Tuesday, October 18, 2016


This blog is inactive. Please check out my author blog at Rosemary O'Brien or my blog about pocket parks for Pocket Parks Publishing. There are some exciting things coming in the future and I wouldn't want you to miss them! I may still post helpful items for my military family and veterans, but I am working on building my guide book business. A revision of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC is coming in the spring. I may also be covering a city overseas next year, so please stay tuned.

Enjoy the journey,

Friday, September 05, 2014

WANTED: A job at a cool company

My name is Rosemary O’Brien and I am the dream of any employer.

  • ·         I am hard working, often working into the wee hours building my small business or working on writing assignments for other small businesses and publications.
  • ·         I am creative in my approach to everything whether it be creating the best brochure for a client or my own company, or looking for the best way to get the word out about my projects through social media, radio or someone who knows someone who knows someone else and is willing to introduce me.
  • ·         I have written dozens of magazine articles, website pages, speeches not to mention two novels and one non-fiction guide – all published with royalties and everything.
  • ·         If I have a question, I speak to someone in my network. If no one in my network has the particular expertise or information for which I am looking, I am not afraid to reach out to the big guys even if I’ve never met them. I meet them by reaching out and introducing myself and have met some pretty cool people this way.
  • ·         I apply for everything, from grants that might fit my projects to scholarships for conferences. I have met the best people at conferences. If I find the material or the subject is something I already know pretty well, I listen anyway. You never know what you can learn or whom you can mentor if given the chance.
  • ·         I have experience as an administrative assistant as well as a professional actress. Sometimes they work together pretty well!
  • ·         And lastly, I have directed and stage managed up to 80 children in children’s theatre. If I can corral that type of situation and make a meaningful project come to life on a stage, I guarantee I can coordinate the printing of your report or gather material for your website.

Add all of this work experience and skill to the fact that I have done much of it while staying home with my children and moving homes where my retired Naval Officer husband’s job has taken us for years. He has retired, we are settled now and I want to use all of this experience in support of a good job with decent pay in a company that is not too stodgy, yet not completely unorganized or it will not be around for me to work. In short, I want to have fun while I work, but I still want to work hard. Is it possible to find a technology company, a news organization or communications department somewhere that can fulfill my dream of working for a paycheck? It’s a simple dream.

If you are in charge of hiring for such a company, one that will embrace my skills and experience while not requiring me to make coffee all day or stock shelves, I would love to talk to you. I am located in Southern Connecticut and am happy to work on site or virtually, but I want to work and I would be an asset to any company that wants a strong, helpful, vibrant and organized communications expert who can take charge when necessary, yet assist when someone else is in charge. Please contact me at writerobrien@gmail.com with the word ‘GOOD JOB’ in the subject line. I promise you, you will not be sorry.

Very Sincerely,

Rosemary O’Brien

Friday, August 29, 2014

Need some advice? Call the big guys!

Sometimes a newly-minted entrepreneur needs some advice about their business. Let’s face it, there is only so much you can learn from books, classes and seminars. When that happens to me, I reach out to the big guys such as business moguls, other successful authors and even celebrities. Why not? The worst they can do is say no or just ignore your email or call.

Since graduating from the EBV-F (Entrepeneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families) program last year, I have placed many calls and sent many emails to those I believe may be able to help me get to where I want to go by offering advice or constructive criticism. In fact, criticism can help you avoid pitfalls that some other entrepreneur, namely one of these heavy-hitters, has already gone through. Why take those missteps when your contact can warn you about them? Below is a sample of some of the ‘Big Guys’ I have contacted. Some have been people I have met through the EBV-F program, but some are just people I contacted out of sheet admiration, knowing they would have some excellent insights into my problem at hand.

Dave Marx, owner of PassPorter.com with his wife Jennifer Marx

I contacted Dave after being a fan of his PassPorter’s Walt Disney World guides for many years. I used it the first time I planned a tip to Walt Disney World and have used an updated edition for each of our five trips. Dave was happy to schedule a call in the early days of forming my company and provided me with valuable advice only a successful niche publisher could bestow.

A keynote speaker and founder of a large company

I read that someone was going to be the keynote speaker of the EBV National Conference which I would be attending, reached out to his organization and asked to speak to someone in his organization to get their opinion on selling my guide to a certain segment of the market as an entry point. I expected to speak to a manager or someone in the organization, knowing this gentleman is a busy executive and speaks around the country. The man himself had his assistant set up a phone call and I was blessed with 30 minutes of some of the most insightful business advice I could receive from a master business person. (Forgive the secrecy, but he would be inundated with even more calls if I gave up his name!)

Kelly Lewis, founder Go! Girl Guides

I contacted Kelly when I was looking around for a place to display my guide. She was putting together her first Women’s Travel Festival in New York City and I was thinking of attending as a vendor. I never went, but I did end up speaking to her on the telephone for a while. She was very helpful as a woman niche publisher who was where I wanted to be in a few years. She told me how she began her business, bestowing gems of advice as we spoke. Her guide helps women who want to travel alone navigate such exotic places as Thailand and as cosmopolitan as London. Her valuable advice saved me a lot of time as I travel her path.

I called Rob after meeting the author of another Cheap Bastard’s Guide at a journalism conference. I thought he was doing something similar to what I was doing in that he hired out the writers for each title or wrote the guides himself. When I met the other author, I had to find out how Rob was structuring his business or if he was working for someone else. My call to Rob ended up lasting almost an hour with him giving me his insight about how he did it and what I should avoid in my quest to build my brand and publish my titles.

These are but four of the dynamic people I have contacted to get advice about my business. They were all very open and free with their information and advice, leaving me with words of wisdom as I built my business, Pocket Parks Publishing. I figured if I was usually willing to help a deserving soul avoid some missteps, why wouldn’t any of these people if they had the time, but that is the key. Time. Make sure you focus your questions to one area when you finally get the person on the phone or in a coffee shop. Their willingness to take time out of their busy schedules to speak to you is out of the goodness of their heart. Be respectful of their time, keep it as short and sweet as possible, and move on. Afterward, send a handwritten note thanking them for speaking with you.

It’s not rocket science. We entrepreneurs have all been in the same place at some point as we have started and grown our businesses. Reach out to the masters of business to benefit from their wisdom. Remember: all they can do is say no. With all you have to do to launch a business, making a cold call should be easy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hello to all of my readers. I'm back!

Over the past few years, I have put aside this blog in the pursuit of other projects. I was raising children, writing for a variety of clients, and pursuing more education, but in the less formal spheres. I took a class on writing grants, graduated from Florida State's EBV-F program for military families pursuing businesses, attended both VWISE and Techstars Patriot Bootcamp, won a pitch contest, won a small grant, and FINALLY became a member of American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). My new niche publishing business is up and running, Pocket Parks Publishing, and I am at work on the second guide in that series. I am also attending the upcoming Facebook Vets-In-Tech Hackathon next week and looking forward to presenting my idea for an app, an idea that went over pretty well at the Techstars conference. Wish me luck!

As you can imagine, I have learned many things throughout my journey and I would like to share them with you here on Writing Military Mom. While I will continue to post about opportunities for the military community, I also plan to write about entrepreneurship, what I have been learning throughout the last year or so, and how I'm moving forward with my plan to become a profitable small publisher.

I look forward to hearing from everyone and am happy to be back!

Rosemary O'Brien

Monday, March 18, 2013

Contest for families near The Poconos

I have never been to the Poconos myself, so I thought this would be a fun giveaway to enter. Skytop is about two hours to the west of New York City. Check it out and let me know if you win.


Looking to make Easter extra special? Take advantage of our 20% OFF PLUS KIDS FREE* midweek special offer and enjoy Skytop Lodge for an extended stay over Easter and Spring Break!

We'll be celebrating the holiday throughout the week with Easter-themed activities including:
  • Help Build Skytop's famous 7 ft.tall Floral Easter Bunny
  • Egg Coloring
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Meet Peter Cottontail
  • Make an Easter Bonnet
  • Lawn Games: egg toss, three-legged race, relay races
  • Easter Egg Nature Walk
Spring will be in bloom so be sure plan an adventure at The Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge!

Rates starting at $352.00** which include charming accommodations for two, 3 meals per night stay - including Easter Brunch, and most activities.

Win a Weekend Getaway for a Family of 4!

Includes one room accommodation, three delicious meals daily and most activities. Not valid July, August or Holidays. Based on availability. Some restrictions may apply. Valid for one year. Random winner chosen Friday, May 10!

Disclaimer: Blogger is entering a giveaway for this deal by posting this on her blog.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Click on http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/ticket/?device=bbery&c=y if the link above does not work. I would suggest the Intrepid in New York. It's very impressive and there's nothing better than an outdoor museum by the water on a beautiful September day! Whichever museum you choose, enjoy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New parenting book from RadicalParenting.com author.

Inside the Mind of Teens

By Vanessa Van Petten, creator of RadicalParenting.com a parenting website written from the teen perspective to help parents understand them. She is also the author of the parenting book, “Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?”

When I was 16 I thought it was my Dad’s goal in life to make me miserable. I was convinced that he had a
running list of all the ways he could embarrass me in front of my friends, trick me into doing more chores
or make my curfew earlier.

Our relationship would have continued to devolve until one day I saw my Dad reading a parenting book.
I flipped through it while my Dad was in the bathroom and realized a lot of the things he did that drove
me crazy he was getting right out of this book! I looked at the other parenting books on our shelves and
realized that they were all written by adults. I wondered—has anyone ever asked teens to write to their

I decided to build a website where teens could answer questions and write to parents called
RadicalParenting.com. I couldn’t believe how quickly it grew and how happy both teens were to get their
voices out and parents were to have a new outlet for connecting with their kids! We now have over 120
teen writers who give advice.

Teenagers, when given a neutral space LOVE talking to parents and often offer some of the best insight
because they are going through it themselves. We have also be so excited to help parents who feel like
they cannot reach their kids and teens.

I think teens and parents can work together to overcome their differences and learn to work best
together. We have just come out with our book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded and
it is a radical approach to parenting because it is written from the kid’s perspective! We would love for
you to check it out—if you are brave enough to see what kids have to say!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April 15th Deadline Approaching for Military Spouse Fellowship Program

The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program
By Janet Farley

If you are interested in applying for the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program, you’d better get on it! The deadline to apply for this exciting opportunity is April 15, 2011.

Now in its sixth year, this popular career and community enhancing grant once again offers 200 military spouses the opportunity to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation.

Having a value of up to $1,170, the grant pays for the enrollment fee, study materials, webinar study sessions and two attempts at each examination for the two courses needed to earn the designation.

The coursework is completed via distance learning and is self-paced. In addition to the coursework, spouses are required to complete a practicum that may consist of up to 1000 hours, depending on one’s past work experience.

Spouses have up to three years to complete the program.

To date, nearly 1000 scholarships have been awarded and 255 military spouses have successfully completed the training and earned the AFC® credential. You can find them many of them working within military communities the world over as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and credit unions.

If you think you have what it takes, visit www.militaryfamily.org to read up on the fine print.  Note that preference is given to military spouses who: 
  • have some college or a degree in business, finance, accounting or social sciences
  • currently volunteer or work in personal finance, banks, credit unions or counseling services
  • have volunteer experience within the military community

The 2011-2012 Fellowship is open to current or surviving spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserve service members.  Spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials are also eligible to apply.

It is administrated in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® and the National Military Family Association (www.militaryfamily.org).  To apply online for the fellowship, visit www.militaryfamily.org by the April 15th deadline.

Janet Farley is the author of The Military Spouse’s Guide to Complete Career Success (Impact Pubs) and the Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide (Jist, Inc.). Farley writes the JobTalk column in the Stars and Stripes newspapers and the Homefront column for the Military Officers Association of America. Farley also writes for Military OneSource, Bradley-Morris’ Civilian Job News and ClearanceJobs.Com. Follow her on Twitter at Mil2CivGuide for timely career transition tips.