Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Grammar = Good Writing?

So when I got fired, my boss told me one of things that caused my occupational demise was my lack of copy editing skills. So since then I've been on this kick of buying grammar books, hoping to fight that battle of misplaced modifiers.

I don't know though. I don't know if I can really retain this stuff. I've been reading Grammar Girl's book and following her blog since December now and I've only noticed a slight change in my ability to catch mistakes. When I read all the little tips and quips, I nod my head and think, "yes, I can see why that's wrong!" However, about 10 minutes later, it's like I never read the rule in the first place.

My question to other writer's is this: Do you think having a better handle on grammar makes you a better writer?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can't sleep... well at night

Oy. Why is it every time I come close to thinking I can make it in the publishing industry I start having panic attacks?

I have an interview on Friday for an editor position that seems kind of interesting at an organization that I might actually care about. So what happens last night before I go to bed? I start to realize how much I really hate grad school, and how everyone else in my class seems to hate it too, but they still love how they're learning. I don't feel as though I'm learning. No, I'm barely getting by with Bs in order to graduate.

For instance, we had a project due this week that most of the people in my class have been working on for week. Me? I did it in like two days with many, many breaks. These projects are now being posted online and mine looks something like a grade-schooler's compared to everyone else.

Knowing this, I begin to doubt my ability to do the job I'm interviewing for with any real ability. Do I really care about the publishing industry?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Blog

So I figured this blog was more for my problems with trying to find my passion for writing again and bitching about my weight really didn't qualify as a good blog post. So instead I started another blog about my road to weight loss which you can find under my profile. Happy reading!

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Complex" Issues

I want to tell you a little bit about the love of my life. My boyfriend. Quite possibly one of the sweetest, most generous, talented, passionate men you could ever come across. He is what inspires sappy movies. He is what gets me through the bad days. It sounds cliche, it sounds like I'm newly in love. But in fact it's been almost a year-and-a-half already and I'm still full of butterflies.

He's also incredibly handsome. He is that guy that when he walks into a room and girls everywhere turn and stare. Forget handsome, he's straight up hot. The first night I met him, I kept turning to my friend and whispering "Oh my god.. I mean... oh my god look at that guy!" So when at the end of the night I found myself brave enough to talk to him (yay Jim Beam!) and he asked me to meet him the next day, I couldn't believe it. There's no way this could be a date.

Well it was, and we've been together happily ever after ever since. So here's my issue -- When we first started dating I was teetering on the edge of obese. No, I'm not just putting myself down, according to the BMI scale, I had like one more point before I teetered over the edge. Well a lot of hard work, running and gym time, I've lost about 40 pounds. I'm what you call "average" now. A size 8, not too shabby. However, I still feel like I'm no where on his level of hotness. I'm constantly questioning myself how he could ever be attracted to me. Especially since his ex-girlfriend closet is packed full of gymnasts, dancers and all around beautiful women. How in the world did I land this guy??

Why is it the more weight I've lost, the more I feel self-conscious? Did I feel like when I got to this size it would be OK? Maybe. All I know is that I'm back on my diet, that I've been running 20 miles a week, strength training until I can't move at night, hoping that someday I can feel 100 percent comfortable. He thinks its because I want to wear a two-piece this summer (well that's true too) but really I just want him to have the girl he deserves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MORE Coffee, LESS Coffee Shops

After years and years of forced Catholicism through the coercion of a parochial-school upbringing, I pretty much gave up on organized religion. However, for some reason I can't stop doing the whole "Lent" thing. I often get a lot of guff from my friends about this. "You don't go to church, so why give something up?" Well, because I like the idea of practicing a little discipline.

For years I gave up meat for all 40 days, but with all the vegetarian choices these days it wasn't really all that hard the last couple of years. So this year, I took a deep look at myself, my vices, and decided I really needed to stop spending so much money on coffee.

This does NOT mean I gave up coffee. I'm a writer, don't' you want me to write? I need coffee like a 1950s beat reporter needs their Jack Daniels. It's what gets me through. But let's face it, good luck finding a shop that doesn't sell coffee produced on some sacred mountain in an all-organic country blessed by monks. Buying coffee at coffee shops is freaking expensive.

So, for 40 days, a man named Maxwell is my new best friend. I'm only drinking the stuff I make at home. Well... that is causing a whole new problem on its own. I'm now drinking like six cups instead of two. I have no idea what my deal is with this. I'm hyper as hell. I'm bouncing off the walls of apartment. I'm driving the bf nuts, considering we have a studio so there's not a whole lot of room to bounce.

Plus now, I'm doing all my homework, job-searching, and Internet cruising at home. Not nearly as productive. I could go to the library, but they're way too quiet for my taste. So here I sit at my little corner of the apartment next to the fridge with my fourth cup of burnt coffee.

Thanks for listening to my caffeine-infused babbling on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Becoming My Parents...

I grew up rather poor. We're talking empty refrigerators, food stamps, sometimes we didn't even have a home.

Things changed for me when my grandparents adopted me and took me into their home. My grandmother has her master's in English and my grandfather was a retired steel worker. I began to have a normal middle class life.

I went on to college, graduated with a degree in journalism, moved out to the East Coast, got a descent job, then switched jobs to accommodate part-time graduate school. Everything was going great, up until I got fired and began to question everything.

I haven't been able to find a new job. I'm starting to question if I'll ever find something in the professional world again, considering I've been sending out at least 2 to 3 resumes a week since September and have only gotten one in-face interview. It looks like it's going to be a couple of part-time jobs in order to just start helping my boyfriend with the rent.

The rent. We want a new apartment. We're in a studio with literally no where to sit but the bed or one desk chair. Everything else is covered in boxes. There's just no room. Can't get the one-bedroom because I need a pay stub. I feel worthless.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cue Depressing Music

Unemployment is quite possibly the second worst thing that has ever happened to me. I feel completely useless. At this point, I can't even tell you how many resumes I've sent in, how many cover letters I've revised or how many times I've wanted to scream at the unemployment online filing system.

Some of my friends think I have it made. They say "oh, it must be nice to sleep in!" or "Man, what I wouldn't give to have some time off." Well let me clear the air about what unemployment feels like. IT SUCKS. Just because I get a check once a week, doesn't mean I'm not constantly worried about everything. This check pays nothing. And if I get a part-time job to help support myself, then I won't receive unemployment anymore. Dear State of Virgina: I can't pay my rent on what little you offer, please let me get a part-time job too!

I know this makes me sound like a total snob, but I can't believe that I'm going to have to work two jobs just to buy groceries when I'm only a few months from getting my master's and I already have almost 5 years of experience. There's just nothing available. And what is available, doesn't seem to want me. When I first started this blog I said I was having trouble figuring out who I am. Well, now it's ten times worse, because now I don't even feel like I'm worth anything. I don't seem to be able to offer anyone anything, judging by the lack of any calls about my resume.

Le sigh.