Hi, and welcome to my website! I am a USA Today Best Selling Author of my first YA sci-fi romance series, The S.K.I.E. Series. I write both YA sci-fi and fantasy romance. The new series releasing in 2021 is The World of Ilunae, the first book in The Shards of Arcayna series, a YA fantasy romance. Check out more under The Shards of Arcayna page.
I have been writing since I was 6 or 7 years old (and still have my handwritten stories from back then). I graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelors in English and sub-concentration in creative writing. I have other secondary hobbies besides writing, which is my first passion, including sketching, Taekwondo, scrapbooking, playing games (video and board), creating my own board games, among other dabbles. Here I'll share with you some of my art and other things.
For more personal info I'm married but keeping my maiden name as my author name Caitlyn Mancini. My husband is great and very supportive as I work to grow my writing on the side. It's hard to do right now as I work full-time as a court reporter/stenographer, which is an amazing skill-based career. I'll share more about the profession below. It's very rewarding! Although I would like to grow my writing more so I can work part-time and have more time to write ^-^
I have an amazing cat Sable. Her sister Rogue passed away a year ago and we still miss her dearly. We did get two new kittens Mystique and Storm, although Sable is still getting used to them. ^-^ The cats fill up my personal Instagram and TikTok because they are so adorable. And I love animals! Look below for pictures! :)
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Games I Love
My Profession - Stenography
That beings said it's an extremely rewarding career that's in HIGH DEMAND! We need more reporters and you can do it right out of high school, no degrees required. :) It does take a couple years to learn the steno language and build up your speed, but you're typing in a different language, which is really cool! And all about memorization and muscle memory. There are plenty of ways to take out loans for machines when you're first starting out and the intimate court report profession has many, many amazing people out there to help you grow. We have fun and engaging conferences each year.^-^ If you're interested in this profession and want to learn more, just e-mail me at the above e-mail address listed in my bio description.
This is my machine. The company is Stenograph and this recent machine design is called the Luminex. It's a slightly lighter machine with more adjustments for each of the keys, which is important as a stenographer when you have to type a minimum of 225 words per minute. Yes, I'm not joking. The good news is that the way the steno machine is designed allows you to type in "brief" form so unlike a normal keyboard where you type every individual letters, an entire phrase can be in one stroke with multiple letter combinations. :)
This a very skill-based profession as it's not just about studying to pass your written exam with the minimum grade. You have to pass your national and state exams at 225 words per minute with 95% accuracy. Not only that but you do have to purchase a professional machine before you start working.
The Steno Keyboard
Court reporters are required to type a minimum of 225 WPM on these specialized keyboards and we type in the "steno" or brief language. For example my name in steno is:
We use "K" for the sound even if a name starts with C. You can't use initial C (left side of the keyboard meaning words that start with that letter) because it's a combination of KR. So it wouldn't work with AEU or "long A" sound. In steno everything is spelled phonetically so I struggle with spelling in English now, lol!
Since you can only type so many letters in one stroke, my name is a two-stroke word. The second stroke is the second part of my name "lyn". HR is initial "L". The * symbolizes phrases or capitalization like names, streets, etc. EU is "I" and PB is "N". It sounds confusing in a vacuum but you learn the keyboard letter by letter and it's easier after the initial introduction.
For example, in order to type so fast if I wanted to type "ladies and gentlemen of the jury" I would stroke out all at one time in one stroke: HRA*EURPBLG [aka LA*IRJ] and it comes out translated into English because of our specialized software that's built from the ground up adding every English word, prefix, suffix into the dictionary. As we add more words throughout our years in different cases and come up with quick briefs of our own, or take suggestions from our AI software technology, you build your dictionary to become more and more accurate. When you graduate you start out with a basic dictionary so you're not spending hours adding "a", "the", everything that's basic English, but you will be needing to add words all the time when you come across various cases with street names, places, acronyms, etc.
This world of stenography is an intimate community and very supportive! It is also very flexible. You can make as much money as you want by taking as many jobs as you can or you can take one job per day or take certain days off. You're an independent contractor so you make your own schedule, but you don't have to go out and search for jobs because our firm does that for us and assigns us. You can tell the boss hey, I'd prefer this kind of job, or I want an all day job, or I need PM off on this day. It's SUPER flexible and very lucrative. And the more certifications you get, such as your CRR (certified real time reporter) you can then take more specialized jobs that pay more because it's an added skill.
Our association now has free classes to sign up for in Michigan and other states, and you can try these classes on a real steno machine to see how to type, the alphabet, and basics to see if it's a career you would even be interested in. ^-^ It's a great way to show people how amazing this profession is and still in HIGH DEMAND because not a lot of people know about it or realize you can do it without any educational background or training because you get trained in the schooling. The only downside is that since it's not well known some court reporting schools have closed, which I preferred the in-person teaching. There are online schools but be careful to review and research which ones are best. Some of them I feel are way more difficult than it should be and already it's a profession that only 20% of those that go in graduate and pass all exams. It sounds scary but there are so many tools out there to help and if you're serious about a life-changing new successful career, it's exceptionally rewarding! Here is a link to the National Court Reporter's Association to sign up for the free steno class: Here.
Court reporting job opportunities! There's SO much more to court reporting/stenography than you'd think. Captioners are those that are doing the "captions" that appear in the black box to show you what's being said in text for the news, sports, movies, etc. Those court reporters work from home usually in PJs and using their software to do the captioning from home while the news is live or sports, etc.
You can do CART reporting by shadowing hearing-impaired students in their classes. You get to learn things and it's really rewarding for those students!
You can be a freelancer like myself where you work for a firm and get assigned jobs on your schedule and work as much or as little as you want. Right now most of us are working remotely due to COVID but previously you would drive to various locations (but you can request if you don't want to drive very far) for jobs so you get to see different people, different cities, different locations.
Or the more rare jobs are working as an official reporter in the court systems with a judge.
All of these are great rewarding options. Some are more flexible with schedules than others and some do start out at higher pay, like captioners because there's so much more accuracy involved with it. It's a great profession!