And Then I Got A Job

Hello friends. I hope everyone celebrated the birth of our nation in  
a timely, safe, and socio-economically green manner. I sat in 40 min  
of post-fireworks traffic driving back from Wood’s Hole (Cape Cod!)  
to Falmouth (Cape Cod!) on Friday night, which would’ve almost  
completely sucked if not for the intrepid lyrical hegemony of Hall  
and Oates, Steve Winwood, and Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” Also,  
we had Cheez-its.

Anyway, as promised via the Comments section (before a large chunk of  
that section disappeared into the darkness of the Interweb), I’m  
relaying the fact that I’m gainfully employed. Here is a short, not-
entirely syntax clean version of that story: during the madness of  
the thesis get a call from founder of a website saying I was  
recommended to him through a friend of a friend for an editorial  
position, he relays the details, they sound promising, I check it  
out, and then–in the midst of the thesis insanity– I apply for said  
job. Interviews, resumes, and reference calls happen, writing tests  
happen, background checks check out, and miraculously, as soon as I  
have left the world of higher education, I actually have a job.  
Needless to say, my dad thought/thinks I’m lying.

“A website?”
“Yeah.”
“That will pay you?”
“Yeah. Pay is the new free, Dad.”
“I’m hanging up.”

So, I am the Boston Editor of Thrillist.com, which launched here two  
weeks ago. Thrillist is a free (city-specific) lifestyle guide and  
daily newsletter, which finds cool “under-the-radar-assuming-the-
radar-is-other-Boston-based-publications” bars, restaurants, clothes,  
sneakers, inflatable rafts you can play drinking games on, websites,  
candy, animals, gadgets, magic, etc. If you know what Daily Candy is,  
it’s a lot like that, except slanted more towards dudes. Its got  
around 320,000 subscribers nationwide with city-specific editions in  
NYC, LA, SF, Chi-town, Vegas, and now Boston.  My job is to find all  
of that stuff I mentioned, write the editorial content, take the  
pictures, hire freelancers, and yell quixotically at the interns I  
haven’t hired yet. If that still doesn’t answer your question, here  
is a Boston Globe article about the launch of the site, which  
includes several terrible quotes I gave to the reporter while  
extremely sick and extremely sleeping.

Part of my job involves walking all the different neighborhoods of  
Boston to see what has changed and what might be new, reading all of  
the free weeklies including the ones I severely dislike to make sure  
I haven’t missed something, keeping up relationships with PR people  
that rep retail/bars/restaurants, owners of boutiques, buyers for  
stores, etc, to encourage them to dial me in whenever they get new  
stuff, and to spend an inordinate amount of time using my Google  
Reader to read trend blogs that discuss hep new sneakers. This–as  
you can imagine– is cool, yet time-consuming stuff. As part of my  
agreement with the site, I’m allowed to keep my freelance gigs, which  
is nice of them, but it does  make it harder and harder for me to  
find the time to fit everything into my schedule. The woe is upon me.

Anyway, the good news is I now have a grown-up’s salary and health  
benefits (?!), which allows me to pick and choose only the freelance  
stories I want to work on, which is amazing. Plus I’m writing and  
editing for a living AND I have business cards. The bad news is I now  
have about 45 less hours a week in which to pursue those stories, or  
re-writes to my book or short story about dating reality stars in  
Zurich, Switzerland. But, friends, if I truly want to get these  
things done, they will get done(ish). So it just means I have to work  
harder, better, faster, stronger.

Ok. There’s that story. Now you know what I’m doing betwixt the hours  
of 9-6 when I’m not taking tv timeouts to peruse the philosophical  
gems embedded in the View. The Comment section is open to the public.  
Emoticon away;)

One More,
Time

Daft Punk

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15 thoughts on “And Then I Got A Job

  1. Joanne

    Ah, Genevieve, it’s good to know I might not be alone in the darkness of the night, or very early morning, trying to make something that resembles a cohesive thought appear on my computer while my four kids are sleeping, my husband is snoring, my dog is dreaming by my desk (or should I say door on top of file cabinets), and my three cats are playing hide and seek around my laptop! I will check out Alice Munro, thanks.
    And Tom, thanks for the blogspot link, I will look at that tonight as well.
    I have been fighting the idea of writing all my life, I come from a whole family of writers, which can be helpful or really bad at alternate times. I seem to have finally given in to the writing idea, kind of been dragged into it recently…I have a byline or two to show for it so far, and a number of pieces with no byline. I’m still looking for my niche, I have some solid ideas, and until then I have the opportunity to do piece work for a small PR firm, mostly tourism and event stuff. But it pays. Being a stay at home Mom, any pay is good!
    Thanks for the kind welcome.
    Now, back to diapers, dishes, and laundry, oh, and writing, yeah.
    Joanne

  2. Tom

    Along the lines of Kevin’s subject, I’ll note that I just got a resume request from an engineering-based firm for a tech writing job. This is good stuff, as the need for me to move into a career that makes full use of my talents is very important right now. A resume request isn’t a job offer, but it is a good step in the right direction.

    On other writing stuff, I’m on page nine of corrections for the rewrite of the rodent/aerosol/dish story.

    Joanne, Genevieve has been our unofficial representative of the mom who is doing it all and making it work somehow. You can read her salient and humorous thoughts on writing and living life here: http://payphonevigilante.blogspot.com/

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go congratulate myself some more about taking action on persuing a writing/photo career…

  3. Genevieve

    Joanne- YES. I have three little kids, a dog, a cat, and a husband. And my sister lives with us, but she’s self-sustaining for the most part. They’re all really supportive (well, not the cat), but it’s still a struggle to squeeze in writing time. Lately I’ve been trying to get to bed early so I can wake up at 4:00 to work on the book for a couple of hours before everybody wakes up. Sometimes I’m able to.

    I just read on the Writer’s Almanac this morning that Alice Munro was a stay at home mom. Her marriage broke up, and that’s not very encouraging because I dig my husband and would like to keep him around, but the rest of her story is inspiring. It’s at
    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/

    Don’t feel uncool. The "someone of your insanity" comment earned you membership, that was funny. Also, this is a very nurturing site, so you would probably be able to find support here. Kevin’s a good influence.

  4. Joanne

    Kevin,
    Absolutely fantastic on the job front! I’m glad that in this economy there still is work for writers. It would be a shame for someone of your insanity not to be seen and heard in some way, your blogging is a happy and shiny part of my week.
    Genevieve and Tom, I always enjoy your comments, too.
    Maybe I’ve missed it, but is anyone else here trying to start or maintain a writing career while raising kids, owning pets, keeping a marriage strong, doing household chores, etc., or is it just me? I’m not sure I’m hip enough to hang with you guys…

  5. Genevieve

    Aerosol, dirty dishes, and giant rodents…and reality tv stars in Zurich? Rad. Suddenly all of my short stories seem much less interesting. They’re mostly character-driven pieces involving (as a vampire writer in my last fiction writing class put it) feelings and stuff. This guy detested stories about feelings and stuff, so he had most of his characters eaten before they could become real people. Seemed like a sensible thing to do. Anyway, as someone who not only likes to read about feelings but stuff as well, I’m interested in both of your stories. And excited that Tom is reworking it! Is it 16 pages double-spaced or single-spaced? I don’t think 16 pages double-spaced is too long, and really I think it might not be too long as single-spaced depending where you send it. But I could be wrong.

    Kev, I liked the image of a Transformer with shoulder pads. And now that you mention it, it was a Subaru. And I think it was Soccermomicon that turned into a minivan.

    Pat, I sometimes hate rewrites too depending on my mood. Sometimes I just want it done so I can move onto something else, or sleep, or watch The Office. What helps sometimes is that I’ve begun to think of a first draft as a lump of clay. You can’t scuplt anything until you have something to work with. That’s the tough thing about writing. First we have to create the clay, then we shape it into something recognizable, something that makes sense. Does that make sense? Am I babbling? Am I just trying to sound groovy and deep? Or am I trying to beat Tom’s word count? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know these things. Keep writing, Pat. Keep writing.

  6. Tom

    Oh, and the story involves dirty dishes, a combination of aerosols, and giant rodents. Good times.

    And I want to thank The Kevin profusely for posting comments on one of his "days off" from blogging.

  7. Tom

    KA,

    Ah yes, I did notice that the links went up shortly after I posted. I’m too quick for links, apparently.

    I love this: "…I come in and thow up all the links/music vids." It gives me a great visual. This is funny in a sophomoric way, and not in an "ooh, gross!" way like the whole "ran through several pairs of sweatpants" thing was. What would it look like to throw up a music video? I’m suddenly reminded of Burt Reynolds in "The End" where he’s cleaning up tablets and capsules off his coffee table after an aborted suicide attempt: "It looks like Walt Disney threw up."

    I did finish a story, and it is great. Well, the finishing is great. I have my doubts about the quality of the story. However, a huge hurdle that I must repeatedly overcome is that of not finishing what I start. I read a lot about that in WD, so apparently it’s not just me, which is vaguely comforting. Per Genevieve’s command, I am on page 6 of 16 in correcting/editing a printout of it, and hopefully rewrites will follow shortly thereafter. I’m hoping that it will get shorter. It’s sixteen pages single-spaced. That’s a little long for a short story.

    I thought Emoticon was a Volvo, but now that Kev brings it up…yeah, probably a Suby.

    And someone edits your blog posts before they go up? Interesting. I always think of blogs as jump-shot narratives. There goes another bit of my literary naivatee. And what is this newsletter you speak of, Kevin? It’s a WD offering? I guess I’ve missed that one.

    I think I win in the race for way-too-lengthy comments this week. I’m sure the Web 2.0 will erase them by Sunday evening, though, so no worries.

  8. Pat

    Congats!! on the real job, Kevin. Tell your Dad, it is a real job. I’ve followed your career with Writer’s Digest and then on to this blog and I think you’ll do fine. As to all that information gathering, you’d better start a HUGE idea file for all that fiction writing I see in your future as well.

    As a “latey” to the site this morning, I didn’t have any problem getting to the Boston Globe Article. I thought your quotes were very ‘Kevinish’ and well worth reading. You’ll do great with the job. Good luck. And you might think about trading those sneakers for a pair of boots, make for waking. (Ask your, Dad)Sorry your music fetish is rubbing off on me. I couldn’t resist the out-of-context lyrics but you’re probably to young to remember, “This boots are made for walking” by Nancy Sinatra.

    I, too, am working on a rewrite, Tom. Do you hate rewrites as much as I do? I much prefer to hit my best effort on the first draft. And copious rewrites, I shudder. I know I will need to do the same. I shudder to even repeat that word…&^%*& rewrites.

    Genevieve, I just love you “emoticon” description. Still laughing, you add such a nice feminine touch to this site.

  9. Kevin Alexander

    Links are up. It usually takes me a few hours to put up the links as I send in my blogs to my editor so he can peruse them for content and write up a brief synopsis for the newsletter, and I come in after and throw up all the links/music vids.
    Anyway, thanks for the congrats! I’m excited about it– I love that i get to find new stuff and search through things and pretend to have a discerning/important eye. I shift most of the blame/credit for landing this job to my sneaker habit.

    Tom– You finished a story! That’s great. Care to share? Does it involve reality stars and/or Zurich? Bc that wouldn’t be cool.

    Genevieve– Yes, yes, i must schedule in time for the book. I can’t not. And besides, I’ve spent too much damn time worrying about extraneous characters not to do anything with it…
    And yes, Emoticon was a briefly used Transformer during the 80s. She wore boxy suits with shoulder pads and turned into a used Subaru… I’m surprised you don’t remember;-)

    A better question: What in the h-word am I doing awake right now?

    Sleep-bound. More emoting tomorrow.

  10. Genevieve

    Yay, Kevin! That’s wonderful! Also it sounds like you’ll be meeting lots of different, interesting people which is good breeding grounds for creative/fictitional stuff. And you can order around underlings to boot! The freedom to pick and chose your freelance assignments must be golden. Are you going to be able to schedule in time for the book?

    Tom, that is awesome! I’m proud of you, man. Get crackin’ on the copious rewrites! I’m very exclamtion pointy today! Alas, I’m am not a master of emoticons, with the exception of the ability to type this 🙂 However, I do like the word "emoticon." It sounds like the name of an emotional Transformer, possibly with PMS and the ability to shapeshift from happy to enraged in a split second.

  11. Tom

    Way to go, man! A hardy congratulations on your new life/career/job-type thing. This is encouraging news! A writing job that isn’t tech writing?? Can’t be! (At least, apparently, not where I live.) Perhaps it is so. It’s probably all ur mad interweb sklz that nailed it for you – oh, excuse me, I meant to say "4u."

    You will understand my surprise, however, when I say that I thought you just did the WD column for a living, while the Boston mag stuff was playful filler as you whiled away the hours at coffee shops hither and yon, crafting unforgettably prose concerning fraternities, sneakers, and other things key to a full life.

    And was there supposed to be a link to the Boston Globe article, because methinks (or is that Ithinks?) it was amiss.

    At the end of it all, I have to say this is absolutely the best news I’ll receive all week (unless a mechanic tells me he can fix my turn signals on my Plymouth), so thanks for the boost. I’ll now return to looking busy at work while I read hilarious, shocking, and supposedly true stories of consumer life on livejournal.

    Oh, and I finihsed a story last week. Yay me. Copious rewrites to follow.

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