An Interview With “F.I.T.S.” Series #freelancewriter Elna Cain

FITS Series Welcome ImageFITS Series Freelancer Elna Cain
Today Elna Cain is my F.I.T.S. (Freelancer In The Spotlight). Elna and I met by fluke. When she grabbed my blogging ebook, 20 Blog Post Must-Haves, she noticed my address was in Thunder Bay, the same city where she lives!

Elna reached out to me through social media, and we connected instantly. Now we meet regularly at Starbucks to discuss our highs and lows, our businesses, and our lives. (We sometimes annoy the other patrons, too… but we have fun doing it!)

Meet Elna Cain

During our last meeting, we took some pictures. Here they are:

Elna and me at Starbucks

 

Elna at Starbucks

 

Me at Starbucks

 

 Elna by fire

Today’s F.I.T.S. entry is a bit different from past ones. Elna let me interview her! What’s awesome is that she has some REALLY GREAT TIPS for you, too!

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Prostitution Paid More Than Teaching & I “Tell-All” in a Podcast Interview

Join_Up_Dots_interview

Did you know…

Prostitution used to be a way of life for me?

Not anymore.

Now I write, edit, and blog.

I also help others turn their e-books into print books.

And I provide advice to others through coaching.

But prostitution earned me more money than blogging. Or teaching.

Seriously.

However, now my days are structured differently.

And I love them.

We All Have Skeletons

You probably have a story about your past that you’re not proud of.

In fact, almost everyone does.

But… do you own it?

Do you tell others about it, or do you keep it hidden, praying no one ever finds out?

I’m Open and Honest… and Gutsy!

I’m probably the gutsiest person I know.

Who else do you know that openly admits to being raped, doing drugs, and getting involved in prostitution?

Likely, no one.

Just me.

I’m Proud of Who I Am

I finally learned to be proud of my past.

Why?

Because it has made me who I am today.

I “Tell-All” in a Podcast Interview

I was recently interviewed by David Ralph from Join Up Dots.

The podcast is now live.

In the podcast interview, I mention:

  • that I quit school four times
  • that I was raped
  • why I thought it was my fault (19:01)
  • that I sought counselling (19:27)
  • that I turned to drugs and prostitution
  • that I got pregnant twice and had one abortion
  • that I brought my rapist to court (23:33)
  • that I gave my son to my friend to foster for a yearv (29:51)
  • that I quit teaching to return to prostitution because the money was better (begins at 30:52, ends at 33:07)
  • how and why I lost contact with my son for three years (41:52)
  • how I nearly died
  • what my big turning point was (42:12 – 47:35)
  • that I re-connected with my son
  • how re-uniting with my son changed my life
  • why life is not always about money (52:50)
  • the biggest compliment my son ever gave me (52:01)
  • how I became an author and entrepreneur

… and so much more. I also recite something special at 103:53.

Have a listen to it.

Get to know me better.

Perhaps you’ll learn how to be more courageous in your life, too.

Leave David a Review?

Afterwards, if you can, please leave David a reveiw on iTunes.

How I Pass On My Message

I use my book, Risky Issues, to help pass on my motivational message. This book is now part of the Thunder Bay Public Library, AND it’s being sold in one of the local bookstores!

BUY Risky Issues from Amazon or CreateSpace.

Me and My book

 

Share Your Skeletons

I’d love to know if you have the guts to share some of the skeletons in your closet.

Do so in the comments! I won’t judge you. I promise.

“F.I.T.S.” SERIES: Featuring #freelancewriter DD, an Addicted-to-Heroin #Freelancer

FITS Series Welcome ImageFITS Series Welcome Image

Today’s post is an extra-special instalment of the F.I.T.S. (Freelancer In The Spotlight) Series on Wording Well, and the “Freelancer In The Spotlight” today is DD, who is addicted to heroin. (Hey, some freelancers have posed nude, so don’t judge…)

Rather than have her write the post in the same style of past FITS posts, I decided to ask her a few questions.

First, let’s meet DD.

Who is DD?

DD is short for Deemster Diva. She’s probably the most productive drug addict I know… not that I know that many… anymore… 😉

DD is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. She also blogs at Heroin Is My Heroin. DD is not her real name. I know what it is, but out of respect for her, I am not going to reveal it.

We will simply know her as DD.

I’ve had many conversations with her via email, and I don’t judge her for the drugs she chooses to do. She’s still a person, and she’s a freelancer, too.

Kinda makes for an interesting scenario, don’tcha think?

NOTE: Due to my recent announcement, I’m going to be blogging my True Tales Tuesdays posts on Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There, so if you’re a reader who loves those type of posts, then please subscribe to my author newsletter. You’ll get a free gift when you do!

 

Now please welcome DD to center stage, and listen to her answer a few questions. Read More

Interview With A Blind Woman

 

This is a photo of Kerry Kijewski.

 

Blind people should not be avoided, shunned, or ignored.

This past year, I have encountered two blind people online.

You probably already know Maxwell Ivey, whom I interviewed and who is now a blogging coach and author of Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light (which I edited for him). If you have already visited Max’s blog or had any type of interaction with him, you know that he is a sweet man with a heart of gold. He’s also inspirational in many ways: he lost over two hundred pounds in two years, he owns two businesses (one which involves buying and selling carnival rides), he is a blogger, he’s on social media, and he’s now proud of the fact he’s blind and has accomplished so much in his life.

However, you might not yet know Kerry.

This is a photo of Kerry Kijewski, by the water on one of her trips.

Kerry. Kerry. Who the Heck is Kerry?

Kerry Kijewski is a blind woman. But she is so much more than just that.

She’s a great writer, an insightful person, and a pleasure to talk to, both through emails and Skype. (Aah, I love technology!)

Kerry agreed to let me interview her, too. It seemed only fitting that I should have a post about an interview with a blind woman on my site, as I already have An Interview With a Blind Man on Wording Well.

Kerry is a blogger, a writer, and insightful traveller. Her writing site is a free blog called Her Headache, and her travel site is her new, hosted site called The Insightful Wanderer.

I first met Kerry through LinkedIn, after being told about her by Max, and then through a comment I left for her on her blog.

This is a screenshot of my intro comment to Kerry.

 

This is a photo of Kerry Kijewski, by a castle, on one of her trips.

A Blind Woman Who Wants to Travel?

Kerry’s goals include pursuing a career in writing and travelling the world.

Before you jump to any conclusions about that last statement, know that I initially had a hard time believing it, too. But when you think about it, she has every right to do the same things sighted people do. Her experience, however, will be a bit different from yours or mine. She’ll utilize her other senses to enjoy the locations she visits.

In fact, before we get to the in-depth interview, here is a super-brief introduction to Kerry, using what Kerry has to say about herself and her desire to travel:

I just want to say that I’m no different from anyone else. I’m really not. I’m not scary. I like music, movies, books, autumn, chocolate, and pizza.

I love to laugh and have a wicked sense of humour, if I do say so myself.

I like symmetry.

I love to go to concerts, on day trips/road trips, and theme parks. Even blind girls wanna have fun!

I like to sing, but I am not great.

I love history, psychology, literature, and pop culture.

I love the scent immediately after a spring rain, the fragrance of freshly cut grass in summer,, the crispness of the fall air, or the fresh and still silent snowfall that I smell in the night.

Think what life would be like if you only stayed inside your own little bubble, if you didn’t get out and discovered the world around you. that’s all I want to do. I stand at a place like Niagara Falls and, although I am not taking in its majesty with my eyes, my remaining senses step in and take over. I feel the spray of the mist on my face, I grip the cold railing, smelling the cool windy air, listening to the roar and feeling its vibration through the stone at my feet.

That is what travel can be for me. Just because I can’t see it (which must be really hard for people to wrap their heads around), does that mean I deserve to experience such things for myself any less?

I get something out of going somewhere new and meeting the people who live there. I eat the food and listen to the accents and the differences in speech, but I still see the same humanity that I see everywhere.

We are all the same, despite our differences. That’s the lesson I get from travel and of which I want to impart, whether it’s people from another country, who speak a different language, observe a different religion, or whatever it may be. This translates to living with any difference or “disability” like blindness, that people can’t imagine for themselves, but we all need to try and put ourselves in one another’s shoes to truly find our common ground.

I miss looking at pictures every day. I still like to hear descriptions of something. I can imagine how a certain light hits something. I can imagine a look, but yet I can’t. I try. I don’t just retreat into my own experience of the world.

I have an imagination and I saw more at one time. I have the ability to envision my surroundings.

Travel is also, in huge part, who you are with. It’s the people you experience the world with that make the experience so special.

If the conditions are just right, if the light hits the face of my niece or nephew in just the right way, I catch a glimpse of sweetness in their faces.

Just because blind people can’t see doesn’t mean we don’t wonder what someone of the opposite sex might look like. The inability to see it doesn’t take away the instinct to want to know anyway.

As you can clearly see, Kerry is a woman of substance. Most people, however, can’t seem to look past her blindness, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to showcase her today and do an in-depth interview with her.

This is a photo of Kerry Kijewski, when she did a CN Tower Edge Walk, on one of her trips.

An Interview With A Blind Woman, Kerry Kijewski

Some of the questions have several parts, and some of Kerry’s answers are fairly long. However, I hope you read through each question and response carefully, as Kerry reveals certain things about herself that you don’t want to miss!

Without further ado, please get to know Kerry a bit! I’m sure you’ll come to like her as much as I do! At the very least, you’ll learn a bit about this blind woman and realize that not all blind folk should be clumped together in a stereotypical category, or be treated so differently that they are made to feel like freaks.

Enjoy the interview! Read More

Steps I Took To Self-Publish My Book + An Important Announcement about Wording Well)

Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

If you have not yet self-published a book but want to, there are certain steps you could take to do so. Most new authors do things haphazardly, however, because they are uninformed of what to do first.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Other times, you can listen to someone who has self-published a book and has “been there, done that.”

Self-publishing my book took me a long time only because I procrastinated a lot. In actuality, I could have gotten that darn thing out there a lot sooner than I did. (And yes, I know I shouldn’t call my book “that darn thing” but it’s my book, and I can call it whatever I want!) 😀

Steps I Followed to self-publish (which you should, too)

Here are the steps I followed to self-publish my book.

This link will bring you to my author site… which brings me to my announcement.

An Important Announcement about the future of Wording Well

Dear Reader, I really enjoyed my vacation, and it’s good to be back. 🙂 The time off from blogging allowed me to figure out a few things that have been weighing on my mind.
I have decided that I’m going to refrain from posting information about self-publishing on Wording Well and am going to post it on Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There instead. I’m also going to be posting all future book reviews on my author site as well.

I want Wording Well to focus on offering freelancing tips, writing tips, and blogging tips.

I want my author website to offer book reviews, and tips on self-publishing, and personal stories about me (something previously found on Lorraine Reguly’s Life – the name of this blog before it became Wording Well – but which are still found here on Wording Well, in the archives).

I also need to focus more on my freelance writing and editing business. It’s time that I make these important changes now, especially since my Amazon Author Central page is linked to the blog on my author website. (This page also displays my latest Tweet!)

Originally, when I started blogging, I had no direction. I was still learning what blogging was all about. Granted, I know there are still things to learn (there always is!), but I’ve come a long way since my early blogging days, as I’m now earning money from writing and editing (which I love). 🙂

It’s going to take some time to get both Wording Well and Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There to a point where they are clearly defined and where I want these sites to be, but I know that I can do it. I have diligence. 🙂 Juggling more than one blog is tough, but I know it will get easier with time.

Many bloggers have multiple blogs, depending on their niche.

Although both of my sites pertain to writing, their niches are actually very different (or they will be, soon)!  Wording Well is going to have an emphasis on freelancing and blogging, with the niche for Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There having an emphasis on books (whether they are written by me or not!), book reviews, and self-publishing (and all that self-publishing entails, which is a lot).

Furthermore, I’m writing posts about different blogging tips for Dear Blogger at a rate of one per month. I strongly urge you to read them. Often, they begin as posts I’d publish here! However, because I get paid to guest post there, and have a contract to produce posts at this rate, I am not going to publish them here when I can make money publishing them there! (You would do the same thing, if you were me.) But because I know all of you don’t follow that blog,  I generally try to write two posts dealing with the same issue, and with my post on Wording Well linking to my posts on Dear Blogger, because the post on Dear Blogger offers more information. It has to; Greg doesn’t pay me for nothing! 😉

What this all means for you

Depending on your particular interests, you might have to follow both of my sites! You might want to follow one or the other. That choice is yours. I can’t make you do something you don’t want to do. What I will promise you is that, regardless of when and where I post, I will be completely forthright, honest, and provide you with as much information as I can, in a clear manner.

Also, if one post relates to another, I will link to it. I don’t want you to miss out on important info!

 

An Invitation for you

Now that I’ve explained what my new site will contain, and when I will be posting things there, I’d like to invite you to visit and follow my new author site, Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There. You might even want to sign up for my author newsletter. 🙂

And please do me a favour and share this post. It’s best if we’re all on the same page. Pun intended. 😉

Thank you.

~Lorraine