Essay In The Washington Post

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:18 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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I wrote an essay for The Washington Post! It’s about how becoming a mother has made me a better writer. A sample:

Throughout my pregnancy, I weathered comments about how difficult writing would soon become, all while obsessing about how I would juggle caring for a baby and finding time to write.

I shouldn’t have worried. In the five years since my son’s birth, I’ve written two novels, won grants and residencies and broken into many national publications. Before becoming a mother, it took me 10 years to write a novel. I never won grants or residencies pre-birth, because I rarely applied for them and, despite my skills and experience, I was intimidated to approach national magazines. Now I don’t have time for any of that angst because the babysitter is leaving in an hour.

Read I thought having a baby would hurt my career. I was wrong.

Learn To Write From The Movies: Kill Your Darlings

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:12 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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I have a new Learn To Write From The Movies up at Barrelhouse. It’s about Kill Your Darlings, a movie about Allen Ginsberg starring Daniel Radcliffe. A sample:

Lesson 4: Do Weird 1940s Drugs.

Naturally, Burroughs suggests they do drugs. He’s William S. Burroughs. But it’s the 1940s, so drugs are limited and strange. They settle on Benzedrine, which Hollywood studios forced Judy Garland take when she was a child. It contains amphetamine. They take it by squeezing a white substance that looks like butt medication into coffee.

It turns out that Benzedrine is productive to art. In a creative frenzy, the men rip up Burrough’s books and tape them to the wall. When I imagined the invention of the cut-up technique before, I didn’t picture it happening in a cracked-out meth den. Who knew?

Read the rest here.

Poetry Foundation: Bohemian Tragedy

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:17 am on Monday, March 19, 2018

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I wrote an essay for the Poetry Foundation on the poet George Sterling and the Carmel artist colony. It’s a crazy story about artistic utopia, California Bohemians, scandals, affairs, and a suicide pact. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and HL Mencken were all involved.

Read the essay here.

Learn to Write from the Movies: Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:27 am on Monday, March 19, 2018

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Check out Learn to Write from the Movies: Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story. Here’s a sample:

Lesson 3: Don’t Bother To Write Until A Creepy Ghost Appears To You In A Dream.

Good news. You don’t have to sit at a keyboard struggling to write every day. In fact, you don’t have to write at all. If you’re meant to be an author, the story will come to you. In Rowling’s case, it appears as a scary Harry Potter ghost child who glares at her while lightning flashes in the background. I thought she was going to scream, but it turns out it was inspiration.

Read The Rest Here.

I Was Interviewed By CNN

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 9:36 am on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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I forgot to post this on here! I wonder what else I’ve forgotten.

Back in August, I was Interviewed By CNN about Donald Trump. They wanted my opinion because of my article on Vice about How Reality TV Made Donald Trump President. Check it out!

Learn To Write From The Movies: Genius

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:52 am on Friday, December 22, 2017

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It’s the next installment of my Barrelhouse column, Learn To Write From the Movies. This time it’s about the movie Genius.

Genius is a 2016 movie about Thomas Wolfe, who wrote Look Homeward, Angel, and his editor, Maxwell Perkins. The movie is about the time Perkins, played by Colin Firth, edited Wolfe’s 11,000-page novel for him and it became a bestseller. Wolfe is played by Jude Law, who’s doing the same Southern accent he did in Cold Mountain and also the same accent that Foghorn Leghorn does in Looney Tunes. At one point, he says, “Damn,” and it sounds like “Dah-yham.” I tried to find out if Wolfe talked like Foghorn Leghorn, but the closest I could find was a recording of Wolfe’s mother, who had a slight Southern drawl. I’ll give Jude Law the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he knows something I don’t.

Read The Rest Here.

LA Review Of Books: Ted Hughes’s Play About Marriage

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:35 am on Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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I wrote an article for the LA Review of Books on Tight Wires Between Us: On “Difficulties of a Bridegroom” by Ted Hughes. Excerpt:

ON FEBRUARY 9, 1963, two days before the poet Sylvia Plath killed herself, a radio play about her marriage aired on the BBC. Difficulties of a Bridegroom was written by her husband, Ted Hughes, and was about a man rejecting his bride in favor of his mistress. The play aired twice, in January and February, and was heard by all of literary London — including Plath herself.

Ted Hughes as a class act, wasn’t he?

Read about it here.

Barrelhouse Column: Learn To Write From The Movies

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:28 pm on Monday, October 23, 2017

I have a column! It’s called Learn To Write From The Movies and it’s for Barrelhouse. More information:

Welcome to a column where we learn how to become the sexy intellectual rock stars that Hollywood says all writers should be. In movies, writers scribble in garrets near trashcans overflowing with crumpled paper or swill liquor while typing on typewriters. So far, my writing life has none of these things. I don’t even own a quill. When you think about it, movies about writers are like graduate-level workshops, only you can get drunk during them without anyone yelling at you. Why practice the tedium of daily writing when you can study the greatest writers in the world as portrayed by actors in their Hollywood biopics? Let’s learn.

The first column is about Cross Creek, a movie about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings as portrayed by Mary Steenburgen. She was angry a lot.

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Read all about it here.

I Was On The Radio In Portland, Oregon

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 3:50 pm on Thursday, September 21, 2017

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I was on XRAY In The Morning in Portland, Oregon talking about my article in The Atlantic Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio? You can listen to it online. Hurrah!

The Atlantic: Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio?

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:48 am on Thursday, September 7, 2017

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I have a new article in The Atlantic asking Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio? Here’s an excerpt:

In 2000, the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) women in audio committee—which is now, tellingly, defunct—loosely estimated that 5 percent of those working in the field were female. A 2016 survey by AES found 7 percent of its members were women, though that number is incomplete because participants could opt out of reporting their gender. According to Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), a nonprofit that trains women for sound careers, that number is probably lower. With men holding the vast majority of technical jobs in audio, it follows that virtually all the music we hear—on the radio, over headphones, or in a live venue—has been shaped by a man.

Read the rest here!

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