Monthly Archives: February 2012

The “real” job

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I was semi-surprised the other day when a close friend of mine admitted that she didn’t know what I did for a living. I can’t say I blame her – I usually don’t talk about work. Especially when, for a time, my job strayed away from what it was I was proud to do in a way which was beyond my control. And now that I love what I do (for the most part,) talking about it just feels like bragging!

I’ve realized that a lot of people still don’t understand what it is that I do, even when I try to explain it to them. You know what? This warrants a post!

I am a copywriter.

Yup, it’s as exciting as it sounds. I write copy. Now, I guess a lot of people don’t know what copy is. Guess what? You’re reading it. Copy is written material. As my bio says, “I make words pretty as my job.” I string together sentences for a living. It’s actually kind of great.

A few cool things to know about my job:

  • I write print (magazine) advertisements, emails, and website copy and ads.
  • My words are translated in 13 different languages and seen in over 180 countries around the world.
  • I write for three different main (and very broad) audiences: B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business) and affiliate, which is sort of a mixture of both.
  • I work in the online gambling industry
  • I get to write for a living, and it’s what I’ve dreamed about my whole life!
  • I also do a lot of stuff not listed in my job description, some of which I love (managerial involvement) and some of which I dislike (uploading and sending emails.)

That’s about the gist of it! I get to work with a lot of great people who have become my friends, so that’s also pretty cool.

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And then, at the end of the day, I go home and write some more, because it is also a life-long goal to be a traditionally-published novelist! But you all knew that already.

Do you spend your days doing what you love? What are your life-long goals?

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Work and more work

So, I did exactly as I promised over the weekend – I wrote, and wrote, and worked out, and cleaned. I don’t think I ended up cooking, except I found a bit of zucchini and made my ‘zucchini pizza’ again. If I did cook something else, I don’t remember! The weather was wonky and my head is severely affected by the pressure. (Excuses, I know.)

It’s been a very busy week for me. Every night I’ve been doing something – yoga, fitness classes, attending a play, socializing – but every day I have still found the time to do a few hours of work! It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it.

This is my typical workspace outside of the house – coffee, multiple pens, notebooks, my phone and everything but work on the screen. I frequent this particular Starbucks often – it used to be open the latest and being inside a book store, has a great view of, well, books. (Unfortunately, I discovered that the hours changed and they’re closed an hour earlier. Sad!)

So, I thought it was time to tease you with an excerpt. This is a piece in the early-middle of the book that I looked over last night. It’s still needs work, but here it is:

It was a good walk to the north before they came upon the west entrance to the city. By the time they had arrived, the rain was thinning, sprinkling their forms with the purples and blues of the sky.
There was something distinctly cold that was grasping at the air as Jay and the others filtered in through the stoic city gates. The shadows of the buildings seemed darker; the grooves of the elaborate engravings on the walls distinctly deeper.

A light fog had settled among the cobblestone streets; it was slight – just enough to scatter the sun- and moon-less light further into the air, enough to cast a layer of doubt dividing what one saw and what they thought they were seeing.

Jay noticed, through the blurried atmosphere, large and distinct shapes lining the streets. They were unnatural – obelisks in the middle of nowhere, giant claws reach for the sky. She didn’t recognize what the figures were from her previous walk through the city.

A sharp, sudden howl from her side startled Jay so much that she jumped. It was a mournful wail, and she was so confused as to what was going on that she thought they were under attack. But they were not, and it was Daberath. He was crying into the night, into the settling fog that obscured from sight what her mind now knew.

One of the figures was at her side suddenly – they had approached it without realizing it. The stir of the air from her moving figure brushed away the last of the mist from the form, and Jay saw him.

It was a man. This man was a statue, but what she knew in her heart and from the sorrow in Daberath’s voice and in the darkness in the air was that he was no ordinary statue.

What do you think? Are you enticed to finding out what’s going on? Or was the passage too obscure?

Perhaps after that treat you’ll forgive me for this admission: I don’t think I’m going to have the entire draft finished by the end of the month. Not for lack of trying, I assure you – it has just turned out to be more work than I anticipated. Which was naive of me, of course. Really, things would go so much better if my notebook had a CTRL-F function!!

Writing is hard. Editing is harder.

Feel free to ask me anything about the project or my process… it’s so close to being ready for peer review! I think I will post a summary of the novel soon.

And, just to prove that I do sometimes go home, I thought I’d include this picture of Scully and a headless Christopher:

Isn’t she a big ball of fluff? And this is skinny Scully, I dare admit!

I hope you are having a wonderful day. Please leave me feedback in the comments!


Family Day = Me Day

There are many things I love about a long weekend (obviously!) but the most important one has got to be the fact that I actually take a deep breath… and some ‘me’ time. On weeknights, and most  normal weekends, there just isn’t time to spend on myself. Sure, I take a few hours at the end of the night to unwind – watching television or playing a video game – but these are just mental distractions from the every-day life. On a long weekend, I actually get to be.

I’ve made it no secret that I’m trying to get my novel wrapped up by the end of the month. But the last thing I want to do after a full day of work is go home and work some more. Especially when things are feeling stressful. So this weekend I’m making it a priority – to get away from the distractions and the noisy fiance and spend hours at the coffee shop, polishing and writing.

One of the other expressions of myself that I rarely see during the week is Cook Amanda. After work and the commute and the errands, there’s never time to sit down and cook a good, inventive meal from scratch.

Yesterday, I experimented with zucchini – replicating a picture that I found on Pinterest (I couldn’t find the recipe,) I sliced up zucchini strips, topped them with tomato slices and seasoned with Herbamare, peppercorn, basil and garlic. With mozzarella on top, it was like the most amazing pizza without the carbs! And I didn’t even miss the crust.

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We ate it with yak sausage. Yup, you heard that right. (Side note: I need to start using real cameras again.)

I will most likely cook up something again tonight – any suggestions out there for something with mostly veggies and protein? Unfortunately, I think my zucchini is used up.

Happy Family Day, all!


THE story

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So, as I not-so-subtlely hinted last week, I got engaged!

My fiance (FIANCE!!) popped the question Monday, January 30 after we’d been together for over six years. He did it in a way that was only suited for the two of us geeks – he ran out and bought me a new motherboard and CPU for my outdated PC, and hid the ring inside the box. Not only do I have a super-fast computer, but a shiny, shiny rock!

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I had planned on posting this story yesterday (Valentine’s Day) but decided it was too cheesy. Also, does it feel like EVERYONE got engaged this V-Day? I’m kind of glad my engagement happened the month prior – so that my thunder was my own!

In my opinion, a wedding is the single opportunity to be as creative and elaborate as one wants (or can afford) to be, guilt-free. I can’t wait! I may have been a tom-boy as a child, still play best with the boys and would take sci-fi over chick flicks anyday, but even I have my girly side. Like most individuals lacking Y chromosomes, I have been planning my wedding since I was young!

You can expect a bit of wedding planning fiasco on this blog in the coming months. Hopefully, you can expect a bit more posting in general, as well!

Are you married or engaged? What is your engagement story? I love hearing them!

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Baby steps

Yesterday, I turned down an extremely good makeup deal.

No, I mean, a really awesome deal. Like, a very expensive palette from one of my favourite makeup brands was on sale at 55% off.

55% off! Do you know how awesome that is?

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I have a sale addiction. And a makeup addiction. Put them together and it’s major, major trouble.

But ultimately I didn’t need that palette. I already own many of the same colours, and many of the accessories that came with. I only “needed” the palette because I would be “saving money…”

This is the reason that deal sites like Groupon and Beyond the Rack are extremely addicting for a large part of the population!

Admission: For the past year, I’ve been absolutely awful with my finances. For the first time in my adult life I have had a bit of freedom to spend – and might have let it get the best of me. But, I’m getting back on track. Now that I’m financially stable, the next step in being a true “adult” is saving for that shiny, white-picket future.

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This means, no deal is worth the money unless you don’t already have it. (Words of wisdom for us all!) No spending on the credit card. Setting aside money for the things I want. Sticking to the budget.

I can do this, right?

I obviously am putting this out into the universe so that I am accountable for my words.

Much like the fact that I’m telling you right now: I WILL have my novel finished and ready for peer reading in March.

There it is. Kick my butt into action, please.

Because after all, I have a wedding to save up for/make time for!! ^.-

Have you ever gotten carried away on a good deal? What kind of deal was it?


Syntax

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Language is absolutely fascinating. I find it extremely interesting how words and syntax and all of that beautiful stuff has evolved over the years, and especially how different languages evolved from similar roots in similar ways.

My entire life I had thought that English was a “Latin-based” language, and only recently I discovered that I was wrong. Apparently, English is a Germanic-based language, and not a Latin one. Sentence structure is the most significant indicator of this, as well as the use of possessives and adverbs.

A comparison, from Wikipedia:

[W]e say: “John’s life insurance company” (cf. Dutch “Johns levensverzekeringsmaatschappij” [= leven (life) + verzekering (insurance) + maatschappij (company)] rather than “the company of insurance life of John”, cf. the French: la compagnie d’assurance-vie de John).

– with English and Dutch being Germanic, and French being Latin.

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As I get to look over 13 different languages in my 9-5 job, I’ve found myself even more interested in language than before. I get to see side-by-side the similarities in like languages, and there is a sort of comfort in that. I had no idea that Spanish and Portuguese were so much alike!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already February. January was a big month for me, despite being the longest month of the year. How did 01/12 treat everyone else?