Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Observations

I Put the “eck” in Rejected

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an overt post on writing and I just KNOW you’ve been dying for one (irony irony irony and scene). Regardless of how you feel about writers writing on writing about writing while writing, I can’t afford therapy, so I bought a domain name instead.

If you are a working writer, you’ve received a rejection letter. If you haven’t, then:

1. Screw you

OR:

2. You’re not really a working writer and you need to take a look at what you call your career.

Rejection is part of the process, and it’s something that want-to-be writers must deal with in order to progress. Sometimes, your writing sucks. Sometimes, the market is bad. Sometimes, nobody wants you. Okay. It happens. That’s life.

You pull up your big girl panties and get back to work.

This week, I got the rejection letter from my final requested manuscript. It was not a form rejection. It was kind and gentle, and I’ve developed a Twitter relationship with this agent and still enjoy talking with her, even if she didn’t want my stuff. This letter made me feel a great many emotions, but all these things were very loosely defined.

I’ve been waiting for this rejection for awhile. Now, let’s take a look at that. I’ve been waiting for this rejection. I wasn’t waiting for a “yes.” I’d been waiting for a “no.” When did that happen? When did I become so bitter and cynical that I’m expecting bad news over good?

But, regardless of expectation, every rejection letter brings up every other rejection and compresses them all into one big lump of ice right smack between the lungs. And that lump expands into a void of negativity. And the doubts rush in to fill the negative space.

I’m not talented. I can’t tell a story. I’m doing something wrong.

Your support structure tells you that’s wrong; you’re talented; you’ll get there. BUT THEY ARE LYING!!! (irony irony irony and scene)

The truth is, when you come to expect rejection, the old adage of doing the same thing and expecting a different result leads you to the crazy train.

Now, here’s the real point of this story.

The worst thing repeated rejection has done to me is trained me to not want things.

Wanting things is stupid and leads to pain, therefore the act of wanting is a gateway to pain and must be avoided at all costs.

I realized my numbness to desire when I suddenly wanted something. An opportunity presented itself and that cold lump was immediately incinerated in the burn of possibility. There was an all consuming rush, a caffeine high, an unfurling of imagination as a million different futures spread before me, none of them featuring a rejection. I had to tell someone. I had to tell everyone. I had to run home and write a blog post about it!Give It Colbert

So, there. The real travesty of rejection is not the “no.” It’s what it does to your head. It’s how it messes you up, pushes you down, leaves you on your belly so you forget what it’s like to sit, stand, walk, run.

But when something is worth wanting, maybe that’s the only thing that you need to get back on your feet.

 

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Jokes for the Week of 11/5

Papa John’s will be cutting hours due to projected ObamaCare costs. It was either that or downgrade to “Cheaper ingredients,cheaper pizza.”

Yahoo’s fantasy football website broke down today, leaving fantasy football players stuck playing their level 5 mages.

CIA Director Petraeus resigned due to an extra marital affair. If he worked in the British Secret Service, he would have been promoted to 007.

Gasoline rationing has continued in New York City. In a related story, New York City Prius owners are emitting a record amount of smug.

A 64-year-old Florida man tried to shoot his horse and missed while riding it drunk. In related news, the broad side of the barn can rest easy.

A British zoo is offering a program where tourists can swim with tigers. This replaces the much less popular program “Swim with the Yankees.”

Lindsay Lohan recently said the cops are out to get her. The cops responded “Any info of Lohan’s whereabouts can be reported to her dedicated hotline.”

Carrie Fisher told interviewers she wants to be in the new Star Wars. Just what we need; the return of the Sith.

Officials asked news media to stop calling hurricanes superstorms. Official classifications are Category 3, Category 2, and Holy Shit, Wake Up Grandma.

The only reason people make fun of Snuggies is because they’re jealous they didn’t think of it. That and they make you look like a klansman.

A New Zealand scientist was banned from referring to ancient humanoids as “hobbits.” The decision affects all archaeologists, making it one ban to rule them all.

Thousands of rats displaced by Sandy are taking to the streets of NYC. There hasn’t been this big of a rodent exodus since Fievel went West.

A new study shows that LA porn stars have more STDs than Nevada prostitutes. It just goes to show that some things really do stay in Vegas.

Starbucks plans to accelerate growth in 2013. Instead of a Starbucks on every corner, there will be a Starbucks in every home.

Philadelphia 76er’s revealed a t-shirt cannon that shoots 100 t-shirts a minute. This move is just another escalation in the NBA arms race.


Stranded

I’m changing my superpower.

Flight and invisibility are the poor man’s game. When I played pick a superpower, I always played it with the full X-men dossier. Everyone said Wolverine because he was cool and great and awesome and who hasn’t wanted to brandish knuckle-sprouted blades at some inconsiderate line cutter. (or is that just me? my bad…)

I just want to point out that “badass” is not a superpower, it’s a state of being.

Anyway…

I usually went with Storm. I mean, come on. You can control the weather. Snow. All the time.

But, I’m changing it to Nightcrawler teleportation. Nightcrawler has a roughly three-mile radius in which he can teleport. At the very least, I would use it to cross the street.

But, the real reason is my damnable travel karma (see previous post). On with the tale!

What you need to know:

Hurricanes come with their own stages of emotions.

1. Mild Surprise

I got a text message from my dad on Friday that read: “How’s the storm situation?” At the time I had no idea what he was talking about. My flight the previous night had been delayed (see previous post), so I assumed he was talking about that, even though I hadn’t mentioned a storm. I told him I got in late last night. About 45 minutes later, I saw the news and sent him this. “Oh. Now I see what you mean.” It was far away, I was young and inexperienced. Certainly I would not fall victim to such a thing.

2. Irrational Fear

Okay, so the president’s talking about it. And, apparently it’s pretty bad. And, Twitter is abuzz. Oh, my God. I’m going to die. What are my last words? Who should receive my last farewell? Who gets my stereo?

3. Coy Nonchalance

I’m staying in Cambridge, on the MIT campus. Where else in the world would be a better place to sit this out?

4. Irrational Fear

ANYWHERE ELSE THAT IS NOT IN A HURRICANE! FIND THE TORNADO ROOM! NO, GET TO HIGH GROUND! WIND IS SO LOUD!! WHY IS WIND SO LOUD?!?!

5. Cabin Fever Bat Shit Insanity

I’m never going to get out of here. Every flight that ever existed has taken off or been cancelled. I’ll never see anyone again. Are the walls closing in? Why is it so bright? I can’t see. No, wait, I’m looking at things. I can see. I’m never going to get out of Boston.

6. Overwhelming Frustration

Okay, this one hit when I was told that my rescheduled flight was also cancelled. The new one? Friday. I’m trapped in a dorm until Friday. Admittedly, a big part of this frustration stemmed from the fact that I am supposed to fly to Vegas from LAX on Thursday. Yeah.

7. Acceptance of Fate

Do you know what it feels like to flush money down the drain? That’s what happens when there’s no possible way you can get to Los Angeles before Thursday and your ticket is non-refundable. Rebooking the flight costs more than the original ticket, and I’m not going to throw good money after bad. Oh, and I’m flying to Dallas on November 15th for the week and a half of Thanksgiving. At this point, I might still be in Boston, but, whatever, man. Whatever.

As far as the hurricane itself, well, it didn’t really hit Boston. It was simply a rainy, cloudy, windy day where everyone stayed inside. No flooding, no power outage. I ordered delivery.

Yes, I have a place to stay with power, a bed, Internet, and all those things that so many are without. I am grateful for all those things. I know a lot of people have it much worse than I do. Right now, I just want to go home.

But, let me make one thing known. You don’t want to be in a hurricane. You don’t even want to be near a hurricane.

Oh, and:

Dear Mom,

Send underwear and shampoo.

Love, Kate


Jokes for the Week of 10/15

Texas State Fair lost their icon Big Tex, a 52-foot cowboy, in a fire. This leaves the state without it’s last line of Godzilla defense.

Tim Tebow has trademarked the term “Tebowing.” Fans have raised the question, “Is that what Jesus would do?”

The NBA has instated a 90 second time limit on pregame handshakes. Officials reassured the full handshake will still be required to enter the post game treehouse.

A man hired a woman to slap him every time he logged on to Facebook. The move is likely to inspire a new trend with “50 Shades of FarmVille.”

Today is the first day of PSAT testing. In other words, a test where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.

A poll shows parents would rather have Obama watch their kids which means if Obama loses the election, he won’t add to the jobless rate.

The Rolling Stones announced their 50th anniversary tour. It will unite old and young fans with people who want to watch someone die on stage.

Both Nike and Anheuser-Busch have dropped Lance Armstrong as a sponsor, proving any move to stay with the cyclist is ballsy.

General Mills will cut sugar and salt from its breakfast cereals, so keep an eye out for Nut Cheerios, Toast Crunch, and Unlucky Charms.


The Change

I’ve gone Hollywood.

Gone HollywoodFor the first time in 3 months, I returned to Dallas on a quest to surprise those I left behind. I hadn’t thought I had changed.  I was still the sly, witty, Iron Man rip-off that I’ve always been, but this time, something felt different.

One of my roommates is a reality TV star. Living with her is not nearly as exciting as it would seem. She’s an amazing, generous person with a Midwestern work ethic and an inviting personality, but it doesn’t change the fact that each tidbit of information I mention seems like I’m raising the stakes.

She’s a reality TV star.

From Bad Girls’ Club.

And Love Games.

And she’s filming a pilot this weekend.

Yes, my life turned into that. My roommate is filming a pilot this weekend.

I wrote a sketch for a Second City show that premiered on the main stage this Sunday when I was in Dallas. It was a wonderful thing to be able to tell everyone about, but I wasn’t heartbroken that I missed it. There will be more to come, more to experience, more to contribute.

I met Jane Espenson. I was at a coffee shop with Damon Lindelof (I think, still not sure), and I went to the Paley Center preview nights for three major networks.Hollywood Star

Back in Dallas, I ordered the salad because the takeout is less greasy in LA (this is not to say it is more healthy). I left a half-hour too early for everything because I’m already adjusted to living with the traffic patterns. Gas was $4 a gallon and I considered it a good deal.

But, let’s be completely honest.

The one thing that has really changed about me is that I’m happy.

I love living in Los Angeles. I love what I’m doing in Los Angeles. I am incredibly busy and not everything has moved as fast as I want, but I love it all.

And my last moments were bittersweet. Because, as I said goodbye to my friends, my heart breaking all over again because I already missed them, this time I wasn’t leaving Dallas to move to LA.

I was going home.


Celebrity Spotting

I’d like to dispel a rumor.

There is this…notion…that if you live in Los Angeles, you see celebrities everywhere.

This is simply not the case. I have only seen (identified?) two celebrities since I’ve been here. I am, of course, not counting the ones that I went to an event to see because, let’s be honest, that’s totally cheating.

The first was this guy:Progressive Insurance guy

Yep. The Progessive Insurance guy. He was walking down the street (in a jacket that color, no less) while I was driving. As I passed, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I knew that guy. I had met him before. But, from where? It wasn’t until later that I realized where I recognized him from.

The second was this guy:

Chord OverstreetWhile I’m not a big Glee fan, it’s on the fringes of my knowledge enough for me to have made the connection when I saw him. He was getting into his shiny, black car outside of our neighborhood Rite Aid. Celebrities are just like us! They have prescriptions!

I’m a little disappointed. At a premiere event for the second season of Scandal, some woman walked the red carpet and my friend whispered to me, “That’s Kerry Washington!”

I had no idea. I’d never seen Scandal before that night (it’s really good; watch it). I had no schema for Kerry Washington or any of the other actors on the show. So, I’m doubly disappointed. Not only have a not spotted many celebrities, I’m not versed enough in the culture to recognize them when I might see them.

When I was in New York, the only celebrity I saw for four months was Scott Adsit. As a huge 30 Rock fan, I recognized him immediately, but, at the time, 30 Rock wasn’t the comedy powerhouse it is today. I mean, it had only won two Primetime Emmys at the point.

I wonder if I would like to try celebrity hunting for a week. That’s sounds a little paparazzi of me, but, hey, it might be fun.

If there was one celebrity you would want to see (without drooling on them), who would it be?