Monthly Archives: June 2011

By any other name

I recently changed the name of my blog. It’s a pretty subtle change, but it illustrates a big difference in the way I think about myself, my writing and my blogging.

The old blog name was:

Jill of All Trades

and the new blog name is:

Jill of All Genres

What’s the difference, you might ask yourself. Well, I should probably tell you a little story of why I called myself “jill of all trades” to begin with.

It used to be, when I was a student, I had about a hundred part time jobs. All at the same time. I was a partner in a small literary agency, I was a writer, but I also watched houses (and pets) while folks were out of town. So, at one point I made a business card for myself. Let me insert a picture of the card here:

One of my mentors scoffed at me including all the various jobs on my business card, especially “housesitter,” but it was one of the ways I made my living. Also, I didn’t feel like I could just claim “writer,” not at that time. The card would have felt so blank, with nothing to hide behind if it had just said:

Emilie Staat, Writer.

When I graduated from the MFA program at LSU, my card was woefully out of date. I no longer agented. I no longer housesat. But I still wrote. Not only that, but I was now a Master of Fine Arts and a great pun occurred to me. And hence, my new business card:

And this card served me well until I ran out of them and then dithered about my new business card. I’d had the old ones cheaply made at Kinko’s and they no longer had the striking pink paper or the same business card service. It was time to upgrade to a nicer card anyway. Something like Jamey‘s gorgeous business cards. But as I’ve said, I dithered and stalled.

But now I know why.

I am now at a place in my life where I have many jobs and commitments again, but almost every single one of them is related to my talents and interests as a writer. Jill of All Trades has become misleading because I am not a waitress or a carpenter or a lawyer or a computer technician like other writers I know. I only operate within one trade these days, a trade that has many facets, which we often call genres.

I have finally built a life for myself, rocky though it almost always is, where I use my writerly instincts and experiences to make a living. How and when did this happen? It’s so surprising that it’s easy to forget that I was building this life, working for it with all my might.

But it’s just the first step. A serious first step in a new direction and I’m glad to be on this path. I think it’ll be time for new business cards soon…

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Filed under freelance work, funny, musing, writing updates

New Orleans street art

For all of my posts about street art and all my photos of graffiti from around New Orleans, I’ve never actually dedicated a post just to New Orleans images. But I always take pictures, compulsively. Most people know by now that if you’re walking with me, I’m likely to stop and start taking pictures. Even Papa Bear knows that after a visit to Elizabeth’s (and the area near Dr. Bob’s) and a walk we took to Juan’s. He was very patient with me while I fell back and snapped pictures of all the amazing street art I saw.

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I loved reading about the Swoon exhibit through NOMA over at NOLAFemmes, which is going on through September. Good news for those of us who haven’t caught it yet.

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Filed under art, coolness, New Orleans, pop culture

Bragalicious

Over at my personal blog (which has recently been re-named), Jill of All Genres, one of my most regular types of post is what I call the “bragging post,” where I take the opportunity to brag about the accomplishments of my talented friends. It’s one of my favorite things to do and luckily, there are no shortage of accomplishments to brag on.

Charlotte suggested that I post my most recent bragging on post, Bragalicious, here, since many of my shout outs are local New Orleanians (or Baton Rougeians). It’s been too long since I’ve written a post on NOLAFemmes, so I am happy to post Bragalicious here for you.

Speaking of NOLAFemmes and bragging…Judy’s post “Up, up and away!” was a “Freshly pressed” pick on the front page of WordPress yesterday (now page 2). That is totally bragalicious.

* * *

First and foremost, as we speak, pretty much all of The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is gearing up for The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. Four of our members are attending, including Maurice Ruffin, Terri Stoor, Tad Bartlett and J.Ed Marston. That means something like 40% or so of our membership was accepted.

Jamey Hatley is also attending the Summit. Additionally, she’s won a prestigious waitership to Bread Loaf later in the summer.

Also, Maurice Ruffin‘s short story “And Then I Was Clean” will be published in UNO’s Ellipsis Journal.

Another Peauxdunque member, Joselyn Takacs has been accepted into the MFA program at Johns Hopkins University and is on her way.

A little birdie told me that Barb Johnson will be receiving the Barbara Gittings Literature Award at the ALA Conference tomorrow.

Sarah Morton is creating a graphic novel out of a short story written by Bobbi Perry, who attended the LSU MFA with me and Jamey. You can read it online!

Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner are screening Flood Streets at the San Antonio Film Festival on Thursday.

Lindsay Rae Spurlock‘s song “As for Now” was featured on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital.” You may still be able to download it for free if you like her Facebook page. Here’s an awesome photo of her, too:

Lindsay Rae Spurlock, photo credit Julia Henry

Congrats to all my phenomenally talented friends!

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Filed under Film, Musicians, New Orleans Women, NOLA Noteworthy, Singers, Women, Writers and Poets, Writing

Bragalicious

First and foremost, as we speak, pretty much all of The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is gearing up for The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. Four of our members are attending, including Maurice Ruffin, Terri Stoor, Tad Bartlett and J.Ed Marston. That means something like 40% or so of our membership was accepted.

Jamey Hatley is also attending the Summit. Additionally, she’s won a prestigious waitership to Bread Loaf later in the summer.

Also, Maurice Ruffin‘s short story “And Then I Was Clean” will be published in UNO’s Ellipsis Journal.

Another Peauxdunque member, Joselyn Takacs has been accepted into the MFA program at Johns Hopkins University and is on her way.

A little birdie told me that Barb Johnson will be receiving the Barbara Gittings Literature Award at the ALA Conference tomorrow.

Sarah Morton is creating a graphic novel out of a short story written by Bobbi Perry, who attended the LSU MFA with me and Jamey. You can read it online!

Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner are screening Flood Streets at the San Antonio Film Festival on Thursday.

Lindsay Rae Spurlock‘s song’s “As for Now” was featured on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital.” You may still be able to download it for free if you like her Facebook page. Here’s an awesome photo of her, too:

Lindsay Rae Spurlock, photo credit Julia Henry

Congrats to all my phenomenally talented friends!

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Filed under Baton Rouge, bragging on, Friends, literature, music, musing, New Orleans, travel