?

Log in

No account? Create an account

It's Friday in Cape Town!

« previous entry | next entry »
Dec. 21st, 2012 | 01:57 am

Where Christmas is a beach-and-braai (barbeque) holiday, and the family I’m visiting speaks another language! Perhaps they are rehashing years of bitterness after a family quarrel, or nagging each other about traditions that must be carried out, or complaining that the roast is always dry—I can’t understand it, so who cares! Hurray, Christmas in another country!

I’m having a lovely time—it’s summer here, and I’m continuing my goal of Making It Through Winter Without Seeing Snow Or Wearing A Coat. I have 24 hours in Michigan next month before heading to Memphis, Tennessee, but I’m sure I can drive as far as Kentucky with my eyes closed. Isn’t there an app for that?

REJECTED!
Nothing this week—I think editors are huddled over rum punches and vats of eggnog, silently blessing the two weeks away from the slush pile. MY SUBMISSIONS WILL STILL BE IN YOUR INBOX IN JANUARY, MOFOS.

SCORED!
After twelve weeks of pitching stories on their weekly theme, every week, Definitely Not The Opera said yes! The theme was “Reinvention”. I’d actually missed the deadline by a day, but instead of deleting it off my list, I sent in a pitch anyway, and got an email back from a producer. We chatted by phone and I go into a studio here in South Africa to record the story tomorrow. I’m incredibly excited to get my foot in the door of this terrific program.

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
For goodness’ sake people, take a break, it’s the holidays. Here’s something festive:

A sphinx cat in a festive reindeer hood.


ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
Application for staff writing position at Persephone, an online magazine-format blog that describes itself as “for bookish and clever women.”

Why?
I found them through my favorite cleaning Tumblr, UFYH. The creator of UFYH is Persephone’s copywriter, and I visited the site through her terrific article on The Depression/Messy House Cycle.

How?
Submission through their website; the guidelines on the subjects they are looking for are pretty old, so I also asked if they were looking for anything else.

What?
Short bio, and suggestions of what I could write on.

And then I hit ‘send’. WHICH IS LIKE SAYING SURE I’D LOVE TO DRIVE YOUR STICK SHIFT CAR WITH NO AC, BLINKERS OR WORKING DOOR LOCKS TO MY HAIR APPOINTMENT ALSO WHICH SIDE OF THE ROAD SHOULD I BE ON AND HOW DOES A TRAFFIC CIRCLE WORK NO REALLY I’LL BE FINE YOU SLEEP IN.


LINK OF THE WEEK
Six Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person by David Wong is a terrific example of a polemic that is challenging to the audience but still readable and interesting. While aimed at young people striking out into the world (and young men of a certain age), I thought this was a good wake-up call for anyone. While yeah, we all want to be good people with nice qualities, this reminder that the world judges you on what you do rather than who you are is both intimidating and liberating. I’m not a writer because I’m good at craft, or have cool ideas, I’m a writer because I write, and output is all my readers can judge me on.


“Saying that you're a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn't make you sick. You're like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is ‘The actors are clearly visible.’”


Read more at Cracked.


____________________________________________
What harsh truth made you a better person?

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {29}

theafaye

(no subject)

from: theafaye
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Link

I did think that I saw echoes of Wong's article in your post about FB/LJ/Twitter...

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
Link

Probably :) I just read him this week and really loved it, and I tend to be inspired by whatever I'm reading!

Reply | Parent | Thread

medleymisty

(no subject)

from: medleymisty
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
Link

I have to admit that I didn't really like the Cracked article, but not for the reasons that the author assumed I wouldn't like it. I think we're just at different stages of our journeys and see the world in fundamentally different ways.

I did like the thing at the end though, about people who hate on the creations of those of us who create. That helped me feel better about all the hate I went through with the Sims community.

Grats on the Definitely Not the Opera thing! :)

Well, I'm working with a harsh truth right now - that not everyone is a good person with nice qualities ;), and that not everyone is going to like me - sometimes, not even people who are good with nice qualities - and that doesn't mean that I am a bad person, and I need to learn to deal with it.

Reply | Thread

tigrkittn

(no subject)

from: tigrkittn
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
Link

I didn't think most of the article applied to me (as whipchick mentioned it was geared toward a different demographic), but I *liked* it anyway. Quite a lot, in fact. I'm curious what you didn't like, if you're interested in sharing.

Reply | Parent | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks for the congrats!

Yeah, I was really struck by the part about people who don't create hating on the creations of those who do.

Have you seen this?

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things

Reply | Parent | Thread

tigrkittn

(no subject)

from: tigrkittn
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
Link

Congrats on the DNtO score! Persistence pays off!

I have't read anything else by David Wong, as far as I know, but I really liked that Cracked piece. I always find it interesting when an article on Cracked- which I think we mostly think of as humor/stupid weird random things - comes out with something really valuable.

Harsh truth: I'm not "not a writer" because I'm not good at it, because I am - or because I'm unpublished, because I'm not. It's not even because of the lack of ideas/creativity, because I could work on that and get better. I'm not one because I choose to do other things with my time. Whether that's due to lack of passion or fear of failure/success or just laziness doesn't really matter. I'm not a writer because I don't write. Thanks for helping me figure that out.


(edited because punctuation typos make me twitch)

Edited at 2012-12-21 01:37 pm (UTC)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:53 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks for the congrats!

That's an interesting realization to have. It's one I think about a lot myself, too - there are times I feel like I want to be a writer more than I want to actually write.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Kizzy

(no subject)

from: xo_kizzy_xo
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
Link

Love the Cracked article -- it has my industry written all over it, and I'm sure it applies to any other industry where the ability to produce is #1, and production doesn't give a fuck about anything other than your ability to produce. .

At work we have an unspoken agreement that, once you push open those doors, you have your Game Face on. Your personal life doesn't exist. You have nerves of steel so you won't crumple if upper management criticizes your effort at remerchandizing that display or why your cakes look sloppy. Once you punch out, you can return to Essential You.

A truth: I am my Job-That-Pays-Bills, but I'm also a writer (as opposed to Writer). Small "w" because while I produce, I rarely do anything else -- aka the "Emily Dickinson-they'll-find-it-when-I-die" syndrome. I've always been like that. It's not so much fear of rejection as it is making the effort to find places to which to submit. I have every excuse in the book as to why I don't. Then I go into my kitchen and make a batch of cookies ;)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:54 am (UTC)
Link

Cookies are also a useful thing that the world needs :) Thanks, I liked this comment a lot and it made me think. And I think your heirs are going to be thrilled when they find your word-cache :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

SuperCAILEfragilistic

(no subject)

from: caile
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
Link

That Cracked article was an interesting read. Maybe it's because I'm not the target demographic, but I'm not so thrilled with my life that I get to stop at the photo of Lenny Kravitz wearing a giant scarf, but I could easily think of five impressive things I've done recently.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Link

But it's LENNY KRAVITZ! In a SCARF! :)

I just re-read the article and it was faster to think of five things this time, which was reassuring :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Andrea Blythe

(no subject)

from: blythe025
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Link

You call it festive, I call it horrifying. That cat scares the crap out of me.

PS. Congrats on your Definitely Not The Opera acceptance! Woohoo!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
Link

I know! That cat is TERRIFYING!

Thanks for the congrats :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

drwex

dgnde

from: drwex
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
Link

I found the Cracked article annoying and then figured out why. Mostly it's aimed at Not Me.

As I said in another friends' LJ: the article is aimed at the guy who's 28 and still living with (and sponging off of) his parents. At the guy who whines to all his college buddies over a beer about how he can't get a date. At the slacker who drifts from one temp job to another because he can't be arsed to put together a real resume and apply for a salaried position.

The readers and people I see discussing it, though, are people who are making it on their own, have houses or apartments or if they live at home they pay rent like proper tenants. They have real relationships, either currently long-term committed or have had a significant MOTAS relationship in the past couple years. They are people with real resumes who work really hard at what they want to do, whether it's a salaried job, self-employment, or something else.

So, yeah, that.

Reply | Thread

Kizzy

Re: dgnde

from: xo_kizzy_xo
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Link

Perhaps it's because the people making it on their own already get it, so they/we're more apt to go "HELL YEAH!" as opposed to those to whom it's aimed who are probably scratching their heads saying, "HUH?!?"

Reply | Parent | Thread

whipchick

Re: dgnde

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:59 am (UTC)
Link

Agreed. For me, it was less of a needed bitch-slap (though I admit I was being a judging judger and trying to think of ways to send that article to people I think need to read it), and more of a reminder that art is an exchange. I'm generally commercially-focused in my work, and I like the reminder to consider the audience and their needs rather than MEEEEE WHAT DO I NEED TO EXPRESSSSSSSSS all the time.

Reply | Parent | Thread

blink

(no subject)

from: yachiru
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Link

Grats on DNTO! Looking forward to listening to it.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 10:59 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I'll post a link :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

writerdoc

(no subject)

from: writerdoc
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
Link

Congrats on DNTO and OMG that cat!!! So disturbing! Good luck with the writing position as well.

I really loved that Cracked article. Talk about injecting some motivation back into your veins. ;)

Happy Holidays!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks! The cat belongs to a friend of mine who is animal-crazy and puts it in little sweaters to stay warm over the winter :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

writerdoc

(no subject)

from: writerdoc
date: Dec. 28th, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Link

I gotta say, he/she's actually quite adorable. :D

Reply | Parent | Thread

Donna

(no subject)

from: dabhug
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm expecting that cat to get up and walk around on two legs. Aw!

Congratulations on the DNTO acceptance. May this lead to lots more!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you! I hope so, too - I asked the producer for a couple of hints on how to make my pitches better, and I think that will help.

Reply | Parent | Thread

C.S. Inkheart

(no subject)

from: frecklestars
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Link

That cat picture made me laugh like hell. It _almost_ looks like my cat. I wish you luck with your goal of not seeing snow this winter. I'm the opposite though: in California right now and the lack of snow is driving me bats!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 11:06 am (UTC)
Link

Are Sphinxes hard to take care of? I'm mildly cat hair allergic and would love to have another cat...

Thinking snowy thoughts your way :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

C.S. Inkheart

(no subject)

from: frecklestars
date: Jan. 4th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
Link

It depends on the sphynx. They do need regular baths and usually need ear cleaning and claw clipping. I do all that myself (ideally once a week but I _have_ let it lapse before and he survived), so it's probably about an additional half hour or so every week. Not too bad.

One thing I will say is make sure you're allergic to the hair and not the saliva or dander. I had issues with the hair specifically, so it worked out well for me, but if you have a different allergy, sphynxes have similar dander/saliva to haired cats.

The other thing I think is important to warn anyone thinking about a sphynx is that they do much better on more expensive (read: natural) brands of food, and that they are _very_ cuddly/attached. Some cats can be, say, left alone for a couple days with just some extra food, but Balthazar I think would go completely insane if I tried that. When I travel, I definitely have to kennel him (or find someone who wants to stay at my house while I'm gone).

Happy to answer other questions about my experience if you have them!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Lindsay Price

You Rock

from: lindsaywriter
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Link

First off, DNTO? That rocks big time. Congrats for your persistence!

Based on the comments, I thought I would hate the David Wong article. And then based on the first paragraph (and my goodness Lenny, did you suffer from scarf envy as a child?) I thought I would hate the David Wong article.

And I did not hate this article. I am not the target audience for this article and I thought it also rocked. I think the best thing you can do as an artist is find out how your art fulfills the needs of another person. It immediately turns art from selfish to selfless and if you can find a bunch of people with a need, you have a job doing what you love.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

Re: You Rock

from: whipchick
date: Dec. 26th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you!!! And the producer gave me some pitch tips (simple but effective: Make sure your story has a beginning, a middle and an end with a turning point and a lesson learned) that I think will help.

You would be great on DNTO - holler if you want me to connect you with the person who sends out the weekly call for pitches, or if you want to see a previous weekly pitch email :)

>I think the best thing you can do as an artist is find out how your art fulfills the needs of another person.>

So yes. So yes. It's all about the art being useful or connected to someone else. Then hey, guess what, there's also money because people buy things that are useful!! :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

similiesslip

(no subject)

from: similiesslip
date: Dec. 27th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Link

YOu said, "What harsh Truth made you a better person?"

Before I returned to college, I was full of excuses, "I have little kids" "My husband isn't supportive of me going back to college," "I'm too old" "I'm too busy", "It's too expensive."

The harsh truth that got me started back was a friend who was very honest with me. The friend would mention college and I would give my excuses and they would say, "So. Some people work full time, have kids, are single parents and go back to college. Others find a way. You can too."

At first, it sounded...uncaring of my situation in a way. But the more that bluntness echoed in my mind, the more I knew it was right.

There were always REASONS..but this was something I needed to do.

I appreciate that friend to this day.

Reply | Thread