Where Honesty Never Ends.
Greetings! The Review Board here to feature one of two December Author Spotlights, Chandra Clarke. In this interview conducted by No Labels Unleashed, she explores Chandra’s many hats—author, blogger, businesswoman, mate, and mother.
Let’s see, in no particular order:
Very interesting indeed. Although I love flowers, I am butterfingers when it comes to maintenance. Another interesting thing I discovered on your website. I read a post, calling for Facebook to ban motivational quote pictures. How did that come about? Was there any particular event or series of events that brought that post to fruition?
That post came about because for a while there, my entire feed was filled with motivational quote images. I’m definitely a fan of positive thinking, but a little of this goes a long, long way. And at a certain point, just sharing motivational stuff becomes a substitute for real action.
Scribendi.com provides editing and proofreading services to clients, small businesses, and large companies around the world. I started this company back in 1997; I had been working as a managing editor of a newspaper and was seeing all kinds of really awful press releases coming across my desk— text that was badly spelled, off message, and with terrible grammar. I realized there was probably a good market for an on-demand editing service. I left my job and put together the first iteration of the company, and it’s been growing like crazy ever since. We now edit nearly four million words every week, and employ more than 250 people.
Inklyo.com is our content writing startup, and it provides things like blog posts, articles, product descriptions, marketing copy, and so on. We acquired the company last year and we’re really pleased with its growth so far.
Out of all the services offered on Inklyo.com and/or Scribendi.com, which one is:
(a) the most in demand
(b) the one that is the most beneficial to any professional
(c) the one that is crucial to an aspiring writer
(d) a service that is helpful but has not be acquired and/or is underutilized
What is citizen science and how did you get interested in the movement?
Citizen science is where average citizens like you and me can do real science to help answer the big questions facing us all. You don’t need a degree to get into it either.
I got interested in this many years ago when I was a member of some science advocacy groups. At the time, there wasn’t much that the average person could do, apart from reading some articles or donating money. For example, if you were concerned about the plight of the monarch butterfly, you could fund research, and maybe read the annual newsletter.
Now, with all the citizen science projects available, you can actually do something about an issue. For the monarch question, you can buy and plant a monarch way station, which is a mix of plants that monarchs feed on. You can even acquire and raise monarch butterflies and release them into the wild to help bring back the populations.
There are so many other ways to get involved with citizen science. If you’re interested in history, you can help transcribe the diary entries of soldiers. If astronomy is your thing, you can examine images to look for galaxies, or sun spots, or debris disks. If the incredible toll malaria has on children in developing countries concerns you, you can run a program on your computer to help us learn how to control it.
What’s the biggest impact citizen science has had on your life?
Citizen science has shown me that there are many really good people out there who genuinely want to make a difference. The news is filled with stories about how awful people can be, so this has been a wonderfully restorative antidote.
Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science is an introductory guide to citizen science. The first part provides a deeper explanation about what it’s all about, the history of the movement, and why you might want to get involved. The second part provides a sampling of projects you can get involved with today, so you can dive right in.
Be the Change is the first book to get ten stars from all assigned reviewers on The Review Board. How did that make you feel?
I knew it had been well received, but I didn’t know until now that it was the first book to do so well. That’s both awesome and humbling. As a writer, it makes me feel like I did what I set out to do, which is to provide a clear explanation of citizen science and to raise awareness of the movement.
Do you have any future writings on the horizon?
For sure. My husband and I are working on a book that will talk about the art and science of being both a parent and an entrepreneur; we hope to release it in the spring. I’m also working on a sci-fi novel, but that’s still in the outlining stage.
You are a lady of many hats. Which hat brings you the most fulfillment and why?
Tough question! If I have to pick, I’d say that on the business side, I love the fact that we help people communicate clearly, and in turn, that helps them achieve their dreams. On the personal side, homeschooling our kids has been tough, but very, very rewarding. I love seeing them connect the dots on concepts, and sometimes, we get into some pretty deep conversations at the dinner table. They’re getting a way better education than I got!