Word Perfect

(Los Angeles) One woman rediscovers that perfectionism is an unwise goal in writing. The realization came after a nearly two-year hiatus from writing.

“I thought writing would just ‘happen,'” the woman shared. “Like, once I decided I was going to write again, everything would be perfectly phrased, witty, and brilliant.”

But the goal of perfection can have several drawbacks, according to official sources.

One, perfectionism can prevent someone from ever even trying. By only seeking perfection, one can easily turn down opportunities where perfection cannot be guaranteed.

This occurred when the woman encountered an opportunity to submit a short story for publication consideration.

“Up until that time, I had only been blogging,” said the woman. “I did not feel confident that anything I wrote could be publish-worthy.”

But the woman was inspired by a random idea and in several hours, completed a short story for submission. Several months later, her story was in print in an anthology and sold on Amazon.

If the woman remained in her comfort zone and never tried to write in a different voice or form, she would never have been able to share her odd story with the world. And, it gave her the confidence to continue writing.

Perfectionism can also cause someone to feel great disappointment in an outcome. When expectations run unreasonably high, one can only feel complete success or utter failure – nothing in between.

“My first paid writing job was an article for an online magazine,” recounted the woman. “It was a notable publication by my estimation and I loved my topic, so I was thrilled when it was accepted!”

But the woman’s excitement soon waned as online comments and criticism starting coming in. Official sources reported that the woman took the criticism in stride.

“No,” recalled the woman, “it was horrible. [The comments] were not even that bad, but I learned I do not have a thick skin.”

“I took those comments to mean I did a poor job,” the woman continued, “as if it is possible to receive no negative comments. But I realize now that was the wrong way to think about it.”

“Those critics just did not have good taste.”

By judging experiences through perfectionism, it can prevent someone from realizing the truth: it is all about the journey.

When asked why the woman enjoyed writing, she laughed.

“Do I enjoy it?,” wondered the woman aloud.

But upon further reflection, she compared it to her once-strong love for running.

“There is a musicality – a rhythm to running and writing that I try to recreate. Finding the word that feels right, leading up to a funny ending… It can be tough to imagine that it will happen. And sometimes it does not.”

“But when I find it, it makes me happy.”

Happiness is not a destination but a journey, reported sources and dorm room posters everywhere. And for one woman, happiness means writing without the burden of perfection.

“So I end a story with a less funny ending. Or I get some criticism,” said the woman. “Writing means I get to say what I want.”

“And then re-edit it. And then one last time.”

(image source)


Paperback Writer

A photo journal from Woman’s recent getaway to San Francisco and Mendocino for a ‘novel’ experience


San Francisco wooing their fellow public transportation riders


My very confusing pastrami sandwich at Miller’s East Coast Deli turned out to be roast beef


Now THIS was pastrami… The Potato Latke Delight from Miller’s!

Continue reading

Freshly Pressed and Sweating

DEAR CHARLOTTE:  I lead a relatively quiet life.  I write sometimes, and try and make folks laugh, but I’m generally uncomfortable with attention, especially the flattering kind… and then people look at you. And now, through some crazy miracle, I’ve been thrust into the spotlight and I’m not sure know what to do…  I don’t feel like I deserve it.  And how can I keep up with others’ expectations of me?

I definitely don’t want to seem ungrateful for all the good that’s coming my way, but what advice can you offer for someone who’s going through an awesome, and yet unsettling, time in their life? – FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING

DEAR FRESHLY PRESSED AND SWEATING:  I know that life can seem tough, even in times of plenty, but you’re wrong.  I firmly believe that if I won the lottery, for example, I won’t be one of those people whose life goes down the crapper – I’d know what to do with my good fortune…  But I digress.  What I see you clearly need is both good advice and perspective, and so I offer you golden nuggets of wisdom from Idiocracy:

1.  “Welcome to Costco.  I love you.”

We long for human interaction and affection, wherever we can get it.  Costco of 2505 knew this, and created an environment for every patron to not only know where they are, but that they are cared for, unconditionally.

This attention that you’re receiving is a bit like this, except it is conditional in the sense that if you sucked you wouldn’t be getting it.  So there’s some comfort in that…  But you should also take comfort in knowing that regardless of whether you suck or not, just the fact that you showed up means a lot.  And the bigger in bulk, the better.

2.  “A pimp’s love is very different from that of a square.”

Wherever you are in life, it’s always easier to think the grass is greener on the other side.  It’s not.  For Lieutenant Colonel Collins, the world he entered to earn Upgrayedd’s trust was fascinating, but it ultimately led to his demise, gold tooth cap grill and all; and for the Human Hibernation Experiment.

While this flattery you’re receiving now can seem glamorous, like double doses of pimpin’, you’ll want to be careful to remember that you are not a pimp.  Don’t sacrifice yourself or your baby* for a quick turn, but stay true to your art and calling in life.

3.  “Brawndo’s got what plants crave.  It’s got electrolytes.”

Let’s face it — we sometimes don’t know what’s good for us.  We’re too busy reciting what we’ve been told to say, that we never stop to think why plants crave electrolytes and why Brawndo has electrolytes that plants crave… electrolytes.

In the same way, try not to make all accolades about whether you deserve them or not.  Sometimes you get lucky in life, though that’s not meant to discount the hard work that you and other people put in…  I can tell that you work hard and you try to be conscientious, but you are just one of many deserving people.  Still, accept the good and use it fuel your future efforts.  Just lay off the salty foods some.

4.  “People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!”

As President Not Sure pronounces, even in the darkest of times there can be greatness ahead.  It doesn’t matter if the ecomony sucks, or if people grunt instead of speak…  We can easily get caught up in the failures of our past or the blog posts we want to re-write, but what is important to focus on is the potential of the future.  Smart people did things, like write things that made you care.  And yes, your readers may not like everything you write, but hopefully they’ll see that you write because you’re smart.  Or at least, because you didn’t get out of the way…

* Euphemism for work, not an actual child.  Please don’t send complaints or the Department of Justice on my ass.


Dear Charlotte is written by Woman at Tastes Like Onion.  Write “Dear Charlotte” at tasteslikeonion@gmail.com.

Woman Sucked Into A Just Terrible Movie

(La Mirada, CA) Lying on the couch, exhausted, one woman was sucked into watching Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.

An unfortunate sequel of unparalleled proportions, the movie follows perky lawyer Elle Woods in Washington, DC as she fights for her chihuahua’s mother who is allegedly in an animal testing facility.  But despite the strong story anchor, the movie falls just short of cohesively blending the dignity of the nation’s Capitol with S&M dog attire, and congressional interns dancing doggy-style in the Capitol Building.

Where the movie does generate some laughs, is in its reviews.  Particularly noteworthy was an in-depth analysis by the website ChristianAnswers.Net.  Awarding the movie’s highest rating of three out of five stars* (*based on morality), the site provides a 700-word review that includes such helpful warnings as “the expression ‘Oh my G-d’ is used many times.”  The review also helpfully details “Elle’s male dog… portrayed as ‘gay’ and having a sexually aroused relationship with the ‘gay’ male dog of a congressman.”  It is unclear why “gay” is in quotation marks.

User comments have also yielded comedic gold.  One particular gentleman provided cogent arguments for being disappointed with the film not based on the principles of sound filmmaking… but because of special interests.   And another comment called the filmmakers irresponsible to “allow this [Legally Blonde] series to be hijacked by a member of the radical homosexual left [director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, of Kissing Jessica Stein fame].”

Commercials airing between scenes also failed to recognize its own missteps.  Advertisement for mylife.com featured a pretty young woman remarking over seven stalkers people searching for her.  Where the advertisement went wrong was highlighting seven, which pales against more than 700 million profiles of potential ardent furtive digital admirers who will have all your personal information after entering it as a member.

Mark Collette from the Tyler Morning Telegraph perfectly summarizes Legally Blonde 2 with this review: “The expression of horror and amazement upon Bob Newhart’s face captures, in one split second, the essence of the entire film.”

[Insert joke here.  Any joke.  Not to worry – it will not warrant being called a “cinematic abomination.”]

We Have A Rock

[Ed. Note: In honor of the Fourth of July, this article has been reprinted with permission to highlight the foundations of American freedom and innovation the Founding Fathers inspired, when they set off fireworks in celebration of the Tea Party. Happy Birthday, America!]

(La Mirada, CA) Los Angeles is celebrating the installation of a large rock. Entitled Levitated Mass II, the 340-ton granite boulder sits atop a 456-foot long concrete slot at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Public excitement and anticipation for the 150-million year old rock began in March 2012 when it undertook an 11-day journey through 22 cities to arrive at its final destination. Traveling at night on closed streets with police escorts, the rock got up to eight miles an hour, clocking in just faster than cars on the 405.

Touted one of the largest megalithic stones to be moved since ancient times according to LACMA, many also celebrated a feat the ancient slaves already accomplished approximately 3,500 years ago while building the pyramids.

When asked their impression of the artwork, one feisty woman replied: “So what! It’s big… but big deal!?”

Big deal, indeed.

Levitated Mass II adds to the cultural milieu of Los Angeles, the arts epicenter of the world, where local museums already feature tar pits, wax, and the Grammys.