Tagged: disability

Audacity Magazine: My Second Writing Home

Audacity Magazine: My Second Writing Home

We all have a cause or project we believe in and want to see succeed. Besides this blog, one site I am involved in is Audacity Magazine. Back in 2007-08 I entered a contest and was chosen to become a columnist for this online lifestyle publication. I felt it was an important site for me to write for. I had a blog on Myspace back then where I liked to share my thoughts and opinions; it felt like an appropriate time to branch out and expand my audience. I stopped writing for a number of years for reasons you can read about here on the Audacity site. I don’t want to fill the internet with the same story!

Anyway, I had been told many a time if I wanted to return to Audacity and to my column, I was more than welcome. I was a little hesitant at first. You know…I have this “What if…?” syndrome that makes me anxious about things I choose to do. What if I can’t find enough to write about? What if I suck? What if…blah blah blah. Well, I can’t really live life asking that question all the time.

I decided the time was right. If I didn’t try, I’d never know if I could build my writing skills up again and make my voice heard. Let’s face it, I am a bit of a hermit! The time was also right for NaBloPoMo.

So, I am back at Audacity and warming up my typing hand in more ways than one (yes, I said hand–I type one handed while holding a stylus), and am gearing up for the fantastic year of 2015!

Why is the new year going to be so special? For one, Nathasha Alvarez, Audacity’s editor, has some awesome plans up her sleeve for the website’s growth.

She is wanting to hire some freelance contributors and began a fundraiser to raise $20,000 to compensate freelance writers with disabilities for their articles. If the goal is met, this amount can pay writers for 500 articles at $40 per piece.

Why is this so important?

It creates opportunities. Many people with disabilities cannot work full time jobs. Some really can’t work at all even though they’d like to. Their sole income is SSI or Supplemental Security Income from the government. Unfortunately, the amount of the monthly maximum SSI benefits is only around $721.00 in most states. There isn’t much left after bills are paid to go towards emergencies and other expenses. Living independently off of just that isn’t easy! And independence is important to us.

You can imagine then how far an extra $40 might go for someone. It might help pay for a necessary prescription, food, some gas to get somewhere, or to pay for computer repair.

It’s important for sites like Audacity to exist to serve as a creative outlet and sounding board for the disability community as well. Everyone has something they would like to communicate–awareness, commentary, opinions, and reviews.

I wanted to get the word out so other writers might drop by and have the urge to pen articles in 2015! Let’s fill the place up with great articles! You can find out more on the website.

Now, I don’t want to make this post sound like I’m giving an annoying solicitor’s spiel. I don’t want to pressure anyone to do anything, I simply want to inform and give people the option of donating if it’s something that interests them (I’d make a terrible salesperson).

Audacity is under the non-profit organization name of World Wide Ability Inc. So, direct donations are tax deductible. Sometimes, there are generous individuals who arrange sales of products where the commission is donated. Events like this will be updated on the donation page, but here I will list the main ways Audacity is raising funds.

Ways to Donate

Direct Donations: Point your browser to the Audacity Magazine donation page and click the donate button. Decide what you’d like to give. Even as little as $5 can go a long way!

Amazon Smile: We all love Amazon! Now you can shop and donate! Go to smile.amazon.com and when you are asked for your charity of choice, enter World Wide Ability Inc. 0.5% of your purchase price will go to Audacity at not extra cost to you.

Sponsor an Article: If you have a business or product, and you’d like it highlighted on Audacity by one of the audacious writers, you might consider a sponsored article. Each article is $200. That donation would in turn be able to later pay freelance writers for 5 articles. For more info on this, contact Nathasha at the email nathasha @ audacity magazine . com

I hope that even one person will take the time to check Audacity out and share it with their social networks. My fingers are crossed that will happen and some donations will result. At the very least, it would be fabulous to have more writers with disabilities on board and have more names join the mailing list!

 

Image Credit: WELS.net via photopin cc

5 Things About Me Blog Prompt

5 things about me blog prompt

Today is lazy Sunday and I…am feeling kind of lazy! Even though I am extremely tired today, I know I must post. There is no option in this NaBloPoMo project for me! While I have a few post topics stashed away in the topic pook I am creating, I thought now might be a good time to use a prompt to introduce myself a bit.

Yes, you could always read my About section for that, but writing prompts can be fun. I’d love to see other bloggers do this one and read their answers too!

The prompt I found today is from Mama Kat of Mama’s Losin’ It. I found her site today while I was perusing Twitter. She has some great ideas of things to write about and it looks like she publishes a post with prompts monthly.

The prompt that caught my eye was:

“Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe.”

So, here goes nothing!

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I was a self-taught Photoshop user as a teen (this was way before YouTube and I hated reading software manuals, so I just played around and figured things out). It was a similar thing with website design. I did have to read to learn that though. Then I bought FrontPage software and learned to use it. Since then, web design has come light years and I didn’t learn as time went on so the best I can do are some rough tweaks. At least I have somewhat of an idea of what I need to look for if I need to edit code. Yes, I was a geek and proud! I still am!
  2. I have an eight year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi named India. She is like my child. She barks at people when I need something. She doesn’t like most men or young kids, but she loves little babies.
  3. I love traveling. I find it invigorating to see new places, and I feel more energetic. Road trips are my method of choice only because I have a lot of medical equipment and I haven’t attempted to fly with it since I have had it.
  4. I am a total food snob. I can’t eat much in one sitting, but I have a deep appreciation of good food. I often feel really frustrated when I go to a restaurant and it seems the food wasn’t cooked with care. Food should be satisfying and flavorful, not bland and lackluster (it should also be organic, but that isn’t likely to happen).
  5. I hate carnations. I have harbored a hatred of them for years. They should be banned from public places. I know they’re a filler flower, but they stink and whenever I smell them I am reminded of funerals and hospitals. They’re not cute either.

5 Things I’m Knowledgeable About

  1. Disabilities. Not only because I have one and understand what it is like, but also because I have known a lot of individuals with various kinds. It’s good to have general knowledge of the different types because abilities from person to person vary so widely.
  2. The Internet. I can find just about anything, even if it’s pretty obscure. Thank goodness the internet exists because how else would I have learned most of the things I have learned?
  3. The virtual world of Second Life. If you don’t know what SL is, it’s similar to a game, but without a point system. It has a monetary currency so you can open your own business or be employed and really earn a little something. There are places where you can socialize, stores where you can shop for clothing or furniture to customize your avatar or virtual home. You can also do things there maybe you are unable to do in your own life. I have “played” there since 2008 and to be honest, it taught me a lot that stretched beyond learning how to simply navigate in there. At first I thought it was only clubbing and shopping. But then I realized charities also could benefit from inworld events. Designers often create exclusive items for events to benefit Relay for Life, Wigs for Kids, etc. I think I might need to do a separate post on it to fully describe my experience!
  4. Photoshop and image editing. I have been using it since I was about 16. Back then I really had no idea how powerful a tool it was. I think that version was 3.0. I liked to make random art with it. In college I gained a better understanding of its features. I am still learning new things about it as time goes on. It’s one of those programs where there is no end to the learning process and I like that.
  5. Creating WordPress sites. I won’t claim to be an expert, but I have installed and worked on quite a few of these. Each WordPress site seems to have its own life, and working on each one was a learning experience. There are always new things to learn about this subject as well.

5 Things I know Nothing About

  1. The Stock Market. I have always been curious about how investors successfully invest and get good returns. I know it’s sort of based on trends and forecasting, but I am not sure how it all works and can be understood.
  2. Organic Crop Farming. I can’t say I know absolutely nothing here, my dad is a farmer and I read articles about organic food and GMO crops and related subjects. I guess crop growing is something I am curious about, particularly organics. I wonder things like: How does a farmer know when to plant? Or how much? How is the soil tested? How can a farmer figure out how much yield he needs to earn his profits? I guess what I am saying is I don’t know exactly the detailed step by step process. It goes way beyond plant, water, grow, harvest, sell, and then profit (or not profit in some cases). I always felt like my dad just knew inherently what needed to be done…like a sixth sense.
  3. How hot dogs are really made. Though, I have a pretty good idea. I imagine it’s similar to how chicken McNuggets are made.
  4. What it’s like to be on TV.
  5. Making iOS apps.

5 Things I Believe

  1. I think if you really listen to your body, it will tell you what foods and beverages makes you feel better. It might be hard to notice, some may say it’s psychological, but I think it’s true. When I eat certain things like wild caught salmon or other healthy things, I feel slightly better. The sense is minute, but the same thing happens when I don’t drink caffeinated sodas and stick to natural sodas.
  2. I believe everyone is here for a reason. We may not understand what our reason is for being here or being who we are, but every person has a purpose.
  3. There are those who want to teach, and those who are born teachers. Those who want to teach are those who earn a degree. Those who are born may not teach professionally, but they simply educate by being who they are.
  4. I believe our government is made up of way too many leaders blinded by greed and they have lost their humanity. This doesn’t make for an effective governing body.
  5. Not to bring religion to the table, but I believe most religions are based on the same overall concepts and only communicate the concepts in different ways.

I hope you enjoyed reading my 5 Things! This became way longer than I anticipated, and it was more challenging than I though it would be too. It was a great writing prompt!

If you decide to do the prompt, please comment below or tweet me @Rangeelichick!