It's all about the STORY!

Posts tagged ‘writer’

Links to Published Works

Updated: February 2014

Links to Published Works

 

Contact:Daphne Taylor Street

Phone: 727-565-5343 ▪ Email: daphne.streetmedia@gmail.com

Virtual Writing Portfolio

daphnepictureDaphne has been published in professional blogs, news sites and national magazines. She was contracted to write a syndicated weekly column that was increasing in reach until Patch.com put a halt on paying freelancers. Since then, she has written on retainer for several professional blogs, including Saint PetersBlog, which focuses on local and statewide politics; iLovetheBurg, writing about everything that’s awesome about St. Petersburg Fl and Patch.com where Daphne had a paid syndicated weekly column. Daphne also has written, ghost written and co-authored works in national magazines and professional journals. Daphne currently has three books under development, co-authored with a client. Links to many of Daphne’s published works are below.

 

Links to published works:

Most of the links below go directly to Daphne Street’s Blog, Saint PetersBlog or Forbes Riley’s Member Site, which may include a brief synopsis of the articles along with links directly to the published works.

Links to press releases:

Daphne has written countless press releases for myriad industries and events. Strategies for press release composition along with distribution strategies are integrated to foster the highest pick-ups from web and traditional new sources and to build SEO ranking. Daphne’s press release reach varies greatly depending on the popularity of the subject within media markets. For a national release, typical pick-ups range from 200 – 3,000+ while local releases tend to have a specialized distribution strategy and therefore may only receive 5-15 pick-ups in a mid-sized to large local media market. A small sampling of published press releases is listed here:

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Please VOTE – Which story needs a second chapter written?

I’ve written a few short stories, and I’ve been told that they are too short and in need of more chapters. I’m open to a vote.

Which of these stories would you like to read a second chapter on?

  1. Gulfside Motel: A Meditation on Death and Life
  2. My Psychedelic Cat
  3. The Book of Carver

Note: The Book of Carver already has a few chapters written, then it spun off into something that should be another story… if you didn’t like some of the chapters here, please let me know where you think I should pick up and what I should scrap (I’m personally not crazy about all of Carver’s subsequent chapters).

With all of your recommendations, please feel free to give your critique of anything written. I welcome ALL comments.

All in fun!  –Daphne

Daphne’s List of 7: How 2 Hire a Freelancer

From both angles–as a freelancer and someone who needs a freelancer–it’s critical that the working relationship is a good match for both parties. Too often employers have professional needs that fall out of scope of a particular freelancer’s offerings, but they tray to talk them into fulfilling these needs just the same. Likewise, too often freelancers agree to take on projects that fall out of scope of their niche business making for an uncomfortable mix. This is a recipe for disaster. Decide up-front as an employer, what your expectations are from a freelancer. As a freelancer, decide up-front what your menu of professional offerings are so that it’s easy for you to say no when asked to go out-of-bounds of your niche. 

Other potential pitfalls include making sure personalities, work ethic, communication styles and dedication to common goals match. These don’t need to match in a way that mirror the other but in a way that compliments the other. To this end, here are seven tips to help both employers and freelancers decide if there’s a mutually beneficial match before signing that binding contract, committing you together.

  1. Discuss specific needs and expectations. As an employer, have a list of the types of services you would like the freelancer to undertake and what types of outcomes you expect. Be clear about these expectations. Also, be open to negotiate on certain services and tasks that the freelancer may not be willing or able to undertake. Understand that you may find a great match from a freelancer who can fulfill a percentage of the needs you’ve outlined and you may either contract elsewhere or agree for the freelancer to subcontract for the additional services required. As a freelancer, be clear, firm and consistent about the menu of services you can provide. Be realistic about your skills, experience and time available, and consider having a network of other specialists you can refer or subcontract with to potentially fulfill other needs a client may have that you don’t offer.
  2. Date before marriage. Try a single project or a small batch of multiple projects prior to committing to a long-term working contract. Think of it like dating before marriage. Employers and freelancers need an opportunity to work together on projects to see if their styles and offering match well. When you begin working on projects, examine aspects of the partnership that will impact future projects if you both decide to move forward in a working relationship. In particular, observe matching or complimentary values such as punctuality and adhering to deadlines, frequency and styles of communication, creativity, problem-solving, innovation, leadership and project management systems, etc. While most people value all of these, many will value some more than others. For instance, perhaps an employer values a freelancer’s leadership and innovation and can deal with flexed internal deadlines once in a while as another employer demands strict adherence to deadlines but is less concerned with creativity. Likewise a freelancer may require a specific communication style and frequency and is less concerned with an employer’s project management system. A trial project will help the employer and freelancer examine if this professional relationship is a good fit and makes parting ways on good terms if things don’t work out well much easier.
  3. The contract. Write it, discuss it in detail, sign it and stick to it. Determine what money is needed upfront with projects to seal the deal. Often freelancers will require up to 50% down, especially at the beginning of a professional relationship. This is important for the freelancer to cover some operating costs while working on projects and to help ensure that the employer/freelancer commitment is firm on a project. It is less likely that an employer will pull the plug on a project if there’s already money invested in it. Also, freelancers tend to be more responsive to employers who have already invested financially in their work. This is especially true at the beginning of the employer/freelancer relationship. Include in the contract items such as ownership of intellectual property and copyrights, confidentiality expectations, deadlines both internal and external, specific pieces of the project that need to be completed to make the whole, what fatal flaws can break the contract from the perspective of the employer and the freelancer. If anything has been promised free of cost or is required free of cost, include it here.
  4. Experience and Inexperience. Check references, portfolios, ask pointed questions to determine experience and knowledge–from both the freelancer and the employer. Employers need to know the credibility and experience of the freelancers they hire, and freelancers need to know the same from employers. It’s perfectly great to work with start-up employers and freelancers who are cutting their teeth. Just know that this is what you’re doing, and do so with the intention of supporting that start-up. Anticipate that some minor mistakes may be made at the start, but know that you can help one another grow together. If you’re working with a start-up from either end of the spectrum, expect that the services will cost a little less. Discounts should be involved to compensate for inevitable missed internal deadlines and struggles with communication, etc. If the mistakes are too frequent or troublesome to overlook, from either the employer or the freelancer, the aforementioned trial project is a good way to check this out and perhaps decide to part ways easily afterwards. If after the trial period the employer who has enjoyed the benefits of discounted quality work wishes to move forward with the start-up freelancer, that employer should expect the rates to raise up to industry standards–if not immediately then in the very near future.
  5. Payment. Both parties need to be specific about terms of payment. Timeframes. Whether this will be based on a retainer, fee for projects, hourly rate, etc., this needs to be pre-determined and honored. Discuss payment for meetings and consultations, phone calls and other forms of communication on project(s) and travel/mileage and other potential expenses such as copying, printing, etc. If terms need to change due to unforseen circumstances, this needs to be communicated immediately, preferably with options that will be beneficial to the party that is NOT changing the terms.
  6. Conflicts of Interest. Discuss and have in the contract anything that would be considered a conflict of interest for both parties. As an employer, you will want to ensure that your freelancer will not utilize any proprietary information you provide to them with your potential competitors. This may include having the freelancer agree to not work with your competitors while under contract with you. As a freelancer, you may need to make it clear to your employer(s) what types of projects you will not be able to undertake due to potential conflicts of interest. This may include developing marketing plans for similar businesses in similar markets simultaneously. Open, honest communication and signed conflict of interest clauses are very helpful to avoid this common pitfall
  7. Parting Ways. Do everything possible to part ways on positive terms. This does not mean avoiding direct communication when things go wrong or communicating any dissatisfaction. What it does mean is to ensure that one is not slandering the other publicly and that communication never turns abusive, harmful or threatening. Do not threaten lawsuits or demand refunds unless the infraction is so significant that these circumstances are unavoidable. Understand that most things go bad due to miscommunication and misunderstandings or even uncontrollable events. This knowledge should bring at least a small sense of compassion that might lend to at least civil and polite communication and the amiacable dissolution of a professional relationship. At all times, remember, your reputation is always on the line each time to speak ill of another.

Daphne Taylor Street’s Resume (2 page visual version)

How to write a college essay (A PROVEN 6-step formula disclosed here)

I’ve been getting many academic writing questions lately. After many, many years of earning nothing but As and a few Bs on academic papers and helping MANY classmates with their writing, I have developed a formula that is extremely useful for many timid writers who fear things such as organization and staying on topic.

 Here’s how this goes:

1) Decide on a problem–what you want to solve. Think “scientfic method” if that’s helpful to you. Your hypothesis, that’s your thesis statement. It goes at the end of you first paragraph (intro.);

2) Draft your intro paragraph. You are always answering this question: Why your reader cares about your subject.

3) Ask yourself a bunch of questions. Pretend you are interviewing you. Organize the questions in a natural order. What you want to know 1st, 2nd, etc. (e.g. 1st I want background on the problem–I need to understand it and why it’s a problem; 2nd I want to know what can be done about the problem. What has been tried and failed/has been successful; 3rd I want to know your solution, and why it’s the best one. Give me data and research, etc.);

4) Answer your questions one by one, and work your way to a solution/conclusion. Repeat thesis statement in last paragraph (conclusion).

5) Organize. Read through your questions and answers again. Reorganize if needed. Make sure that your 1st question is really the 1st one you would ask on the subject. Make sure your 2nd question really is the second question you would want to have answered. You may find that question number 4 is a better 2nd question to ask, so reorganize if needed; and,

6) Edit. Delete the questions and create transitional phrases to improve flow. Edit for grammar, spelling and citing sources. Ask for help with editing if you’re concerned. This isn’t cheating, especially if you use the expereince to learn–work in a tutoring session to help you learn how to self-edit a little better.

 If you follow this formula, your chances of earning at least a B are quite good.

Creative nonfiction: Nearly eaten by zombies in back of the Columbia in Ybor City (true story!)

 It all began most innocently, as most things do. A festive Sunday evening, celebrating the birthday of someone I barely know with a moderate crowed of good, interesting people. I was mostly a stranger but warmly welcomed, sharing bread, stories and laughter. The 1905 historic building of the Columbia Restaurant was most comforting. The surroundings were hauntingly familiar, though I’ve never been there before. Memories seeping through the rich history and decor as though they were true memories of eras past, but it was just my imagination getting the better of me again.

 Soon, the festivities were to come to an end. Photographs clicked through various brands of smart phones, and we embarked on a long exit through the building, still enchanted by the beauty of the surroundings. We all collected along the outside facade, blocking the doorway of the restaurant as the warm Floridian night air fell hard and closing time had recently passed. We lingered there a while longer. Annoyed by intrusive cabbies begging for work, we took it upon ourselves to annoy them back. Taunting them with prospective business then quickly waving them on–an economic tease. The humor seemed to be lost on the victims.

Eventually we all began to part ways. A few crossed the street to their cars, and the rest of us grouped together and rounded the corner behind the restaurant to the rear parking lot. As we all took part in that strange female custom of hugging one another, and making plans for the next meeting before departing, a strange man approached us. He wanted a hug.

 “I have this map, and I was hoping you all could help me,” he said. “The map said this is the place you get hugs. Can I have a hug?”

 All of us were smooth and swift, laughing uncomfortably and darting to the interiors of our vehicles. As for me and my co-pilot, we had to walk a few steps to get to my car. Just short of running, we got there in a flash, and I quickly unlocked the door. Not quick enough.

 As we walked, we noticed one very thin and disturbing looking man with a very long and flimsy tree branch in his hand. He was walking towards us. Suddenly, another thin and disturbing-looking man turned the corner, also heading in our direction. They looked like zombies! Then, just as my friend and I were safely locked in the car with the engine running, the huggy guy comes up to us again.

 “Hey, what’s wrong with me? I can’t get a hug? I’m a likeable guy,” he says.

 We wave at him, and I begin to back up the car, until I notice that the two zombies are dead-on in front of the car, the one with the tree branch appeared translucent in the glow of the headlights, staring straight at us. The huggy guy was directly behind us. We’re trapped.

 I quickly maneuver the car, trying to back up in an angle, away from the two zombies and the huggy guy. They seemed frozen, though I was fearful that at any minute they would dart in front of the car, making me hit them. Yet, they just stayed still, staring at us in the car. I was able to drive around them and escape. Perhaps, despite what many zombie movies show, perhaps zombies move quite slowly. At least that was my experience.

I am happy to report that my co-pilot and I escaped all physical harm from this experience, but today we find ourselves more vigilant of the presence of zombies than ever before! You may not believe that these persons I’ve described are in fact zombies. I will remind you that you were not there, were you? No. So, maybe a bit of healthy caution and awareness of real zombies in your town would be in your best interest. Just a thought.

Poem: A trip to extraordinary

After rain, teardrops blend in
well. A necessary addition to
the landscape. Where memories
plant themselves firmly within
the everydayness of moonbeam
magic and flower fairy kisses.

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