What the world does not need is another blog response to Elizabeth Wurtzel’s angsty personal essay in New York Magazine, “Elizabeth Wurtzel Confronts Her One-Night Stand of a Life.” But as a woman writer, I cannot resist. Because everybody else already has, I won’t get into the most obvious complaints. (The New Yorker offered my favorite critique; Slate’s was great, too.) I will focus on the two things that bother me:
1. She relates marriage to prostitution.
“I am committed to feminism and don’t understand why anyone would agree to be party to a relationship that is not absolutely equal. I believe women who are supported by men are prostitutes”
To which I say, what’s so wrong with prostitution (if it’s between two consenting adults)? Certainly that’s not my life choice, but I don’t begrudge the choices of others. Why would such a self-advertised feminist free spirit who is so proud of sleeping around be so into judging other women’s choices? It just seems so un-feminist and so un-free spirited!
2. Her self-imposed trainwreck of a life makes for some great rubbernecking. But all this self-indulgent self-destruction seems so dated. Her writing is like the literary equivalent of wearing Doc Marten’s and a flannel shirt. In a national climate where everybody is just trying to recover from the Great Recession, how can readers tolerate her gleeful boast of being poor because she chose a designer purse over a savings account?
“But I never saved or invested, because I believe if you take care of the luxuries, the necessities will take care of themselves. When I got a huge advance for Bitch, my second book, I bought a Birkin bag…”
Somebody introduce Wurtzel to Suze Orman’s Women & Money. This Huffington Post critique says it best, but it bears repeating: An independent woman has gotta be responsible for her own finances. How else do you keep from being a prostitute?
Seconds into 2012 at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. (Yes, that's Stevie Wonder.)
Sure, it’s a little late to start talking about New Year’s Resolutions, what with it being the end of February and all. Nonetheless, I have an awesome 2012 Resolution, and I’m writing to see if you want to play along with me.
Here goes: I’m sending an unpublished short story to publication every single month of 2012.
As for length or genre or type of publication, that’s up to you. I personally, am choosing to have fun with it and go for as wide a range as possible, like walking down an all-you-can-eat buffet and sticking my finger in every dish as I pass. (Not that I’d ever do that in real life, though a great buffet, if you were so inclined, is the one at the Wynn. Yummy.) So far, I’ve sent a sci-fi story to Asimov’s for January and I’m finishing up a literary-fiction confection for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers (February).
Worried about the anguish of rejection? Don’t be. At the end of the year, I’m going to publish whatever isn’t already published on Amazon e-books. Each short story will go for a dollar. And then I shall get rich or at least get a lot of practice.
Won’t you play along with me?
Posted in This Writer's Life, writing tips
Tagged asimov's, contest, glimmer train, monthly, new writers, new year's resolution, short story, submission, tips, writing
As you may have noticed my long absence from the blogosphere, things have been crazy for the last few months. But I’m back and better than ever. Friday night, I celebrated my return to the writing world with a trip to restaurant/club LAVO at the Palazzo Hotel & Casino. On that very special day, I made my writing goal official by writing it on a cocktail napkin and taking a picture of it. In case you can’t read the napkin, it says that I will be finished with my novel in six months (April 2010)… or ELSE!
As a full-time writer, you’d think it’d be easy for me to decide what to blog about. But au contraire, dear reader. Between having to protect my name as a brand (i.e., no self-incriminating posts) and the desire not to scoop my own stories, I’m blogged into a corner. To solve this problem, my blog has devolved into short tidbits that are (hopefully) helpful to other writers/bloggers/readers/etc. However, I fear I play it so safe that my blog has become bland, boring even. What’s the solution? Any advice?
Tonight, as I was leaving the soft opening of Fuego at the Rio, I realized that people may be more interested in reading about Las Vegas as a topic than they are in a reading sanitized version of my life. So I’m going to test the waters with some upcoming posts about Vegas. What do you think? Might it be interesting? It seems to have worked for many other local bloggers.
When I was sitting on the airplane, waiting to fly home to Vegas from my childhood home in Texas, I got an email from my editor. My job, if I chose to accept it, was to attend the opening of Frankie’s Tiki Room from midnight to 1am and write about it.
Get paid to have fun? Yes! Now this is what I signed up for when I chose to be a writer.
I dragged one of my friends to the opening, and we drank crazy tropical drinks, enjoyed the hipster scenery and had a general good time. This is what it looked like:
A few days later, I sat at the kitchen table and typed out my experiences (after 30 minutes of procrastination on Perezhilton.com. Embarrassing, I know). Often, writing is a struggle for me, this time it wasn’t. I’m not sure the difference, but I think my looming noon haircut appointment allowed me to abandon my typical neuroses and get the job done. If only I could go to the salon every time an article is due.
The piece was part of a neat 24 hours in Vegas concept. Here’s how it turned out in the end:
Everybody in my family is a reader, but my cousin Jens is a writer, too.
Yesterday, I was overjoyed to participate in a wonderful family ritual: I went to Half-Price Books in Arlington with said cousin . Walking among those beloved bookshelves, we chatted about books and writing. Having finished his first novel in July, Jens told me how to finish mine. It seemed fitting that he gave me the secret to life in the comic section of my hometown bookstore:
Write 1,500 words a day. You will be done in three months.
This morning I got out the trusty calculator, and with math advice from both my mom and my cousin Jill, I made this writing calendar:
- Today: 9,315 words written (nearly 10%)
- January 16: 30,000 words (1/4 finished)
- February 9: 60,000 words (Halfway!)
- March 5: 90,000 words (3/4 finished)
- March 30: 120,000 words (big party)
Using the wisdom I gained from my master’s thesis horror, I added one day off a week into this schedule. Now comes the easy part…
Guess what? I’m also writing a novel! I try not to tell people because it makes me feel like a jerk. I don’t want to be the coffee shop slave who is perpetually writing an unfinished novel. I’ve already gone through that hell with my master’s thesis. And then I had the advantage of a wonderful advisor to keep me on track. So let’s keep this novel thing a secret between you and me, please.
According to write101.com, the average length of a novel is 60,000-1000,000 words. As of now, I have 7,345 words. That’s a good start, right?