Monday, May 23, 2016

Wearing Many Hats...Why Being a Virtual Assistant Rocks!

One of the things that drove me bonkers when I worked in the cubicle jungle years ago was the stagnancy of the traditional work environment. The bland beige of the cubicle walls, utilitarian floor and wall coverings...the homogenized misery of it all. I worked processing Workers Compensation bills and straightening out problems.
The work I did was ok, though sometimes even the monotony of that would put me in a bad mood. We had data entry quotas and I would generally finish my day at having reached 150% of that quota. I was a hard worker, but I always felt that once I reached my quota, send me home. ( I know...wishful thinking...)
So now I wear many hats, each day is different and work doesn't seem like work anymore.
One day I am producing newspaper ads for a client.
The next I am writing blogs and other website copy.
Yet another day might see me entering Quickbooks transactions or even...listing things on Ebay for a client.
I thrive when I can use my talents and do what I enjoy. And when my clients needs are met, there is nothing better than the recognition I get which was not my experience in the corporate cookie cutter world.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Why I Still Love Disney

My last trip was in February. I'm ready to go back. Yes...even with the price hikes and changes...
I've read so many complaints about the costs rising at WDW, even grumblings from people who state they will not go back, it's the prices, its the crowds etc etc etc.  I happily renewed my Annual Pass last month and am ready for more adventures this year. I'm not going to be one of the boycotters. And I will explain why. 
In a nutshell: I keep my costs low and plan! 
For the record: I do not have children, therefore I do not pay for anyone else but myself while at the parks. Also, I do not, generally need to consider what other people want to do as usually my travel partners and I discuss what we would like to do beforehand. 
1. I am not someone who stays at the Deluxe resorts, or even moderate. I'm happy sharing my value room at Pop Century with my mother, who enjoys WDW as much as I do...or with My SO at one of the All Stars. My needs are pretty basic: bed, bathroom, place to store my stuff. I'm not looking for a home away from home. If I want a taste of the deluxe resorts, I take a monorail to the Grand Floridian, listen to the orchestra, and relax in the beautiful atmosphere there. 
2. We do not eat at sit down restaurants every day. We plan one or two nice meals while we are there and have our favorite quick services in each park. And the food at the quick service spots has improved over the past couple of years, so we don't feel like all we eat is fries and burgers. I do not eat breakfast when I am at WDW. I eat lunch at 11 and dinner usually around 4/5. For me, that choice is simply because I do not enjoy being over full while I walk the sometimes 10 plus miles a day in the parks. 
3. Crowds don't bother me because I go so much if I can't get on a ride, it's not a big deal. I pick my Fastpass attractions for the day and hope I get the premium rides, if I don't, no biggie. I say next time and go to something else. There are still plenty of things with no wait or a short wait. Try something new, or something you'd previously thought might be boring. You'd be surprised. People watching can be an enjoyable 'attraction',too. 
4. The annual pass is a beautiful thing. I'm set for a ticket costs! I know my break even day, I know my discounts, and I use them! It's why I can do three or four trips a year. 2015/2016 I had 22 park days, saved a lot of money on merchandise and food...and enjoyed myself! I realize this is not practical for everyone, but for me...yes it is. 
5. I plan each day. Usually a month before I get there. I don't mean just dining reservations or Fastpass, I mean a basic plan of where we will be, what we will try to see. My idea of stress? Go to Disney without a plan. Wake up late, with no idea where you end up. Then complain because you don't have time, the lines are too long, I can't get into a restaurant etc etc etc
6. Take a mid day break. If you get up early enough, taking a two hour break at the hotel won't cut in to your time. 
When will I  be back at Walt Disney World? I'm planning for October. 
How do you feel about the changes at WDW?  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy Administrative Professional's Day

Picture it....Walt Disney World, 2005. (Did you think of Sophia Petrillo just now? *grin*)
I sat alone at an outdoor table at the Tangierine Cafe in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot. 
I had a pen and paper and was using my time to write my life goals. I was sad about leaving the following day and felt a longing to stay, though work was waiting. Work...always work...the needing to be in one certain place to make money.
Little did I know back then when I scribbled "I want the ability to work wherever I am so that I can be wherever I want to be" my goal would be met nine years later when I started my virtual assistant business. Now, I am the administrative professional who keeps things running smoothly for a busy masonry company, among others. I work remotely...wherever I may be. Airports, restaurants, and yes...Walt Disney World! 
Dreams come true...sometimes not as soon as we want, but with enough work, knowledge, and patience they do come to fruition. I love what I do. And I know that most admins do, too. 
So Happy Administrative Professional's Day, fellow admins. Whether we work remotely or in offices, we keep things on track! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Returning To the Blog

Hello, all. I finally had some time to update this site today. Life and work have been very interesting these last couple of years and unfortunately, the blog suffered.
I've transitioned into being a virtual assistant, which fits in nicely with my life and travel schedules. I am still writing, though lately it's  been more for websites and business correspondence. I recently had my rights returned to me for some older published work and plan to edit, revise, and rewrite and get these published once more. It's been a slow process, but I'm excited.
So what can you expect on this site? More talking about my life interests....not just writing and publishing. Stop by to see my photos, read about my travels, hear about my beloved dog, read about my Disney obsession. You may even get a story or two about my boyfriend and family (if they approve!)
Thanks for reading....see you soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall In Love Anthology: A Newport Thanksgiving

When I was asked to write for this anthology and given the theme of Thanksgiving to incorporate into the story, the first place that came to mind was Newport, RI. In August of 2013, I went to a birthday party in Newport that was held in a converted 'stately' home. The setting stuck in my head and I decided that Newport would feature in an upcoming writing project.
Writing for anthologies is fun, but also a bit challenging. Especially when you have to establish a connection between two would-be love interests in a short story. In  'A Newport Thanksgiving,' I've attempted to create a believable story in an intimate setting for Laura and Anthony. The time is 1914, the place is Newport. 
It is the Gilded Age in a locale where all of the elite gather to display their vast wealth, but their social consciousness is evident, also. Alva Belmont (nee Erskine Smith and then married to William Vanderbilt) was indeed a passionate supporter of the women's suffrage movement and did hold rallies at her Marble House property. This, to me, was a perfect setting for Laura and Anthony to meet and bond. It is an exciting time period, with so many changes occurring. 
Happy reading! 
Fall In Love will be available November, but I invite you to preorder your copy today. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Join me on the Fifty Authors From Fifty States blog by Annette Snyder. We are chatting about Rhode Island today!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

Thank you, Joyce Brown, for this fun invitation to blog about my writing process.

  1. What am I writing? Right now I am working on a contribution for a Thanksgiving themed anthology from DCL Publications. It is a historical that takes place in Newport, RI in 1914 and has a little bit about the women's suffrage movement. I am also currently working on projects with a local graphic designer writing and editing copy for an ad campaign.
  2. How does my work differ from others in my genre? I try to include a bit of fantasy or magic in my writing. My three Lochaber stories (Litha Dreams, Yuletide Destiny and The Beltaine Wager) all have a bit of magic in them as does my story Unfathomable in DIVE: A Quartet of Merfolk Tales. I also enjoy writing about places that I've visited so you will find a bit of local New England flavor in my more contemporary stories.
  3. Why do I write what I do? I enjoy using my imagination and working with possibilities. I love to entertain people and tell stories about relationships. I've had readers write that they became emotional and cried during one of the scenes in my World War 2 Novella, I'll Be Seeing You (DCL Publications Fourth of July Anthology). That to me is the greatest praise.
  4. How my writing process works: I'm a complete pantser. My goal is always 5000 words a week. As long as they get done, I'm happy. I have no set time that I write and I generally just let the feeling move me. Now that the warmer weather is here, I enjoy writing outside.

To learn more about my work, please visit my Amazon Author Page.

To find more great writers please visit these authors who have taken part in this blog hop:

Sandy Fairfax          Ilene Schneider     Amy M. Reade