I originally posted this blog on my author web site which you can find HERE, but I felt it was a perfect introduction to me and how I live my life.
Big smiles! Life goes up and down. Life goes in and out. Life breathes its purpose into us and then sucks it back out. Then it breathes again. We see so much inside our hearts and minds. We see our desires. We see our dreams. We see our shortcomings. We see so many faults within ourselves and others instead of the beauty of our flaws and the contrast. Instead of turning our attention to those negatives, turn to our desires. Turn towards what you want. Speak kindly into the universe what you want and set that free into the world. Instead of saying, “I can’t stand this! I hate that!” It’s not easy in today’s world. But these moments do come. Moments when you just feel authentic and joyful. In that joyous moment say, “More of this please? More of this incredible feeling of joy. More of this abundance of love. More of this! More of this!” Gratitude is the only way. I totally get it now. It works. When I ask for more in those moments when I feel incredibly grateful for my life, more just comes…and comes.
This photo sums up how I felt in that moment and how I hope to feel every single moment of my life.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
If you’re in the market for a copywriter, you should understand what you bring to the table is critical if you expect your copywriter to produce the results you need.
Copywriters do plenty of research. More importantly, they rely on you to provide information specific to your business, service, or product to gain your perspective. Your copywriter may provide you with a questionnaire to find out more about your company, you, and your objectives. As a client, filling out that questionnaire is not a courtesy on your part; it’s a responsibility. If you expect your copywriter to give you their best work, your input is critical to what your copywriter will produce for you. Even if you only have notes or information you’ve written yourself, these are resources for your writer.
Imagine if someone asked you to make them the best western omelet on the planet but only hands you a dozen eggs to make it.
Yes, this is a good analogy because that is what you’re asking of your copywriter when you only provide them with a link to outdated information and don’t answer their questions. If you don’t already have a website or any pre-written information about your product or service, they rely on you to either fill out their questionnaire or provide information that details the reason why consumers would benefit from your offerings. You know your business better than anyone. By sharing your goals and expectations you are igniting the writer’s imagination. We love your feedback!
Another significant factor is the scope of work.
Copywriters base their fees on the scope of the assignment. Is this for a blog post? A website? A sales or product page? A landing page? From there, we break down the amount of time, research, and writing that will be necessary to provide you with the finished product. Coming to the table with your plan in place or at least your ideas and concepts will save you and your copywriter a great deal of time that can be better used in gathering information for the project. You can never give your copywriter too much information. We’re experts at panning through info to find those golden nuggets!
Here are a few examples of questions your copywriter will most likely ask:
What is the name of your business or product?
How long have you been in business?
What made you choose this business or product?
How can your company or product help people solve a problem?
Who is your target customer? (Demographic)
Why should someone choose you over your competition?
What is your main objective for this writing project?
There are plenty more but you get the idea. If you don’t know the answers to these, how can your copywriter?
If you want quality writing that engages, excites, and interests your reader enough to want to pick up the phone or fill out a form or buy your product or service, you must be willing to participate in the process. By coming to the table prepared, questions answered, and clear ideas and objectives, the odds that your copywriter will produce the results you need will go up measurably. Creating the copy you want is a team effort.
Let’s work together and create something we can both be proud of that gets you the results you want. You bring the eggs and ham, we’ll bring the peppers and onions, and together, we’ll whip up a feast.
First let me tell you I never imagined I’d be writing this. However, since I’m a writer, telling stories, fictional or factual is how I deal with pretty much everything. Why should telling my story of catching Covid-19 be any different?
After all, I’m still here to talk about it.
I’m living proof that this disease doesn’t have to be a death sentence for everyone. I’m relatively healthy. I lost half a person in body weight in 2019 and have managed to keep most of it off throughout this pandemic, despite the lockdown and being stuck at home throughout March and April. I’m 56 years young. I take no medications. I get plenty of fresh air and sunlight. I’m active and I must have a very good immune system…thank you ancestors.
I had a fantastic summer! I am fortunate enough to have a lovely deck and an above ground pool that’s approximately 15 feet wide by 30 feet long. I spent every weekend in that pool and on many occasions, hosted small gatherings of friends and family for pool parties and cookouts. That is most likely where the ten pounds creeped back but you know what? I was living life and enjoying my summer despite the pandemic. Once I’m completely back to normal, I’ll get rid of it.
Fast forward to October 12, 2020.
It was a normal Monday. Sales meeting, catching up on everyone’s weekend, some chit chat…the usual. My sister in law, who is also my assistant at my day job, had celebrated her birthday away at a local beach resort town over the weekend with her husband and two of our mutual friends. I didn’t go because my husband had had surgery on his neck (ruptured discs) on October 6th so I was home taking care of him from the 6th through the 8th. She left for the beach on the 8th so I hadn’t seen her in a week, so it was great to see her again and catch up. It was a normal day at the office.
Tuesday, October 13th, my sister in law came to work wearing her mask. Of course we had to wear our masks if we got up from our desks to move about the office but she was wearing hers INTO the building. Feeling something was suspicious, I immediately confronted her. Her response was, “I don’t feel good. Something is not right.”
I basically ordered her out of the building and told her to please go directly to a clinic and get a Covid test. I was concerned because she had been out of town for four days and could have contracted it at one of the places she visited.
She left and went straight to an urgent care clinic.
Her rapid test was positive, which meant she had had Covid for several days and only became symptomatic Monday night into Tuesday morning. According to what the health department told me, once you’re infected, it can take between 2-14 days for symptoms to appear.
Denial set in.
I convinced myself there was no way she had passed it to me or anyone else. We followed all the rules. We wore masks. We washed our hands. We had a cubicle wall between us. Yes, we passed paperwork back and forth but we washed our hands and we used hand sanitizer for Pete’s sake!
I buckled under fear and decided to get a rapid Covid test the next day anyway, and I took a send away test as well. She told me the doctor told her she most likely was exposed before she went away for the weekend but she could not pin point where she could have picked it up. I had only spent 7 hours working near her on that Monday. It’s not like we shared anything other than space.
Both of my tests came back negative. PHEW! I felt great and believed I was in the clear. I shot on my English Dart league Friday October 16th winning all three of my matches. I felt great! I shot on my shuffle bowl league the next night. Then…
I woke up Sunday October 18th with a horrible migraine, body aches everywhere, ear, nose and throat burning, and just an overall feeling of illness. I ate a little something and had my coffee and laid in the back sun room on the sofa for what started out as a little while and ended up being several hours. Finally, I did get up because I could feel a fever had joined the sickness soup. Sure enough, 100.9 degrees. I took an 800 Motrin and laid back down.
As crazy as it sounds, my fever came down in an hour or so to 100 so I lugged a laundry basket downstairs and actually did a tub of clothes. Thankfully the washer and dryer do most of the work but when they were done, I carried them upstairs into the living room and folded them, as I described how I felt to my husband. I think that was when it hit me… I think this is Covid-19.
I told him I was beginning my quarantine that instant. I removed myself from human contact, set up shop in the back sunroom, texted my boss telling him what was happening and by bedtime, I needed another 800 Motrin to take the edge off of all the aches and pains. I decided not to run right out Monday morning for another Covid test but rather wait one more day and then get the test. I mean, I was pretty sure I had it but I wasn’t about to get fooled again.
Monday October 19th is a blur.
I was so tired. I was weak. I ached from head to feet. My ears, nose and throat were aflame. My son went and bought me ZICAM lozenges and they did in fact help. I have wide French doors in my sunroom and the weather was gorgeous so I opened one of the doors and sat near them. I believe that plenty of fresh air and sunshine is the best thing for you when you’re sick. However, by Monday night, something else happened.
I was dying of thirst. I love Minute Maid zero sugar lemonade. I poured myself a nice ice cold cup and took a big swig. Ugh! It was awful as if it had gone bad or something. I called my husband in the room and asked him to pour himself a little and taste it. He did. he looked at me funny and said, “It tastes fine. It tastes nice and lemony.”
I started to panic. He then sat a Swedish fish candy on the kitchen counter and stepped a safe distance away as I pulled down my mask and bit into it.
It tasted like rubber. I started to cry.
He said, “Oh stop it. You’re being silly!”
I said, “I can’t taste it! I can’t taste anything!” Followed by me trying to smell things…I’d lost my sense of taste and smell.
His eyes went wide and then he shook his head and said, “I guess you better go get that test tomorrow.”
Tuesday, October 20th, I went to the emergency clinic and took the Covid test.
Not that I didn’t already know it but I needed to be sure. Still suffering with a low grade fever and all of the other oddities; traveling aches and pains that seemed to radiate at times like muscle spasms that by Wednesday, had settled uncomfortably into my hip area and shot down into my thighs and groin. I also had inflamed sinuses but no mucous.
NO MUCOUS? No lung involvement what so ever? Oh thank GOD!
I was comparing my symptoms with my sister in law daily via text and we were neck and neck for the most part although by this time she’d been sick over a week and turning the bend to wellness. Hers had given her head cold symptoms but mine had NOT! We had pretty much suffered through almost the exact same ailments except she had mucous. I didn’t. She had chest tightness. I didn’t. I SWEAR it’s due to the fact that I had gobs and gobs of sunlight and fresh air all day everyday into the late evening perching myself 4 feet from that wide open French door ALL DAY LONG since my first sign of sickness.
Finally, Thursday, October 22nd, I got the results. POSITIVE. 5 days after I woke up sick.
Thank goodness I’d decided to quarantine from day one. Thank goodness I’d sat next to that open door for 5 days. I swear it has made all the difference in my recovery. I mean, I’m not knocking my immune system by any means but a closed up room or even recycled air cannot be healthy for anyone with Covid.
I have worked from home throughout this entire ordeal on both my day job (remotely) and my copywriting assignments. I have stayed mentally active for as many hours a day as I possibly could but resting when my body said REST. One night, I slept from 6:00PM until 8:00am the next morning. I listened to my body and did what it told me to do. I’ve eaten as healthy as possible, despite not being able to taste or smell anything which I have to tell you is the freakiest shit I’ve ever experienced as a symptom to an illness.
So, here I am, exactly one week with Covid-19. Yesterday was a good day. No symptoms at all except for the no taste and smell oddity and weakness. Yes, the weakness is most likely because my poor body is worn out from fighting this virus.
Today, I’m feeling very good for the most part.
I’m still weak and this afternoon, I was getting strange aches in my left hip again and lower legs to where I could not stand in the shower. I had to sit down to wash my hair and I nearly shoved a bar of Irish Spring soap up my nose in the shower trying to smell even a wisp of it to no avail.
Tonight, however, I ate 2 pickles and I could almost swear I tasted the tiniest hint of pickle on the very back of my tongue! I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring!
I do however know what it will bring though. Another call from the health department and 4 more days at home. here are the rules according to the Maryland Health Department:
PEGGY may end their isolation and return to work/school no sooner than Oct 28, 2020 and only when all of the following are true:
At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared (or the date tested for the virus in asymptomatic cases); AND
At least 24 hours have passed since recovery. This includes BOTH: Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND Improvement in COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or diiculty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell).
Which means I may return to normal life and work on Thursday October 29, 2020! Woohoo!!!
Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have Covid-19. I am a walking, talking, living, breathing, still aching and still weak and tired survivor of this pandemic.
I am also now a statistic. However, my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered far worse than I have with this and especially those who have lost loved ones because of the severe complications due to this virus.
My advice to you is although myself and my sister in law both caught it, we DID IN FACT follow every guideline laid down by the CDC. My employer followed every guideline. The true oddity is why did only she and I catch it? She lives with her husband, and her two adult children. She spent the weekend with her husband and two of our mutual friends.
NONE of them caught it. Only me.
I continued to work until Friday October 16th. Granted, the people in my gaming leagues as well as my coworkers are only on day 8 from the time I exposed them to me after I tested negative the first time. But as of this writing, none of them are sick thank goodness.
The only differentiator she and I have found is that she and I both received flu shots in late September. Now I’ve done a little research and cannot find anything that states viral interference is possible after receiving a flu shot. I guess as of right now, I’m not convinced of that and neither is she. I think someone out there should start gathering this data.
Please continue to be safe and careful. Please take care of yourself and if you have underlying health conditions, by all means protect yourself diligently. But please, do not be lulled into a false sense of security thinking it can’t happen to you but if it does, get as much fresh air, sunshine and sleep as you possibly can and fight.
As I’ve already established here, I’ve been writing since I learned my ABC’s.
I’m not sure when but I remember very early on in elementary school, being taken out of class and tested repeatedly. The tests were so easy I’d finish them in record time and ace them all.
I remember in kindergarten, my mother being called to school over a picture I’d drawn in art period. It was a beach scene with a horizon and boats and people playing in the sand as the waves rolled in. As my teacher and my mother chatted, I sat quietly at my desk drawing something else… usually people or animals but I can’t remember, but what I do remember was the hearing the word, prodigy.
Such a peculiar word. I’d never heard it before and my attention immediately zeroed in on their conversation. I listened intently.
My teacher, Mrs. Anders, was telling my mother she wanted to recommend that I be moved up in school, one grade at least to start.
My mother refused. I remember my mother shaking her head and saying, “No, I don’t think so. I’ve heard that’s not good to move a child up because what if she fails?”
WHAT IF SHE FAILS?
I immediately felt sad. Why did my mother think I might fail? Why would that even cross her mind? I didn’t know what failing was up until that point, other than failing a grade level or something.
What did fail even mean?!
Even after Mrs. Anders had shown her my test scores and this drawing, my mother who was the greatest mommy ever said that? I listened as Mrs. Anders showed my mother the picture I’d drawn and pointed out how at five years old, I understood perspectives and how the people and the beach umbrellas in the forefront were larger than the boats on the horizon. She even compared my drawing to other children’s in order to help my mother see what she was trying to explain. Theirs were stick figures as most five years old’s normally draw.
My mother was wonderful. She was the best mother in the world to me. She was loving, attentive, and we spent a good deal of time together. Even though she didn’t drive, she took me to ballet classes in a taxi cab in downtown Baltimore. She took me to ice skating lessons in Patterson Park. She was at all of my school functions and even came to many of my little league softball games and volunteered as a team mother at the concession stand… but as I remember myself sitting at that desk in kindergarten, I can never forget her saying, “But what if she fails?”
However, I did not stop drawing. I did not stop writing and getting straight A’s. I did not stop excelling at everything I enjoyed doing… but I always wondered if I would fail. I thought I can’t be this good at almost everything I love to do, even though I dedicated countless hours to those things. Even though my sole joy growing up was writing, reading and art.
I always wondered if what I was doing was good enough. No matter how many awards I won or how much success I had, I always hesitated, and questioned my ability to be the best me I could be. I remember always doubting my abilities but somehow, whatever I was working on, turned out well and often great.
Eventually I understood… she believed she was protecting me. That was after all her nature. It wasn’t necessarily about me failing as much as it was about how guilty she’d feel seeing me fail and thinking she had the power to keep that from happening.
Having been there as a mother, I completely understand it now.
Even in high school this carried on. I joined the choir and was asked to sing solos. I loved to sing. I believed I was a very good singer, otherwise why would they ask me to perform solos? It wasn’t until I sang in front of my entire school at an assembly that I truly believed in myself. I got a standing ovation. I wasn’t shy but I was an introvert and I shook like a leaf until the end of the first verse. I was terrified. After that, I sang anywhere and everywhere they asked me to… but deep inside I still felt that familiar doubt before every performance like… I’m not that good. What if they don’t like me this time?
Gradually over time and after publishing 8 books, working in sales and marketing for all these years writing ads and sales copy, and doing a lot of freelance work, my confidence grew and grew but when I made the decision to become a professional copywriter, I asked myself if I believed I could measure up. In true me fashion, I took online courses, read lots of books and wrote a LOT of copy as practice. Then one day I said to myself, “Self, you need to do some inside work and get right with all of this nonsense if you’re ever going to be the best copywriter you can possibly be.”
Now don’t get it twisted. I am one of the happiest, most upbeat and positive people you’ll ever meet. I despise drama, gossip or anything else that causes discord. I live simply and comfortably. I have a wonderful family and the greatest friends anyone could want. This whole point just proves that no matter how awesome your life is, when you’re alone with yourself, things will bubble up. Well, I decided to pop those bubbles once and for all.
I decided to try something different and the results have been tremendously helpful.
About a year ago, I believe I leveled up spiritually. For months, I dedicated time every day to meditation, self healing, and did a lot soul work. I also lost 60 pounds, started taking better care of myself and gradually over time, I allowed myself to let go of any and everything that had ever caused me to doubt myself. I stopped going into projects fearing I’d screw them up but rather believing the challenge would only make me better.
I was right.
Now don’t get me wrong, some degree of doubt is good because every job I take on is a learning experience. When someone reaches out to me to work on their project, I always ask myself if I’m up to the challenge that is involved in providing them with the best work I can produce before I respond. Writing to me isn’t all about making money. I’m leaving my mark. I’m using my God given abilities and talents to help someone. THAT is what is most important to me. Doing a great job and seeing in my client’s feedback that I’ve helped them is the greatest feeling ever.
In order to hone my skills, I’ve been working on Fiverr. I’ve been charging my clients far below professional rates simply to gain experience, train myself to meet deadlines and force myself to write in fields that I’ve never worked in before. It’s been a fantastic experience. So far, I’ve only had to turn down one job because of personal reasons. My hope is to build a client list here on my web site and quit my day job. It’s hard to work a day job when all you can think about is writing for clients and building your own business instead of working for someone else.
The best part of it all, besides the awesome reviews I’ve been getting?
Although I’ve had those nagging doubts that keep me grounded, not once have I thought, “But what if I fail?”
Yes! I’ve finally done what I set out to do for quite some time. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. I’m a firm believer in that concept. It’s real. It’s completely true. Never swim upstream. Settle back in your raft and wait for that current to carry you down the river to where you need to go.
I’ve been writing sales copy, novels, advertisements, brochures, flyers and a whole lot more for over 30 years! (What’s in a number right?)
I started out working in the grocery business as a cashier and in less than a year, I was promoted to scan coordinator (a fancy name for pricing system manager) when the grocery business was first setting up the whole bar-code scanning system. I quickly learned I wasn’t just managing thousands of grocery items in a scan system, I was learning marketing.
For the past fifteen years, I’ve been working full time in sales and marketing creating everything from the company web site to brochures, e-Newsletters, blog posts, managing social media and all of the advertising.
Now it’s my time. I’m ready to take all of my experience and skills and put them to use under my own banner and work for you!
My background was in writing and art. I loved designing and creating anything and started out as a young child, making my own greeting cards and posters, as well as writing books on construction paper and stringing them together with yarn to bind them.
I designed my own clothes for my paper dolls. I sewed my own Barbie fashions by hand under my mother’s guidance. As I grew older, art and writing became such an obsession that I turned my bedroom into an art studio. Thankfully, my parents were very supportive and financed my endeavors! They even bought me my first Brother electric typewriter.
Another passion of mine was travel. Although I was a shy teenager and mostly introverted, I wanted to see the world. Luckily for me, I’m the youngest of eleven children and at the time (I was 16) I had a sister living just outside San Francisco, CA, who I hadn’t seen since I was 10. My parents gave me the option that if I worked a part time job after school and saved my money, they’d subsidize my flight. I did it and spent the entire summer of my sophomore year of high school in California. The following year, I spent the entire summer in Jaffrey, New Hampshire with my other sister.
In March of this year, I was able to squeeze in a trip to Amsterdam the week the president shut down the country. I always seem to end up on some sort of adventure whether I like it or not! You can read all about that trip here.
God willing, next year will be Athens, Greece!
Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to check off a few other places on my list but after getting married and raising a family, I had to put a lot of those trips on hold. Kids are expensive! 🙂 However, they’re all adults now so guess what? It’s time to roam! Well…as soon as COVID-19 allows it.
I guess that’s enough for tonight. Thank you for your time and I hope we can work together!