Saturday, October 27, 2012

Panel Discussion

shali Nicholas, Michael Cluff, Caroline Mays, Matthew Nadelson, and Cati Porter.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to be on a panel at an IE California Writers Club meeting at the Ovitt Community Library in Ontario!

CA Writers Club web site - Inland Empire chapter

I'm really excited, but also a little nervous -- I've never been on a panel before.


Writers must wear scarves!
Also on the panel were Victoria Waddle and Cati Porter, who is the managing editor of Inlandia Journal, shali Nicholas (lowercase first name), who is a poet friend from CSUSB, and Michael Cluff and Matthew Nadelson -- both writers and teachers for Riverside Community College, Norco.

The moderator, Kay Murphy, asked us questions about how we started writing and what it means to be a writer in the Inland Empire. The others had a lot of great things to say about being a writer and getting published. I'm just beginning -- so I felt a little out of place sitting there with several writers who have done so much more than I have. 

Still, I had a good time and was honored to have been asked. Everyone stuck around afterwards for a little while, too, and I got to talk with them about writing and teaching.  

Photos courtesy of Teddy Nicholas.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"The Defining Decade"

Check out this short interview with Meg Jay, Ph.D, the author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now. I'm going order it from the library, but until I can read the whole book, what do you think about the article?

I have issues with the passage at the end, when Jay states:

Courtesy of Highways Agency.
'Twenty-somethings are very prone to what's called present bias. So are all humans, which is what procrastination is about, and oil consumption and overspending ... I think thinking about later is very scary for 20-somethings, because they don't have a lot of experience doing that. So, a lot of what I do with clients is not give them advice as much as ask very pointed questions: "What is it that you want?" "Where would you like to be in five or 10 years?" "Do you want to get married?" "Do you want to have kids?" "What do you want your job to be?" ... These are questions that no one asks 20-somethings because they know it scares them. But deep down, 20-somethings want people to ask them these questions because they know they need to figure it out.'

This seemed like an odd thing to say, to me, because the future is all that my twenty-something friends are thinking about: what careers they want, where they want to live, and who they want to be with. That's why twentysomethings are having a hard time of it in today's economy. They know what they want -- good jobs, financial independence, and (in some cases) families -- but they're having trouble getting it. Not being able to move out or find jobs equal to their level of education both embarrasses and worries twentysomethings. It embarrasses us because we feel like we're failing at life, and it worries us for many reasons, one of which is because I know that how much we earn in the formative years of our careers will influence how much we earn when we get to be experienced professionals.

Courtesy of elycefeliz.
If twentysomethings don't want to think about something in the future, it's because we're just trying to keep our heads above the water. I read an article in Time a few months ago that said that young adults should start saving for retirement and investing in their (401)k by the time they are in their mid-twenties. This is a nonsense statement to me, since I can't even afford to rent my own apartment, and I know several people who have yet to buy their first cars. When you're still sleeping in your childhood bedroom, it's pointless to start worrying about retirement. We're keeping the whole picture in mind, but trying to alleviate stress by focusing most of our attention on the next step forward.

Photo attributions from Flickr/Creative Commons:
"HA1-000344," courtesy of Highways Agency

"Money," courtesy of elycefeliz

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cliche Magazine

A few weeks ago, I began interning at Cliche Magazine, an online publication! I'm really excited about it. Although I don't get to see my articles in print (you can buy the mag in print, but it's expensive), I have been able to pitch stories and interview quite a few interesting people.

The October/November issue of Cliche Mag launched a few days ago. You can find it online at or (Unfortunately, I think they charge $1.99 to read it.)

In this issue, I interview Christopher Scott, a choreographer for "So You Think You Can Dance." He also choreographed for Step Up Revolution, and he helped launch the web series "The LXD -- The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers."

For Jan/Dec, I talked with Tara Summers, from "Boston Legal" and "Ringer." She is next to be seen in the film Hitchcock, which is about the making of Psycho. She plays a costume designer on set. In the interview, we talked about what kind of movies she liked, and when she said she doesn't like scary movies, I asked her if she'd seen Psycho (since, after all, that's what her film is about).

"Um, I've seen parts of it?"

Tara was friendly and really fun to interview, and now I'm talking to fashion designers and comedy writers for the next issue!

Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Dead Job Scam Giveaways: Thanks For Clarifying!

1. Two emails from the same 'company,' but with different addresses:

Email at Oct 8, 6:41 PM -- "Your resume has been reviewed and approved!"
Email at Oct 8, 642 PM - "Your resume has been reviewed and approved!"

2. After sending a professional-looking cover letter and resume, complete with contact information and previous job experience:

"Please fill out this application:
Full Names:
Home Address including city state and zip code ( Not P.O.Box ):
Cell Phone number:
Home phone number:
Current Occupation:
email address:

3. "I'm sure you'll understand I tend to have a very busy schedule at this point,as I am presently in Australia, I will be back in Three Weeks. Hence, you will begin your office based position immediately i get back to the states."

4. "Both myself and the company will prefer it that you use this Credit Report . . . In the event you possess a lower than expected credit score score, it will never prevent you from a place with us."

5. "Possess a great day!"


Because I kept reading depressing statistics about young adults and the recession, I wanted this blog to be hopeful and inspirational. But, I did always mean to include the good and the bad of careers and job searching and going after your dreams. Always writing about the good and never talking about the bad seems like dishonest. It also seems to deny that finding success and following your dreams inevitably includes hard work, rejection, and disappointment.

So, yes, I'm experiencing setbacks. Rather than just re-sending my transcripts, the CTC wants me to completely re-apply for a substitute teaching permit, which is about $100 that I really don't have right now. I'm in talks with the state senator's staff and hoping that they will be able to help me appeal this decision, since it was the CTC that goofed it all up to begin with.

In the meantime, does anyone else ever wonder what the ratio of real jobs to scams is on Craigslist?