So Where’s The Cure?

Good day, everyone. I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks as I’m still getting adjusted to a few new things but I wanted to take a few minutes today to share something with everyone that I’ve been working on for quite a while and am extremely excited to announce that it’s finally ready to go.

A few months back, I was approached by my aunt, Cinda Thompson, to help out with a book that she’d been wanting to put out for quite some time. If you’re unaware of who she is, she’s a very talented writer whose poetry, short stories and memoirs have been featured in numerous publications over the years, including in a national best-selling anthology, When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. I’ve done some work for her in the past, finally getting some of her work out there on a digital platform. She’d been wanting to get her work online but just didn’t know how to go about it which is where I came in. About a year ago at this time, we launched Living The Revolution, which houses the majority of the work she’s ever done, including the poetry from her poetry book, At The Core, which was released many years ago.

I also created a focused blog for her, Diabetes: A Life Sentence?, where she writes posts from time to time about her more than 50-year battle with Type 1 Diabetes, which is also the focus of her latest and biggest project to date, So Where’s The Cure?, a new book with nine incredible stories about her battle with this terrible disease. Using the subtitle “Memories Of A Life With Type 1 Diabetes”, So Where’s The Cure looks at Cinda’s original diagnosis at just 11 years old and is filled with amazing tales of life, love, loss and heartache while also discussing the diets, medicines and costs associated with T1D, bringing a fantastic mix of everything you need to know about what she’s had to deal on a day-to-day basis for more than five decades. ol

And as far as my involvement goes, I was extremely honored to be a part of this project as the publisher. After being given all of the source material, it was my job to design and format the entire book to get it ready to go to print, which is actually a little more work than you might think. We had to take into account the audience that we were looking at, which we decided would need a bigger font size which changes a lot of different things as it pertains to margins and such when you’re putting a book together. There’s how much space you want after a paragraph, what kind of spacing you need within each paragraph, how the pictures that we wanted to use would fit and where they needed to be. We ran through a few different fonts for appearance and there’s spacing issues when transitioning from each format that have to be dealt with, which results in having to look at each and every page over and over and over to make sure that we’ve got everything done just right before going to the printer and after having seen the finished product, I’m happy to say that I think we got it just right.

Now, I’ve been doing the online thing for a while now and while it’s great to have hundreds upon hundreds of articles with my name attached to it, there’s just a little something extra to seeing your name in print, especially on that back cover that I designed, which is something I haven’t seen since those poetry books I was in more than 10 years ago.

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While it was great to work on the project and receive a little bit of recognition for it, the credit here really does belong to Cinda. While the formatting and design and all of that is important, it’s the content here that really matters and it truly is exceptional. If you’re someone that suffers from diabetes or know anyone that suffers from diabetes, I highly recommend that you give this book a read. To order a copy, at the bargain price of $12.00 in print, you can contact Cinda on her websites or you can order one through me right here. I bet I can even get her to sign it for you as I made her do it for me. In addition, I also formatted So Where’s The Cure? as an e-book and you can order a digital copy of it for Amazon Kindle using this link for just $9.99.

I want to thank Cinda for the opportunity to work on this project with her. It truly was a great experience for me and I certainly learned a lot in the process about publishing, both in the print and digital world and even more importantly, I learned a little bit more about how this disease can have such an impact on a life.

Do yourself a favor. Check out So Where’s The Cure? and help support a great cause as the majority of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The JDRF Walk here in Peoria, IL just took place over the weekend and was actually the location in which this book debuted. The JDRF is determined to turn Type One into Type None and this is a great way to help. And don’t forget that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and this would make a great gift for someone you might know that could relate to the types of things that Cinda has had to deal with. Congratulations to Cinda on a job well done.

My Gig at Sports Mockery

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Over the past week, I’ve been updating both of my websites, including discussing the website I created for a local award-winning author, which you can read HERE, and adding a new podcast page to this site, which you can read about HERE, but this is a topic I’ve been meaning to get to for a while as well, and since I’m battling the flu and all of the original content I attempted to create today was absolute trash, I figured this is the perfect time to fill you in on one of my latest writing gigs.

Just short of four weeks ago, I accepted a position as a writer for a great website out of Chicago called Sports Mockery. If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook or follow the LukeNorris.net page, you’ve undoubtedly run into the work that I’ve been doing for this site in my first month. If you haven’t seen any of it yet, I invite you to join the 113,022 other people that have read my work over the past four weeks, at least that’s what the number was about an hour ago.

As you can see from the screenshot at the top of this post, Sports Mockery is Chicago-based in nature, focusing in on the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, and Fire. I’m working with some very talented and creative people here, and what’s great is that we all help one another. Ideas are thrown around a private chat room, we claim what we want as long as we can get it done in a timely manner, or come up with an idea we think would entertain people, and we go to work, and I must say that I’m digging it thus far. The guys that run the site have been nothing but helpful in getting me started and helping me out with the formatting, and I was a fan of the site before I started working there, so I highly recommend that if you’re into Chicago sports that you check them out at www.sportsmockery.com. You can also download their app on iTunes or for your Android devicefollow them on Twitter (@sportsmockery) and “like” the Facebook page. A lot of the articles are funny, some are shocking, and some are done in a journalistic style, which makes for a great mix of Chicago sports news and rumors, which just happens to be their tagline. See how I just slid that right in there. But seriously, I’m having a blast working with these guys so far, and I look forward to getting some more great content out there soon.

If you’re looking for my work at Sports Mockery, you can go to my personal page on the site HERE, and for all the latest updates about what I’m doing, continue to check back with this site, follow me on Twitter (@THElukenorris), “like” my page on Facebook, and check out every single piece of work I’ve ever done at LukeNorris.net. As always, I thank you for your continued support and I’ll be checking back in soon.

 

Living The Revolution

I apologize for being away from this site for a few weeks, but honestly, things have been hectic lately, and some of that isn’t such a bad thing, but I’ll be updating you on a few more things as the week progresses, but today, I want to put the focus on a big project that’s been finished for a while, almost a month actually. Now, when I say finished, it’s not really finished, but again, that’s not such a bad thing, and I’ll explain as I go on.

When I started this freelancing thing full-time, I knew I’d be going in a lot of different directions, especially at the start. I search for the right websites and jobs to tackle, and some I love doing, some I like doing, and some I absolutely despise, and those are the ones that you don’t ever see. This is where I’m writing product descriptions and researching for other people and menial tasks that aren’t that riveting to discuss. It’s not ideal, but people pay money for that. Am I going to throw those updates on here or on my other website? No, because there’s certainly no point to doing that right now. The people that need to see it are the ones that see it, but I’m not going to waste your day with that. Most of you probably didn’t even know I was doing things like that until right now. No, it’s not overly interesting work, but I knew going into this that I’d have to do some things like that at the start until things take off for me, and things are starting to move in the right direction, but this is the reality of where I’m at right now. I’m sure some of you may think that just because I work from home and write some sports articles or some entertainment articles and things of that nature and get paid a little money for it, I must be living the dream. No, it’s not at that point yet, and it may never be, but overall, I am enjoying what I do, and as I said before, I’ll bring you some more updates as the week goes on. I didn’t even intend to write this much on that subject today, but I wanted you to be aware that I am doing some different things than what I had intended, and this particular project I took on was an absolute blast.

This website is both an experiment and “in progress.” A much published and recognized author, Cinda is pleased to have the opportunity to branch out in new directions.

As to poetry, “Planting” was included in the national PBS Special “Grow Old Along With Me” (Maryland Public Broadcasting/Leonardo’s Children), featuring Richard Kylie and Julie Harris. Her work—poetry, short stories, memoirs– has been included in many anthologies, including the more than six-million-copies-sold best seller,When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple. Both published and unpublished work are included on the website—but much is published and credited on the Credits Page. All is finished and has often been included in juried works, public presentations, workshops, and more will be added as collections are printed and in demand.

As an author, Cinda has received awards and grants from many, including the Peoria Area Arts Council/Illinois Arts Council, Lannan Foundation, Writers Live at the Library/Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Writer’s Digest, among many others. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her B.A. in English from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Now living with her husband and animal friends in Peoria, Cinda Thompson is a native of far Southern Illinois, whose ancestors immigrated from Kentucky, Tennessee, and beyond. She has taught all age groups, and worked for years in the textbook publishing industry. Cinda has held many “lesser jobs.” She came of age when becoming “a hippie” was the norm, and civil rights, as well as the war in Vietnam, wasthe biggest issue on “the table.” This was true locally and nationally.

A family history rich in coal mining, union organizing, as well as the student revolution and feminism inform Cinda’s work, as does the changing life of the family. She is interested in the lives of women and men, the power of relationships, and the spiritual journey of each individual. Cinda believes that the personal is political and vice-versa.

Namaste.

This is the “About” page for Living the Revolution, a website dedicated to the writing of Cinda Thompson. She is an extremely talented award-winning author and poet. She also happens to be my aunt.

Nearly a year ago, I helped her start her own blog, Diabetes: A Life Sentence?, which chronicles her 50+ year journey as a Type 1 diabetic. In starting this blog, she hoped to raise awareness about this terrible disease by writing on her experiences over the years. When she came to me to help her get this things started, I was happy to help out. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to create a website, and at this point, I’d only created this website, but I wanted to help. I knew she would bring some amazing insight and I wanted to be a part of it. She laid out what she wanted and soon after, type1ct.com went live. Since its inception, the site has done quite well, and I still stay involved with it, getting the new posts out when she’s ready to put out some new material.

It was a few months later that I created another website for myself, LukeNorris.net, which is my professional website that not only serves as a place where people looking for writing services can go to find out about what it is I can do for them, but it also serves as sort of a house for my body of work, my own personal cloud if you will. Every single thing I’ve ever written is on that site in the “Recent Work” section, including all of the pieces I’ve written for this site. Well, Cinda seemed to love that concept, and came to me with a new idea. She’s been writing for decades and decades, but has never really had a “web presence” as she puts it, and was looking to expand her reach, so we got to work.

Having designed a few websites now, I took a lot of time thinking about how I wanted this to look. I’ll be honest, Cinda is not a fancy person, so I wanted something simple, but I also wanted it to look elegant. This didn’t need to be flashy at all, so I tinkered around a bit, but finally ended up with the look you’ll see on the website, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I added a few pictures, and a sidebar with a little “About the Author” kind of thing, but the real content is inside. Sure, you can have a nice-looking website, but if the material isn’t there, then you have nothing. Obviously, this is where the heart of the website is. Off and on, I spent nearly a month adding the content that Cinda has spent years and years creating. From her beautiful poetry to her wonderful short stories to her powerful memoirs, we sat side by side going over each and every piece together, and it was absolutely amazing.

From a technical standpoint, this really was a lot of work. It’s not just copy and paste and you’re done. The spacing has to be just right. The look has to be just right. The font has to be just right. There’s a lot that goes into something like this, and I spent a lot of time putting this together, but she seems to be pleased with it. From a personal standpoint, it was an extremely rewarding experience. Did I get paid to do this? Of course I did. Things like this are what I do to put food on the table for my children and a roof over their head. Did she get a family discount? Of course she did. But that’s not even the point here. For one, I found that putting together something like this is just one more thing that I’ve found that I enjoy doing. We started with nothing and now there’s this amazing place to go to read some outstanding pieces of writing. Beyond even that, I got to spend time with her as we edited and published these things together. I got to read some work of hers that I didn’t even know existed until recently, and I can’t stress enough how great her writing is. By doing this, I realize that I’ve got some work to do to get on her level, but I’m so honored to know that she thought enough of me to put this project in my hands. Somebody that was featured in an anthology that sold millions of copies is asking my opinion on her work, and that kind of experience has no monetary value whatsoever. We have different styles, but at the end of the day, we are both writers, and I’m truly lucky to have her to learn from.

With all of that being said, the real point here is to go and check out the website. Once again, it’s called Living the Revolution, and you can find it at www.cindathompsonwriting.com. If you’re a real reader, then you will absolutely love what you find there. I’ve always been a big fan of poetry, and I can attest that it is fantastic. The memoirs are truly outstanding, and the short stories are written about the real things in life. As you read these things, you’ll understand what I’m talking about, and trust me, all you’ll want to do at the end of each piece is start the next one, and after a lot of time and effort, you can now do that with just a simple click.