Friday, June 24, 2011

Job Interviews: A Side By Side Comparison…

Last Friday, I ended my week with a phone interview with a woman from a placement agency I’ve worked with in the past. Though I hadn’t worked with the woman, I figured from my experience with the placement agency that it would go well.

Boy, was I wrong.

The call began with questions about my experience, which is typical, but when I told her what I’d done, she refused to believe me. I said I’d written for the web and she said, “That’s just writing things that went on the web that’s not writing FOR the web.” I said I’d written advertisements and she said, “You just wrote text that was used in advertisements. That’s not the same thing.”


I couldn’t get her to understand that they were both the same and, after a torturous half hour, she called me a liar and said she refused to work with me.

… nice. Welcome to the world of the unemployed.

Now, cut to yesterday. Someone at an ad agency had seen my profile on Linkedin and, through a circuitous and confusing path, contacted me through another placement agency I use. This agency needed a writer who understood tech and wanted to bring me on. When I spoke with the contact, he didn’t wait a minute and asked me to meet with him right away.

“I’m not exactly ready,” I tapped danced. “I just need time to shave and –”

“Don’t worry about shaving. I know it’s last minute. I just want to meet to get the ball rolling.”

So, I met him. I think he was trying to see how I handled change and stress because, when we met, he said, “It means a lot to me that you were able to meet with me on such short notice.”

Working for an ad agency is a big step for any marketing copywriter. It’s really where you want to be. But to do it, you often already need experience – one of those wonderful Catch 22s… But he was fine with my lack of agency experience because, he said, I had so much good experience and talent that could be put to use.

When I told him about my background, he didn’t call me a liar or just assume I was trying to trick him.

I don’t know if I’ll get the job but you put those two interviews side by side and you see two very different styles. I really hope I get this ad agency job; it could mean a big step for me. If not, I hope I never get another interview where the person I meet with assumes I’m a liar.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Hex Upon Rynia (the e-book) is now available for all e-readers...

Hex may be one of the smartest men on earth, certainly one of its few real magicians, but that hasn’t stopped him from being alone. He can bring toys to life but his only real friend is a boy named Vincent. When Vincent sneaks into one of Hex’s magical experiments, they are both spirited away to the world of Rynia – of undead wars and stone giant usurpers, of terrifying sand creatures and a kingdom fighting for its life.

Hex is forced to take his magic to war while Vincent is rescued by a guerilla force of wizards and fighters, a talking walrus and a stick-man named Robert. Meanwhile, back on Earth, something of this magic has followed Hex and Vincent’s path back, ready to conquer a new world.

Witness a fantasy world unlike any other with topless helicopters and ice giants, violent battles and passionate love, a people on the edge of extinction with a story that must be experienced to be believed. Witness a Hex Upon Rynia!

A Hex Upon Rynia, the prequel to the entire Rynia Trilogy, is now available for all e-readers from, Smashwords, and wherever e-books are sold.

June's Recovering the Self...

This month's Recovering the Self blog has been posted, in which I tackle the painful reality of what pursuing your dreams really means.
I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is 45 years too late to review a movie? My review of The Great Race…

When I was just a kid, my brother I used to sit down every weekend and watch The Family Film Festival with Tom Hatten on Channel 5. I think it was on Sunday mornings. On that show, about four or five times each year, they would play Popeye cartoons and old movies that the channel had secured the rights to very cheaply. You could tell they got the rights cheap because they’d play the same movies over and over. One of the movies they showed over and over, about four or five times each year, was The Great Race.

The Great Race is a Blake Edwards comedy from 1965, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and so many others. It was one of those movies I saw so much that I could, and often did – to death, quote line by line.

I didn’t realize the profound affect it had on me until I watched it recently. I had dvr’ed the film off TCM (which I just LUV), having only seen it uncut once before many years ago. As I watched it, I realized that so many of the rapid-fire interchanges could have come out of something I wrote. Among the many influences I’ve had, this one is very clear.

And the movie still holds up today. So many things I loved as a child simply do not but The Great Race still had me laughing. Jack Lemmon’s energy is contagious. Tony Curtis’ meta-suavity is spot on. Natalie Wood is – well, this was when she looked amazing (when didn’t she?) – but her timing is wicked. Peter Falk is Peter Falk so you know he’s got it in spades. And there are so many others that just nail it.

The bad part? The music. As I’ve mentioned to others, this simply stops the show because it’s so god-awful. You end up in a pit stop, waiting for the music to end so you can get on with the enjoyment. I'm not talking about the soundtrack, which is wonderful; it's those damn showtunes. Stop it!

And much enjoyment is to be had. The thing about The Great Race is that it has so many moments of fucking brilliance that it can coast for a while and you don’t mind. Well, I didn’t. I just love this movie and feel so grateful knowing how it has inspired me.