Today in Oh, Jobs!

Craigslist, you never let me down, do you? Just when I was giving up hope for a devilishly entertaining job posting a la the Bohemian Chic people (who were on Indeed.com), this gem amongst gems pops up. And it is, indeed, a gift.

Posted under Writing/Editing jobs in Los Angeles, I present to you the ‘Win $20,000 If you Can Write A Winner Sales Letter.’ Yes, prospective writing and editing job hunters, you read that right ‘Winner Sales Letter’ and not the correct, ‘Winning Sales Letter’. But there’s so much more contained in this $25 posting, so let’s just bullet point ‘em, shall we?

  • A very concerted effort on the part of the writer of this posting NOT to pluralize ‘letter’ where necessary.
  • The sense that you will just send in your ‘Winner Sales Letter’ advice to them and feel absolutely certain this isn’t anything close to scammy or sleazy because, you know, good spelling and grammar.
  • The offer of a very generous salary on top of winning the $20,000.
  • This sentence, “if chosen, we have plots for sales letter that can be winners if the right writer can make them compelling enough.”

Happy job hunting, fellow writers, and remember, do not attempt a winner sales letter if you are not highly talented and experienced.

Win  20 000 If You Can Write A Winner Sales Letter

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Today in Oh, Jobs! bad grammar found on Career Builder. Oops.

Know what I get a kick out of? Bad grammar, usage and misspellings in job postings for writers and editors. It’s so, what is the word, ironic?

Today I present to you a job posting from Career Builder (Workway) for a Content Manager/Writer. This person should be detail oriented, they say so, and have good proofreading and editing skills. Too bad the person who posted this didn’t possess those traits. See, the sentence I have highlighted below should read “Professional Staffing is in partnership with a leader in the National Title Industry whose core business…” The person writing this posted it as “who’s core business” as in “who is core business,” which is terribly, terribly wrong. It should be the possessive and not the contraction.

I may apply, but seriously if my application has to go through people like this, I may be out of luck. Suzy at Aquent told me I didn’t have the skills for a proofreading job I applied for. Hunh, guess that Master’s from NYU is a piece of driftwood–according to Aquent anyway.

Good luck mortgage title company looking for a solid candidate, think you hired the wrong staffing company.

Workway

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Stock photo conversations.

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“Boris, like this with my eyes?”

“No. Look away, behind my right shoulder, that’s it. Vacuous yet smoldering with the eyes, yes, off in the distance, like that my little sugar plum.”

“Am I smoldering yet?”

“Perfect.”

“Remind me who will buy stock photo of woman in heels in rubble again?”

“Plenty of rich people, many photo needs in the world. Now stretch out your right leg a bit more. You are a gazelle, nimble over the decay of society.”

“It’s stretched.”

“Give us a bigger stretch my little cherry, come on.”

“I stretch any more and rebar will go up my crotch and hose will be ruined.”

“You are strong like the rebar. You look like Wonder Woman, a natural.”

“Like dress against this background? Not so natural I would think.”

“Darling sugar tart, it’s art, a statement, a juxtaposition. Have I ever been wrong about this?”

“Yes, Boris, you have. You were wrong about the photos of me wearing inline skates in a business suit with briefcase. No one inline skates anymore.”

“Those photos were huge in Beijing. And Miami.”

“Five downloads is not huge.”

“Smolder darling, I want the rust on that steel feeling your disapproval.”

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Today in Oh, Jobs!

Craigslist, you are forever an entertaining website. Truly. Look what I found today in the Writing/Editing jobs section of LA’s Craigslist.

If you look past the egregious disrespect for employment laws (recent grad? recent headshot? height, weight, etc?) and delve into the heart of this job posting, it comes down to one thing: You want someone to be an Ivy League grad/write/edit/market/be in good physical condition/shop/prepare meals/travel/research/be your ‘wingman’/be on-set during production/accompany you to tennis and mountain biking/live with you, therefore eschew anything resembling a life outside of you, and all you offer IN RETURN is a half bath? Seriously?

Live In P.A. Executive Assistant

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Art does make you smart.

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If you weren’t sure about art (that’s Picasso’s Starry Night) and the arts and what kind of an impact they have on our brains, I have an article and a study for you, Art Makes You Smart. The study was done at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas; a place where many students, for the first time, encountered art. Glad to see Walmart in a news story that doesn’t involve meth making in one of its stores.

Bottom line is that visiting an art museum improved critical thinking skills. Imagine.

Here’s a posting from Crystal Bridges on Robert Rauschenberg, just because I like his work–a lot. The image below was taken from the following website: FadedandBlurred.com

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Always being connected is deeply disruptive to the creative process.

We are social creatures, there’s no doubt about that. We’re connected to other humans, whether we like it or not. Neighbors, family, friends, we see these people in person, have drinks with them, share the highways with them, want to bang them over the head when they cut us off on the highway–but we see them, in-person, on a daily basis.

Then there’s the sort of connected that the age of Facebook, smartphones, Yik Yak and other forms of hyper-connected connectivity have spawned.

Things have changed dramatically since I first started writing. For one thing, I became a mother. Okay, that shouldn’t be too big a deal you say in terms of just sitting down and writing. But it was, for me, at least. I stopped writing as much as I had before having children, or at least I thought I had.

The next huge thing that happened was the internets. Huge. Love the internets dearly. Then along came social stuff like Facebook and smartphones and Pinterest and tons of other social apps and the 24/7 ability to stay in touch, connected with each other. It offers us the bizarre ability to show the world (or whoever is looking) a selfie du jour any time of day or night. (As a quick side note here, I do wonder when politicians are going to get a full grasp of YouTube–seriously.)

But it’s not real.

It’s not real, face-to-face connectivity with other humans.

It’s disruptive.

I’ve been looking over my work for the past 20 years and you know what? I was more prolific even while watching children than I am now.

So what happened?

We are inundated with messages about how we writers have to constantly stay on top of the new social media trends or else we’re hopelessly lost; not worthy of employment; unable to function in our society and gasp! without a platform. You know, that platform you should be building/worrying about/curating/making appealing/whatever it is you are supposed to be doing–to make sure you have a platform of internet people you can point to.

If you have sent a query letter in the past year, you know some agents want to hear all about your ‘platform.’ Some freelance writing jobs want you to list the number of Twitter/Facebook/Instagram followers you have. Really? What if it’s a pathetic number? (Then you must not be worthy of the job.)

What to be a successful indie author? You have to stay on top of all the trends and get connected to your fans via social media otherwise, the internet sages say, forget getting read. That takes time–the kind you could be using to write. Kind of like I’m doing now.

I believe that falling prey to all this has hurt my creative process. It has made me dull and numb to my inner writing voice. It keeps me distracted in a bad way. Truly, trying to do two things, successfully, at once is very difficult. Writing takes all of my focus and attention and it should takes yours too.

I need to stop and I will. I will be closing down the Twitter feed, the other WordPress site and Tumblr accounts. Although, Tumblr makes me smile. It’s time to regroup and focus on what is important–the writing.

Keep writing fellow crafts people. And yes, you will continue to exist and live a full life even though you haven’t posted a damn thing.

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Stock photo conversations.

Stock photos talk to me, sometimes they even have conversations, through me, that is.

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“Admit I look good.”

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“I look better. See? I brought my own box. I mean, you know I take how good I look like really seriously. Hello? Props?”

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“Yes, you do, but props are just that, a way of propping up something, a support, an artifice where, in your case, none is needed. You had me with that hip, jutting out ever so provocatively, the look of indifference, reckless abandon and devil-may-care attitude all underscored by your beautiful, crimson lips.”

 
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“I still brought my own box.”

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Meta, an altogether confusing word. What’s it mean?

Arab-hipster

Image taken from http://humanitycanwait.com/2014/04/03/arab-hipster/

You’ve got your meta data, meta description, meta key (on the Space-cadet keyboard), meta tag, metamorphosis, metatarsal and metaphysics–that’s a good one–you’ll see. It’s the name of a river, Meta–but you say that Mee-tuh; a major tributary of the Orinoco. You know, the Enya song about the Orinoco flowing. How many of you really knew the Meta was a tributary to anything, major or not?

And speaking of the Orinoco Flow, everyone wanted Enya’s songs in their weddings back in the 90s. Everyone.

Not sure if that Enya tidbit is a meta cognitive experience or not because meta has too many meanings and lately, everyone uses it whether they know what they’re saying or not. Like I just did. But I did kind of sound smart doing it, didn’t I?

What does meta mean? It’s kind of new in that it pops up everywhere when you are diddling around with your website and SEO stuff. Just Google SEO + meta and a torrent of meta information comes your way. But in reality, it’s a really old word.  Nowadays, you have to know what it means or you aren’t in-the-know; think outcast.

If you are going to use it, pretend to have a firm grasp on its varied meanings and by all means use it sparingly.

Hashtag it with the word marathon and you get metamarathon. Still not sure what that is yet. But keep reading.

Meta. From the Greek for beside, after. First definition in my copy of The American Heritage Dictionary is change: transformation, and number two is situated behind.

Want your mind played with? Okay how about his meaning from Dictionary.com:

2. a prefix added to the name of a subject and designating another subject that analyzes the original one but at a more abstract, higher level:

metaphilosophy; metalinguistics.

Is that what a metamarathon is, another subject, that I should just know contextually, that analyzes the original subject, marathon–but at an abstract level? And how does adding meta as a prefix of a subject automatically designate another subject that analyzes the original? This is mind-numbingly vague. Like reading Kant. He was big into writing about metaphysics, so maybe you are sharing my frustration here with the whole meta thing.

Or is a metamarathon an ‘after marathon’ like an after-party, a party after another party? Or is it a transformative marathon? One-hundred-forty-four  laps around the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam could be considering a life-changing event I suppose.

But then look at the definition of metaphysics: the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality and the relationship between mind and matter. Transformative or post-physics? Both?

Then we come to this meaning just below the one above:

3. a prefix added to the name of something that consciously references or comments upon its own subject or features:

a meta-painting of an artist painting a canvas.

Consciously referencing its own subject is really metadata. Data about data. But isn’t definition number two above really the same thing as number three, just trickier wording? So is a metamarathon like metadata, a marathon about a marathon then? Just typing the words ‘consciously referencing itself and commenting upon its own subject’ does sound performance artsy.

I decided to consult The Masters–as in the Oxford English Dictionary–to see if I could gain any clarity. Ah, the sentence examples were marvelous.

Have we been, again, duped by the dripping irony that infects the post / meta genre, rendering it all but useless?

It’s really easy to criticize a bad record, but impossible to do great music justice in ink (or meta ink for that matter).

It’s a song about several songs, and this meta aspect never sounds forced or calculated – instead, it seems artful and intuitive.

That second sentence still has me scratching my head as to what meta ink is, but I’ll have my Eureka! moment eventually. But back to metaphysics and here’s where Wikipedia gave me a sigh of relief, thank you very much. Ready?

About or beyond X but they do not themselves constitute an X. No doubled conceptual structure. Whew, I feel much better. Oh, and there’s a very clear meaning of the word in chemistry as well–in case you too needed some concrete meaning and lack of vagueness in your definitions. You’re welcome.

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