Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

I made a little Happy New Year video:

(Video has been removed from youtube.)

Let this serve as an example of one of the many ways to promote your websites for free. YouTube is one medium of promotion. Like you need multiple streams of income, you should also have many sources of promotion working for you. Numerous promotion methods are free. You just need to take the time to put them in place.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Latest HubPage Article

I wrote an article about the way that the Social Security Administration treats those who cannot work outside the home but try to do what they can by working freelance from home.

A Word of Caution about SSI and Self-employment

Please, give it a read and leave a comment if you have an opinion on the subject.

My Latest Project

I wanted to share my latest website - Goalplan.org -even though it isn't finished yet. I'm still adding the content, but feel free to check it out and let me know what you think of it so far.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Parable of the Professor & the Bucket

"The Parable of the Professor and the Bucket
By Michael Masterson

A philosophy professor and his student stand in a warehouse. A large tin bucket and several boxes are in front of them.

The professor picks up a box that contains large rocks, each one about four inches in diameter, and pours them into the bucket. The stones reach the top of the bucket, and he asks the student if it is full.

'It is,' the student replies.

The professor takes another box, this one containing stones about one inch in diameter, and pours them over the rocks in the bucket. The smaller stones fill in the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asks the student if the bucket is full.

The student looks and says, 'It is.'

The professor then pours in the contents of a third box, this one containing small pebbles. Again, the student looks in and agrees that the bucket is full.

Finally, the professor pours a box of sand on top of the rocks, stones, and pebbles. And once more, for the fourth time, the student has to acknowledge that the bucket is full.

'The lesson,' the professor tells the student, 'is to do the most important thing first, and each lesser thing in order of its priority. In this way, you will be able to fill up your life four times, instead of just once. If you do the unimportant things first, you'll be filling your bucket with sand... and there won't be room for anything else.'"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Newest Article on HubPages

I enjoy writing about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. I feel that there is a genuine purpose to educating people about these disorders. This is my latest article on PTSD:

What Happens During a Flashback?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

HubPages HubNuggets Award

My article, "How I Raised an Obama," has been nominated for a Hubnuggets award. Basically, ten HubPages are nominated. The readers vote to choose the top five. So, please, take a minute to check it out and vote.

HubNuggets Awards

The voting is towards the bottom of the page. If after reviewing the other articles, you feel compelled to vote for a different article, don't feel obligated to vote for mine. I'd rather if the voting was based on merit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Color Theory Final Project


This was my final project for Color Theory class. What do you think?

Monday, November 09, 2009

How I Raised an Obama

Newest article inspired by someone asking me how I raised an Obama...

How I Raised an Obama

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jonas Gerard, Abstract Expressionism, & DIY Art Therapy

Jonas Gerard, Abstract Expressionism, & DIY Art Therapy

I wrote this article about the method of painting that I use as a coping skill for anxiety and depression. I strongly recommend that people who suffer from mental illness try a creative activity as a coping skill. Unfortunately, art therapy is underutilized due to a lack of insurance coverage. However, I advocate a do-it-yourself art therapy approach for everyone. Even those who do not suffer from mental illness can benefit from creative activities for stress management.

Monday, October 19, 2009

HubPages- A FREE Resource for Writers

I decided to try HubPages. Apparently, some writers are making decent money with it. One thing that I like about HubPages is the ability to add links, photos, and video to your articles. If you'd like to give it a shot, just sign up- HubPages
It's free and you can write about anything that interests you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1st Assignment in Color Theory Class








My color theory class is focused on the properties and role of color in graphic design. Only circles of various sizes were allowed to be used in this assignment. The first image had to feature a gradiant in hues.










This next image was to feature a gradiant in value while maintaining the same hue.














This image had to feature variations in saturation. I was going for portraying motion. What do you think?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Final Project


Just a quick post to share the charcoal drawing I did for my final project for my drawing class. I call it "Art Therapy."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

School Break

Well, I have slightly over a week off from art classes. My last classes were enjoyable and informative. I had a drawing class and art history. Both instructors were excellent.

The art history class was early art history from pre-historic art to baroque. I asked many questions over the course of the class. My instructor, Melissa Jones, took the time to answer all my questions and we had some great conversations.

The drawing instructor, Elizabeth LeGrone, always offered constructive feedback to improve our drawings. The focus of the drawing class was to draw what we see with a wide value scale with either pencil or charcoal.

My next class is on color. It should be very interesting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rough Sketch of Final Project



Here is the rough sketch of my final project for my drawing class. Obviously, it needs work, but I think I got a pretty good start on it considering I got sick several times while trying to draw it. I'll use sighting to fix the proportions and add the appropriate shading and textures.

Monday, September 21, 2009

...sick

Sorry about the recent delays in updating my writing contest and poetry contest blogs. I have been sick with bronchitis. It's been horrible. The timing couldn't be worse with my current art classes coming to a close in two weeks. That means it is time for final projects! ugh! LOL

I hope to be adding more articles to PTSD Central soon!



Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Typical Day of Work & Schoolwork

More schoolwork, of course..
Do you like my charcoal drawing of the kiwis?

I have been working on PTSD Central. As I get the time, I am going to be adding as many articles about posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and phobias to that website as possible. So, stay tuned for that! Check it out often if it is a subject of interest to you.

Monday, September 07, 2009

More Schoolwork...


This is a charcoal drawing I did for my drawing class. What I liked was the complex shadow cast by the textured, fluted bowl. For those who draw still lifes, I would recommend the trick I learned in my perspective drawing class and place white paper under the still life arrangement. It makes it very easy to see the shadows.

Well, I have more drawing and writing to do...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Working, Working, Working


Yes, I am still spending a majority of my time working and doing schoolwork. This picture is a drawing I did this week for my drawing class. I should have indicated the back edge of the table and perhaps added some texture to the objects and background. However, this drawing fits the focus of this particular assignment. Maybe, I'll work on it for my own personal satisfaction.
I am thankful to be writing for my one client who is an SEO expert. Of course, I am thankful for all my freelance writing clients, but I so appreciate the extra knowledge and help I receive from Allan. He took the time last night to make SEO improvements on my PTSD website- http://ptsdcentral.com .
I also get such a kick out of seeing the articles that I have written for him in the top 5 Google search results!
Well, guess what? Time for me to get back to work! LOL

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seascape Color Studies






















I did some color studies of the one seascape. These are the two that the professor likes the most. Do you have a favorite? Now, I have to choose one for the final project.





Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Art School Assignment

I'm working on a project for my Fundamentals of Graphic Design class. Feel free to give me feedback on which of these images you prefer.








Monday, August 10, 2009

Sandy Greetings



I'm on vacation this week. I found this shell on the beach this morning as the sun was rising. Pretty cool, huh?


So,I am trying to relax a bit. Of course, the poet, writer, and artist in me wants to keep "working." I'm not sure those arts constitute work.


Anyone who is an artist, writer, or armchair philosopher probably knows what I'm talking about. Walking along the beach isn't merely walking a long the beach. A walk along the beach becomes a haiku.. then a terzanelle about the tugging of the ocean at your feet.. then, wouldn't that scene make a cool oil painting.. then a fiction story emerges from wondering if the carefree appearance achieved by lying on the beach is a facade for dark secrets or turmoil. The water that washes away my footprints brings thoughts of how temporary our footprints are on this world.
So, what will become of all this? We shall see...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Website

After writing so much on topics that I don't really care about for clients, I felt the need to work on something that I am passionate about. One thing that is important to me, through my own experiences and background studying psychology, is passing on information about mental illness that is real and not the twisted ramblings and sensationalism of the media.

So, I started a new website about PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and other anxiety disorders:

ptsdcentral.com

If you do check it out, let me know what you think of it. As I get time, I'll be adding many more articles to it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Have to Pass This Along...

I've been working on starting some new websites. I was afraid I would have to pay a web hosting service fee for each website every monthly. When looking for the cheapest web hosting, I found an incredibly cheap web hosting deal. Unlimited websites for $7.95/month!




Another thing I really like about HostGator is that they have live chat technical help right on their home page. I tried cheap web hosting services before, and it was nearly impossible to get any technical help from them.

Writing Contests blog has been updated:

http://write4contests.blogspot.com/

There are some free writing contests posted and in upcoming posts. Why not try one?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poetry Contests

I have updated my poetry contest blog called Pen Poetry.

I have initiated a schedule to keep my blogs updated more regularly.. look for a fairly constant supply of information on poetry contests, poetry chapbook contests, and any song lyric contests that I can find.

I may have to find a poetry contest to enter myself. It's been awhile since I was published (other than online). I've got way to many projects that are in the beginning phases to concern myself with that now, but it would be a nice goal for next year.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Fun with Illustrator


















My youngest son helped with my art assignment yesterday. The assignment was to create a symmetrical black and white design. I felt bad because I spent most of the day working on writing for a client, so I let him scan in some of his Pokemon cards and showed him the different filters on Photoshop. He really enjoyed playing with it.

This week, I got some free software- a music production suite. He's anxious to play with that too. My kids and I have always done a lot of creative activities for fun.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Website Is Ready!

Well, it's up and working.. but I am still working on it. It is a website dedicated to my interracial erotica and erotic poetry.

EroticSwirl.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Blog

I feel the need to document my journey from SSI recipient to independence. I created a blog to both encourage myself to keep moving forward and to perhaps help others in the same situation.

Some of the topics covered soon will be how to make money from writing and art as well as issues related to working with a disability.

New blog:

Path From Poverty

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fun With Adobe Illustrator



I had some fun doing this assignment for my Fundamentals of Design class at The Art Institute. Basically, the objective was to create a design using only black and white to create positive and negative space. Pretty cool, right?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Photos from my Art Show




























The turnout was much better than expected
for a holiday weekend. Thank you to everyone who
came to the show.

If I have another solo show next year, I'll probably
show the series of mixed media paintings that I am
working on that depict the homes of famous people in
a way that reflects their contributions.




Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Venetian Street at Night


Here is another painting that will be featured at the art show.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Piece for the Art Show


This is a painting of a Venetian farmhouse that I did specifically for the upcoming art show at Cafe Beracah on Friday, July 3rd.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Seascape


Here is a seascape that will be shown at the art show. The theme for my show is water. Obviously, this painting focuses on the beauty side of water. Wait until you see the other portrayals of water!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Upcoming Art Show

Isn't it awesome when you see stuff like this?

Lebanon Art Factory Exhibit Schedule
-check out July 3

I'm finishing some pieces for my next show. I decided to focus on water.. reflections.. all kinds of ways that water impacts our lives. Not many things can be so essential, so beautiful, and so devastating..

Monday, June 15, 2009

January's Reader's Choice Awards

Thank you to all who read and vote or comment on my poetry.

Bound Wrists was chosen as the top illustrated poem for January on Literotica. Poems do not win the monthly contests at Literotica, but it means the poem will be considered for a nomination for the Annual Readers' Choice Awards.

My goal last year was to have 2 entries in the Reader's Choice Awards. I had 3. I think I will try to have 3 entries in next year's contest as well.

New Poems!

I had some new poems post recently:

Pennsylvania Tornado

Shopping

Neglected Garden Path

I Love Her Still

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Loving Art School!



This is a sketch I did for my perspectives art class. It feels good to be drawing again. The sketch isn't perfect, but I have enjoyed getting back in the habit of drawing. It's been about 20 years since I've drawn.

I'm loving art school. I'm learning so much already. The best part is that I would pay to learn these things even if I didn't have plans to use it in my career.

Tetris Fights PTSD?

Did you all hear the news that playing Tetris after a traumatic event may prevent PTSD? Now, let's face it, the study was small and had some issues like using undergrads as participants and replicating a trauma instead of using real trauma victims. However, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is no joke. It's well worth a try if you have a traumatic event like a sexual assault, serious car accident, or witness a violent crime. What do you got to lose, right? So, you play Tetris for awhile in hopes that it will help.

I'd like to see the result of future studies on this subject. Unfortunately, playing Tetris only seems to help prevent the symptoms of PTSD, not cure it. Kinda makes me mad that no one handed me a gameboy when I needed it. Do people still use gameboys?

Friday, June 05, 2009

New Limerick!

A new poem of mine, a limerick, posted today. It's definitely not my best, but kinda fun. I had to write a poem from the perspective of an adult toy for a contest. What do you think?

The Frustrated Vibrator

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Poems!

I have 3 new poems that posted on Literotica today.

Please check out my illustrated poem:

The Roses

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Poem!

A new illustrated poem posted. Check out my attempt at a sonnet and let me know what you think!

Love's Sunrise

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love For My Readers

I just want to show a little love to my readers. I appreciate them so much! It seems like any time I feel discouraged, I get an email from readers who tell me about how much they enjoy my stories. I'd also like to give a special shout out to the president of the Oklahoma chapter of my fan club- Laconia Hughes!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Literotica's Readers' Choice Awards

Well.. what an honor! I had the delightful surprise of being nominated for 3 Readers' Choice Awards. In the chain stories category is my twisted fairytale- Little Red Riding in the Hood. I also have a short essay in the How to category. My illustrated poem, Recovery, has also been nominated.

If you haven't already, please take a minute to vote for my stories at
http://www.literotica.com

THANKS!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Art School

Many of you know that I recently started attending the online degree program of Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I'm studying graphic design. Soon, I'll be able to offer my clients services in addition to the freelance writing projects that I do for them.

So far, I'm finding the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to be impressive. I'm a little overwhelmed by the amount of software that I need to learn including Adobe Design Suite.. including Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator. These are all new to me. There are some quality tutorials from Adobe among others online. Feel free to share if you find some great tutorials.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Story

I have a new, erotic story posted on Lit.

The Tribal Threat

Two men live with an African tribe in which the women do a majority of the work. The tribe elder is concerned and uses these newly trusted men as examples of how men should treat women.

(Please vote 5 if you enjoy the story.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vick.. What the Hell???

Vick, can't you just play by the rules? Now, Vick is in trouble for using pension money to pay his court-ordered restitution. Okay, does anyone else see an obvious logic problem with this? If you were going to steal money, would you use that money to pay the court system? LOL The whole situation seems destined for an episode of a dumb criminals show.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-vickbankruptcy&prov=ap&type=lgns

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Story

Just a fun, little story I wrote for a reader.

John's Turn



Friday, March 06, 2009

Celebs Are People Too

Chris, Chris, Chris. I'm sure anyone who cares already knows that Chris Brown was charged with 2 felonies stemming from the assault of Rihanna. I've seen news programs treat him like the new posterchild against domestic violence. Of course, what he did was wrong. I still can't help but feel sorry for him and all the celebrities who face public judgment for their mistakes.

Anyone who knows me well enough probably remembers when I took a stand for Vick. I'm not condoning illegal acts. But, DAMN! Can you imagine all your mistakes, breakups, and details of family drama being public domain? Contrary to popular belief, celebs are human. I certainly would not be one to cast a stone.

Some people emphasize that celebs are supposed to be role models. In the age of anorexia and pressure to be perfect, you know what? I don't mind my children having the reminder that people aren't perfect. God forbid that my children should learn that celebs aren't perfect and everyone must pay the consequences for their actions. What a detrimental lesson that is!

Okay, I'll drop the sarcasm. Truth is, I have a special appreciation for celebs. As an artist of a different kind, I admire the tenacity and passion that got them where they are. I appreciate people who share their talent with the world, whether they are celebrities, artists, or writers.

Back to Creation

I want to apologize to my readers for the delay on my next story. Many have been emailing me and asking when the next story will be posted on Literotica. I got delayed by some freelance work.. paid jobs come first, ya know. Just know that I'm on it. The next story will be an interracial story. After that, I will be working on a few other categories. Hopefully, I will be able to finish a few stories before I start art school on April 6th.

I have a profile on Twitter now, so feel free to stalk.. I mean "follow" me on there. Like at Lit, my username on Twitter is ladynstfreknbed.

Good night and God Bless!
-Sheila

Thursday, March 05, 2009

New Poem

I wrote a new poem. For a challenge, we had to write a poem about ballroom dancing. Considering that I have never been ballroom dancing, I think I did fairly well.

Ballroom Dancing

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New Toy

So, I found a new toy....

not that kind of toy! Get your mind out of the gutter. I found a website that I have been playing with in my spare time... what little of it I have. It's Helium.com. If you have ever written anything on helium or got paid for articles you wrote there, please leave a comment here. Let me know what your experiences with that website have been.

My Helium Profile

I'm in the process of creating a zone on Helium that is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe. I'll provide the link when it's up and running.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Poems

I've had some new poems posted on Literotica recently.

Raw Need- a short, erotic poem with interracial flair

The Eternal Round- a villanelle

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Poems

I have 2 new poems posted on Literotica:

Death Comes to Dinner

Bound Wrists

Please enjoy them and vote & comment here on under the poems.
Thank you!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Stories

I have a couple new stories on Literotica.

Sentora Ch. 01
This is the first chapter of a novella about Sentora, a therapist struggling with voids in her own life.

In Darkness
A woman who suffers from depression learns to trust her boyfriend to help her hrough difficult times.

Enjoy!