My Recent Article Published

Posted March 22, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

 

 

 

 

Here is an article, (Lions and Tigers and Turkeys-Oh Wow!), about the Saint Augustine Wildlife Reserve,  that I recently had published in the CreekLine Publication in Saint Johns County, FL  It was published as a two part series and appeared in the March (pages 18 & 22) and April ( pages 26 & 28) issues.  I hope you’ll read it and let me know if you enjoyed it and found it informative.

Part 1

Part 2

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Publish Your Personal Essay

Posted March 22, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

If you are looking for a place to get your Personal Essay published look no further than THE WRITE LIFE website. Lisa Rowan has compiled a great list of 20 publications that accept essay submissions, as well as tips on how to pitch the editor, who to contact and, whenever possible, how much the outlet pays.

“Don’t worry if your life doesn’t seem exciting or heart-wrenching enough to expound upon; says Lisa, think of it as writing through yourself, instead of about yourself.”

According to Ashley C. Ford, ” Writing nonfiction is not about telling your story, It’s about telling interesting and worthy stories about the human condition using examples from your life.” Everyone has a story to tell and a message to share. The challenge lies in getting that story and message out of your head and into print.

I see the beginnings of them on Facebook and various personal blogs all the time.  Why not  explicate those beginnings, and create your own Personal Essay for publication?  We hunger for real stories from people who are willing to share their failings, trials, and anecdotes in a way in which we can relate.

I have always been a very private person where it involves my personal life, but it might just be fun and even therapeutic to put some of those long pent up feelings and thoughts on the pages of a Personal Essay.

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Want to Publish Your Book?

Posted March 20, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

Now you can quickly and easily create beautiful books right in Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or Adobe InDesign. Built to industry-standard specifications, the pre-designed templates will make your book stand out, without all of those newbie mistakes. Handcrafted by an award-winning book designer, this exciting technology allows you to format your book for both print and eBooks at the same time, using a program you already own and know how to use, and without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars hiring a designer.

Also, the premade cover designs let you quickly choose a professionally-designed cover.  Your book title and author name is placed on the cover for you. It’s the perfect mix of “done for you” and “pre-designed”.  All eBook covers are professionally designed with the highest graphic design standards.  There are many great designs to choose from, with special offers on various packages.  The Book Designer

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The Sea Gate Island Chronicles – Book One Intro

Posted March 6, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

This is the introduction to a novel I’m working on…

 

She walked down the familiar sloping path not far from her cottage, her sun-streaked blond locks blowing wildly in the brisk salt breeze.  Reaching the light tan sand of the beach common to Georgia’s eastern coastline, she quickened her pace to an energetic jog.  The eerie quietness brought on a discomfiting feeling, as she made her way along the water’s edge.  The tide was finishing its ingress onto the beach; making it more difficult to get through in some places, forcing her to detour into the dark riparian forest of palm trees and cedars.  She didn’t usually run this section of the beach, but she felt like a change.  “Heaven knows there isn’t much of that around here.  It seems like the only thing that changes on this island is the tide,” she thought, as she leaped over a large piece of displaced driftwood without breaking stride.

The dark dampness of the forest was beginning to play on her imagination.  A bone-chilling feeling of foreboding was convincing her that she was not alone; that someone was watching her. Unable to shake the alarming notion, she quickened her pace in an effort to put the impressions behind her.  Still, she could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck as she sensed movement just outside her peripheral vision.

Distracted by her looming fears, she stumbled through an underbrush of low growing palm ferns.  Then, the earth gave way beneath her foot; causing her to pitch violently to the ground grasping at air as she fell.

She lay motionless in the soggy bed of tropical underbrush, a line of blood trickling from the wound on the side of her head turning her blond hair to noctilucent henna.  The jungle-like forest seemed to grow even darker as the rising morning sun went behind a cloud; and from deep in the thicket, a menacing form emerged.  He crept closer to her, as she lay helpless in an ever-deepening pool of crimson fluid.  The large dark form bent down reached out with huge minacious hands; then paradoxically, he scooped her up and lumbered away.

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To Freelance or Not to Freelance

Posted February 17, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

There are many reasons people seek a career in freelance writing.  Making extra money, being laid off from their regular job, special circumstances changing the way they can make a living are a few.  Others may long to see their names in print, want to make a difference or dream of creating something of lasting beauty.

I chose freelance writing because I need the freedom to work as I see fit, in my own time.  I wanted to be creative and prove to myself that I could.  On a subconscious level, some of the other things listed may have entered into the decision as well.  I simply wanted to communicate my ideas to the reading public.

Once the decision is made, for whatever reason, then what?  Freelance writing is a profession just like any other.  Luck and talent play their part, but success as a writer requires training, perseverance, and discipline.  Suppose you wanted to become a doctor without going to medical school. How many hospitals would hire an untrained physician?  In like manner, editors rarely give aspiring writers a break simply because they have a benevolent nature.

I’ve found that definite rules and procedures govern the publishing world and mastering those rules will increase your chances of landing commercial writing assignments.  To become a freelance writer, I focused on developing and refining skills I had already achieved such as style and grammar.

A freelance writer is an independent contractor hired to provide a publication with an original piece of writing within an agreed upon time.  Freelance writers sell their work to magazines, newspapers, and journals.  Once the manuscript has been delivered and any adjustments or revisions have been made, it’s time move on to new—and more lucrative—assignments.

Financial considerations aside, the most rewarding aspect of the freelance life is the prerogative to explore only the topics and ideas that you find interesting. You also have a flexibility in setting up your work schedule and establishing the pace at which you want to work. A certain amount of perambulation is required to maintain those benefits, however, if you intend to make freelance writing your primary career.

In the beginning, you may have to combine your freelance writing with a regular job. You must budget every hour you devote to writing.  This doesn’t reflect on your ability to develop a full-time career as a writer.  On the contrary, most writers do this at the start of their careers.  Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner wrote his first novels while shoveling coal in a Mississippi power plant.  Many writers continue to work in their previously chosen fields even after they’ve published their work.  The romantic notion of writers sitting in their ivory towers creating masterpieces is an unrealistic myth.  Almost all good writing comes from being actively engaged in the real world.

So, if you’re sitting on the fence between writing and keeping the status quo, I say go for it. You’ll never know if you don’t try. You’ll soon find out if you have it in you to create something you’ll be proud of and share it with others interested in what you have to say. That’s exactly what I’m doing here. I hope you’ll join me.

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Interests, Hobbies, or Passions …

Posted February 3, 2018 By C.B. Swartz

It came to my attention in years past that computers interest me. When I acquired my first computer over twenty years ago I found that I was fascinated by it, although I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about it. It started me down a new road of discovery and learning. I use it every day for one thing or another. If I don’t need to do my accounting or some equally mundane task, I use my computer for some more pleasurable enterprise. I can spend hours on Facebook, or exchanging emails with friends and family or surfing from one link to another with gazillions of websites from which to choose. The computer has afforded many more reading sources and opportunities and made writing even more fun. But my favorite use for my computer is doing research for a writing project and working on my latest story, which brings me to the subject of writing.

My writing started as an interest, but it developed into a hobby and metamorphosed into a real passion. It is difficult for me to separate my interests from my hobbies from my passions. It seems that if I’m not passionate about something I never really develop a strong interest in it, much less make it a hobby.

I run, swim, bike and workout; granted, not to the extent that I did in the past. You might think of these things as hobbies, but I see them as sports and something that I do to stay fit. I do them because I feel that I must, not because I particularly enjoy or look forward to it. I will qualify that last statement by saying that there are times when I do really enjoy, even look forward to one or all of these things.

There was a time when I did many races, strictly amateur, of course, involving running and biking. I had a multitude of trophies that would attest to this, as did my husband and many others in our running club. At that point in time, I would have referred to the races as a fun hobby.

My interests and hobbies have changed over the years. There was a time when I enjoyed macramé and ceramics, counted cross stitch and sewing, but no more. I’m sure most peoples’ interests change over time.

The one hobby that has stayed with me throughout the years is reading. I always enjoy reading a good book. Even as a small child I enjoyed reading. In elementary school, I always earned the Reading Circle Certificates. I believe it’s my passion for reading that led to my love of writing.

The computer gives me many venues and outlets to write. Would I have developed an interest in writing if I hadn’t gotten that first computer all those years ago? Maybe, maybe not; but as it turns out writing is, above all, my primary interest, my most important hobby, and my greatest passion.

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