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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Special Focus on Mergers in Andhra politics

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Special Focus on Mergers in Andhra politics: "
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Ganesh tree in Chittoor

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Ganesh tree in Chittoor: "
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A Song for Mega Star Fans

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A Song for Mega Star Fans: "
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Gaganam Premier Show in Vizag

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Gaganam Premier Show in Vizag: "
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How to Keep a Pantry Organized

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How to Keep a Pantry Organized: "
There once was order, then it kind of succumbed to disorder. Keeping an eye on it is the key.
There once was order, then it kind of succumbed to disorder. Keeping an eye on it is the key.
The secret heart of every kitchen is its pantry. In the pantry is stored everything we use as the basis for our meals, along with snacks and sometimes pet food too. However, a poorly managed pantry can be a huge source of frustration, wastage, and can even attract vermin. Here's how to run your pantry so that it's both practical and waste efficient.

Steps


  1. You might need to remove it all to go through it thoroughly
    You might need to remove it all to go through it thoroughly
    Take an inventory of what you already have. This inventory should include the product type as well as how many of each item you have. If you're really keen, type up a list and use it for future reference; using a laptop, notebook, or iPad as you work through the pantry can make it easier to type straight in.
  2. Clear out old food. Use this inventory opportunity to dispose of anything past its use-by or sell-by date. Also toss anything you don't ever intend to eat (for example, that exotic stuff you bought as it was a special price, but ended up wondering what to do with). With dated foods, while many may hypothetically be okay, it's still a risk. Dispose of anything that may be starting to spoil or is infested with moths or weevils. It can be quite surprising that food that otherwise looks fine has already spoiled, so check closely.
    • If the food is in good condition and within its lifespan, donate it or give it to someone who can use it.

  3. Look at how your foods are stocked on your shelves. To reduce the messiness and difficulty in finding things, it's important to plan how to group the foods together. Quite often the most frequently used foods, such as tea or coffee, seasonings, sauces and frequently used tinned goods occupy the shelves in the middle range, as this is the easiest area to access.
    • It's usually best to group cereals, flour, pasta, rice and dried beans together.
    • Then it's practical to group all canned goods and all jar products together.
    • Or, you may find it better to group things by type, such as preserves in one group, but pasta sauce in another. Sort in the way that is most practical for you.

  4. Invest in small shelving units. These will enable you to double stack tinned goods, jars and other condiments, creating more space and making it far easier to see what's in the pantry with just a glance.
    • Sachet foods, such as spices, desserts, instant soups and other products can end up being a hassle in a pantry because they can slide behind other food and don't sit neatly. It's best to place all sachets together in one container (like a basket or a lunchbox with or without its lid, or if practical, store the sachet contents in a jar. This works well for spices and you can recycle the jars.
    • Consider removing sachets from bulky boxes and adding the sachets to smaller storage containers. If the box has cooking instructions, cut these off and tape them to the container lid for easy reference. This way surplus boxes can be gotten rid of to save space.
    • Use a pantry 'Lazy Susan' to be able to turn items around. This item is great for spice and herb containers, cans, and condiments. Look for a double decker one to make the most of the space.

  5. Don't leave heat sensitive food in the pantry. Unless your pantry is naturally and consistently cold, don't store anything that is heat sensitive (such as eggs, chocolate, or butter) in there unless you have something such as a polystyrene box or other heat-proof container to store them in. The fridge is usually undesirable for some foods that only need a cool environment (especially chocolate), but in hot environments, it's the best alternative.
  6. Keep your pantry clean by wiping the shelves and products down every week or so. As the doors of pantries seldom stop swinging, lots of dust and other debris can find their way in and settle on foods. Moreover, general movement of spices, herbs, grains, and packets of food tends to leave a trail of food residue on the shelves. This is bad if you store things such as bread on the shelf, where it is better to store them in a paper bag. It's also a vermin attractant, so be sure to clean it all up regularly.
  7. Place heavy products on the lower shelves. This makes them much easier to retrieve and less likely to cause injury if they fall.
  8. If the floor's cluttered, it's much harder to keep tidy
    If the floor's cluttered, it's much harder to keep tidy
    Avoid storing any foodstuffs on the floor. Foodstuffs situated on the floor space makes it much harder to clean the floor and vermin or pests can hide behind them or be attracted to the food more readily.
  9. Invest in some sealed containers. Sealed containers are ideal to store foods that can perish when exposed to the environment; sealing them in will help to prevent spoilage. It can also prevent a weevil or other pest outbreak from spreading. Many foods, such as rice, sugar and flours already come sold in resealable screw top plastic canisters that can be cleaned and reused to store other foods. Charity stores also sell them cheaply secondhand, including the normally expensive products such as Tupperware®, but you don't always get matching containers.
    • Gradually build up your sealed containers whenever there are sale prices on them. This is the most affordable way to collect them provided you're patient. Also keep an eye out for people moving house who list such items on online auctions; you can grab an entire set of pantry containers for next to nothing if you're lucky – just be sure to wash them well.

  10. Practice FIFO. FIFO refers to: 'first in, first out'. This means that you use up the food stock in order that you purchased it. This prevents old foodstuffs sitting on the shelf for many years and ensures that what you're eating is at its freshest.
    • Supermarkets practice FIFO, especially in the dairy or refrigerated section. The oldest stock is usually right at the front of the shelf, with the fresher foods behind these. Shoppers who don't take care often reach for the nearest product and consequently take home foods that will not last as long. It's recommended to check the spoilage dates and buy the freshest one that has the longest lifespan; such smart shopping will prolong the life of your foodstuffs.

  11. Pin up a whiteboard or a magnetic shopping list you can reuse inside the pantry. That way when you are cooking and use the last of something, you can write it down to buy more while it is fresh in your memory.
  12. Put back ingredients where you took them from as you use them. If necessary, label the place, but this can be a little over the top unless you're really absentminded. It is a lot easier to stay tidy if you get into this habit of returning ingredients straight after use and a well managed pantry is easy to return stock into because the space where the item should be hasn't been jammed with other things.
    • Educate other people in your household where things are, so that when they want to cook, it's easy for everyone to find what they need. Also encourage them to put everything back in its place; simply make this a rule of participating in a well-functioning kitchen.

  13. Look at how you cook and match it to how you shop. If you do a lot of baking, it makes sense to buy flour in larger portions to save costs and to take advantage of bulk-savings. The same applies for rice, pasta, beans and other pulses. The aim however, is to store them properly in screw top, or rubber seal containers (or any good sealed containers), so try to get the container before you get the large quantity purchases. Also buy or make scoops, cups, and other implements that will help you to transfer the ingredients from the storage containers to your kitchen workspace; it's not much fun lugging a very heavy flour container to where you need it!
    • Non perishable foods on special can be a good bargain, providing it is a genuine special, and not just because the foods are nearing their spoil dates. Pasta sauces are sometimes sold as a special for several jars and if it is something you will use in a reasonable time, it's fine to take advantage of these specials. On the other hand, if you know it's too much food, leave it for those who will use it rather than having food going off in your house.

  14. Tidy every time it seems to be getting disordered
    Tidy every time it seems to be getting disordered
    Every month, go into your pantry and do a check. Anything that is in surplus, or has limited lifespan left you should plan to use within the week so it is not wasted. Throw out anything old and be sure to remove empty packets and containers.

Video


Tips


  • Once the pantry is in order, apart from a little wipe-down of the shelves, they are really low maintenance.
  • It makes it far easier to cook when your pantry is in order firstly because you know what you have (so don't end up buying more than you need), but also that you know where it is and how to use it.

Things You'll Need


  • Storage containers
  • Lazy Susans for a pantry
  • Shelves
  • Canisters
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Shopping list or checklist and marker

Related wikiHows




Article Tools

"

12 Steps to Becoming a Professional Freelance Writer

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12 Steps to Becoming a Professional Freelance Writer: "
Hundreds of thousands of writing opportunities exist. Making the most of them is where the art of the freelancer really comes into play. A freelance writer is someone who writes without belonging to any single company or entity but acts like a small business or an independent contractor.[1]

It's possible to be a full-time freelance writer earning a living, or to be a part-time freelancer supplementing a regular income. Another role is to simply do it for fun or to build up a broader portfolio of skills. In this article, you'll get the basics on what it takes to ease your way into freelance writing as a career or hobby.


Steps


  1. Be a good writer. It may seem self-evident but there is a substantial group of people who believe that they can write but when they attempt it, their lack of originality, good grammar, and self-discipline prove otherwise. Be sure that you're comfortable with writing, that it is a medium in which you can express yourself with ease and clarity, and that it is something you don't mind doing almost every single day of your life without respite. If you don't already have writing qualifications, consider doing a college degree in journalism or English, or taking a workshop so that you're at least aware of the major requirements in writing, and the terminology used. Even if you already have a degree in a non-writing related course, you may find it easier to either get a writing diploma or to get an entry-level job as a copywriter or editor in a field related to what you graduated in.
    • Decide whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction or perhaps even both. Non-fiction is much easier to sell than fiction,[2] so bear this in mind when making your choice. If you're writing for fun, you have more leeway to experiment.
    • Decide whether you want to write for a living, for extra money, or for fun. The reason for your freelance writing will impact the approach that you take to running your freelance operation. Bear in mind that treating freelance writing as a full-time income will require a lot of hard work and establishing yourself in the niche, so be prepared to put in the effort and time.
    • If you already have qualifications, from a degree to a diploma, always make use of these to support your expertise. These are extremely helpful in a competitive world where many people are seeking the same thing but who don't have the qualifications to stand out.

  2. Be comfortable communicating. Unless you want to be the hermit novelist living in poverty, you'll need to reach out to other people as a freelance writer. You'll need to be prepared to market yourself, to drum up business, and to chase leads. You will also need to be happy to turn around work quickly and according to the client's or employer's needs and changes, and all of this requires good negotiation and interaction skills. Fortunately, much of this can be done by email, meaning that you can rely on writing to connect but it does mean you'll need to be prepared to put yourself out there and not just sit about waiting for leads.
    • As part of this, you'll need to know how to write a query letter. A query letter explains the concept of what you're proposing to write, along with a very brief explanation of your experience and qualifications. This letter has to sell your idea to an editor, blog owner, or website operator and will become a regular part of your toolkit. The sooner you're comfortable with it, the better.

  3. Realize that turning a creative passion into a job can dampen your enthusiasm. No matter how much you love writing, there will be occasional writing jobs that you'll hate doing. In this situation, you'll need to learn the art of 'just doing it' regardless of your feelings, your desire to procrastinate, and your temptation to rush through it. Master pushing through the dislike barrier by treating it as the work that it is and looking forward to the more interesting writing coming up. Some freelance writers find it helps to maintain their own writing on the side, as a means for ensuring that at least something they're writing remains a pure joy.
  4. Balance the joys of working alone with soaking up the vibes from being around other people. Working from home or for yourself can be very lonely at times (no matter how much you love your writing) and you can feel as if you're working in a vacuum. Part of the answer to this is to accept the unusual (and often liberating) nature of being a freelance writer; the other part is to get out and be around people as much as you can. Get portable by having a notebook or laptop, and portable Wi-Fi access, and go and write around people when you're feeling lonely – a cafe, a library, a park, anywhere that you feel involved in society again. You might find you need to do this regularly, or every now and then; just find your own rhythm and don't box yourself inside your house all day.
  5. Be prepared for a lot of self-discipline and good money management. If you're planning on making a career from writing freelance, you'll need to have a good sense of responsibility toward your clients or employers and yourself.
    • Have financial systems set up before you start taking in work and be regular with your invoicing, tax filing, and reconciliation of accounts. You cannot afford to be sloppy when it comes to your income!
    • Be organized; have a dedicated writing space, all of your reference books in one place and easily obtained, all the writing equipment that you need in good working order, and a decent ergonomic work station set-up. Writing daily can do terrible things to your posture if you don't take good care of it!
    • Have a deadline system in place. Whether you use a diary, an online reminder system, a wall chart, a whiteboard, or whatever, be sure to have some sort of system in place that allows you to see at a glance what writing work is due when and for whom. That way you can prioritize accordingly and not have last minute rushes.
    • Communicate well and regularly. It's very important that you feel comfortable reaching out to people to make queries, to reassure them of your skills and ability to meet deadlines, and to keep clients and companies informed as to your progress and any issues that may come up.
    • Don't take on more than you can do. Part of being organized is knowing your limits. Once you do get into a flow of regular writing, don't be lulled into a false sense of confidence that you can do more than the hours in the day. Remember to maintain a good balance in your daily life.

  6. Set a goal and keep working in the meantime. If you plan to write magazine, online, and newspaper articles, don't quit your day job until you're making enough money to sustain your lifestyle. This means that you might have to do your writing in the early morning or in the evening or whenever you have a spare moment, such as on the weekends. However, it's good practice to trial your writing aspirations in this way because it provides you with the opportunity to see whether you enjoy writing under pressure and across a broad range of different topics. It also gives you the opportunity to work out whether you can write well enough.
    • Visit the reference section of your local bookstore and buy a copy of 'The Writer's Market'. This will give you the know-how of writing in easy-to-digest guides.
    • There are numerous exercises you can do to increase your abilities as an author- submit letters to the editor of your local newspaper, write articles for your church bulletin, create a blog, even write articles for wikiHow.

  7. Become active in the writing community. There are writing groups and freelance writer associations in many countries and it's a good idea to belong to them so that you can meet other writers, get information and advice, and establish your credentials as a writer. A quick search online should find organizations in your local area or country. Look for a group that has meet-ups, seminars, guest speakers, and offers advice on all aspects of writing including publishing and marketing, as well as having contacts with publishers and networking opportunities. Many of these groups may also be an excellent resource for writing job leads, so being a part of them will soon pay back in terms of contacts and work offers.
    • Attend conferences and conventions that focus solely on writing, authors, and freelance writing. You can meet publishing professionals on these occasions, as well as having the opportunity to network with other freelancers.
    • In the United States, you can subscribe to 'The Writer', a publication which provides information and advice on writing a query letter, finding publishing houses, and how to run a writing business. It's an excellent resource if you're keen to become a full-time magazine writer.

  8. Decide what type of writing you're going to do. These days the choice includes print writing (magazines, trade publications, newsletters, and newspapers) and online writing. It's possible to do both, although you may find yourself very stretched trying to keep up. Even within the online writing sphere, there are various possibilities, including blog writing, guest blog writing, topic specific websites (for example, green living, pet care, collectibles, etc.), 'article mill' sites (these vary in their quality), and so forth. There is also official writing for government, but for this type of writing you'll often need qualifications and experience in the policy-making areas you'll be writing for; contact a company that handles such writing to ask them what they're looking for.
    • Be aware that many print publications such as newsletters and trade publications are done in-house or outsourced to a company specializing in writing. In this case, you may be better off trying to get on the books of a company that is happy for you to do freelance work across a range of topics using their contacts. They'll take a commission but you'll gain the benefit of their expertise and established market.

  9. Start looking for opportunities to write to build your portfolio. Initially it is important to establish your credentials and build a portfolio. It may be simplest to begin by writing for small, non-paying publications and websites. By writing articles for smaller publications, you will gain experience, get known, and get a bunch of published articles with your name on them that you can use to show clients and employers. You need that portfolio for established publications to take you seriously and hire you. Visit your local library to get lists of publishers and ideas for whom to contact.
    • Submit a poem or story to a children's magazine such as Owl if you're a young person.
    • If you're a teenager, join your school's yearbook committee and submit articles to the school newspaper. Regard this effort as good practice for your future freelance career.
    • If you're a college or university student, craft strong, well-written essays for class that you might be able to later get published. You can also offer your services at the writing lab, and write articles for the student newspaper, literary magazine, and alumni magazine.
    • For an adult, start with reputable online sites that accept articles – make contact with the owners of sites and blogs that you admire and explain that you're building up your portfolio and would like to write some pieces for free in return for your name being publicized. If you have your own blog or website, this can help you as you can include it as a back link with your name.
    • Non-profits are also excellent places to find writing work. Donate your time and effort and get your work published in their newsletters and publications and use those as part of your portfolio.
    • Turn your best articles into PDFs that can be easily emailed to potential employers or clients.

  10. Reach out and start job hunting. When you feel that you're capable of writing professionally, think of something you'd like to write about, then start contacting the relevant people. Find publishers you'd like to write for, then read their guidelines. This cannot be over-emphasized - sending queries and articles in that have nothing to do with the publication is as bad as turning up to a job interview never having researched the company. Know your market and target your writing accordingly. And always send a query letter to a major publication before submitting a completed article, unless you're submitting 'on spec', or you're happy to waste precious time on an article that may never be published.
    • For a newspaper: Send a query letter to the city/lifestyles/sports editor of your local newspaper asking if they're interested in publishing an article on the topic. Include the first paragraph of your article and an outline of the rest. Call in two weeks, if you don't get a reply. Another approach is to send in a completed article for them to consider 'on spec'. In this case, the editor will read it but doesn't have to publish it.
    • Magazine or other major publication: Think of something you'd like to write about, then send a query letter to the editor of a pertinent major publication asking if they're interested in publishing an article on the topic. Include the first paragraph of your article and an outline of the rest. Call in four to six weeks if you don't get a reply.
    • Online: Check online job boards for columnists, bloggers, web content creators, and other writing jobs. Use a query letter approach in an email if it seems appropriate, or simply respond in a straightforward manner to the job's description. For guest blogging, make it clear you have read and enjoyed the blog in question and keep your suggestion short and sweet. Good blogs get an an overwhelming amount of requests and yours needs to stand out to make the blogger want to even read it. For article sites, if they require you to apply to be an approved author, then do so and supply all the needed background information and proof of your qualifications. For those sites that don't need anything more than joining, get on with it and join but don't rely on these sites to make a living!

  11. Write your article. If you haven't already sent a full article but just the query, then it's time to get started once the client or employer confirms that they want your writing. (Congratulations, by the way.) Write in your own unique and brilliant way and avoid conforming to the mold of other writers. By all means conform to the required guidelines of the publication in question but try to avoid cliches, hackneyed turns of phrase, dull prose, and deadly boring content. You've got that worked out already, right?
    • Keep a thesaurus, dictionary, and grammar book with you at all times. If you're writing in an English that isn't your own dialect, or isn't your native language, also have the grammar for the English you're writing in.

  12. Find steady freelance writing jobs or even ongoing contracts. There are plenty of possibilities in both print media and online media. The difficulty will always be the competition, so you'll need to keep your style sharp and interesting, your list of contacts detailed, and your motivation stoked. Keep improving your writing skills by reading widely, attending relevant talks and seminars, and staying up-to-date in the areas you're writing about. This is especially important if you're writing in areas that change rapidly, such as technology and fashion.
    • Update your portfolio every time you have an article published.
    • Learn from your editor's comments. Fix your grammar quirks, mend your heavy prose, and celebrate the fact that someone is giving you golden advice on how to improve your writing skills.


Video


Tips


  • There are oodles of online writing opportunities but providing a list of potential sites is not only unfairly favoring some over others but it's liable to be wrong by the time this goes to print, given the constantly changing nature of online sites. And therein lies a problem for the online freelance writer – which sites to trust and to put your efforts into and which sites are liable to bite you. A number of well-known article sites have a tendency to change policies without warning, thereby leaving regular writers in the dark or even pushed off the site. The motto is to be prepared for change in the online environment and to place your writing eggs into many online baskets. That way, if things do go awry on one site, you've plenty of others to turn back to.
  • When checking a writing site to see if it's for you, here are some things to think about:
    • Is the site reputable? This matters as much for your own reputation as for the site's longevity.
    • Is the payment fair? Online writing jobs are not a source of great wealth on the whole but some pay better than others and if you can lean toward those ones, then so much the better.
    • What is the timeliness of payment? Clearly some clients or employers are going to be better than others. Over time, you'll learn to prefer those that pay, both out of sheer necessity and out of frustration and outrage at those who don't pay on time, or at all. Keep an eye on writer's forums and bulletin boards for information from writers about bad payers and steer clear of them.
    • Does the site have quotas? Quotas can mean that no matter how great your written piece is and even if the piece has been accepted, the site might have reached its quota and refuse to publish it, and therefore refuse to pay you. If you don't like this type of system, don't write for sites that use it.
    • Does there seem to be good communications from the employer or client? A lack of these can lead to misunderstandings or poor interactions.
    • Will you be bidding for work? Some sites require you to bid. This means that you need to understand the bidding system, be comfortable with using it, and be ready to be outbid.
    • Which English do they use? If writing for the online environment, you'll need to be aware of the site's English policies. If you're writing in Australian English for an American website that doesn't permit spelling variants beyond those used in the United States, then you'll need to brush up on your American grammar unless you want to upset the editor constantly (you don't want to do that!).

  • Before submitting anything to a major publication, make sure you read its guidelines. Plenty of good writing is rejected because the writer was too lazy to meet the guidelines.
  • Set aside a room in your house for writing. On your tax return, you may be able to claim this space as a business expense; check with your accountant or business bureau for details.
  • Keep receipts. Many of your purchases are likely to be tax-deductible and it's better to keep the receipts than to lose their potential value.
  • The best success is likely to come from pitching ideas in areas where you're most familiar with the subject-matter.

Warnings


  • While ongoing earnings for articles already sitting on sites are lovely, don't allow these to cause you to rest on your laurels. Things change and articles can be removed or updated without warning and your earnings can suddenly disappear or plummet.
  • Maintain honest financial records. Your earnings are taxable in most countries.
  • Insist on an advance and part payments. Part payments and advances will protect you from working for nothing with bad payers.
  • Never be casual when you're working through sites that garner reader feedback. Negative feedback can make it very difficult to get work in that platform again.

Things You'll Need


  • Internet access
  • Portfolio
  • Articles that you've already published
  • Journalism or writing skills, plus qualifications where relevant
  • Job leads

Related wikiHows



Sources and Citations



Article Tools

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Comic for February 8, 2011

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Comic for February 8, 2011: "

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Calvin and Hobbes for February 08, 2011

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Calvin and Hobbes for February 08, 2011: ""