Tag Archives: American Idol

Where Did The Time Go?

11 Mar

I have SO MUCH to tell you guys.

It’s been one crazy week, let me tell you.  This is the…uh…second time I’ve stopped to sit down today and rest.  Things have been a little crazy, what with my attempts to prepare for a trip, rearrange-slash-organize-slash-completely clean my whole apartment (laundry included), and yes, get some work done on the novel.

[I interrupt this blog post with outrage: Ryan Seacrest, did I just overhear you say America voted out Katelyn Epperly?  One of my favorites, THE Katelyn Epperly?  Okay.  Just making sure.  Crap.]

I’ve been planning to write a good long post about my editing progress this week — after that whole Smoke Monster incident, after all, you might have worried that I’ve been sulking in despair, ignoring the world and my writing.  I’m pleased to report that there’s been very little sulking, and loads of progress.  Monday morning, I sat down to work, and something just completely clicked.  I’m not stuck anymore, and am poised to get a lot of work done when I return from my trip.

Unfortunately, it’s been one of those days that’s left me in a state of dazedness, and all I can really think about right now is a huge plate of pasta, white wine, and a night full of Survivor and NBC comedies.  The unfortunate part of that sentence (since we all know pasta, white wine, and TV is a recipe for awesomeness) is that my long blog post about the editing itself will have to wait.  There’s still quite a bit of work I have left to do before embarking on a loooooooooong drive to Minneapolis tomorrow with my church group — this, most likely, means my next post won’t be until I get back to Texas a week from Sunday.  Just thought I’d let y’all know, you know, so you don’t worry when I’m MIA all week.

Oh: those of you who love LOST as much as I do, you should know that I won’t be able to watch it until after I get back, so this is my preemptive strike against accidental spoilers!  (Why, yes, I am planning to bring my laptop justincase there’s an Internet connection and I get a chance to watch it at, like, five a.m. one morning when I’m not busy hanging out with 20 freshmen.)

Happy week to you all!  I’ll be back soon.

PS: Another Outrage Alert!  Two of my other favorites — Lilly Scott and Alex Lambert — got voted off tonight, too.  This is not because my taste = horrible.  It’s because America’s does.

On Writing…

12 Aug

Well, I’ve finally done it.  Yesterday, I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased my very own copy of Stephen King’s recommended-by-everyone memoir, On Writing.

I can already see why it’s recommended by everyone.  Actually, I could see why, after the three forewords.

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you’ve had a little success, magazines are a lot less apt to use that phrase, “Not for us.”

— Stephen King, On Writing

Among many other things I’ve read – and loved – so far in this book, this bit of wisdom resonated with me.  What an amazing, humble way to address so many things at once.

The first thing it reminds me of – bear with me, here – is American Idol.  Specifically, the audition process.  I have not mentioned on this blog that I am an extremely musical person, and that I auditioned for the show back in July.  I did it mainly for the experience, but with that tiny mustard seed of hope people get, the one that goes with-the-right-judge-and-if-I-don’t-screw-up-this-could-actually-happen!

Well, I did not screw up, and I got the wrong judge (a very nice lady who sent no one through to the next round, from what I could tell).  Out of 12,000 Dallas hopefuls, not many made it through, and I was in the larger of these two divisions.  I saw so many people bawling their eyes out and cursing, thinking the world had screwed them of their one and only opportunity, ever.

The reason this experience reminds me of the King quote is this: I did my best.  I did great, actually, and I didn’t look half bad, either.  It’s not only about that, though – it’s about casting a show, it’s about sheer numbers, it’s about hungry, cranky judges who’ve seen thousands of people sing (and scream and cry) and dang it they want their coffee.  I don’t envy their position, suffice it to say.

I left the audition process with dry eyes and my head held high, and the world still went on.  Perhaps if I’d been Kelly Clarkson or Christina Aguilera, I would have caught their attention, but I’m just me.  Not a professional, not well-known.

Stephen King’s quote has threefold wisdom.

First: Don’t base your worth on what others deem valuable. Don’t get your feelings hurt at rejection, if you can say with all truth that you’ve done the very best you can do.  It’s not always about you – editors and agents, like the cranky coffee-less judges, have to sift through their own piles of junk each day.  Sometimes they miss jewels, and sometimes what we think are jewels are just cubic zirconia.  The key is to just be confident, always try to make your work better, and don’t put too much significance in a faulty system.

Second:  A little success doesn’t necessarily mean your work is awesome.  Some things that get attention are of the cubic zirconia sort.  One person takes notice, another takes notice, and then people are more likely to think your imitation diamond is the real thing.  It’s kind of like the Atkins diet, or the Master Cleanse fads – they’re popular, but not necessarily healthy.  Of course, that’s not to downplay your success if you’re lucky enough to have it – a lot of what’s published is done so for the right reasons.  It’s just good to remember that not everything is, and that a rejection does not necessarily mean your work stinks (though it might).  

Last:  Be confident, do quality work, and submit your stuff until someone takes notice.  Obviously, Stephen King didn’t curl up and stop writing when one magazine rejected him.  He kept his head up, did what he loved, and eventually, people cared.  The best lesson I’ve taken away from this quote is his persistence, and his resistance to the belief that other people’s opinions are everything that matters.