just make it stop.'s avatar

just make it stop.

"Don’t Reach for Me" : a short story by you and me

So here’s what we know so far about this short story you guys are helping me write:

Main characters:

Beatrice “Bee/Bey” Jordan, short, chubby and weird. Lives in Vegas, is presently on a solo journey through the desert to put her toes in the sand on the beach outside L.A. having recently suffered a heart break. (Cliche plot line, I know.) 

Finnegan Connor, pale and skinny, dark wavy hair and a penchant for shoe gazing. 

They met in the middle of the night while Bee was sitting on a rock in the desert looking at the city lights. Finn is charming but kind of a dick. 

Story arch: 

Bee is driving to the ocean. It’s a cleansing ritual for her. She woke up one morning and couldn’t stand the thought of spending another day in Vegas. Finn is gone but not quiet forgotten. 

Here’s the scene so far at the beginning of the story, Bee is in her car at 2 a.m. headed out of Vegas:

That dark stretch of road before Barstow feels endless, day or night. Dappled with parched Joshua trees and burnt out towns past their prime. Even in the middle of the night it feels oppressive and heavy with heat baked into hard packed earth from the day before. These empty and eyeless shacks on the roadside are haunted by a stream of over the road truckers and tourists on their way to the beach. Everything west of Vegas feels like a piece of bread left out too long. 

What’s missing:

I don’t know how/when/why they broke up. I don’t know what happens after Bee gets to the beach. I don’t know where Finn is now. I don’t have any conflict that needs to be surmounted. (So therefore, I don’t particularly have a story yet.) 

Since we’re building this story together, let me ask you: what obstacle should Bee encounter? What will help her find resolution in her heart break? What thing needs to happen to make this story worth reading? Where the fuck is Finn and why is he there? Do we want Finn and Bee to get back together, stronger for having been apart? Or do we want Bee to find happiness on her own. (I’m leaning towards that resolution myself. I’m not particularly interested in writing Bee into a complete romance novel cliche.) 

I’m going to finish this one guys. I’ve given myself a word count goal of 10,000 words and a finish date by May 18th. I have no idea what I’ll do then but it’s time I finish something. 

Drop some plot points or thoughts in my ask box. I really like the idea of writing this story together. 

I’ve never been good at pitching for freelance work. In fact, I’m kind of terrible at it. I think the problem is that the stuff I write about is dime a dozen; music (yup, every hipster with a MacBook does music reviews now), sex/love (ditto hipsters + MacBook + two semesters of women’s studies.) and personal essays (ugh, I am a fucking cliche.) are all done to death. And probably in more inventive ways. 

I’m not trained to be a “real” journalist, so that cuts most straight news reporting out of my repertoire. I would require far too much hand holding and editing to be worth any editors time as a freelancer. This isn’t self-depreciating either. I worked in a newsroom for two years, I was one half of the editorial team, I handled the entertainment stuff and my boss did everything else. I know what an overworked/underpaid editor looks like, and I know they’re not going to want to have to explain to me about comma splices or the inverted triangle theory or whatever every time I turn in a hack job piece of news. There are journalist majors fresh from four years at their college paper who can and will churn that stuff out like little literary robots. And they should, they should get paid for that too. That shit is hard. 

So that leaves under the radar, maybe 50 person friends/family readership e-zines and my own network of blogs that have a handful of dedicated followers. (What up, ya’ll!) But that shit doesn’t pay or advance my career as a writer. 

So, what to do? Shannon and I really want our sex blog to go…somewhere? Eventually? Maybe? And I know the way to do that is to network, to guest blog and get our name/URL out there and all that. But, how? How do I convince a site like The Gloss or Vice or HuffPo to let me say things like “lady garden” on a platform that will reach more than a few thousand readers? 

HOW? Tell me your secrets, internet. How?

I started writing a book a few years ago. (I actually finished one too. It’s not fiction and it’s not very good, but I finished a first draft at least.) This book is my first stab at fiction and I got about 20k words in and stopped because I had written myself into a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon and didn’t know what to do. 

For some reason while I was in the shower last night I figured out how to salvage the story. It’s going to change a bit, but all of a sudden I figured out how to rework it to make it keep going. 

I have no idea if it’ll turn into anything full length. There’s a mysterious house cat who doesn’t appear to age, a heroine who owns a haberdashery, a culture beyond religion and a space ship involved. So…it could be really good or total trash. I have no idea yet. 

But I pulled the file out of the dark recesses of my computer and I’m going to start tweaking it with the new plot outline and see where it goes from here. Even if I’m the only person who ever reads it, it feels like something I need to finish. 

Things to do when you can’t sleep | SlapTV

Sometimes my friends let me write words for their websites. Mostly my friends are funnier than me so you should go watch the videos on this page. Then maybe read my words. 

Social media marketing gig: pays 30k or above 

Basically same job description but with journalist or editor in the job title: pays $12/hr, no benefits, no paid time off. 

Pretty grim realization I just came to right now. Thanks Careerbuilder.com for soul crushing. 

Just received an invite to interview for a content curator position at a website. It’s a “lifestyle” website for a lifestyle I literally have absolutely no knowledge of. 

I can apply winged eyeliner with sniper-esque accuracy and I am up to date on the latest summer wedge trends but there is a certain segment of fashion + lifestyle culture that escapes me. 

I may officially be in over my head. Don’t care. If it means I get paid to write, I’ll learn it. I’ll do it and I’ll do it well. 

Can’t stop, won’t stop. 

a slight existential crisis never hurt nobody.

The job search, which is notoriously stressful, is apparently even more nerve wracking when you’re not exactly sure what it is that you do. 

I am currently an entertainment editor/writer/social media manager for a newspaper. I’m also apparently the web master, brand manager and editorial assistant to the managing editor. 

Prior to this I was a victim advocate, which included providing personal emotional support to victims of sexual assault as well as court accompaniment, medical advocacy and criminal process advocacy. Plus I helped write the organizations newsletter and led support groups/work shops for teen girls who had experienced sexual violence. 

Before that I managed a tea lounge. I made coffee and created hand blended teas for local businesses. I did business to business sales and organized open mic nights and art openings. I wrote a tea blog. 

I wrote knitting patterns. I sold yarn. I worked in an office and did a lot of senseless filing and data entry. I managed some coffee shops. I worked at a radio station. I worked at a temp agency conducting interviews and placing people in jobs. I’ve freelanced as an entertainment writer and as a craft columnist. 

I was a nanny for a while in the early 2000’s. 

So when people ask “what do you do?” I honestly have no idea how to answer. I do a lot of things. With varying degrees of success.

I have newsroom/editorial experience but I still don’t know how to fix a comma splice. (I can recognize one, I just don’t know how to make it go away. Other than to completely re-write the paragraph.) 

I have advocacy experience but I don’t know about the laws in Nevada, just Alaska. I can learn, but that doesn’t make me competitive right now. 

I know how to write a tweet and a Facebook status update and I’m pretty good at pimping out things I like, but how does that translate into a job without an accompanying degree in marketing? 

I know that I am a writer. That is a vocation. I don’t know what I’m going  to do for money though. I think I need to spend some time narrowing down what exactly my career path is. You guys tell me, what is it that I DO?

endings and beginnings

My house is mostly empty. We’ve sold all our big items and the rest that remains is mostly our ugliest, most thrift store-iest and/or roadside acquired furniture. And piles. Piles of things that can be donated or given away to friends, and a pile of things we’re going to ship to ourselves or try to take in the car with us. The only room unaffected by this process is the bedroom, which remains a bastion of normality. The bed is still there, the dresser and piles of clothes, the dogs little nest next to the bed (fun fact: chihuahua’s like to burrow, so he literally has a little blanket nest next to our bed.) 

My boss put in her notice for her job late last week, which means there will be an entire turn over in the editorial department at the newspaper I currently work at. This is stressing me out for some reason. The only thing I can come up with is that I’ve worked really hard to make my tiny section of the newspaper something worth reading and I know my boss has worked tirelessly to make the rest of the paper engaging and interesting as well. Prior to her being in the editor’s chair there was several months without an “formal” editor and the year before that a fairly incompetent editor was in charge. The paper suffered as a result and I know that although we are leaving we both care about the paper as an entity, indeed as an institution in this town, and we don’t want to see it fall back into hands that won’t hold it carefully. 

But ultimately the best we can do is try to hire and train the right replacements for ourselves and hope for the best. 

On the Vegas front I’ve applied for dozens of jobs, had several interviews and have made it pretty far in the interview process for what could be considered (next to getting paid to write about bands, drag queens and whiskey like I do now) my dream job at a major casino corporate in Las Vegas. I’m still waiting to hear back from the hiring manager about that position but the corporate recruiter who conducted my first interview must like me because she emailed me this morning with another job that she thought I should apply for. It’s still a great job and something I would be good at and find interesting but isn’t quite “dream job” material in the same way that the other one is. 

However, it sure feels nice to have a recruiter at a major corporation keeping my skill set in mind when new positions cross her desk. I’m sure she works with dozens if not hundreds of people each day to assist the various departments in hiring the right people so I’m very flattered that she thought of me. Even if I don’t get the Big Dream Job one I know that someone at this huge company thinks I’m swell and wants to help me get a job. 

So, that’s a little light at the end of the tunnel for right now. I’ll continue to sift through my life and put it into little piles and hopefully sometime before we set sail for Canada in 19 days I’ll have a job or at least more solid leads like I’ve been getting. 

Here’s to new beginnings. 

somethingaboutaboat

achickwithacrossbow:

I am completely 100% confident in my writing ability. Until I have to show my writing to someone else. Then I’m -%5 sure.

Relevant to my life. 

(via thisismybyline)

I hate the words “hubby” and “wifey.” To an unreasonable level. I gag every time I see or hear them. Husband, wife, spouse, light of my life, honey bunny, partner… these are all acceptable. 

Hubby and wifey just sound like you’re playing at marriage. Like it’s something less than a legally binding (or spiritual if that’s your bag) commitment to another human being. 

If my husband ever referred to me as his “wifey” there is no telling how I would respond. Undoubtably a violent outburst at the very least, possible arson or assault charges are likely. 

Also, you just sound like the kind of person who uses “ur” instead of “you’re” and says things like “totes” without a trace of irony. 

If you do that: I hate you. Use real words or I’ll totes punch you in the kneecaps. And that shit hurts.