Archive for July, 2010

Hyphenation rules and Victorian hussies, in one act

Note: the short-play conceit herein is stolen, with all admiration and respect, from the inimitable Tara Ariano. And, well, Pamie. And probably plenty of other bloggers as well. Also, um, I totally don’t Gchat at work. Nope. Not ever, no sir.


THE SCENE: A copyeditor’s computer monitor, with Firefox pointed to Gmail. A Gchat window blinks open.

Colin: Yo, newspaper girl. AP style question. “Caregiver” or “care giver”? A quick Google indicates the former, which is also my instinct.

Mags: You should always use as few letters and spaces as possible.

Colin: Yeah. And “care giver” seems so…antique. It’s, like, a hyphen away from the Victorian era. “Whither went my care-giver to-day?”

Mags: “To yonder field, sir, to find my glove. …And do the nasty.”

Colin: “Be ware not to knock your bustle askew, madam.”

Mags: Askew you.

Colin: Askew yourself, YOU SOP-WENCH.

Mags: Hee!

Colin: Wait, what is a sop-wench, exactly? Did I make that up? Is that…a thing?

Mags: I think it works.




Mags: Askew you.

Colin: Gesundheit!



Lost and found

I’ve never really experienced the particular compulsion that writers sometimes do, the constant desire—or need, perhaps—to tell the stories of the objects they see lost or discarded, the ubiquitous jetsam of sidewalks and subway stations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it, the concept that a whole narrative can be built from a pen cap lying alone in a gutter, from the inherent questions of how it came to be there (where is its other half? Does it miss the pen, the conversations they used to have, their mutual dream of someday being used to draft a Pulitzer-worthy poem or record a groundbreaking interview with a mob boss? What about the owner of that pen—who is she, where was she going when she lost the cap, how long did it take her to notice?), and when I actively try, when I really focus on the world, I can jump-start that kind of storytelling in my head. It’s just not the reflex for me, or the instinct, that it seems to be for other writers. For the most part, my mind is content to let ephemera be ephemera.

Continue reading ‘Lost and found’

And so, two years later…

…we’re back.

Maybe. Sort of.

I originally started this site, back when I was but a wee college junior, with the intention of chronicling my semester abroad, and thereafter turning it into a slice-of-life blog that would, indubitably, contain my witty (yet profound) observations on the trials of life as a middle-class 20-something. Needless to say, that fell apart pretty quickly, as you can see from even a cursory glance through the archive. I made it maybe three-quarters of the way through that semester still blogging, always playing catch-up (“Hey guys, just had an awesome time in Istanbul, I’ll tell you all about it later…oh, whoops, I have to go to Ireland now!”), never quite getting there. Then I came home, and the task of retelling all those wonderful beautiful eye-opening experiences just seemed too large to tackle.

Then senior year happened, and the less said about that milieu of sleep deprivation and overcaffeination and nervous breakdowns in diner parking lots at 1:00 in the morning and thesis-writing and some of the best times I’ve had with some of the best people I’ve met, the better, probably. After a while (and it’s been a while, over a year, Jaysus, when did that happen?), the college war stories stop being interesting to anyone except the people who lived them, and while there are a few experiences here and there from which I might still be able to pull a gem worth writing about, I think those stories will have to wait for a while. I miss them a little too much, still.

So Nine Points has sat in a lonely, dusty corner of the Internet, unused, unloved, unlooked-at since 2008. But I’ve been having the writing itch like mad, lately, and being no good at fiction and embarrassingly self-absorbed when it comes to poetry, what better way to satisfy that urge by boring everyone who comes across this blog with tales of the completely interesting (read: not really at all) things that happen in my life? I’m so envious of the blog-writers I follow regularly (Sars, Holly, Pamie—look at me, pretending I’m on a first-name basis with them; sorry, guys—my good friend Maggie, my sassy potato […don’t ask]), of their abilities to turn a week at the job or a business trip or a photograph or a conversation from last night into a beautifully-rendered story without it sounding like someone’s high-school Livejournal. I want to be able to do that, someday, and the only way to do that is to practice. There’s a quotation about writing I love, and I can’t remember who said it, or if I even have the phrasing right, but it’s something like “Writers write. That’s all there is.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but: exactly.

So, kind readers, if there are actually any of you out there (…I’m terrified that there are still some RSS subscriptions floating around, from back when I actually wrote here; sorry if this post shows up in your e-mail and you’re all “the hell?”), please be forgiving as I go about this completely self-indulgent exercise. I’ll try to make it at least a little interesting, and a little bit regular.

No promises, though. I am working three jobs at the moment. It’s hard out here for a recent college grad.