Recovery

I’m not sure if I posted anything about this, so I’ll just talk about it to cover my tracks.

On December 1, 2015, my stuff was stolen due to my carelessness. I forgot to lock my car door, and my laptop, flash drives, writing guides, camera, and tooth brush was stolen. What hurt the most was the stolen writing that I worked two years on.

It was devastating.

But I recovered.

Currently, I have a new laptop and two more flash drives (one containing some of the rough draft stories I wrote over the two year period).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading, editing, and proofreading these stories. Somehow, I’m working faster and more efficient than before, so I guess the setback wasn’t really a setback. In a strange way, by having my stuff stolen, it made me appreciate my work more than ever.

And I’ve noticed my work, my writing is getting better. I wish I had this mind when I left college. But hey, we live and learn, right?

Letter to the Undergrad

Hello Undergrad Student(s),

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your career is going to suck if you don’t arm yourself with as many skills as possible.

The purpose of this letter is a warning. Be careful. Don’t take your college career for granted or you’ll be going a through loop trying to figure out what you should’ve done while you were in college.

I know this because I believed that one degree would opened all the doors for me. It’s not like that any more. Bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen. These days, a person must be a jack of all trades.

Use your resources. Professors are not just there to piss you off, they get you ready for the rugged edges of rejection and bluntness from employers. Unpaid internships does put a damper on finances, but they can help build experience, which is just as valuable as education. Hoard professional experience. The more you have the better your job search will be.

Let go of your entitlement issues. Take the stick out of your ass, you got student loans to pay. If rejection bothers you then bitterness will be your best friend. And its a crappy friend that throws blame at everyone. Misfortune and scarcity is life’s way of preparing you for the hurtful moments to come.

Appreciate these great times in college. Use them wisely. Use those expensive books that miraculously become cheap at the end of the semester. Actually, keep those books, they’re great references for the trials ahead.

Stay focused.

Cordially,

 

 

Elijah B.

 

 

Marketing: How does one “sell” oneself?

I guess I can say the only thing in my life I sold was candy, particularly in grade school. Do you remember the selling contest schools had to raise money? I remember signing up to raise money, and I filled out this form to sell M&Ms and Reese Cups to raise funds for a field trip. It never worked because I eventually ate the candy they gave me.

Candy is sweet, it’s the guilty pleasure of the healthy and a regular meal for those with a meticulous sweet tooth. It sells better than sex…Maybe not that much.

In the career world, selling yourself is tough, to say the least. Persuasion is your best weapon, but some edges of persuasion are like dusty gemstones every person has to polish in order to land a job.

Even with a glimmer, you have to appeal to the employer and know how to stunt your glow. That’s the issue I’m having today. I know I have the luminous aura of a professional but something is eclipsing it.

It could be a unclear resume, a mediocre cover letter, or perhaps experience. Lately, I’ve been getting hit with the inexperience song and dance.

I’m good with first impressions, though, so I’ve been told. Dialogue is my bread and butter for sure. I just have to implement that into the resume and cover letter.

Career FAQs say:

“Offering solutions to these problems is a great way to overcome a lack of directly applicable experience. Be prepared to back up your claims about your skills or characteristics with relevant and specific stories. Avoid complaining about a former employer or laying blame at a former manager’s feet — doing so will likely make you seem difficult to work with (or disloyal).”

-Monster.com’s Career Advice

Sure it’s good advice; however, it’s up to the individual to perform it effectively. But there’s no harm in giving it a shot. The worst answer is “no”.

I should be handle that.

Elijah B.

Oscars: The Giraffe in the Room

I wanted to ignore this, but the news of the Oscars lack of diversity is everywhere! I initially wanted to keep things like this away from my blog. I guess news and news, right?

As many of you know, or may not know, the Oscars is an annual event where the entertainment industry shows their appreciation for the actors, filmmakers, writers, etc. For the second consecutive year, the Oscars has yet to nominate a non-Caucasian person. Despite one of the owners of the Oscars being a black woman, social media has taken a critical eye to the tradition.

It’s caused quite a stir. Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are calling for African Americans to boycott the show.

What can you do? Pick a side…? Maybe?

I think the problem isn’t America or the filmmakers or anyone else in entertainment. The problem is tradition.

See we’ve leaned on tradition so long that it feels right. Now that we’re aware and sensitive to just about anything, and the things in our traditions are starting to raise questions. Why?

Why are all the nominees white? Why do people care so much?

To me, the Oscars is a prestigious tradition selecting the most authentic and most talented in film. But the ones with the real power here are the viewers. Without the viewers, these films and TV shows would crumble.

Do I think African Americans should boycott? Be like Bobby Brown, it’s your prerogative. If it offends you that the Oscars didn’t nominate any ethnic individuals then don’t watch. Take it a step further, don’t even talk about the Oscars. Turn off your TV.

Will I watch the Oscars? No. That’s because I find my Playstation 4 more entertaining than controversy, dresses, and corny jokes.

You want to change the Oscars. Don’t watch, don’t tweet, and don’t post. When the ratings take a hit then you’ll see change.

Working People have Boring Lives

“Working people have boring lives.” That’s pretty bold statement to say the least!

But you have to admit, work keeps us busy most of the time. Work is the necessity to keep those utilities running and food on our plates. In addition, its the very thing that makes us tire and complain.

This is why entertainment is important to us. Honestly, it’s why we love controversy so much, so let’s take a moment and give celebrities and reality t.v. a round of applause.

Work. Home. Food and entertainment. Sleep, maybe. Pretty simple, right?

Of course, there’s some in between but not much. Not to say that simple, straight-forward days are bad, they’re just not that exciting. First responders are the exception. Adrenaline has to be set to holy hell with those people.

For those at the desk, in security, or something like this, life can be uneventful unless you’re a drug dealer (Was it a good joke? No…Sorry). Perhaps, it’s up to the individual to insert excitement into their lives.

Me personally, I like random searches on YouTube. I can be in the middle of something and stop just to watch a two minute segment of Dragon Ball Z. Lame to some, awesome to many.

Again “boring” is not bad at all. It’s routine. It’s Fate on vacation as you live out your life.

As the cliche goes, no news is good news.

Using FictionPress for Exposure

Writing fiction is my passion. It’s the one thing, I wish I could do full-time, but work and bills are two babies that won’t let me get any rest.

Every day, I have this grand idea, which I never write down. When I finally get time to write it, I get distracted with gaming or TV. Procrastination is such an ass.

In between writing projects and two jobs, I get inspired to write stories on FictionPress. If you’re not familiar with FictionPress, check it out here.

FictionPress is a neat website where writers can post their literary work. Its totally free to read each story. Criticism is welcomed by some. And prepare yourself, some of the writing is bad. Trial and error, I suppose.

I have not written any stories over 1000 words, I think. I want to reserve those extensive stories for publication.

If you’re interested in reading or posting stories visit FictionPress.

To read some of my original flash stories visit my FictionPress profile page.

Also, for those that enjoy soliloquies, a YouTube video reading of my horror flash story, “Seaside Hunger”, is located here.