Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Dances Abound!!! – Introducing The Big Ooga!

So, back on my New Year’s post I mentioned that one of my resolutions, the main one, was to get back out into the workforce. I wanted not just any job, but one that I loved and a boss that would understand my commitment to my children as well... that’s kind of a tall order in any economy, and I expected many months of pounding the pavement.

Instead, it took about two months and what I found was a fit so perfect, I couldn’t have made it up any better:

The Big Ooga

I’ve come up with paragraph after paragraph, gushing about how much I love the idea of this business and the people I’ll be working with – but this excerpt from our About Page says it better than I can:

”We have created a forum where networks can network and people can create genuine alliances. We are founded on how fairly we treat each other, a collective professionalism and a generous spirit. We support the importance of local business communities and promote and partner with quality organizations. We are also dedicated to the joy of the journey, the thrill of entrepreneurship and most importantly, the success of our members.”

The great thing here is that we’re localized to Chicago, so we’re helping to build both virtual and face-to-face business relationships. But we’re also building a community that anyone can take part in. Our databases of entrepreneurs and small businesses are searchable to everyone, and each business included holds to the highest standards of professionalism.

For those of you in different parts of the country, we'll be expanding. Keep an eye on us to see when Big Ooga launches in a city near you!

My new boss, Ms. Lennie Rose:

Lennie Rose’s Blog Where you’ll find her insights on marketing, running a small business, and her dynamic personality fun and informative!!!

I know a lot of my blogging buddies are freelancers – and I hope you’ll come and look around! I’d love to see you all join in the conversation at Lennie’s Blog. It may be a good way to connect with other entrepreneurs, or just spur new ideas for your own business growth. And for my fiction writing buddies, there will be a plethora of new ideas on marketing and promotion – or you might need to find a great web designer or illustrator to get your Author’s Site up and running.

As you can tell, I’m pretty excited. Right now I’m working from home a bit, getting settled in and learning about the site and blog and our community. I’ll be working with the site itself, and I’m looking into various things. For my own blog here, I burned the feed through feedburner, and registered with technorati. I didn’t register with various bookmarking sites, but I’ll be looking into that for the blog at The Big Ooga. As always, you guys are my best resource. So if you’ve got any favorite services that have worked for your sites or blogs, let me know. Which social bookmarking sites are your favorites? Do you use an alternate service besides technorati? And if you get a second, stop over at The Big Ooga Blog and say, “Hi”...


Lennie Rose said...

This, my dear, is exactly why I couldn't be happier or feel luckier that we found you! YOU are a treasure.

Lennie Rose, CEO Big Ooga

And let's not forget to tell everyone we're expanding across the nation as soon as we can so all major cities will have their own Big Ooga!

Stephen Parrish said...

Lennie: you couldn't have made a better choice. Now answer just one question correctly and you'll pass unharmed through this neck of Blogtopia:

Are you a Cubs fan?

Lennie Rose said...


Colleen_Katana said...

Congrats, Merry! Sounds like a perfect position for you!!!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Lennie,

Thanks for stopping in - I edited the post to include our expansion :-)

Hi Stephen,

You know I didn't think to ask... I think I assumed anyone with that great of taste in employees must be a Cubs fan :-)

Hi Colleen,

How have you been? I noticed on your blog that you've been doing photography on the side - how's it going? And how is the new job? Are you at a publishing company now?

Josephine Damian said...

Ooga! So happpy to hear that anybody has a job in this climate let alone a happy one.

You're boss sounds and looks like a dream.

What's up with the avatar change?

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Josie,

Thanks! Avatar change - the old tom and jerry one stopped working. This one I just picked from some pictures I had saved... plus it's the sun card from the tarot deck and I was in the, "This is a Year of New Beginnings" phase... hey, look at that, I was right!!! I wonder what comes first, the mindset or the changes.

Chris Eldin said...


Merry, I knew this job would be a great fit for your personality!! Your enthusiasm is palpable! Congratulations, my dear!!!!!


Mary Witzl said...

Whooee -- congratulations from me too! I wish I knew more about feedburners and bookmarking sites, but who knows? Maybe I'll learn...

And look: I'm a follower of your blog now -- I've learned how to do that!

Erica Orloff said...

Awesome! Now more than ever, people are going to really, REALLY need to network--they're looking for that in this economy. Sounds like a great job at the right time!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much! I am very excited... it's like taking the best parts I love about writers and their ability to support each other and help each other up the rungs, and then translating it to business at large. Just a really great fit for my whole outlook. Plus, from freelancing and knowing so many freelancers online, I know how valuable it is for those running their own businesses to have collegues to call in to help with projects and lend support.

Okay, I gush.

Hi Mary!!!

How is teaching going and the new digs? I have to stop over more and see how you're doing there... you just amaze me, being able to move to various countries and build a life there... plus I get to read all about it in your blog...

You really should think about pitching a memoir - I know I'd read it.

Hi Erica,

I agree... it really is a great solution for small businesses in general, but in this economy, who couldn't use a network and support?

Thanks for stopping in!

Ello said...

Merry, I can't believe I didn't see this earlier! My reader is messed up!

Congratulations and what a wonderful new company! They really lucked out getting you!

Amy Nathan said...

I followed you here from Erica's blog - because your typo in your rant about typos made me LOL and then you commented about it below your original comment! I loved that.

I'm in (near) Chicago too!! Nice to meet you, and I will check out Big Ooga.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Ello!!!

You know, I still haven't set up my reader... I keep meaning to, but I've been checking in by clicking over to peoples' blogs from my links for so long it's hard to break the habit.

How did agent Bill like the revisions?

Hi Amy!

I didn't know you were a Chicagoan - and you write YA! I've seen you over at Erica's and Spy's and I think a few of the agent and editor blogs. Thanks for stopping in, and absolutely take a stroll over to the Big Ooga Site and look around.

I'll be over to yours to say hi, too.

www.diyfather.com said...

Scott from diyfather.com here – I’m one of the authors of “Call Me Dad!” a practical guide for expectant / new fathers. We believe our book is a unique take on parenting from a male perspective – it’s practical, to-the-point and funny. It’s just a great read and makes for a perfect gift for all dads-to-be.
The book is sold by offline and online resellers but we are also selling it directly on our website and we offer a commission of $2.50 per sale for other sites who link to our site. We thought your site has a good fit with our target audience and so I was wondering whether you’d be interested in joining our affiliate programme (www.diyfather.com/affiliate)?
Best wishes, Scott

Michelle H. said...

Congrats Merry. And if I'm right from the post you left on my blog last Wednesday, then today is your B-day!

Happy Birthday!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Congrats! Finding a new job in this economy must've been a challenge, but to find a perfect fit??? That's just plain special. You're one lucky duck.

Lynnette Labelle

Merry Monteleone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Michelle,

You are correct, it was my birthday on Monday. Sorry it took so long for me to comment back, and thanks for the well-wishes.

Hi Lynette,

I am definitely feeling like a lucky duck - thanks!

Colleen_Katana said...

Ahhh! I just saw your response to me! Sorry...I've been really busy lately and a total slacker at reading people's blogs!

Yes, photography on the side because OHMYGODINEEDMONEY! And it's actually going AMAZINGLY well. And I really enjoy it. My schedule is booking up so fast.

And I've hit a really good stride with my next book which I think is so much stronger than my first. I'm really happy with where it's going.

I'm no longer with Kensington, but now I'm working part-time as a paid intern with Grove/Atlantic...a much more literary house than Kensington. They're absolutely lovely over there and it's a LOT more responsibility which has its ups and downs, I suppose. Again, I feel like I've learned so much working for these houses...even just when it comes to writing and how the business works. I'm learning a lot about how crucial those first 50 pages are and with every manuscript I read, I really try to dissect why it is or isn't working for me.

Regardless I'm super busy but really happy with my professional (hm, or lack of professional? ;0) life for the first time in a while. How are YOU? How's the new job???? Feel free to shoot me an email when you get the chance...(In fact, I probably should have just emailed all this...)

Angela Williams Duea said...

I've GOT to check this out. Thanks for the pointer!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Colleen,

First, I've seen some of your photography at your place and it's excellent! If you weren't all the way in New York, I'd be asking you to take pictures of the kids for me. It's great that it's going well - it's always wonderful to be able to make money doing things you love.

And I really am ecstatic for you!!! I think you'll really love publishing - and it's so hard to break in, but hang in there and I know you'll grow your own writing and a publishing career at the same time.

I'm sure you're making tons of friends in the industry, but I'd be happy to beta read for your next novel if you need another set of eyes.

I am loving the job. I start in the office this coming week but I've been doing some work from home and I'm really excited about it. Like I said, it's really the best thing ever when you get to work doing something you love.

I'll shoot you an email soon - or drop me one.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Angela!!!

Great! Absolutely check us out. We'll be updating the site with new information and pages, and you should sign up for Lennie's Morning Juice - she writes some excellent articles and will keep you up to date as we grow. We also host an event every two months or so - the next one is coming up April 7th.

I'll post some updates here as well, and will be bloggin on the company site once I week, so I'll announce that. I'd love to see you there!