Monday, 20 April 2020

Review of Scripted.com – Caveat Emptor Says Scripted Client

I used to be a freelance writer for Scripted.com for nearly two years. Back then, I posted a review on my blog about Scripted; somewhat favorable, with a few pitfalls. I’ve written over 200 articles for their clients, mostly in the travel and software categories. Several years ago I was at the EMP Christmas party in Seattle, and imagine my surprise, when I ran into one of my Scripted clients! Peter is a software company marketer who has ordered over 100 articles in the past year on Scripted. 

Unfortunately, his experience with Scripted was worse than mine. He only agreed to provide his first name, Peter, and the fact that he works for an accounting software provider. He said until the account was settled, he didn’t want to go public. We discussed our experiences with Scripted. 
It began at the Museum party. We were complimenting each other on our geeky Doctor Who costumes, when he asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I wrote for about 20 different content mills, as well as having an assortment of private clients. When I told him that I wrote software articles, his ears perked up. He asked if I’d be interested in writing privately, as he’d signed up for a content mill last year, and it had been a big disaster. 

I asked if it had been Scripted.com and he said it had been. We both compared experiences and discovered we each had a negative experience – me from the point of the freelance writer – him from the point of the client seeking content for a company blog. 

He asked for my story first. I told him I’d originally started out in the travel category, until a Scripted editor had repeatedly emailed me asking to apply for the software category, as there were a lack of writers on that end. I was hesitant to do it, as I do not possess an English degree, but only two college certificates in writing, and one in IT. After a while, it was clear they wished to work with me, so I signed up. I received the majority of my work through the software category at Scripted.com. The clients loved my pitches, and my articles. My work would come back from the editor with a minimum of edits, which told me I was on the right track. Imagine my surprise when my queue suddenly dried up, yet other writers told me there was plenty there. I had a rating of 96/100. One of the editors told me that 96 meant that my writing wasn’t good enough to continue receiving the specialty topics. 

“How ridiculous,” Peter told me. “You’re a great writer! I never saw any errors on your work.”

What’s worse was that they never paid me for the 17 articles that were complete, but awaiting review. According to their terms, if an article was rejected, they’d still pay you 50%. I continued to work on other articles, and I repeatedly tried emailing support to get payment for the $1200 they owed me. I contacted the BBB and the IRS. 

This was after two years of supposedly being such a great writer, and after one year, when they asked me to apply for the software category. Not once did I ever have an email or note from with feedback. Why was my Specialty writing so good for six months, then at another moment not good enough? Not once did I ever receive any feedback on my writing, nor any word that they’d changed the ratings system. Also note that I do not possess an English degree. We’re talking about working for seven or eight hours on an article that paid $40 to $80 at most. It was slavery wages at best. I sincerely doubted anyone with an English degree would even write for that low.

“How ridiculous! Here I am paying for my great articles, while you're being bullied. What a scam!” said the software client.

I agreed. What kind of fly-by-night operation is Scripted.com anyway? 

“What kinds of articles did you write, that ultimately ended up being rejected, and you were’t paid for?” he asked me.

I told him how I had written software articles. Ten best accounting software packages. How to find the best software for your small business. A favorable review of the latest cloud accounting software.

“Those were my articles! And I never rejected them! I paid for them!” After a moment of excitement, we realized what a small world it was! After I finished my end of the story, he gave me his.

“Originally we needed about 100 articles for our accounting software blog. The owner of the business gave me the budget. We’d heard about Scripted before. Some comments were favorable, some were not. For some reason he seemed hesitant in placing a note on the blog searching for writers. I signed the contract with Scripted and we were on our way. The first 20-ish articles went well. They were delivered in a timely manner. Any revisions were done within a week. I favourited a writer called “Mel”, who I now realize was you. But for some reason, you suddenly disappeared. They told me you were not available. The other writers were terrible. I gathered you had simply moved on. I started rejecting the articles the new writers wrote. Eventually, I asked for a refund for the unused portion of our account, but Scripted refused. As of now, we’re in limbo, and likely will have to write off $5000 worth of funds for articles never delivered. That’s a lot of cash when you’re a small business.”

I told him it didn’t make much sense to me either, particularly since all my clients had loved my work. 

“So, I never received my remaining articles, due to an assortment of issues. No one was grabbing them from the queue. I accepted some of the pitches, and then never heard anything back again. The articles I did receive were poorly written. I was frustrated that I couldn’t work with only Mel, who was a great writer. Instead, I was being directed towards terrible writers. Scripted took all of our money at the beginning, and never delivered what they promised.”

Essentially, Scripted took the client’s money, and did not deliver the last set of articles that he had been promised. Not only that, but they took off with the money, and never paid the writer, who was me.

“It was a terrible experience. Normally we worked through email, but soon they stopped answering my emails. I had to resort to calling the company. Several expensive phone calls later, we decided to write it off,” concluded Peter.

We drowned our sorrows in drink after that.

The January after that, Peter contacted me via email. He asked if I could provide him with a list of articles that I written for him. I sent it off. We both sorted through the list and figured out which ones he had never seen before, and which ones he had seen, but that I had never been paid for. 

I told him I was willing to give them to him, but he wouldn’t agree. He sent me payment, for which I was grateful.

“I’m so sorry this happened to you,” he told me. “I can’t believe they treat their writers like slaves. I’d never have dealt with a content mill if I’d known they treat their writers with insensitivity, abruptness, and as slaves.”

I told him it wasn’t his fault, and that the majority of companies I worked with were great. Both of us are still waiting for promises from Scripted.com that have never been delivered. Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware. Cave Vendit. Seller Beware. 

Disclaimer: This happened to me over a decade ago now. But the rules are still the same: Be extremely careful before signing up for an online content mill, and be wary when giving any sort of personal or financial information!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

3 Ways Your Cat Can Kill You

by Mel Dawn



By now everyone has watched Tiger King and has discovered that humans can be even more deadly than tigers. Everyone loves cats with their charming expressions, soft fur and playful antics, but did you know that your sweet domestic cat can kill you too? 

Cats have descended from a long line of ferocious wild cats. Here are just a few ways they can kill you.

1. You can die from cat scratch fever, also known as Bartonella henselae bacteria. Cat's claws contain a wide variety of bacteria. When you get scratched by a cat, the cut swells up. This is your body trying to fight off the infection. Normally, the cells do what they are supposed to and your cat scratch is healed up in a day or two. But sometimes more dangerous bacteria have been harboured by our cat's claws and the next thing you know, you are suffering from blood poisoning. Generally a trip to the doctor for antibiotics will clear this one up. Other than that, your immune system will fight off most types of bacteria that live on your cat's claws. 

2. About 3/4 of the world's population is already infected with toxoplasmosis. This bacteria lives harmlessly within cats and is found in their feces. Us human slaves clean cat's litter boxes. It can also be acquired from cat butts. If we humans do not wash our hands we can pass it into our bodies. Toxo can take up residence in our brains. Most of the time it maintains a happy balance in our bodies and nothing happens. Other times it can turn us into crazy cat loving old lady freaks. At its worst, our brains turn to mush and we go completely crazy and die. (Just kidding, LOL!) Toxoplasmosis is really only dangerous to people with compromised immune systems, and even then it's common enough that most people have built up immuity against it. 

3. The third way our cats can kill us is if they die first. Leaving us tortured humans behind, pining for our furry beloved. We get so lonely, that we can't handle it any more. Can life continue? Can we continue on without our beloved? I'm sure every cat owner has thought of this after Fluffy or Whitey has died. It can certainly be difficult to live on without our beloved furry beasts. The best solution for that is to adopt a cat from a rescue cat organization!

Disclaimer: This article is mainly written for humour and not to be taken seriously. But if you are concerned about the health of you or your cat, seek the advice of a doctor or veterinarian. 

Monday, 6 April 2020

Why Everyone Knows You Had a Gonorrhea Test: Privacy Is No Longer Possible In An Employee-Monitored World

by Mel Dawn


Corporations who secretly monitor employees are threatening your personal data!



About half a century ago all personal information on one person was kept on pieces of paper. Those papers were kept in a folder in a metal cabinet. To steal a person's identity meant physically going onto the site where your pieces of paper were kept and taking them from your folder. It happened, but it wasn't common.

Now people's information is stored on computer servers that are connected to each other and the internet. Hackers can log in and steal your information, whether it is your credit card information or personal details, to create a new fake identity. The hackers may work for said company or they may be logging in from a remote location. So far, no computer network has proven to be 100% secure. Nor are humans infallible, many employees have copied information onto their own personal laptops, which have been stolen. Likely you'll find one story a day in the news about people's personal information being compromised.

In the past ten years a new threat has arisen. Increasingly, employers have been monitoring their employees. It's not usually a case of if it will happen, it's a case of what time of day it will happen. Software is so readily available. Have a search online and you'll find a full software package to monitor employee usage starting at $34.99 and going up from there, with statistics offered on the highest package.

Originally, employers would physically monitor employees. They'd discreetly walk past to see what they were doing. They'd peer over their shoulders to make sure they were following the correct protocol. Work would be perused for mistakes and errors, before being handing back to the employees for correction and distribution.

It all started with the cameras in banks. Cameras to monitor the people who came in through the doors. Were they bank robbers? Cameras to make sure that the bank employees wouldn't steal money from the till. Then it moved onto store security. Cameras to monitor the customers to prevent them from shoplifting. Cameras to prevent employees having a hand in the till. Cameras in museums and art galleries. Cameras outside on the main streets for riot prevention.

Monitoring moved onto computers. Employers would log onto a computer and have a look at the hard drive contents. Was it all work or was the employee downloading music during working hours? Were they downloading pornographic materials? Working on their resume?

It moved onto employers reading everyone's email. A chain letter or happy birthday personal message was okay, but not emailing company secrets to the competitor.

Telephone conversations started being monitored. This is common when talking to an operator or even calling an online store to place an order. At least they tell you the conversation is being monitored for clarity and accuracy. 

Then it turned into anything being done over the computer network was stored and perused. Every fax you sent, scan you do, photocopy you make or printout you do is stored in a hard drive so the contents can be sorted through later. Are you photocopying your resume at work? Are you scanning personal photos? Faxing a competitor your resume? Printing out your son's school report? If you are, your employer already knows about it.

Employers know each and every website you have visited. Let's hope you're visiting them on your break and didn't spend five hours on the Net last week!

Finally, one of the most despicable methods of tracking, is software that tracks each and every keystroke you make and records what you do in real time. The "video" can be played back by your manager at any time, for their amusement. Has your computer inexplicably slowed down? Likely you are being monitored.

It's a wonder we're all still employed after these nefarious practices have been monitoring us every second of the day!

Now, onto the main point of the article. After ALL of this employee monitoring, what is happening with your personal information? How exactly is is being compromised?

Let's start with medical information. You visit your doctor, who sends you off to the lab. Gosh, you might have contracted gonorrhea on that trip to Jamaica! No problem, a quick lab test and some antibiotics and you're ready for your next romantic fling. But….

At the doctor's office, your lab test hasn't shown up in his electronic software. So, a call goes out to the lab. Employees check and the test was sent to the electronic delivery software. Next, a call to the software company. The employee who answers the telephone has a look on the computer. Yes, it was received, they can reset it and forward it onto the doctor again. Not sure what happened there. Now, the doctor has it, great, and you're free and clear, turns out you just have a bad bladder infection.

That's great, or is it?

What just happened? Exactly how many people saw your lab test? The lab and the doctor right? Wrong!

Here's what really happened. You have three businesses involved here: the lab, the doctor's office and the software company. We know all companies monitor their employees. 

At the lab, when the doctor called to find out if the lab test had been done, the lab employee was being monitored over the telephone. So, your lab test results were heard by two people at the lab, not one. Then, at the doctor's clinic since the doctor is not the owner, he is actually an employee, the owner of the clinic decides to see what he has done on the computer that day. He's looked for your gonorrhea test results, 

Then, when the doctor couldn't find your results, he called the software company. The rep at the company reset your lab results and resent on to the clinic. But, the employee was considered untrustworthy and was being monitored. One person wasn't monitoring the employee, four people were. The IT guy, Human Resources and two managers. They needed to back each other up. So, four more people knew all about your gonotrhea test and four people know that while it was negative, it was a very embarrassing test to take.

After you're read through this, aren't you outraged? Only three people should have known about your lab test results. You, your doctor and the lab, But since all employees are being monitored now, another ten people have come into the mix and also know your lab test results. Let's not forgot that even the records of the employees being monitored are being stored on the computer server. They can be viewed by any IT or manager at any time. So, while your bladder infection has now cleared up, your gonorrhoea test will be viewed over and over again while the managers review "employee performance". 

Everyone has the right to privacy. Start writing letters to government agencies to stop employee monitoring. It's a violation of privacy, it's a violation of trust between employee and employer, and a violation of trust being a physician and a patient. Contact PIPPEDA to lodge complaints or the identical association in your area. Tell them enough is enough, you want your privacy now!

What can you do to protect your information? Close as many as your online accounts as you can. Work with paper and cash as much as you can. The more you work on a computer, the greater your chances of having your neighbour belittle you one day, as they know all bout your gonorrhoea test after your trip to Jamaica. Fuck, who doesn't know you had a gonorrhoea test? Maybe your cat?

Thursday, 28 November 2019

A Guide to How a Dog's Comfort Affects Sleep & Behaviour & How to Fix Dog Insomnia & Irritability


By Mel Dawn, Author of Just One More Purr 

Click Here to Buy Book





The Impact of a Good Night’s Sleep Among Dogs


Every creature on the planet requires a good night’s sleep to recharge and feel happy and alert for the day ahead. While we seem to focus a lot on our own sleep needs, often we forget that our dogs need a good night’s sleep also. Has your dog ever woken irritable and on edge? Have they barked a lot during the day, chewed on things they shouldn’t have, and generally been a nuisance? In a way they’re like young children who didn’t have a good night’s rest. Dog sleep is just as important for them too. 

Not only does a dog suffer when they don’t sleep well, but their human owner does too. This can frustrate and annoy the pet owner and make them wonder why their dog is behaving badly throughout the day. And unfortunately, many pet owners abandon their pets instead of trying to find a solution like they would if their own human children weren’t sleeping well at night. 

You may think you’re doing your best to help your dog sleep at night. But are you really? Have you placed big dog beds in a quiet spot in your home? If you have more than one dog, each should have their own bed. Yes, they may decide to sleep with the cat, but it’ll be because they want to. 

A dog really needs a quality memory foam dog bed, or if you have a smaller breed, a memory foam dog sofa for the living room. These types of beds support their bodies, as well as keeping their spinal columns in alignment. A dog’s spinal column is just like a human’s. If it ever goes out of alignment, it’s a costly visit to a chiropractor to get it fixed, as well as pain medications. It’s best to prevent this condition from happening in the first place. 

Buying a high-quality memory foam dog bed today means that money can be saved in the future. A dog who sleeps well is a healthier dog. It’s just like when humans don’t sleep well, eventually it leads to health conditions and expensive medications. They might even lose their jobs at work, or have their relationships affected by people who don’t understand.

So, why not ensure your dog gets a good night’s sleep by buying them a good doggy bed!

What Are Typical Dog Sleeping Habits?

In order to find the best dog beds for your family you’ll need to have a good understanding of your dog’s sleeping habits. For example, a large dog that rolls around a lot will need a larger dog bed, while a smaller dog would be happy with a dog’s couch. Let’s learn a bit more about choosing the best dog beds for large dogs and smaller breeds too. 

You’ll need to observe your dog over the next several nights. What kinds of sleeping positions do they have? They may sleep on their right side or their left side. Some dogs like to sleep all curled up in a ball, much like a cat does when they sleep. Some dogs like to sleep all sprawled out on their tummies, while others sleep on their back with paws in the air. If your dog sleeps with you in the bed, do they sleep on the end? Or perhaps they like to snuggle right up to you in spoon position?

When you observe these patterns, see if there is a reason for them. For instance, a dog with an old dog bed too small for them may sleep curled up. A larger dog may favor one side because he doesn’t like the tough hard exterior shell of a dog bed. A bed may be too hard so a dog may sleep on their tummy.

You’ll also need to observe their behavior regarding their dog beds and their dog sleep. Does your dog sniff their bed and then go and sleep somewhere else? It may be stinky!

Did you know they have waterproof dog beds? You can place a clean dog blanket on top, then remove and wash once a week. As dogs age they may experience small accidents. In order to keep your home smelling fresh, you can easily wash their blankets and not have to worry that urine smells will permeate your waterproof dog bed.

If your dog paws their bed or circles it several times, it may be time for a new dog bed. It may not be soft enough for them. 

If your dog has a really good sleep in their bed, they may have the right one. But if they seem to continually wake, this is a sign that not only is the dog bed in a busy part of your home, but that perhaps they need something a bit more comfy.


Why We Need to Focus On Dog Sleep Importance

We’re always worried about our own sleep but we forget that our beloved pets also need to sleep well too. While cats naturally sleep 16 hours a day anywhere, dogs have certain needs that must be met. Dogs can suffer from poor sleep, just like humans can. And it’s not simple to tell a sleep-deprived dog to stop chewing your slippers, stop barking all day long, or to not pee on the floor. They are simply acting out because they’re not feeling 100%. So, how do we ensure that a dog has a good night’s sleep?

It can seem simple to let a dog sleep on your bed at night. But they’ll only get as good a sleep as you do. If you tossed and turned all night, chances are your dog will too. The best solution is a large pet bed. 

If your dog sleeps well at night then you will too! And you’ll both be able to live happily together. Your dog will adapt to your schedule, so they’ll be ready for a walk once you get up in the morning, and ready to go to bed at night when you do too. 

A pet bed should be placed in a quiet spot away from the busy traffic of your home. Dogs don’t need to have their own rooms – after all they love to be with their humans – but one of the best dog beds can be placed against the wall where no one will trip over it in the night should they get up to use the bathroom. 

If your pooch is one of the smaller breeds, a dog pillow will be just right. Otherwise, a luxury pet bed will help them to sleep at night. You may be surprised to hear that some of the best are memory foam pet beds, after all, memory foam is great for the human spinal cord too!

With a soft comfortable pet bed that supports your dog’s body your dog will be able to have a good night’s rest. And nothing is better than having a happy and healthy dog so you can make the most of your days together. 


How a Dog Sofa More Than Complements Your Living Room Decor

The first thing you may think when purchasing a dog couch is whether it complements your living room decor, but your first consideration should really be your dog. If you have an elderly dog, you may need a special old dog sofa for them. After all, when your dog is happy then you will be too!

Have you ever bought something for your cat, only for them to turn their noses up at it? So, back to the store it went. The same goes for dogs.  When you buy them a good dog’s sofa, you want it to be soft and comfortable, but also to be supportive of their body frame.

The best dog sofa will give your pooch a comfortable sleep, during night or day. They’ll wake up refreshed and ready for a new day with you. They shouldn’t be waking up with aches and pains, so why would you make them sleep on an old blanket or that cat bed the cat no longer wants? 

Just imagine the look on your dog’s face when you open up that box. It’s a large dog sofa for them! They’ll be so excited to try it. Don’t be surprised if at first they seem to be sleeping a bit longer in it. They’re just trying to catch up on their rest.

So, besides the best dog sofa, what should you look for in a dog couch? For one, ensure it’s the right size for them. Not only do you want to choose based on width and length, but also depth. A lighter dog doesn’t need as much depth as a heavier dog. A bigger dog breed needs greater thickness so it doesn’t feel like they are sleeping on the hard floor.

Most of the dog sofas on our site come in colours to complement any type of decor. A dog sofa will fit well with your living room suite, like it’s a part of your room. And your dog will love how they can hang out with the family while they take a well-deserved rest from being a dog all day long. 

How to Choose the Best Orthopedic Dog Bed for Adult Dogs

If you’re ready to toss out your dog’s old blanket or doggy bed, now is the time to find the best dog bed to help your dog get a good’s night rest. As dogs age they can have trouble getting to sleep, just as humans also suffer from insomnia. Whether you have an adult dog, older dog, or special needs dog, they need a comfortable dog mattress that supports and comforts their body. Your dog may be a small, medium, or large dog breed but they can benefit from an orthopedic dog bed. 

You may never have heard of orthopedic dog beds before. But they are much better than simply allowing your dog to sleep on the floor. After all, they suffer from sore joints and muscles just like we do. And they are members of our family. So, good orthopedic pet beds are a necessary luxury for them. Besides, you’ll save on vet bills in the longterm, just like when you feed them a healthy diet!

The orthopedic pet mattress is gaining in popularity. Most pet owners want their dogs to be happy and comfortable when sleeping, with as few disturbances as possible. While some owners allow their pets to sleep on their bed at night, a dog may wake you up, or you may wake them up. Then, no one gets a good night’s rest. 

But if your dog has a good orthopedic pet mattress, you can tuck it into a corner of the room where they can have a good sleep.

If you’re wondering how to choose the best orthopedic pet bed mattress, or orthopedic pet sofa, it’s important to choose one that fits your dog’s breed size: small, medium, or large. Too small and your dog may ditch it for the floor. Too big and your dog may not feel secure. 

Measure your dog at rest to have an idea of which orthopedic dog bed to order. Then check the dog bed measurements. 

Some pet owners also like to coordinate a pet’s bed with their room decor, but this should be second to finding the right size for your pup.

When your dog has their comfortable orthopedic dog bed they may never leave it again! You may be a bit jealous of their memory foam pet bed and want to get one too!


Friday, 23 August 2019

REVIEW OF THE PURR SHOP – OR – HOW I LEARNED TO SHOP LOCALLY INSTEAD OF BEING SCAMMED

 by Mel Dawn

Review: 5 out of 10.

Finding a new umbrella to buy can be a challenge at the best of times. I received one in my FabFitFun box last spring. It was only a month before it broke. I then purchased one from Home Depot. It’s small and compact, which is great, if I can find that trigger point to get it to stay up. So, let’s say I was super-happy when I saw a purple cat umbrella online at The Purr Shop. 

Initially, I saw The Purr Shop advertised on Facebook. But since there are so many scammers out there, I proceeded with caution. I only found 2 Better Business Bureau complaints. Not bad, considering that FabFitFun has over 2000. I even discovered that they’re located in the USA (or so I thought!)

So, I went ahead and ordered my new umbrella, along with some other goodies. The other goodies were great, by the way. 

The umbrella, not so much. 

I ordered a Purple Cat Umbrella, but not only did I not receive the correct colour, I received some sort of terrible cheap knockoff umbrella. 




Please refer to the photo above from their site. The brand I received is not even right. In the photo online, the purple umbrella says "Rechap" for the brand and has a silver inside, and mauve outside. The one I received says "Like Rain". I can see a blue umbrella on the site but the one I received looks nothing like that and even the sleeve isn't tagged.


As you can see from the photo, I didn't receive the correct item at all.

Normally I'd be fine with a blue cat umbrella, but not only is this not the brand as advertised on the site, but it's some cheap knockoff. The umbrella is made from some sort of cheap garbage bag plastic that I can poke my fingers through.
Also, the plastic totally smells really really bad. I've placed it outside. I'm sure that it wouldn't pass any North American guidelines for plastics manufacturing. I've never even smelled anything this bad.

I ended up putting the umbrella outside for a week. Then I contacted The Purr Shop. No response, but not a surprise considering their BBB reviews. I discovered that both their addresses listed online are actually for UPS Stores. So, this is a company located in China that has faux USA addresses. Sad. 

I took it to Paypal to dispute the cost. After all, why should I pay for junk? They ruled 50/50. So, in order for me to get a refund, I must return it. Since it cost me about $30 CAD, and would cost me $20 CAD to send back, I decided to just keep it.

Fortunately, the plastic smell has greatly dissipated. 

Let’s hope I can get a few years’ usage out of it and hope it doesn't break.

Lesson learned – Shop local from meow on!

PS: Check out my cat care book here: getbook.at/ameowzon 




Tuesday, 5 March 2019

#1 Solution for Writer's Block – Attend a Writing Festival!

by Mel Dawn

Are you a writer or author who is stuck? Often all it takes is a bit of time and encouragement to help you complete the next novel or book. But if you're not ready for that, a flash fiction story or short poem can help you feel that you've accomplished something, even though it's already March! 

I already have a few books out, but I can still use some good advice for my personal writing projects. Perhaps one of the best ways to seek inspiration for your next big project is from others. But not just your potential readers – though they're awesome – but from other writers too. Let me tell you about Creative Ink Festival. You may have attended writing conferences and conventions before, but this one is different.

It's called a festival because it's more of a community celebration of your writing abilities, no matter if you're a beginner, experienced, or a bestselling author. On this long weekend, everyone gathers together to learn, socialize, and celebrate. 

I've been attending since the beginning. Creative Ink Festival offers such a warm, inviting, and even healing sort of environment. You'll feel happy and welcome for the entire weekend. It's tough to go home at the end, but you can take home your memories, experiences, and newfound knowledge which will encourage you to work on your next big masterpiece, or even that little poem that's been earworming through your mind the past year.

I participate in CIF a slightly different way. Each year I think about a new project I'd like to work on. Usually it begins right after the last CIF, then continues on throughout the rest of the year. Early the following year I begin proofreading and editing, then I move onto formatting and graphic design. Finally, there is one more proof from a friend who's an editor/proofreader, more revisions, then onto the printing press it goes. 

Right before the next CIF, my book is ready to go. I participate in panels and the co-authors' table. There is also plenty of time for bragging rights, as everyone is excited to hear what you're working on next. So, I use CIF as inspiration for my next project and this is how it helps me to accomplish my goals. 

One year I wrote The Aquaria Chronicles (working at getting that back up), last year I finished Just One More Purr eBook, Just One More Purr in print, and this year I have completed Zombie Survival Club (to be up soon). Anyway, I didn't want this blog about me, but more about Creative Ink Festival, and to show you how it's possible to accomplish your writing goals by attending on the March 29th - March 31st, 2019 weekend this year. (See, I did it and you can too!)

If you haven't already registered, you can do so HERE. I hope to see you soon!

Monday, 25 February 2019

Flash Fiction: The Key to Time

The Key to Time
by Mel Dawn


Jane was going through the junk in the attic of the new house they had just bought. The former owners had never tossed anything out. Annoyed, she grabbed stuff and tossed it into a garbage bag. 

She grabbed another book off the shelf. Something dropped to the floor by her feet. It was a set of ancient brass keys. 

She briefly wondered what they could be for, but remembered there was an old desk here.

Now, she could see what was inside. The third key worked.

The drawer opened. Inside were several photographs, letters, and a small jewel box. When she touched a girl’s ring, the ghost of a little girl popped out of the box. 

Jane smiled at the image. 

“Hey, Jane, are you done up here yet?”

“Just a minute.”

“Do you have the garbage?”

“No, I want to have a better look.”

“I thought you said it was junk.”

“I think we can donate some to the Museum. These things belonged to a family and were very important to them. I’d feel bad just tossing it all out.”


“Works for me,” said her husband.