Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

A Scene from Gubbay Hall

May 7, 2009

We spend all of our lives trying to move from one place to the next. Or at least I have so far. I cannot be satisfied where I am. I move in to a place, I unpack, I sit in the chair. I stare out the window. Make a cup of coffee. Sigh. Go outside. Have a smoke. Watch the sun set behind my new neighborhood. The next day, the room is a mess, I’ve accidentally blown out the power, and I need to get the hell out of there.

The dorms over in Middlesex University in the northern suburbs of London were called halls. I know the difference in language is slight, but the little changes in terms added up over time. I found myself constantly jingling from the large amount of change that the British use in their currency system. I was not sure what the difference was between one quid and one pound; it turns out they meant the same thing.

Simon cracked open another tall can of Stella and looked at me with a dim twinkle in his eye. The room was a chaotic mess of rubbish, bitter, and wankers (which was our lot). I was finally starting to understand more than three words at a time that came out of Simon’s mouth; his accent was thick, but not nearly as indecipherable as Alex’s, who was from Manchester. We were discussing the differences between American and British slang. I was trying to keep up with the Brits as they spewed out talk in their strange code.

“Yeahp, Alex is a chav,” Simon mumbled, smiling.

Alex hit him on the arm. “Ye best not listen to this bloke,” Alex laughed, reaching for another beer. “He’s a bloody tosser.”

I frowned. “Tosser?”

Alex laughed. “Ye know. A wanker.”

I was still confused. Alex, sensing that his insult was lost in translation, made a vulgar gesture with his free hand. “Ye know, when there’s no tart around, ye have a wank. Yer tossing. Simon is a tosser.”

I nodded. The room erupted with laughter.

It turns out that a chav is a derogatory term for someone of the lower class. Chav seems to be the British equivalent of the American white trash. When I was hanging out with that crowd, generally I did not hear them refer to each other as blokes or chaps. But there were a hell of a lot of tossers and chavs. Oh, and of course, I was the token yank of the group. They flattered me.

Selective memory, I suppose. Paired with some wanderlust.

-Michael

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And On That Note…

May 7, 2009

The semester has ended. The blog will probably not be updated or read for a while or ever again, which is sad 😦 but it’s okay. For those of us who are taking the summer off, don’t forget to write! You’re going to be doing crazy things–getting a mean sunburn while on a yacht, poison ivy while hiking up the Palisades, maybe getting burned after your friends dare you to jump over the bonfire at  a party… either way, crazy things make great stories. 

So, not to sound like a Mom, or a nerd, or your sophomore English teacher, but enjoy your summers! Read some wonderful novels, and write anything; if not for educational purposes, then just simply to soothe your soul.

Ciao!

The Writing Biz

May 6, 2009

I learned today in a presentation by alumni of Rowan University’s Writing Arts program that I can get a job!! It was music to my ears. I think that many students who study writing feel overwhelmed by the oppurtunies out there. Since writing is such a general category, it’s overwhelming to think of what industry you want to work in, or send your first job application to. Every company needs a writer or an editor for something, and as was mentioned today by the speakers, new age writing is creating even more jobs for writers–some which can take place without even leaving your MacBook. 

But I’ve had an epihpany, if you will, today. Yeah, every company needs a writer, but as writers we have the ability to choose what interests us outside of the wrtiting sphere, and build a career based on it using the skills we’ve learned. For example, I’ve always wanted to work in fashion, but when I started out my college experience at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I learned that fashion wasn’t all I wanted from my career. Writing was too. 

With the skills I’m learning, I will (hopefully) be able to work in the fashion industry, but instead of dealing hands on with the catty, technical, bitchy aspect of the runway or the showroom, I can just sit back, observe, and write about it all. 

So write on, people. There’s something out there for all of us.

Good Writing Tips by ME!

May 6, 2009

After writing for a while I developed, and picked up some good habits as writer which are worth sharing.

1. One glass of wine can loosen the tongue, but you don’t wanna end up slobbering all over the page.

It starts with one glass, then two, then three, and the next thing you know your wasted and pouring your heart out in a non-sensible manner. When writing keep it at a two drink minimum.

2. Carry around a small book in which you can write down ideas or quotes.

You never know when something will inspire you or piss you off. For that reason alone, always have something you can write down ideas in. That way you won’t forget the ideas later.

3. Don’t publish your work onto a blog or the web until you’ve proofread and waited a week before posting.

Sometimes blogs are like the random guy we shouldn’t have made out with at the bar. We wake up the next morning reeking of tequilla as our inner voice screams “What were you thinking?!?!”, and blogs can be just like that random guy. Think twice before you post on line. After all, your blog stays online  forever.

4. Change names.

If you write true stories (like me!) change the names, and in severe cases get permission.

5. Find someone honest to edit and criticize your work.

The truth hurts, but that is too bad! Writing isn’t for pansies. You need to have the best possible product out there, and sometimes that means taking some verbal blows from someone who is more talented than you.

And there you have it. Five easy tips for better writing practices. All of them are up for adoption, and are ready to be taken into your loving home.

A word on bad blogs.

May 6, 2009

A great blog is great. A bad blog is bad. And a blog which defies common sense, and human decency is like watching a car accident. The blog is so bad we are horrified as we read it, but we can’t look away.

One day in class a fellow student mentioned she blogged, and that she loved readingblogs. In turn, I expressed my love of blogging and she added me as a friend on My Space. When I read her blog I was shocked and horrified when I read her postings.

Apprently, my classmate was a staunch Republican who seemed to have an unhealthy love of Bon Jovi, and a hatred for just about everything and everyone that did not identify with her short sighted view point.

Her bullietens were just as scary as her blogs, and some of the lines read “Stop being pathetic weak Americans!” It was like she had over dosed on steroids or something.

Let’s just say after discovering my classmate’s hatred of anyone who didn’t love Sarah Palin,  anyone who didn’t support ownership of guns, and emo kids I was wary of her. The blogs she wrote made me think she was crazy, short sighted,un-empathetic, spoiled, and hateful.

In short, be careful what you blog. You may shift the perception of yourself in the wrong direction.

Thinking in Blog

April 22, 2009

After a chat with my friend Samantha, who’s studying abroad in Florence, majoring in Italian, and told me that lately she’s been thinking in other languages– I got to thinking. I’m studying in America and majoring in writing, I’m thinking in English words, but recently I am thinking in blog. What does that mean? Lemme tell ya. 

Back in the day, writers found something intriguing and took out a pen and paper and wrote their thoughts down. They’d close the book and there their ideas would lay, in some variation of a small leatherbound journal, until the writer picked it up again. Now, as I am sitting in class or walking down the street, as long as I have WiFi I can publish anything, instantly. People can read it and and find something interesting, or love it or hate it, which inspires them to write a response or a comment somewhere online, which creates a cycle that keeps going and going and going…

Blogging and internet use for writers is creating some major connections. Not just computer to computer wireless signals, but connections to other writers and other media that without the internet they would never see. 

This could be good or bad… On one hand I guess people will be writing more. On the other hand, the good thing about writing something on paper is that if you don’t like it, or if you don’t want anyone else to see it, you can tear it up, throw it out, shred it, light it on fire–whatever you prefer–and it’s gone. Once something is blogged it’s out there forever.