Hello 2011. Hope you make a good first impression.

30 12 2010

As you all know unless you’ve been passed out in a sugar-induced coma since Christmas, 2011 is almost upon us. Depending on where you live, it may already be New Year’s Eve. The rest of us still have a day and a half or so left in the year that was 2010. The year 2010 was a mixed bag for me, as it probably was for most of you.

On the good news front, I finally started the novel I’ve been waiting my whole life to write. On the bad news front, I’m not done with it yet. But I’ve had a lot of fun writing and rewriting it. I’ve learned a lot about writing by writing, if that makes any sense. I’ve been able to see weaknesses in my story as I go along and already am ready to add a prologue and rewrite chapter 11, all while working on chapters 22-24 simultaneously. Not too ambitious. To go along with this accomplishment, I also started this blog, started networking with other writers on Facebook and made many friendships and connections. I finally can think of myself as being an author, even if I’m not published yet.

On a professional front, it was a mixed bag as well. It seemd as though for every lead or apparent fresh start, there was a dead end or bump in the road. There were countless hours spent job hunting, dozens of interviews and lots of miles driven in pursuit of a possible full-time job. There also was a large amount of time spent finding and working on freelance work. I started working for Demand Studios (www.demandstudios.com), a Web site that provides articles to eHow and other similar informative sites.

Personally, it was exciting to see how my kids grew and changed over the year. Games played, lessons learned, inches grown. Many landmarks and benchmarks along the way. We spent five weeks in Florida, which also was a mixed bag. It was a fun, exciting adventure with some bumps in the road and a very rocky ending. But nothing can taint the great memories we made and the inspiration I received.

There was a hit song this summer that you probably heard, even if you aren’t a huge pop music fan. It was everywhere. It was called “Billionaire” and was sung by Travie McCoy of the group The Gym Class Heroes and Bruno Mars. The song goes, “I wanna be a billionaire so freakin’ bad. Buy all of the things I never had. Wanna be on the cover Forbes magazine. Smilin next to Oprah and the Queen. Oh every time I close my eyes. I see my name in shining lights. A different city every night oh I swear. The world better prepare for another billionaire.”

I have many goals for 2011, but one of them is not to become a  billionaire. I don’t think I want to be a billionaire. I am not even sure I want to be “famous.” I guess it depends on how you define “famous.” I don’t want to be recognized everywhere I go. I don’t want my life to be fodder for the tabloids. I don’t want to have an entourage. Of course, the odds of any of these things happening are less than the odds of Lindsey Lohan getting clean and sober.

“But, Tim,” you might be thinking. “Then why do you want to be a published author if not to get rich and famous.” Well, reader, here is my answer. I have a story to tell. Actually lots of stories to tell. I happen to think they are pretty good stories, that lots of people will enjoy reading. And I would like to get paid for telling them. So of course if someone wants to throw money at me for the privilege of printing my stories, I would never turn it down. But I want to be a published author because it’s what I’m supposed to do.

I’ve known since I was a kid that I loved to write and loved telling stories. For awhile, those stories took the form of newspaper articles, then editorials and columns, and finally advertising copy. This year, I finally got back to my true love, fictional story telling. I still have to do some of the other to pay the bills, at least for right now. I would love to have a time in the future where I can just write books full-time. Of course that is likely 10 or more years and lots of hard work down the road, but I believe it can happen.

So in 2010, I have gotten about 2/3 of the way done with my first book, decided that it would be the first in a series instead of a standalone book, and also written down lots of notes for other story ideas I will get to some day. What is my goal for 2011? Well by March, I will have the first draft of my book done. Then after getting it read by many friends and peers, I will rework it and rework it until I have a finished “masterpiece.” One year from now, I will have a release date to look forward to – a date when my book will appear in printed form on bookshelves across the country. While I am reworking my first novel, tentatively called “The Truth” for now, I will start working on the next book in the series. OK those may sound like lofty goals, but you have to dream big. I’m tired of playing it safe and thinking good things  can only happen to other people. 2011 is the year of Tim.

I also hope to continue to find new freelance opportunities, a step I have already put in motion by working with The Creative Group, a staffing agency in Cleveland that specializes in placing writers, editors and other creative types in freelance positions. This will help pay the bills until I can become a billionaire as a writer. I also will continue to look for full-time positions. If that is where God is leading me, then the right door will open.

Personally, I also have big dreams for 2011. I want to continue to watch my five kids grow and mature. They are all different and unique, but are all amazing kids. They are all so creative and love art and music and dance and acting and writing. Chips off the old block. Most of all, I just want them to be healthy and happy in 2011. That’s my hope for all my friends and family. I also hope 2011 is the year Erin and I finally tie the knot. Are you reading this, Erin? I love Erin with all my heart. These last 5 1/2 years have been a roller coaster ride with many trials and tribulations, but through it all, I’m glad I’ve been able to share it with her. She is a beautiful, talented, caring woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with and I hope we can make it official in the new year.

To any of you reading this, I wish you a healthy and happy and prosperous new year. May your 2011 be better than your 2010.

I can’t wait to see where this new year takes me. I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and guide it where it needs to go. Hope you come along for the ride.

Exciting new campaign – Help stop violence against women

1 12 2010

I am many things. A father. A boyfriend. A brother. A son. A friend. A writer. But most of all, I am a human being – a human being who believes all humans should be treated fairly and equally. No one should be discriminated against or abused because of their race, gender, religion or any other trait.

My fiancee Erin and I are co-owners of Addison’s Compass Public Relations (www.addisonscompass.com). And besides doing PR/marketing work for our clients, we also believe strongly in using our talents to help a variety of charities or projects. Erin is on the board of the Ashland County Cancer Association and previously served on the board of the Ashland County United Way. I volunteer my time and talents for those organizations as well. Now, we are partnering with people around the world on a new, very important project – The Pixel Project (http://thepixelproject.net). I hope after you hear about it, you’ll be willing to help out, too. There are a few ways you can help.

We are looking for PR practitioners around the country to help us get the word out about this project. If you are interested, you can e-mail either Erin or myself at erin@addisonscompass.com or tim@addisoncompass.com

Also, you can help by spending just $1. Below I am pasting the release to announce the campaign and explain the project more fully.


Dear Friends and Family:

 We are writing to invite you to be among the first participants in a new and groundbreaking online fundraising campaign by The Pixel Project (http://www.thepixelproject.net), a global volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation working to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power to end violence against women. 

The Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign is their flagship fundraiser that will raise US$1 million for the Women’s Aid Organisation (http://www.wao.org.my/) of Malaysia & the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://www.ncadv.org/) in the US. 

How? By unveiling, pixel by pixel, an exclusive mystery collage of celebrity male role model portraits. As each pixel is removed, more of the picture will be unveiled. With pixels costing only US$1 each and the smallest donation amount set at US$5, everyone can take part!

 Between November 25 and December 9, you can get a head start on the campaign through Pledge for Pixels. Simply log in to the Pledge for Pixels page  (http://www.thepixelproject.net/community-buzz/the-pledge-for-pixels-campaign/ ) page and enter the number of pixels you pledge to buy once the campaign launches. Your name and country will appear on the Honour Roll of Pixel Pledges and then on our list of donors once you fulfill your pledge! 

The full campaign launches December 10, so this is your chance to get in there and make a difference now!

 It would be wonderful if you could forward this email request to your family members, friends and relevant mailing lists to help us drum up even more support!

Thanks a lot for your support. It’s time to end violence against women. Together. 

With warmest thanks and regards,

The Pixel Project Team

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