Patreon

Introducing: Write From Karen – Patreon Version!

Guess what I’ve been working on!

Ta-Da! I have a Patreon account!

The URL is: https://www.patreon.com/writefromkaren

Pretty easy to remember, right??

Here’s a screenshot of the home page:

Don’t ask me why I chose dogs wearing glasses as the pictures for each tier – I thought they were cute and funny – there’s really no other reason. Ha!

So, let me explain.

In case you don’t know what Patreon is – it’s a platform built to provide a way for fans to support their favorite content creators. It’s a “club” of sorts – a private place to hang out, get to know one another, have private access and conversations about various topics with your favorite creator and other like-minded people, but more importantly, it’s just a place to have fun.

I know for me, personally, I’m a member of several Patreon accounts because I truly appreciate all of the hard work the creators I support have done and I want to show my appreciation. For me, personally, I just wanted a place to talk “shop” with other writers out there who are looking for a place to belong – for a place you can find support, and inspiration for your own writing.

I used to host a writing site back in the day and I LOVED it. And I miss it. It really inspired me to write more and I didn’t feel as alone, because let’s face it, writing is a solitary activity and you can often think you’re the only one out there struggling. Let me assure you, you are not.

That’s where my Patreon comes in. I want to encourage the writers out there who are looking for guidance, support and inspiration, to join and share your thoughts, triumphs and failures with other people who know EXACTLY what you’re going through.

I have a Discord server. Don’t let the word server scare you off. It’s not hard to navigate and it’s completely private. The only people in my server are those that have been invited and its only purpose is to support you. That’s it.

(If you would like to know more about Discord – check out this beginner’s guide video. )

If you choose the WFK Visionaries tier, you will be given a key to the club. Here you can join conversations about various writing topics, writing tips and tricks , polls and so much more.

If you’re a member of my silver/VIP tiers, you are not only given a key to the club, you will be extended an invitation to my Discord server where I will host weekly chats to catch up and share our current writing projects. There is also space to participate in writing sprints, (SUPER helpful when you need to increase your word count), writing challenges and writing collabs.

If you choose the VIP tier, I open the floor for a monthly book club where we can compare notes and thoughts about the writing mechanics and how we could learn from the author’s technique/style and apply it to our own writing. In addition, the VIP tier has been limited to a smaller number of participants as I thought it would be fun to build a writing critique group where we can exchange our own work and offer feedback on our works-in-progress. (Maybe start a Beta reader group?)

I plan on posting every Tuesday and Thursday on my Patreon. I will post a schedule for Discord chats soon.

Honestly, there are endless possibilities with this Patreon group and we’re just getting started!

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my blog, listen to my Podcast and hopefully join my Patreon. My only goal is to share my thoughts, my work and my space with you and hopefully offer you some interesting material to learn from and think about.

I don’t pretend to be an expert when it comes to writing, however, I do have a degree in Technical Writing and a Minor in Creative Writing so it’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

Don’t be shy! Start small. Join the first tier, look around, see if this is something for you and then if you’re interested in upgrading and joining my server, you’re welcome to do so. There is absolutely no pressure, you can cancel your membership at any time.

So, in a nutshell – my blog is a place for a little bit of everything: my personal/professional life, politics, religion, opinions, etc. My podcast is the same type of thing, only you can hear my voice and take me on the go, if you so choose. My Patreon is a place reserved for all things writing and a safe place for writers to gather.

That’s it! Again, I hope you will consider joining my Patreon. I appreciate each and every one of you and I’ll see you around the Internet!

Work Stuff

Catching My Breath

Karen is very tired. She has been working, nonstop, for the past five days on her newest project. It was a large project. A whopper, in fact.

(Karen hopes that her readers do not think she means the edible kind of whopper).

Karen has spent a lot of time and effort tweaking and perfecting this high school website.

Kickapoo High School

And it’s still not done. But actually, she wonders, are websites EVER really done?

She thinks not.

But it’s a good tired. It’s a she-built-something-really-attractive-and-it’s-helping-people-out-sort of tired – and she is satisfied.

And she has received many thanks from many different people. And even though the gratitude embarrasses Karen, she would be lying if she didn’t admit – she sort of likes people gushing all over her.

Verbally, that is.

And she has had lots of fun. Lots and lots of fun building the high school website.

For you see, high schools are challenging. There is SO much information that needs to be shared that sorting all of that information into cohesive, digestible chunks is quite challenging to display in an organized electronic manner. Karen’s websites are simple. She does not, nor has any interest, in building fancy-smancy websites that require crazy graphics or flash movies. She prefers her websites to be functional, yet attractive. She would rather build a website that informs it’s visitors as opposed to burning the retinas of it’s visitors.

She knows that people’s time? Is valuable. And most people do not have time to wait for cutesy, sophisticated graphics to load before they get to the meat of their search – the information the website contains.

And so, Karen’s websites are straight forward, yet elegant. Informative, yet entertaining – on a more subtle level, you see.

*pause*

*another long pause*

Alright, enough with the third-person talk. Is that not annoying or what?! I have a blog in my Google reader that reads like the above. It’s all in third person and I have to tell you, I’m on the verge of deleting the blog from my reader because it annoys the ever-loving shit out of me. (Sorry, but I’m quite cranky).

I mean, what is up with the third-person journal? Not only is it EXTREMELY annoying to read, but it automatically distances your readers from you. It’s like your living your life, on the outskirts – not really participating but rather an observer.

How lame is that? If you write your blog this way, I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Why? Can anyone tell me how writing in third person, in a journal, about YOUR LIFE, is a good thing? Because I’m seriously curious to hear your answers.

But anyway…

Getting back to the website design thing. Yes. I’ve been really busy these past days. Things are settling down now and I can breathe for the first time … in a while. I’m seriously excited about this website because I truly think it’s going to help the school, overall, improve it’s public image. I also think it may stir up some school spirit with the students and teachers, too. After all, the more information that is made available, the more people know about it and the more people want to get involved.

Right?

I also gave my Write From Karen blog a face lift. (Did you notice?) This is my fall template. I plan on changing it to a Christmas template at the end of November and then I’m going to try and put a template together that I can live with all year long so I can concentrate my energies on designing things for other people and my writing.

I’m seriously thinking about hiring a cartoonist to make me a customized header. I have one in mind, thanks to my good pal Dale (thanks Dale!). He’s very reasonable (the cartoonist that is, though I’m sure Dale is reasonable, too) and I like his work. I’ll link to him soon – I don’t want to jinx anything at this point.

My brother-in-law is also an artist. And I’ve thought about asking him to do a caricature of me, but I haven’t worked up the nerve to ask him yet. AND, I’m sort of afraid of what he might come up with. My big nose? Pretty much a given, but I can only imagine what other characteristics he might exaggerate. 🙂

I’m splitting my websites in half. I plan on having one website devoted strictly to school and small business websites and one strictly for blog templates and blog components (buttons, banners, etc). I think it will be easier for me to keep track of project requests that way.

Of course, I’ve been talking about doing something like this for like, forever, so who knows when it’ll actually happen.

In the meantime, I’m accepting more website clients if you’re looking for a designer. I’m REALLY easy to get along with and I’m pretty cheap – much cheaper then you probably think. So, if your parent/teacher organization needs a website, I’ve got four years experience in designing, AND maintaining school websites. Again, I like to keep things simple, so if you’re looking for a lot of flashy stuff, then I’m probably not the designer for you.

In case you’re curious, here are some other websites I’ve done:

Disney Elementary
Cherokee Middle School
Pershing Middle School
Wilder Elementary
Wanda Gray Elementary School
Glendale High School
Kickapoo High School (most recent)
Ozarks Regional YMCA (the YMCA people did the flash stuff)
Freedom Financial Inc.
Midnite Thunder (rock band)

If you’re interested in a website, contact me! I don’t bite (normally – *grin* – I’m kidding! I’m actually very nice!)

Argh, I need a nap. It’s HARD WORK being creative.

Prompt Fiction

Take it, Before I Change My Mind

Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

This was originally published February 27, 2007

This prompt fiction piece was written in a hurry and hasn’t been edited (much). I use prompts to free / speed write – just some warm-up exercises.

You can find a ton of writing prompts at Write Anything. Click over today and write YOUR version!

Here’s one:

Writing prompt: While you are volunteering for your favorite charity, a man walks up to your table and hands you $1,000,000 in large bills. He walks away weeping, but never says a word.

Tell his story.

“I hate to tell you this, husband of mine, but you’re going to hell. And I ain’t burnin’ with you, buster.” Mary leaned against the makeshift bar and scanned the crowd. She continued talking, keeping her voice low and even. “You’re a thief, Stan. You were born a thief, you’ve lived your life as a thief and you’ll die a thief.” She leaned in close to his ear, her lips barely grazing his skin. “If you don’t give that money up right now, right this very minute, I’m walking out that door. And you’ll lose the only good thing that’s ever happened to your sorry life.”

Stan heaved a heavy sigh and silently agreed with her. Mary was a difficult woman, but she was right. He loved her and she was good for him. He could feel his entire life of conning people out of their hard-earned cash weighing down on his shoulders. He wanted to change, he just wasn’t sure how to go about it.

“Okay.”

Mary stiffened beside him and looked at him in surprise. She had issued the ultimatum because she wanted him to change, their lives to change, but she hadn’t really expected him to agree. The truth was, she would never leave him, she loved him too much. She quickly squashed her astonishment and nodded. “Well okay then.”

“What do you want me to do?”

Do? Mary chewed on her lower lip. She hadn’t thought this far ahead. They were at a charity function. Her kid brother was heavily involved with raising money for some such charity (in truth, she wasn’t even sure what the charity function was this week) and she had agreed to stop by to show her support. She glanced around the room and quickly assessed each person’s personal need by what they were wearing and their body language.

“There.” She nodded toward three women sitting around a table. Two women, both blonde, were leaning toward each other and chatting under their breath. They were drinking what looked like margaritas. The third woman, a small-framed person with hair the color of copper, was quietly watching the auctioneer. She lifted the bottle of water to her unpainted lips every few seconds as if to give her something to do.

“Give the money to that red-headed woman over there.”

Stan stared at her. “Are you crazy? Do you know the hoops I had to jump through to get this stash?”

Mary simply stared at him. Though she hadn’t expected him to go along with her request, now that it was happening, it suddenly became very important to her that he go through with it.

Stan issued another gut-wrenching sigh and nodded. “Fine.” He picked up the briefcase and walked over to the woman. He ignored her shocked look as he placed the case on the table, snapped it open, and began placing $1,000,000 in cash before her. He felt the tears rolling down his face and continued counting.

When he was done, he nodded to the woman (he noted she had one of those sexy beauty marks just to the right of her mouth), and walked away. He did it. He felt strangely … free. He smiled at Mary when he reached her. He leaned in and whispered softly into her ear. “Tonight better be my lucky night after this.”

Mary simply smiled in return.