Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The gorgeous business card and my "perfect face"

Since I've been wanting business cards for myself for quite some time, I finally took the step and ordered a batch from the internet. I just received the business cards on Friday, not really thinking I would be using them anytime soon for anything other than handing them out to family and friends.

As I keep saying, you never know where life is gonna take you.

I was out shopping at Target today, when it just so happened that I ended up giving out my first business card, and my face got a compliment. Though it wasn't for a writing opportunity or anything like that, I still feel that everything happens for a reason.

I was shopping in Target's women's section when a lady came up to me with Starbucks coffee in her hand and a huge smile on her face. "Excuse me, can I ask you something?" she asked. I told her, "Sure."

"Have you ever done any modeling?"

The question shocked me silly, but I was able to hold an uncontrollable burst of laughter long enough for her to continue. It turned out that Jenny, the lady with a smile is a Mary Kay sales lady and was looking for models to demonstrate her products through.

"You just have a perfect face!" she told me.

We exchanged business cards and I guess I will be a Mary Kay products "model" for women who can afford the stuff. Jenny thought my business card was gorgeous, and told me I could hand them out during the sales demos.

Again, everything happens for a reason, and who knows? Maybe I just needed someone to tell me something to put a spring in my step like "you have the perfect face," or maybe this is an opportunity to give my business card to someone with freelance opportunities up their sleeve.

You really just never know where life is gonna take you, and I'm hoping it will take me further than a Mary Kay non-paying modeling gig. In the meantime, life just isn't so uneventful. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There's been a change of plans...

Mulling over a few things in my head the last couple days, I’ve made a decision I hope will be final concerning my Mexico Chronicles project. If you recall, I had mentioned I would create a blog for what I still feel is good material for a sellable memoir of my time in Mexico with my father. I created a blog and everything, and even wrote a few entries, but some stuff happened soon after I started that blog, which kept me away from maintaining it the way a blog ought to be maintained.

Being that I have some great pictures from the trip, along with a few great videos that show what I feel is the real Mexico, I feel it would make more sense to keep up on the memoir material—sans blog. Meaning, I will be turning the blog into a gallery of pics and vids from the trip, accompanying each with enlightening captions I feel will be sufficient to describe the great country of Mexico.

The material for the entries I’ve already written will be taken off the blog and will become material for a memoir I will be working on in the meantime.

The whole thing is still in its elementary—practically kindergarten stages—but since writing gigs aren’t lining up for me yet, I am spending more time looking for gigs than anything else in my office right now. I feel I have the perfect environment to listen to the voice recordings from the trip, and put it all into prose.

Right now I am focusing on uploading all the videos from the trip onto Google, and picking out the pics that will work best for a blog of this sort. As soon as everything is ready to be shown, I will let everyone know. In the meantime, keep reading this blog *ahem* if not for the “uneventful life” part, then at least for my Intrepid Media updates!

Read my latest Intrepid Media featured article titled Freelance Writer Exploitation!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Encouragement alongside disappointment

It's been a week since I started my daily basement office time, and I'm glad to say things are still: so far, so good.

The past week has opened the floodgates of writing in my head. So much so, that I had three columns posted in the Intrepid Media gallery, all in a row, in less than a week. I was beginning to feel a little self-concious about my constant writing like I had no life, but I got over that pretty quick. Just today, I received an email from Joe, Intrepid Media's owner saying that one of those three columns will be featured on Wednesday.

Aside from Intrepid Media, no writing gigs yet. As a matter of fact, there have been some minor disappointments, though I'm far from being discouraged completely.

First off, I asked for advice from fellow Intrepid Media writers, who are more familiar with freelancing than I am. I was lucky to get some major support from a few people. They all encouraged me and reminded me that my writing at IM is not to be underplayed. Also, I obtained contact info for an editor at Pool & Spa Magazine, and was encouraged to write in with mention of the referrer's name.

I pulled together some clips and fired off an email to this editor on Wednesday, as soon as I got the info. I have yet to hear back from this editor, but I'm not completely discouraged, as it still might be too early to tell whether I've been officially rejected or not. Editors are after all very busy people with tons of writers beating their doors, so I realize this might take some time.

Aside from this editor, I also was able to find two other freelance opportunities to inquire about. I learned a lot doing this, as I put together a sparse, yet sufficient writer's resume.

Another advantage for getting started on emailing editors and publications is my long-time will to gather all my clips available on the internet, and make them easily accessible for myself. I'd been wanting to do that for quite some time, but never got the true motivation to do so thoroughly. Before Wednesday all my clips were scattered all over the internet in places where I couldn't find them without a google search. Now they're all listed in my favorite places, each with their recognizable titles, and easily accessible for me, as well as future editors.

Tomorrow will begin another week in my journey toward freelance writing and I'm looking forward to it.

In the meantime, make sure you visit on Wednesday and read the new feature column!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Since my dream is to be a globetrotter, I gravitate toward movies that echo this dream lifestyle. Some of my favorite movies involve travelling. French Kiss and Only You are ones that easily come to mind, and they're movies I never get tired of watching for their appetizing portrayals of the cities and countries they are set in.

A new addition has been made to my favorite movies involving travel list. I picked Summertime to watch because it starred Katharine Hepburn, one of my favorite actresses, and I happen to be into old movies at the moment. It also happened to involve travel, like I said, so it had three things that I was looking forward to.

Made in 1955, Summertime is a movie with classic beauty and grace. Whether it be photography, cinematography or superb acting, this movie masters each of those aspects.

The way the camera lingers on the monuments and landmarks of Venice, where the movie is set, makes one feel as if they are experiencing the city themselves. Though it is clear it's an oldie of the 50s, one can still enjoy the classic Venice everyone goes to see, with its old world charm and centuries long tradition of transport by gondola.

Katharine Hepburn plays Jane Hudson, "a fancy secretary," who's a spinster and has saved up for a long time to make the trip to Venice. The movie opens with Jane filming the view from a train entering the city, while striking up a conversation with the man she is sharing a cabin car with.

From the minute we disembark the train, all the way to the end credits, one can almost smell the experience Jane Hudson is having in Venice.

I should add that Summertime is originally a play called The Time of the Cuckoo, and it is written by Arthur Laurents. The movie very much sounds like a play, and intelligently so.

I personally found the story reminiscent of what might have been a trend of the 50s... the older American woman going to either Rome or Venice, and meeting an Italian man, with whom she has an affair. It is very reminiscent of Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (which incidentally is not a play, but a novel by Williams). Of course, Summertime is not as dark-themed as The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, but the basic American woman in an Italian city theme is what makes one remind me of the other.

Jane Hudson, is a spinster and a self-proclaimed "... the independent type. Always have been." In an elusive and intelligently written dialogue, however, Jane Hudson confesses to Signora Fiorini, the Ponsione Fiorini keeper where she is staying, that she came to Venice looking for something that is a mystery even to her. As the film moves along slowly, but with the grace of a gondola, we see what Jane Hudson came to Venice looking for as it unfolds and surprises even Jane herself.

The director intended for the viewer to pay attention to small details. For instance, the way Jane Hudson sees Venice is not the same way that her fellow American tourists, staying in the same hotel see Venice. The older retired couple treats Venice as a place to experience with a minute by minute schedule, missing much of the little things you can't plan ahead for. The younger, newlyweds treat Venice as a honeymoon spot where they only have eyes for each other, failing to see much beyond each other in a city full of nothing but things to see.

Jane, in her loneliness wanders the streets of Venice and befriends a little street boy who guides her through the city.

It might feel as if I have given away a large part of the movie by pointing out its strong resemblance to Williams' story of another American woman wandering the streets of some Italian city all alone. I assure you the two stories are worlds apart in mood and different style and direction. Trust me when I tell you that Summertime holds more than I describe, or could describe. It is simply magnificent.

I feel I have said too much already, so I will quit trying to describe this film. I want nothing more than to draw you, the reader to this movie with my writing in order to experience everything it has to offer in the way of tourism, cinematography, dialogue, comedy (it is hilarious), love, and bitter sweetness.

I promise you a trip to Venice that is so much more.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Life is good right now

Well first off, things in my workspace are looking great. I didn't think it would work so well for me, since it's in the basement, but I absolutely love it. It's a great place to go to do writing or anything else away from any distractions. I've "prettied up" the place by moving clutter out of the area I'm using, and of course cleaning and dusting. I've also furnished my workspace with everything basic an office needs. I now have a good size dry-erase board ready to be put up on the wall, a calendar, a wastebasket and a few desk essentials to hold pens and such things.

So, what do I do when I'm down in my basement workspace? Lots of things. For one thing, I've been searching and bidding on freelance jobs that vary from writing to proofreading, in order to get a jumpstart on the freelancing life I hope to seriously build for myself. So far I haven't had any luck, but it's just the nature of the business when you're starting out like I am, I suppose.

Also, I've written two pieces I plan to either put on the blog, or publish on Intrepid Media. I'm still working on last touches for both pieces, and hopefully after the final touches are finished, I will know where to showcase those babies.

One of those pieces is about Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, which is right now. It's mostly an informational piece that explains in layman's terms what this month means, what it celebrates and how Muslims celebrate it aside from fasting from dawn to dusk. I'm pretty proud of it, but I still need to make sure my facts are absolutely correct before I let everyone read it and get the wrong information. After all, my purpose is to educate and maybe correct misconceptions.

Of course, as with any job done at a computer, there comes a time when a person must goof off and waste time online. What do I do to waste time online? Right now, I'm pretty obssessed with Facebook. I even wrote a piece about my newfound online obssession on Intrepid Media titled i heart facebook.

Pretty much everyone reading this blog has either heard me raving about Facebook, or has visited my crazy page. Aside from getting in touch with friends from days of old, and keeping in touch with the current people in my life in a fun way through the internet, Facebook's applications are blowing me away. I've added cool photos, art, movie clips, my favorite football (soccer) clubs and favorite book lists. The only downside to Facebook is its recording of every move you make on your profile's Newsfeed... but that is easily taken care of with a click of the mouse-- much like everything else done on Facebook. I'm sure there will come a day soon when Facebook will just be one more website to remember my password to, but right now, it's the coolest website ever.

When I'm not "working" or feeding my Facebook obssession, I'm fasting and doing all the things one should do during Ramadan. My Ramadan piece will explain all these things, but one of the things I've been doing is reading the Qur'an for the first time on my own. All the years I've been fasting and praying, I've never actually sat down with the Qur'an and read it, and it's been such an eye-opening and wonderful experience for me. The reading is difficult, I must admit, but what I'm getting out of it is something worth the difficulty and tongue-twisting I've been experiencing. I've learned so much about my religion that I unfortunately was not aware of, and found a great tool for comfort aside from prayer. I know this sounds cliche, but I really feel absolute serenity when I'm reading and understanding what I thought I understood before.

So, obviously its been an eventful week for me. I've put together an office for myself, I've started taking action toward my goal of being a freelance writer, developped an obssession with Facebook and discovered the joy of reading an amazing book that has become a comfort to me mentally and physically.

Life is good right now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm back and all set up in my new "space"

I know I know I know. I haven't done anything with the blog for quite some time. That's only because there hasn't been much going on worth writing about. In order to let everyone know that the blog has not been abandoned, I am making an attempt to display signs of life.

I am writing this blog, actually, from my mini workspace I've made in the basement. I didn't think I would like being down here where it's kind of dank and lacking in enough natural light, but I'm liking it. There are no distractions, and I feel more free to read my work aloud to help me see if it flows good on the tongue. I'm also trying to incorporate my digital voice recorder into my writing tool(s) and having distractions all around me made it difficult to speak a complete thought. But down here, it's been a success. I have a lot of work to do down here that has been put off before because of distractions. There are no more excuses. The writing will be picking up soon.

Speaking of writing... I have written a piece for Intrepid Media titled Fishing with Floss. It is featured in the gallery, so do give it a read.

While not writing, I've also been trying to find places to publish my stuff and actually get paid for it. It's proving very difficult, because I'm up against some very seasoned and established writers who've published stuff in fancy magazines and the like, but I'm not giving up.

Also during this time of writing hiatus, I developped a mild obssession with Facebook. Thanks to an old friend from my years in the United Arab Emirates, I created an account and went on a facebook friend collecting spree. I've found elementary school classmates, relatives, and childhood friends I haven't seen or heard from in 20 years. I got on the Facebook wagon a little late because I felt it was stupid for so long, but as I come across more and more people I'd lost touch with, it's become an essential tool to conjure up the past in a fun and entertaining way.

Now it's seriously time to go back to writing and updating my blog regularly, hopefully with links to more published works of mine in paying sites.

Good luck to me!