Niki Taylor, Freelance Writer and Researcher

November 4, 2009

Hodgepodge of Happenings

As usual, it has been forever since I last posted. I have a good excuse. I lost my blog. It’s complicated, and it will make you savvier bloggers laugh at me.

I’m still proofreading for Demand Studios. I enjoy it and hopes it lasts forever.

We went to the mountains a couple of weeks ago, and it was perfect. We went for the fall colors, but we ended up seeing a different color, white. It snowed. In North Carolina. In October. As a cold weather person, I was in heaven. The combination of the snow and leaves was great.

Lots of books and movies news. Vamp time. I’ve read the Twilight Series. I’ve read the Sookie Stackhouse series. Now I’m reading the Laurell Hamilton vampire series. Will the bloodsuckers stop haunting me?

To be read: a new Monk book, Georgia Nicolson book(fabbity fab in her UK speak), Uncle John Bathroom Book I got at a used book sale, and a Kathryn Lilley book where the heroine deals with weight issues.

DVD news. I broke down and got the first season of True Blood on DVD. I don’t usually get TV series on DVD, but I don’t have HBO, and I loved the books. The show is wild in a fun way. I also got Grease 2 in the Walmart bargain bin. Not as good as the original, but it has catchy songs. Let’s bowl, Let’s bowl. Let’s rock n roll.

To cap off my perfect mountain trip, I found Shag the movie. Thanks to Austin Powers, the word shag makes people giggle, but in South Carolina beach music, it means dancing. It came out 20 years ago, and it is about four girls going to Myrtle Beach in 1963. It has great music including  the song Rock and Roll(It Will Stand) by Johnny O’Keefe  I had forgotten about  and was thrilled to rediscover. It was choreographed by Kenny Ortega who choreographed my favorite movie, Dirty Dancing.

Speaking of DD, it was sad when Patrick Swayze died. DD was a big influence in my teen years. An article about a Swayze Memorial in Lake Lure, NC brought back memories of how I, as an awestruck teen, went to the camp in Lake Lure where DD was filmed. I also went to Mountain Lake Resort in Virginia where DD was filmed. Time of My Life is a perfect title for Swayze’s autobiography which is on my library reserve list. RIP Patrick.

Another sad moment over the summer was when Guiding Light ended. It was also a big part of my life. Roger and Holly. Philip and Beth. Jonathan Randall. Soaps get a bad rap, but I have many happy memories of GL.

Now I’m getting ready for the Winter. We have a Xmas trip to Williamsburg, Va, and of course the holidays. Maybe we’ll see snow in Eastern NC, but  at least I’ve seen the fall snow.

 

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June 27, 2009

A Fellow MRKH Sister

Filed under: hobbies,medical — NikiTaylor @ 4:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I know it’s been ages since I’ve written. I haven’t been inspired to write, but another blog has gotten my butt into gear. http://www.noovenforthebun.blogspot.com/ is written by a woman who also has MRKH which I referred to in http://nikianntaylor.com/2008/08/19/revealing-my-dirty-secrets/ Her blog is very funny and tender as she prepares for marriage and gestational surrogacy.  Even though I decided not to have kids, so many of her feelings echo mine. I applaud her for her honesty as she demonstrates MRKH is not a dirty secret.

As for me, I still have my editing  job. I’m coping with the summer heat. My dream is to live somewhere where the temp does not get above 80. Since my last post, I went to Myrtle Beach before it got so hot and crowded. I also had surgery for an ovarian cyst so it’s me and my one ovary now. Thankfully, my health is fine.

You know I love to talk about the books. I got all the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and am going through them. I need some cool vampires for this heat. The HBO show True Blood is based on the books. I’ve never seen the show, but usually the books are better than the movies/shows. Have a good summer!

December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

Filed under: freelance writing — NikiTaylor @ 11:36 pm

The new year is off to a great start. After losing a job in July, I got a proofreading job that could be long-term. With the slow economy and the lull that usually happens online during the holidays, this was a pleasant surprise. I’m so blessed. I also had a great Christmas, receiving lots of books of course! May everyone have a great 2009!

October 29, 2008

Still Waiting

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The weather is cooler, thank goodness. I love cooler weather and have been walking every day. I attended the online Muse Writer Conference, and it was a pleasant week of chats and forums. Even online, I was shy, but I managed to ask one question, and it was enlightening as a first-timer. More details are at http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com/index.htm The trip to the mountains was great too. I highly recommend Pigeon Forge, TN as a fall destination.

I reapplied for the temporary job I held for a year. If I’m lucky, I will get rehired for another year. I visit a board that discusses this job, and it is hard to tell who is eligible for that second year. Some people get rehired, and others don’t. Time will tell which category I will fall into. My mindset has been on this job so long, but I am looking at other online work and am positive something will turn up soon.

To pass the time, I’ve been reading. With Halloween so close, it is appropriate vampires are the theme. I read the first book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. I enjoyed it and want to read more. I also have one of Stephanie Meyer’s books. They have been so popular I look forward to see if I can get swept up in the mania. Excuse me while I go read!

September 19, 2008

“Monk”ey Business

Filed under: medical — NikiTaylor @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

My temporary job ended at the end of July, and I will reapply for it at the end of October. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. In early October, I will be taking a trip to the mountains. In mid-October, I will be “attending” the Muse Writing Conference.
It is an online writing conference featuring different panels. I’ve heard about it for years and am excited to “attend”. I really need a writing boost. I’ve been trying to write during my break, but it’s been slow going.

Currently, I’m reading Mr. Monk Goes to Germany by Lee Goldberg. It is a series of books based on the television show Monk on the USA Network. Adrian Monk is a detective who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. The OCD makes him highly sensitive to his environment which works out well in solving murders but not in his everyday life. While he can find clues the other police officers can’t, his oversensitivity leads to phobias and other hang-ups. The book is written from the point of view of his assistant because Monk would not be able to get past the first paragraph for overanalyzing it.
 
I can relate to Monk because I too have OCD. While I’m not a detective, I have an oversensitivity to the world around me which I try to relay through writing. OCD is more than just worrying about germs and washing hands. The book gives a good explanation: “They(OCD sufferers) interact with the world in an entirely different way than you and I do. They observe the way we live instead of living the way we do.” We will be fine as long we observe the world in helpful ways(crime fighting and writing) and not in self-destructive ways.
 
 
 
 

 

August 27, 2008

I Hate This Kid!

Filed under: celebrity snark — NikiTaylor @ 8:26 pm
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This commercial has been running for awhile now. It portrays a boy who is with his mother at a bank on “Take Your Child to Work Day”. The boy sees the vacuum feature at the drive-through window, and he puts all kinds of stuff through it, hitting a guy’s car. The commercial is for car insurance, but I don’t care as the kid and his mother need a serious punishment. I hardly watch commercials, but this one caught my eye and got my blood boiling. Internet response seems to vary between love and hate for the commercial. Thankfully, I work at home and don’t have to put up with this.

August 19, 2008

Revealing My Dirty Secrets?

My secrets aren’t really dirty. Nothing immoral or illegal. They’re just personal medical details I don’t like to tell about myself. One the one hand, I want to be private and professional, but on the other hand, as a writer, I want to write about myself. Writers are narcissists that way. Actually, ten years ago, I did write about my medical condition as a confused, exhilarated, and scared twentysomething at

www.obgyn.net/women/women.asp?page=/women/articles/comfort/comfort008

 

The gist of the piece is I have Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser Syndrome(quite a mouthful) or more simply MRKH. More details are in the above essay “MRKH Madness“, but basically, I was born with an incomplete uterus, no cervix, and a very short vagina. I’ve never had a period and can not have a child unless I use a gestational surrogate or adopt. What I’ve learned over the years is that the condition is not as important as how I react to it. In “MRKH Madness”, I relayed how I developed anxiety disorder including obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias. I discussed how I overcame the anxiety through therapy and Prozac. So to sound like a cheesy entertainment show, where am I now? I am still on Prozac and have started taken another medication Buspar. I still have anxiety and have chosen to be single and childfree.

Another reason I like to write about this “uncomfortable to talk about condition” is for my fellow MRKH sisters. Since this is a rare condition, there is not much known about MRKH in mainstream medical fields. It is not unusual that many medical professionals have never heard of it. So not only is the diagnosis devastating(especially during the fragile teen years), we often feel alone and freakish.

Here comes the Internet to empower us with not only knowledge of MRKH but with connections to other women with the condition. There are email groups for MRKH women where we can talk about MRKH-related matters such as surgeries, various medical problems, and relationships. It’s Sex and the City for the MRKH set. There are women from teens to menopausal from all over the world including the United States, Canada, England, and Australia. Women have gotten together for meetups, and there is an annual conference in Boston.

I get further justification for writing about this on the Internet when I hear from MRKH women who read “MRKH Madness” as their first online MRKH piece. If I’m lucky enough, maybe someone will read this as their online introduction to MRKH and see the light at the end of the tunnel. To my MRKH sisters, you rock.

August 13, 2008

Lazy Days, Books, TV, and OCD

Filed under: hobbies — NikiTaylor @ 7:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have to wait a couple of months to go back to my temporary job(fingers and toes crossed), and I have been trying to fill the spare time. I’ve been catching up on my reading, and playing around on the Internet.

The book The Memorykeeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards is as engrossing as everyone says it is. I’m almost finished reading the latest in the Hitchcock Sewell series by Tim Cockey. There does not seem much publicity around this series, but if you enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series or comedic mysteries, this is good to try. Sewell is a smart-mouthed undertaker who always ends up embroiled in murder mysteries with a wacky cast of characters. Most of my books come from the library. I keep a list of books and their release dates, and I can reserve online. I only buy books that I really, really want or get them as gifts.

I have also been watching TV, mainly reality shows, until the shows come back in the fall. I watch Monk since I relate to the character with the obsessive compulsive disorder. I have anxiety disorder as well as OCD. That is another blog post in itself. I look online at different freelance jobs that I can do quickly, but either the pay is too low, or the job is too long-term.  Back to the lazy, hazy crazy days of summer.

August 5, 2008

Websites Where I Can Make Moola

As a freelance writer, I recommend these sites

http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/jobs/currentjobs.htm

 

 

This site belongs to Anne Wayman, a freelance writer who used to be an About.com guide. It has freelance jobs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I found a great temporary job here.

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/

 

This site belongs to Deborah Ng, a writer/blogger. Freelance jobs are posted every day.

http://www.guru.com

 

Guru.com is a site where professionals can bid on jobs. You can have a limited free subscription where the site gets a portion of the job payment, or you can have a paid subscription which is supposed to have more perks. I have the free. Many of the jobs are low-paying, but I got a good project that lasted for months.

 

August 1, 2008

Websites Where I Can Get My Snark On

Filed under: celebrity snark — NikiTaylor @ 11:15 pm
Tags: , ,

Even when I’m overloaded with freelance work, I always make time for these websites:

http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com

Televisionwithoutpity.com or TWOP. Years ago, I found this site which indulges my television loves and hates. It started when I started watching “Sex and the City” on cable and read TWOP’s funny recaps. It also let me know what dirty parts had been edited out. Besides recaps for certain shows, they have forums for all shows. The forums can be funniest of all. In the early years, the Flavor of Love forums were better and funnier than the show itself.

The only complaint I have about TWOP is they took down the forum about the TLC show “Jon and Kate plus Eight”. To my knowledge, it is the first forum they have taken down. Supposedly it was due to too much fighting among posters. I’d like to think Kate Gosselin smashed it with her mighty uterus. But never fear, the Internet is always here. We can get the Jon/Kate fix on at

http://gosselinswithoutpity.blogspot.com/

Gosselins without pity. This blog is an honest look at the TV show. There are funny recaps and different Gosselin-related news items. The comments are as good as the actual posts with Gosselin lovers, detractors, and everyone in between.

Updated June 27, 2009: Wow, alot has happened with those silly goose Gosselins. I knew they were full of it before everyone else did!

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