Archive | March, 2011

supermodel documentary hour (superstar reference)

23 Mar

in the midst of a little photo session (the kind that I ridicule others about), I was actually able to see a bit of my weight loss… which is funny because i’m one of of those people who can never see that they’re losing weight… and always assumes that their gaining weight. anyway, i will post das pictures. but also in the interest of full disclosure, I’m wearing one of those tummy toner things. because while I am slimming down, my stomach is still a pudgy little bitch. -also please ignore my expressions in some of those photos. i was attempting to feign fierceness.

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23 Mar

By Mary Jaksch
Originally posted on Copyblogger.com

Do you want to become a better writer? Silly question, eh.

The good news is that writing makes you a better writer. Just like practicing the piano makes you a better pianist, or riding a trail bike makes you a better biker.

A few weeks ago I asked a question on Write to Done: What Helps YOU Become a Better Writer? The suggestions the readers offered were so rich and varied that I decided to gather them all together for Copyblogger readers.

I think there is one guaranteed winner among the seventy-two suggestions – blogging. Writing a blog is an amazing way to sharpen one’s skills. As bloggers we have to produce words daily – even when we don’t feel like it. And we get instant feed-back through comments. As Leo Babauta points out in his inspiring story How I got 100,000 Subscribers: Lessons from Zen Habits, it’s the readers that help us improve.
Doing these things can help you become a better writer:

1. Become a blogger.

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2. Use self-imposed word limits.

3. Accept all forms of criticism and learn to grow from it.

4. Read what you’ve written over and over, until you can’t find any more problems.

5. Show what you write to a trusted friend for feedback.

6. Outline. And then write to that outline.

7. Edit, and edit again.

8. Live with passion.

9. Be open, curious, present, and engaged.

10. Take a break between writing and editing.

11. Learn a new word a day.

12. Get the pen and fingers moving.

13. Write in different genres: blog posts, poems, short stories, essays.

14. Read grammar books.

15. Write without distractions.

16. Challenge yourself: write in a crowded cafe, write on the toilet, write for 24 hours straight.

17. Take a trip. Road trips, beach trips, bus trips, plane trips.

18. Watch movies. Can you write the story better?

19. Write. And then write some more.

20. Read, think, read, write, ponder, write – and read some more.

21. Read your stuff aloud to anyone who can stand it – including the cat.

22. Go back and cut 10% from your word count.

23. Talk to people.

24. Listen to how people talk.

25. Read lots of books. Both good and bad.

26. Make notes of your (fleeting) brilliant ideas.

27. Start your writing ahead of time – not hours before a deadline.

28. Listen to podcasts on writing tips.

29. Use simple, declarative sentences.

30. Avoid passive voice.

31. Limit your use of adjectives and adverbs.

32. When in doubt, cut it out.

33. Kill clunky sentences.

34. Be inspired by other art forms – music, dance, sculpture, painting.

35. Read your old stuff and acknowledge how far you’ve come – and how far you have to go.

36. Write for publication, even if it’s only for the local newsletter or a small blog.

37. Make writing your priority in the morning.

38. Keep squeezing words out even if you feel uninspired.

39. Tell everyone: “I’m a writer.”

40. Recognize your fear and overcome it.

41. Let your articles rest and then return to them with fresh eyes.

42. Comment on your favorite blogs.

43. Keep a journal to keep the writing juices flowing.

44. Use a journal to sort out your thoughts and feelings.

45. Keep it simple.

46. Practice monotasking. Set a timer for uninterrupted writing.

47. Watch people.

48. Get to know someone different from you and reflect on the experience.

49. Try new ideas or hobbies – the more variety you have in your life, the more likely you are to keep on generating good ideas on the page.

50. Read works from different cultures. It helps keep your writing from tasting stale in the mouths of your readers.

51. Rethink what is ‘normal’.

52. Work on brilliant headlines.

53. Check if your assumptions are right.

54. Join a writing group. If you can’t find one, form one.

55. Write during your most productive hours of the day.

56. Designate time to research.

57. Take time to muse and mindmap.

58. Map out a writing schedule for your project and stick to it.

59. Ask someone else to proofread.

60. Read Zinsser’s On Writing Well at least once a year.

61. Break out of your comfort zone.

62. Write at the scene. If you want to write about a beach, get a picnic rug and go write by the sea.

63. Go to the supermarket, the ball game, the class room, the building site. Make notes of the sensuous details, the atmosphere, the people.

64. Start with metaphors and stories.

65. Approach writing with gratitude, not just with a ‘must do this’ attitude.

66. Deconstruct and analyze books and articles you enjoy.

67. Know about story architecture. Many writers don’t. Which is like doing heart surgery or flying an airliner by intuition. Survival rates are low.

68. Socialize with other writers.

69. Stretch or exercise in between writing.

70. Make a note of ideas for further development before you leave a piece for tomorrow.

71.Use mindmaps for inspiration.

72. Take risks – don’t be afraid to shock. You are not who you think you are.

three words: great gatsby videogame

23 Mar

http://greatgatsbygame.com/

 

a great gatsby video game…great scott!

23 and stagnant

14 Mar

So yesterday I turned twenty-three (yay), and I had a terrific weekend. I went up to chicago to visit my necessary other, Natalie, for the weekend. The megabus arrived in Chicago on time -something fairly unprecedented in megabus history -and I walked to Natalie’s job, where I sat and was introduced to many people -including Danielle (a friendly girl with unfriendly wig). Friday evening went slow but well…we rented movies, bought boots and sat around simply enjoying one another’s company. Saturday started early. We got up, took the train downtown, grabbed a bite to eat from Panera, got manicures and pedicures (which I needed), did a little shopping, grabbed a cup of coffee and then checked into the hotel. Firstly, Beika surprised us, having champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room. It was incredibly sweet. After lounging for a bit, we got dressed and then went to an amazing dinner. I ordered roasted chicken and natalie order ravioli, but we switched due to natalie’s new found lactose intolerance. It was delicious nonetheless and then we ended the meal with creme brulee. So good. Afterward, we went back to the hotel, took a quick nap and then were soon graced with the presence of Paul, Jacque, Myra and Jacque’s friend Lisa. (—–In the interest of not spending too much time talking about this or writing it…I’ll sum this up quicker.—–) We drank some then headed to Dave and Buster’s. There we played games and met up with Abby H, Myra L, Victoria, Vicky L, Lolis, Olga and one of the Leguna’s friends. We had plenty of awkward moments but played games. After that, we went to a bar named Leg Room and then another bar, where we finished the night dancing with foreign men. —Sunday morning, I was still drunk but cheerful…until I was at breakfast with Nene and Natalie and I nauseous. The ride home from downtown after breakfast, those brief moments of sitting in the car, having the burn down at us as we music moved through the car was probably the happiest that I’d been in years. I smiled for those twenty minutes…like a fool, moved by the recognizable image of dancing in the car as we flew down the highway. In all of it’s simplicity…it was what was most important. Those moments. -After that we went home and crashed until we ate cake and opened presents. We finished watching movies and then felt the hours fold away. I left this morning, early but not too early. We got up at seven and I ended up at the Amtrak around 9 this morning. I spent all day on the train, got on the metrolink and then came home. Now, I get to look forward to more hours of salad tossing and coffee brewing. It’s funny how quickly you start thinking about offing yourself after having a good weekend, the day after your birthday nonetheless.

8 March, 2011 19:11

8 Mar

I’ve been in an african hair braid shop all day long. The woman that was braiding my hair earlier looked just like my older sister Annie. I swear on a stack of bible books. I also watched half-a-dozen nigerian soap operas including the Nigerian version of Two Can Play That Game. It was called Brake Up. It was discribed as a “fun, crazy, exciting movie about braking up.” That’s right… Braking…. Not breaking. -also, my micros only cost 160. HOLLA. But, i am in the hood…only a bit, and i have to pub trans it home.

age of plastic surgery abomination

8 Mar

I don’t know what lil Kim was thinking with that face….she looks like Garfield.

t.m.i.

6 Mar

god damn impending period. my nipples hurt. they feel sharper than two fine point pens.