Suite101 and What I Learned from Freelance Writing

I did my research before singing with a so-called “content farm.”

The last thing I wanted, as a person who considers herself a decent writer, is to be exploited by a company with a selfish agenda that doesn’t respect quality writing. That’s what led to me Suite101, a Canadian-based publishing platform that is currently defunct. Suite101 was a moderately pleasant surprise.

You had to apply and submit a writing sample to start writing for them. You had editors. There was a $10 minimum payout. (Better than say, $50, which most writers will never reach.) The general quality of writing was well beyond the awful spew that is at the most well-known content farm, Examiner.com.

The item in the contract that caught my interest the most with Suite101 is that publishing exclusivity rights expired after a year. If you are a publishing company reading this, and you want to know what good writers are looking for in their contracts, take note now.

Because it’s been over year, I can now repost my content wherever I want and make money doing so. Copyright remains with me. The risk-free autonomy that this contract clause provided was amazing.

Suite101 never mislead me into thinking they were something they were not. They were open about how they made money and what the problems there were when ad revenue was down. They had a forum for the writers where they could connect as a community and give each other tips on how to write and increase readership.

It was a mutually beneficial partnership. I built a portfolio. I made some pocket cash. I learned how to use Google Analytics and I learned a lot more about SEO that will no doubt help me in my future writing endeavors.

Suite101, if you are ever coming back and figure out a sustainable business model, I would be happy to write with you again.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Chemicals and Errata


oh Father, I have never known
disappointment like yours.

the crows that left their feet
dented in your drawing board
dive into view as I defy my destiny.

we are reckless because we evolve;
we are mortal and motionless and instincts
for survival collide at ninety degrees:
an instant made solely of broken feathers,
broken glass, and broken blood.

—–

I’ve had this partial poem in medias res stuck in a word document for over 8 years. Like a lot of things in my life, I have no idea how to begin or finish it. So here it is. Something with the potential to come in third place at a poetry reading if only it had a frame.

This is the first time I’m depressed during the summer for no distinct, discernible reason. The variable here is the Seroquel, which is great for the panic disorder, terrible for things like paying attention or enjoying life. Oh, and the being stuck in a poverty trap, because I need to keep my income low to qualify for Medicaid.  ‘Merica.

This is a pretty emotive acoustic piano cover of Brand New’s Jesus Christ:


—-

I’m still an atheist, but I’ve always been fascinated with the cultural power of religious imagery and also as literary archetypes. The doctrines might be bullshit, but stories have staying power for a reason. And that’s the part that interests me. How do you pierce the collective consciousness with your words?

Mary Karr does it pretty damn well in this piece that was obviously about David Foster Wallace:

  I loved so my ghost might inhabit you and you ingest my belief

in your otherwise-only-probable soul. I wonder does your
     death feel like failure to everybody who ever
           loved you as if our collective cpr stopped
too soon, the defib paddles lost charge, the corpse
     punished us by never sitting up. And forgive my conviction
           that every suicide’s an asshole. There is a good reason I am not
God, for I would cruelly smite the self-smitten.

  I just wanted to say ha-ha, despite

           your best efforts you are every second
alive in a hard-gnawing way for all who breathed you deeply in,
     each set of lungs, those rosy implanted wings, pink balloons.
          We sigh you out into air and watch you rise like rain.
We are just interjections, enjambed upon the line breaks of our lives.

This is a Title in Re: This Blog Being 6 Years Old

According to this little push notification thing on my iPhone that I’ve ignored for 11 days, I’ve been “scandalousmuffin” on wordpress for 6 years. Which means I was a teenager when I started blogging here in 2008.

*Insert platitude about time and aging here.*

I wish I had something wise about blogging and/or getting old to say, but I don’t really have anything. I am still struggling at being an adult, but luckily, thanks to the United States sucking at education and economic regulation, so are a lot of people my age.

Here’s a thing that happened in my life: I recently spent 15 days in the psych ward at Bellevue Hospital. It was a largely boring experience, but I accomplished what I set out to do by checking myself in– which was 1. Get off the sleeping pills; 2. Get on some mood stabilizing meds; 3. start interacting with people again.

The combo of psychotropic drugs I’m on now is far from perfect. It feels like all the negative aspects of being stoned, minus the paranoia. I’ve been meaning to write a full entry or series of entries about the psych ward, but the David Sedaris-y part of my brain isn’t working very well (Lots of parts of my brain aren’t working very well.). And I don’t want to write about a heavy experience like that, unless I can put a lighthearted spin on it. It’s a coping mechanism or something like that. (Also, according to David Foster Wallace, Wittenstein said that the most serious things can only be talk about in the form of jokes, and I’m just pretentious enough to use that as an excuse.)

I’ll elaborate on the circumstances and happenings of the hospital stay later, maybe. Too retarded right now, like literally.

I’m not quite sure how to end this entry. It’s been so long since I’ve blogged, everything moment over the keyboard mostly feels like a shadow of haunting self-guessing if my writing style is too boring or nonlinear or rambly or X. “Am I overusing dependent clauses?” Sigh.

I guess I’ll end it with a “too soon” .jpg of something significant that happened in the news:

 

 

 

Death Created Time to Grow the Things that it Would Kill

Rust Cohle has some philosophical overlap with Kanye.









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Sadness, Sardonic Irreverance, Lies, and Tits

February 12, 2014 1 comment

“So it’s not something you can talk about with your friends?”

“Well, I do, but they ask me to come out and I’m like, well I can’t come out cause I’m filthy, and they’re like why don’t you take a shower, and I say no it’s on the inside.”

———-

Hai guys.

I’ve had a shitty fucking winter. I finally accepted after years of denial that I definitely from suffer from emotional dysregulation issues in dimensions way beyond unipolar depression and I also probably have a personality disorder mixed in there as well; neither of those Dxes really go away with time but both statistically increase my risk of dying by suicide. So I’ve been trying to figure out to cope with those aspects of my permanent brain fuckery after losing health insurance, ruining my long-term relationship, admitting I have a crippling prescription pill addiction, and moving back in with my parents.

…I wish this were the plot to an indie film in which complex psychological issues were mediated and superficially resolved during a denouement with a dance competition, but unfortunately this is my unscripted, personal human experience and I have not yet learned how to tango.

One of the most uncomfortable realities I’ve discovered about being trapped in a state of intense emotional flux is that all the existential anxiety is heightened and compounded by the need to constantly reevaluate the the oscillating levels of doubt and confusion, particularly those at stem from the false dichotomies society loves to throw out there, e.g., “That was the illness, not you!” <<Did that make any sense or was that just a bunch of redundant concepts with vague overlaps and missed ideological connections? Whatever. I’m writing this stoned on pills and dropped out of liberal arts school long before learning how to pronounce ‘Sartre.’

Anyway, to help resolve some of my identity crisis, I made a pie chart to capture a static qualitative representation of my core essence:

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If there’s one thing I learned from being the psych ward multiple times, it’s that visual metaphors that oversimplify the human condition are among the most common therapeutic tools that therapists who graduated from a third tier public university with a Master’s in Social Work and the delusion that they’ll make a difference can pull out of his or her ass to help you understand yourself.

Understanding is the key to accepting. And accepting is the next step in recovery.

I should also probably declare Jesus as my lord and savior and Bill Nye as my spirit animal, but I’ll procrastinate making those decision later until I find a sponsor.

Good night, WordPress. I love you.

“You should change your blog name to ‘Clantily Sad'”

December 16, 2013 1 comment

I’m still alive, sort of. Still lacking in motivation to produce any form of original content. My blog is like the stepchild in a broken home that I give inconsistent amounts of attention to and can’t decide if I like or not.

Filler post for December.

I’m running out filler material for this place actually; most of the poetry I wrote in high school does not stand the test of time. (Oh, the angst. Never quite The Pain Tree bad, but still cringe-worthy enough to never be shared.) But there was some clever enjambment in here that I still like.

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Nerdy, Angry, Fuck

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  • Literature / Poetry / Emotional / Free Verse

I think it’s hot when strippers cry on their master’s
degrees, when meteorologists make innuendos
when your mother pretends to be Jewish.

Sometimes I wish I had synesthesia
so I could palpate youtube’s
myriad turtle sex clips with my retinas
though I wish there was more to do
on a Friday night than watching
ugly animals fuck online.

I have a Dukakis sticker on my teenage
mutant ninja turtles lunchbox from 88′
It’s currently filled with positive
pregnancy tests, disposable cell phones
and a picture of your mother.

Love insurance premiums:  $99.99 a month!
Good student discounts. Press 1 for more options.

It’s like that time I asked why she didn’t
love me anymore and she replied
“supply side economics.”

I told her her metaphor sucked;
our relationship had too many uncertainty principles
to be graphed criss-cross on an X and Y axis,

We were more like 2 out-of-sync sine waves reaching for infinity
until the tequila ran out.

Para continuar en las lenguas románticas
oprime el número dos.

I sent a letter of complaint to her new
PO Box in MN, asking her to return my soul
for the full amount, in the payment method
in which it was received.

She doesn’t know it, but she’s still
the spaces between my fingers
when I’m clawing for sanity in my sleep
and the moment mid-clasp, when I stop.
Go limp.
Lips.
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Categories: I arted Tags: , , , , ,

Semantics Won’t Do, Apologies From a Post-Manic Mind

November 18, 2013 1 comment

Now that I’ve “bottomed out” in my depression and don’t do anything, I’ve had a lot of time for massive amounts of unproductive, introspective analysis.

I’m the least functional during the nadir, but interestingly enough I prefer this to the “crash” phase. Less of a constant feeling of distress. Less crying. But still anxiety-inducing enough to do basic functions like go outside that I don’t.

I am also experiencing tremendous amounts of embarrassment about some of my behavior over the summer and during the subsequent crash. Some things I did have some basis in reason and intent. Others seem to have been wedged in distorted or exaggerated thinking, and I can only recognize it all now as the batshit crazy bullshit that it was.

I am also embarrassed about some of the mental gymnastics I pulled to rationalize things. There’s a few people to whom I want to personally acknowledge, but I’m too avoidant to bring it up right now so I’m just going to hope that they still read my blog occasionally and know who they are.

Thanks for calling me out when I needed to be called out. This is an open invitation to tell me I’m batshit anytime.

I hope that my partial self-awareness prevents further batshittery, but I think part of being batshit includes being blind.

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(I spent like a week writing this post and I’m still only semi-satisfied with it. Finding the right words and putting them in the right order is hard for me these days.)

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