Heaven or Nah?(the conclusion )

Taking my hand, this man who felt new and old to me, I let him lead me through the beautiful, forest. The sun, about three suns shone brightly. There was no darkness, no shadows.

Wanna know the super cool, mysterious inspiration for this story? Click to skip to it!

Then roughly, I am pulled tight up against him. Our naked bodies- whatever they were made of, felt a thousand times more sensitive than on earth. Many tingles rippled throughout my body, causing me to moan.

Suddenly it all came to me.

Tipping my head up with a finger, the handsome being drags his lips across mine like twin feathers rubbing against each other. His arms wrapped about my waist and then our lips pressed harder.

His mouth was a like a vacuum sucking me up into the feeling, into his lips and his touch.

Teeth, tongue, mouths wet clashed and clanged against each other full of unnatural want and need.

My heart, wherever that was, beat loud in my ears. My spirit was incendiary and instead of seeing colors. I FELT them.

“Who are you?” I asked after we pulled away. I had to gasp for breath. I couldn’t help but stare at and through this magnificent man. “I think I know you.”

The right side of his mouth curled into a smile. A wicked, sexy one. “You know me, Nanine. I am yours back there.”

My skin prickled in confusion and excitement. Both his large hands rubbed down the length of my arms. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Which suddenly looked like small, twin planets. In them and through them, I saw what looked like stars, bursts of light and a shadow of doubt and of love.

Beautiful.

“Adin. My name is Adin.” He said wearily.

“Adin! The love of my life!??” My brain snapped back to the past. The white hospital room, the alcohol scent, sick smells, the wailing of my family. My boyfriend, Adin.

The cancer that ate my life.

I am dead. But what am I now?

“You are one of us.”

“Wait. One of you?” I pull back farther. I am happy to see Adin, but what was he doing here?

Once again, he heard my silent question.

“I am with everyone in their final hour, Nanine.” His brows furrowed. “I have always been with you. Exclusively in your last hours though.”

“No. We. We dated. We were planning to get married. Remember?” Sunlight began drift from over his face, slowly and his skin began to lose its glow., a beautiful shade of navy and purple midnight crossed his handsome features.

“We have been together some time, Nanine. I, particularly like you, but I am not what you’ve been thinking. You already know my name, don’t be afraid to say it.”

The words bubbled in my subconscious. His name floated on every wind trail, every cell of my body. It was in every kiss. Every whispered conversation.

Every look.

The name that was ancient and forever. An ancient forever name, an event no one can escape.

“The cold one. The one that should not have been. A perfect, exact non-discriminatory design.”

His eyebrow raised. His full lips twitched.

Death.” I said as the suns dipped lower and we were finally cloaked in darkness. I heard the humming of women and children. A gentle tune of sorrow and loss. But saw no one. It was just us.

He nods solemnly, his long brown hair and brawny body, lithe and muscular, shimmers and shifts to a more pale color, a design slowly crawls over his left torso, down his left rib cage. Ink. Ebony ink, in the shape of a huge, black scorpion.

Gone were the rainbows, the squirrels- life. We both stood in a dark forest. I did not hurt. There was no devil chasing me.

“You can move around however you wish here. There is a boundary you can not go beyond though.” He points behind me and up into the sky where I see a silver lining arc across the night sky.

“So this isn’t, heaven? Is there a heaven?”

“Heaven….” He comes over to me and take my hand. His feels like a solid block of ice. “Heaven is in your mind.”

“Then the churches and the bible was wrong.”

He did not flinch when I said bible. Wasn’t he bad or something? Evil? Did he believe in God’s word? Funny I should be this judgmental in the afterlife.

“Actually, darlin’ the bible is a snippet of stories woven together to tell truths based off of personal experiences. I can not say it is completely wrong, but your finite minds cannot grasp the whole truth.” He lands another soft kiss on my lips, surprising me by how soft and cold his kiss is. “But you accepted me and kept your mind open. Which is why you’re here.”

Adin went on to explain that others before me, made it here, but are in another location. Others who pass on, stay in darkness forever, their minds shut down. He called it ultimate hell.

With a thought, I wished it light again. I wished for the silver blue oasis of water and the birds and squirrels and it made my Adin happy. When I opened my eyes again…all had come true.

Unfortunately he told me there are men, women, and children whom he granted the Kiss of Death to and I felt a familiar pang in my chest. Could be jealousy, not sure. But I watch his naked back as it turns away and walks into the clearing of the forest, the ground lighting up as he walks his path and into some void I can not see. A path where he will collect more of the dying.

I wonder if I will be alone here forever…

*****************

©Copyright 2017 Ericajean

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to my Flash Walk story.

***BONUS: What inspired me to write this story?***

A few years back, I had a dream that I was “trapped” in this wooden gazebo thingee. It was big enough all around but I could touch the smooth glass and peek through it looking at life all around me. Somehow, without anyone telling me, I knew I was dead.

The gazebo kept me encased where “the dead belong” but I was floating and there were others around me in these small gazebos.

Inside me a voice said, I can move about but not past the gazebo, because then my spirit would fall.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for more blog posts and stories this month!

 

Should You Use Apps to Write Your Resume?(Part 4)

Using Apps
Design by Ericajean using Canva

 

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft Word has the templates for everything from planners and calendars to resumes.*I’m a bit biased, I am a Windows/Microsoft user. Always have been.

*My favorite website, Skillcrush, just published a blog post on how to create the perfect resume and includes a FREE 30+ page eBook for you. I am reading it now! Grab it up here!

 

Want more amazing resources? Skip below to find out so much more on creating a dynamic resume.

Now, the fun part is finding out which apps are better to use and then I will give my own tips and reasons why they should be used in conjunction with real resume writing!

Want to skip the juicy tidbits and find out if using an app is good? Go ahead and skip(but at least read the post later…make me happy)

*VisualCV at www.visualcv.com

Imagine having an app- right on your phone, that allows you to simply input your information into fields and then spit out a neatly organized, decorated resume you can download to your mobile device and share?

Yep, that’s Visual CV for you.

I downloaded the app last month to my android, and had a ball with it! You can even sign in with your LinkediIn account.

You can use the app on your PC as well.

The really cool feature of VisualCV is the Share feature. You can literally click on the link and save as PDF to share or print, or share online(remember to exercise caution with this).

The downside to this app is that I am still getting used to all the “bells and whistles” of it. On the mobile app some features could be made more clear. I had to figure it out on my own. Outside of that, I will use it again.

 *11 Tried and True Resume Creators

This post would be very long if I listed every single resume creator out there and to tell the truth, I’ve only used Visual CV and the next one below. But click here for the top listings of FREE resume creator apps. I enjoyed reading this list.

*Good Ol’ Microsoft Word

Now, one app that is a classic and involves a little more “elbow grease”, is the Microsoft Method(I lovingly call it).

Click here to pick out a template that suits you and follow the online instructions.

Most people would rather skip this part because it requires your to actually write. Don’t be scared. We all need to do this.

 *When all else fails…

Create your own resume from scratch in your own word processing program.

Years ago I did this. I was not sure about margins, centering and what to bold and underline, but it felt good to write my own resume and you should feel good writing your own.

So, what’s the verdict? Is it good to use an app or not?
Sure it is good, you just have to plan it all out first, then use their forms.

Oh Gee! We’re at the End  😦

Well, we’ve come to the end of the resume writing adventure. I sincerely hope that the resources and blog posts helped you at least a little on your journey to finding that good job.

Remember to share this post on your social networks and comment below if you have questions or tips. Sharing is caring!

It is a brand new year and definitely a new you in the making.

The focus of this blog series was on resume writing only, however if you want to find places to submit your resume, learn how to write cover letters and other information, please seek the resources listed below.

Sincerely,

Copyright©2017 Ericajean for The Write Web

*******************
Resources:
www.indeed.com- also can be downloaded as an app to your mobile device. Find jobs tailored to your search and submit applications/resumes instantly!

Your local unemployment office Onlinedon’t sleep on this! Your local unemployment office is a Google away. Google your state(+) unemployment commission and find jobs that could be lurking around under your radar.

www.monster.com- just like Indeed and other job banks, you can submit your resume here and use it to apply to any job you see(you may have to upload a different resume for each job you wish to apply for).

Knock ‘em Dead Resumes by Martin Yate(November 2016)- I’m telling you. This book is gold!

Professional Writing at Work by Philip C. Kolin(2009)- without this book, I would have been without the knowledge I have now. It inspired me to write this series, actually! Check it out!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links sprinkled all through this post. This simply means that if you decide to purchase any of these products, I could get a couple of pennies off of it. Literally. Pennies.

How to Create a Cyber Cute Resume(Part 3)

cyber-cute-resume
Photo found on pexels.com/Designed by Ericajean using Canva

Gone are the days of just typing up your resume and printing them out to send to prospective employers.

Welcome to creating an online resume. An online friendly version of your resume that WILL capture the employer’s attention!

Keywords and SEO  matter in resumes.

After you’ve completed parts 1 and 2 in the Write Resumes 2017 series, we can now create the cyber cute resume!

Skip to a sample of an online resume!

Step 1: Create and Make it Plain

Just like a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese on top, your online resume should be sweet and to the point.. So the first step is to create your resume in your favorite word processing program or in HTML.

Step 2: Don’t be too Fancy!

No bold, no underline, no borders, no cute drawings, no photos- nothing goes into an online resume . We are trying to get your resume easily scanned by the database “crawlers and bots”

Step 3: Keywords

Now look at your employer’s ad. What keywords are they using in the ad? You would want this first and foremost in your resume. Trust me. You could get a phone call if this is all done right.

Skip to a sample of an online resume!

Remember to use relevant keywords pertaining to your strengths and job ad, throughout the resume. Important!

Step 4: Edit your resume then send it online.

Remember, save as an ASCII plain text file!

Where should you send it?

To your employer’s site, or visit wonderful sites like monster.com, indeed.com, or hotjobs.com. I like them all.

Important Cyber Resume Info and Tips!

Why is the cyber resume so darn important?

It is important because more and more employers are doing less reading and more “scanning” of resumes, typically spending just 30 seconds or less on a resume.

If the first part of your resume does not catch their eye or offer the keywords they are looking for, your resume will be obliterated to internet hell.

The cyber resume is saved as a plain text and require less fancy “schmancy” stuff because it can come up confusing and crazy on databases. You want your resume clearly read and ACCEPTED.

Now, keywords.

Why do I keep emphasizing that, even in the earlier posts?

Because keywords matter. Just like metadata and keywords matter in a blogpost and website, so too for an online resume- because it is an ONLINE resume.

See Illustration of all these steps below! Notes in red. This resume has been fictionalized a tiny bit LOL

______________

Ericajean
Rain200(at)msn(dot)com  *Here, I am keeping the CONTACT info simple. You do not want to send too much information online.
________________________________________________________________
OBJECTIVE
Full time or part time opportunity as a bank teller.*Make sure this part is as clear as possible. What position are you applying for exactly?

CAREER KEYWORDS
Accounting, Administrative duties, clerical, Microsoft Office Suite, communications, office technology, organized, team player *These keywords were pulled from my own actual experience and the job ad. Honesty is key here.

EDUCATION *Notice how all major headings are in all caps? This is perfect. Just don’t bold!
College, A.S. degree awarded in May 2006
Sociology/Business, major
GPA 4.0 *Update: This part can be done away with now. Employers don’t care too much about your GPA.

CLERICAL SKILLS*Now we are using terminology and headings found in the job ad. Again, keep it honest.
Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office Word and Excel, as well as Power Point and Access.
Typing speed estimated round 45 wpm.

CASH HANDLING SKILLS
Efficient and accurate when handling money. *This is exactly what the job ad was looking for.
Deliver amazing customer service in all situations.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
*Adapt quickly to most environments.    *For each skill, I used an *(asterisk) and nothing more. This is ok.
*Great speaking tone.
*Experience in customer service sector.
*Work well with any staff.

EXPERIENCE *Now here, I can admit that I have zero actual banking experience and in some cases you will still get a phone call if you used proper keywords and emphasize your strengths.
+Dispatcher answering multiple phone lines, organizing incoming and outgoing files while also preparing payroll part time, Thomas Nelson CC Campus Police Hampton, Va
+Cashier; complete transactions using POS system, set customer service goals, solve customer problems with efficiency and compassion, Food Lion, Newport News, Va

_____________

See you in the next and final Resume 2017 post this week!

Resources:

Information was gleaned from Philip C. Kolin’s “Professional Writing at Work“(2009)

How Barbie and Ken Helped Shape My Writing Skills

Odd, huh?

Plastic people helped me write? Those perfectly painted faces, long hair, and Ken’s fake pecs actually could have shaped my writing life today?barbie-collector

I think so!

Today I was thinking, how does me playing with Barbie dolls back in the day help to shape my writing? How is that possible? I kid you not, the answer hit me like a pile of broken Barbie legs and cars.

Barbies have taught me how to use my imagination at the drop of a hat, how to create flash stories and how to connect with friends.

I am now in my 30s(gulp!) and these principles remain with me as I write.

Barbie Doll Playing Incites the Imagination

I had all kinds of Barbies, the pink haired one, Totally Hair Barbie with the awesome colorful skirt you can paint all over, Ken dolls, African American dolls, you name it.

With all these plastic people, I had to come up with something!

Along with books, my parents bought me and my sisters Barbie dolls, and so we would set up the doll house, clear our small room and the entire place was hooked up, lit up with the Barbie swimming pool with real water.

Then one Christmas, we received that beautiful, hot as heck pink Barbie Corvette and then…

jaguar-box
Image found on joeslist.com

We played.

“What’s the story for today?” Um, Totally Hair meets Black Ken, or, Fashion Barbie will finally let her hair down and ride in the Corvette…without a chauffer….

I tell ya, the memories I am having right now, of the thousands of stories each Barbie doll brought out of my imagination- makes me nostalgic to a high degree.

You see, I didn’t need pen and paper. I had the fake people to use.

Playing Barbies Was My First Flash Story Lesson

I love writing at the drop of a hat.

When my parents had company over(adults fun time, I guess), it was time to go upstairs.

What to do now?

I had the Nintendo and Sega Genesis, but after a while I got tired of using controls to control something on a screen.

I wanted to brush hair, and create little Barbie sitcoms.

Looking around my room, I’d switch on more light and grab the Barbies, the large house and this time, even the My Little Pony land with the ponies!

Quick, as lightning I created a plot in my mind and would have the Barbies interact with one another. Sometimes, I even ran a series, like a soap opera.

barbie-and-ken-doll
Image from thanksmailcarrier.com

 

 

Sadly, after a while, a couple of friends and girl cousins thought I was losing it. We were young too, like maybe ten or eleven- I could have been eleven going on twelve though; and I guess playing with Barbies was suddenly too childish for them to do anymore.

That was my first taste of what loving what I do could possibly make someone ostracize themselves from me.

You learn as a writer, to have tough skin.

Doesn’t lessen the pain though…

Through Barbie I Learned How to Network

On a really bright side, I met others like me!

Besides my sister, I’ve met friends who had more of a love of Barbie playing than even me!

We formed instant friendships and one of my old friends had a Barbie land. A freakin’ Barbie land set up in her home!

She had what seemed like dozens of Barbie dolls. I was in heaven! Plastic heaven!

We would collaborate, bring our stories together and made sure to let our parents know that we must meet again soon to continue this.

Imagination. Flash Story Creation. Networking.

Sound familiar?

It should, this is what we do here as bloggers who tell stories. At first, I thought it would be a bit of a stretch to mention how Barbie helped me to be a blogger/ writer but playing with toys and using your imagination are tools- FREE tools, which helps build the creative muscle.

In fact, using your imagination is what aids in creating worlds and characters in the first place.

Like, comment, and subscribe if you feel what I am saying.

What experiences in your past may have shaped you as writer?

I’d love to hear 🙂

Ericajean

*Disclaimer: There are affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post! 😉

The Anatomy of a Resume(Part 2)

ideasimage
Ideas image from Pixabay

A quick recap from last week, remember to have confidence while preparing your resume. Up to this point, you should have chosen that one job you want. Now we get into the nitty gritty!

Skip to some EXTRA special tips to beef up that resume!

What you need to include in your resume remains the same:

  • Contact information
  • Objective/summary
  • Experience
  • Education
  • References

Contact Information

This is where your name, email, phone number and website will go. How you style this is up to you, we will go over style and amazing apps to create your resumes in another post. For now common sense and the experts agree: do not use unprofessional emails(like sugarqueen(at)aol.com, or lickItNicely100), refrain from those please. Just create a free account using your name. Mine would be ericajean(at)something(dot)com. Get it?

Career Objective/Summary

This is the really important part. In fact Philip C. Kolin, author of Professional Writing at Work states:

Create an objective that precisely dovetails with the prospective employer’s requirements.”(p.143)

What does that even mean?

This means in step one of preparing your resume, the job ad listed some things required.

Your objective should match that(this is why you will make more than one resume pertaining to what industry you are looking to get hired. One resume can not be used for several different industries).

Kolin says you should ask your self four questions to help you build your objective: 1) What kind of job do I want? 2) What kind of job am I qualified for? 3) What capabilities do I possess(look at your confident skills list)? 4) What kind of skills do I want to learn?

Here is an example from one of my resumes:

Experienced educator using my proven skills in instruction and communication to help increase literacy in students of any age.”

What’s new for this section, is that now it is pretty cool to come up with a brand descriptor of yourself. Something like: Self Starter with a Decade of Customer Service Skills.

This would typically appear right before your career objective. Again, we’ll talk about designing and styling your resume later.

Education or Experience?

Which should go first?

Generally if you have more experience, please list that first on the resume.

If you are a recent graduate, list your education first and for experience make sure to list any pertinent volunteering you’ve done or internships and sometimes I have even listed courses I have taken that matches the job I am going for.

Example: Completed 25 hours in major courses in finance, accounting, economics….

References

Should this even be included?

It is up to you.

Simply stating “Available upon request”-without the quotation marks, should be fine. I keep a separate file of current references available as a PDF just in case the job requests it.

Extra Tips

Now, I can’t leave you hanging. There is more you should understand about the anatomy of a resume.

Words and style DO matter.

First, when you are writing your resume, make sure you use action verbs throughout it.

Words such as “calculated, accomplished, taught, weighed, won, worked” and more are examples.

These words are “action terms”- things you have done. Hiring managers love to see what you have done. My favorite is “spearheaded” the word reminds me of a shark in a suit…okay, you can laugh(138)

Second, which style resume would work for you? Functional or chronological?

This is important to think of before we start plugging information into a resume app.

Chronological is what it implies. It chronicles your job and education experience, “especially if you show a continuity toward progress in your career”(147). Here is an example of a chronological resume.

Now, if you are like me and have changed jobs frequently and have been a nontraditional student, a functional resume would suffice. A functional resume focuses on abilities gathered from education, coursework, extracurricular activities and so on. Here is an example of a functional resume.

Whew! Glad we are done with this part.

Your Turn!

Now get out a sheet of paper and jot down information for each of those sections. Think of word choice and the terms the job ad uses. This is important. I will tell you how important in the last post. For now, get to working, look at the examples provided.

Learn from the examples if anything else.

I’ll see you in the next post 😉

Become an Exceptional Book Blogger

 

 

brazenpromoforfb1

Ever wanted to become part of a special, online book club?

Like a haven for bookworms? Ever wanted to explore which online platforms you should use to do so and where to find those free ARCs(Advanced Reader Copies)?

Order now with the 50% discount code: EUREKA50.

Sale ends February 28th!

Lisa Siefert is bringing you an amazing book to demonstrate just how to show love to your audience through exceptional book blogging. In it you will find information on:

  • Platform setup
  • WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Squarespace
  • List building
  • How to Review books

Take the plunge and begin an incredible book blogging journey today.

Don’t forget to comment down below and subscribe for more posts! 🙂

The One Thing You Need Before Writing a Resume

resumeweek1
Image found on Unsplash/Design by Ericajean using Canva

Has been edited as of 2/24/2017

“You got to have faith-a faith-a  faith-ah!” Crooned the late George Michael.

Or, here’s another one: “Confidence always wins.”

When you are preparing to write your resume, please begin with an open, positive mind.

Click to Skip to the Steps

You may be stuck in a job you literally cry before going to(Okay, maybe that’s something I would do), but you have a wealth of knowledge and skills to place on that gorgeous, waiting- to -be written resume. Believe it!(Thank you, Naruto)

I have perused several “How to Write a Resume” books and they are wonderful gems to explore. But they can take a long time because of they list so many steps. All important, but, you know- time crunch here!

P.S. I have just started my new career search and I am excited! These tips I am showing you is what helped me to get two calls in one day. I am hoping to have the same winning streak again.

Prep in Two Easy Steps!

First, jot down ALL the skills you do have(confidence!) in one column.

Second, hunt for those top three jobs you want. Make sure you have at least 2-3 skills that match what they want. You may star these skills, highlight them, whatever. Just make sure you have at least 2-3 skills they are looking for.

 

Confidence is the one thing you need. Develop that winning attitude today!

P.S. Confidence is required in an interview too…Just sayin’ 😉

xoxo,

Erica

Helpful Resources

*Rockport Institute– “Help people choose careers since 1981″(According to their website)

*Knock ‘Em Dead Resumes– A must read that has helped people get the phone call!