Posts Tagged ‘money’

Sparks: Welcome to Female Trainwreck Week

I’ve always been oddly secretive about what I read on the Internet. (I’m one of those people that think that what you read in some way will come to define you at some point — which is scary considering how much sci-fi/fantasy, business development and fusty classical fiction I read.) I originally posted a list of “What I’m Reading on the Internets” on my monthly mailing list missive, but then thought that public sharing was a better way to spark discussion and at least pay tribute to other Internet writers out there!

So here you go…this week I was fascinated by maybe-crazy ladies, inside guff on how people dealt with social media, a bunch of movie geekiness and had a love/hate relationship with an article written by a writer I generally loathe. So, if I were to concoct a new personality out of this week’s Internet reading I’d be…a lady driven to craziness by Twitter and anti-feminism who drowns her sorrows in a major drug habit while watching “JFK”? I don’t know!

+ Evolution of a Feisty Pixar Princess – Did you see Brave? I thought the animation was stunning but the story a bit underdeveloped — but I will always enjoy learning about the collective creative process at Pixar.

+ Cat Marnell on Jane Pratt, Her Book, and Splitting From xoJane.com – Duuuuuuude, Cat Marnell is legit smart, and legit bananas. I’ve always admired people who are brutally honest and incisive, but frankly my respect is lessened by the self-destructiveness. I think it’s maybe a mark of getting older, but my fascination with people trainwrecks is lot less starry-eyed and romantic. Once drugs have used up her beauty and youth, will there be much fascination left? What do you think?

+ ‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’: Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit – In many ways this interview kind of upends all the conventions of typical celebrity interviews, and yet upholds them utterly as well. And her new record = so good.

+ Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion – I enjoyed reading this mostly because I love Uniqlo. I really do love their cheerful, democratic approach to fashion, I wear their jeans and underwear religiously, and never regret my purchases from there.

+ are you feeling social media-obliged? – I loved reading how Sarah Wilson lays out all her social media outlets and how she uses them. It’s a valuable practice in this age when everyone’s doing everything and it’s so easy to fritter away your time and energy on social media, thinking you are doing “work” when you’re really not.

+ Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur – Reading this left me with mixed feelings and a slight sense of indignation, like, “Did Marguerite Duras or Joan Didion ever have to worry about ‘building a platform’ and getting Twitter followers? Whatever happened to having superlative craft and intensely beautiful imagination and humanity?” But you know, this is just the truth these days, at least if you aim to publish and you’re not Duras or Didion!

+ Spin’s “Girl Issue” from 1997 – Reading the Fiona Apple article above made me remember she was on the cover of the “Girl Issue” that Spin published way back in the day, which was one of my most favorite issues of a magazine ever. I remember keeping my copy of it forevs, though I don’t remember where it is. Oh, my sorrows!

+ Jackie and the Girls – Truth: I really hate Caitlin Flanagan. Okay, not her, but her ideas. But she’s such a good writer that she almost seduces you to her point of view, till you remember how utterly and deeply you are at odds with her ideologically. But in this article she captures in some way both the repulsion and the allure of the whole Kennedy mystique in a way that helps me to get it, having never really been captivated by it in the first place.

+ Rounding Up Iceland’s Horses – Just lovely pictures of nature in Iceland and Icelandic ponies! I have always loved them for their sweet faces.

+ What’s the story with your budget? – The lovely Eleanor over at killerfemme.com is writing about money management, planning and artists, a topic I’m much interested in. If you are a creative who has ever been flummoxed by the financial side of your work, Eleanor’s column is for you!

+ Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – I have soooooo much to say about this article that I find it hard to sum up here, but I’ll try just a little: No, women can’t have it all without something suffering (usually their health and sanity). I don’t think anyone can have it all, actually, though the “not having it” is different for each gender. I think we need to talk about the constant expectation of women being primary caretakers of the house and hearth. I also think what we really need to talk about here is a system that fails to support both men and women in helping to care and educate their children. I also think we need to unpack the entitledness and classist dimensions on “having it all” in the first place, too. I told you, so much to think about!

Birthday Letters: 36 Things I Learned Last Year

Tomorrow is my birthday, which I feel so many things about. Happy, because I like celebrations and commemorations. And excited, because my birthday means cake and ice cream, and fireworks are coming soon! But also introspective, because I’m older and supposedly wiser, but sometimes I wonder exactly how. And maybe even a little weighed down upon, because, you know: the march of time and the press of mortality. The endgame approaches.

I like the idea of years building upon each other, like pieces of puzzles revealing just a bit more of a bigger picture — and at the end you see what a beautiful portrait you’ve lived with your time on earth. I like themes, lessons, the sense that I’m progressing. Maybe these are illusions wrought by the ability of human beings to occupy different existential time zones at once: to be in the past, present and future, often in the same moment. If these are illusions, then I appreciate how beautiful and comforting they are.

Here I am in another year: sitting on a cloudy day at my favorite coffeeshop, typing away on the small, tiny netbook I favor now over my more robust laptop. I am drinking an iced chai as usual, and I’m feeling hungry, craving fresh fruit and cheese. The coffeeshop, the beverage, the writing and thinking and even the hunger: I do this a lot, and I anticipate I’ll be doing this more in the future, which makes the moment seem not so special.

But there’s the way the light streams through the window, the magic hour making everything seem enchanted, even a weird symphonic version of “Scarsborough Fair” on the stereo. The conversations surrounding me: what books people are reading, a Tarot card consultation, a Bible study group, a family planning a wedding. There’s the smell of orange blossom white tea floating in their air and the sound of quiet love songs played on harps in my ears. There’s something lovely in every moment, and today I like to pretend they are all gifts for me.

These are the things I’ve learned in the past year. One for each year I was. I did a teeny version of this last year; this year felt like such a huge growing and learning and loving kind of year, I felt the urge to get epic.


On conundrums, and the smell of spring

I’m sitting at a table near an open window, and there are lilac bushes just starting to bloom outside them, ripening to a darker purple in the sunlight. Everything smells so lovely and fragile, and the wind is murmuring.


The tricky thing is that the areas of life that feel expansive and full of growth and insight for me right now — love and money — are not ones that I’m inclined to write about publicly, for obvious reasons. I really don’t want my love life or the state of my financies to be cached on Google, you know? (This isn’t helped by my day job, which makes me paranoid about how information on the Internet and on phones gets used against people all the time!) Yet I always like to share what I’ve been learning in a space like this. Must figure that puzzle out; as an online-writing veteran of many, many years, I wrestle now with exactly what I want to do with something like this, and how much energy I can put into it without sacrificing my longer, offline projects.


In the meanwhile, I’ll just tell you that I am really in love with the California Star Jasmine fragrance from Pacifica, which I picked up this past weekend. I love the smell of jasmine but hate often how sickly-sweet it can be rendered, but this one smells fresh and green and slightly sharp but sunny. The whole site is 20% off, so if you’re inclined…


Also: I have a piece up at Joan’s Digest, an online feminist film journal. I wrote about a really lovely, fantastic film called Goodbye First Love, directed by Mia Hansen-Love, and I think many of you would love this movie! I wrote specifically about the role of costuming in the film, but the film’s larger themes of self-reliance and vocation in terms of women’s coming-of-age is so beautiful and resonant. See it if you can.

On breakthroughs, and the thing that’s harder to talk about than sex

This entry is part of my year-end, month-long Reverb 11 blogging project, where I reflect on my year in a series of daily blog posts. Today I am writing on BREAKTHROUGHS: What were your biggest breakthroughs? This can be in any area: emotional, spiritual, career, etc.

Breakthroughs, I hadz them, as the LOLcats would say. (Can we still talk about LOLcats in 2011?) Some were in the area of writing. These mostly had to do with endurance, and process, and letting work breathe a bit before trying to approach it again with somewhat fresh eyes. And the gnarliness of the second half of the second act. And the value of cutting and deleting. And the gratitude I owe to all my screenwriting profs. There are always breakthroughs around craft to be had, if you want them.

However, the biggest breakthroughs I had this year were around money, finances and prosperity in general, and here is where I admit that I find this really hard to share in a public forum. Because money is really, really hard to be open about. I could much more easily and happily tell you about my sex life past, present and maybe future than I could tell you about my financial situation. (Although I’m sure both would be hard to stomach, really.) I can talk about almost everything with my closest, dearest friends, but money is still hard.

Why is this so? I realized this year that there is a discrepancy between the discourses surrounding personal finance and the actual practice of it. Because while all the advice you hear, read about and (maybe) learn around money is very “objective” and seemingly messy-human-nature-free, money is actually incredibly loaded with emotion: fear, guilt, pleasure, power, shame, assumptions, the whole gamut. There is a reason why so many marriages break up around it, because it is difficult to be intimate around money. There are many “shoulds” around money, and sometimes these are at odds with the emotional realities of life. So basically this year my biggest breakthroughs centered around this strange dichotomy and involved connecting money and finances back to things like emotions and values in a way that emphasized clarity, kind honesty and authenticity. Basically: approaching money in a “right-brained” way, because I am a “right-brained” person. It sounds a bit “hare-brained,” but well, it worked for me and I feel ten times richer in life because of it.

I’d actually like to write more about this, because writing is how I make sense of a lot of the world and of people and of ideas in general. So maybe in 2012 I will try to work out a way to write on the subject that feels both open and yet protective of my privacy. Does that edge exist? Maybe I will find out, maybe in my semi-dormant newsletter, I don’t know. Maybe everyone else has money figured out and I am just behind. If you have it figured out, you should email me at kat (at) nogoodforme.com and tell me your secrets, because the journey continues and ever-evolves.