I haven’t posted much in April and May because I’ve been involved in a) daily visits to the hospital to see a dying friend, b) three weekend trips for a home & garden tour, a church retreat at the beach, and a family reunion, c) spring housecleaning — including fixing up the deck, d)and yes, more conferences. I paid for an interview with a well-established local writer who has been successful in getting face-to-face meetings with national publications just by showing up. Of course, she had a fistful of clips and clever ideas to bring with her. So, I’m considering a trip to DC to possibly meet with some mags I’ve queried unsuccessfully, but I’ve got to work on the pitch a lot first. She also plays the numbers game of sending out lots of queries. Her advice is to find a venue and then come up with the angle. She warned me not just to look up indexes of past topics — but to carefully review the writing style of the periodical. It’s hard to get noticed without a lot of clips. Being a staff writer for 20 years is a definite drawback, plus I took a few years out to do a book and then to be a caregiver, etc. It’s always easier to find excuses of why I don’t have time to write than it is to come up with ideas that interest me enough to want to write about. My range of interests are about a mile wide and an inch deep. I spent 6 months of research on just one feature story that only netted $750, but I did get a clip.