Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I am intrigued by the theme of this year's annual essay contest: Invisible Writing.

Submit 750 words or less on this theme, which you can interpret any way you'd like. Enter the $5 entry fee category and vie for $200 or the NO entry fee category and compete for $50. Deadline is October 31 (just in time to polish off those final words and head to a costumed Halloween party!).

Winners are announced December 1. Whether seen or unseen, get writing!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Green Writers A Go-Go

As writers, we not only pay witness to what’s going on in the world, we report on trends that can benefit all. One trend that I’m happy to see turning into a national lifestyle is the green movement. It’s not just for us Grape Nuts types anymore. More people than ever are wising to the fact that we’re dust if we don’t take care of our mother—Mother Earth, that is. Here are three ways in which you can be an environmentally conscious writer.

STOP KILLING TREES. The time is now to go paperless, and the technology is available to do so. For years, I’ve been inching towards a paperless office, and now with my nifty new iMac and full proof Time Machine as backup, I feel more confident than ever storing mostly everything electronically. I send pdfs instead of faxes. I scan docs in e-format. I even threw away my leather-paper day timer and use iCal exclusively. If I have to print items for internal use, I at least print on both sides of the paper, thereby cutting in half the amount I use. For the paper that you do use, purchase recycled paper.

STOP FILLING LANDFILLS. The amount of trash I throw away—in my office and in my home—has diminished over the years, partly due to my mantra that whatever can be recycled, reused or resold, is. Just this past week, for example, I sent back 2 toner cartridges to the manufacturer, sold an unused wireless router on craigslist and donated a decent but unwanted desk chair to a local nonprofit. Visit for information on recycling and where to donate old equipment.

GIVE YOUR PC SOME REM SLEEP. Electronics use as much as 40 percent of their energy when they are plugged in, even if they're turned off. So, if you’re going to be away from your office for a while, don’t just turn off your equipment; unplug them. And if you absolutely must leave your computer on, set it on “sleep” after 10 minutes. Oh, and next time you need to replace light bulbs anywhere in your office or home, buy the new energy saving spiral type.

It’s easy to be green,