May 24, 2007 ~ Jobs and Food Porn
Good grief. I'm sorry it's been so long. I've been busy with all sorts of things. Volunteer stuff with the wolfdog sanctuary, actually getting together with some other kids Grove's age instead of just thinking about it, letter writing (and begging and pleading) to my state legislature (on two different issues, no less), and designing and building the new site where I'm going to move this journal. All of those things really deserve an entry of their own, but I don't know if I'm going to get to it.
The thing that has been taking most of my time, however, has been trying to get this freelance career off the ground. It's incredible how much work I had to put into just landing my first small job. Hours and hours of research and scanning job lists and joining a freelance network and applying for job after job with no bites. Learning how to sell myself instead of being modest and shy.
And I still don't think I have the right sort of resume written, my cover letter approach could use some work, and I know there have got to be some more good sources out there for finding freelance jobs. Plus, this site is now speaking for me professionally (because everyone does a Google search before hiring, now, and guess what comes up number one for Melissa Ray Davis?), and Awakened is very, very out of date. This site is sooo 2001. Who hand-codes nowadays? A precious few. As I said above, I'm in the middle of redesigning, but for now, this is what the world sees.
I did land my first job, though, and then a second, and a third. And something must have stood out about me to those employers, because one confided that over 300 people had applied, but she chose me. Another, out of "hundreds." All three were small contracts, but it was something, and I did an excellent job. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. After all, my jobs for the last eight years have all been writing and editing jobs, so I have a lot of experience, just not under the title of "freelance."
Just last week, I signed my first contract for a bigger, more permanent job. The great news is, you all will get to enjoy it too! I've been hired as a paid columnist over in the culinary space at HubPages, which is a community content site. I'll be posting articles and recipes and pictures of what Morgan and I have been up to in the kitchen. (And yes, for those of you who eat meat, I'll be writing about what Morgan eats too, so the recipes will range from vegan to vegetarian to meat.)
All of my new articles will be listed blog-style here: Latest "Hubs" by Melissa Ray Davis, but I'll be linking to each of them from the journal, too. Here are the four that I've posted so far:
It is strawberry season here, and if you don't count eating ridiculous amounts of them straight from the roadside produce stands, my very favorite thing to do with fresh strawberries is:
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
Delicious tart strawberries over old-fashioned shortcake like Grandma used to make, topped with homemade whipped cream. This dessert makes a wonderful spring and summer treat that will have you wishing that strawberries were in season all year round.
One of my favorite dinner recipes that we've ever come up with:
Roasted Vegetable Fajita Wraps
Combine the smoky flavor of roasted potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, beets, and sweet potatoes with the refreshing taste of salsa, fresh greens, tomatoes, and sour cream to make these irresistible vegetarian fajita wraps.
Seriously. The roasted sweet potatoes alone are enough to make me extremely excited about those wraps. Gah. Why am I writing this while I'm hungry?
Morgan and I have perfected a method of cooking tofu that looks and tastes just like what you find in a restaurant. Even non-vegetarians like it. Everyone always asks us how we do it, and we always give them pretty vague oral instructions. Well, not any more. Here is a detailed article:
How to Cook Tofu Like the Pros: Dry-fry and Marinate Method
Vegetarians know it well--tofu disaster, slimy tofu dishes where the tofu has disintegrated into a flavorless mush. How do restaurants do it? My special method uses dry-frying and marinating, resulting in firm, flavorful tofu that leaves even meat-eaters impressed.
And lastly, my favorite stir-fry to use that dry-fried tofu in:
Asparagus Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe
If you are a fan of asparagus, you will love this simple but flavorful recipe using a savory marinade and brown garlic sauce.
So that's what I've been up to. Once this month is over, things should ease up a little bit.
Oh, and if you'd like to join HubPages and write about whatever topic strikes your fancy, it's open to everyone. Though you wouldn't be a hired columnist paid the base rate per article, you can still earn a percentage of the ad revenue that your posts generate. It's kind of like a free blog host that gives you a share of their profits. (And the ad share for members is currently at 60%, so it's pretty generous).