What nonsense is this?
This nonsense is freelance writing guides, book reviews, satirical history, biblio-geekery, literary criticism, social justice commentary, cats, and assorted silliness. Also genealogy, wordplay, &etc.
Who are you, anyway?
In no particular order, I am a graduate student in literature, a freelance writer, an unabashed feminist, and a personal assistant to two extremely spoiled cats.
I got a law degree once. It didn’t take.
A likely story. What do you do?
To pay the bills, I write marketing materials for law firms – web content, blog posts, brochures, television and radio ad scripts, and so on. I also write English-education-related items: tests, curriculum, etc.
I’m currently working on an English-grammar guide for adults, tentatively titled DICK KILLS JANE: AN IRREVERENT GUIDE TO GRAMMAR. You can follow along with Dick’s murderous linguistic escapades by visiting the Dick Kills Jane Tumblr.
What do you do besides work?
In my “free time,” I review books, track down dead relatives, and cram my head full of English, history, and English history. Beginning in fall 2013, I’ll also be cramming my head full of an MA in English and teaching freshman composition.
Once in a great while, I get around to publishing a short story. Here are a few of the better ones (and by “better,” I mean “accepted by an editor who was not me”):
- “A Fish Out of Water“, All Things Girl, November/December 2010.
- “One Crucial Gift,” A Book’s Mind, October 2010.
- “Prikaza“, Expanded Horizons, November 2009.
I do not write or publish poetry. You’re welcome.
What are the best parts of this blog? And don’t say “all of it,” you egocentric cad.
If you’re new to the blog, welcome! Here’s a quick-start guide:
On Literary Analysis
- Five Reasons I Hate Les Miserables (The Show, Not the Book)
- the Liveblogging Atlas Shrugged series, for all your mocking-Atlas-Shrugged needs
- SAPPHIRA AND THE SLAVE GIRL: It’s Not Actually About the Latter
On Books, Reviews, and Collecting
- A Guide to Animals Used in Bookmaking
- How to Ruin Perfectly Good Books
- Of All The Books I’ve Reviewed This Year, Here Are the Ones You Should Read First (2012)
- Top Five Books for Figure Skaters
- Freelance writing hints, tips, musings and tricks
On Law, Society, and Popular Culture
- Ban This Post!: Why Book Banning Makes Zero Sense
- Context Matters. Words Matter. On Quvenzhané Wallis and the Onion’s Tweet
- In Which Television Tells Me What I Want for Christmas
- On Trayvon Martin, Michael Donald, and “The Last Lynching in America”
- Should Convicts Be Allowed to Sell Memoirs Detailing Their Crimes?
- What We Talk About When We Talk About “Inappropriate” Books for Kids
Did you always want to be a writer?
As far back as I can remember, yes. Also, as far back as I can remember, people have been telling me that it’s not possible to make a living as a writer and I had better get a college degree in a “secure” field, like accounting or law.
The truth is that there is work aplenty for people who want to write it, but that few writers make a living writing just one type of thing. Those who can make a living just writing novels are rare; the many, many novelists who aren’t instant-name-recognition superstars (and a few who are) supplement their novel-writing income by writing other things: magazine articles, public-relations and marketing materials, indexes in books, translations, you name it. In these jobs, an adoration of writing isn’t as necessary as perseverance – but it helps.
Next time someone tells you it’s impossible to make a living as a writer, remind them that every printed object they see had to have been written by someone. Why not you?