A Goal for 2016, and something free

Happy New Year! I don’t like making resolutions, but I do like setting goals. (I love making lists, and a list of goals is better than a list of resolutions to me. I have better luck saying “I’m going to do X” instead of “I’m NOT going to do Y.”)

One of my goals for this year doesn’t have much to do with writing. At least, it didn’t at first. In my secret double life, I’m a graphic designer, but the majority of my work has been in print, and I’d like to strengthen my Web skills. Lately I’ve been messing around with some tutorials on a website called Skillshare, where I decided to take a tutorial on how to design apps for mobile devices. I always feel like a bit of a slacker if I’m not at least trying to learn something new, so I decided to pony up for a year’s subscription. (If you’re a freelancer, like I am, remember that these things are tax-deductible.)


They have a lot more than just Web and mobile design. People from professionals to dedicated amateurs will teach you everything from writing business plans to hand-lettering poster designs. (There’s even one on crocheting, but I don’t think I have the dexterity for that.)

You can probably see where this is heading. God help me, I decided to try putting together a tutorial of my own.

As you might know, I teach creative writing in the continuing education program at St. Louis Community College, and one of the classes I really enjoyed teaching was Writing Fiction for Young Adults. I didn’t get a chance to teach it last term, so I figured I’d take a unit from that class and see if I could translate it into an online DIY (all-up-in-your-eye) format. Check it out.

(Yes, this is the equivalent of your precocious child running into the house and waving a crayon drawing of—is that a cat? A dragon? A fire-breathing cat with wings? Anyway, put it up on the fridge and reinforce their self-esteem. What are you, a MONSTER?)

Wait, where was I? Oh, right. Check it out, and sign up if you like. (This tutorial I put together is free, and if you sign up on the site, you get access to all the free classes. I haven’t checked yet to see if the crocheting one is free.) If you like what the site offers, get a free month of premium membership (because some of the tutorials cost, and dagnabbit, nothing’s free anymore, is it? Well, except this one-month free offer. [Also, in the interests of full disclosure, if someone signs up for the premium then I get a bonus, which makes me a little uncomfortable, to be honest. So I say try out the free stuff and see if it’s worth your while.])

ANYWAY, after all that, click here if you’re interested in getting a free month of premium (just cancel before the month is up), and let me know if you try the one on crocheting, because I’m tempted….

Psst. If you like this, you might like my weekly completely unannoying newsletter. This week I sent out a short story that was a finalist in a recent contest. What’s coming next week? One way to find out: Click here to get started.