How to Find and Hire Ghost Writers

Many people nowadays have websites, and they need to have professional content written for them. In order to do that, they will need to hire ghost writers. The fact is that ghost writers are people who are specialized in writing any piece of work, as long as it involves information that is easily accessible on the internet. Upon completion of their projects, the ghosts will be paid for the pieces they have written, yet they will not be given any credit by the buyer.

How to hire ghost writers:

1. First of all, clients need to define the scope of their ghost writing projects. Buyers who hire ghosts must be specific about the topics they want the ghosts to research and write about, the number of words the projects will contain, the styles of the pieces, and if the buyers have special instructions, they should tell the ghosts about them. Depending on the number of words the buyers request, the ghosts will charge them accordingly.

2. It could be that the buyers will hire ghost writers who have experience within their niches. This will further increase the prices of their projects, so they need to be aware of this. Such ghosts are perfect for those looking to have ebooks written, as well as printed books and screenplays. If the topics are highly technical, hiring ghosts who are proficient at ghost writing in such styles is recommended.

3. Coming up with a realistic budget for each project must be considered. The budgets should allow buyers to get the best ghost writers. More experienced writers will charge more than newbies. Success will depend on the expertise of the writers, and that is why hiring experienced ones should be a priority.

4. Before hiring any ghost writers, it’s recommended that people check out their portfolios and also references, if they can find them on the Internet. This way, buyers can assess the skills of those writers and decide whether or not to go with their ghost writing services.

5. Last but not least, if the buyers agree to hire one or more writers, contracts must be drawn up. Each one must specify who gets the rights and recognition for the work, the method of payment, and the total cost of each project.

Finding ghost writers is not hard, but it requires buyers to do some research before going with a ghost writing service. Choosing writers who don’t have experience in needed subject matters and hoping for them to deliver quality ghost writing work at low prices is unrealistic and should not be attempted. The quality of ghost writers is always more important than a few extra dollars.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Karen S Cole

Copywriting For The Internet

The internet is a mass communication media, reaching millions of potential customers globally. The majority have no clue about the true potential of this vast marketing network and base their understanding on what someone else tells them. That someone else is usually just trying to earn a few bucks from you, instead of giving you the full picture. Internet marketing and sales is not entirely about how many visitors your site receives everyday. It’s about how many of those visitors buy what you sell.

The bottom line is, it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it.

As a web content writer myself, the following are some pointers I can give to the niche newbies.

1. Research

How can you explain a product or service if you have no clue about what it does and how it helps you achieve something?

Take your time with the research. Do some snooping around and if it’s possible to get a trial offer from the seller, get it and try it yourself. Ask the seller for any existing advertising and promotional material. Ask them to explain the business model to you and make notes or carry a mini-recorder around. Find out details about their target audience. If they have an existing client base, contact some of them and ask for their opinions.

2. Outline

By the time you finish the research, you’ll have a good idea about what the company offers. Sit down, take a pen and paper and jot down the important points you should focus on. Highlight the features and benefits (two different aspects of a product/service), pros and cons and a few angles you can use to write the copy.

3. Avoid Cliches & Business Buzz

There was a time when offering simply the best, ideal solution, best in the industry etc were big hits. Note that I said “was”. The times have changed and when every business says they give you the “best”, does it even make sense anymore? Also, words and phrases such as “our excellent customer service” and “a complete turnkey solution” are long past their prime. BPO companies are popping up all over the world and most companies, from the big corporation to the home-based business, have excellent customer service. Please, don’t use these obsolete and plain annoying terms.

4. Vocabulary

As a copywriter, your most prized possessions are a dictionary and thesaurus. Words are your tools, helping you craft exquisite masterpieces. Keep a hefty unabridged dictionary on your work desk, because this is what’ll give you an insight in to any word you choose to look up. The word’s origin, common uses and existing nuances are all explained in such a dictionary.

Also, the thesaurus comes in handy when you need synonyms and different ways to write the same thing repeatedly. Remember, don’t make your writing complicated with big words, just because you have a thesaurus with you – most readers wouldn’t. One way to drive your readers away is to make them lose their concentration because they come across a word they have never heard of.

5. Be Concise

No one likes to talk to a person who talks on and on. Similarly, no one will stick around long enough to read huge paragraphs filled with too many words describing the same old thing. Filter your content, choose words carefully and write clearly.

(Copywriting For The Internet – Part 2 Coming Soon)

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Asanka Shanki De Silva

Movie Review – His Girl Friday (1940)

A much-praised romantic comedy classic directed by Howard Hawks and written by Charles Lederer based on the stage play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

Three immediate observations about this famous flick:

1) It certainly still is a funny film. I ended up laughing out loud in quite a few scenes even though His Girl Friday was shot 66 years ago! That says a lot about the staying power of this madcap comedy classic.

2) In terms of the words-per-minute delivery, probably this is one of the most wordy films ever produced. Talking about “talking heads”! Both Cary Grant (as the manipulative and exploitative newspaper editor Walter Burns) and Rosalind Russell (as the crackerjack and ambitious reporter Hildegaard ‘Hildy’ Johnson), as well as all the other characters, race with one another in delivering truck-loads of sharp comebacks, jokes and sarcastic comments at the speed of a red hot machine gun. The words come out cascading from all of them in a ceaseless head-splitting torrent of verbiage. One wonders how many pounds the actors must have lost collectively after wrapping up this one.

His Girl Friday definitely represents the ultimate antithesis of the modern taboo against “telling but not showing” in films. It does not have a single scene which is not deep into the exposition business.

3) Directorially, this is one of the amazingly lop-sided movies I’ve watched for a long while. It begins with a tight focus on the Grant+Russell interaction and expands into the uncomfortable triangle formed by the two and Hildy Johnson’s fiancé the insurance man Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy).

Then, without any advance warning, the scene shifts to a Press Room and to the antiques of a bunch of old crusty poker-playing cigar-chomping reporters who are covering the story of a death row convict about to be hanged the next day in the plaza right below their window. Hildy is at the center of this long “Second Act” during which the Cary Grant character is totally missing.

If you are watching His Girl Friday as a “Cary Grant movie,” and must of us do, you’ll be very disappointed by this mid-sequence that lasts almost half an hour during which we almost forget about Walter Burns.

When Walter returns in the Third Act, he is his old loud motor-mouth trying to get the story first to his paper while forcing the corrupt sheriff and Mayor to back down from their threats of jailing him.

The plot itself is not that complicated. Walter Burns (Grant) is an ambitious and unscrupulous newspaper managing editor in Chicago for whom “getting it first” and beating the other papers to the punch is more important than telling the truth. He is a sly but charming and street-smart operator who is trying to woo back his ex-wife and top-notch newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell).

Knowing that deep in her heart Hildy cares nothing in life as much as she does for journalism and the excitement of hunting down an exclusive story, Walter plays to her weakness in order to win her back while pretending that he is resigned to her new life with Baldwin.

At the end Hildy manages to hide the escaped convict (who claims he is innocent and he killed a cop just by mistake) inside a rollup desk in the Press Room and she gets an exclusive for Walter’s paper, leaving all her male colleagues in the dust.

The screwball comedy is full of smart and funny exchanges like the following:

Hildy: I can, I can, and I like it, what’s more. Besides, he forgets the office when he’s with me…He doesn’t treat me like an errand boy either, Walter. He treats me like a woman.

Walter: He does, does he? How did I treat ya, like a water buffalo?

# # #

Hildy: I spent six weeks in Reno, then Bermuda, oh, about four months, I guess. It seems like yesterday to me.

Walter: Maybe it was yesterday, Hildy. Been seeing me in your dreams?

# # #

Hildy: Listen to me, you great big bumble-headed bamboo!

# # #

Bruce Baldwin (talking about Walter): He’s got a lot of charm.

Hildy: Yes, it comes naturally; his grandfather was a snake!

# # #

Walter: Let’s see this paragon of virtue! Is he as good as you say?

Hildy: Why, he’s better!

Walter: Well then, what does he want with you?

Hildy: Ah-ha, you got me!

# # #

A lovely film in which both Grant and Russell prove that they have the manic energy and smooth skills to deliver their complicated lines without a mishap while not sacrificing the physical comedy details jam-packed into every scene. Two rascals who know one another better than anybody else in life – and a well meaning insurance salesman who looks like a babe in the woods next to the two main operators.

Needless to say, it’s also an eye-opener testimony to the way newspaper business was conducted in the 40s. We are all lucky the journalism profession, despite all its shortcoming, has much higher ethical standards today.

An 8 out 10.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Ugur Akinci

Celebrating Streep at Sixty

With the start of her film career and eventual stardom all occurring during my pivotal college years, the work of actress Meryl Streep is so embedded in my consciousness that it feels as if I should measure my own milestones by hers.

This week, our most distinguished screen actress turns sixty, and looking back on her legacy, we find one of those rare, happy stories of a person with blazing talent setting a high but worthy goal for herself, and fulfilling it.

That goal was to create a body of work whose quality would stand (she unquestionably has), without resorting to roles designed to exploit her beauty or sex (she didn’t). Even when her films fell short (as they frequently did in the ’90s, when Hollywood had no clue what to do with her) her presence always counted for something. She was never a decorative accompaniment or support to a leading man; she always held her own, by virtue of her performances, but also the parts she took.

And we, her fans, know Meryl Streep primarily from the emotions and intelligence emanating from those roles, not via sensationalistic stories in the National Enquirer. There is a grounded, decidedly normal quality to the woman that makes the actress seem all the more extraordinary.

Off the set, she eschews the spotlight, and has raised four kids, now grown, in a happy marriage to sculptor Don Gummer. By all accounts, that very private, stable part of her life has kept her clear-eyed and put her success in healthy perspective over the years. One wonders, why can’t more stars follow her example? Or let’s just clone her.

Mary Louise Streep grew up in New Jersey, the daughter of a pharmaceutical executive and an artist turned homemaker. A self-professed child of the sixties, at first she couldn’t take acting seriously in the midst of all the social foment. But she knew it was fun, and that she had a knack for it.

So, as a young adult in the early seventies she enrolled in the Yale School of Drama after graduating from Vassar…and never looked back.

Her first film is a personal favorite of mine- Fred Zinnemann’s “Julia” (1977), starring Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jason Robards. The movie is drenched in romance and nostalgia, all about Lillian Hellman’s close childhood friend (Redgrave) battling the Nazis. And there, playing an insufferable society girl distracting the noble Lillian from going to her friend’s aid, is Meryl. Seen today, she’s almost unrecognizable. Here was a part even most good actresses would render forgettable, but there was something about Streep that reached out and grabbed you.

The Meryl we would first come to know and love appears in her very next movie, “The Deer Hunter” (1978), a male-oriented picture if there ever was one. Yet again, Streep’s sheer virtuosity as Linda, who seems to embody every young woman left behind in war, registers. (This also marked her only film with the man she was first engaged to, actor John Cazale, who had played Fredo in “The Godfather”. Tragically, Cazale was dying of bone cancer during production, and his loss soon after would be a bitter blow for Streep.)

Still the roles would keep coming, and as the eighties arrived, Meryl Streep was – unavoidably and inevitably – a star.

Viewed from a perspective of thirty years, Streep’s painstaking discipline and sense of craft have never wavered, but the years have relaxed her to the extent that she will eagerly do comedies. Though some of these pictures are not entirely successful, her presence goes a long way towards redeeming them- and she is in fact a deft comedienne.

As Meryl turns sixty, here’s my own list of top Streep titles I’d want with me on most any deserted island:

Kramer Versus Kramer (1979)- On the brink of a big promotion, pre-occupied ad-man Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) gets the wind knocked out of him when wife Joanna (Streep) leaves him and their young son, Billy (Justin Henry). Balancing career demands with caring for a young son he barely knows, Ted makes the hard choices necessary to be there for Billy. But when Joanna returns unexpectedly, a nasty custody battle ensues.

Here Meryl teams with Hoffmann at the peak of his career and director Robert Benton for a near-flawless marital drama, depicting the dissolution of a marriage with unerring sensitivity. Touching performances from all three leads help bring an insightful script to heart-wrenching life. At Oscar time, “Kramer” won Best Picture, Benton took the honors for both direction and screenplay, Hoffman got the nod for Best Actor- and after just two years in film, Meryl walked away with the statuette for Best Supporting Actress.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981)- Disgraced by her affair with a French lieutenant, Sara Woodruff (Streep) is regarded as a woman of ill repute in her South Britain seaside village. But Charles Smithson (Jeremy Irons) finds himself irresistibly drawn to this mysterious and guarded Victorian lady, even though he’s engaged. As their story plays out, so too does the tale of modern-day actors Anna and Mike, who’re playing the doomed lovers in a film, and tumbling into their own conflicted affair.

In choosing to adapt John Fowles’s complex and epic romance novel, British filmmaker Karel Reisz enlisted the help of dramatist Harold Pinter, who framed the sorrow-laden, 19th-century tale of sexual repression with an intriguing modern story, creating a film-within-a-film structure that reflects the early ’80s milieu. Irons is perfectly cast as the love-bitten English gentleman, and the Oscar-nominated Streep is magnificent in her double role–oozing passion as Sara, and cool precision as Anna. Here’s a love story like no other.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)- Based on William Styron’s book, title character Sophie (Streep) is a lovely, mysterious Polish emigree who settles in Brooklyn right after World War II, starting a new life with her brilliant but erratic lover, Nathan (Kevin Kline). Stingo, a naive aspiring writer from the South (Peter MacNicol), becomes their neighbor and falls under the spell of this magnetic pair. Yet Sophie carries traumas from the recent war which she can’t shake and this, combined with Nathan’s own inner demons, threatens their future.

With this picture, director Alan J. Pakula exposed the full breadth of Streep’s prodigious talent when he cast her as Sophie. Beyond her astonishing turn, the film itself packs an emotional wallop- it’s at once extremely literate, highly atmospheric and emotionally intense. Also, be warned – it does include some disturbing flashback sequences. Above all, it’s a Streep tour-de-force, netting her a Best Actress Oscar. Kline is also solid as the tragic Nathan. This devastating film will stay with you long after the lights come up.

Silkwood (1983)- On her way to meet a journalist in 1974, Karen Silkwood (Streep), a plutonium-plant employee outraged at her management’s disregard for safety procedures, vanished, never to be seen again. In this film, we follow Karen’s attempts to obtain proof that her company is engineering a cover-up, despite threats, intimidation, and the disastrous effect it has on her relationship with boyfriend Drew (Kurt Russell).

Mike Nichols brings a chilling true story to life with this suspenseful, engrossing expose. Streep’s nuanced portrayal shows an ordinary woman who, through fate, circumstance and a streak of raw defiance, risks her life for a cause bigger than herself. Russell executes one of his more interesting roles as Karen’s beau, and the talented Cher sheds all her glamour to play Karen’s lesbian friend Dolly. Director Nichols builds a gradual sense of dread, culminating in a nerve-jangling conclusion. Don’t miss this blistering cautionary tale.

A Cry In The Dark (1988)- In 1980, while camping with her husband Michael (Sam Neill) in the Australian Outback, young mother Lindy Chamberlain (Streep) discovers her baby daughter missing. Anguished but oddly reserved, she maintains to authorities that a dingo (Australian wild dog) dragged off the child from their tent as she was momentarily distracted. Prosecutors are not convinced, however, and Lindy suddenly finds herself the target of a vicious public who believes she is a murderess.

Based on the shocking true story of a Seventh Day Adventist and his wife’s personal and legal ordeal, Fred Schepisi’s poignant, gut-wrenching drama builds on the astonishing performance of Streep, barely recognizable as the timid, aggrieved victim of near-daily assaults in the press. Schepisi builds suspense in the tense courtroom scenes, which are intercut with flashbacks to the camping trip, and never recoils from the lurid aspects of the Lindy witch hunt. With its sympathy for a minority faith and contempt for tabloid excess, “Dark” feels more relevant than ever.

The Hours (2001)- The plotline of this fascinating film moves seamlessly among three different time periods and women: the fragile existence of gifted but disturbed writer Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) as she starts writing “Mrs. Dalloway”; the claustrophobic life of Laura (Julianne Moore) a housewife and mother in late 1940s L.A. whose reading of Woolf’s book causes a numbing depression to surface; and the predicament of Clarissa (Streep) a modern-day, Dalloway-like book editor, whose lifetime project, a dying author played by Ed Harris, is receding before her eyes. Each interwoven tale plays out a variation on Woolf’s own isolation and sense of futility.

Don’t miss this subtle, insightful meditation on life’s hidden detours which direct us away from self-knowledge and fulfillment. Director Stephen Daldry’s ambitious piece resonates as a disturbing and profound drama, showcasing the prodigious talents of Streep, Moore, and Kidman (who won an Oscar). Ed Harris, Toni Collette, and John C. Reilly also shine in this haunting and memorable film.

Adaptation (2002)- Sad-sack, self-doubting Hollywood screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) is hired to script “The Orchid Thief” by New Yorker scribe Susan Orlean (Streep). Obsessed with the foxy author, and struggling with how to faithfully adapt the tale of Orleans’s intriguing friendship with a renegade rare-flower expert John Laroche (Chris Cooper), Kaufman becomes increasingly stressed, unhinged, and of course, innovative in his approach.

A brilliant meta-narrative and hilarious spoof of Hollywood’s formulaic approach to telling stories, “Adaptation” is the brainchild of director Spike Jonze and real-life writer Kaufman, who teamed earlier on “Being John Malkovich.” In fact, Kaufman really was hired to adapt the Orleans book, and took a chance writing a fun, zany, highly inventive script about his neurotic inability to wedge it into a conventional plot structure. He also invented a fictitious alter ego, twin brother Donald, who despite being a noodle-brained philistine, knows how to write a crack blockbuster. Cage’s balding, uncomfortable turn in both roles is angst-filled genius, and Meryl, predictably, also delivers the goods.

Angels In America (2003)- This dramatic adaptation of Tony Kushner’s award-winning play tracks several characters at the height of the AIDS crisis in mid-80s New York City, including Prior Walter (Justin Kirk), a young HIV+ man who begins to have visions of an angel (Emma Thompson) telling him he’s a prophet, and gay-bashing conservative lawyer Roy Cohn (Al Pacino), whose underling Joe Pitt (Patrick Wilson) is a closeted Mormon having an affair with Prior’s ex-boyfriend.

Tackling the AIDS panic, religious intolerance, and Reagan-era conservative politics, Nichols’s six-hour miniseries brings to the big screen everything that made Kushner’s original play a Broadway smash in 1993, including the caliber of his actors: Pacino plays real-life, rock-ribbed conservative lawyer Cohn with despicable malice, while Thompson and Streep thoroughly enjoy showier roles as supernatural visitors. (Streep also plays Joe’s straitlaced Mormon mother- and the tragic Ethel Rosenberg- to chilling perfection.) With its poetically inflected dialogue and dreamy special effects, “Angels” is a vibrant, pop-political melodrama for any age.

And so, this venerable phenomenon we call Meryl Streep greets her milestone with engines on full throttle, having just received her (gasp!) fifteenth Oscar nod for her superb work in last year’s screen adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt”. In career terms, it seems many more roles lie in store for her, of which we will become glad and grateful beneficiaries.

Happy Birthday and thanks, Meryl Streep.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by John Farr

Freelance Writers – You Need a Weekly Marketing Plan

Most freelance writers who make a living from their work will tell you they are usually doing one of two things. They are either working (on a writing assignment) or looking for work (more writing assignments). That’s the only way to keep both the work and the money constantly flowing in so they can pay their bills on time.

One way to make it easier to keep new work coming in is to develop a weekly marketing plan. A good day to develop your plan for the week is either Sunday evening (when you’re getting ready for your work week), or Monday morning (before you actually start working). It isn’t difficult to develop a marketing plan for the week. The key is to do it each and every week.

Your weekly marketing plan should consist of a list of the following:

1. Editors and other contacts – These are the people you plan to call or email during the week. This may include an editor you wish to query, or one you need to follow up with about an assignment or contract, or it could be an editor who requested a resume and writing samples and you need to get them out to that editor this week.

2. Job Boards or other job listings – These are sites you plan to view to see if there are any new job listings that interest you. If you know certain web sites post new jobs for writers on Tuesday, then put that down on your plan for Tuesday. If you don’t have a list of online job boards, then plan to spend an hour or so in the coming week searching for some. Also, sign up for ezines for writers (that include job ads) if you don’t already subscribe to at least a few.

3. Promotional activities – You must constantly promote yourself and your writing in order to be a working writer. If you have a web site or blog, updating it each week is part of this promotion. If you don’t have a web site or blog to promote your writing, then you need to create one, so “start on website” or “create blog” would go in this category of your marketing plan.

Writing press releases about your business or for a new book you have coming out, or getting contracts to schools or other organizations that want to book you as a speaker, are other activities that come under this category. Writing free articles for article directories might also be included here since these articles will help promote you and your writing services.

4. Networking activities – This category is a bit different from contacts or promotional activities. If you belong to any community organizations, or groups for writers, jot down how you plan on using these groups for networking this week. You might plan to join a listserv for writers and then introduce yourself to everyone on the list this week, or you might want to attend your local business association meeting to let other business owners in your area know about your writing services. Just make sure you have at least a few plans for networking with other writers and/or businesses each week.

You can make your weekly marketing plan as general or as detailed as you like. But once you have written down all your marketing plans for the week, you will know how much time you should have available to work on your current writing assignments. Generally, working writers weave their marketing activities in with their writing activities each day. But some writers prefer to do all their marketing on Mondays, so they have the rest of the week to work on assignments. This is a good plan, but if you’ve applied for various writing assignments, you might get a response from an editor during the week and you’ll need to follow-up with him immediately instead of waiting until the next Monday when you try to do most of your marketing activities. In a case like this, it helps to be flexible.

One of the big payoffs in consistently developing a weekly marketing plan is that you will begin to receive more and more job offers. In fact, sometimes you will receive offers for jobs you haven’t even applied for. Editors will simply find your web site or blog and will call or email to see if you are available for an assignment. When this happens, you will realize just how important a weekly marketing plan can be.

So, no matter what day of the week it might be right now, if you don’t have a marketing plan for this week, get busy and develop one. You’ll be glad you did.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Suzanne Lieurance

The Perfect Sales Letter Formula – A Star, a Story, a Solution

If you are a copywriter, or you are thinking about becoming a copywriter, here is a great formula by the late Gary Halbert. If you want a way to write compelling copy and to be able to get in touch with your customers and sell more stuff, this is it. Read on to find out more.

Too many beginning copywriters make the mistake of using a lot of hype and attention-grabbing headlines to generate buzz about their product. The customer, on the other hand just wants a solution to their problem. They are not sitting at home, waiting by their mailbox just hoping to be marketed to. They just want to know how your business is going to help them.

Copywriter Gary Halbert created a simple formula for this problem solving approach to writing sales letters. He called it a star, a story, a solution. You will start out by introducing the star in the headline of your product. For example, you could say “45 year old man with one leg runs 5 miles a day thanks to new medical device.”

You headline creates the interest and introduces the character. Then, in the body copy you will quickly explain the story of the main character, how he lost his leg in an accident, and how he was completely broke and couldn’t work because of it.

Then you move on to the solution. You explain how your product allows him to walk again, is very inexpensive compared to surgery or a prosthetic, and now allows the man to work full time and enjoy an excellent wage. You have then given the star, the story, and the solution. This method of story telling is much better than just listing facts about your product, or creating a catchy song. Stories fit into real life. We can relate to underdogs that are going through a hardship and everyone likes a rags-to-riches story, because it makes your own life look better.

The stories will stick in the customer’s mind much longer than a list of benefits and you will be able to put it into a context that the reader can relate to. Once you have told the story, you can then move on to the product benefits, bonuses etc. If the reader has made it through your initial copy, you know they have at least enough interest to find out how the story ends. Then, all you have to do is gently guide them to the order page and close the sale.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Joshua Black

A Cautionary Tale of a Reluctant Dominatrix: PERMANENT OBSCURITY, A Novel by Richard Perez

Dommes are all the rage these days — from Melissa Febos to Elise Sutton. Take it as a sign of shifting gender roles, take it as a sign of female empowerment, take it as a sign of embracing a subculture that just years ago was considered freakish and taboo. Richard Perez’s novel, PERMANENT OBSCURITY explores the world of dommes and “dominas,” particularly from the point of view of two down-and-out East Village wannabe artists who enter it partly out of curiosity, partly out of desperation.

This is by no means a politically correct book — even regarding BDSM culture; the story involves drugs, which as some may or may not know don’t mix with that world, or shouldn’t mix with that world. And this is partly the point of this cautionary tale. Shifting gender roles does not grant anyone the license to abuse others; with power comes responsibility. So maybe the most obvious question this story asks is: How can you dictate to others when you can’t control yourself?

The narrator of this story is Dolores. And she and Serena are best friends; both are young. Both have drug issues. It’s Serena, the more self-confident of the two, who takes ads on Craigslist for willing male subs. Dolores, although dominant by nature, is conflicted and can’t identify that way, and that would make her the more middle-of-the-road character:

“Oh, right,” Serena laughed. “I forgot how you hate being a top.”

She said it sarcastically, but I thought it was true. I mean, it was more responsibility than I wanted.

Usually.” (p. 142)

The story of PERMANENT OBSCURITY hinges on empowerment vs. being powerless; and it underscores the debilitating, soul-sucking quality of addiction, which undermines any possibility of control. And this is the major dilemma in the arts. Addiction of some sort seems to come with the territory. Who and what are artists, poets, writers if not addicted and compulsive people?

The central premise of PERMANENT OBSCURITY revolves around a dream of defining one’s own destiny. Early in the book, Dolores and Serena strike out as photographer and fetish model to produce a layout for a LA publisher, and from there a seed is planted: some possibility of a future project, which evolves into a movie idea. Not just an implausible fantasy, but a real possibility. If only Dolores and Serena can contain their neurotic need for self-sabotage. To put their plan into effect they rely on what’s familiar: putting out an ad on Craigslist, but this time for a writer (who also becomes an agent/author of destiny). With the writer aboard, script approval at hand, they seem, literally, to be in command of their own real life narrative. (The only thing the writer doesn’t deliver is a story ending, which, significantly, he promises to deliver “in person.”)

By hook or crook, Dolores and Serena get the necessary supplies to fulfill their plan: boosted camera, lights, moving van, media. But then fear and the dragon of meaningless rears its ugly head. What are they doing? Why are they doing it? It’s a question that artists continually ask themselves. Now add doubt and drugs to the equation. Then add massive drugs to dull the doubt and self-criticisms and what you concoct is a recipe for disaster, which is how this story unfolds. The Dominatrix film staring Serena, filmed and co-directed by Dolores, devolves into a face-sitting horror show/farce scripted by either Marquis de Sade, Eric Stanton, or David Lynch.

PERMANENT OBSCURITY may not sound like a pleasant story and in many ways it isn’t; yet what makes it palatable is the narrative voice of Dolores, an impulsive and often comically conflicted character, unaware of her own darkness and the depth of her own self-destructive nature. Some have called this a black comedy, and by turns it’s very funny. But in the world of the arts, where desperation and addiction rules, it stands as a warning to anyone who might let control slip away — would-be dominatrix and artist alike.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Carla Melendez

Fundraising Appeals Speeches – Preparing Your Nonprofit Board Members to Be Ready Anywhere, Anytime

Have you ever been caught off guard at an event where it would be appropriate for a board member to make a short, impromptu “appeals speech” but there is no one equipped and willing to make that appeal? As part of being an advocate for your nonprofit organization, every board member should be prepared to deliver an “appeals speech” that can be used at information sessions, fundraising events, or member/donor meetings.

Everyone (board members, staff and volunteers) can become a stronger advocate for your nonprofit organization and use the Appeals Speech outline, below, to develop a personalized 4-5 minute talk to solicit donations from any audience. Using the ideas presented in each step, anyone can mix and match the sentences (or add their own) to create an appeals speech that is comfortable for them. Then, everyone associated with your organization can be ready to make the speech at any time – at formal or informal settings, with audiences large or small.

Forward your board members a copy of this Appeals Speech outline today.

Step 1: Introduction (30 seconds)

1. My name is __________ and I’d like to introduce my husband/wife

2. I’m a board member/committee chair/officer of xyz organization.

3. Thanks so much for being here today.

4. I’m so proud to be on the board of directors of xyz organization.

5. I never tire of hearing about and talking about our programs and projects.

Step 2: The Need Described (30 second) What problem is the organization trying to solve?

1. As you heard today, there are X (#) of people in _______ with _____ (disease, poverty stat, literacy, etc)

2. Our community suffers from _________________

3. Statistics show that _____________________

4. Unfortunately, we know that ________________________________

5. As we were reminded today, ___________________________________

Step 3: Mission and Accomplishments (1 minute) What is the focus of the organization?

1. The focus of xyz organization is ____________________

2. As you know, we work with ______________(client group) and provide ______________

3. Last year, we delivered _____________________ (statistic)

4. We have X (#) volunteers and X (#) staff members who work full time to ensure that _______

5. Already this year, we have supported/provided/delivered ____________________

6. I’d like to tell you about a recent experience I had with one of our clients. (tell the story)

7. It makes me feel good when I know that my financial support goes to help ____

Step 4: Budget Considerations (1 minute) What it costs to run the organization.

1. To support our staff, officers, and operations/programs, we need to raise about $X per year.

2. Our annual budget is $ X per year.

3. We enjoy the financial support of corporate sponsors like ____ and _____.

4. We proactively apply for 6-8 government and foundation grants each year.

5. We have _____ (#) members whose dues help support our programs.

6. Nearly $ X/Y% per year comes from individual donors like you.

7. X% of every dollar does directly to support our ____________ programs.

Step 5: The Appeal (30 seconds) Making the ask – short and sweet

1. Your donation of $X today will provide _______________

2. If you could give us $X/month over the next year, you would support ______________

3. Won’t you join _________ (spouse’s name) and me in investing in this important cause?

4. Won’t you consider supporting xyz organization?

5. I’m here to ask you to make a pledge/donation to xyz organization today.

6. We particularly need funds to support our _______________ project.

7. Please think carefully about the stories you’ve heard today and consider helping clients like ________ with a charitable donation today.

Step 6: The Mechanics of a Donation or Pledge (30 seconds) How to make the donation.

1. In the back of your program you will see a donation/pledge card which you can tear out and leave with your donation/pledge today.

2. Your table captain has your pledge card that can accompany your donation today.

3. By leaving your donation and contact information with one of the scribes circulating throughout the room, you can join hundreds of others who have helped our clients.

4. There are volunteers at the donor station near the back of the room who can collect your donations today.

5. Let me introduce the other board members who are circulating in the audience/room here today and who can answer other questions you might have. They would love to talk to you about the work of xyz organization.

Step 7: Thank You

1. Thank you for coming today enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

2. Thank you for your attention.

3. Thank you for being with us today to learn more about xyz organization.

4. Thanks for coming today and helping us promote this wonderful organization.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Alyson Ball

How Grant Writers Use Data to Pitch

Decision making in the current technological dispensation is informed by data-driven analysis. Grant writers are equally becoming endowed with how to use data effectively to deliver winning proposals.

Here are some of the ways that grant writers use data to pitch

Problem definition

Nonprofit organizations exist with the primary objective of eradicating some of the societal problems that a section of the community faces. Whereas a plain narrative can be provided about these issues, practical problem descriptions are backed by actual statistics about the situation. This includes data about the qualities and characteristics of the target subject and data about their extent of the problem. Consequently, the problem definition can entail data about the significance of the problem, the cause of the problem and how the proposed solution can address this issue.


After a thorough description of the identified situation, grant writers have to provide goals and objectives that are measurable. This exercise also requires proper utilization of data and data analysis tools. The proposed input and output for the initiative can then be manipulated to provide a projection of the various outcomes of the project based on the data that is available. The projections are crucial because it enables the determination of efficiency, viability and sustainability of the initiative at different scales or using different measures and indicators. These are valuable information for the funders, and it enables them to understand the impact of the proposed intervention and the required inputs.


The budgeting process is equally a data intensive process that requires accuracy and is devoid of naive assumptions. One of the primary functions of a proposal highlights the resources needed for the successful implementation of a project and for the realization of the project’s objectives. Therefore, grant writers have to be careful lest they provide an over quotation or under quotation of the project’s budget. Some of the crucial data applied by a grant writer include economic data that advice the costs of materials, the cost of wages, cost of equipment among other resources based on the geographic location where the initiative will be carried out. This data is then applied in the budgeting process to provide an approximate overall cost for the project and the amount being requested from the funders.


The format in which data is presented has significant repercussions on how the intended audience will react upon its consumption. Grant writers are aware of this and hence strive to simplify data in the manner that appeals to the audience. This is achieved through data visualization. Some of the formats in which data can be presented visually include graphs and charts, tabular presentation and info-graphics that are laced with a combination of text, figures, graphs, charts and pictorials.

Grant writers are increasingly relying on data to write and pitch grant proposals that are devoid of unfounded assumptions.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Chris Bouchard

What The Most Prolific, Wealthy and Successful Writers Do That Sets Them Apart

It’s easy to think that if you want to earn a living as an online writer, then all you have to do is write a few things and you’ll earn money. It’s especially easy to think this when you see so many bloggers writing a few things online and earning a fortune.

So if they can do it anyone can do it. Right? Wrong.

Let me explain it to you by telling you a story about a well-known copywriter, who, sadly, is no longer with us, but he left behind a legacy.

Have you ever heard of Eugene Schwartz?

He was a famous copywriter and one of the best there’s ever been.

I’ve read a lot about how he worked.

He wrote ads for a living that earned him millions. He could sit down and write out a long sales letter in 4 hours or less, and that ad would make millions of sales.

So how did he do it?

The answer is simple yet so few people do it, but if they did, their online writing business would be far more profitable.

This is what he did.

Eugene Schwartz always had just 3 words of advice for any successful copy writer:

  • Prepare
  • Prepare
  • Prepare

If you’re working online then you’re a copy writer whether you know it or not.

Copy writing is salesmanship in print. It’s selling with written words. And if you want to have a profitable online writing business, or any online business, you MUST be able to sell with your written words.

Eugene Schwartz advocates preparation. By this he means “research much”. He says he spends a whole day researching before he writes a sales letter.

He says he researches the product he’s writing about and the person/company that produced it and he looks at competitors’ products to see what sets them apart.

He says that if he’s selling a book, he goes over and over the book and highlights lots of different paragraphs and writes copious notes. Sometimes he’ll write 40 pages of notes.

He then goes over his notes and decides what’s most relevant and what can help the product to sell.

He then sits down and writes his sales page once he feels adequately prepared.

And this is what you must do too.

  • Prepare
  • Prepare
  • Prepare

Know why you’re doing something before you start.

If you’re writing an article, what are you trying to say?

What are you asking the reader to do?

Make sure you’re fully prepared before you embark on any project.

Research much, make copious notes and know what your desired outcome is.

And if you’ve never heard of Eugene Schwartz before, finding out more about him and his work can really help you in your business, and help you to be a better and more persuasive writer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Ruth Barringham

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