Word for Word Readers!!
those of you who think I dropped in a hole somewhere, I bring great
tidings! The news of my
dropping in a hole has been greatly exaggerated.
(As those aspiring greeting card writers who email me daily can
readily attest to!) Why
has it been 19 months between columns?
The only excuse I have is the most hackneyed, clichéd, trite
one I can think of—I’ve been busy!
what exactly have I been doing since my last Word For Word
Column? Let me catch you
up on just some of the really exciting happenings in my life as a
greeting card writer.
after I last wrote this column, I was asked to be part of a Master’s
Thesis for a former greeting card writing student, Christina
Chateauvert. Her work, Aspirations:
The Art of Writing, was submitted to Boston’s Emerson College
Graduate Division in partial fulfillment for Christina’s Master of
Arts Degree in Writing and Publishing.
Christina had originally planned to use my comments on the
various aspects of greeting card writing as more of a footnote; when
she looked over my interview, however, she included my insights as a
full-length feature that ran seven pages.
Imagine my thrill when she wrote me several weeks later saying
she did, indeed, earn her Master’s Degree!
As coincidence would also have it, one of the English
professors she interviewed for her work was my son’s former
world—and huge accomplishment.
My warmest congratulations to Christina Chateauvert for this
outstanding achievement. I’m
pleased to have been a part of her work.
February, 2003, writer Jason Wilson contacted me for an article on the
greeting card industry he was doing for the Washington Post Sunday
Magazine. While the
focus would be on the bigger companies and their staff writers, he
also wanted the point-of-view from an independent, freelance writer.
I happily agreed and my comments were part of his article in
that prestigious Sunday Magazine.
close on the heels of that interview, the BBC came calling.
Radio Five’s Dotun Adebayo Show needed a greeting card
writer to set hearts aflutter for Valentine’s Day and together, on
the air, Dotun and I “wrote” several Valentine’s Day verses and
had a grand time doing so. Hopefully,
sweethearts around the world were able to borrow my lines to endear
themselves to their Valentine. Even
better, I was able to get a copy in the form of a WAVE file and since
I alerted my son beforehand, he and his friends listened to the
broadcast as well. (No
one believed that “Mom” would be on the BBC!)
the next week, I’d received a phone call from The Philadelphia
Inquirer Magazine’s Dawn Fallik.
She was putting together an article on greeting cards and
needed a freelancer’s perspective on the industry, where it had been
and where it was going. The
ensuing article was an in-depth one and right on target.
you happened to buy The National Examiner’s Special Double
Issue dated April 29, 2003, you would have seen my smiling face
looking back at you as part of a
special 27-Page inset on home-based businesses.
Among the other areas featured, such as Child Care, Tutoring,
Sewing and Cooking, there I stood, my card spinner in the background
and received a nice write-up on greeting card writing from home.
Again, as fate would have it, I was smack-dab in the middle of
the magazine, to the left of the staples.
Probably my only shot at being a centerfold...
I received an email from the editor of Ferguson’s Careers In
Focus, I was stunned. In
their Second Edition of Entrepreneurs, they intended to include
a chapter on Greeting Card Designers and Writers.
They asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for this
series that resides on school library shelves across the country, from
Grades 5-12. You bet I
would! There’s no
better feeling than helping young people who are discovering and
exploring what they want to do with their lives.
The book came out in early 2004.
Could I have turned some students into greeting card writers?
I hope so!
these same lines, freelance writer Wendy Bruttomesso approached me to
do an interview for the children’s magazine, Hopscotch.
Geared for a somewhat younger crowd than Careers In Focus,
nevertheless, my philosophy is “you can never be too young...or too
old to write greeting cards!”
email came my way two months ago from the producer of Los Angeles’ The
Valentine Show in the Morning.
This Clear Channel Communication Program is available in 19
markets to over 2.5 million listeners.
Together, with host Sean Valentine and his crazy cohorts, we
wrote several greeting card verses.
Even though I felt I was in the midst of a Marx Brothers film
(and I was a slender version of foil Margaret Dumont!), we had a
blast. I’ve been
informed I’m their “official greeting card guru.”
Do I smell a repeat on-air invitation?
Time will tell!
repeat on-air invitation came last week in the form of the BBC.
This time the producer of Radio 4’s Shop Talk has
asked me to join in a round-table discussion of the greeting card
industry. As the only
American and the only writer to be present, I’m confident I’ll
learn much from the other participants, as well as being able to bring
my own insights to the table. This
show is scheduled to air Tuesday, October 12th.
As the old saying goes, “Mark Your Calendars!”
of you familiar with www.spawn.org
know it’s one terrific source for networking among publishers,
artists and writers. When
Patricia Fry approached me for an interview, I was honored.
She asked excellent, pointed questions that allowed me to give
a full, complete picture of today’s greeting card industry and the
creative folk who reside therein.
The interview was posted several weeks ago.
I think, finally, we’re all caught up!
No, wait. In
between time, I’ve managed to start Sandy Lynn Books, LLC and update
my book, A Few, Choice Words: Short, “Do-able” Writing That
Sells. I’m really
proud of this Second Edition and even though it’s only been
available since June 2004, it’s already sold more copies than I
could ever have anticipated. Speaking
of selling, yes, I’m making it easier for you to order on the site
via Pay Pal. Their
security hoops, as many of you know, are many and complex—especially
to this totally non-techie! As
far as I can tell, I have one more hoop to jump through in the form of
a missing number—once that’s been provided, you’re set to order
anything on the Ordering Page of the site through Pay Pal.
This should be completed by early October.
To those of you who grit your teeth, write your checks and go
through the trouble of sending your order snail mail, Bless Your
Heart! I mean that
sincerely—I know I haven’t made it convenient to order.
addition, I’ve added a booklet—Creative Calling Cards: Résumés
And Bio Blurbs For Writers—that tackles the issues of
writing résumés and biographical blurbs.
In addition, next month will bring another booklet, entitled Cover
Vs. Query Letters: Allies In The Challenge Of Getting
Published. There are
two types of cover letters and one type of query—and based on the
amount of emails I receive asking about the similarities and
differences between the two, a low-priced booklet on the subject is
what's coming in the future? I'm in the midst of planning a
complete card line for an existing greeting card company and once that
makes its debut, I'll tell you all about it. In addition,
there's the little matter of writing a Second Edition of my book:
Write Well & Sell: Greeting Cards,
that continues to sell beyond my wildest expectations.
I’m also planning a workbook that is greeting card related
and have started a mentoring service for would-be greeting card
writers. I continue to
teach online at three locations:
(where I’m also Vice-President and Coordinator of the online classes
there) and www.absolutewrite.com.
hope you looked at this column as a heartfelt sharing, rather than a
bragfest. I sit at my
desk everyday and work; emails come in, the phone rings.
I truly never expect what comes my way, but I’m grateful to
be able to share the wonderful world of greeting card writing to all
who seek it. If you’ve
checked this column throughout the past months and been disappointed
by its lack of update, I don’t blame you.
I’ll try to do better.
wish you all good things in your individual creative pursuits.