Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bathrooms, of All Things

I figured I should weigh in.

Okay let's be frank:  men do now belong in women's bathrooms.  End of discussion.

I don't care how "transgender" you are, if you still have a unit you use the men's.

There are any number of reasons for this.  Google "sexual predators" and  you'll find mug shots of guys who said they were transgender so they could film little girls in public bathrooms. 

Anyone in favor of that?  Hello, Bruce Springsteen?

But there's an even more basic reason why we ladies don't want guys in our bathrooms:

Men are pigs.

This may seem like a controversial statement.  Fine.  Clean a man's bathroom some time and get back to me.

When I was in college the cool thing was co-ed apartments.  Most of us lived off campus and had to rent an apartment for a full year.  There was often one girl who wanted her boyfriend to have her room over the summer months if he was staying in town and she was going home.

In our four-girl apartment, two of us- me and one other girl- took a stand.  "No way in hell" would about cover it.  No No NO No NO.

Why did just two of us take this stand?  Was it because we were both conservatives?  I didn't even know what a conservative was back then, and the girl who stood with me can't possibly be one today.

Simple reason, really:  we were the only two girls in the apartment who had brothers.

We knew first hand what it meant to have a guy sharing your home.  Filthy toilets, dishes in the sink, towels on the bathroom floor and a simpering "Can't you do it for me?" attitude.  And were guys ever willing to pick up their share of the housework?  Surely you jest.

So we said no.  And we fought with the other two girls over it. And we won.

I don't know if the Target Corporation has warned its cleaning staff to gear up for more bathroom work, but they should. Because there's going to be a lot more of it if the men take over the ladies' rooms.

Were is the Justice for Janitors crowd when you need them?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's A Good Thing I'm A Big Person

From time to time I enter contests.    Novel contests, novella contests, short story contests, short short story contests.  It's part of my Career Management Plan.

Recently I entered yet another contest.  This one was a "Be This Famous Guy's Co-Author" contest.  Famous Guy- we'll call him FG- sells lots and lots of books.  He also hires lots and lots of co-authors, probably because there's no other way he can meet the market demand for his books, which is huge. Roughly every ten minutes FG turns out another novel, and all his fans can do it scream "More!  More! More!"  the ungrateful trolls.

So clearly he needs all the help he can get.

A few months ago FG announced his "Be My Co-Author" contest.  Entrants were to submit 3000 words of a book that sounded like it could have been written by him.  Plus a two-page plot summary, and a two-sentence "hook."  He even offered an example of what a "hook" should sound like.

"You're read 'Rosemary's Baby,' right?  'Young wife gets pregnant with the devils' child.'  Now that's a hook!"

Yes.  Yes, it is.  But you can be reasonably certain "And then her kid gets pregnant with the devil's grandchild" would not have the same impact. 

Well. I gave it the old Desperate Irish Housewife try.  I came up with a plot, a hook, and 3000 words.  Call it A.

Then I came up with another plot,  another hook, and another 300 words.  Call it B.

Then I decided to send in B.

But I must have picked the wrong one, because I didn't make it to the semifinalists list.

Obviously if I'd sent in the other one I would have made the list, right?  Right?  But I didn't and I didn't, so that's that.  (Disappointed?  Me?  No no no!  Wherever did you get that idea?)

The day semifinalists were announced, I was big about it.  "Congratulations to the semi-finalists!"  I posted.  "Best of luck to them all!"

It was only the next day that I made my fatal mistake.  I checked the website again.   (Because, you know, Steve Harvey.)  There was the list on the website with an added link.

The link took me to a short video.  Of the winners.  At their computers, at the moment when they found out they'd won.

Did they look happy?  No.

They looked ecstatic.   "Hi!  Hello!  Gosh I'm so happy!  I'm thrilled!  I'm grinning from ear to ear!  I'm walking  on air--I am as light as a feather!  I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy! Happy, happy, happy!"

Now, Desperate is not a sore loser.  (Usually.  OK, on occasion I can manage it...  oh, all right, I'm a sore loser,  sue me.)  And she could handle not making the Top Ten list.

 But whose idea was it to post that video?

I mean, come on, FG, have a heart!

Look, I don't mind seeing one woman crowned Miss Universe.  Why, you ask?  Because I NEVER RAN FOR MISS UNIVERSE.  I was in the audience the whole time. The whole time.  I was never up on that stage sucking in my stomach and curling my tongue behind my teeth and mouthing platitudes about world peace. 

But I was in this contest.  I was going for the gold.  I knew it was a long shot-- so did Miss Mongolia, but she gave it her all.  I was the Miss Mongolia of the writing contest, ready to go meekly back to the Himalayas and get back to tending the yaks, which I believe is Mongolian for "get back to your desk and keep writing."

Watching the victory dance made it just a tad tougher.

Luckily I have tools for dealing with disappointment.  I have family, friends, a fully stocked bar.  I'll get over it. I'll pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

But maybe not with B. Maybe I'll get back to work on A first.

It's good to know there's a whole alphabet to work through after that.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Morning After

Actually two morning after in a row.  NCAA, the Wisconsin Primary and the latest writing contest I entered. Which I didn't win.

It's a sad state of affairs when you have to look to the Wisconsin Primary results to cheer yourself up.

Still I can't complain.  I enter a lot of writing contests.  I've even one a few.  This one, though, I'm annoyed at myself because i completely misread the entry requirements.  Consequently I sent an entry that couldn't possibly have one, and kept back the one that might have stood a chance.


Back to the drawing board.

And congratulations to the ten finalists in the James Patterson Master Class Competition.  Can't wait to see your stuff!