, summer is on the wane. Wildflowers and gardens alike are dying back – hence the smell of plant life sinking gradually to earth. Birch leaves are falling like golden rain in my BFF’s back yard. Most of the fireweed has spawned out, although a few defiant pinky-lavender blossoms still show up here and there.

The sun’s angle and intensity have both changed noticeably. As I noted in the linked article, “August sun compared to June sun is like a social kiss: close enough to get its point across but far enough away to feel like display rather than true affection.”

 


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thI’d like to introduce you to an interesting website called A Gai Shan Life, run by the pseudonymous Revanche (love that name). She’s been producing AGSL for 10 years.

Ten. Years. An entire decade. Do you know how many bloggers quit after a year, or even sooner than that? (Hint: Lots of them.)

As she puts it, her site is “a senior in dog years, starts fifth grade in kid years, or could retire as a centenarian in blog years.”

The blog defies easy description. It’s a thoughtful mix of topics, including but not limited to lifestyle, personal finance, working world, chronic-illness and, more recently, parenthood.

Revanche has a serious health condition and has spent the past 10 years finishing her education, supporting her parents and brother, paying off her family’s debts, starting her own career, getting married and having a child. Somehow she has also managed to keep a blog afloat.

You should go read her. And just in case you need more incentive than my recommendation, how about this: Her 10th blogoversary giveaway features a chance to win some pretty swell prizes.

 


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thSolstice isn’t until June 20, but I think it’s hot enough in some places to count as summer. Cold drinks are a fine antidote to heat and humidity, and Starbucks cards are always popular as giveaways. QED.

In addition, this is a fairly easy prize for me to mail from out of town. Yep, I’m on the road again — but this time in Alaska.

Specifically, I’m attending the 24th annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez (that’s pronounced val-DEEZ, incidentally). For the next week I’ll be attending classes and staged readings, including a full-length work by my BFF Linda B, “The Cooter Creek Passion Play.”

 


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thHoly cow — a month has gone by without a giveaway! Work plus travel plus seasonal ennui can do a number on even the best of intentions.

Although I have a handful of books begging to be re-homed, I don’t have it in me today to do the careful write-ups they deserve. (Tomorrow’s not looking good, either.)

 

Thus I’m taking the path of least resistance and proffering an Amazon gift card. Easy for me to send. Easy for you to spend. I’d call that a win-win.

 


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