Ten Signs That You Might be Watching Too Much of, 'The Walking Dead'

Where is the line between healthy love and obsession, when it comes to AMC’s post-apocalyptic hit series, The Walking Dead? Read the following list of behaviors to be leery of to find out if you have cause for concern or if you can continue to enjoy your weekly dose of zombie gruesomeness.

Behaviors to watch out for:

1. Hospitals haven’t been the same since Season One.

2. You catch yourself evaluating your neighbors and friends’ statistical chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse.

3. You subconsciously start avoiding the ones that you don’t think will make it.

4. You are seriously considering applying for a concealed weapons permit for the first time in your life.

5. Your spouse, who has only seen bits and pieces of the show, agrees with you about the whole permit thing.

6. You’ve recently developed debilitating fears of open wounds and viral infections that you cannot logically explain to a medical professional. 

7. You can no longer take the trash out at night without doing a perimeter check.

8. There’s been no natural disasters in your community in years, but your pantry houses more canned food and water jugs than an underground nuclear bunker.

9. Your kids know more than one version of a “fire” drill.

10. Seal Team Six couldn’t pull you away from your television on Sunday evening.

Yahoo Contributor Network and Examiner.com


I've been exploring some nonfiction writing options and am hopeful that I can get a few writing credits under my belt. Here's my take on Yahoo Contributor Network, Examiner.com, and SEO copywriting thus far.

YCN and Examiner.com publish articles on websites. They are interested in all sorts of stories and contributors. If you garden, celeb watch or have an interesting take on politics, and can sum it up in around 400 words, you can write for either of them.

Yahoo Contributor Network

Yahoo Contributor Network has some really great free trainings that I've been taking advantage of. The trainings are broken into three models and you up your creds by completing the modules and earning badges that go on your profile page. Badges can also be earned through article publishing efforts.

YCN is more forthcoming about their pay rates then Examiner, (click here to see YCN's pay rates).

There are two things I really like about YCN: articles can appear on many of the yahoo websites, and they allow you to write about whatever topic you so choose. Their only request is that you keep your bio information current so that your creds match up with your articles.

YCN also offers assignments on topics of their choice to contributors. 


I've recently signed up to be an examiner with Examiner.com. Feel free to check out my education articles on the site. 

Contributors are expected to provide a local spin and must select one area to write in and prove themselves before taking on other areas. For instance, I currently write about local education and would need to apply for another column, after becoming established, should I decide to write about celebrity fashion.

The collection of news, celebrity reports, and all sorts of other local articles on Examiner is pretty interesting. You'll kill an hour checking out slide shows without even realizing it. 

If you are a writer looking for credits and exposure I think this avenue is worth a go. I cannot promise it will pay; the community forum is full of comments about pay taking a dive last month.

Examiner also has free training modules and keeps track of your completion, but the material is not as in depth as YCN and most of it doesn't include an end of course assessment.

Examiner contributors also earn badges, but they are earned through article publishing efforts.

Both publishing outlets are user friendly. IMHO, YCN is easier to find items on and I have noticed a lot of complaints on Examiner about buttons, gadgets, and stats going missing during updates.

SEO Copy

The last nonfiction avenue I am currently pursuing is SEO copy. SEO copy is writing copy for websites that uses relevant keywords--in a professional manner--to coax a website into the top ten findings of search engines. 

There are tons of free resources and inexpensive books on the topic. It looks like a challenge, and I'm all about those. 

What I like about SEO copy is that, when used properly, it helps to make searching the web easier. SEO copywriters are helping you to find what you look for every time you Google. I Google a lot so I relish the idea of giving back to a community I know I am part of. 

I'll post my progress in each of these avenues on the regular. Be sure to check me out at YCN and Examiner.com. Links to my work are on the right column (the YCN button is violet and the Examiner button is orange) and included in this post.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about getting started or have some experiences you would like to share.

Happy writing!

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Funny thing--I have two employers and both have told me in the last month that I have one thing I need to work on. God works in mysterious ways, and I saw a newscast about the book, "Lean In" and learned exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. Thank you Sheryl Sandberg.

Sheryl Sandberg is a fast burner--before she turned 30 she earned two degrees at Yale and was the CEO of two major corporations and then CEO of Google. Today she is a mother of two, wife, and COO of Facebook. I'm almost finished reading her book and it is the best read about females in leadership I've got my hands on to date.

I've been thinking a lot about "off-ramping" and am so glad I read this book first. Male and female leaders alike will benefit from reading, "Lean In." Take a few minutes to watch her TEDtalk or buy the book--it's $13 at Target.

Publishing News: The First Line Anthology

This spring has been incredibly busy, in part because my short story, "Nobody's Life" has been accepted for publication by The First Line. Totally honored to become one of their authors.

The First Line is an awesome publication because their premises create dozens of stories that writers may not have known they had in them. The First Line releases an unalterable first line for a short story quarterly and welcomes unsolicited submissions that contain said line.

The anthologies they release include story submissions they loved that contained the required first line.

"Nobody's Life" is featured in their latest anthology about Captain Eli P. Cooke, who makes an awful mistake that gets the latest round of stories started in mishap and bad fortune.

You can check out the latest The First Line anthology by clicking here or on the typewriter.

If you are interested in submitting a story to The First Line click here. Their story starters are on the home page of their website.

Happy Writing!