Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review of “Feature & Magazine Writing”, 3rd edition, by David E Sumner and Holly G Miller

Review of “Feature & Magazine Writing”, 3rd edition, by David E Sumner and Holly G Miller

I would like to extend my thanks to Wiley-Blackwell Publishing for this complimentary review copy.

The 3rd edition of this extremely helpful book has been updated to include feature writing in a digital world. With the proliferation of blogs, vlogs, digital versions of magazines, and other online media, the rules of writing have changed. Two new chapters have been added: “Building a Story Blog” and “Long Form Digital Storytelling”, which explain and highlight the correct way to get your reader’s attention in the fast paced world of the internet.

With 21 chapters plus an appendix (a glossary of magazine lingo) this book takes you from idea, to composing, to editing, to pitching, and finally to career advice. How to interview someone successfully is described in detail, as is correct grammar and punctuation, without boring the student to death over minutiae. Also noted is how to think like a writer, debunking the popular “write what you know” theory.

Each chapter begins by highlighting key points to remember, and ends with in-class activities and assignments, a great way to reinforce what was just learned.

Finally, the 3rd edition comes with a website that includes PowerPoint presentations, handouts and other resources. The text itself is also offered as an e-book.

Highly recommended for any student interested in writing for magazines or the Internet.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Being a girl is hard!

I've not blogged since December, 2010...I had things that wanted to be written about, but never had the time to sit down and type.

Today I have both. I'm going to share with you how I spent my day. It was spent being a girl.

The first appointment of the day was the eye doctor (ok, everyone goes there, not just girls, but a thought occurred to me while I was there). I was asked if I wanted to consider contact lenses...either to correct my vision or just to change my eye color. No, I've never considered them..but today I was. How interesting would I look with dark blue or light purple eyes? I got some pricing, and told some friends about my thoughts.

All three people I told shot the idea down as "a waste", "unnecessary", and "not needed, just wear your glasses".  Of course, they all were men, so I will go ask some women tomorrow. I'd still like to try it out.

Second stop was a spray tan. For the uninitiated, it involves either getting naked, or wearing paper underwear and being sprayed with a tiny paint sprayer. There is a fan blowing on you and it's kinda cold. You have to make sure you don't breathe that stuff in. You have to contort in weird positions  (made quite awkward if you are naked). And then you have to stand while a really strong fan blows on you and dries the stuff. For FIFTEEN MINUTES. Did I mention how cold it gets?

I thought I looked good until I went out tonight and walked the dog, in the natural light..and saw that the inside of both legs were not done well. FML. Absolutely heinous. My arms look good, but my main intention was my legs. Guess I won't be doing THAT again.

On to getting myself a manicure. When I got to the place I saw that they also did I got my brows done. That is where they put hot wax on your skin and then rip out the hairs by the roots. My brows have been getting done for years, but it still hurts in spots.
I also get a Brazilian wax....imagine THAT pain. And guys think they are stronger than us.

Heh heh.

So imagine that hot wax being spread all over my lady parts   personal area  well, you know where. And then RIPPED OFF. Sure, being a girl is fun!!

Then the manicure. They use a dremel (a rotating electric sander) to scuff up the nails and remove any extra acrylic from around your cuticles and sides of the nail. A dremel gets really hot, and makes your fingertips really tender. Also this is a weapon being wielded by an angry Korean man muttering epithets under his breath because his client (me) keeps asking him to "make the nail more, MORE oval...can you do it a little less square?...." and pulling her hand away (ow, my finger!!) because the dremel is burning a hole in her flesh.

Yup, being a girl is really empowering. Once I got done there (and suffered the obligatory nick in the freshly applied nail polish because sitting under the dryer for TEN MINUTES was not long enough) I had to get into my car, brows and other parts stinging from that hot wax and hair-root-pulling, and sit there trying to figure out the best way to drive home without smearing more of the manicure. You know when you have a tiny cut on your finger, and never knew how many times a day you would have that area actually touch another area, and cause great pain because it just keeps on touching other areas and you have no idea how to make it stop?

That is a manicure. Times ten. Ten fingers that you can't have touch each other. Or touch anything else. Try driving not touching anything.

I figured two small smears wasn't a big deal.
That, and the soreness on the side of a few nails from the dremel, and from having my skin peeled away from the acrylic.

Is this "pampering" as painful for movie stars, too? They get tanned, and their nails done, and waxed, and all that. Sure, I look bangin'....but I'm kinda tired and sore. And I smell kinda strange from the spray tan and the acrylic nails....and I have leftover wax here and there. But, as I just said, I look BANGIN'.

Who knew femininity was so difficult?