9 Schmoozing Techniques for Networking

pexels-photo.jpg

In the world of business communication, we do a lot of schmoozing. It’s not a bad word; it’s not taboo—it’s what we do. We have to know how to mingle with finesse. It’s the art of schmoozing, and I think Urban Dictionary defines it best as: Talk that is business oriented, designed to both provide and solicit personal information but avoids overt pitching. Most often an artifact of ‘networking.’

So there you have it.

Now, how do you execute the schmooze like a pro?

I’ve done enough schmoozing over the years to offer a few pointers, especially for recent graduates, soon-to-be graduates, or those coming back in the game or switching careers. Overall, these would be my top nine recommendations…

  1. Have a firm handshake (but not too hard) and look people in the eyes. Staying engaged during the few minutes that you converse can make a big impression.
  2. Stay abreast of current news and issues so that should someone make a comment about world or national events, you are up on the issues. With today’s access to Twitter (most of my students say they get their news their first and then click to read stories) and online news site, you can scan the headlines and continue reading stories that may be conversation starters.
  3. Don’t be too serious. When you are schmoozing at functions, meet-and-greets, business mixers, or any type of events, be sure not to talk solely about business. Sometimes the last thing people want to talk about at functions involve actual business issues. The most important thing is to be likeable.
  4. Be genuine. No one likes a phony. You don’t need to try too hard. Just be yourself. People typically like the real thing.
  5. Remember people’s names. One of the great tricks to remembering people’s names is, after you have been introduced, say the person’s name back to them. For example, the person may put out his hand for a shake and say, “Hi, I’m Bob.” You reply, “Hi Bob, nice to meet you. I’m Brian.” This is a good habit to get into and may help you remember people when you are meeting many new faces in one setting. Also, try to zone in on one thing you might have in common–it can help you remember people after the event is done.
  6. Don’t be too pushy. If you have a card, you can offer it. “May I give you my card in case you need anything?” Or, if you’d like to get that person’s card, ask in the same manner. “May I get a business card from you?” This is not the time to pitch too hard.
  7. Be positive. Don’t use the opportunity to meet new people as a therapy session to dump on your current employer, job, or rank. No one likes to mingle with Debbie Downer. Stay upbeat and light. Not too much heaviness.
  8. Ask people questions. Don’t monopolize the conversation, and be sure to pick people’s brains about various subjects. Stay curious–you’ll learn a lot more that way.
  9. Keep conversations brief and try not to linger too long. One of the great things about an event worthy of schmoozing is that you want to talk to as many people as possible. Making connections—sometimes lasting ones that can turn into meaningful jobs or friendships—is the goal, after all.

pexels-photo-551657.jpeg

Flash Fiction from a Writing Prompt

pexels-photo-607013.jpeg**

In the classes I teach at Stevenson University, students know that I have the propensity to use writing prompts in class to get them writing creatively and telling little stories. Their purpose? Simply to practice writing.

Often, when I have the inclination to write something but am in-between novels, I use writing prompts a lot. There are three main reasons to use a writing prompt:

  1. It gets you writing (as stated above) and thinking creatively.
  2. It gets you thinking in way you may not have been thinking when you started staring at the blinking cursor and allows you to take a writing journey.
  3. It can turn into something wonderful.

Years ago, I wrote a prompt that I loved so much, I used portions of it in my first novel. You can click here to see that particular piece writing if you would like.

I like the idea of someone giving me an idea to write about because it pushes me, just as those I give the students push them. It’s also fun to see where students take the prompts. For example, Student X might take the story one way, Student Y might take it another way, and Student Z might take it in an entirely different direction. That’s the beauty of prompts and of writing: we imagine things differently, and sharing that journey is exciting.

A website I use to garner writing prompts comes from Writing Exercises UK.

Today, I got the first line for the prompt from that site, and I’m going to share what I did with it. It’s totally rough, because that’s what writing prompts should be. They are a launching pad to see if you want to explore it further when you are done.

I hope you take the time utilize writing prompts to see where your creativity may take you.

Enjoy the writing journey.

***
The first line generator gave me this first line:

There was a legend about the well in the garden…

Here’s the story.
pexels-photo-943700.jpeg
There was a legend about the well in the garden. Groundskeepers said the well held a secret to the old home and its matron, Cynthia LaMontagne, who lived on the property for all 100 years of her life. Born on the second floor to her own mother, Cynthia inherited the home upon her parents’ deaths and raised all eight of her own children on the property. The secret of the well was not a pretty one, and it reflected a haunting tale that left me searching for answers after spending time on the grounds of the old estate, set in the hills of France.
You see, I was not personally acquainted with Cynthia LaMontagne until she was eighty, and I was a college graduate back in 1998, the youngest of three children of Cynthia’s son, Martin, who had met an American woman, my mother, and moved to the United States in his early thirties. My father and his mother spoke only rarely and upon occasions when it was mandatory. However, it had been promised to me for ten years that upon my college graduation and at my grandmother’s urging that I would get to spend a month with her on the large estate in France so that I could see a little bit of Europe before I began a career in advertising in New York City.
I did not speak French, which would make conversations with Cynthia challenging, but my father had very nicely hired a local French woman who was bilingual as a translator to help with that. Despite turning eighty the summer I visited, she didn’t look much like eighty at all. She was a thin woman, with a strong nose and inset blue eyes. Her hair was white, but long, and she wore it in a bun on the top of her hair.
When I first arrived to Vue Sur Le Jardin, I was in awe of the expansive balcony on the second floor with vistas of the gardens—wildflowers everywhere—and of course, a small vineyard on the left side of the property. The house itself was not massive, but the grounds were. New York City has its skyscrapers and glittery skyline, but the view from that balcony was one to be envied.
“Bien?” my grandmother asked, smiling, seeing me taking in the scenery. It was an awkward initial greeting, hugging each other gently, the two of us having never met in person.
“Oui.”
On that first day, the translator had not yet arrived, and so Cynthia and I were content with lots of smiling and gesturing. Thankfully, the next morning, Helen arrived to take over on day two and to help me communicate with Cynthia. We sipped our coffees on the veranda, and she seemed like a nice person.
“Aimeriez-vous vous promener dans les jardins pour que je puisse vous connaître?” Helen asked. I looked at her squarely.
“I’m sorry, Madamoiselle. Would you like to stroll that gardens so that I may get to know you?” she asked in very broken English.
“Yes,” I said.
We began our descent to the main lawn, a rolling hill, with trees atop blowing in the wind. We came upon the wishing well, covered in ivy, wildflowers growing in all directions around it.
“C’est charmant,” I said, trying to practice my French so as to not disappoint.
“Yes,” Helen said. “It is charming, but there is a story, you see. One we don’t speak of.”
I looked at her puzzled. It always felt like something had been missing from my father’s stories, and there were not many. When I asked about his youth, he always dismissed them as good, with little elaboration. It was apparent standing among these gardens that I knew nothing about my father’s younger days. How could he not have told me all about the estate of Vue Sur Le Jardin?
“But you have to tell me. I’ve come all this way to understand my father’s upbringing and get to know my own grandmother who I’ve only just met in person yesterday.”
“I cannot speak it,” Helen said.
“But you must now,” I said.
Helen looked away with fear. Something had rattled her very core, as we stood among the beauty, a picturesque paradise annointed with flowers and stone paths highlighted by an abundance of sunlight.
“Your father’s sister, you see,” Helen said pointing to the well.
“My father’s sister is in the well?”
“I’m afraid the sad story is that your father’s sister was pushed and died in the well…”
***
To be continued…maybe.purple-grapes-vineyard-napa-valley-napa-vineyard-39351.jpeg

Wednesday Wardrobe – The Floral Maxi Dress

AdamireI’m getting spring fever, you guys.

I want to wear pretty things that feel like summertime. I’m ready to be in flip flops, flouncy dresses, big hats, and sunglasses.

So today, I’m featuring a dress from Express that I got at a consignment store–in perfect condition. There’s a lot to be said for quality consignment stores. I pop into our local shop a couple of times a month just to see what great finds may be waiting just for me.

I shop everywhere, though. Nordstrom. Ann Taylor Loft. Kohl’s. Target. Macy’s. Boden. Sundance. I’m all over the place, because I like to try different things.

So here’s one of two maxi dresses I’ve picked up so far this season–I’ll be wearing them both all summer and on our two vacations.

The hat is from Marshall’s.

Orange mules are from DSW by Kelly & Katie.

Sunglasses are Foster Grant.

Summer. We are waiting.


Friday Fiction: Dr. DeCarlo’s Patient

pexels-photo-263402.jpegHappy Friday, readers!

I’ve been working on some additional short stories that I’ll be adding to my collection I’m putting together for a summer release.

For years, I’ve been envious of Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the novel Twilight. Apparently, the story goes that she dreamed it and turned it into a novel. How does she get so lucky to have a story come into her subconscious like that, I’ve wondered. What a stroke of brilliance.

Well, it finally happened to me the other night. This story was a dream, as if I were watching it on the big screen. I woke up the next morning and wrote it, sent it off to my friend Elizabeth who gave it a blessing, spruced it up a little, and I’m sharing it today.

It’s a WIP (work in progress), so there is still more to be done, but as I am never too afraid to show my writing or talk about the process of writing, I thought I’d post it today for Friday Fiction.

Here’s my newest short story, Dr. DeCarlo’s Patient (and yes, his name was actually in my dream).

***

doctor-medical-medicine-health-42273.jpeg

DR. DeCARLO’S PATIENT (copyright April 6, 2018 | Stephanie Verni

Dr. DeCarlo checks into the hospital at four o’clock in the afternoon. By seven that night, he has seen numerous patients with injuries and ailments ranging from an elderly woman who has fallen and broken her hip to a child with an asthmatic reaction to a teenager who has been hit in the face with a baseball by a batter during a local high school game. On any given day, Dr. DeCarlo sees to patients, caring for them all the same way: with a direct, warm approach and comprehensive analysis to try to heal their traumas that have brought them to the emergency room at all hours of the day or night.

At exactly ten thirty-five, Dr. DeCarlo runs his fingers through his dark hair and scratches his chin. His skin is tanned from playing golf, a benefit of living in the south, his one recreational activity he plays frequently that relaxes and revives him. It’s by far his favorite de-stressor from work, and he squeezes in a round or two of at least 9-holes a couple of days a week. A car accident victim is arriving in the ambulance and his associate gives him a head’s up having heard the ambulance call. He finishes up with the woman who has broken her hip as she is being prepped for surgery with another doctor—the poor lady, scared to death and worried—and begins his walk to where he will meet the accident victim. He needs a cup of coffee, but it must wait. His back is tired from bending over for the majority of the afternoon, and he is burdened by the fact that he must return Sophia’s call, which popped up on his cellphone over three hours ago. Dialing her number doesn’t interest him at all, but he knows it’s something he will eventually have to do.

The woman being wheeled out of the ambulance is semi-conscious, and he sees her face is bruised, her nose bleeding. There’s a gash over her left eye. Her hand is wrapped in gauze to stop the bleeding and she’s moaning slightly; a little wet tear slides down her unaffected cheek. He reads the quick report—she was hit on the driver’s side by what appears to have been an intoxicated driver. Glass shattered. The car was totaled. The paramedics report that she may have broken ribs and other parts, and they found her fainted in the vehicle upon their arrival. Dr. DeCarlo looks at his patient and begins to examine her in a hurried manner, the nurses quickly dulling her pain at his order. He reads the name on her chart so that he can call her by name, a habit some of his other colleagues do not do so well. He remembers the tip his father, a doctor himself, had given him years ago: patients are people, not numbers. They are people with emotions and pain, sadness and worry. They are often scared. Dr. DeCarlo prides himself that he regards his patients as individuals, and it’s been one of his long-standing doctor goals: to remember their names. It is something he regularly works to do with each face he meets.

As the patient begins to feel the effects of the pain medication, he reaches for her hand—the one not bandaged—and speaks gently to her. “You will be okay, Emelie. We’re going to take care of you.”

Her eyes close, and she drifts off. Dr. DeCarlo begins to get to work.

*

Emelie awakens hours later to a nurse telling her to drink some Ginger Ale. The nurse is trying to bring her to full consciousness, and she slowly begins to focus her eyes to see her surroundings. She is not dead. At least she doesn’t think so. She is alive and surrounded by people in hospital garbs, the smell of formaldehyde taking over her senses. She sees her bandaged left arm and looks down to see her left leg in a cast. Her chest hurts; it aches to breathe. The thought of drinking anything at this very moment is not appealing.

“Let’s see if we can begin to get you hydrated,” the nurse with the big breasts says as she leans over her. “We want to get you off the IV if we can.” It takes a few minutes for her to come around, and at the nurse’s urging, she takes some sips from a straw.

“Which hospital am I in?” she asks.

Just then, a man walks through the door in a white coat. He looks familiar. The nurse greets him, and he says hello back to her. They seem to know each other. The doctor’s face is friendly, and he looks at Emelie and begins to speak.

“Good morning, Emelie,” he says kindly. “I’m Dr. DeCarlo, and I worked to stabilize you last night. How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve been hit by a car,” Emelie says, knowing full well what she is saying, the corners of her mouth turning into a little bit of a smile.

The doctor is pleased by her response and smiles at her. “I see you have a good sense of humor,” he replies. “I don’t often get that after an accident, but you seem to know what happened.”

She nods. His presence is comforting.

“Then, you can probably guess by the looks of things that your your arm is broken and that your leg is fractured. Your face was scratched by the shattered glass, with one cut above the left eye, and you have a couple of broken ribs. You fainted in the car and went into a bit of shock, but we’ve taken good care of you since you arrived, and you’re getting stabilized. The good news is there’s no broken nose despite that it was bleeding a little when you arrived. You’re actually looking very well despite it all. The nurses have done their jobs.”

“And you, I would guess,” Emelie says. She offers a slight grin, giving him the best she can under the circumstances. There is something about his demeanor and the sound of his voice that is so pleasing. She is grateful for him and to him—and she feels the need to express it.

“I cannot thank you enough, Doctor. I appreciate all the great care you all have given me. Thank you for what you did.”

The nurse excuses herself from the room to get some additional supplies while Dr. DeCarlo continues to stand next to Emelie.

“Is there anything we can get you to make you more comfortable? Is there someone we can contact for you?”

Emelie shakes her head from side to side. “No,” she says, “I will just wait to get discharged. How many days will I be here?”

“Probably just overnight again. Most likely, you will be released tomorrow in the afternoon, but someone will need to take you home.”

“Right,” Emelie says.

*

It’s six in the morning, and Dr. DeCarlo’s shift ended at midnight, but things were hectic, and he stayed on to help the overflow. It’s one of the perks of being an unwed doctor—no one is waiting for him to come home. His hours are his own.

The nurse re-enters the room with some food and a few supplies. She will need to help Emelie to the bathroom once the catheter comes out. Not to embarrass the patient, the nurse speaks gently to Dr. DeCarlo.

“I’ll just need to help her out in a minute. You have been here far longer than you ought to have been, Dr. DeCarlo. How sweet of you. You should have punched out hours ago.”

The doctor’s face brightens a little, showcasing a little bit of redness on the cheeks. “Of course, of course. I just wanted to make sure our patient was okay,” he says, looking at Emelie.

“A little broken physically,” Emelie says, “but I think my spirit will be fine. I’m sorry for passing out. I don’t have a high level of tolerance for pain or blood. Do the police know who hit me?”

“They do. She was identified and charged, and walked away from it amazingly unharmed. Apparently, she had a little too much fun at the local bar, it would seem,” the nurse says. Dr. DeCarlo continues to look at Emelie. There is something about her that compels him to be standing here talking to her. There’s something about her face—those eyes—the cheekbones that are scratched up a bit. The sense of humor and humility. The nurse begins to shoo him away and he feels the phone vibrate in his pocket. He still hasn’t called Sophia back.

“I guess I must be on my way to let Nurse Shay take care of you. I’ll check back to check on you later.”

Nurse Shay shoots him a look of surprise, for in her five years working with Dr. DeCarlo, she has never seen him go the extra mile for patients as he has with this one. To be sure, he is a kind and caring emergency doctor, but there’s something different about the way he’s treating this case, and she furrows her brow with puzzlement.

Meanwhile, he can hear Emelie say sweetly as he exits the door to her room, “Thank you.”

pexels-photo-127873.jpeg

*

Dr. DeCarlo heads to the locker room to collect his things. He is not due back until later tonight. As he places his coat on the hook of his locker and closes the door to it, he feels his phone vibrate again in his pocket. He grabs it and looks at the screen, sees her name again, and realizes that he really should clean his screen that’s full of fingerprints.

He exits the locker room, thinks about Emelie and wonders how she’s doing and why he’s thinking about her so much, and runs into Dr. Hickson, who is on call at the emergency room during the day. They share a passing greeting, and Dr. DeCarlo says he will see her later when he returns.

He walks outside into the warm morning sunshine, the blue sky cloudless, and sees her standing on the curb. He gingerly walks over to her.

“Hello, Sophia,” he says. At eight in the morning, she is coiffed and poised for action, and looks more like she is ready to go to a club than to go to her law office. Her severely highlighted blonde hair is piled on top of her head, her red lipstick never out of place.

“Do you have any idea how many times I’ve called you?” she demands.

“Yes,” he says. “I believe it was 12.”

“That sounds about right. So why haven’t you called me back?” she says indignantly.

“I was working.”

“In the past, you’ve found time to call me while you’re working. What’s going on, Hugh?”

“This isn’t the place to have this discussion, Sophia. I’m on hospital grounds.”

“I know that. So am I.”

“Yes, but you don’t work here. I don’t discuss personal matters at work.”

“What matters?”

He places his sunglasses on his face, the sun’s brightness blinding his eyes as it rises over the hospital’s facade. He looks at her. It is safer to have this uncomfortable and inevitable conversation from behind dark shades.

“This isn’t working for me, Sophia. I don’t want to be in this relationship, especially when it doesn’t feel right.”

“Doesn’t feel right? What’s not right about it? I’m a professional. You’re a professional. We have the same circle of friends. We both want the same things out of life. How does this not feel right?”

“Call me crazy, but I just think there should be something more than a convenient group of friends and ambition as the factors that would bind us together. I’m sorry, Sophia. I just don’t want to be in this relationship any longer.”

“It was hardly a relationship to begin with,” she snips. “I’ve been the one driving the thing from the beginning. Your heart was never in it.”

“And perhaps that’s been the problem all along,” he says. “This hasn’t been a two-way street. You deserve better.”

“You’re absolutely right I deserve better! Look at me! I’m a catch! And you’re just too ignorant to see it,” she says, turning on her heels as she begins to take long strides toward her silver, convertible BMW, her shoes clicking on the asphalt. Dr. DeCarlo can’t help but chuckle at her silly antics, as he’s witnessed them before, and whispers a soft ‘bye-bye’ as she climbs into her car. He hears his mother’s voice in his head, the one that always offered reasoning during times when decisions must be made—you will know when you’ve found the right person, Hugh. You will feel it in here, she would say, patting the area on his chest where his heart is. He should have known better than to waste his time on something that never felt right. He certainly has never experienced anything like what his mother refers to as a “magical feeling” when meeting the person who may be a potential companion for life. It’s not that he didn’t want a life-long partner, he did, it’s just that no one had ever felt right before. He should never have allowed Eddie to set him up with Sophia in the first place. Set-ups never worked for him. Not in all of his thirty-eight years.

*

At eleven-thirty that night, Emelie is wide awake. She slept most of the day, as she tried to remember how the accident happened. Could she have prevented being hit by that woman? Could five more seconds of acceleration have avoided the crash? She’s beaten herself up all day about it, and now she stares at the television from her hospital bed as she watches The Jimmy Fallon Show, the volume turned down low.

Nurse Shay left hours ago, and Nurse Jones who is on duty now helped her clean herself up, offered her a brush, and helped her put her long, dark hair in a long ponytail. Nurse Jones also refreshed her water and helped her get to the bathroom about an hour ago, and is now making her way along the corridor to visit patients. The thought of returning to her apartment without any help is giving Emelie anxiety. The thought of being without a car is doubling that anxiety. There will be calls to the insurance company to sort out in addition to needing a car to get to work. She’s learned to become much more independent since Evan left, but she is worried about dealing with the effects of the car accident alone and contemplates calling her mother to see if she can come and stay with her for a while. What an inconvenience to her mother who lives all the way across the country. She hated the idea of doing that to her.

pexels-photo-433267.jpeg

When Emelie first came to Atlanta last year, she came because of Evan. They met after graduate school—he working in sales, she finding employment as a teacher—and lived together for many years in Washington state. When Evan’s company transferred him back to his home state of Georgia, he jumped at the opportunity, and Emelie followed at his urging. Emelie found a teaching job locally, and Evan loved his new surroundings and environment, and especially loved his new assistant, Shannon. In a matter of months, he loved her more than he loved Emelie. So when the good doctor asked her earlier if there was anyone to call, the answer was an emphatic “no,” as there was no family or good friends local for her, only her teacher acquaintances from school that she hadn’t known for very long.

In her dreamlike state, half paying attention to Jimmy Fallon and half thinking about her present, unfortunate situation, she hears a knock on the door, and the door pushes open.

“Emelie?” the pleasant male voice says. She recognizes it right away as the Doctor’s.

“Hi,” she says. He is wearing his white coat again, and it shows off his deep tan and dark eyes. He walks closer and looks at her. “I wanted to see how you are doing before I begin my shift.”

“That’s very sweet of you,” she says. “I’m okay. Unable to sleep.”

“We can help you with that if you need some rest,” he says.

“No, thank you,” she says. “I slept most of the day. I’m just thinking and mindlessly watching the television.”

“That’s a good word for it–mindless,” he smirks, taking a peek at the television. “If I didn’t have to work, I would challenge you to game of Scrabble or cards.”

“It might be kind of a challenge to hold cards in my hands or shuffle,” she said.

He grinned.

“What can we get you?”

“I’m good, thank you. Honestly, the care here has been top-notch. Thank you for checking up on me.”

They both look at each other for a second, and the doctor slides over the guest chair to sit beside her.

“I hope you don’t think this is too forward of me, because trust me, what I’m about to say is completely out of character for me, especially when it comes to my patients, but I was wondering, seeing as how you seem to be without a car, if you need a ride home when you are discharged, it’s my day off and I’d be happy to help you get home.” Dr. DeCarlo has officially surprised himself by saying these words. She must think he’s weird … or worse, creepy. He hasn’t been able to shake her from his mind ever since he cared for her last night, but truly, what is he thinking? Does he have some sort of fever? Emelie is a patient, for God’s sake.

And then he hears his mother’s words echo in his head—you will feel it in here. There is something undeniable going on, at least from his perspective. Something extraordinary is happening to him, and he feels awkward, as it takes what seems like an eternity before Emelie responds to his offer.

“Do you cook, too?” she replies, smiling.

*

BooksStephanie Verni is a hopeless romantic, Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University, and the author of Inn Significant,  Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt. Follow her on Twitter at stephverni or on Instagram at stephanie.verni.

 

What To Do With A Broken Heart

LoveLetterWe walk around in a daze. We make up lies and we tell them to ourselves. We go over and over it again in our minds as we attempt to decipher exactly what went wrong and who is to blame. We wonder if there’s any way possible we can fix it. We agonize, stop eating, agonize some more, find we cannot concentrate on work, pull away from people, and go through an intense mourning period. Some folks even go as far as to want to give up.

If we’re not careful, we can give up on ourselves.

That’s the way it works when we have a broken heart and we don’t know how to fix it—when we don’t know how to make someone we love more than life itself love us.

As the speaker in the Ted Talk below notes, we have all probably been there at one time or another…or another. Perhaps we’ve been there several times. We become like a broken record playing it over and over again in our minds. Sometimes the pain is so intense, we don’t know how to tend to it.

I wish this Ted Talk had been around when I’d been through a few doozies. I may have actually listened to Guy Winch because he makes so much sense. He tells it like it is, and as we listen, his ideas sink in. I thought I’d share this today for anyone who may need a little push to find himself or herself again.

As Valentine’s Day is around the corner and tons of people are celebrating the somewhat ridiculous holiday, there are many who will be sad and broken-hearted. There are some folks who are trying to get over a lost love or broken relationship. Patience is advised to those of us who act as friends during these trying times as you will see. Patience and understanding.

Remember how it felt when you went through it, and promise yourself to be there for someone who needs you.

It’s true–we can’t make people love us. But we do have the power to be there for people who have lost love and their hearts are breaking.

 

***

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

FROCKTOBER | DAY 2

Frocktober-Facebook###

It’s kind of difficult to get happy today with the news coming out of Las Vegas. I’m so saddened by the reports of all the victims of the mass shooting and those who are injured. Prayers go to all of those who have been affected by this horrible, senseless, and heinous tragedy.

However, FROCKTOBER must carry on, because we are doing some good here by raising awareness for ovarian cancer. As I mentioned yesterday, my colleague and stylish lady friend, Chris Noya, has been battling this disease since January. If you wish to donate, you can do so by giving to the American Cancer Society or to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (click the organization names to go to the sites). Much research is being done to try to end this disease.

Today’s Outfit of the Day (#ootd):

IMG_4707

Day 2. Taught on campus today in this #ootd — red pants from #whbm; top from #anntaylorloft; booties by #matisse; bag by #adriennevittadini.

In a world full of nonsense and hate, remember to be kind. Stay safe and hug those you love.

#ovariancancerawareness #ovariancancer #frocktober2017 #style #personalstyle #blog #blogger #bloggerstyle #fashionisfun #professorstyle #stephsscribe #prayersforlasvegas

Love the cute red and blue top with the loose turtleneck and flutter sleeves. I wear a lot of black, so I’ve been attempting to infuse some color into my wardrobe. Just a little.

I’ll always love classic, black clothing.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday Wardrobe: Keeping Cool Summer Style

Second Installment: Wednesday Wardrobe | Summer Feature

Honestly, I love summer until the humidity cranks up and my hair gets all frizzy and I perspire and stick to chairs. I remember loving the lack of humidity in California and wishing we had less of it on the East Coast. When I plan outfits, I have to consider how I might perspire and what might keep me cool.

Picking what to wear based on the weather is a must for me. I always do it. Whether I choose sleeveless, strapless, dresses, skirts, or light pants or shorts, I’m always concerned about the heat, and so I have to purchase clothes that work accordingly.

Today’s outfits are based on just that—keeping cool. What do you wear during the summer months to stay cool? How do you pick outfits to reflect the heat of the summer?

Remember: I’m a real girl with a real budget for clothing…so here are some of my picks.

IMG_5112
Dress from a boutique in Ellicott City. Love the fringe. Bag from Savvy Consignment. Shoes Nine West.
IMG_4506
Liza Byrd Dress, Franco Sarto sandals. Bandana from Target.
IMG_4511
Dress from The Cottage in Severna Park.
IMG_4667
Rainy day look…Don’t count Charming Charlie’s out for clothes and rainboots!
IMG_4782
White pants from White House/Black Market; top from Ann Taylor Loft; bag from Lulu’s.

IMG_4350.JPG

IMG_4363

Let the air flow through this dress…from Target. Shoes by Nine West.

FullSizeRender-19
Romper by Pink Rose; shoes by Audrey Brooke.

 

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

A Review of My Blog by The Villager

Well, I am absolutely flattered that Stevenson University’s newspaper, The Villager, reviewed Steph’s Scribe, and gave it a good review. I can honestly say, my blog has never been reviewed before, so that was exciting to see. Thank you to Chip Rouse, The Villager advisor, and writer Bri Buttner, for the great piece.

I will say that I take great pride in my blog, and I do play around with it quite a bit. I like playing with the aesthetics, photography, and content, and I always try to mix it up. I’ve been consistently blogging since 2011, when I wrote my first post, and I’ve never stopped. I truly enjoy writing, and blogging has become a part of who I am today. It’s a great outlet, and a wonderful way to stay fresh with your writing.

On that note, to anyone who wants to blog, I encourage it. The most challenging parts of blogging remain these two things: (1) coming up with what to blog about, and (2) blogging at least once to twice a week. If you can do that, you’ll get in the swing of things, and when you miss one, you’ll get that itch to get right back at it. It’s a good habit to create.

Additionally, Paperblog picks up my articles as well. For the month of April 2017, Steph’s Scribe was #12 for Entertainment bloggers.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting Steph’s Scribe!

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author ofEvent Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

Celebrating 6 Years of Blogging with “The Best of” Steph’s Scribe

* * *

We all say it.

Time flies.

Before you know it, my kids will be done with high school and college and I’ll be retired, sitting alongside my husband on a beach somewhere sipping something with an umbrella in it and attempting to play golf.

Well, that’s the dream, at least.

Yesterday marked six (6) years of blogging. Six years. It kind of blew me away this morning, but it reminds us what a love for something and a little discipline can do for us. At the minimum, I blog one day a week; most weeks, I blog twice. It’s not always easy coming up with things to write about, but the bottom line is, we do. As bloggers, we always have something in mind that makes us think or that we want to share with others.

As such, to commemorate these past six years, I decided to pull together the posts that get the most hits as sort of a “Best Of” celebration.

Thank you for following, commenting, and sharing Steph’s Scribe with others. I can’t wait to see what the next six years have in store.

BLOGGING has become part of who I am. I cannot imagine my life without it now.

Best of Steph’s Scribe

Birth – The Very First Post on Steph’s Scribe

A Little Game of No Repeat Fashion

Most Attractive Names

How Pinterest Helped with Our Home Renovation

Inn Significant Released

Beneath the Mimosa Tree Wins Readers’ Favorite Award

Instructions for Writing a Love Letter

Lessons from “The Holiday” and James Cameron

Political Opinion Posts and Friends

You Can’t Get There From Here

Learning from Conflict and Experiences & Oprah

Don’t Bring Negativity to My Doorstep

Baseball

Travel

Storytelling

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of the newly released Inn SignificantBaseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree.  Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.  To visit Stephanie’s Amazon Author page and see her books, click here.

 

 

That’s The Blog’s Honest Truth

It’s been two months since I began this endeavor called blogging. Admittedly, after the past 60 days of it, I find myself in awe of Julie Powell and her ability to attempt all of Julia Child’s recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and to blog about them for 365 consecutive days. That was quite an undertaking, and one worthy of all the attention it received, not to mention the book and film that followed.

I told myself when I committed to the idea of Steph’s Scribe that I have to write a minimum of two entries per week, sometimes more if something strikes my fancy. I find myself wanting to write for it constantly and continually come up with all kinds of ideas, though I am often meticulous about and discerning of the topics I will discuss.

Like my friend Charlotte English wrote today in her post “It’s All About Me” on Words About Words, I didn’t want my blog to be about my daily life with family and friends and what I ate for breakfast, but rather about poignant life moments, literature, and of course, letter writing. I am even contemplating a little “how to” clinic on writing the perfect love letter in the hopes of encouraging a return of the lost art. Additionally, another friend and fellow writer, Jim Abbiati, will be my guest blogger later this month, and we have something cool up our sleeves to share with other writers. There’s an endless possibility of information to share and I’ve found that gives me the most joy.

The truth is, when tailor-making a blog, one of the key components I’ve read about from experts that can ensure its success is streamlining the subjects the blog will discuss. However, like a really good smorgasbord, I enjoy talking about so many different subjects; hence, I cheated a little with my broad tagline at the top of my page that reads “musings on life, love, literature, and letters” to allow myself some leeway with regard to content. It’s equivalent to the reason why I can’t get a tattoo–it’s just way too much commitment to one thing for me. I like variety, and the inability to change that tattoo is far too restricting. Sometimes a broadness in categories helps us crossover and delve into areas we wouldn’t normally roam. In the non-fiction book, Jane Austen: Her Life and Her Letters by William Austen-Leigh and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh, we get a glimpse into the life of Jane Austen and her thoughts through the correspondences she sent to her sister Cassandra, family, and others. This type of documentation allows us to get to know her through her letters and ideas and reactions to things. When the culmination of her letters is put together in book form, one realizes it could have been a scintillating blog: Jane Austen’s blog about life, love, literature, and letters. I would have subscribed to it in no time (though I may have chased her down for stealing my tagline)!

A blog is reminiscent of a letter: it’s our reflections sent out into the blogosphere for someone to read and enjoy. It’s the way I look at it when I’m crafting my thoughts—I keep in the back of my head to write my pieces as if I am writing a letter to friendly faces I know, as if I am intimately speaking or writing to someone dear to me.

My friend told me yesterday that she enjoyed my blog post on Hemingway. She said she felt as if she were sitting in one of my lectures, learning something (case in point: she is not, nor ever has been, a student of mine, but I appreciated her ability to imagine being one). She also said that’s why she loves my blog—because she never knows what she’s going to get. Will it be funny? Poignant? Instructional? Make you think?

I love this comment, and am holding on to it; I’m so glad that she relayed it to me. It makes me want to work harder to give it my all, to try to keep it fresh and full of surprises. Indeed, it’s something to strive for.

And that’s the blog’s honest truth.