I recently found a portfolio website that I think is an excellent option for writers and freelancers–especially journalists. (All opinions are my own.) My Clippings.me page can be found at https://www.clippings.me/eleonor.

As a writer, I’ve experienced pain trying to build an online presence to share my work. It became time consuming to scan and lay-up (in InDesign) every article I got published, especially when the frequency in which my articles ran became a few times a week. A full-time job, personal responsibilites, friends, family, freelance projects, etc. didn’t make it easier. Before I knew it, I had boxes full of print publications I promised to get to, knowing that I never would. An alternative to portfolio building this way is creating a list and hyperlinking to where the article is published online, but the result is a boring-looking list. You can also export articles directly to PDF from the website and just upload them to a site but the result is having to use your data (most, if not all, websites have a GB limit these days) and users looking at a clunky layout. There are several options for getting all of your work in a digital, shareable space, some easier than others, but count on ongoing maintenance with pros and cons.

If you’ve fallen in a similar situation, I suggest considering populating all of your articles onto one space using Clippings.me. It’s super easy to use, quick and the layout is clean and attractive. There’s a field (after you sign up) you can copy/paste links into and the website will add it to your collection. You can also upload PDF files. Below is a screenshot of my working Clippings.me page to give you an idea of what it looks like. There’s a header where you can add personal information and links, followed by a grid layout for articles/projects.

There are plenty of other website options out there (I use WordPress, have used Strikingly, Carbonmade, Pressfolios, Weebly, Wix and have heard of Muck Rack, Contently, and JournoPortfolio) but for the moment, I’m quite content using Clippings.me for its appearance and easiness. Whether it’s a long-term solution for me is yet to be known.

There’s a Free (10 article limit), Professional Monthly ($9/mo), and Professional Annual ($99/year). The Free version isn’t bad at all. Sure, Clippings.me keeps their branding on the Free version, you can’t upload a resume, the article limit is constricting, and you don’t get some advanced customization options but if you’re just looking for a nice, convenient, and quick way to get your work together, it’ll work. I guess it all depends on what you need from it. Because my WordPress serves as my main website and I have a LinkedIn as a makeshift, digital resume, a Clippings.me page is a nice complement to those.

-E

 

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Stephanie Ayers  (pictured right) is currently circling the book community on tour for her latest novel, The 13: Tales of Macabre!

Steph

Pre-orders are available here: The 13: Tales of Macabre.  As of this interview, The 13 is available at a special price–just $0.99–as an e-book on Amazon!  The 13 will officially release on October 26, 2018, just in time for Halloween.

Visit Stephanie’s website to connect and checkout what else she’s working on: Stephanie Ayers. 

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1. What is your latest book project?

I am currently working hard at wrapping up the first novel in my Destiny Defined fantasy series, Elven Games. Tribba runs a B&B for her dwarven village. The problem is all her potential clients keep choosing the elven castle next door. More than ready to be rid of them, she challenges them to a series of games, the Elven Games, winner takes all, loser packs up and leaves.

2. Which story is your favorite in The 13: Tales of Macabre? Why?

It’s “Send in the Clowns.” I enjoyed writing this one because I put on the music and really got into the characters and the story. I creeped myself out with it and that made it extra fun.The 13 Macabre Clowns

3. What are your future projects?

I am planning to release 11 more volumes of The 13 for a complete series of 13. I have a 7-book fantasy series planned, along with keeping my writing skills sharp by entering contests and submitting to anthologies.

4. What else have you written? What else do you write?

I have a lot of short stories written, some unfinished. Most of my Amazon page contains 5-6 anthologies I have stories featured in. “Endless Darkness has Gloria,” a sci-fi kind of horror about a woman who accepts a new job position but gets a lot more than she bargained for. Monsters is an anthology put together by a group I’m in on Facebook. The story there, “Headlines,” talks about those headlines where families are killed by other family members. It’s scary in the very true sense. Precipice holds my fantasy story, “Fear,” which is about a princess who must face her greatest fear before coronation. I have about 17 poems contained within Ambrosia, which is a poetry anthology we dedicated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. When I’m not writing fiction, I freelance as a content creator.

5. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No, not intentionally.

6. In your opinion, what is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Those who take authors in, publish their stuff with grand promises of marketing and etc., and then don’t do anything they say they will. I’ve seen it happening a lot in small presses.

7. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

There are a lot of them but the one that sticks out most in my mind is vanity presses. Never pay to be published. Use that money for a good editor instead.

8. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It validated my writing. It also slowed it down. Somehow I got in the frame of mind that I accomplished that goal, so let’s do something else. I regret it now. I’m working hard to make up for it.

9. When you’re not writing, what do you do?

I tend to use my creativity in other areas, like graphic design. I have found that it is one of the biggest commodities I can help other authors with. Sometimes, they need quality work on a very limited budget. That’s where I come in.

10. What inspires you to write?

Everything inspires me. Usually while I’m driving, which isn’t always a good thing. 😉

11. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

It is someone’s story. Ursula Le Guin once said, “stories aren’t alive until a reader reads them.” I believe there is an audience for any book. It is bringing that story to life that is the most important thing.

12. Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?

I don’t know that it really is. Readers have told me I remind them of Stephen King, Poe, and Lovecraft. I suppose it’s in the way that a lot of my writing is about stuff that could happen, an answer to all the what ifs you could possibly dream up about anything.

13. What books have influenced your life the most?

I read a lot of Stephen King growing up. I definitely think he has influenced my writing the most.

14. What is your favorite genre to read and why?

High Fantasy, hands down, especially if its based on Celtic legends and mythologies. I find fantasy writing has more description. It really takes me to the world I’m reading in more than others.

15. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing, where would you choose?

Ireland. No question.

16. Do you have any writing buddies?

I have a few.

17. What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?

I’m always poor, but I’m always creative, too.

18. Who are some authors in your genre that inspire you?

Stephen King, John Sandford, Dean Koontz

19. What does your writing space look like?

It’s a cluttered mess but I know where everything is. It has room for everything I need within “hands distance.” And there’s always a unicorn, a few fairies, and a coffee mug around.

 20. What are your top three favorite books of all time?

The Stand (King), Inkheart (Funke), and Alice in Wonderland (Carroll).

21. If someone is brand new to your work, what book do you think they should start with or what should they know?

I think they should start at my blog, then probably read my newest work available, and then work backwards. I’m a coffee guzzling, word whispering creative ninja and unicorn disguised as a human being. I may or may not have fairy wings.

I’m a coffee guzzling, word whispering creative ninja and unicorn disguised as a human being. I may or may not have fairy wings.


22. What do you want readers to take away from reading your book(s)?

I want them to stick in their heads, come to mind when they see something out and about that makes them think of the story.

 23. If you could live in the story of a book, which one would you live in?

Wonderland of course.

24. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been writing professionally?

Growing up, I always waffled between author, journalist, actress, and singer. I got serious about writing in 2010, even though I had tons of writing from my earlier years, dating back to 4th grade.

25. Where do you think book publishing will be in 10 years from now?

I am a little worried about the future of book publishing to be honest. All the new rules and regulations the biggest book vendor in the world is mandating, makes it much harder for an indie author to rise to the top. I fear it will become elite, allowing for only certain people to publish and only out of certain places.

A review on The 13 will be posted soon. Happy October!

 

-E

 

 

 

 

 

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I found this book on Netgalley and was drawn by the cover.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is sweet, but this is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy feminist reads, this won’t interest you. The subject of this book is more about bringing social realities to the forefront, and less about developing a compelling story.

Dad 2.0 focuses on the journey of a single mother named Caroline who goes on a journey of self-discovery to accept that, though her life doesn’t exemplify the norm, she’s alright just being herself. I think that there were important issues addressed through different characters in this graphic novel: Monica symbolizes the epitome of motherly and womanly perfection; Philippe embodies the idolized “modern” man and Caroline represents the average woman. Caroline is insecure and trying to figure out how she fits into society.

The title that was picked for this graphic novel is puzzling because it definitely comes across as a modern feminist read.  But, for some odd reason, the title redirects attention to Philippe, the man who is “Dad 2.0,” a modern father who embraces the reversal of gender roles.

There’s a definite audience for this book, but it’s niche.

-E

 

 

 

MLM Cover

Major Literary Movements is a passion project I recently completed as a grad school project. It’s totally geeky, but, I really love the subject. I compiled specific bodies of work I think are relevant and designed the interior and cover to complete it. It was originally an e-book that I simply exported to PDF for ease of access.

Please feel free to download a PDF version here if you want it: Major Literary Movements_ A Collection of – Edited by Eleonor Gardner.

 

-E