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Archive for March, 2010

Editorial Ass just announced the AWESOMEST CONTEST EVER!

March 31, 2010 6 comments

Okay, if you’re trying to write a book, this is a MUST.  Pop over to Moonrat’s blog for details on how to enter to win a crit of the first 20 pages of your MS — or even your WIP–as long as you’re 20 pages in.

Feel like I should write something more, but this is SO AMAZING that anything else would be anticlimactic.

Have you gone to Moonrat’s blog yet?  Deadline is 11pm EST tonight (think that equates to 4am tomorrow morning for us Londoners), so off you go…

Copywriting FAIL!

March 24, 2010 4 comments

Discussion between me and my boss yesterday:

Boss: Thanks for sending that spreadsheet through.

Me: No worries. [bloody hate spreadsheets! Don’t understand having to use Excel for copy even if it is a content schedule]

Boss: [chuckle, chuckle]

Me: [sinking feeling of despair] What?

Boss: How do you spell “description”?

Me: [Complete panic as have absolutely NO IDEA how to spell “description” without lovely, helpful MS Word and lovely, helpful squiggly red line and auto-correct function] What? Why? [shameless stalling tactic as desperately open MS Word and type in “discription” –auto change to “description”]

Boss: I can’t believe I’ve caught YOU out on a spelling error [snigger, snigger]

Me: What? No, surely not!  Description is spelled d-e-s-c-r-i-p-t-i-o-n.

Boss: You’ve spelled it d-i-s…

Me: No! Really? Sorry, must be a typo…

Boss: You’ve done it about 50 times on this one spreadsheet

Me: [Bollocks!] it’s excel…copy&paste

Boss: [unsure of what was said here as drowned out by laughter]

Helpful interjection by co-worker: FAIL!

Me: Shut-up [immediate hunt on job-boards]

Huh.  Considering career change.

Daffodils!

March 23, 2010 3 comments

Yes, daffodils.  In London.

I am not going to write a post (well, a real post).  I promised snarky sarcasm.

But daffodils.  In London.

I am incapable of snarky sarcasm today.

Daffodils!  Poking their determined little heads up through the soil where thousands of people tread every day and blooming.  Blooming!

Nothing melts my London-hardened heart like flowers (especially sunflowers, but daffodils will do).  There is something of promise in them–I immediately get visions of sunny days spent in the park with a picnic and pre-mixed gin&tonics poured (rather sneakily) into tonic bottles.  Cucumber on the side.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG summer is finally coming you don’t understand if you don’t live in London it is like a gray pit of despair with stupid rain-but-not-rain all the time and your feet get all wet and gross and you think you will die a slow and painful death if you don’t get SOMETHING other than rain-but-not-rain (even if it’s just PROPER RAIN at least it will actually be SOMETHING DEFINABLE) and just when you are about to have a MASSIVE HEAD EXPLOSION!!!  and pack it all in and go back to the lovely tropical island from which you have come you see…

Daffodils.

And you LOVE London.

The parents (eagerly awaiting said return to small tropical island) sigh in disappointment and resume internet scanning for cheap London flights.

And so.

I am incapable of snarky anything today.  Blame the daffodils.

Is your blog taking over your life?

March 18, 2010 4 comments

Okay, clearly not.

But I was only away from blogging for a little while and thrown into a tizzy.  Alarming.  Also, I frequent Copyblogger as a way to keep up-to-date with my day-job industry news and trends, and was inspired by this post.

So here is the question:  do we bloggers replace blog-socializing with actual socializing?

I find myself ducking out of the lounge to hide upstairs, gleefully reading all my guilty-pleasure blogs.  I have blog-conversations in the comment trails.  I post something here and wait for someone to comment.  And then I comment back.  It’s like talking, only I’m alone in my room.

And then if I’ve been away from my computer, I feel like I’ve been locked away in some sort of prison.  Only I haven’t.  I’ve been doing un-blog stuff.  Working.  Speaking.  Getting some sun (yes, even in London).   I think it’s called life.

But it feels incomplete without my blogger-friends.

Still.  I don’t neglect my people-friends.  I have heard no complaints since I started blogging.  Most of them don’t even know about this blog.

And so.

Of course we need to step away from our laptops and have people-conversations and people-friends.  But still.  It’s nice to have blogger-conversations and blogger-friends too.  It’s always nice to have another friend, after all.

Okay, enough fuzzy bloggy-love.  Promise to be cranky, gin-swilling,  sarcastic self in next post.

I’m Back!

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I have only been blogging a few short weeks, and I’ve only been away from it a few short long (feels like so, so long) days, but I feel like I’ve been away from my friends!

I find this alarming.

First, you don’t know who I am.  I blog (mainly) anonymously.

Second, aside from Lua and Bethany, I don’t know who you are (another strange point–I feel like I know Lua and Bethany.  We have never met.  Our conversations happen through blog posts and comments.  You are both far more open and honest in your posts than I am–attaching your own name!  The courage!  And yet, I feel we are something like friends).

Third, I don’t know if the nebulous “you” even exists.  Stats say “you” do, in some form on some days, but I can’t be sure.  But I miss this conversation, which is perhaps merely a conversation with myself.  Or with this version of myself.

Enough!  I’m off to have “conversations” with my blogger-friends.

On Beauty

March 8, 2010 5 comments

Okay, this has nothing to do with writing, copywriting, even reading (though I have given it the same title as a lovely book by Zadie Smith).  But it’s FASHION WEEK.  Besides, no one wants to read and write about reading and writing all the time.

Fashion, on the other hand, is terrifying exciting. Take Karl Lagerfeld’s show:  leather, apparently, is IN (Oh God, Oh God–massive rush for gym membership, detox drinks, slimline tonic).

In the midst of ensuing panic, however, I had a moment of clarity.

Consider:

Time spent in misery in an effort to attain beauty:

  • 30min/day running (in crappy, cold, London mist)
  • 30min/day toning (ugh, ugh, sit-ups: very miserable)
  • 30min/day doing make-up (mascara in eye, ouch!)
  • 15min/day doing hair
  • 15min/week waxing (1 hour every 4 weeks–though should count double as very, very painful = extreme misery)
  • 3hr/day wishing could have cake but too many calories (actual number much higher but rounding down)
  • 15min/day eating rice cakes and celery instead of big cheesy pizza

Total: 35hrs,15min per week of misery

Time spent enjoying beauty:

  • 30min/day looking in mirror (though shouldn’t count really, as imagine most of this would be while putting on make-up)
  • 30min/week enjoying compliment about said beauty (estimate)

Total: 4 hours/week of enjoyment

Grand Total:

  • 35+ hours per week of misery trying to attain beauty
  • 4 hours per week enjoying beauty

Conclusion: Beautiful people are stupid.

Hah!  Take that Paris Fashion Week!

Am off to stuff my face with pizza, cake, and ice cream in celebration of intellectual superiority (because, clearly, it follows that the reverse must also be true…)

“Oh, you should write about (insert random event)…”

March 2, 2010 4 comments

Recently Bethany made a comment on one of my posts highlighting how this hated phrase (Oh, you should write about…) suggests that we writers are often confused with stenographers.  Oh, how very true.  Does this happen to anyone else?

Here’s the scenario:

You’re in a bar, enjoying your very first delicious gin&tonic (Tanqueray with cucumber, which came only after a fifteen-minute discussion with the bartender, where you had to explain that you know it’s Hendrick’s that’s supposed to be served with cucumber, but you really, really like Tanqueray with cucumber and couldn’t they drop a slice of cucumber into your drink instead of a lime wedge since you can see the sliced cucumber and it’s sitting right next to the sliced lime), when you mention very vaguely (because God knows you want to avoid the “Oh, I’m thinking of writing a book too…” debacle) that you are a writer.

Big mistake.

“Oh, really?”  comes the response.  “You should write about (insert random event that means absolutely nothing to anyone beyond the parties involved).”

Huh.

Well, gee, thanks for the suggestion.  Since I am a writer, I MUST be all out of ideas.  I’ll get right on that.  I’ll just forget about that half a manuscript I’m desperately trying to finish while holding a full-time day job.  Clearly I should be writing a play-by-play of my day instead.

My gin&tonic is now gone.  Another discussion with the bartender ensues.

Halfway through this second drink I am usually able to casually say, “Oh, that’s a good idea.  Maybe I will.”

And maybe I actually will write about how pee rained from the office ceiling today (okay, that’s a bad example, as that was pretty funny), but chances are that it’s gonna be a lot lower on my priority list than that half-manuscript I’ve been toiling over for the last two years.

And sometimes it ends there, and I have a third drink, and all is well.  Other times, however, I get this:

“It’d make a great novel.”

Pause.

MASSIVE HEAD EXPLOSION!!!

No, it would NOT make a great novel.  It has to be fiction to be a novel.  And it can’t be fiction because it ACTUALLY HAPPENED.  It wasn’t even a good story.  I HAVE an idea for a great novel.  I’ve spent TWO YEARS trying to turn said idea into a great novel.  I have enough ideas.  What I need is to produce a great novel.  Believe me, you do NOT want to have a discussion about the difficulties of producing a great novel.  Or even a good-enough-to-be-published novel.

Lets discuss the merits of cucumber as a garnish for a Tanqueray&Tonic instead.