Freelance Writing by Melia Dicker
Blogging for Businesses
Businesses keep blogs to establish their expertise, provide relevant content for their clients, and give search engines ways to find their sites through keywords. Oftentimes, these businesses don’t have the time or know-how to post regularly, so I write customized posts for them.
Writing Therapy Specialist Mari L. McCarthy, principal of Create Write Now, teaches her clients a process called “Journaling for the Health of It™,” improving their mental and physical health through journaling. I write and edit articles for her blog and am developing ebooks with my partner and designer, Darren.
More Writer’s Block Cures from Journaling: 10 easy ways to use your journal to break through writer’s block.
5 Reasons Why Blogging is So Not Journaling: Think that your blog takes the place of your journal? Think again.
5 Steps to Start Journaling for the Health of It™: Jump start your journaling by understanding why you want to get healthy, gathering your materials and setting a routine, and then just doing it.
Pacific Delight Tours is North America’s Premier Luxury Tour Operator to China & the Orient, arranging tours for Americans visiting Asia for over 39 years. The company was named Best Tour Operator – Asia/Pacific in the 2009 Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards. I write articles for the blog on China travel and etiquette tips, sights, history, and culture.
5 Ways to Get to Know China Through Virtual Tourist: Find travel tips and user recommendations one of the largest online travel communities in the world. The best part? It’s free.
Etiquette in China: Avoid being the Ugly American by learning the sometimes surprising nuances of Chinese etiquette.
5 Endangered Species in China: Travel to China is popular for nature and animal lovers; the country is home to 156 of 640 species internationally listed as endangered.
The Great Wall of China: Find out why the Great Wall, with a rich history over 2,000 years long, tops the list of China highlights.
Chinese Cuisines: The Big Eight Cooking Traditions: Chinese food varies by region. Discover the differences among Hunan, Cantonese, Szechuan, and more.
Print and Online Publications
I specialize in feature writing that incorporates personal narrative or interviews.
YES! Magazine online. YES! is a award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world. It draws around 100,000 visitors to its website each month.
- Five Ways to Reschool on the Interweb: It’s free or low-cost to reschool yourselves online in just about anything you want to learn.
Boom Jackson, Jackson, MS. Boom Jackson is an annual glossy magazine showcasing what it’s like to live, work, play and visit Mississippi’s capital city. The publication is used as a recruitment tool around the country for conventions and college admissions.
- Power and Beauty: Resident Profile of Suzanne Moak (.pdf)
- Why Jackson is Beating the Recession (.pdf)
- Jackson Moves (.jpg image)
- Built2Last – Shop Local (.jpg image)
Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS. The award-winning Jackson Free Press is Mississippi’s most-read independent newsweekly, with over 64,000 readers and a weekly print circulation of 17,000.
Arts & Education
- Out of Line: HeARTworks Bringing Hope to the Homeless: Through this free weekly art program, homeless and needy folks have found a loving community, a means for self-expression, and a source of income.
- Fat Poppies and Malbec: At Vino Van Gogh, you can create an original painting in a single evening and enjoy a glass of wine in the process.
- Banking on PRIYDE: In Ward 3’s PRIYDE program, high school youth and their families learn financial planning and entrepreneurship.
- A Time to Shine: The JumpstART program teaches regular public school subjects through hands-on arts.
- Nature’s Ritalin: What one after-school program is doing to heal Nature Deficit Disorder.
- It’s OK to Win…Or Not: Follow third-grader Olivia Hardges through a full-day chess tournament.
Profiles & Interviews
- Jacksonian: Joel Bomgar: At age 23, Joel Bomgar developed a piece of software that would grow into one of the fastest growing technology companies in the country, and one of the few in Mississippi.
- Jacksonian: Stacey Donaldson: Stacey Donaldson, Mississippi State Teacher of the Year, favors real-life learning over teaching from the textbook.
- A Dark Touch: Artist in Residence: Cover story on Mathew Puckett, up-and-coming Jackson oil painter.
- Crime & Punishment: Cover story, Q&A with bestselling crime fiction authors Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, and Elmore’s son Peter Leonard.
- Jackson Young Influentials: Meet some of Jackson’s most talented folks under 40.
- Meet the Valentines: Chrissy and Billy Valentine got married on Valentine’s Day, 2008.
Personal Development & Health
- Stress: Causes and Cures: Learn how stress hurts the body and how to manage it.
- Anger: Confusing the Story with Reality: It’s not what happens that makes us angry. It’s the story we tell ourselves about what happens.
- Laughter, the Best Medicine: Laughing is good for you in so many ways.
- Journaling is the Best (And Cheapest) Tour Guide Available: How I’ve used my journal to capture my adventures through adolescence, world travel, and love.
Green & Do-It-Yourself Living
- DIY Greeting Cards: Make your own cards instead of buying them. It’s inexpensive and fun, and each one will be unique.
- Raised Garden Bed: Build your own raised garden bed for vegetables or flowers, anywhere you like.
- Seeds of Hope: An inner-city garden aims to teach children to grow fresh, organic produce and provide it to the neighborhood.
- Discovering the Greenest of Jackson: Cover story, my community scavenger hunt for Jackson’s greenest options for daily living.
- What Difference Does It Make If I’m Green?: Find out how your choices really do matter.
- Getting Rid of Stuff the Green Way: Prevent junk from becoming landfill.
- Camping Survival 101: Learn what to do in a few worst-case scenarios.
- What to Pack for Camping: Discover the many uses of aluminum foil.
- What Not to Do When Camping: Try these things if you dare.
Book & Film Guides
- Campfire Reads: Cooking, ghost stories, humor, and survival info make a camping trip complete.
- Inspirational Books for Graduation and Mother’s Day: Hopeful books for graduates and moms.
- Unconventional Romantic Films for an Offbeat Valentine’s Day: Quirky films to watch with your partner in crime.
Do-It-Yourself Weddings: Hitched Column
- Angelia Budhraja and Rickey McAlister: Over several years, international borders and different cultures, Angelia and Rickey found each other.
- Caroline Ware and Dustin Jernigan: Six weeks after Dustin Jernigan and Caroline Ware went on their first official date, he took her ring shopping. They had a homegrown wedding on a $2,000 budget.
- Alison Hogan and Andrew Ross: Andrew crafted an elaborate proposal that had him waiting in Alison’s apartment, in the dark, for an hour.
- Alexis Larkin and Aaron Schwartz: Alexis and Aaron met on J-Date, a Jewish online dating service. They had a full Jewish wedding ceremony and reception, with the breaking of the glass and the “Hava Nagila” circle dance.
- Bethany Boteler and Josh Sabins: Josh proposed to Bethany after they jumped out of an airplane, and she was so sick that she couldn’t even stand up.
- Laurel Miller & Price Donahoo: Laurel and Price personalized their wedding by making their own Save the Date cards and centerpieces, as well as adding several other original touches.
- Gettin’ Hitched: I went to The Wedding bridal showcase in search of couples to profile in my new JFP wedding column, Hitched.
- 14 Ways to Use Chocolate, 2/11/09
RAIN (Radical Art In Nature), Vancouver, B.C. Rain is an independent anthology zine about living, learning, creativity, and community change.
- People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, and 10 Reasons to Reschool, 12/08 (400kb PDF)
My friends and I love food: eating it, talking about it, and writing about it. Here are a few recipes I’ve posted to the food blog we share:
- Crispy Seasoned Potato Skins
- Potato Broccoli Soup
- Spiced Creamed Chicken
- Baked French Toast
- Lil’ Laverne’s Congo Cookie Bars
- Super Easy Apple Crisp
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Veggie Pizza Baguettes
- Tuna Salad with Chopped Veggies
- Colorful Summer Pasta Salad
- Fettucine with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, and Brown Butter
- Simple Gourmet Carrot Soup