Monday, June 21, 2010

spam can be good for you.

I normally don't like e-newsletters or weekly updates from companies that tell me I need to see/do/go/buy something. Then again, who does? I usually end up deleting them if they even make it through the spam filter to my inbox. This past week I got a newsletter (from a company that will remain unnamed) about some writing classes that were being offered this summer in NYC. In addition to advertising their courses, they also include workshops (sometimes free) they might be offering (which I have taken a few of) & also give links to articles about writing & links on where you can find writing tips or ideas. I was skimming through it and something caught my eye. On their website they have a section called "Tips from Masters" and listed some notable names like Poe, Vonnegut & Kerouac. I was intrigued and thought well if these literary geniuses have some writing advice to give out to someone like me, what do I have to lose? So I click the link and on their site they have listed articles of interviews, essays & tips/advice that writers from the past & present have doled out to us future and oh so hopeful writers.

All of the articles were really insightful and helpful but the one that I found I most connected with was the list that Neil Gaiman had written (which was previously published in The Guardian). In case you don't know who Neil Gaiman is, here's the little blurb that prefaced his writing tips:
"Neil Gaiman has become so popular he is often considered the “rock star” of the literary world. He trades mostly in science fiction and fantasy in a variety of forms—novels, children’s books, graphic novels, comic books, and film. Among his trend-setting works: Coraline, The Graveyard Book and The Sandman series. He takes readers, of all ages, to the very edge of imagination."

Not only where his tips raw & honest, I felt that they are realistic and pretty damn funny too.

Neil Gaiman's 8 Good Writing Practices

1. Write.
2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7. Laugh at your own jokes.
8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

So I came to this conclusion: spam email isn't always bad - it can be good for you sometimes. But spam in a can? yeah, that shit is ALWAYS bad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

recent happenings & random thoughts

It's been awhile (not that i think anyone noticed but me). I couldn't really think of one particular topic so I decided to just rant about what's been going on in the life of me:

I moved!
Let me say that again.
It's over - all the packing, moving, cleaning, worrying, sweating, not sleeping, driving, and unpacking is done. I THANK WHOEVER IT IS YOU PRAY TO. I have some art & pictures I want to hang/get shelving for. Now I just need some decorating guidance and someone who tall & can hang things that aren't crooked.

The last 6 weeks have been a mix of making a lot of decisions, organizing amidst disorganization, saying goodbye & 'see you soon', saying hello to NYC & HELLO BROOKLYN! I am already in love with my neighborhood. I can't wait to get out and explore it more.

I've been in my new apartment for over 2 weeks and except for a trip to the Grand Army Plaza farmer's market & a bodega stop for milk, I have yet to go to an actual grocery store. I'm beginning to think that they only exist in suburbia.

Interns make my life both easier & a living hell. The one that wears too much cologne DEFINITELY does the latter. Also, 85% of interns are weird. I mean most of us were interns somewhere once & I guess because your lack of knowledge of a given place or job doesn't make you A #1 but I don't remember being weird at my internships. And they aren't like psychotic killer clowns wierd, but just strange. And for some reason, they are attracted to interning for the Registrar Dept. of the Paley Center.

I need to get my ass back into Yoga. NO EXCUSES. Seriously, my mom got me a yoga mat. I REALLY have no excuses.

In the last 2 months, I have bought about a half dozen dresses. And I've actually worn some of them. In public. I know, that's SHOCKING.

I'm not ashamed to admit that one of my new favorite shows on right now is So You Think You Can Dance. It's one of the few (if only) reality shows I will watch because it actually does search for the best & most diverse dancers. It also exposes people/audience viewers to new styles of dance that they might not have seen or known about. Watching it makes me want to dance again.

It doesn't matter how much I clean, do laundry or just plain attempt to avoid it, I will always have cat hair on every article of clothing I own.

The World Cup is known as "the world's largest sporting event" - how did the Olympics miss out on that title?

I really really REALLY can not stand subway riders who do not let people get off the train before boarding. It's like they HAVE TO get on the train in case they may miss it. The train does not leave INSTANTLY - the conductor knows people need to get on & off. How can you not step aside for 5 seconds? It's rude & shows no respect for others.

I have had this growing desire for ice cream that has been going on for about 3 weeks. You're probably thinking "So why don't you go to the store and get some, Nicole?" but a) as I mentioned above, I haven't been there yet and more importantly b)I don't just want any ice cream - I want the Bea Arthur from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. I've heard amazing things about this truck & it's deliciousness. I just know once I have this amazing slice of heaven, my mind might be blown (or at least I'll get a brain freeze) but I keep missing the damn truck where ever he might be on a given day!

I want to do something amazing on my birthday this year. It's on a Thursday & the only request I have is that it has to involve the 1980s. Don't worry, you're all invited (all 7 of you that follow this blog). Suggestions of places or things to do are welcome, preferably in NYC. It's in less than 2 months!