8x NATJA prize winner; #TBINchat host; pericarditis patient. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit https://melindacrow.substack.com/

My dad was a laugher, so the anger of his dementia came as a surprise

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Photo by David Hinkle on Unsplash

His whole family has laughed their way through almost everything in life. Put my dad and his sisters in the room together and you’d hear the howls of laughter from half a block away.

My dad’s older brother Daniel passed away years ago, but I can still hear his distinct laughter. It’s one of my fondest memories of my dad’s family. In contrast, my grandparents were quiet people.

They survived the Great Depression with five offspring and the seriousness of that life forever creased their faces. They always smiled at the uproar around their kitchen fireplace or as their extended…

You can program bots to shove local news down their throats, but it may not work

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Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

Let me clarify smut. On News Break, that can mean anything from a headline about a Florida man emasculated by his pit bull to soft-core relationship pieces, fashion and beauty, or parenting advice. Pretty much any topic guaranteed to start a war among the commenters qualifies as smut on the outlet that bills itself as the provider of Breaking Local News.

And as creators have discovered under the newest monetization terms, the smut ranks poorly with the powers that be, so it pays at a reduced incentive rate. …

Writer’s Toolkit

Blaze trails to new audiences with these social media tricks and tools

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Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Ever have one of those days mired in the quicksand of necessary non-writing tasks? Those days can suck the creativity straight out of your marrow. Social media tops the list of those sucky chores. But if you use the right tools, the demands of the necessary wanes, leaving you free to return to your joyous flow of words.

There are dozens of methods for sharing your work — and that of your fellow writers, some free and some definitely not so free. The obvious first step is determining where you intend to share the stories. …

It’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make to get him the help he needs

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Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

There are issues that arise with some dementia patients that most of us either don’t know about or don’t talk about. My previous knowledge of dementia was limited to a stepmother who suffered from Parkinson’s dementia for more than seven years. She was as docile as a lamb. She lost her ability to speak, so she sat in a wheelchair smiling at everyone for the majority of those years.

My dad was a saint through those years. He cared for her at home with minimal help from an outside caregiver. When asked why he never even utilized a respite care…

5 steps to find your way through today’s work

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Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Focusing on building a writing career is not really focusing at all. It’s staring at a forest that doesn’t exist yet. You can stand there imagining trees reaching for the sky all day, but until you get your hands dirty and plant the seedlings, you’ve got nothing but dirt.

It is so easy to get caught up in the non-writing part of career building — and every bit of it is important stuff. …

Productivity as a writer is all in the template. Keep a folder filled with templates ready to copy and paste and you’ll never waste time wondering how to format your…

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