Monthly Archives: August 2008

Today is My Birthday!

One day in the distant future, August 26 will be a national holiday in a small, Eastern European country. The citizens will dance around a May Pole or march in a tuba-heavy oompa band in honor of my literary greatness. Young virgins with rosy cheeks and wreaths of flowers will swoon at my photo. Oh, no, there I go mistaking myself for Milan Kundera again.

Ok, well, is it too much to ask if the members of my fan club eat some BBQ today in honor of my Texas heritage? Vegetarian BBQ is acceptable, but not guaranteed to be tasty. Creative interpretations of being Texan are also welcome, but please no W jokes. He isn’t a real Texan, after all.

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this writer’s life: Check Out My Latest Article in Phoenix Art Space

During the “end days” of my time in Arizona, I stumbled across a hidden gem in the often boring Phoenix Music Scene: a vibrant, jazzy singer named Nayo Jones. The best part of being a journalist is that when I find something I like, I get to write about it. This time was no exception. And getting to know this talented musician was an absolute pleasure. So without further delay, go forth and read my article!

photography: My First Vegas Header

In Vegas, people don’t watch movies in regular movie theaters. If you wanna watch a movie, you have to go to a casino. I snapped this photo last week while waiting for Indiana Jones to start. If you wanna replicate my experience, you can head to Sam’s Town Casino, located somewhere far from the Strip. Notice all the tourists watching the faux water spectacular in a faux forest in the middle of a faux small town. I think the name for this  type of tourist  attraction should be “falsenthicity.”

False + Authenticity = FALSENTHICITY

writing process: Do you believe in MAGIC?

One of the unexpected advantages of living in Las Vegas is easy access to the multitudes of conventions that happen here. And as a freelance writer, I have the flexibility to attend them on the drop of a hat. So it came to be that I will be attending MAGIC as a journalist on Tuesday (my birthday). For those of you who are out of the Vegas Convention Circuit, MAGIC is a giant fashion convention. Looks like all my experience at 944 is starting to pay off.

writing process: How to Interview a Rockstar

Yesterday, I interviewed a rockstar. Since I can’t scoop my own article, his name must remain anonymous. Suffise it to say, his is quite famous and has been so since the 80s.

But how does one go about interviewing rockstars? I’m glad you asked. For your convenience, I’ve simplified the complex process into a basic, easy-to-follow plan.

Landing the Coveted Interview

  1. Write for a publication that likes to profile rockstars.
  2. Beg your editor to pretty please with a cherry on top let you interview rockstars.
  3. Promise to be very professional and not make out with interview subjects until 30 days after print date. (This includes but is not limited to tour buses and hotel after-parties.)

Prepping for the Interview

  1. Practice journalistic excellence by researching the musician’s background. Leave no stone unturned.
  2. Harass their ex-girlfriends, ex-bandmates and ex-Pink Dot delivery men.
  3. Steal their medical histories from PlannedParenthood. (This step will come in useful if you fail to live up to the previously mentioned promise in rule No. 3)

Conducting the Interview

  1. Be late to the interview to show the rockstar that you “just don’t care.” This will elevate you to their level. They will respect you and refer to you as “that one cool journalist.”
  2. Rockstars love to talk about themselves. This will not do. At every possible moment, interrupt them with anecdotes about that one time you got backstage at the Buck Cherry concert.
  3. Record the interview with a digital recorder so that you can later make the rockstar’s voice into your answering machine message.

Writing the Article

  1. Transcribing is a long, ardous task. Skip it. Nobody actually cares what rockstars have to say. They aren’t writers, after all.
  2. With no transcription to bind you to the boring truth, you are free to make up your own quotes. Be creative.
  3. Using the numeric trickery from The DaVinci Code, embed your phone number into the article so that when said rockstar reads your masterpiece, he will know how to thank you.

NOTE: If you’ve made it this far and haven’t yet been sued for libel, then you’re astute enough to realize that I’m just kidding. If you want a true model of outstanding rock journalism, I would suggest reading the work of Neil Strauss and Stephen Davis.

writing process: FREElancing

After finishing my master’s degree, I was so excited to finally do some freelance writing. As a writer, this is pretty much my life dream. However, I should have studied the word’s etemology before I got too worked up:

Free + lance = freelance

From these two root words, it is obvious that freelance writing is not the most profitable of ventures (at least in the beginning). I’m not sure how the word “lance” applies to me. My best guess is that I have to be careful not to get in any jousting matches because freelancing does not provide health insurance.

NOTE: Any advice in how to become a rich writer is very welcome.

Vegas, baby, Vegas!

Exactly two weeks after my scheduled departure, I finally left for Vegas. The friends who attended my “Goodbye Arizona” party two weeks ago were decidedly confused when they continued seeing me around town. It was almost as if they wanted me to leave just because my presence no longer made sense in their mind.  Well, they finally got their wish. I arrived in this neon paradise last night, just in time to go grocery shopping with my dad–a quiet entrance, to say the least.

The question remains: Where do I go from here? Who long will it take for me to make the move to LA (or wherever the wind happens to take me)? And how much should I unpack?