As Yet Unsorted

Writing to get where I hope to be.


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Photos Are Great, But Sometimes You Still Need The 1,000 Words

I had a meeting this morning in my capacity as a board member of a non-profit. We’re trying to expand awareness of who we are within our community, and are looking to try some new things to make that happen, so we were meeting about a fundraising possibility, about which we were excited going in. After the meeting, we were less enthused. We were given photos, and a flyer with a few buzzwords, but no real concrete information. No testimonials, no sample timelines, no hard data, nothing we could look at and read and from which we could get a good sense of what an event would entail.

The photos were pretty, and theoretically showed people having fun, but without any other information, they left us unconvinced. In order for people to be interested in what you have to offer, you need to be able to tell them about it in a way that is relevant to them. Humans want stories. We want to know why the girl was dressed as the Mad Hatter. If you want us to appear in your next set of promo photos, we want to know the details behind the photos. We want to know what you will offer, what we can expect, and how it all comes together in the end.

If you want us to want what you have to offer, use your words. This is advice I need to follow as I try to put myself out there (wherever “there” may be). What is my story? What do I have to offer, and what is the story that will keep you interested and eager to take advantage of it?


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Pop-Up Possibilities

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Prince Street Park

I love the pop-up concept, especially the idea of transforming an empty or under-utilized space into something new, temporarily. My current favorite incarnation of this idea is Prince Street Park, which, for the summer, occupies the front half of a parking lot between Prince and Water Streets in downtown Lancaster. Most days, it is only home to Passenger Coffee Roasters‘ gorgeously remodeled airstream trailer, which serves coffee, juice, and other treats, and Penny’s Ice Cream Truck, which returned Carmen and David’s wonderful homemade ice cream by the cone to downtown (you can also get Carmen and David’s at several restaurants, but there’s just something about an ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day).

There are cafe tables and chairs scattered around, on and off the patches of artificial turf that help make the space feel less like a parking lot, and more like a park. There are also plenty of living plants and trees, between the existing street tree that overhangs and shades a wide, comfortable L-shaped bench, and trees and flowers in planters positioned throughout the space.

On Thursdays, other food trucks roll in, and tables are set up for a fun, casual dinner alternative for city dwellers and out-of-town visitors.

Pop-ups aren’t new in Lancaster; a decade ago there were occasional pop-up art galleries during Art Walk, and now it is not unusual to hear about pop-up dinners held in non-restaurant spaces, pop-up theater in city parks and other public spaces, and occasional pop-up retail ventures in a variety of places. These spaces and events make me more inclined to be on the lookout for the don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it experiences they provide.


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Still Mostly Spinning My Wheels

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This is the view from today’s seat at The Candy Factory. I’ve joined this downtown coworking space in an attempt to give myself some structure, a workspace away from all of the distractions of home, and some networking opportunities. It’s my third day here (yesterday I had partially valid reasons for staying home), and it’s slow going so far, because I haven’t really made a point of switching on my mix-and-mingle mode, so I’ve been mostly keeping myself to myself, except for talking to people I already know when I see them. I know that this behavior is completely missing the point of working in a coworking environment, but I am naturally shy, and it sometimes takes me a little while to get into the social swing of things.

It’s also taking a while to get into the working end of things. I’ve been sending emails to people who may be able to send work my way, but, thus far, have not gotten any replies. It’s only been nine days since I left my job, so it is still early, but I am finding myself getting a little twitchy. In the meantime, I’m editing work, making lists, and writing on random topics, in hopes of sparking ideas to be used in query letters in the near future.

I know I can write, it’s the selling myself part that I have more difficulty with (see “shy” above). So, I’ll just keep showing up here, and eventually start talking to people I don’t know, in addition to the editing and writing and sending out of cold-call emails, and hope that things will begin to fall into place before I feel the need to contact the temp agency again and run to another office job, putting this possibility on the back burner, once again.


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High Tide and Henry Miller

I’ve begun this transition from what I’d been doing, to what I will be doing, and this week is serving as something of a decompression period. 

Tuesday was my last day at my old job, and I ended up working late. Yesterday, I ran errands, made lists, and caught up with friends. Today, I ran away to the ocean by myself.

Pre-holiday traffic was slow, and camp sites were snapped up by the time I arrived, so I was wound a little tight by the time I pulled into the parking lot at the main bath house at Cape Henlopen State Park. I grabbed my phone and my sketchbook and headed for the beach, and as soon as I saw the water, I began to relax a little.

A two-hour barefoot walk in the surf and sand, followed by an hour spent watching the tide come in (I had to move my chair back once) as I read about Henry Miller in an introduction to Tropic of Cancer made the drive down melt into the background.

I’m not much of a sun worshipper, so heavy clouds, a little rain, and a wool sweater made for a perfect afternoon at the beach during a week when I’m feeling more than a little at sea.