Tag Archives: MySpace

A catch up

If you follow me elsewhere (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or even [gasp] real life), you might’ve heard my plea recently for you to enforce a May 1st deadline for my book. Like the heroes that you are, you responded with threats, promises, treats, condolences, coffee and chocolate.

I never intended to be done May 1st. Instead, I was practicing with a deadline. The first draft of the book got finished when I cut off almost all human contact, locked myself in my house for 10 days subsisting almost entirely on Rockstar Energy Drink (I’m plugging it in the hopes that they’ll send me a free supply for my new deadline) and vegetables suggested by Steph. I had to finish that book, there was simply no other option. A lot of crap resulted, but a lot of sleep-deprived genius also happened. Okay, some sleep-deprived genius, a respectable percentage when you consider the vast amounts of crap.

I’m a lot closer to finishing this book than I allow myself to believe on a day-to-day basis and around the new year, I set myself a deadline of June 1st. So this is my for realz deadline and I hope you won’t feel punk’d, I really did need your help for the dress rehearsal. And I continue to need your threats, promises, treats, condolences, coffee and chocolate. Not to mention Rock Star and veggies.

In return, I pledge to:

-spend less time playing with music
-watch less t.v.
-refuse most of your offers of recreational activities
-take on the least amount of freelance work I can
-ignore this blog and all of you as much as possible.

But only for one month.

With any luck, there will be only one blog post for all of May and it will happen somewhere around the 30th and will say something along the lines of: We won! The book’s done!

And then I will sleep and spend time returning your calls and begin the process of sending the book to its new interim caretaker.

So, for perhaps the last time for a little while, here’s some stuff I’ve noticed recently:

Seth Grahame-Smith is inventive, crazy cool and now rich.

I’ve been saying for years that we needed this.

Stephenie Meyer rocks – sold 16% of all books last quarter and reminded us all what a writer with a fan base is capable of. In case we forget, I’m sure there’ll be another reminder from her soon. Perhaps a spin off featuring J. and R. (aka N.)???

Just to prove I read other things besides MediaBistro, passenger lands plane.

This is a bad idea, but makes a great point about the length of AI.

Wonder if you can get carpal tunnel of the thumbs from texting. Or heart attacks from the bills.

Angelina will star in movie(s) based on Patricia Cornwell’s series.

Ron Howard defends Angels&Demons. Hasn’t the Church figured out they’re the only reason anybody cares about this movie at this point? Audrey Tautou gone? Me too. Though at least it looks like the mullet’s also gone.

I have two desks, too. Have for years. It’s a good idea. If you count Cheers, I have more like three.

Note to self: Don’t marry another writer. Or at least make sure you can communicate very, very well before you do.

The Soloist. I dug the long music/color sequence. Admired the chutzpah of Joe Wright. Had other issues, but not that particular one.

‘Bout to be kicked outta Cheers, gotta run. Cheers.

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Technology Resistant

It’s time for a new post. Beyond time, probably. I stand by my accordion post, but I got a few emails about that one. LOL. Eh, at least you’re writing me.

So I recently described myself as technology resistant. I should clarify that I understand most technologies, especially the ones I need to become accustomed to as a writer and for jobs. You’re looking at the product of one, actually. And, I was a squealy squealy girl when my friend Mel plugged a dohicky cord into my MP3 player, attaching it to her car radio and we got to drive around South Louisiana to my favorite songs. Her iPhone is pretty fantastic, actually. She can solve trivia disputes, find the times for movies, get directions, play music, etc., all with a single tool.

I resist, resist, reeeeeeesiiiiisssst the iPhone, however. I acknowledge its greatness and this is WHY I resist it. Once you pop, you can’t stop. Every iPhone owner I know tells me this and I take one look at it’s glittery goodness and I know. I will be come THAT person, the one none of us can stand, who is addicted to technology and helpless without it. I purposefully buy the cheapest, least glorious phone I can find and limit all the bells and whistles. And you know, as much as I complained about my basic red Samsung, I have dropped that thing a million times and it’s still going strong. It’s so dinged, cracked and scratched nobody would steal it. I took that thing to Europe, to Russia, to New York and back. It did the trick.

And what about cell phones? It used to be, you screened calls if you didn’t want to talk to someone. “Oh, I wasn’t home.” But there is something about my cell phone answering that urges a Pavlovian response. I can’t bear to ignore the call. And I feel like, if I miss a call, I must respond very quickly. Texts have to be returned asap. I’m connected. Some of the happiest moments are when I forget my phone at home or in my car, except then I’m worried my car will break down and I can’t call for help…

The thing is, folks, I can’t even remember phone numbers anymore. I’m entirely reliant on the pre-programed numbers in my phone. I can remember two of my best friends’ parents’ phone numbers from like 10 years ago with barely any prompting, but I can’t tell you my last boyfriend’s phone number. Or my best friend’s. If I should upgrade to a shiny iPhone, how much more helpless and dependent will I become?

The other day, I struggled for 20 minutes to find phone numbers for a friend using Google, etc. I got the wrong person when I did find a potential number and she promptly opened up her phone book and gave me several helpful numbers. Her phone book. You know, old school, a book. That thing the phone company throws on your porch periodically.

Are we capable of keeping our McGuyver-like, practical, real-world skills as we allow machines to further simplify our lives? Somehow I doubt it.

Another friend (you shall remain safely anonymous) recently asked me sheepishly, “What does LMAO mean again?” We’re not even 30, so don’t call us fuddy-duddies, but the thing is, everything is changing so much faster now due to technology. Sometimes, that’s a cool thing. But more often, it’s bewildering. I find myself saying old-fashioned things like, “Can you turn that down? Do you know correct English? WHAAAAT?!!” quite often. I dream of cabins in the woods without electricity and plumbing, then I kinda shake myself and wonder, “But what would I DO? I’d miss Bones and American Idol. I couldn’t write after it got dark. And outhouses??”

I’m the girl who’s almost desperate to go on Survivor and has confessed to friends that I’d like to be turned into What Not to Wear (Stacy would kill me), except I don’t want to be on t.v. I don’t want my 15 minutes of fame, my blogger stardom. I remember thinking, as a kid, that one of the best things about being a writer was that, unless you were Stephen King, everyone could know your work and not know your face. It was possible for your name to be famous, but you could also go to the grocery store unaccosted. We’re all competing in a super-saturated market.

So how do we market ourselves and our work and still lead private lives? That IS the question. This world is getting faster and smaller and to me, often, scarier.

Take Google Earth, for instance. Ohhhh. Yesterday, I walked up to one of my neighbors at Cheers and he waved me closer to look at his computer screen. And there was… our street. My front door. Satellite images (not real-time, thank goodness) of our street. Up close and personal. It was cool, but I felt a wave of terror and revulsion. I got a bit distracted, back at my own table, by plugging every address from my address book into Google Earth. I was fascinated and really, really creeped out. And you know what? With every address I checked, except for one, I could see front doors, yards, cars, whole streets outside their houses like I was going to visit for lunch.

When did we stop asking, “Just because we can — should we?”

And structured controls of things like satellite imaging and say cloning can get scary too, cause then we’re looking at Big Government, Big Brother type situations. So I guess it comes down to each of us choosing to make active decisions. To try to remember phone numbers, to stop morbidly typing in every address we know into Google Earth. Hesitate. What’s wrong with that? Take your time. We don’t have to jump into everything without thinking about it first, evaluating how it makes us feel, how it may change our lives.

Sigh. So this post all came together because I accidentally got AIM. I signed up for a MapQuest account so I could save my searches and apparently, simultaneously signed up for AIM. This entire blog/rant began there and then I remembered everything that’s happened recently that also pinged the same technology anxieties.

How do we have a private life these days? Between MyFace (let’s go ahead and add AIM, OkCupid, Twitter into all of that) and Google Earth and our iPhones. Everything is connected and some days, that can be great. But it can get problematic. I’m looking for a job right now. All a prospective employer needs to do is type my name into a search engine and this blog comes right up. Perhaps my MySpace, as well. Instantly, they read this latest post “technology resistant” and they’re uncertain whether I can work a fax machine (I can), scan (yep) or probably even type (fastest fingers in the southeast, folks). Maybe they’re resistant to hiring me because I’m technology resistant.

The consequences of everything are harder to escape because the world is small and faster. There’s nothing wrong with being careful, using our problem-solving and analytical abilities to work out what feels right for us, how and when we’re going to invest in the McMyFace world.

Another thing that sparked this blog for me was watching a slideshow of “weird news images” and seeing a picture of a robot acting in a play with a woman. This isn’t where I saw it, but where I found it, second image down. Let me know what you think.

The whole technology issue is brought up in He’s Just Not That Into You, by Drew Barrymore’s character. Her technology stress and anxiety is eerily spot on, very valid. Also, watch the hysterical Top 10 Cliches (under videos) that has three of the male actors (Justin Long, Bradley Cooper and Kevin Connolly) playing girls in cliche romantic comedy scenarios. Very, very funny.

Also, from a little while ago (and wordsmith.org), A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Myth: we have to save the earth. Frankly, the earth doesn’t need to be saved. Nature doesn’t give a hoot if human beings are here or not. The planet has survived cataclysmic and catastrophic changes for millions upon millions of years. Over that time, it is widely believed, 99 percent of all species have come and gone while the planet has remained. Saving the environment is really about saving our environment – making it safe for ourselves, our children, and the world as we know it. If more people saw the issue as one of saving themselves, we would probably see increased motivation and commitment to actually do so. -Robert M. Lilienfeld, management consultant and author (b. 1953) and William L. Rathje, archaeologist and author (b. 1945)

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Emily the Strange and Cyber Space

I’m amused this morning to see Emily the Strange and Lauren Conrad side by side on the main page of MySpace. Oh what a world we live in.

And in my inbox, Megan McCafferty’s newsletter showing me the cover and synopsis of the fifth and final Jessica Darling novel, Perfect Fifths. These books have pretty much shadowed me at every turn of my growing up so far, since I read the first one, Sloppy Firsts. And I read an amusing blog from McCafferty on her Fifteen Minutes on Facebook and MySpace. I feel like that pretty much every day, but I will persevere on in this cyber space.

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I love my library

A good library is important in my life. The New Orleans library is excellent. When you think of how they’re still affected by the storm, that says a lot. But I swear one or more of the librarians is keeping tabs on my checked out books and is renewing them for me. I could’ve SWORN I had books due this Friday and now they’re due in two weeks. LOL.

The New Orleans library hosts a book sale on Saturdays and a few Saturdays ago, I was down and out, completely grumpy and I found one of my favorite books of all time, The Catswold Portal, in the original paperback, good condition (a little faded) for 10 cents. There’s nothing that lifts my spirits like that. Even though I have a copy of just about every edition of this book, I bought it anyway for a possible future gift for somebody. And it can replace the original copy I have that someone spilled coffee on (you shall remain nameless in blogland, but know I still hold you accountable, you know who you are).

Which reminds me of a post I wrote on MySpace about a truly transcendental book find. I’ll repost it here now:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

a moment
Current mood: exhausted

So…

I won’t go into a lot of detail, but for personal reasons, my life has been pretty painful and lonely lately. I won’t depress you with that, I’m here to talk about something else, a moment that made me happy and took me OUT of that.

We all love books, huh? I think I’ve assembled 888 people here who genuinely love books.

Have you ever read a book you loved, especially as a child, and then lost it? That book you look for at every book sale, in every used bookstore, thriftstore, etc.?

For my mom, it was Five Smooth Stones, a book about an interracial couple written during the 50s or 60s, I believe. For her 50th birthday, my dad and I found this book online and gave it to her–it was $50 because it was hard to find, etc. Ironically, later that same year, I found another copy of it at the Friends of the LSU Library book sale (awesome book sale, happens every year over 3 days) for 50 CENTS. And, I’ve found a copy of it every year since then (always for 50 cents) and compulsively, I have to buy it. Of course, now you can find the book pretty cheaply online, so I can’t even profit from my compulsion. BUT, my mom has 4 or 5 copies of her favorite book. 🙂

Well, now I will tell you another saga of booklove.

I read this book, a pulpy Christian-ish (i.e. C.S. Lewis) adventure book while I was in 3rd grade. It was in my elementary school library. I have always remembered really loving this book and I had a vague idea of the title.

Maybe 2 years ago, I found a book/author that was likely THE book, but I couldn’t tell from the materials (descriptions are almost always leaner for out of print books). I couldn’t buy a copy because the cheapest you could find even a crappy copy of it for online was $100. Yeah, it’s that rare.

So I pushed it to the back of my mind, along with Dragon Sword and Wind Child, another book I love that’s translated from the Japanese and impossible to find online for less than $100. Right now, I can’t justify spending that much on a book, as much as I love it.

But I kept thinking about it. I kept thinking how it’d be cool to use my publishing contacts to get this book back into print and how I could use my screenwriting skills to write the screenplay and then it’d be an awesome movie. Walden Media would love it.

Over Christmas break, I stayed with my parents for 10 days and I discovered that there was a copy at their local library (the BEST library system in the world). I re-read it and sure enough, it WAS the book I remembered. I read the whole thing in a few hours before I left town the next day (it took that long to get ahold of it). My passion was renewed, but I didn’t know how I was going to afford a copy of it.

So, three months later I’m at the Friends of the LSU Library book sale, on the last day, which is half-off day. I’ve found a few cool things over the first two days, but nothing mind-blowing. AND I almost always find something mind-blowing and exciting at this book sale (over two years, I bought almost the entire collection of Rod McKuen’s poetry books for my mom). I was a little disappointed, drifting through the kid’s section where I’d found some cool Oz books and copies of the Narnia books in the original numbering (you know, when The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was #1). I found more of those books and (COOL!) some Choose Your Own Adventure books. I was thinking about heading for the register when–

I see it. The book. I GASPED and SNATCHED that book up so fast all of the people around me were craning to see what I’d found. I trembled as I peeked to see how much it was. The blood was pounding in my ears. It was 20 cents–10 to me because it was half off day.

But better yet, it was:

the SAME edition I’d read in 3rd grade and
in PERFECT condition
for 10 CENTS!

I almost started crying.

I consider myself more spiritual than religious and I don’t often say (or think) things like this, but…it was one of those moments (silly as this might sound) where you could kind of feel the hand of a generous god on you and I just got this wave of:

“You know, right now, your life SUCKS. It really does and I’m sorry for that, but it’s something that will make you better. Here’s something to show you that despite everything, you are SUPPOSED to be RIGHT where you are in place and time, feeling EXACTLY what you’re feeling.”

And that, in a not-so-nutshell is why I love books.

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Blogging, am now a blogger, wow, wouldn’t have imagined that phrase coming out of my mouth 15 years ago

Hi folks,

My name is Emilie. You don’t know me yet, but I’m a soon-to-be published, fabulously famous writer finishing my novel and working in New Orleans. To be honest, I don’t know how famous I want to be. I remember thinking, when I was younger, that the good thing about being a writer is that your words, your worlds, are famous but you are not. You can still go to the grocery store and not be accosted. That used to be the sad, beautiful thing about being a writer. Stephen King, JK Rowling, YouTube, MyFace and hundreds of reality t.v. shows later, this is not always the case. Writers are stars (and yes, some always were) and people are even famous just for being famous.

So that’s my way of saying I’m ambivalent about blogging. Primarily because of delicious little trainwrecks like this: Emily Gould Blogs All

I jumped into the Internet in a big way between the ages of about 16-19. Built a website, wrote fanfic and made dozens of friends I’d never actually met in person. I had people emailing me about an alternate history soap opera I was writing about Anastasia and the last of the Romanovs, and I wrote roleplay scenarios based on the characters of LJ Smith. I was a huge dork and I loved it. But then I went to college and next thing you know, classes and new friends I could actually hug took over my life. I asked my roleplaying co-writer to take over my character temporarily and then later to gracefully kill her off. And I moved on.

But the Internet’s been calling me back ever since. I joined LiveJournal because my boyfriend at the time and all of our friends were on it. Enjoyed the hell out of that, but always felt a little queasy about it too. Next thing you know, everybody was on MySpace and wanted me to talk to them there. So I joined up, but hardly used my account until slowly but surely I was always there and never on LiveJournal. And the progression went on with Facebook. Collectively, I shall call these “online social networks” MyFace.

I’ve discovered they’re useful. For keeping up with friends when I’m exceptionally busy and for getting the word out about my writing and events (and those of my friends). They also create a weird distance that must be bridged. For instance, it worries me when it’s easier to write a little note on my friend’s wall than to call them to say hello. Sure, I live in a new city and am away from the bulk of my friends, but that’s what phones were invented for, yes? And we’ll talk later about the tragic death of the letter.

So this blog will be about things I find interesting, the status of my writing and what it’s like to be in New Orleans. When I sell my book, I’ll break the news here. When it’s about to be published, I’ll harass everyone here to buy it. When I’m coming to your town, the schedule will be here. And when I’m engrossed in something cool like say, oh, Post Secret, I’ll let you know with a little link like so: http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

I will not overshare about personal issues. For that, you’ll have to call me and/or buy me a drink. But I think I’m about ready to be *my kind* of blogger. Let’s see, shall we?

-Jill of All Trades, Master of One aka Emilie

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