Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Unofficial Summer Writing Adventure

It's the "The" you've been waiting for.

Unofficial, because there's no set criteria and only consists of a group page on Facebook.

Summer, because it's too busy in November to write a blasted 50 000 word NaNoWriMo novel.

Writing, because I've come to realize that writers are EVERYWHERE and often struggle with finding the motivation and time to finish a writing project.

Adventure, because who knows what will come out of these blank pages?

My good friend Elisabeth and I have decided that June is a good month to write.  And what shall be written? It's totally up to you: from the ambitious novel, to the laid back act of daily diary entries- whatever goal you set for yourself!  I'm going to take another crack at a novel, hopefully one with a plot this time.  So far, there are eight people signed up for this word ride and more are welcome. 

The USWA, tell your friends.

PS: Watched my first episode of Glee guest starring Neil Patrick Harris.  Love that Horrible man.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

These Pancakes Are Crazy, Man!

I made pancakes! While gathering the neccessary ingredients, I decided to use a banana instead of adding proccessed sugar and, surprisingly, it worked!  This is a great recipe: simple and delicious.  I also learned recently that when missing an egg, a mix of water, oil, and baking soda can be used as a substitute - baking chemistry, it's like the Magic School Bus all over again!

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar OR 1 peeled banana
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Break eggs into bowl and stir until bubbly.
2. Mix in milk and oil.
3. Add remainder of ingredients. Stir until mixed through.  Cook scoops of pancake mix in a oiled frying pan.
4. Eat them!

* adapted from Company's Coming: Kids Cook!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cover Letter (aka: selling oneself to the employment machine)

To whom it may concern:

My name is Brittni and I am a university student looking for summer employment.

I came across your advertisement on the Internet and was interested in applying for [insert postion here].  I would be a good [insert worker title here] for many reasons: I have experience in the [insert job field here] and I am an attentive learner.  I am a good listener and approach tasks with a positive and creative attitude.  My past employers would agree that I am a dedicated worker who is always looking for more tasks to do; however, I am attentive to the needs of others.  I am well-versed in Shakespeare, Bob Dylan, and the Bible.  I often dress in clashing patterns and/or colours, and I want to get a mohawk, but not til I'm sixty, so no need to worry over me wrecking your pristine [insert company name here] image.  When I grow up I want to be a musician or a writer, meaning I'll probably be poor; so I'd really appreciate it if you hired me so I could prepare for that as far in advance as possible.

Thank you for your time and your consideration of my application.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Once Upon A Time-Space Contineum

I never used to pay much attention to the sci-fi scene.  I didn't get Star Trek and, though I liked C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and L'Enge's Wrinkle in Time series, most novels I tried to read in that genre were either too crude or too far over my head.  So I stuck to the classics, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Tolkien, the like.

And then 1984 happened.

And even stranger than that, I began volunteering with a science-fiction publisher.  Well, technically, sciene-fiction and fantasy, but the science-fiction factor is what I find the most random part of this entry.

EDGE Publishing is the only organization that exclusively prints works of science-fiction/ fantasy in North America.  They've printed novels, anthologies, translated works of fiction, vampire stories, and even a book of science-fiction poetry called "i-ROBOT" by Jason Christie.  I contacted them a while ago to inquire about summer employment; but since they are a relatively small publisher and the market for printed materials is slow at the moment (thanks to E-books and Amazon), nothing was available except -

They call it the slush pile: the stacks of manuscripts, maybe twenty new ones added daily, needing evaluation before they pass on to higher circles of editing.  And that's where I come in: I get to read through some of these suckers and suggest they either move up, or move out.  Checking the "reject" box is not easy - people put so much time and effort into their submissions, I wish I could just fix all their grammar and tell them that Harry Potter's been done already, think up something else!; but that's not my job unfortunately.  There are good ones though, sometimes amazing ones!  I can't wait to get the next batch of envelopes: honestly, I would not mind working a 9-5 gig if I could be doing something like this.

Which brings up something else that's been on my mind.  I got my marks back from last semester.

Now, if I thought I was good at something, and loved it, but my marks didn't reflect this, and something else which I'm not sure if I'm good at but love anyways got a better grade, is this suggesting that I should perhaps consider what I want to do after University? Or maybe switch around some minor aspects of my degree?  English is staying for sure, but aside from that, I really have no set aspirations.

Anyways, if you aspiring fantasy/ science-fiction writers out there are looking for a publisher, EDGE is a great place to submit - Brian Hades, the publisher, is super awesome and values new writers as well as seasoned literary giants.  Though, I promise that if I'm given your manuscript to edit, I will not evaluate it - that way when it gets published, people can't accuse anybody of crazy robot conspiricies. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baking Attempt #2

Being at home like this in the middle of a blustery May day, snow tapping at the windows, winds wandering through the air vents - makes me want to make something.

I've been dragged along by a chain of creative events the past week: the short story I finished for a literary scholarship, the painting currently drying in the corner, the stack of handmade "business" cards.  I had a pause today between cleaning house and cancelling a dental appointment, and thought "Now what?"  The recipe to cure my boredom was just that - in the giant blue cookbook, instructions for a most delicious looking pie.

I have never made pie on my own before; other occassions I had Harriet or my sister to tell me what to do.  The pie's in the oven right now, a cinnamon shell housing a plethora* of fruit: apple, pear, strawberry - pretty much whatever was in the fridge.  Regardless of how it turns out, I will eat it!

My craving for creative activity filled, I can now move, conscience-free, to the living room, curl up against the cold, watch Lost in Translation...

And if anyone was interested, Baking Attempt #1 was a batch of oatmeal cookies: half were overdone, but tasted good anyways (:

(* Plethora - word of the day, thanks to Chelsea)