Sign Up for The Home Depot Savings Newsletter

Sign up to receive emails about special offers, coupons, and promotions from The Home Depot. Last fall, Home Depot sent a Buy One Get One Free coupon for spring bulbs. Since fall is a great time to plant bulbs, I took advantage of the coupon. I thought that was a great deal. I don't know if they'll send that kind of a coupon again, but I do receive their emails and take advantage of the coupons that I find useful. ...more

Writing out a storm: how freelancers got thru Irene, other disasters

Linda Bernstein, a New York writer and editor, rode out the worst of Tropical Storm Irene in the relative safety of her summer home in upstate New York. Jen Miller, a New Jersey freelance writer and author known to Twitter followers as @jerseyshorejen, tweeted storm news for 12 hours straight, a public service that ultimately led to assignments covering Irene’s aftermath. Bernstein and Miller were two of a handful of freelancers who shared their stories of working through Irene and other disastes during the Aug. 31 #wclw chat. Disasters can be devastating, especially for freelancer whose houses double as their work spaces. Though it’s not possible to prevent natural disasters, you can take steps to minimize the damage to computers, electronic files and your reputation should you become unable to fulfill assignments on time. ...more

Recommended reading for Sept. 2: The Freelance Surge

To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week: Freelance Union founder and executive director Sara Horowitz kicks off a series of articles in The Atlantic with a piece called The Freelance Surge is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time on how writers and other freelancers are transforming the economy, how corporate and government policies haven’t kept up, and how individuals must depend on a “new mutualism” to succeed. ...more

The best of WordCount August 2011 posts

While I’m enjoying one final day of summer, here’s something you can enjoy – the best WordCount posts from the past month. Grab a coffee  - iced if its sunny – and read away: End-of-summer book list - A list of great fiction I’ve been plowing through since June. ...more

Back to school means back to work

  When the school doors open this morning at 8 a.m., I don’t know who’ll be more excited, my fifth grader or me. I work from home, so summer break means the tranquil work space that’s all mine nine months of the year turns into activity central, with my fifth grader, two college-aged kids and their friends up and around all hours of the day and most of the night. No wonder I’ve turned into a morning person, it’s the only time it’s quiet. ...more

When it comes to story ideas, trust your gut

When that little voice in your head says, “That’s a good story,” listen. Last month I took my 18-year-old to a two-day freshman orientation at the university he’ll be attending in just a few weeks. While he registered for courses, met fellow classmates and checked out the residence halls, I sat through a series of presentations for parents on the realities of college life circa 2011. Sometime during the second day it occurred to me that a lot had changed since we sent our oldest off to school four years ago. It also got me thinking  about the things parents sending a kid off to college for the first time should know but won’t get from a presentation or brochure, for example, that if your student gets sick, the campus health center won’t bill your insurance company. The Anatomy of a Story Idea ...more

5 tips for using Outlook Calendar to manage your work day

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is fill out my calendar for the next 10 months, the period that coincides with my kids going back to school. ...more

Recommended reading for Sept. 9: startups, self doubt and more

To do great writing, read great writing. Here’s the great writing I’ve been reading this week: Between the day off to honor the country’s laborers and reporting on Obama’s jobs plan, my week was all about work. My recommended reading for the week is all about work too: Sequencing the startup DNA on LinkedIn (LinkedIn) – Startup stats based on analysis of tens of thousands of startup company founders’ LinkedIn profiles. Read the results to see if you have what it takes to start a business. Interestingly, LinkedIn found that the no. 2 industry connected to startup founders on its network was online publishing, behind venture capital and ahead of Internet and recruiting. ...more

Remembering 9/11

Where were you on 9/11? On Sept. 11, 2001, I couldn’t have been farther away from the event that changed the course of modern U.S. history and the biggest news story of the decade. ...more

I won (a summer reading contest)

I read a bunch of books this summer. After a long spelling of reading only nonfiction, I was ready for a major fiction intake. I read at night. I read on the weekends. I read on vacation. A few times I read when I was supposed to be working (hope none of my editors see that). If you saw my end-of-summer reading list post, most all of the books I read are mentioned there. ...more