VIPKID Vibes: FAQ for Newbies, Part 1

Now that I’m on my 3rd contract for VIPKID, I figured I have enough knowledge to make a FAQ post. I’ll start with the most common questions I see from new teachers.


What is the flower icon on my profile?

Image result for what is that gif

On the teacher app, you’ll see a flower beside your name. This is the number of followers you have.

What does that mean? A parent can “follow” a teacher and be notified when you open slots. As far as I know, that’s the point.

Can you see who is following you? No.

Does your follower count affect your bookings? I haven’t really noticed a difference, to be honest.

What is that other icon? The things that looks like a v in a circle is the number of tokens you have. Which brings me to…


How do I earn tokens?

Image result for i want some gif

Hutong challenges! Which aren’t “challenges” at all. They consist of clicking links, skimming information, or typing a quick response to a question. And while they aren’t worth many tokens, they do add up.

Parent feedbacks. For every 5 apple rating you receive, you earn tokens.

Attending workshops. I haven’t done a workshop in a while, but I believe you earn 4 tokens?

Random incentives. When I renewed my contract, I got 100 tokens. Sometimes they have surveys in exchange for tokens.

Why are my tokens in different places?

I’m not sure why they haven’t streamlined this, but the tokens you earn from Hutong challenges are kept separate from those in the portal. In the Hutong, you’ll need to click on Rewards and do an exchange. They’ll move your tokens (by 100 or 500) to the portal.


What are the tokens for anyway?

Related image Continue reading

Advertisements

VIPKID Vibes: Now on Instagram

I’m not sure what possessed me, but I made an Instagram account just for VIPKID. My plan for now is to post some pictures of rewards I use and anything else VIPKID related. I’ll also post a link to any new blog posts. I can’t guarantee I’ll keep up with this, but I’ll give it a try.

You can find me here: @vipkidvibes

This is strictly for VIPKID, so if you have a VIPKID themed Instagram, I’ll give you a follow. 🙂


If you’re more into cats, follow my cat instead: @meowingmocha

AND because I’ve completely lost it, I’m starting a writing Instagram too: @laurenseewrites


Thanks for spending some time here. What am I doing with my life?

Finding My Story a New Home: Part 2

Update:

I had to cut ~3200 words from a short story to meet the word count limits of the magazine where I’m submitting.  I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but it ain’t fun.

Related image

It wasn’t bad at first. It was actually pretty easy. There was some questionable content that had to go, so that was at least 1k. Easy.

Then I had to start cutting lines I really like. Really, really like. I had to keep telling myself, I still have the original story saved. It’s not like it’s gone forever. And this is necessary if I want the story to have a shot. It didn’t make it any easier, but it gave me a push at least.

The last 200 words or so… absolute hell.

But I did it. My grand total is now… 5938

Related image Continue reading

Finding My Story a New Home

I’ve spent days–no, literally days–researching different literary magazines. Let me just say… whoa.

First of all, who knew there were so many? Well, probably everyone.

There are many factors to consider when you’re looking to submit your writing: print vs. online, word count limits, reading periods, reading fees, accepts reprints or not, circulation size. It’s exhausting.

Image result for there are so many gif

Short version:

I have three short stories I’m trying to see in print. One of them is new, so I have virtually no restrictions and many places to chose from. I sent my first attempt last week. Fingers crossed.

My second story is a reprint, but it’s average length and “literary” so I have some options here as well. Sending my first attempt this week. Fingers and toes crossed.

The third one… you have no idea. #thestruggleisreal

Related image

Continue reading

Songs I’m Binging This Week #3

I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but I hope to get back to regular posting–starting with this #musicmonday edition.

Disturbed “Land of Confusion”

Why this wasn’t on my favorite covers post, I can’t say, but it’s awesome.

Corey Taylor “Taciturn”

There’s a super awesome solo concert with covers I never would’ve imagined (Eagles and CCR, really? Yes.) I’d never heard “Taciturn” before this concert, so I thought I’d check it out after loving it at first listen. And boom, the live version sounds exactly like the studio one. Why? Because it’s Corey Freaking Taylor.

Five Finger Death Punch “I Refuse”

Another slow-jam. Ha! Is this a slow-jam? Beats me. I like it though. I do like FFDP, but I have to say, their songs all sound the same, no? Especially the guitar solos. The slower ones have more of their own sound, I think. This guitar solo in particular is not very FFDP at all. Thanks to Pandora for this one.

Korn “Coming Undone”

First off, this album cover is the stuff of nightmares. Now, to me, Korn is synonymous with “Freak On a Leash” and nothing can change my mind. I don’t know much of their music at all. Not everything needs an explanation. This is pretty catchy despite how repetitive it is. Thanks for Alex Hefner for this one.

Disturbed “Sticken”

Disturbed again?? It’s simple. I was doing a 1k piece puzzle in my living room, as one does, and Pandora’s Breaking Benjamin radio was playing a crap-ton of Disturbed tracks.

So, yeah. That’s it.

Until next week, rock on.


Thanks for spending some time here.

My Currents: April 2019

My Currents: January 2019

My Currents: February 2019

My Currents: March 2019

I’m late posting this, but…

Time for an update.

A List of Currents and Lasts

Current Album in My Car

Ember Breaking Benjamin

Are you even surprised at this point?

Related image


Current Album in My Stereo

Dark Before Dawn Breaking Benjamin

Image result for breaking benjamin gif


Last Song Played on Spotify

I haven’t used Spotify at all lately, mostly Pandora. The last song I remember hearing on Pandora:

“Prayer” Disturbed

Related image

 

 


Last Netflix Binge

NOTHING!

I didn’t so much as turn it on.

But an update to last month: I did watch the Nate Bergatze comedy special. I recommend!


Current YouTube Obsession

Alex Hefner

So many people are trying to make it big on YouTube with so-called reaction channels. I like this one simply because I find him likable. I’ll admit, I found him very annoying at first–not sure why I kept watching his videos then, hmmm. And at times, his “reaction” is nothing more than a head-bob. All the same, I like his genuine enthusiasm and upbeat personality. He promotes positive mental health quite a bit, and I’m all about that.

Related image


Last Movie Watched

Avengers: Endgame

NO SPOILERS, promise!! To avoid saying anything that might hint at anything, I’ll just post some gifs of my favorite Marvel characters instead.

 

Related image

Image result for thor gif

Related image

Related image


Current Read

Random Short Stories

Image result for read gif

I’m looking into submitting one of my stories to different literary magazines, so I’ve been reading stories from past issues to see where mine might fit in.


Thanks for spending some time here! 

My Short Story is Officially Published!

And here’s how I feel about it:

Related image

It’s not every day you see your name in a book, let alone alongside something you wrote! I’m pretty stoked about it.

Anyway… here she is:

And if you’d like your own copy–because yours truly is in it–here’s the link:

America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers

My story is called “Dad’s Room” and writing it was quite an experience. In the wake of writing a different short story (one that I’m hoping to see in print at some point), I thought I’d try another one. “Dad’s Room” was what I ended up with. I wrote the first draft-of-sorts in one day. The only reason I’m sharing this is because I’m a turtle writer. My novel took years before I could say it’s finished. Maybe it’s because I had a due date for this story, I don’t know. But I cranked it out.

I thought the first version was pretty good, but a few awesome folks at Scribophile showed me the error of my ways. 🙂 So the third version is what I submitted. It’s a different tone from my normal writing. Maybe. Most of the time, I think everything I write sounds the same. (My blog posts are like a Lily-Tyler combo. It’s weird.) It’s not as funny. I’ll put it that way.

Related image

If you end up reading my story, I hope you enjoy it. It’s such an honor to have anything I’ve written chosen for publication. Thanks to Z Publishing for the opportunity, thanks to my writing buddies for helping me fix Dad, and thanks to the other writers featured in this anthology for deciding to submit your writing–without you, there wouldn’t be a book in the first place. Congrats to you as well! You’re published! 🙂

My previous Z Publishing reaction: I Have Writing News!


Thanks for spending some time here. Have a great week!

Songs I’m Binging This Week #2

“There’s A Place” All American Rejects

If I find the strength to write a post I’ve been thinking about writing, you’ll see this song again. Short version: My novel’s main character looks 98% like Tyson Ritter–but like “Dirty Little Secret” era Tyson Ritter. But then I saw this video, and I couldn’t stop watching it. I mean, it’s Tyler. He’s real, and it’s just so weird to me. Surreal, actually. The whole vibe of the song and everything. I can’t. I. can’t. The thumbnail alone. It’s too much. Gah, I’m insane. Moving on.


“This is the Time” Nothing More

This is one of the first songs I featured when I started writing music posts. I listened to this on a loop for about twenty-five minutes the other night. I think I’m so stuck on this song because it came out during a time in my life where I needed a song to cling to. My job was a nightmare, and I remember coming home and just cranking this up and forgetting how horrible my day was.

I’m still in love with this line:

We always start with good intentions but lose ourselves along the way.

Continue reading

I’m an Emerging Writer Again! Pub Credit #2

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement.

Image result for announcement gif

My story, “Dad’s Room,” will be published in Maryland’s Emerging Writers. This is my second pub credit and my second year in this anthology! I’m super proud of myself. This story took a lot out of me and was certainly a departure from what I usually write. Plus, it was one of those, “I don’t know where this is going” kind of stories, but apparently, I made it work.

Related image

While my first short story acceptance remains one of the coolest moments in my life, this time is just as sweet. Speaking of, either this week or next, I’m submitting my first short story (my first pub credit) to an online magazine. I’d love to see that one in its entirety. I feel like I owe it to my MC, Seth. That’s weird, but I don’t care.

More details about the 2019 Maryland’s Emerging Writers Anthology to come!

Related image

EDIT:

It’s here! My Short Story is Officially Published!


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

If An Agent Called Me, I Would Die

Happy Writing Wednesday! Here’s a glimpse into the insanity that is my writing life.

If you’ve spent some time here, you know I’m querying a novel. The process is so slow I’m not going to remember where I saved the document if an agent requests it. Know what I mean?

I get that agents are busy, but since I’ve been stalking querytracker.net like it’s my job, there’s one agent I submitted to with an average of 100 days to respond to a query. Um.

Image result for waiting gif

I’ve been pretty lucky so far with my wait time. And although rejections sting, it’s nice to get it over with. For the sake of my pride, I’ve decided not to share my exact numbers with you, but when something worth sharing happens, I’ll be sure to post it. I will say, my first rejection this round hurt like hell, but they’ve gotten so much easier. #thebrightsideofrejection

I have a problem I’m trying to convince myself is not a problem. My book is too normal. When I started it, #ownvoices wasn’t a thing. At least it didn’t have hashtag. But now that’s all you see. My cast isn’t the most diverse–because the setting isn’t. It’s a small town, not NYC. And no one has any defining disability or anything. Had I known when I started writing this that I would try to get it published, I would’ve thrown something in there. But that’s the thing. I feel like so much media now is just checking off boxes. Like, let’s see, Asian? Check. Interracial couple? Check. Homosexual? Check. Anxiety disorder? Check. #forshame

The other problem I may have is the heat level. I mean, it’s probably PG-13 at the most. Sexy time scenes are not in my arsenal. I know there are agents out there who would like my book, but I don’t know where they are! I just wish I could send them a collection of Matt Bomer gifs, and say, “By the way, this is Mark Peterson.”

Image result for matt bomer gif    Related image

Wait. What was I doing? I’ve been looking at gifs for the past 20 minutes. Continue reading