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The aggression will not stand

Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

Marni Grossman

Taking it Day-by-Day

October 27th, 2009
by Marni Grossman

WILMINGTON, DE-

He leaned in close.  Like they do in the movies.  He leaned in close and I could see his every pore, his every hair follicle.  He leaned in close and I didn’t move away.  He leaned in close and then, without preamble, he began to sing.

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Oksana Marafioti

The Time I Walked Away from Mel Gibson

October 26th, 2009
by Oksana Marafioti

LAS VEGAS, NV-

When I was twenty-eight I saw Jesus Christ give a speech from the back of a pickup truck.

Immediately I called my husband and told him to get his ass over there so that, like me, he might also bask in the glory of Christ. Plus, I needed a witness. Someone my family trusted.

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Kimberly M. Wetherell

A Multi-Hyphenate’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking, Chapter 1: Pre-Production

October 26th, 2009
by Kimberly M. Wetherell

BROOKLYN, NY –

The most important thing for any Multi-hyphenate (Writer/Director/Producer) to know before embarking on an independent film project is this: No One Knows Anything.[1]

First and foremost, you must always remember: This rule does not apply to You.

You are right and everyone else is wrong.

You are the only person who knows How It Should Be Done.

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Autumn Kindelspire

I Don’t Want to be a Writer

October 19th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

NEW YORK, NY-

I always said I wanted to be a writer. (Actually, when I was very little I wanted to be a waitress at my favorite restaurant, Wags. But when Wags went out of business and was replaced by a Denny’s, my dream to serve pancakes and coffee to senior citizens was replaced, too.)

In fifth grade, I won a National Pride Award in Writing, and from then my destiny was set: I was going to be a famous author. By the time I reached high school, I was pretty sure I was going to be the next Stephen King. Or Margaret Atwood, or Faulkner, or Steinbeck, depending on what I was reading that week.

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Tony DuShane

With Love, Nick Cave

September 29th, 2009
by Tony DuShane

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-

Does Nick Cave know about my love life?

I found out my wife was cheating on me. Not the greatest feeling in the world after a decade of marriage. I admit, there were times when I met another attractive woman and thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I could just…but I put that thought right out of my mind and went home a committed guy.

Not that sex was the only thing to the petit mess that our marriage was. There was me, the writer, and what she thought the writing life style would bring her.

When we dated, I was the quirky artist guy. She thought listening to Nirvana made her alternative and Nora Roberts was literature. (more…)


Joi Brozek

A Thousand Words: Girl in a Bottle

September 9th, 2009
by Joi Brozek

LAWRENCE, KS-

It was after you slurred those filthy songs with a sweet voice, eyes rolling up to the colored gels covering the lights, thinking, “FUCK! They can make me beautiful,” that I decided I couldn’t look at you anymore,

The first time I met Tricky, she told me to pour her a double, baby, and so I did. On a good day she drank Stoli and soda, heavy on the Stoli, light on the soda, in a glass. On a not so good day she did away with the glass and drank straight out of the bottle. I had never seen thirst like hers. (more…)


Jeremy Resnick

Success is for Losers

August 24th, 2009
by Jeremy Resnick

LOS ANGELES, CA –

If one loves language, if one loves its power and beauty, isn’t it pretty stupid to spend all of one’s time reading writing that butchers it? That steamrolls it, shoots it a hundred times, hacks it to pieces with machetes, and then napalms it? And wouldn’t it destroy one’s spirit to repeatedly subject it to this torture?

By this torture, I mean this torture:

“Anyone who has seen or not seen a building can always enjoy looking at one.”

Or this:

“Our bodies enable us to get out of bed every morning, build ancient pyramids, or even watch our children play a game of soccer.”

(more…)


Elizabeth Collins

Life Lessons at the Literary Agency

August 13th, 2009
by Elizabeth Collins

PHILADELPHIA, PA–

Fresh out of college in 1993, I landed a job with a literary agent. Don’t ask me how.

The job, however plummy it seemed, was actually insane. Every day was a lesson in Real Life.

The first thing I learned was: Don’t let the bike messengers use the bathroom.  They’re usually shooting up in there. 

I got screamed at, reamed out, when I let the messenger use the bathroom. 

“Don’t you know what they do in bathrooms!?” My new co-worker was horrified.

I could imagine it, yes, because it is hot in NYC in summer, and bike messengers must drink a lot of water.

“Heroin!” she shouted. “Smack! They’re junkies!”

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Mary Richert

The Things I’ve Outgrown

August 5th, 2009
by Mary Richert

ANNAPOLIS, MD-

I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a rock star. For the two years I took gymnastics I thought I would go to the Olympics. I thought maybe I would be a lesbian. I fully intended to be a poor writer, living in an apartment somewhere in New York with two or three dogs and no electricity. I considered doing the same in the country except that the basic necessities would take up all my time. I feared I would live out the dream scene in Look Who’s Talking, in which Kirstie Alley’s character pictures her life if she married John Travolta’s character. I got really close on that one. I thought I might be single for a while. I thought of becoming a happy old maid. I thought I’d be dead by now.  (more…)


Jeremy Resnick

Keepin’ It Real… Estate

August 5th, 2009
by Jeremy Resnick

LOS ANGELES, CA –

The course actually begins with the words, “Location! Location! Location!”

Since teaching jobs are both hard-to-get and low paying, I’ve decided to think about pursuing a career in commercial real estate brokerage. The two classes you have to pass before you can take the salesperson license exam are “Real Estate Principles” and “Real Estate Practices.” You can take them online through Allied Schools.

The “Principles” class begins with a Welcome page featuring images of golden hills, redwood trees, rocky coastline, and flowers blooming in the desert. What follows is mind-numbing, soul-withering flapdoodle.

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Lance Reynald

Recapping a Tour, or The Mirror Conspiracy Comes Full Circle

July 19th, 2009
by Lance Reynald

PORTLAND, OR-

There have been names thrown out over the years: Arrogant. Enigmatic. Freak. Media Whore. Self-indulgent. Vain. Narcissistic.

All names that suggest I’ve been spotted, seen and made note of. Words that the people closest to me find laughable and would say are totally off base. There is no owners manual for living with these words. I suppose it’s presumed that when these words come into play that you are immune to the effects of them. No self help books to give you perspective, no wisdom or advice for you.

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Stefan Kiesbye

Interview — And Please Wear Professional Attire

July 15th, 2009
by Stefan Kiesbye

LOS ANGELES-

Really? I mean, do you need to have a TV and a radio blaring at the same time, in the same small office? A marketing firm, valuing face-to-face contact with clients. The face-to-face not working so well in that dingy suite of a nondescript office complex on Ventura Boulevard. Two blocks over, the L.A. River in its cemented bed exudes more charm. A central room with the young-yet-worn secretary, four offices beyond, short-and-slick-haired, in-their-early-to-mid-to-late-twenties male suits in those offices. With bad shoes. Run-down heels, worn out leather, cheap in the first place. (more…)


Matthew Gavin Frank

Pot Farm: Part 4

July 15th, 2009
by Matthew Gavin Frank

SOMEWHERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA-

In the Residents’ Camp, rain and digestion.  It’s pushing midnight, but still, Johanna and I are captivated by our stomachs, engaged in a croaking call-and-response symphony, likely spawned by Antonio’s corn cakes.  We’re huddled in the center of our Coleman Cimarron tent, trying to stay dry as the weather knocks at the side walls.  

We listen to the Camp’s shutting-down sounds—the series of “goodnights,” the zippered closings of the final few tent doors.  I can tell that, for me, sleep is still a long way away.  I have a head full of pot smoke, and it’s beginning to ache. This does not bode well; tomorrow is a cutting day.  I am Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, getting waayy to old for this shit.

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Jennifer Duffield White

The Barefoot Summer

July 7th, 2009
by Jennifer Duffield White

SARANAC LAKE, NY-

It might be because this is my last summer in these mountains, for a while at least.

Or because my friend Amy is obsessed with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their barefoot running.

Or because I just quit my job of nearly 10 years.

In any case, I’m conducting another experiment, exposing tender skin to the jagged edges of my world.

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Andra Moldav

Prepared to Teach?

July 2nd, 2009
by Andra Moldav

LOS ANGELES, CA-

For the record, I teach these people legitimate ESL topics, like present perfect and subjunctive clauses. I’m used to being challenged on why Americans say books but not geeses, or on subtleties like why “last year I had a girlfriend” makes sense and “last year I was having a girlfriend” doesn’t. But what in teacher-training school could have prepared me for last Monday, I wonder. Tommy Park, a 27-year-old stuck, perpetually, somewhere in his early teens, proceeded to talk to me about porn for twenty whole minutes.

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Simon Smithson

I Hate You for Being Funnier Than I Am

June 24th, 2009
by Simon Smithson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-

Some day, I like to think to myself, I will write Important Books. They won’t start revolutions, highlight the problems of the free market, or end global warming, but they will highlight the frailties and follies of the human condition. Yes, people will say after reading them, yes, this is exactly what this means. My God! How could one Australian of above average height have grasped - and so easily - the deeper meaning of the subtle movements of life?

Also, the books will sell well, and I will be very rich. (more…)


Lance Reynald

Left to Consider How Very Frustrated Marcel Proust Might Be and How Far Into the Woods Walden Has Become

June 17th, 2009
by Lance Reynald

PORTLAND, OR-

Seriously, that’s my title and I’m sticking to it.

Welcome to the contemporary novelist in the age of the new media. Your booktour is quickwork of a few major markets and your audience is considered global with access to all just a mouseclick away.

The landscape of writing has been changing vastly in the digital era. It is a multi-media endeavor and another experience in branding. This is the reality of it now, and the pace is getting quicker.

If you don’t think you have the stomach for that reality I’d suggest that you look away and not even bother with clicking further. (more…)


Simon Smithson

My Suspicions are Aroused by a Lack of Difficulty

June 7th, 2009
by Simon Smithson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-

I like TV. I really do. Sure, a lot of the time it’s nothing more than popcorn for the eyes, but it’s such delicious popcorn. Lately, the staple ingredient of my viewing diet has been Entourage, and catching back up with Vince, E, Turtle, Drama, and Vince has been a lot of fun. Also, I’ve realised that I want to marry Samaire Armstrong (my ardour cooled when I realised that she’d appeared in The O.C., but reignited, stronger than ever, when I saw that she’s also been in The X-Files). Some day, Samaire. Some day. (more…)


Laura Waldon

Praying, Witchcraft, and Bathtub Fiction; Or, My Seemingly Endless Job Search

June 4th, 2009
by Laura Waldon

SALEM, MA-

You always hear that “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” But sometimes, he’s really fucking obvious.

Two years ago, I completed graduate school and continued working on a book that I drafted during my MFA program. I worked part-time at the University of New Hampshire, where I got my degree, and took on freelance writing gigs to pay my bills.

But when my “writing life” laxed and became my “cleaning the house and hanging out with grad school friends” life, my wife gave me a not-so-subtle nudge:

Get a job.

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Reno J. Romero

Job Misery and the Man They Called the Disappearing A-Hole

May 27th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV -

I’ve been working for what seems and feels like a thousand years. My first job was picking up my dogs’ (a black labrador retriever, a pit bull, and a chihuahua) crap. I was in 7th grade and my father gave me five bucks a week for my services.

There I’d be, with a shovel in hand, scooping up three sizes of dog shit. It was dreadful. I hated it. It was then I realized that having to work, the necessity of holding a job, was an ugly part of the human experience.

Over the years, I’ve worked in construction, retail, the restaurant industry, as a teacher, as a guitar instructor, a community organizer. I’ve been around. Unfortunately.

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