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?
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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?