Sunday, April 03, 2005

Back from the Break!

Back from the Break
In spite of torrential rains, flooding, tornadoes in transit, 15-year-old girls obsessed with The OC, straightening their hair and shaving excessively, it was a great week. I took my daughter and her friend to Seaside, Florida where I was surrounded by college students from Auburn, Alabama and Michigan. The house of Michigan guys was rocking but sadly, they simply could not attract a single southern co-ed. I don’t know if it’s a north/south thing, a spiked hair and saggy jeans thing or the Pearl Jam blasting from their speakers but those boys totally struck out in the pick- up department. I suggested they try some Modest Mouse or Beck and maybe wash their hair from time to time. Not that I was watching. No sirreeee. I was watching my own crew of 15- year-olds bomb through the seaside on bikes; Ipods in pocket, cell phone in basket and cash stashed in their American Eagle hooded jackets. They are perched between the misery of pre-teens and the agony of full-blown teenagerhood. Somehow they seem oblivious to the angst. I must not see it. Or, maybe I’m just tired of seeing it so I choose to put on my fake Chanel sunglasses, break out a cold Ultra light Beer and, over the course of 4 days, read 672 pages from start to finish of Eliot Perlman’s The Seven Kinds of Ambiguity. It was so heavy it made my rented bike wobble from the weight. It’s a good yarn although now I know how to count cards while playing Black Jack. Which means I’m going to have to try to get kicked out of Vegas for a good first person story. Dontchathink?

By now, I hope you are putting the last touches on your Newsweek piece.
Tips
Spell Check is your friend
Read aloud to someone not your mother
First person means you use the pronoun.
100 words on either side of the word count is okay. 101 words is not. Check your word count.
Examine adverbs. Search for words that end in “ly” and kill them.
Kill all your darlings. Anything that you are very very fond of, kill it. I’m sorry, it’s cold but darlings stick out.
Write a good headline.
Put it to the Maxwell test. Is this a writer with passion? Do you care about this story or is it just another assignment.
Rawk on!

3 Comments:

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Lauren Champlin said...

Seaside is where "The Truman Show" was filmed...it looks like a gorgeous place! Thanks for the Newsweek advice.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Emily Kornegay said...

Spring break was too good...I can't seem to force my suntanned self back into the daily grind. It's hard to pound my keyboard all day while the tulips are blooming outside! Like Carolyn, I saw lots of struggling Northern boys on the beach last week. My friends and I asked one cocky Yankee why he had the collar of his too-tight polo flipped up. He replied, "That's how I roll, baby." Let me assure you, we rolled right on past him and onto the floor in laughter.

In other news...Newsweek piece has taken over my life, but that's cool. My life wasn't that exciting to begin with.

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger Joseph Dennis said...

I think my friends and I were the ones struggling last week in Hopetown, Abaco, Bahamas. The only girls who would talk to us for more than five minutes were two Ecuadorians we invited to dinner, but they were way too young for us (It seemed like every girl down there was either with her parents or with her husband). Anyway these girls convinced us that toilets in Ecuador flush straight down. In the words of my geographically ignorant roommate, "Man I love Asian chicks."

 

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