Published 25 December 2019 by Kyla R.

Have you ever wanted to start up a business, but didn’t know how or what? When you hear business, you probably think big corporations, restaurants, or an office. Especially when you’re starting in the business world, these options aren’t exactly accessible. With no experience, it may seem even more impossible. Here are some ideas for small businesses you can get up and running in a matter of days.

  1. Lawn Care: This includes cutting/trimming grass and bushes, fixing up pine straw, and cleaning up driveways. What’s needed: A lawnmower and probably a blower.

2. Tutor: Did you go to college? Did you get a degree in something? Great! You’re likely able to tutor students. Students in all subjects constantly need tutoring help and if you live in a neighborhood with lots of children, this might be easier than you think! What’s needed: Knowledge on the subject matter, ability to teach and work with children, and likely a clear record.

3. Dog Walker: Lots of apps such as Rover, Barkley Pets, and Wag all allow users to either search for walkers/sitters or apply as them! Nothing is required, but to get jobs some testimonials and past experience is highly recommended. A car to get to certain homes may also be helpful!

4. Errand Runner: Especially in areas with senior citizens, this business may be profitable for you. Lots of individuals (not only older ones) don’t have the time or energy to run around doing errands. That’s where you come in! What’s needed: A car or means of transportation and the skill of organization!

5. Cleaning Business: There are lots of high end businesses like these, so to succeed, you will need to find clients by going to people in your neighborhood! Lots of people need their houses cleaned, especially before holidays and other events. What’s needed: Cleaning supplies and a client list!

6. AirBnB Host: If you own your house, awesome! If not, this may not be the choice for you (unless your landlord is fine with it, but probably not.) This is especially great if you’re living in a big city where tourists come in and out! Renting out a room for the night and providing a few things here and there for your renter is pretty simple, but be prepared to have someone you may not exactly approve of living in your home for that time. What’s needed: A room with a bed! Preferably a house.

7. Babysitting: Have lots of children in your neighborhood? Like children? That’s great! What if you could get paid to hang out with kids? Becoming a babysitter is a great idea, so long as you’re actually responsible. What’s needed: Parents are picky. You will likely need lots of testimonials (so experience) and CPR certification (bonus points if you took a class specifically for children!)

8. Meal Planner and Prepper: Interested in helping others diet and form a healthier lifestyle? Maybe planning meals is a business you might excel in. Look for local small gyms and offer up your idea, I’ve seen lots who have teamed up and now have hundreds of clients due to this! What’s needed: Testimonials will definitely help, but being fit yourself is a great help!

These are some of my favorites, but the list doesn’t stop here! You can make a small business out of practically anything, so go and try it!

Follow me on Instagram and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Published on 24 December 2019 by Kyla R.

No matter what holiday you are celebrating this year (even if it’s just having a few days off this winter time), I hope you are spending time with your family or friends (or even with your pets, or alone!) My family celebrates on Christmas Eve (a sort of Polish-American Tradition) and so we are in the midst of cooking now. I am taking a moment break from helping with the soup!

So for all of you celebrating tomorrow… Here is a list of things I have found memorable to do around the holiday season.

My favorite… VIDEO GAMES! Or any games, really. I absolutely adore playing fun games, whether they be board games or virtual games, a little competition always bring up fun memories! Monopoly, the Game of Life, Mario Party, or Mario Kart.. I love them all!

Oh gosh.. Look at the hot chocolate!

Hot chocolate and holiday movies. My favorites are always christmas themed romantic comedies. My favorite from this and last year: Holiday in the Wild and The Princess Switch! I also love showing off my mad coffee making skills when it comes to making hot chocolate. My mother loves her latte machine, so I love to make everyone hot chocolate with my own frothed milk and hot chocolate powder topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and marshmallows! Sometimes, even a peppermint stick if they’re feelin’ it.

Cook a nice dinner! As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how much I could learn cooking-wise from my family, especially my mom and grandmother. If your family enjoys cooking, have them teach you. Otherwise, search up some recipes and try something out yourself! Most places are closed on Christmas anyways, so you may as well learn how to cook something.

If you’re lucky and have snow... You better be playing out in it tomorrow! I used to live in the suburbs in NY, and I loved having the snow. Especially if you have kids, spend some time making some snowmen, igloos, whatever you wish. Spend some time (but not too much that you freeze) in the white paradise!

Some people use this time to spend time with hobbies! Writing, reading, and even editing, as shown by @bea_writes_ on Instagram!

Call your distant relatives. I’ve spent all day listening to my mother call her cousins, their cousins, my grandparents, my uncles, everyone. Give everyone a message or call and let them know they’re on your mind this holiday season. It goes a long way.

Spend some of your time doing the things you love! Have a hobby you adore? Spend any free time you have improving on them. Write on that laptop by the fire, cuddle up with a fuzzy blanket and read, play your instrument… Whatever your heart desires!

I wish you all have an incredible holiday season this year… Let me know what you’re doing for today and tomorrow, I’m interested!

Follow me on Instagram and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Published on 22 December, 2019 by Kyla R.

So you’ve heard the term “Interactive Writer” thrown around some people’s LinkedIn profiles and resumes. But what exactly is an interactive writer, and is it for you? In this post today, I am going to discuss a particular app in the appstore that is called Episode Interactive, and what it is like writing on it.

Interactive writing refers to writing that is unlike traditional writing. There are several components that are similar in both traditional and interactive writing, but just because you are experienced in novel writing, does not mean interactive writing is a fit for you and vice-versa.

  1. Judging a book by its cover.
  2. Descriptions aren’t always necessary.
  3. Visualization and directing is key.
  4. Implementation of choices.
  5. Social Media interaction.
  6. Know your audience.
  7. #Trending.

“Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumbnail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.”

Larry Correia

Judging a book by its cover. Don’t lie to me. We’ve all done it. We might not admit it, but we’ve done it. It’s just like what I do when I go clothes shopping. I know what I’m looking for. If something doesn’t catch my eye, I don’t spend another second looking at it. So why would I do any different when it comes to book covers?

On an interactive app, the majority of your audience will be young females, typically very young. They don’t care enough to read the description of your story if you don’t put enough effort in obtaining a nice cover. This is why even when I began writing, my covers were my largest investment. I was no longer willing to edit my own with copyrighted photographs… it was time for the big leagues. And it paid off.

Descriptions aren’t always necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to story descriptions. Those on the other hand— completely necessary. What I mean is in chapter descriptions. When writing novels or short stories, you learn the importance of describing scenes and not only focusing on dialogue. Due to the major part of interactive apps being the inclusion of actual backgrounds, in chapter descriptions are no longer as important. Sometimes, you want to include them, especially in intimate scenes, but not always.

Audiences are young and enjoy stories that are descriptive enough, but not so much description that it’s boring. Keep this in mind!

Visualization and directing is key. Going off of the previous point, descriptions aren’t so important. Now, what is? An incredible plot line with an emphasis on visualization and directing. Donacode is the coding that is used in the writing portal for Episode Interactive Community writers. It’s easy to catch on to, but not easy to master. Those who have been writing with episode for a while have caught onto the tricks and treat it as a second language. Others, don’t see the importance of above-par directing and background choices.

Readers enjoy a professional look when it comes to directing, and it’s obvious to spot a newcomer from seasoned writers. I spent some time reviewing newer stories in my own review book club, and oftentimes, I noted that practice in directing was definitely needed. Spending time learning donacode is worth it in the end.

Implementation of choices. The main focus on applications such as Episode Interactive is “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Writers take this seriously, and it pays off. Having a storyline where choices matter is even better. Some authors make the mistake of writing their stories for themselves. While this seems like a good idea, it may not help your story reach higher ranks. So having no choices and sticking to your original plot line may not win you brownie points with the community.

In such a competitive community such as Episode’s, you want to strive to write like the best. Episode claims that over 2.5 billion episodes have been played to this date and the community holds over 5.5 million creators. Now that’s what I call competition!

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”

David Alston

Social Media Interaction. I myself have found that free marketing is the best marketing. At least this is true for a college student like myself who doesn’t have the money to pay for a real marketing manager for my small episode writing startup. In regard to writers who link to to their social media via the Episode app, almost all link to an Instagram account.

Instagram holds a ginormous Episode community. From authors, readers, reviewers, and editors, the list could go on for ages. This community is a great way to speak word of your story and works. But be careful! Cold messaging authors, especially larger ones, with a link to your story may not end well and may end up in you being blocked.

Know your audience. The community not only holds young female teenagers who enjoy reading stories, but also adult women who write for a profit. And this app doesn’t only apply to females! Although the audience is primarily female, many authors pride themselves in writing a male main character or giving a male choice in many stories.

Some individuals in the community pride themselves on being different and writing in genres that aren’t as popular on the application such as Mystery, Horror, or Comedy. But not as popular does not constitute as not popular. There are many authors with millions of views who focus in the different genres. Some say it’s actually easier to start off in one of these abstract genres as the popular ones such as Romance and Drama are hard to trend in!

#Trending. Trending is where it’s at on these interactive apps. Not only is it preferred by most readers that you update in chunks of at least two chapters at a time, but the algorithms on the app will actually help you in the trending category and in the trending category for your story’s particular genre. The more people that read your story chapters and finish, the higher your rank will go. This is what you want to aim for.

I have only been an interactive writer for a year this January, but during this time, I’ve learned an immense amount about Episode’s social media community and how to succeed on the app. Have you read or written on Episode before? How do my tips compare to your experiences?

Follow me on Instagram and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Published on 22 December 2019 by Kyla R.

There is beauty in everything,” People say. I don’t think I have ever heard or read a phrase more often than that in my times of reflection and fear. They will tell you to take a look around and take in the scenery, the peace, the air. More than not, it’s hard to complete such a simple task. But why? Likely because it’s not so simple after all.

I don’t know about you, but I found a love of being in nature all alone. Nothing but me and the air surrounding me, whatever the scenery is. The silence…Oh, the silence. It’s something surreal. It’s incredibly hard to take a moment to yourself and just breathe many days. We constantly have things to do. If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly aiming to find even more to do. We are all motivated by something. Love…Compassion. Money, fame, pride. There’s so many things that us humans are motivated by. It’s a blessing and a curse in my book. We’re unlike any animal on this earth with such a broad scope of possibilities that we focus so much on what we can have that we don’t take a moment to realize what we do have.

One thing I find most empowering in these obviously, yet hidden beauties in life, is the fact that it surrounds us. Even in our most stressful moments, the world is still spinning. People are still moving. In moments of dire anxiety, I’ll hold a deep breath and think about the fact that no one else knows how I’m feeling. People have their own feelings, and we don’t always know how to express them best.

A perfect example of this is the time I drove down a one way road the wrong way. I was so incredibly frustrated and embarrassed, but as soon as I got back to the main road I quickly noticed that no one I was driving by then knew what just happened, and that provided some solace.

I like to think that almost everyone automatically assumes I’m referring to animals, plants, trees, or things of the sort when I refer to hidden beauties in everyday life. But this isn’t necessarily what I’m referring to. The beauty in making someone smile, sitting on a laptop shielded from the rain, seeing the lights of a christmas tree reflecting off the windows of someone’s home. Things that make you smile, or maybe, internally smile.

When I was younger, I used to journal frequently. I thought up of an idea to make myself reflect my day better, an idea of “What Made Me Smile Today?” where I jotted down moments of my life that made me happy. I would script these down like a goofball with an enormous smile. But as I got older, I tried it again. I was having a hard time finding things that genuinely made me so happy that I could smile. I realized that with time, it was no longer what made me smile, but rather what made me pleased. What made me thankful.

It is not easy to take in the sights of your daily life when everything seems so rushed. We are all busy people. Whether you have school, work, children, or even a combination of them all, we are all busy in some way. But sometime this week, try to take a moment to yourself when you’re feeling riled up and breathe. Think about the objects and people that surround you and notice how lucky you are to be where you are, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

What is the first hidden beauty you can think of that you are you grateful for?

Follow me on Instagram and connect with me on LinkedIn!

Published on 22 December 2019 by Kyla R.

Hey, my name is Kyla, but I go by Lucina online. I am a interactive story writer who is still in college, unsure of what the future brings for me. This blog is starting today so I can share my journey with you and others to let everyone know that whether you are past this point in your life, stuck in a rut like I am, or know someone who may be stuck— everyone is somewhere.

Follow me on my journey through University as I learn who I am and who I wish to become. I wish to give out my support, form a community, and simply be a smiling face from behind my laptop screen (Yes, I am a laptop gal and not a desktop.). I wish to connect much farther than just an online community and become friends with you…especially you.

If you’re interested in learning more about me, here is my story.

I am a current sophomore in university (AKA a second year) going into my 2nd year Spring semester. I have had many doubts about my major in the past, but have never put an extraordinary amount of thought into it. But as I lose time, piling up debt and thinking about what could have been, I have formed a new perspective that I wish to inform others of so that they may not make the same mistake as I did, and currently am.

Expect many things from the blog. Consistency, love, and an immense amount of appreciation. But also variety. Posts about undergraduate schooling, doubts of my future (as every pre-adult will have), my wishes and aspirations (as well as yours), and some of my past works during my last few years. I look forward to what this blog has to come and the community I will form with you.

Follow me on Instagram and connect with me on LinkedIn!