How Dare You?! Freelance Follies

“Carla” offered me $200/month to produce 4 “list-type” articles a week for a parenting blog (for instance, “23 Ways to Swaddle Your Newborn” or whatever). The first three were enthusiastically accepted. I then wrote an article about Earth Day, which was rejected on the grounds that it was “too sparse,” even though it was about 500 words, standard for a blog post. (she even said I didn’t send her pictures when I clearly did. Weird.)

Carla sent me an email stating that she didn’t want to publish the article as is. The e-mail was offended in tone, as if EVERYONE has to like EVERYTHING everyone writes ALWAYS. I was a little confused by the attitude, but I cheerfully offered to re-write the article (really, why was this a big deal?). I asked her which ones she wanted me to nix, but she kept mentioning how she liked the first one in the list but hated the second one, leading me to believe she only read the first two in the article. She then told me she would let me know which ones she didn’t like after she “put her kids to bed.”

I never heard from her again. Like ever. Even when I sent her an email inquiring about my third article. Nada. Not even, “Just rewrite the whole thing, or send me a different article.” Not even, “I don’t want to work with you anymore.” It was a passive-aggressive breakup that left me perplexed and a little cranky.

After the jump is the article (without pictures). Not my best work, but was it really sever-all-ties bad?

April 22nd marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrate this milestone with your children by going green. Here are 8 Earth Day activities for the whole family.

1. Encourage your child to write a song.

The Song for the Earth contest is open to children under the age of 18. Any genre is accepted, and the winners will be flown to Washington D.C. to perform their songs live! Songs are accepted via mp3 through April 2nd. Check out the link above for more information.

2. Take a nature walk.

Nothing makes a person appreciate the natural world more than being out in it. Find nature trails in your area, and explore the plant and animal life. Bring along books to identify birds and flowers. Enjoy a picnic lunch by a rustling creek. Not only will a trip outdoors build a lasting memory for your child, but it will also build a respect for nature.

3. Create visual art.

Talk to your kids about the importance of conservation, and have them draw and paint the things they love about the environment, like trees, water, and animals. Have them make signs for around the home, such as “Recycling Goes Here!” or “Remember to Compost!” Print out Earth Day coloring pages (on recycled paper, of course!), and proudly display the finished work on the fridge.

4. Become photo-journalists.

It’s a scientific fact: kids love to take pictures (OK, so maybe it’s not scientific!). Exploit their love of photography by going on a photography session at the nearest park or woods and teaching them about the local wildlife. They’ll get a lesson, and you’ll get some beautiful pictures.

5. Take an eco-trip.

If you’ve got some vacation time saved up, why not take a family eco-tour? Enjoy the natural beauty of these United States, discovering the vast variety of landscapes, flora, and fauna. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, travel outside the country, and explore the wonders of the world.

6. Start a compost pile.

Do your part in keeping waste out of landfills while making your soil rich for plants by creating a compost pile. Check out this page for a detailed how-to (or Google compost pile). But keep in mind that your neighborhood might have rules regarding composting. Make sure you know the local regulations for a compost pile before you create one.

7. Day of service.

Give back to your community by completing a day of service with your entire family. Go to to search for volunteer efforts in your community, or check out local organizations. Not only will you be doing a lot of good, you’ll also teach your children a valuable lesson about service and gratitude. It’s a win-win!

8. Make a green meal.

Got budding chefs? Start your children on a lifetime of good food habits by making some green recipes using organic produce. Check out these recipes at Kaboose, or think up your own Earth Day treats.