Why I Write

            When my aunt lent me the novel Trouble, by Kate Christensen, she told me her husband thought it was a page-turner and though she herself hadn’t thought so, I might. I decided this recommendation warranted reading the book, and as it turns out, I did go through it pretty quickly. It may not belong to the literary highbrow, but what I loved about it was the speaker’s authenticity, her vulnerability.

(SPOILER ALERT)
In the wake of her decision to divorce her husband, protagonist Josephine Dorvillier joins her rock star girlfriend in Mexico. There she meets and experiments with a young man. She returns to New York when her jaunt is cut short by her friend’s suicide.
I enjoyed the emotional exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, the female friendships, the failing marriage, and the fling. I could see how the raw narrative might give a woman in a similar position insight into her own life. Personally, I gained insight into the way I sometimes let my thoughts run away with me. I saw the character’s insecurities and identified, because I’ve been there, and though I have never gone through a divorce nor endured the suicide of a best friend, I identified emotionally. The message that everything will be all right is not original, and often it is something refuted, something fought against. But it is powerful.
And this is what I aim to do with my own writing – if I could write one piece that changes one person’s life, that would be enough. Though what I want, of course, is to write many pieces that change many people’s lives. To write something that allows someone to look into herself and accept herself. To write something that someone would read and forgive himself. That many might read and embrace each other. The hope that I will do these things – that is why I write.
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Aug/Sept Bylines

            A couple of my articles in the August/September 2010 issue have been posted on the Santa Barbara Magazine website! Check out “Jaunt to Jaipur,” which also has a spot in the current header on the website homepage.
This article was a thrilling last-minute assignment. At first, I grew frustrated because I didn’t know a lot about polo, or its history in India. I was really hoping to get a quotation from some of the people in India, either someone on the team or a member of the royal family, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. Working several months in advance can be tricky. At the time I was writing, the team hadn’t even been assembled yet!
And as for “Sweet Summer Scoop”… I have always loved ice cream. After interviewing Rori Trovato, I had to try her organic take on the classic dessert. I went to Jeannine’s on Figueroa with my dad and the bf. We had the NY Strawberry Cheesecake (which comes with homemade graham cracker crust, mmm), Salted Caramel (super sweet – reminded me of the caramel popcorn that comes in Christmas tins), and Malted Milk Ball (my favorite by far). If you’re in SB, trying this out is a must. 

Search/Pitch

It is not that they won’t “let” me write. One of the senior editors at C Magazine agreed to review my clips. When we met last week, she told me, “You’re a great writer.” I thrilled at this. But then she said, “It’s not about the writing. It’s about the information.” It is about what I can bring to the magazine. In other words, pitch.
Where does this information come from? That is something I’ve been wondering over the past few weeks, as I ponder pitching. Where do the ideas come from? In fact, where does any of the content come from? How do editors find their stories, their angles, their interviewees?
I came to the conclusion that I was very spoiled at Santa Barbara Magazine, where my editors handed me articles and contacts. In a small town, when there is one especially glossy magazine catered to the affluent, everyone wants to be in it. As an intern, I waded through scads of emails from people telling us about their new product, store, event, career, etc. This also comes from being a known publication. Even at CASA, we had flooded inboxes. When you are a leading source of publicity, everybody wants in. So magazines, and their editors, are solicited. Information comes to you. As a starter, however, I have to go find it.
Let the search begin.