Did I forget to mention…

I just applied for a blogging gig. For KPBS radio/tv.

KPBS is recruiting bloggers for an election-based project called Citizen Voices. Six people will be selected to blog as “citizen journalists” for KPBS.org from January 2008 through November 2008. Selected applicants will be trained (beginning Nov. 2007) in journalistic ethics to maintain fair and accurate writing. Those selected will represent diverse perspectives (culture,life experience, gender, and geographic) and write about how election issues affect their lives and their communities. In addition to being published on KPBS.org, bloggers will periodically be featured on-air on KPBS Radio and TV….. continue reading about the Citizen Voices Project ->

As part of the application, they requested a cover letter (300-500 words) outlining your (my) experience, along with a professional resume and clips of any published work.

How in the world do you sum up who you are, and your “unique perspective” in 500 words. I didn’t even get to MENTION the fact that I am writing a book. And that I have a cat that just died. And my sister has cancer.

It’s so hard to know what to put in, and what to leave out.

I barely touched upon my political views. Or the fact that although I say I am left leaning I am so disgusted with the politicos on BOTH sides of the aisle, and that I am tired of the divisivness, and the personalization, and demonization within our own nation, and that I can say that in rhyme. Should I have mentioned my idea for mandatory political service by lottery? sort of a draft for congress? Or my uncle’s idea to curtail lobbyist spending by moving the capitol to Boise… think about it.

At one point I had revealed that I’m an NPR-o-holic but I figured the convulsions said it better. Should I have written that I like long walks on sandy beaches at sunset, and I enjoy fine wine and foreign movies? nevermind. wrong ad.

The fact that I studied Spanish Linguistics is on my official resume, but it doesn’t fess up that my Spanish gets really good after a couple shots of tequila. Or that I can say “Please pass the butter” in German.

And I didn’t include the fact that I could PODCAST my blog posts, recording on my M-Audio digital recorder, and my fancy Beyer microphone (with XLR to 1/4″ cable) and I can edit my own audio and lay in a music track, and …

Oh well. It’s done. I applied. A continuation of the year of Why Not Me.

So, dear readers– all five of you– I thought I would share my little essay. All about me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. And when you’re done reading… we can talk about you. Just leave a comment and tell me what YOU think about me. Old joke, I know.

I am applying for the Citizen Voices project. My writing skills, experience as a blogger, passion for public radio and interest in politics would make me a great citizen journalist for KPBS. Of course I think my perspective is unique. I believe we all have more in common than not, politically, socially, and culturally. I do admit to leaning to the left but I strive to be fair, and to listen to all sides of an issue before I make a decision. Perhaps its my Libra rising. And perhaps that is my tongue in cheek salute to my California roots.

I scan the Union Tribune with my morning coffee and count on my commute to keep me up to date and ready to good-naturedly debate friends, family and co-workers. I drive to work listening to Morning Edition and on the way home I catch Marketplace. I nearly went into convulsions when I found out that I could subscribe to public radio podcasts with my new iPod. At work I’m known as Google Girl. I’m always the first to find information online. I know my way around the internet and even manage two blogs along with the company’s MySpace presence.

As a Navy brat I lived all across the country from Washington DC to Hawaii though I rightfully call myself a California native. And,because my grandparents retired in Del Mar in 1972 the San Diego area has always been home. I spent my college years here, and except for a six-year stint in Chicago in the 90s, I’ve spent most of my adult life here as well, from La Mesa to Leucadia. I currently live in Solana
Beach.

Through San Diego Writers, Ink, I participate in the First Friday Prose open mic event each month. Over the last year I’ve gotten fairly comfortable performing in front of a microphone. My only television experience was in Argentina in 1993 as part of a Group Study Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International. Our team
was big news throughout Patagonia and as one of the strongest Spanish speakers, I was often called upon to speak for the group. In Spanish.

I’d like to think my community is the global community, but the truth is I’ve cobbled together a rag tag group of middle-aged, middle income, mostly local friends from all walks of life: writers, artists, construction workers, real estate agents, computer geeks, accountants and flight attendants representing most of the middle of the political spectrum. We care about local, national and global issues, and sometimes dryer lint.

We all want the same things out of life, good health, a decent job, a nice place to live and to find fulfillment creatively, and spiritually.

My resume is attached, which includes a list of published articles and links to my various blogs. I am eager to learn more about the citizen voices project– I’d love the opportunity to participate.

Regards,
JeSais

PS. I vote.

Of course I have 200 pages of unpublished, incomplete memoir that perhaps says it better, or more deeply than I would say on a blog. Or in a cover letter or a resume.

Who are any of us anyway?

yes I’m neurotic

Aren’t we all?

I know I just posted that very negative post. I wrote it earlier. I don’t feel that bad anymore, but it did feel cathartic to expunge it from my body. To get those words out of my head… So please, don’t feel you need to comment with words of support. I DO know I have friends out there in the universe, in the blogosphere, and even here in my home, in my neighborhood and in my cobbled together family.

and if you are feeling bad, check out Jen Lemen’s blog. I met her at Blogher in New York.

No, Non, Niet, Nein, Nao, No y No

… and yet another “rejection” for my pile…

no scholarship for the Taos Summer Writers Conference from the A Room of Her Own foundation. And even though on my last post I said I wasn’t hopeful, I lied. I was still hopeful.

And no letter even.
Not even a thank-you-for-your-application- but-you-suck form letter.
Nope. I actually had to ask them, thus making me feel even more pathetic.

I busted my ass to put together the application, with the vague requirements of “10 pages of prose” and a short description of your work… or a cover letter, or whatever. I stressed about what to include, should I just submit what I would be working on in Taos? Should I show the broader scope of my writing abilities? No one seemed to know, everyone had a different opinion, so I was flying blind. There was no information about what kind of recipients have been awarded scholarships in the past. No way to gauge the bar. I mean what if all the recipients in the past already had MFAs and were English professors or published authors? I still would have submitted, but at least I would know the odds were not in my favor. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten my hopes up.

So now, I’m sitting here thinking I totally suck. Yesterday I was thinking maybe just maybe it could be me. Why not me? well apparently I’m not good enough.

Not sure I’m cut out for this putting myself out there shit. How do you keep doing it, and getting rejection after rejection?

How do I reprogram the tape player in my head that is saying you suck you suck you suck????

and the hits, they keep a comin’

So now I find out I didn’t get a Leo Love Merit scholarship to the Taos Writers Conference.

No word about the Room of Her Own Foundation scholarship yet, but so far what I have is:

1. Public Radio Talent Quest. Rejected. but seriously, congrats to the round 1 winners
2. Leo Love Merit Scholarship. Rejected.
3. Room of Her Own scholarship… pending… but not hopeful at this point
4. Story submitted to CommonTies.com … pending… won’t know until the 22nd

So think happy thoughts. Not sure if I can take 4 rejections in a row. Or at least this close together.

Anyone have any tips on how to toughen up? to not let this stuff get to you? to keep plugging away regardless? to get up and do it again tomorrow and the next day? or how do you know when you’re just kidding yourself?

The real Billy Crystal

billy crystalI could have sworn I checked the spelling.
But somehow my fingers typed the ‘h’ not once,
not twice
but 87 times.
Okay, perhaps that is an exaggeration…

The editor of CommonTies.com actually joked (via email to me) that perhaps their spam filter screens for misspellings. yikes. my bad. big bad. I spelled Billy Crystal’s name wrong.

I even rank third in Google Search for “Billy Crystal” misspelled. yikes. cached in The Google for god knows how long. Hopefully with this post, I will rank just as high for the correct spelling of Billy Crystal.

And perhaps, my dream will come true… that Billy Crystal will find my blog (do celebrities google themselves like we do– you know you do, admit it– or do they have “people” to do that for them?).

I did go back and correct the blog post that referenced “Me and Billy Crystal” to the correct spelling, “Billy Crystal,” so maybe he’ll find me now. And listen. And like it. And call me up, say “Hi. This is Billy Crystal. Let’s do coffee.”

Why not me?

Need to follow up!

It’s so frustrating to think that with everything you do you have to follow up, to double check, to make sure things are happening as they are supposed to.

In the middle of the crazy Writing and Submitting fest that was my life last week, I submitted a story for the Common Ties Story Blog. First off, they actually pay and second, it is the year of Why Not Me, and third, they pay. Did I mention they pay? Not that pay is the only criteria for respect, but money is measurable, and I have a goal to make some money from my writing this year… so the fact that they publish some fine stories, you retain copyright and they pay, makes it a good opportunity in my mind.

Each week they feature a different theme (grief, cancer, missed connections, mothers, etc.) When I first discovered this website back in Janary, I had just missed the deadline to submit for the Cancer theme (isn’t that always the way?). And between then and now none of the other “themes” spoke to me, or I didn’t have anything near polished enough to submit… until, May 15 “Open Themes” (could there be any more deadlines for me in May??) So I submitted my Me and Billy Crystal essay, via email, at 8:14 am on May 15. Well within the deadline. Not even close to midnight or anything.

And I waited.

And I got to thinking, “When are those essays supposed to publish?” and “Funny I haven’t heard anything.” Not that I expect my essay to be published, but I did expect SOME response, the email equivalent of a rejection slip, perhaps… but no, nothing. So I looked online and saw that This week is open theme week. So instead of just saying, “hmm. Oh Well,” I actually emailed via the Contact Us page, and said shall I assume a rejection if I’ve not heard from you? The editor replied (pretty quickly I might add) that yes, that would be the case, and she copied and pasted the response letter text below that should answer any other questions….

So, I’m looking at this email thinking, “I didn’t get one of these response letter emails with this information. Hmmm.”

So I emailed her back and said, thanks for the info, but I didn’t get one of these emails. And she emailed back and said she didn’t have a record of receiving an email submission from me. Weird. Slurped into the SPAM box? who knows. I had a record of it being sent, so I forwarded the sent copy to her.

So, we’ll see. As I said, I’m not expecting publication… but hey, why not me?