The next time you are searching for a freelance job in the writing, editing and/or proofreading arenas, please keep in mind that the Editorial Freelancers Association has a list of common rates for your work. Yes, you are worth every penny.
...there’s a word in Portuguese, saudade, that explains those kinds of memories with a passion and intensity not found in our own language. It’s a great word--a fantastic word...
I find the human brain a wondrous and strange organ. All those folds (named the gyri and sulci — there’s your Jeopardy question for the day) gray matter, white matter, neurons, dopamine, serotonin; all that makes us who we are, encased in a skull that isn’t, but should be, made of titanium. Makes you wonder how we’ve survived as a species.
A very strange thing about our brains, tucked away somewhere in all those gyri and sulci, (see? real world application of your Jeopardy knowledge) is how certain elements of our lives like sounds and smells can evoke a string of memories or emotions. You may be taken back to your childhood by the distinctive scent of Coppertone as it reminds you of summers spent with your family; the sound of traffic and honking horns will always put you in your first apartment in the city, or the taste of coriander and lemongrass will forever transport you to that trip to Thailand you took as a newlywed. For me it’s cooking spaghetti, specifically the smell of the salty water mingling with the noodles and the act of stirring the pot. I will always remember my 7th grade home economics teacher getting so mad at me as I pulled a spaghetti noodle from the boiling pot and ate it, as a test for doneness. Let’s just say she thought my methods were too hands-on.
But there’s a word in Portuguese, saudade, that explains those kinds of memories with a passion and intensity not found in our own language. It’s a great word–a fantastic word–with many subtle meanings; a longing, nostalgia or yearning and “a longing for something or some event that one is fond of, which is gone, but might return in a distant future.”
I experienced saudade, thanks to Duran Duran.
Earlier this week, I got a startling jolt to my memory that I haven’t been able to put out of my mind. A song came on the radio as I drove with my youngest son, the two of us cruising down the coast here on yet another glorious summer day. It was Hungry Like The Wolf, and it is popular, again, with both my sons’ age groups. I know, I too am amazed because 32 years later, they’re singing along with Duran Duran — we’re singing Duran Duran together.
I think the reason my mind made the past come to the forefront so vividly at that moment was due to a combination of me being deliriously happy as I was together with my son, singing the words out loud through the open windows, the feel of the summer sun, the look of the sky all while being in a car watching the coast unfold before us. It took that specific merging of all those elements to make my neurons fire and conjure up the past the way it did.
I was immediately taken back to the Maryland of my past, sitting in the back of my friend’s car as we drove along, the four of us probably headed to Washington, D.C. on a hot, sticky summer day in 1982. Maybe it was even close to my 20th birthday. I don’t remember, but I remember the song and the sense that I was almost touching complete happiness or at least, the promise of happiness was there, laid out before me. It was not a particularly joyous time in my life so I have no idea, now, why I was feeling that way. It could have been I was just thrilled to be away from the oppression of my home and my insane mother, who should have been medicated but wasn’t. Maybe I had just gotten rid of an idiot boyfriend who had been causing me pain. It may have been I saw a glimpse of the future that day and the future was still playing Duran Duran–one with me, my husband and our two gorgeous sons singing Rio all together.
Whatever was going through my almost 20 year old mind is lost now, but not that sensation of realizing happiness that I’ve come to associate with that song.
I did look over to my son as the song ended, beaming, and told him it’s amazing to me that here I am singing a 32 year old song with him as we drive along the California coast. He got it, he understood my sense of complete contentment at that moment because he had fun too. We had made happy fools of ourselves singing with the windows down and two cute girls in the next car smiled at him. In the good way.
And had you come to me then and said to my almost 20 year old self, “Margaret, you’ll be very content one day, driving along with one of your two beautiful sons and guess what? Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf will come on the radio and the two of you will sing it together — word-for-word, and all will be right with the world,” I would have said you are insane for many reasons, but mostly because I never thought I could be so perfectly happy.
My only question, is there another kind of blog other than an internet blog? Found in Craigslist under writing/editing jobs.
- Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
- do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers
post id: 4630675906
If you’re a bit of a theater (or theatre) buff, there’s an excellent article in the New York Times by Patrick Healy titled, I Want to Be a Producer (Me, Too!).
Flashes of Mel Brooks’ The Producers naturally come to mind, but producers today are more and more like investors in a Kickstarter rather than the traditional investor of yesteryear. Considering the cost of a Broadway production, it’s no wonder.
From Mr. Healy’s article:
Packs of investors, a conga line of above-the-title names: These sights were rare for decades, when shows were cheaper and a few powerful producers usually took the credit. But today investors want the spotlight for bankrolling Broadway. “Gentleman’s Guide” ended up giving billing to 44 above-the-title producers, who represent close to 100 additional, unbilled investors, unheard-of numbers until recently. And more are coming this season, backing musicals like “Side Show”and “Honeymoon in Vegas.”
The shift has called into question the meaning of the word “producer” — a sacred title in the theater, reserved for the people who worked with artists to shape shows and with landlords and unions to mount the productions. Many people now call themselves producers simply for writing a check and are listed as such in their Playbill biographies; some brag about being “Tony-winning producers” when they post photos on Facebook of their Tony awards, which they are allowed to purchase for $2,500.
Mind you, it’s been a while since I’ve been inside a Broadway theater–I kind of over-dosed on Broadway when I was first living in New York. I think I went to see Jim Dale in Me and My Girl five times. Just because I’m a big Jim Dale fan, here’s a link to the Roundabout Theater Company’s YouTube site where Jim talks about Just Jim Dale, his one man show.
Point is, everything costs more than it did when I was standing in line at TKTS, so I’m happy there are investors able to keep Broadway productions moving forward, so if you have the cash, do patronize the arts. You get to see your name in Playbill.
This definitely deserved its own posting. Happy job hunting.
Am I a terrible person for laughing with evil glee over job postings for writers and editors with misspellings in them? I don’t care, it gives me a sick joy. Here you go, today’s posting from Indeed.com–for an editor-in-chief. Just because they’re promoting a Bohemian lifestyle doesn’t mean one should be Bohemian about spelling POSSESS–yes people, possess has four and not three of those letters called S.
Also, I’d like to point out that Bohemian, by definition, has nothing to do with luxury–or a vibe thereof unless you’re talking about buying clothes from Free People while acting insouciant.
Quick hire someone fast!
We are a startup Bohemian Lifestyle website that profiles Los Angeles for people, places and products that fit our “Bohemian-Luxury” vibe. Our team discovers entrepreneurs, artists and trend setters to find out what makes them tick and how they found themselves where they are today. Whatever the next “cool” thing may be, we’re the first to know and ready with an exclusive story. We bridge businesses with mutual synergy (huh?) through editorials and featured products, to promote creativity while driving traffic and sales.
YOU MUST have prior experience as an Editor in Chief or ample experience as an Editor & Project Manager. YOU will be in charge of a team of creatives who will be looking to you for direction. YOU MUST have strong people skills, be deadline driven, think out of the box, multitask and be an all around go-getter. Do you have a network of writers that feed you new content? Are your “feelers” always out looking for new story ideas? Is your finger on the pulse of LA? Well then YOU might be OUR Editor-in-Chief / Superhero.
-Posses strong tactical planning skills & the capacity to execute through a team of writers (or maybe possess a dictionary?)
-Managing website content & layout
-Conceive & assign stories to a team of writers
-Create headlines, subheads and photo captions
-Have proven leadership success in managing a team of writers/ photographers
-Assists in web design
-Edit all content for factual info & grammatical correctness (you could just say edit for grammar and call it a day, but that’s not Bohemian, is it? hmm, nothing about spelling though)
-Sign off on completed pages prior to publishing (who signed off on this one?)
-Do In-person interviews
-Cultivates & maintain relationships with prominent public relations firms
-Review restaurants, events, arts, entertainment & fashion
-Posses journalistic innovation and initiatives to consistently improve the website (definitely possess a dictionary)
-Have to be highly motivated and posses excellent judgment and decision-making skills (yep, a dictionary)
Please send a dynamic cover letter, resume, writing clips and any other relevant material for consideration. (I’d send them a dictionary.)
These must be the same people with this ad (excerpted below) from Craigslist back in July of this year, at least the spelling was better.
Content Writer/ Editor for Boho Lifestyle Website (Venice)
New Online Niche Lifestyle Magazine seeks Content Writer/Editor
WE are not your typical high-end, big brand, celebrity website (whew, I was worried about that, them being typical and all) Are you ready to hit the streets to find the hidden pop up off Abbot Kinney Blvd? Are you chomping at the bit to be sent into the field to interview young entrepreneurs and up and coming artists? Will you help shape the next hipster trend? If you answered “hell yes!” to those questions, you may be our next content writer/superhero (is compensation tied to superhero status I wonder). This is not so much of a job as it is a full-time lifestyle that you must embody and yearn to be a part of. If dreaming of creative content, profiling night life and conducting interviews in any way sounds like ” work, ” you need not apply.
(it won’t be work unless you get paid, it’d be something else entirely)
As a Kindle Direct Publishing customer I did receive the letter (two actually) from Amazon asking for my help with their issue with Hachette. I don’t have much, if anything, to add to the whole Hachette v. Amazon debate/battle that is going on. As an indie author and a big Amazon customer I am not sure why Amazon cares how high Hachette prices their ebooks–let them, the market will sort itself out–isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?
But I did find Amazon’s use of the Orwell quote in the letter quite silly, since they didn’t use the quote in its proper context.
And I found this letter to the editors of the New York Times from the literary executor of the Orwell estate a great response to Amazon’s bad usage. Ouch indeed.
To the Editor:
Re “In a Fight With Authors, Amazon Cites Orwell, but Not Quite Correctly” (Business Day, Aug. 11):
As you point out, Amazon is using George Orwell’s name in vain: It quotes Orwell out of context as supporting a campaign to suppress paperbacks, to give specious authority to its campaign against publishers over e-book pricing; and having gotten as much capital as it can out of waving around Orwell’s name, Amazon then dismisses what was an ironic comment without engaging with Orwell’s own detailed arguments, which eloquently contradict Amazon’s.
This is about as close as one can get to the Ministry of Truth and its doublespeak: turning the facts inside out to get a piece of propaganda across.
As the literary executor for the Orwell estate, I’m both appalled and wryly amused that Amazon’s tactics should come straight out of Orwell’s own nightmare dystopia, “1984.” It doesn’t say much for Amazon’s regard for truth, or its powers of literary understanding. Or perhaps Amazon just doesn’t care about the authors it is selling. If that’s the case, why should we listen to a word it says about the value of books?
London, Aug. 11, 2014
Admittedly there are times, like now for me, when writing is like this photo:
- It’s fun to look at—I’m enjoying reading what I’ve written so far;
- I’m curious as to what it is—the plot is moving my characters forward and as I re-read the ‘wanting to know more’ is definitely there and;
- My story has some teeth—interesting plot twists; great, relate-able characters and humor.
But like this little green whatever it is (from a hamburger meal my sons insisted they needed to have) I’m not sure that what I have written has the dramatic purpose I had intended. I want my audience to be on the edge of their seats, dazzled and entertained!
And it’s not for a lack of a full outline on my part, no.
It’s the dreaded, awful realization that (despite knowing the full plot) the climax just isn’t enough. And that, my fellow writers, is a real bummer. Because what this means is that what I thought was going to be the single turning point, maybe now, is really part of the rising action and that means a whole reassessment of the entire plot. And more writing.
When this happens to you.
First of all, let me begin by saying despite my grumpiness at this (trust me, I’m really not happy because I thought I had it done–boom, let’s write this bad boy in like a couple of weeks and off to its readers) it’s a good sign. It means I’ve seen the error of my ways before I’ve finished the entire first draft. If this has happened to you, rest assured it’s not the end of the world, but a turning point.You are becoming a better writer.
Because too many times writers become so wed to their fantastic ideas that they lose sight of the fact that they aren’t seeing the whole picture–or plot. And don’t get me wrong, I really am happy with what I’ve written so far, but in turning it into a play (I’m letting my characters speak to me again) I’ve come to realize that the nut of my plot isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As much as I thought I had it all sewn up, I don’t.
How to fix the problem.
The first step for me was admitting to myself that there was a problem.
Hello, my name is m.e.. and I’m a writer with climax issues.
Okay, I miscalculated the oomph that I thought this particular element of my story would give the work as the build up in the rising action. It doesn’t seem as firm a reason for my hero’s call to action the way I thought it would. I mean, it’s good, but maybe it shouldn’t be the central theme of the rising action, but a sub-theme.
Now, if you don’t know what rising action is, it’s high time you get acquainted with that term. It’s part of Freytag’s Pyramid. Who was he? A 19th century German novelist who made this
little pyramid; a visual for the basis of dramatic structure. Rising action is the development of the conflict leading to the climax; the exposition, characters, backstory and resulting complications that bring the tension (and interest) to your story.
Since I have the full outline of my plot (it’s a play in three acts) I applied it to the pyramid.
When I did that, I realized that I had not woven enough of the reasons for the conflict into the rising action to make the climax as wow as I had originally planned. The way for me to fix this will be to create more inter-connections between my characters and allow their motivations to shine through in the dialogue. Think of it like weaving itself; taking a thread or several threads and interlacing them in and out of each other to create a single fabric. Never underestimate the power of allowing these interconnected relationships to reveal themselves, drip by drip, as a way to grab your audience and create good tension.
What I had done, originally, was to rush to the climax too soon without taking care to give my characters the proper justifications for doing what they did. I was proud of the fact that I had the whole plot outlined but I had not taken into consideration that the hero’s call to action wasn’t strong the way it was written.
Using the pyramid to help me sort out my overall dramatic purpose helped me realize my mistake. Now the rest is re-writing.
Jive and jibe
Jive used in place of jibe–a sure way to drive my inner-grammarian crazy. It’s become so common that no one seems to have an inkling that they are making a huge mistake. It’s like butt-naked. The phrase is buck-naked, but now butt-naked has become common, incorrect, but common.
With regards to incorrect but common usage, here’s a sentence I came across just the other day, in a seemingly well-written blog posting:
What doesn’t jive with the theory in my particular case is the names and profiles of the individuals requesting access.
Arrgh. The writer should have used the word jibe, as in “to be in accord; to agree.” But no, the writer used jive, as in jive talking his way through a blog posting.
Jibe is a sailing term and you can see how the definition as a sailing term has its roots in the meaning to be in accord; a shift was made–things are now in agreement. Everything below is from Merriam-Webster online:
Definition of JIBE
a : glib, deceptive, or foolish talk
b : the jargon of hipsters
c : a special jargon of difficult or slang terms
Examples of JIVE
- She grew up talking street jive.
- I’m tired of listening to your jive.
Health care vs. healthcare
The Grammarist.com has an excellent posting on health care vs. healthcare and I recommend you read it. Why? Because as a freelance writer or a writer of any type, you should be on top of your spelling, grammar and usage. I stick to two words as it was meant to be. From The Grammarist:
Short answer: Outside North America (Australia goes along with the U.K. on this one), use healthcare. In the U.S. and Canada, make it two words (unless you want to help speed the compounding process).
A lot of alots
Another writing error I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is–a lot. It’s two words and always has been. Maybe Twitter is to blame? Just because it’s funny since he points it out:
Irregardless is in the dictionary
Saying irregardless isn’t an accepted word isn’t quite right, it is. You don’t have to use it, but don’t say it isn’t accepted. If it’s in the dictionary, then so be it. And then there’s this excellent point from Wikipedia:
The approach taken by lexicographers when documenting a word’s uses and limitations can be prescriptive or descriptive. The method used with irregardless is overwhelmingly prescriptive. Much of the criticism comes from the double negative pairing of the prefix (ir-) and suffix (-less), which stands in contrast to the negative polarity exhibited by most standard varieties of English. Critics also use the argument that irregardless is not, or should not be, a word at all because it lacks the antecedents of a “bona fide nonstandard word.” A counterexample is provided in ain’t, which has an “ancient genealogy,” at which scholars have not leveled such criticisms.
I say avoid it in general because it’s what you should do, but if you do get into an argument, you can say, with righteousness, it’s in the dictionary like the word ain’t.
If you follow this blog (or not) you may know I am a vegan. And you may also know I used to cook for a living. Here’s one of my then meaty creations, Carbonada Criolla tacos–a riff on an Argentine dish with pumpkin aioli.
Two and a half years (plus 25 pounds thinner) I am still a vegan but I no longer cook for a living. After my husband’s stomach cancer, we decided to go vegetarian and then vegan for our health. I’m also a contributing editor at Vegtosterone.com, my husband’s site for guys who want to be manly vegans
Manly (or womanly), I would say most all vegans like their food to be flavorful. I say most all because, you know, some people just don’t like robust flavors. Why? I don’t know, but some people don’t like wine either and that is perplexing to me as well.
Be that as it may, I’m happy to report that plant based or vegan cooking is starting to come into its own with more restaurants offering vegan dishes or entire vegan menus. But there are still some people who, as soon as they hear the word ‘vegan’, automatically assume flavorless, bland, no-fun food.
I am here to show you otherwise.
Behold the risotto I just made for Sunday dinner. Broccoli is on the side. It is satisfyingly creamy, rich and bursting with a perfect combination of flavors. And there is absolutely no cream, butter, parmigiana or as Gordon Ramsay puts in his risotto in Hell’s Kitchen, mascarpone cheese. How did it get so creamy good? Stirring. You’ve gotta’ stir your risotto.
So what’s in my insanely delicious risotto?
- arborio rice (I did use Lundberg but Trader Joe’s also has arborio)
- minced onion and celery
- vegetable stock
- Sauvignon Blanc (liberal pours–thrice, once at beginning of cooking and once at end and a glass for the chef)
- Earth Balance Buttery Spread
- fresh tomatoes
- fresh basil (I used about 12 very large leaves cut into ribbons or chiffonade for you cheffy types)
- salt and pepper
See? No animal products anywhere on that list. And you know what else is lacking? Guilt.
Sautee your onion and celery (1 medium onion and 2 stalks celery) until tender in a good glug of olive oil and two tablespoons of Earth Balance over medium highish heat. Meanwhile gently heat the veggie stock in another pan, keep on low. Add arborio (about 10 ounces) to onion and celery mix, stir to cover and let cook for a minute or two. Reduce heat a little. Then add first ladle of stock and stir. Don’t let the rice become dry. You need to add liquid as soon as the first ladle is absorbed. Add a good glug of wine and some salt to taste. Stir. After about the third ladle of stock, add your tomatoes and some ribbons of basil. Keep stirring and adding your stock until the rice is tender but not mush. You don’t want mush. Add final flourish of wine, allow alcohol to burn off and serve with more basil and final touch of Earth Balance if desired. Decadently tasty and no cholesterol to boot. Enjoy!