Author: glorinowrites

New Resource for California Writers and Workers

At an impromptu coffee meeting with a writer friend last week, I found out about Experience Unlimited. It’s a state-funded service in California for people who are looking to network and find work.

Experience Unlimited has a general website as well as offices in different cities and regions. I saw several cities, including Pasadena, Anaheim, and Irvine, where offices are located for workers in Southern California. Personally, I want to check out the one in Pasadena because it’s near where I currently live and it’s where I’ll see at least one familiar face– my friend who gave me the tip about Experience Unlimited.

Right now I have several friends who are in constantly changing careers, like mine, so I wanted to write this down so that they can use it as a resource.

At a meetup last week, I made a list of all the helpful suggestions the group came up with and created a picture to share… meetingnotes



Journalism Jobs: A Story of Adaptation

This week, the Tampa Tribune abruptly closed after 121 years in the Tampa Bay area. Although I haven’t lived there for over two years, I’m sad to see it go, and I’m definitely not the only one. Readers and workers will miss this institution dearly.

Twenty years before the Tribune closed, I emerged from the University of South Florida with a journalism degree. The program was going strong although as a country, we were already starting to see the effects of media consolidation and the changing business model of the newspaper. I was a daily reader then, checking out Calvin and Hobbes first (of course) and then reading up on the headlines, opinions, columns, and local events.

My journalistic employment ended up being peripheral. I freelanced and took a temporary news research job here or there while I looked for full-time employment. Once I found a writing job, it was geared more toward business and less toward features, which were my favorite things to write. That lasted for six years, and I was able to pay off debts and save money for a new adventure, so there was a benefit to having my creative time outside of work time. Aside from occasional magazine and newspaper articles, I’ve done technical or business writing ever since. Fiction writing remains a great hobby, too.

Similarly, the dozens of journalists I knew (or knew of) back in the day have moved on to tangential careers. Some do marketing, others do technical writing and editing, some do instructional design, and others have made leaps into other industries, learning computer systems or becoming visual artists or whatever. I’ve seen this slow attrition over 20 years.

It says a lot about my generation’s resiliency. Newspaper work is one of several areas in which major changes have taken place in the last 30 years, and from what I see among my peers, we’re obviously up to the challenge. Adaptation is the name of the Generation X game. I worry more about the workers in their older years who don’t know what other options they have as far as work goes, or where to find them. I’ve seen fear in more than one coworker’s eyes when layoffs or cutbacks have been announced, and I’ve seen people band together, refer each other to recruiters, support each others’ transitions, and shine as incredible references as a team, department, or company disbands. I’ve had that fear in my own eyes a time or two, and it’s been quite motivational.

Here’s my take on this ever-changing industry, and more like it:

We want to learn and grow throughout life; this is what drew us to journalism and writing in the first place. Perhaps we visualized different futures for ourselves that ran along the traditional routes, routes which are no longer available, but it seems to me that we journalism students envisioned futures with a lot to learn. 

We got what we asked for! Throughout our careers, we’ve been able to reinvent ourselves over and over!

Best wishes to those who abruptly lost their jobs this week at the Tribune. I hope they are not discouraged. We’ve seen this before, and we’ll see it again. We know how things may develop. New opportunities will unfold, taking displaced workers onto new paths that they might not have explored otherwise. New connections will be made. Knowledge will increase. Some might get to move to a different place and expand their life experiences too.

One hippie carry-over saying that I learned from some Gen Xers years ago was, “It’s all good.” Having been branded as the slacker generation by the Boomers, and then getting a front-row seat to the workplace changes that tossed us around in our twenties, we Gen Xers knew at an early age that we couldn’t take anything too seriously. And managing this type of change is just one of those things.



Copy Editing for Authors

One of the most exciting things I’ve been able to do as a copy editor is to help budding authors improve their manuscripts before they release them into the wilds of the publishing world.  I’ve assisted two authors recently, and information about the two women and their books is shown below:

1) Get Your RN Now, by Joy Porter:

2) The Sheik and the Slave and The Tea Plantation, both by Nicola Italia

Since then, I’ve  served as a proofreader for Nicola Italia’s other books (which total 11 as of 2016).

3) Triumph by S.L. Benelli

4) The Best is Yet to Be by Brian Wilson (not yet published)

5) Glinda’s Ruby Slippers by Mike Radice (not yet published)

6) Various clients through (now

Some say it is a blessing for me to always notice typographical errors on signs, billboards, marquees, in books and magazines, on flyers and mailers, and everywhere else, but there are times when I wish I could ignore it! However, I want to make the most of this talent by helping others who are realizing their dreams of self-publishing, or who need to have an error-proof manuscript to present to colleagues, investors, and so on.

I look forward to working with more writers as the weeks progress and I get used to my new surroundings in Southern California!


Company Newsletter Feature Article, July 2011

Summer of Safety: A good time for a check-up

Safety in the workplace means different things to different people, but for me, it means doing the right thing and looking out for yourself and others. For our Summer of Safety, I’ve put together a list of some timely topics that are specific to LifeSouth.

One way to increase your SQ (Safety Quotient) is to take care of your physical self. Remember, LifeSouth offers a fitness program to all full-time employees that can be purchased through payroll deductions in most locations. Look into the opportunities in your area for fitness and fun, like kick-boxing, zumba, weight-lifting, and team sports. Exercise is good for the body and the mind; you will sleep better, concentrate harder, and enjoy life more if you are physically active. You’ll be a safer driver, too, which benefits everyone (including yourself).

Taking better care of yourself not only increases productivity at work, but also reduces workplace injuries. It is also important for employees to recharge their batteries, both mentally and physically, at work. LifeSouth wants all hourly employees to take a 10 to 15-minute rest break for each 4 hours worked. Stretch your legs by walking outside, or get a snack and drink some water before returning to your work station. The meal period is your personal and uninterrupted time away from work. Read a book, eat a healthy meal, or take a walk off campus (to really boost your team’s Walking Challenge standings).

Taking this a step further, LifeSouth’s LifeWise wellness program offers tools, resources, and challenges related to health, food, money, and body. Having these areas of life “in shape” offers peace of mind. Check out the benefits that LifeWise can bring into your life by logging in to HR-Bor accessing Employee Resources on EIS to view the LifeWise page to find out more, including convenient ways to save money on your health expenses.

Workplace safety includes ensuring that you and your team members are alert and sober, so that your team can carry out its mission effectively. This effort is hampered by drugs and alcohol. Not only does drug and alcohol abuse affect an employee’s productivity and safety at work, it also compromises the safety of other employees in the workplace. Almost every job at LifeSouth directly impacts others, from the donors, the patients, and even other motorists on the road. If you need help concerning your alcohol or drug use, LifeSouth offers a free and confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Go to HR-B for more information on the EAP.

Safety in the workplace goes far beyond the concepts we’re most familiar with in blood banking, such as using Personal Protective Equipment and the current Good Manufacturing Practices. It affects the people around us as well as our own health and well-being. Increase your SQ by looking into all the opportunities LifeSouth offers and following the rules that keep everyone safe and healthy on the job.

UF Alumni Magazine Article, Winter 2009

This article was published in the Winter 2009 issue.



Radical Women Exhibit chronicles ways UF women put Gainesville on the liberation map


Photos provided by the UF Digital Collections

Forty years ago, Gainesville was conservative like most Southern towns. Women’s lives revolved around family and husbands, and they had little economic and political power.

Meanwhile, Americans were being challenged by another important issue: racism against blacks.

At UF, students and faculty formed a group to stand up for civil rights. Two members, Beverly Jones and Judith Brown (JD ’74), met while demonstrating on behalf of UF’s civil rights student organization and bonded over their experience within the group, where they felt women’s ideas were overlooked and undervalued.

The two brainstormed and decided to write down their ideas about what needed to change in American society so that women could receive more respect and better opportunities.

Jones wrote the first half of the paper, which was inspired by her unequal status in her marriage to a UF professor and her experience with the group, for which she was an adviser. Brown finished the second half, and together they submitted it to the first women’s liberation meeting in Maryland as “Toward a Female Liberation Movement.” The paper was later named after its home state, and “The Florida Paper” put Gainesville on the women’s liberation map.

“The Florida Paper” and other documents that tell the story of women’s liberation around the country and in North Central Florida are featured in a new online digital collection called “Radical Women in Gainesville.” This exhibit contains information, stories and timelines that show how a small North Florida town became a magnet for radical feminists.

The collection was compiled by curator Leila Adams (BA ’07), who continues her work through UF’s Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research under the guidance of professor Trysh Travis.

Her observations show the impact radical feminists’ actions had on American society.

“Gainesville residents not only wrote the first theoretical framework for the movement in 1968, they also formed one of the first five women’s liberation groups in the country,” she noted.

Participants in such groups in Gainesville faced logistical challenges about how and where to meet. When they distributed copies of “The Florida Paper” in public, they were met with hostility from men and businesses that drove distribution of the paper – and early meetings – into public women’s restrooms.

The resistance they faced fueled their motivation, however. By the mid-1970s, activists established the Women’s Center, a monthly newspaper called WomaNews, a feminist bookstore and the Gainesville Women’s Health Center, which offered women’s health services including workshops on contraception, abortion and domestic violence. At the height of the women’s liberation movement, the center sponsored the Southeastern Women’s Health Conference, which helped bond area feminist organizations, and included author and activist Rita Mae Brown, who once attended UF. Finally, services such as domestic violence and sexual abuse hotlines were established. For example, an anti-rape crisis hotline started in the broom closet of a Gainesville Episcopalian church and grew into the Peaceful Paths domestic abuse network, which still operates today.

Freelance Newspaper Articles about Spirituality, 2008

This article was published on May 17, 2008.

Countryside Presbyterian turns 20

Countryside Presbyterian Church turns 20 years old this week, which is a major milestone in this church’s life. But, noted Pastor Gary Marshall, “celebrating a birthday is just the beginning.”

“They said it couldn’t be done,” recalled Fenton Overly, a founding member. “In a short 20 years, it’s been a miracle.”

The church began with 50 founders and little money. Now, Overly said, the congregation has about 400 members ranging in age from 28 to 99 years old; there are a few children who attend services while visiting grandparents or going to Vacation Bible School in this southwest Ocala community.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the church will hold its anniversary service led by the Rev. Alisun Donovan of St. Augustine, with Marshall assisting. Under the direction of JoAnn Shaw, the church’s chancel choir is scheduled perform “I Will Praise You, O God” and “Christ, the One Foundation.” A catered lunch for members – paid for by an anonymous member – will follow the service.

“This church, to me, is full of wonderful people. It’s very busy and dynamic,” said member Kaye Long, who helped plan the anniversary luncheon.

Led by the late Rev. Robert McGirt, Countryside was chartered on May 15, 1988, at First Presbyterian Church in Ocala, where – incidentally – Marshall served as associate pastor before coming to Countryside in 2001.

The new congregation started holding services in what is now Roberts Funeral Home on State Road 200.

“This church began 20 years ago in a funeral home, and the journey continues,” Marshall said. “We are watching God’s plan for Countryside come true, and we just help enable it.”

What makes this church special, he said, is nearly every member is from somewhere else.

“We are developing our own traditions as we go, and since our members’ family members are hours away, this is more of a church family,” he said. “Our recent church picnic felt like a Marshall family reunion to me.”

“This does become your family,” said Pamela Murray, who joined Countryside three years ago and takes care of its publicity and marketing. “There is a large social life within this church. We reach out to people.”

Substantial growth along the SR 200 corridor west of Interstate 75 has added many new members in recent years. In 2005, the church completed a major expansion that included a new sanctuary with a modern sound system, offices, nurseries, meeting rooms, classrooms and Founder’s Hall, which served as the sanctuary from 1990 until the expansion was complete.

Countryside’s outreach ministries include food drives, as well as support for medical missions to Jamaica and a family of missionaries who have worked in Ethiopia. In addition, the church hosts an annual concert series in the sanctuary; the series starts in September and runs through spring.

The following article was published on December 16, 2008.

Meditation can hold stress at bay

What would make your life better? Would you wish for more time, better organization or more harmony with your personal and professional relationships?

Would you like to feel more spiritually connected or more relaxed overall?

A typical day involves traffic, work, family, stress, and noise. From the minute the morning alarm buzzes to the last time the phone rings at night, most people find themselves surrounded by chaos – some good, some bad, but chaos nevertheless.

At the holidays, this stress can be amplified by additional deadlines and obligations that must be met. Meditation provides some relief to this sensory overload by allowing the mind to be quiet. Getting the mind to rest takes some practice, but it is worth it.

Jerry Joiner, who is a member of the Unity Church of Ocala, believes fully in the benefits of meditation. “If you don’t go within, you go without,” he quips.

Unity’s Rev. Bill Dodd adds, “Meditation is the center of what we do.” Their church services, which combine Eastern and Western philosophy, are Christian and meditation-based.

Bob Estling, the head minister of the Seraphim Center in Gainesville, notes that if prayer is for asking, meditation is for receiving. He also says that it doesn’t take that much time to quiet the mind.

“Some people put it off because they don’t have 30 or 40 minutes to devote to it, but I find that I can have a successful meditation in three to four minutes,” he says.

Often times, the most stressed-out people don’t find the time to meditate, but they are the ones who need it the most. Richard Masla of Ayurveda Health Retreat & Spa in Alachua, who leads classes in meditation, likes to quote Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “If I didn’t take two hours to pray every morning, I don’t know how I’d find time to do everything I do.”

“For people that might not find time to go to a [meditation] class, they can take 10 minutes before bed to relax, sit and be still- follow the breath coming in and going out,” Masla adds. “By doing that, you are able to settle your mind and be still. Just by being, you find yourself having that inner peace.”

Like prayer, meditation allows us to concentrate on one thing at a time and send positive thoughts to the people and circumstances in our lives. It also allows us to visualize that which we’d like to bring into our lives and reinforce affirmations of health, wealth and happiness.

Meditation doesn’t have to be anything fancy, either. Certain physical activities, like walking, running or even knitting allow the mind to be clear while the body is engaged in the task. Simply setting aside a few minutes per day to take a walk or work on a creative project can provide a physical and mental benefit.

A trip to the library or bookstore allows you to learn more about meditation as well as try different methods.

For example, guided meditations on tape and CD provide instructions to visualize a scene of peace and tranquility. From there, you are encouraged to imagine something, such as a perfect job or a harmonious relationship. Finally, you are guided through a set of affirmations that reinforce positive thoughts. These recorded sessions, which typically last about 30 to 45 minutes, allow listeners to concentrate on these positive concepts. It is most helpful to listen to these recordings at either the beginning or the end of each day.

Those who practice meditation reap major benefits, such as stress reduction and increased concentration. Meditation can help you center yourself, which can help you find the energy you’ll need to complete all of your tasks this holiday season. In short, meditation could just be the best gift you can give yourself.

Historical Feature Article: Health and Humor

This is an article I wrote for The Weekly Planet when I worked as an intern. It was published in the December 18-24, 1997, issue.

PMS is Here to Stay

In the words of my mom, and the many moms who went before her, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

This was the thought I had when I first heard about PMS Escape, the latest in a number of products claiming to erase one’s Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It is a dietary supplement not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

At first this detail alarmed me, but after the pain started to settle in, I decided that I would take anything- alcohol, drugs, even an untested dietary supplement- to ease my suffering. After all, modern women like myself don’t have the luxury of staying home or retreating to a lodge to stay, uninterrupted, until our time of the month is up. We need drugs to tame that not-so-groovy feeling.

Some men are quick to say that PMS is a bad thing because it causes the women in their lives to become cranky and irrational. I say that this is not a bad thing, since this hormonal convergence brings to our attention things we would usually ignore or dismiss, and enables us to deal with them aggressively (and sometimes, unfathomably). Since women in general are encouraged to be complacent, PMS rights this wrong.

Women’s anger seems to come from nowhere during this time, but it’s the intense, stored-up product of a month’s worth of experiences, good and bad. We seem to get more irritated with everyday things, such as ringing telephones, the process of driving to work and, especially, dealing with men.

On an ovulation high, we might lovingly attend to our significant beau, hang upon his every word while massaging his feet. But during the iron-deficient PMS experience, the sight of a blathering man talking self-importantly and wiggling his toes purposefully might fill us with loathing. We might think to ourselves, “Who the hell does this guy think he is, demanding anything from me? Does he really think I care about his stupid job or his stupid life? I shouldn’t even listen to him- when does he ever listen to me? Besides, he’s a man, and men are almost completely responsible for domestic violence, environmental degradation, the government and its ridiculous policies. I can’t believe I have anything to do with anyone like him…”

This, or something like it, is what we are thinking when we survey the men in our company with critical eyes. If a retreat is not made, a battle may ensue. But is this how it has to be?

This is what I’m thinking when I decide to try the vitamin supplement. Is there something I can do to overcome this monthly sentence? Questions about its safety run through my head. Will this cause my heart to stop and my hair to fall out? Will it help curb the urge to call up my old boyfriend? Will it make me popular at school or work? Most importantly, will it make the stabbing pain in my back go away?

The clouds on the packaging calmed my fears. Then I read the outside of the box, where it said that one serving of PMS relief contained fewer calories than a baked potato. How condescending! As a woman, I’m not going to worry about the amount of calories I’m consuming when I’m trying to elevate my quality of life. But since I was on a mission, I ingested the fruity drink, popped an aspirin, and headed for bed.

When I awoke the next morning, I noticed a change. The stabbing pain was gone! So was my assertiveness. The special vitamin blend had placed me in a state of false happiness, suppressing the usual rage. I could recognize annoying situations, such as bad drivers on the interstate, but my will to honk had fled. At work, aggravating situations caused little or no reaction in me- perhaps a good thing. But as the drug wore off I began to feel more like myself. I became more alert, energetic, expressive, for better or worse. It occurred to me that I really didn’t need to take a PMS reliever, although it might make the people around me happy if I did. But did I really need to be concerned with that?

If I’m going to sedate myself voluntarily, it will be for good reason. I know that there is no escape from PMS, and if there was, my mom would have told me about it a long time ago. There are vitamins and herbs we can take, and remedies like PMS Escape that we can buy at any drug store that can ease the symptoms, but there is no way to get away from it for good.

Ours is a culture in love with escapism: escape of reality, escape of sobriety, escape of conscience. PMS presents the ultimate challenge, because it’s here to stay.