Green Keyboard Hands Typing

Writerly updates

It’s been almost four months since my bold announcement about decreased focus on blogging and increased focus on freelancing for other sites.

“Was it worth it?” asked exactly none of you.

The short answer is: Yes!

The long answer is: Yes!

Why waste more words? Wasting words is for those who can’t say what they need to in just one single, solitary word, and instead end up writing long sentences explaining things in far too much detail, because they’re unable to wrap things up neatly, or don’t know what a “full stop” is. That joke got stupid after the first comma, but that didn’t stop me from finishing it, did it? That’s dedication, folks.

Since my renewed focus on pitching for other sites, I’ve written an animal article for Listverse, a chemical reactions article for Cracked, and finished a few more, as-yet-unpublished articles.

Additionally, amid all of this writing extravaganza (yes, I consider writing a couple of articles an “extravaganza,” shut up), there has been an unexpected, and pretty huge development: I have been hired as a freelance editor for Yup, you can even see my beautiful face on that “About” page.

One of the Cracked workshop moderators, Micah, happens to be the editor-in-chief at Listverse. In early November, he announced in the Cracked forums that Listverse was seeking editors. I applied. So did over 90 others. After an audition and five trial edits, three of us were hired.

MK Battle Scorpion Sub-Zero

This image is in no way related to the audition in question.

I am really happy and humbled to have made it. Especially since I have no formal editing experience or training. What I’m saying is: I’ve duped Listverse into hiring a total novice. Suckers. (Just kidding. If anyone from Listverse is reading this, please don’t fire me. Wait until I replace all words in an article with Satanic chants. Then you can fire me.)

Speaking of—read it. It’s filled with thematic top ten lists on all sorts of subjects. All of them are thoroughly researched and backed by solid sources. Or, better still, why don’t you try and write for Listverse? Literally anybody with a good list idea can do it, and get paid in the process. What’s not to love? That was a rhetorical question, please don’t send me a detailed opus on why Listverse is the devil and corrupts our children.

My only regret is that I don’t have as much time and energy to dedicate to the blog. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you all. It’s just that I think we should…see other people, you know? However, I’m always on the lookout for more “WTF Report” content, so if you stumble upon something worthy of the “WTF” title—let me know. I’ll even give you a shout out if I end up writing about your topic.

On that note, I leave you with a bad lip reading of Ron Paul’s speeches:

The BLR guys do a lot of this stuff, and most of it is hilarious. Go watch.

Fictive Fiction

Do you know why I started blogging? Oh, you don’t? And you call yourself a fan?! Oh, you don’t? You’re tired of passive-aggressive rhetorical questions?! OK fine.

Before starting the blog, I’ve taken a couple of “creative writing” and “fiction writing” courses, because I want to create…fiction…through writing.

I’ve always looked at the blog as a way to get my words out into the web-o-sphere and get a steady following. Once I had people hooked I’d eventually unleash my horrible novel / collection of short stories / unicorn colouring book onto them. They’d have to be polite and buy it. Then they would read it, smile, back away slowly and block me from their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

But the last laugh would be on me, because in the process I’d have sold upwards of, like, twenty books and gotten around 100 dollars from the deal. Then I’d buy two bottles of fancy liquor and get wasted alone in my underground lair. Note to self: need to rent an underground lair.

Early sketch of lair. Suggestions for improvements welcome.

Then I started the blog and something happened: I realised I enjoyed blogging in its own right. It’s a bit surreal to think that some words I jot down can be read by a bunch of people all around the world just seconds after I click the “Publish” button. Sure, sometimes they’re forced to read juvenile humour and a collection of carefully arranged swear words, but what the fuck, shit, right?! Hearing that I’ve managed to make someone laugh is extremely rewarding. I really get a minor sense of achievement if I can remotely put a smile on someone’s face. The drawback, of course, was that I got so carried away with the humorous lists and funny observations that I never got around to doing much fiction.

Then I found out about DudeWrite‘s Flash Fiction contests and something happened: I remembered that wanting to write fiction is how I got into this blogathon business in the first place. Since then I’ve submitted flash fiction pieces to every DudeWrite’s monthly challenge. There were three in total. I’m both happy and humbled that each of my pieces managed to bring home a prize so far.

My first piece “Pulling The Plug” shared the victory by popular vote with a great piece by a  fellow blogger Chiz Chat – “The Bunker” – in the first DudeWrite Flash Mob for July 2012. August Flash Mob also had three external judges independently picking their favourite pieces. Two of them have picked “Pulling The Plug” and had some really encouraging things to say about it.

The second piece “High Stakes” won the popular vote in DudeWrite Flash Mob for August 2012. During the same flash mob the DudeWrite editorial team picked a winner of their own – a humorous story by the Chubby Chatterbox called “Stupid Men and the Sea“.

Finally, just today I found out that my third piece – “Code Wet” – is the winner of popular vote for September’s Flash Mob challenge.

I always try to keep an element of humour in my fiction piece in order to stick to the blog’s main theme. These regular contests at DudeWrite really give me a solid reason to practice fiction writing. I have every intention of submitting at least one fiction piece every month to these Flash Mob’s for as long as DudeWrite holds them. I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is – thank you DudeWrite for reminding me about my original priorities! I’m planning to start weaving more fiction pieces into my future blog posts and I hope that you’ll stick around for that transition.

Don’t worry, though, I won’t leave you without funny commentary on human stupidity and mockery of insane people. I have too much fun doing that.

How about you? Why do you blog? Is it practice? Fun? Do you have a political agenda? Are you a member of an ominous yet extremely ineffective secret organization that wants to take over the world through writing?

Non-Canteen Written Gems

I have made fun of our canteen‘s failed attempts at writing on numerous occasions in the past.

But why should canteen get all the fame?! It shouldn’t, that’s why! (it makes sense, just go with it)

There are plenty of other misspelt and odd signs to be found at my work. For almost three months we had a broken soda machine with “OUT OF ORDRE” note on it. I guess you could still get your Fanta, Cola and Sprite, but a mysterious French drink called Ordre wasn’t available. Now the machine is gone, hopefully to be refilled with some delicious Ordre yet again.

And today I took a picture of this note in our coffee-machine/hang-out area:


The Danish part of the sign is a more measured “Show consideration, not everyone is on a break right now”. Whoever wrote the English part was so infinitely frustrated with all those people talking by the coffee machine that they didn’t even have time to formulate any coherent thoughts beyond an angry “Please!”. You can almost feel the rage there. It may as well have read “AAAAAAAAAARGH!!! COME ON, I’M WORKING!”

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today’s “filler” post, but I’ll be cooking up something good again soonish. Also, there may be a few more guests making an appearance. Until then…PLEASE!

Writing for a blog: 5 tips

Do you remember Michelle Franco? Author of the top-rated “Where Will You Run?” book? Fellow Twitter user? The one who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award?

You do? Great! You don’t? Well, also great, since you have the chance to visit her blog right now. I’ve written a guest post for her. In that post I dispense words of dubious wisdom, which is something I rarely do on my own blog.

Head on over to Michelle’s blog and check out “Writing for a blog: 5 tips“. Also, give her blog a browse in general, it’s well worth your while!