Posts in Miscellaneous


Sometimes as a part of my help in settting up someone’s website, I get asked to create logos. Here are a few examples. As you can see, I like playing with fonts. Please note that the bottom logo has since been changed (color change) by the client (and I collaborated with SusieQs Designs in the initial stages).








Tools:  •  Photoshop   •  InDesign   •  Illustrator 

Skills:  •  Graphic design 

Website: Medicine for a New Era

For an alternative health practice located in Dallas, I designed and created a WordPress-based website using Artisteer, including designing the logo in Photoshop. For three years, I also provided all of the research and content writing for the site, which included developing Constant Contact email digests and maintaining a mailing list. Some of the content also included videos, which I also edited, and most include images, which I developed or found.

I received direction from the Director of Administration about any particular topics on which to focus, but I also scoured press releases, university websites, and other blogs for information about the latest treatments and developments in anti-aging medicine.



Tools:  •  WordPress   •  Word   •  Plugins   •  Photoshop   •  Artisteer   •  Academic research databases 

Skills:  •  Writing   •  Research   •  Planning and structuring   •  Photo research   •  Graphic design   •  Email marketing   •  Database publishing 

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Spelling podcasts

spellingpodcastsI wrote scripts for a series of podcasts to be presented by national literacy expert J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D.

For the scripts, I researched the pertinent information for each topic, and adhered to word count guidelines that I developed based on listening to Dr. Gentry’s natural speaking rate. In addition, I wrote each script mindful of it being read aloud rather than presented in written form, so I made sure to provide clear transitions for the audience and clear directions for Dr. Gentry.



Tools:  •  Word   •  Academic research databases 

Skills:  •  Writing   •  Research   •  Educational products   •  Editing and re-visioning   •  Analyzing and implementing 

Sample script: Flip_Folder_podcast_final

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One of my ongoing struggles is to explain why editing matters. Often I liken it to how carpet just looks better after it’s been vacuumed, but you don’t walk into your friend’s family room and immediately think, “Oh, how nice—they vaccumed for me!”

You don’t normally read an informative report that tells you exactly what you want to know clearly and think, “Oh, how great—they edited this just for me!”
How to Self Promote without Being a Jerk

But I read a small book called How to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk; author Bruce Kasanoff writes in the chapter that cautions “Be perfect,” that most of the information we receive when we meet other people is composed of

…subtle clues: how the person stands, the tone of their voice, whether they look you in the eye, how they dress, etc.

He adds,

The number and manner of your mistakes is another category of clues.

Four words

If you don’t buy the “impressions” argument, here’s another example of the value of copy editing on the other end of the spectrum, supplied by the New York Times in its article about theAffordable Care and Patient Protection Act challenge in the Supreme Court based on

four words — “established by the State” — buried deep within the 900-page law.

Or as Paul Krugman puts it, an “obvious typo” that may have serious repurcussions for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Most typos aren’t that serious.

 This just in: How a Typo May Have Turned a Drum of Radioactive Waste into a Bomb

 A big tip

Give your resume, executive report, or research paper a word-by-word read. Better yet, have someone else do it. Spending $5 a page for a solid copy edit for your master’s thesis makes more sense than spending your research time looking for grammatical errrors, especially if you’re not an English major.

Why copy edit

Shooting your business thru the foot

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a local research organization whose subject line and title was something akin to

“Understanding Your Community Thru Historical Data.”

I know my grammar and usage; I do a lot of copy editing for a variety of academic and research organizations. So I’m a stickler about being correct. Mostly. But I’m not such a hardass all the time because I know that in some situations, using slang, misused words, and improper grammar gets the message to your audience.

But using “thru” isn’t appropriate in this context. So I quickly played with an online tool I’ve been wanting to try, Piktochart, which makes infographics online that you can download as image files.



(Updated the Piktochart so that it included better images and so I could post it on LinkedIn.)


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ThruI created a blog post and infographic that I posted on LinkedIn when I saw a local research organization—partnering with a professor from The Ohio State University—send an email about a webinar that included a phrase something like “history thru data.” I could not believe that “thru” got by all of the smart people who must have seen and approved the communication. And it pains me that the people who might notice (in a negative way) the use of slang in this context are exactly the people running organizations that could use this information. That’s why those kinds of organizations need someone like me to check for the proper tone and style for the audience they are trying to reach.

Remember how business advice tells you to “dress for the job level you want” and not necessarily the one you have now? Same rationale: dress your prose for the level and kinds of customers you want to have.



Tools:  •  Piktochart 

Skills:  •  Photo research   •  Infographics 

Professional Learning Portfolios…and questions

I recently enrolled in Jane Hart’s online workshop on Professional Learning Portfolios. What I was thinking about when I enrolled was that I wanted some ideas about an e-portfolio system to put in my website so that I could show samples to potential clients—i.e., a portfolio in the traditional sense of an outward-facing body of evidence that I can do what I say I can do.

There’s still a lot of value for me in doing this aspect of a portfolio, of course, but I’ve found even in the first few days of the PLP workshop discussions and suggested activity that my thinking has gone beyond that. The first thing I did was download the suggested WordPress theme for the portfolio and play around a bit with it , but then I got stuck. So instead of continuing to work with a tool, I took a step backward and reread our workshop introduction and documents…and realized I needed to do some thinking and planning first. I can get too caught up in cool tools, so I went back to what helps me think best, mapping out ideas on paper with different color pens.

And I realized while doing this that probably the most important thing for me, before trying to organize materials, is to determine my goals. My learning goals will be tied to the new areas I want to do work in. But I have to figure those out first!

I know that they have something to do with helping people learn what’s “out there” in terms of online resources and tools and, more importantly, convincing them that they won’t break the internet if they try to participate in it. I guess a term for marketing would be digital literacy; although I’m not crazy about that term, it may be a useful way to communicate what I want to do. I wrote in this blog for the Connectivism course about Ohio Computer Tutor, a goofy name for a serious idea. It’s morphed a bit into ways to help businesses support staff learning and development.

My biggest roadblock is that I have to “sell” this. If I take time to work on a new business area, then I am literally taking time away from earning income with the things I already do. I can’t tell you how scary that is for a freelancer—I just cannot say “no” to work! And I already take time away from my personal life to do business stuff, so it seems unfair to take even more time away from real-live relationships. Perhaps the biggest roadblock—as it always, always is—is simply fear.

Final Personal Learning Environment

I really like the CMap tool, which I’ve used before. I like the fact that the links can be labeled and thus clarify the relationships between the concepts (usually via verbs). In addition, it’s easily used to convey information but also to organize it because each concept is a kind of container. You can add links, images, and other types of files.

I learned doing this that for communicating and adequately capturing something like a personal learning environment (PLE), what I long for is a moving concept map that shows change over time and thus could identify things that fade in and out of importance (sort of à la Hans Rosling). Ideally, this PLE should also use layers to make three dimensional connections between concepts. When I started, I realized that what’s interesting to me is how the “past” stuff forms a clear link to something I do now: for example, the connection I have to database publishing using FileMaker databases (circa 1995 or so) means that HTML and XML make sense to me. Looking further backward, HyperCard was my first introduction to databases, so it set the stage for my 17-year use of FileMaker. It would be great to show clearly that kind of “ancestral” link because it shows what I keep thinking of as networked-learning curves.

(Clicking on this brings up a larger version that’s easier to read.)



Video Communication with Screenr

Below is my midterm presentation for Introduction to Emerging Technologies (98908) at the University of Manitoba. Please be aware that this presentation should run itself once you click the arrow, and it does have audio attached. There’s a bit of a pause before it gets going, too. Any feedback or comments are welcome!

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I specialize in responses to RFPs, grant writing, academic and research writing along with data visualization and explanation. I create tutorials and job tools in the media that makes the most sense for its function.


From line editing (copy editing) to developmental editing, I keep your unique voice while helping you make the best text possible. I’m a stickler about grammar, allowing you to focus on your content.


“Just in case” and “just in time” training on standard software or your proprietary system can be done in person or as a webinar. Let me bring your employee up to speed.

 Information Design

My background in Information Mapping and structured writing means that I understand that the key to good communication is understanding your audience and its needs.


I am learning WordPress and teaching others. I’ve done a few websites for acquaintances and colleagues.

 E-Newsletters/ Social Media

I am adept at Constant Contact, both managing email marketing as well as designing and writing the emails themselves. In addition, I can help you with LinkedIn and Google+ profiles and make sure your online presence works for your business.

Writing, editing, and research

Let me handle the communication that targets your message. I keep your unique voice while helping you make the best text possible.

Information design

My background in structured writing and graphic design puts your audience’s needs first to get your message heard.

Sites, content, and commerce

Connect with your audience online and in many channels, with websites and e-commerce sites that promote your brand and drive business

Training and e-learning

Professional development for your staff with accessible tutorials, user guides, and job tools in the medium that meets their needs.