Indigo Sound

Indigo Sound

Prologue: Ms. Regina Baiocchi is one the most celebrated entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Recently, I was blessed to catch up with Ms. Baiocchi as she was taking a brief respite from her multifaceted career. Following is an in-depth discussion with this talented Author.

E: “Good afternoon, Ms. Baiocchi, I hope you are well. Please give us a glimpse into your life.”

R: “Certainly, Ms. Cogdell! I am a Composer/Author/Poet, currently writing music for a concert. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2:00 pm at Holy Family Church (1080 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago). The concert features the music of ‘6 Degrees’, six female composers, including myself. I have two compositions that will premiere at this concert titled, ‘Doxology‘ (for pipe organ) and ‘Mass of the Holy Family’ (SATB acapella). The former is a tribute to my Mother, Lanzie M. Harris; the latter has not yet been dedicated.”

E: “Exciting! We’d like to hear about your education.”

R: “I hold post graduate degrees from Roosevelt University (Bachelor of Music Composition); DePaul University (Master of Music Composition); and New York University (Public Relations Certificate). I am an alumna of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and St. Elizabeth Grammar School (part of the oldest Black Catholic Church in Chicago).”

E: “Please describe a typical day in your life.”

R: “I rarely have typical days.”

E: “What motivates you and why?”

R: “I am motivated by deadlines and compensation for what I do. Deadlines motivate me to complete art on time and in a palatable way for others to enjoy my artwork. Compensation or money motivates me because it is one way that the commissioner/patron of my music expresses his or her respect for my time and creativity. My muse always motivates me because it is the Voice of our Higher Power speaking to me, and to others through me.”

E: “How, why and when did you begin your writing career?

R: “I have been writing poetry since age seven; music since age 9. Words and music have always spoken to me.”

E: “How many books have you penned and which is your favorite? Why?”

R: “I have penned three fiction books: ‘Indigo Sound’; ‘Urban Haiku’; and ‘Blues Haiku’, as well as several books of creative non-fiction. To choose a favorite book is like choosing a favorite child; it is not wise to do so publicly. My three ‘babies’ know which is my favorite, and they know that each of them have held that honor.”

E: “That’s interesting, Ms. Baiocchi; good answer! Are you self-published? Why or why not?”

R: “My fiction books are self-published, but my creative non-fiction is published by Oxford University Press, Greenwood Press, Third World Press and Center for Black Music Research’s Digest. I chose to self-publish to: (a) maintain creative control; and (b) learn the process of publishing.”

E: “Please give us a brief synopsis of ‘Indigo Sound’.”

R: “I’d be more than happy to do so. ‘Indigo Sound’, my first work of fiction, is a collection of short stories, expertly weaved in African folkloric style, which when combined, comprise a ‘novel’ of epic proportions. This exciting ‘novel’ features such interesting characters as: Trieste Meeks (a mute girl); her cousin Sankofa; Ivan (Sankofa’s first husband); Hamid: Deacon Promise; and Obi and Fulvio. ‘Indigo Sound’ has been highly praised by such literary giants as: Nikki Giovanni; Haki Madhubuti; and the late Studs Terkel.”

E: “Who is/was your target audience? What did you hope to accomplish by writing this book?”

E: “We’d love to hear some of the highlights of your illustrious career.”

R: “Certainly! Among the many diverse wells into which I dip my pen are: music; poetry; fiction; creative non-fiction; and marketing/advertising. I have composed both vocal and instrumental music. My vocal compositions are usually accompanied by piano, but sometimes also by flute, alto sax, bass drums and other percussion instruments. Diverse vocal compositions are titled: ‘Ask Him’; ‘God is Mighty’; ‘Lovers and Friends’; and ‘I Hear Voices’. My instrumental compositions feature clarinet, conga, dgembe, marimba, string quartet, and violin accompaniment. Some of my instrumental compositions are titled: ‘After the Rain’; ‘Friday Night’; ‘Shadows’; and ‘Three Pieces for Greg’. My second fiction work, titled, ‘Urban Haiku’ is a collection of haiku prose and poetry revolving around such topics as God and Jesus, people, food, our surroundings, war and death. ‘Urban Haiku’ firmly put me ‘on the map’ as a bonafide poet. Illinois’ late poet laureate, Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks put it this way, ‘Like all good elixirs, Regina’s poetry reflects a golden ear and platinum pen, working in perfect tandem to distill the essence of life’. My works of creative non-fiction include the following: ‘Fanfare for the Uncommon Poet’; ‘Gospel Music’; ‘Jazz’; and ‘Women of Cave Canem’. Additionally, I teach both music and poetry at various workshops.”

E: “Awesome, Ms. Baiocchi, you definitely are the consummate entrepreneur! So, tell us, which gives you the most satisfaction, writing, teaching or music?”

R: “Combining writing music, writing words and teaching provides the ultimate setting for my creativity, hence I receive satisfaction in all three areas.”

E: “Which of these careers has been most successful?”

R: “Since I believe success is ‘the pursuit of a worthy cause’, I have been successful at all three endeavors.”

E: “If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?”

R: “I would have enough money, resources and opportunity to spare, and to share.”

E: “What are you currently working on?”

R: “In addition to my Fall 2011 Concert, I have submitted a new book of poetry to a potential publisher.”

E: “How do you spend your leisure time?”

R: “Leisure time allows me to read, watch movies, visit with my husband Greg and play board games (Scrabble, Checkers, Cards, Bid Whist, Solitaire), etc.”

E: “What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Why?”

R: “Be persistent! Nothing ruins a dream more than a dreamer who gives up on his or her dream.”

E: “Where can readers obtain copies of your works?”

R: “My books are available through my website, at libraries, and at the following book stores: 57th Street Books; Sandmeyer’s Books (Dearborn ¬†amp; Polk in Chicago); Nubian Heritage (NYC); Women and Children First (Clark amp; Foster in Chicago); and Jazz Record Mart (East Illinois Street near State Street in Chicago).”

Thank you, very much, Ms. Baiocchi, for this very exciting, informative interview. Much continued success to you in all your future endeavors. I am certain you will continue to enlighten and entertain us for generations to come.

How to Build a Contact Form in Drupal

How to Build a Contact Form in Drupal

Drupal is a free and open source Content Management system. Since its’ inception in 2001, hundreds of thousands of webmasters and aspiring entrepreneurs have utilized its’ ever expanding features to create, manage and maintain their websites. Ranging from small personal blogs to corporate sites with intricate graphics and multiple pages, the usage of Drupal is evident all over the World Wide Web.

A crucial feature of any site that aspires to be more than just a static repository of content or basic advertising blurb is the contact form. Allowing the reader, and perhaps potential customer, instant access to further information, even if it is just to ask a simple question, can be crucial to a site’s ultimate success.

The contact form module is built into the Drupal Core system, but like many features within the program it is turned off by default in the basic installation. To activate the module the user must click through to Administer/Site Building/Modules and follow the prompts to turn on the contact module. It is a relatively quick and simple procedure.

In order to begin configuring your new form you need to navigate to Administer/Site Building/Contact Form and click the Add Category tab to begin. You will at this point be prompted to name your category, which you are free to label as you please.

A nice feature of Drupal is that it gives you ability to set up multiple contact forms in any category you require, each of which can be directed to a different contact e mail address. For instance, you may want to create a different contact form for various departments, such as Customer Service, Billing or general information. Drupal also allows each individual form to be directed to multiple e mail addresses, useful perhaps if you have a team of people working in the same division. You configure the recipients for each form by entering the addresses, separated by a comma, when prompted to do so. You are also offered the option of configuring a polite auto-responder, allowing you to make instant contact with the interested individual even though you may be too busy to address their needs immediately.

The standard setup creates a form with fields for name, email address, subject and message. There is also a check box that allows the sender to receive a copy of the message, which can be disabled if you so wish.

If you wish to customize your form beyond these basics you can do so by browsing to Administer/Site Building/Contact Form/Settings .This area will also allow you to set up a useful anti spam measure that will limit the number of contact forms that may be received in a single hour, so your inbox is not bombarded with spam contact forms.

When you activate the Contact Form module, a menu item is created for the page. Again, this is an item initially disabled by default but can be activated by going to Administer/Site Building/Menus, locating the Contact Form tab and clicking on the enable button. You may then move each form to the appropriate place in your site’s navigation. Once activated according to the prompts, the live links to your forms should appear when the page is refreshed.

To ensure the form is functioning correctly you should send a couple of quick messages through it, an important final step as there is little more frustrating to an interested user than a contact form that does not work.

Custom made

Use Your Wholesale Suppliers: Get Your Wholesale Suppliers To Make Marketing Materials For You

Yesterday my roommate came home, excited to show me his company’s new marketing materials. “Look!” he exclaimed, waving slick, full-color brochures and thick catalogs in my face. “They even have my name imprinted on them!”

My roommate, a wholesale supplier salesman, had tapped into a little-known free marketing tool for entrepreneurs who sell products manufactured elsewhere: coop advertising.

Of course, different companies offer different marketing collateral: the wholesale suppliers my roommate represents number in the hundreds, with some offering completely free, targeted, high-end pieces custom-made for his business, while others provide little or nothing to place in the end customers’ hands. How did he find out which wholesale supplier offered free coop advertising?

He asked.

Spend a day calling all of your wholesale suppliers. Talk to their marketing or advertising departments and ask whether or not they offer coop advertising materials or free marketing collateral to their retailers, salespeople or clients. Many wholesale suppliers do, and will even print your own company name on their catalogs to assist you with your money making goals.