Thursday, July 25, 2013

The State of things in 800 Words or More

Life is so busy on the career side right now that I have let a lot of other stuff fall by the wayside. Okay that’s not at all true. I’ve mostly just let this blog and reading fall by the wayside (unless it happens to be a book for work or school). Everything else has taken over my life and I think it’s both good and bad.

Growing pains due to change though are making me a little uncomfortable.

I miss blogging, putting it out there what I have to say and not holding back my opinion because frankly I’ve never been one to do so. But with all the other writing I’m doing on a weekly basis right now the last thing I want to do is write more at the end of the day. And I feel like my opinions are better reserved for micro-blogging like Facebook statuses and twitter posts.


I hate that.

But yet here I am about to bullet point my life in a convenient snack sized portion for two reasons – 1. Just to get it out there at all and 2. In order to hopefully not take up too much of your time so you’ll have time to swing by and read it.

Here goes.

  • I’ve finished 2 classes now through my library’s free continuing education credit courses in UniversalClass – Advertising, Sales & Marketing Writing and Freelancing 101. Both were quality classes that gave me overview insight into the industry and opened my eyes to new ways to approach my business. 
  • I recently invested in a program from AWAI called Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting because I want to learn even more about this fascinating industry and how to start making a real living from sitting at my monitor and banging on the keyboard all day. And I will. I plan to be at six-figures within two years. It will take mad work and focus but I’m giving it everything I’ve got.
  • Matt & I are pretty close to narrowing down a window & floor installer and will likely be starting construction stuff in the next month. Luckily we learned a lot the first time around and won’t make those mistakes again! Hence the hiring of people…
  • My exercise plan is kicking into full gear now, Matt bought the latest BeachBody program Focus T25 and I started on that this week after only getting into my other program about 3-4 days a week instead of 6. This program is 5 days a week & just 30 minutes a day (including the cool down, workouts are only 25 minutes). It is KICKING MY ASS! Never thought 25 minutes would be enough but I’m already feeling better!
  • Health issues abound around here though, Matt starting having some weirdness recently so now we’re on the hunt to narrow down the problem. But as far as I’m concerned I’m CONVINCED it has to do with the house, how could we both have similar symptoms and issues otherwise? We installed a reverse osmosis water filtration system for starters. For now though he’s making the rounds at doctors. It’s freaking us both out but trying to stay as positive as we can.
  • I’m still getting work from actual paying clients which is great and continuing to pitch like a mad woman because I want more. This is a full-time job, it should pay as such.
  • Got my business cards in the mail this week, kind of in love with them. My goal is to hand out all 250 before November. That’s a lot of networking but I’m up to the challenge! And I overhauled my website.
  • We finished binge watching How I Met Your Mother but the last season starts before the most recently completed season will be released on Netflix. Waaahhh! Oh well, that’s what the DVR is for.
  • We started binge watching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and man there was SO MUCH I forgot about on that show! I haven’t seen it since it first aired and I wasn’t an avid watcher even back then but I always enjoyed it so figured why not catch up all in a row. Impressions 15+ years later: Buffy still kicks ass, Xander is still my favorite boy’s name of all time, Spike is the funniest vampire ever written, Willow has the best hair, Giles isn’t as useless as I once thought he was, and Xander is invariably the most adorable guy on the show.
  • We finally started getting rain in our monsoon season. Thank goodness, it’s been awful out there at 110+ and full humidity. But it’s a dry heat…
  • We’ve got 3 weddings to attend within the next year, 2 of which are back on the east coast. Looks like I better start pulling in some cash pretty quick.

That’s probably not all but enough to digest for now.

Until who knows when because I already feel stretched way too thin as it is, I hope you’re all having a great summer.

OH RIGHT! I almost forgot…Hockey season starts in just 53 short days when the Bruins open pre-season against the Habs on September 16 in Montreal. Can’t wait for a full season this season!

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Published in multiple print and online sources, Author, Blogger and Freelance Writer Jenn Flynn-Shon has been writing for publication since 2001. Follow her antics on twitter @jennshon

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Copy Showed up Today and I Still Can’t Believe it's Real

I thought maybe it was just a cruel internet prank that started circulating on Facebook a few days ago but when my copy of Rolling Stone showed up in my mailbox this morning I lost a little respect for journalism.

Now let me first say this, I have absolutely no clue how I got subscribed to this magazine. I don’t have a record of having paid for a subscription and no one I know has come forward to tell me they bought it for me at any time. I’ve been getting the mag now for about four months and I have to be perfectly honest it isn’t one I ever would’ve signed up to receive. I’m not hip on current music and to be honest I don’t really want to be.

With that said it makes me sick to know that I likely can’t cancel my subscription after seeing the cover of this month’s copy. Some genius decided it would be a smart idea to put a big photo of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing terrorist on their cover and write a feature story on him.

Let that sink in for just a second.

Now here’s what I think about this. I can sum it up in two words – sensationalist journalism.

And to see anyone profit off the face of evil, to write a story that spans twelve full pages of a magazine that’s supposed to be about music and to somehow try to appeal to the sympathies of the public about this guy makes me want to hurl big rocks at the editors who let this happen.

I will not read the story. In fact the only reason I even cracked the magazine to begin with was to count the number of pages they dedicated to this cover headline:

“The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster”

I know I’m probably perpetuating the issue just writing this post but I can’t help it. Where the fuck is the 12 page story on Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard or Officer Sean Collier? These people were people too, people with amazing stories of their childhoods that maybe weren’t as glorious as some others. Hell one of these victims still was a child.

Where are the stories on all the injured people? All 264 of them? What about the people who may not have even suffered a scratch but will live with the PTSD of what happened that day for the rest of their lives? Who could even count how many of them exist. For god sakes I’m probably one of them and I don’t even live in Boston anymore. But that’s my city for now and for always and how dare anyone glorify the person who brought so much hatred onto it?

The fact that this magazine is all but venerating evil doings by trying to profile the guy in any kind of sympathetic light makes me sick.

We all had childhoods. We were all teenagers and at times during those years sometimes things didn’t go our way. That’s life. Sucks to be everyone. But that kid had a choice. He could choose to be a dick or he could choose to be a good person. The guy didn’t choose the latter. But in choosing the former he took away the choice of all those people who suffered the fates at his hand when he and his brother set off the bombs that day.

And now I’m done talking about this. I’m done creating more sensationalized bullshit that even hints at wanting to start a conversation. And if I can figure out how to do it I’m disabling comments on this post because I don’t want it to go on any further. I just needed to vent.

And now I need to call Rolling Stone to cancel my unpaid for subscription while I shred the cover of this magazine.

You really fucked up with this one.

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Published in multiple print and online sources, Author, Blogger and Freelance Writer Jenn Flynn-Shon has been writing for publication since 2001. Follow her antics on twitter @jennshon

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Days Weeks Months, and the Years Go By

It’s difficult to know where to even start. I’ve been absent for days, weeks, (it feels like months) and so much has happened that it almost feels like too much time has transpired to report back on it. But I’m going to do my best because in the last few weeks life has thrown out a rollercoaster ride of emotions and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go along for the ride.

There have been some good times, some bummer times and some amazing moments that could never be fully captured in words no matter how good a writer I am. Sometimes you really just ‘had to be there’.

And if you were here for any of them I need to say a HUGE thank you!

June marked an entirely new chapter in my life and sharing it with (you know who you are) you was AH-mazing!

Let’s start with the ugly & work our way to the awesome shall we?

Abrupt Ending

By now anyone who’s even a moderate sports fan (or friends with me) knows that the Bruins lost in their quest for the Cup against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a tough fought series and I think the B’s really held their own despite losing four games to two. And they lost on home ice. Which of course stings a little bit.

But as exciting as it was to watch my hometown team play some of their best hockey all the way up to game 6 (and as nice as it would’ve been to watch them lift the Cup) I have to admit that I’m secretly glad hockey is over for this season.

The temperatures were getting a little warm and with the shortened season I think this is the latest into the summer I’ve ever seen the boys in black and gold play. I mean, the season starts again in about two months. Plus watching upwards of four games a week was getting a little tough to manage. But I love hockey and especially hard-hitting hockey like the playoffs. But being in Phoenix means 115+ temps and now I just want to be in my pool for a couple months.

Speaking of hockey, some of the off-season changes have me reeling a little bit:

  • Andy Ference, my second favorite player on the Bruins and my number one favorite environmental activist is being let go in favor of cheaper defensemen because of the lowered cap. This sucks in so many ways I can’t even begin to say how much it sucks. A Bruin and Boston community activist for seven years, Andy’s commitment to his team and teammates will be sorely missed next season.
  • Nathan Horton didn’t entertain any offers from the Bruins before electing to go with his Free Agency status. Which basically just sucks because if ever there was a line that had chemistry it was the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line. We’ll see what this Friday brings during the free agency deadline.
  • Pretty much every single core player with the exception of only a few will need surgery for something or other this off season. Bergeron played the last game with multiple issues (hole in lung, broken rib) and others like Horton, Seidenberg, Chara, all have injuries that probably had them playing at less than their optimal selves. I commend them for a job well done under the circumstances!
In hockey years I’d be about 172

In human years I just turned the big 4-0. Yup, I’ve actually entered the period of life where it’s all uphill from here. Yeah I know most people say downhill but that always felt wrong to me. I mean downhill is easier, you can toss her in neutral and just coast. Uphill seems like much more of a battle.

But I digress…

I made a promise to one of my very dear friends, Keith, that I’d write all about the party. Regardless of the fact that I’ve sat down to do just that a few days in a row now, I can’t seem to find any words to do that day any justice. I really think you just had to be here.

Perhaps when I’m looking back in a few years and thinking of the top five parties of my entire life I’ll have the distance from it to write it all out, but not right now. For now I’m going to leave you all with a word cloud that pretty much sums up the overall celebration that started with a big secret Matt concocted months ago, culminates with my crazy party on Saturday June 22, and ends the following weekend when my vacation ended and I finally was able to recover from the enormity of it all.

I love you all!

It’s Official…

I’m finally a paid Writer! I started pursuing my freelance career a few months ago with full force and since then I’ve had five articles published on Yahoo! Voices, three of which I’ve made money from and just last week I was offered a writing position as a blogger for a company that reports on socially responsible companies. Not sure when that starts but I can’t wait!

In the meantime I’m going to finish up my classes and books on how-to write various forms of content and just keep applying for writing gigs as well as submitting articles. My goal is to be self-sustaining from my writing in the next year and I can clearly see that path starting to materialize now.


At the end of June we refinanced our home into a fifteen year mortgage, something we’ve both been looking forward to doing since we first got the place last year. With the increase in values in Phoenix (it’s a great time to own property here, things are climbing again, steadily but not out of control) we were able to cash-out refi and roll our car payment in plus take a little cash to make some improvements to the efficiency and functionality (plus the beautification) of our home.

In the next couple months we’re planning to replace all of our single-pane aluminum windows with Low-E double (or triple) pane, replace all the exterior doors to prevent gaps where ac sneaks out, spray additional insulation into the attic, replace the pressure valve for our house water, open up the wall from living room to kitchen for an open concept plan and remove the fireplace that takes over the living room, rip out the very poorly installed tile/carpet and put hardwood bamboo throughout, and complete a few other minor things that no one would notice but will make a huge overall impact on efficiency/uniformity (vent covers, doorknobs, etc.).

For the first time in our adult lives we made a good choice when it came to a housing purchase. But it wouldn’t matter if values tanked again tomorrow. We’re not going anywhere and now that we can start personalizing our place I’m even more excited to stay.

Overall June was a pretty kick-ass month around here full of old and new friends and family I wouldn’t have expected to see in my house anytime soon. It really seems like the last three weeks have been a constant party and cause to smile, laugh, and have fun.

And I don’t see any signs of that stopping anytime soon.

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Published in multiple print and online sources, Author, Blogger and Freelance Writer Jenn Flynn-Shon has been writing for publication since 2001. Follow her antics on twitter @jennshon