Last night, I had the pleasure of tagging along to an LA Metblog author/reader meetup at Father's Office in Culver City. I say "tagging along" as although I am a reader of LA Metblog, I was there to support my husband, also known as the 8-Track Kid (because there are multiple Wills who write for them - in addition to my Will there's Will Campbell, Wil Wheaton, Will Keightley and...I think that's it. Mea culpa if I missed a Will.) We ran into the lovely and charming Tammara in line, and once inside found David Markland and Will Keightley.
Once inside, I attempted to purchase my own libations of the alcoholic variety until David told me to shut the hell up, there was a tab open. When David tells you do to stuff, you listen. Refreshments procured, we began the process of looming menacingly over people's tables, and like the Germans, slowly invaded seat by seat.
I had the opportunity to finally meet the Travis Kaplow (she'll always be Kerplow! to me) and the Mike Winder, and I saw the Sean Bonner and the Matt Mason from afar (apologies if I missed anyone!), but the picnic-style seating wasn't conducive to large-scale mingling. Toward the end of the night, David Markland said that he had a surprise...
He was raffling off a Los Angeles Moleskine. Slips of paper and pens were handed out.
I couldn't possibly, I don't even write for Metblogs, I said as I handed the paper down the line.
Oh, you're fine, everyone assured me. And you comment! Just enter!
But I'm a freeloader!
Shut up and enter, David told me. If you win, then you have to mention LA Metblogs on your blog.
Your most popular blog.
Mention LA Metblog in my most popular blog? Done! I handed my folded slip of paper with my name on it back. There were close to ten of us sitting there when Will Campbell (have you seen his Tortoisecam?) reached into the hat.
And the winner is...
He looked at the slip of paper.
Okay, so maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch. Or free drinks and prizes.
Thanks, LA Metblog! (And did you know they're on Twitter?)
Things that make me die a little inside:
Oddly enough, those are also the same things that make me feel stabby.
Things that make life worth living:
I hate blogging in lists, but I hate not blogging even more.
Also! SlackMom celebrates her second 31st birthday today! Happy Birthday SlackMom!
My favorite SlackMom story here.
One of the benefits of being an unemployed writer is that people always offer you writing work. It's rare that a week goes by that I don't field some sort of offer to ghostwrite a book, pen a screenplay, assemble a television pitch or rewrite dialogue. They've always found me through LinkedIn or MediaMatch or Variety's the Biz.
This week's contestants:
1. Person #1:
Respectful, returns emails, inquires about my rate, is eager to discuss the project.
2. Person #2:
Offers me work on an "exciting project" that happens to be their screenplay. Does not inquire about my rate, tells me "it's all there except the story." When I discuss payment am simultaneously told that a "writer" should work for "art's sake." Explain that landlady is not willing to be paid in half-finished screenplays and discuss my hourly and project rate. Receive an email in return insisting that they can hire the guy who works at the gas station for $5 an hour. Respond saying that I hope to see him and Union 76 on the Oscar stage next year.
I'll let you guess which offer I receive more frequently.
I've done some writing work for causes I believe in, but that's a case where I've intentionally donated my time in a volunteer effort. But why do people expect writers (and artists, and web designers, and filmmakers, and bloggers, and etc. etc. etc.) to work as a hired gun for no money?
Do you work for free?
Me to Will, last night:
You know what I think one of the secrets is to a healthy relationship? You hate the same people.
Elsewhere around the web:
I'll be putting the broad in broadcasting over at Yahoo! Live tonight at 9pm PST. Come on over and check it out!
From my profile page:
The slackmistress, live and uncut. (And I would prefer to stay uncut, so stabby stalkers need not apply.) Got a dating dilemma? A social snafu? Some sort specific conundrum? Just wanna chat? Pop on by and Ask Dr. Slack!
My channel can be found here.
I love my car. I don't LOVE my car - I don't suffer from mechaphilia and you can't find me humping the hood a la Tawny Kitaen in a Whitesnake video (or at least you can't prove it.) But I love my car.
I also secretly think this makes me an asshole.
It's been no secret that times have been tough. Even before the Detective Agency, gigs were getting harder to find and magic green envelopes (containing Lizzie McGuire and Romeo! residuals) were arriving in my mailbox less frequently. Thankfully I was able to secure a few animated projects to get the bills paid, but the downside of that is that a lot of animation isn't covered by the Writers' Guild (although they want to - companies just aren't willing to pay Guild residuals and pension and health benefits. See the most recent result here.) About 18 months ago, everything came to a screeching halt and I started picking up any sort of non-writing gigs I could in order to pay the bills.
Alas, I discovered that I wasn't the only person dealing with the fickle hand of economic fate, as temp agencies were packed to the gills and those part-time jobs that Los Angeles seems to manufacture also had a waiting list. An ex-boyfriend once called me lazy. (He also told me I was fat, but that's another post altogether.) I don't think he truly understood that my lack of results meant that I lacked effort. I've managed to scrape together an odd amalgamation of jobs while keeping my finger in the TV-writing pie and trying to launch a new blog (so, so lax on this one) or two (much, much better at this.)
Falling a few notches down the food chain has been an interesting experience, and not as terrible as you'd think. That's not to say that I hate money. Or success. Or that I'm not busting my hump every day trying to further my - and our - lot in life (as every friend and family member who gets the weekly one-line email I love you and I'm thinking of your but I am busy as hell and not ignoring you je promis!) But it's also taught me that there's plenty of stuff I can live without.
Except for my car.
In my darkest times, I've considered selling it. It's a conversation piece. Total strangers take pictures of it. The gym isn't far and maybe biking to work at 5:00am isn't as scary as I think it'll be. It's just a thing, a possession. It doesn't define me or who I am.
Except that it does, a little bit. One could consider it part of the Slackmistress Brand. The car is an anti-depressant, like the prozac of the automobile industry. Strangers wave to me on the street. Little kids stand open-mouthed as I drive by. It would make Angelyne jealous. Not to mention that it'll be paid off in a few months, gets good gas mileage, and isn't an arm and a leg to insure.
So I love my car. I'm pretty sure that makes me an asshole. I'll live.
Related topics: The 5! Workin' Blue.