Category: Writing & Work

“I’m Looking For a Job: Can You Please Help?”

Looking for a job in the U.S., after being a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, has forced me to re-program my brain, which is why I'm asking for your help. (Photo of my first networking event the day after I landed in the U.S.) The minute I stepped off the plane at LAX, I realized I'd have to put on my Usain Bolt legs to keep up with the pace of my fellow passengers. Why does everyone sprint? In my rural village in Lesotho, I was known as the fast walker, but now my legs appeared to be letting me down. (No jokes about an aging body please.) The competitive spirit hit me as I accelerated Read more [...]
Category: People, Writing & Work  |  Tags:

Electricity Has Arrived In My Village-Gutsy Living

  I did not want to make any announcements about the arrival of electricity in my rural village in Lesotho, until I could switch on a light in my rondavel. Other Peace Corps Volunteers told me not to get my hopes up when holes were being dug for the electric poles in February. “I’ve had poles in my village for more than a year, but there is still no electricity,” one volunteer explained. We kept hearing that the Minister of Energy would “turn the switch” on May 23rd, but I kept thinking this would be postponed. I was wrong! The Minister arrived at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Read more [...]
Category: Lesotho, Peace Corps, Writing & Work  |  Tags:

The Challenges of Teaching English in a Rural School in Lesotho

I knew it would be challenging to teach English to the Basotho children in my rural school in Lesotho, but I never expected the level to be this low. In Lesotho, all subjects (except for Sesotho, of course) are supposed to be taught in English, but most of the teachers are afraid of speaking English (so I was told) and so they revert to their own language.  Another major problem is the "repetition" method of teaching. Some teachers think that the louder they, and their students yell, the more likely they are to remember. I was walking past second grade, and heard the teacher saying, "I Read more [...]

My First Experience Having Google Banned

I experienced first-hand what it’s like to have Google and FaceBook banned. I was not able to logon to either at the airport in Shanghai, and asked a young Chinese woman working at the airport lounge why I couldn’t access to Google or g-mail. She blushed and in a hushed voice said, "No Google." It felt like my freedom had been taken away, and apparently Twitter and social media aren’t allowed at all. I'd heard about this on the news in the U.S. several months ago, but thought it was temporary. I sat next to a German man who lives in Shanghai, and asked him what expats do in China Read more [...]

Who Has Time to Read Long Blog Posts These Days?

Who has time to read long blog posts these days, let alone take the time to comment? I wish I did, but I don't. I only have time to read a few blog posts a week. Forget crafting detailed and thoughtful comments, the way I used to a few years ago. I know I'm not alone here; other bloggers have expressed the same. Things are changing in the blogging world, and just as I was about to write, "Our attention spans have decreased," I found a better reason expressed by Nick Leffler in his blog post: "Attention spans aren’t getting shorter, they’re becoming more selective for good Read more [...]
Category: People, Writing & Work  |  

Teach English Abroad with the Cert-TESOL

I've been studying like a crazy woman for the past 4 weeks in order to teach English abroad with the Cert-TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. This is by no means an easy course. It's a level 5, comparable in difficulty to the second year of an undergraduate degree crammed into 4 weeks. Now you'll understand why I felt like a zombie fueled by caffeine and adrenaline. My poor 57-year-old brain, almost died; and what made me realize that age has nothing to do with my ability to study and retain material, was the fact that the twenty-somethings on our course, Read more [...]

Reinventing Myself in Mid-Life

  I've become a student again at age 57, and quite frankly, it feels a little weird. I eat, sleep, and hang my wet laundry in one 8x12 room, but I accept this as a new challenge; part of reinventing myself in mid-life. After a thirty-six year--student to career woman to wife to mom and back to student gap--I discovered that unlike social media, student-life is not about connecting and sharing; it's about becoming territorial. You see my brand new toilet paper roll shrank to half its original size after my three male roommates discovered it on the bathroom shelf. They obviously Read more [...]
Category: Travel & Adventure, Writing & Work  |  

Discoverability: The Key to Successful Indie Publishing

  “Discoverability” seems to be the central theme at the 2015 Publishers University conference; something all indie publishers need to put at the top of their book publishing, marketing and promotion list. In 2014, the theme was the importance of indie authors becoming entrepreneurs, hence the term: “Authorpreneur.” “Discoverability” is what the majority of self-published authors, or independent publishers, are looking for, and with 43 million book buyers in the U.S., how do you get discovered? According to Peter Hildick-Smith, President of Codex Group, who presented, Read more [...]
Category: People, Writing & Work  |  

Get Help Writing Your Memoir

  There are many books out there on "How to write a memoir," but what about a magazine? Viga Boland decided to start Memoirabilia, a magazine that would help you write your memoir, and also give you the  joy of seeing your story in print. I had the pleasure of meeting Viga Boland at the Readers' Favorite Awards in Miami in November, 2014, where we both won gold medals for our memoirs.   “I just finished your memoir, “No Tears for my Father”. I could so relate to what you lived through because I have a similar story. I would love to write my memoir but I don’t Read more [...]
Category: motivational, People, Writing & Work  |  

Tips To Make Your Blog More Popular

It seems that everyone (over 35) has a blog these days, so how can you make yours stand out from all the others. Well apart from doing something super gutsy like posting nude photos, (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist,) being controversial or airing your dirty laundry, another way is to write as if you're having a conversation with a friend. Tip # 7: "Keep your writing voice simple, cheery and a reflection of the way you speak." --Little Tips to Boost Your Blog's Popularity.   So this morning I decided to experiment. I drove to my favorite park, pulled out my cell phone and recorded Read more [...]