Literary Paper Turkeys Handmade by the Quirk Team!

Serious awesome-sauce:

Literary Paper Turkeys Handmade by the Quirk Team!.

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Surprise & Cement

Since I should be studying for my Finance quiz, I felt a desperate need to check my WordPress stats, and noticed, once again, that my most popular post is my wandering writing in which I disparage the movie “The Breakfast Club.”

The reason that this popularity surprises me is that while it has at least 114 views, no one has ever commented on it.

“The Breakfast Club” is a cult classic. People love this movie. And while I do not number amongst those who like “The Breakfast Club,” I kind of expected some indignant response comments defending it. Particularly since I posted it on a public forum, and believe in defending what you love.

Perhaps “The Breakfast Club” is a guilty pleasure. A movie that you know is flawed, but you watch, anyway. Like a hole-ridden security blanket that doesn’t quite keep you warm, anymore, but that has the smell of your infantile spittle soaked into the fibers. Kind of gross, but you can’t help loving it.

Regardless, my reaction towards “The Breakfast Club” becomes further cemented every time someone views my post and does not comment. While I generally strive for open-mindedness, part of me can’t help but feel that all who gaze upon my blog immediately become converted to my view, but are too ashamed to let me know. I am insightful! I am movie critic! Hear me roar!

I realize this isn’t true. I realize some people just want to steal the images I spent so much time Googling, or accidentally clicked on my link, or were curious and possibly thereafter disgusted after reading a few lines.

Yet I find it becomes hard to maintain perspective without any commentary from at least one third party. Having said that, what about you? Fellow bloggers, how are you affected when a blog post is not commented on? And readers, when you do leave comments, what is the incentive that pushes you to do so? Or, feel free to say hello! The interwebs can be lonely; all comments are welcome.

You SUCK! not a love story

For those of you who read my title, and immediately ascertained the Christopher Moore reference, congratulations! You get 10 points. Towards what, I’m not sure, but it seems like you’re on your way to winning.

Moore, ftw! (Did I use that slang right?) #gettingold

Moore, ftw! (Did I use that slang right?) #gettingold

So this post is about on-site interviewing. I was recently invited to an office interview for a Big Four Accounting Firm in downtown Detroit, which was an amazing opportunity that ended in rejection.

reject

I knew the chance of my being accepted was small, because I’m not yet in a program that gives an expected graduation date, and I’m old, and I’m a mom, but it still sucks to be rejected.

Okay,  moping over.

Okay, moping over.

On the positive side of the situation, it is a great opportunity just to be invited to an on-site interview. It means that the initial, on-campus interview went well, that you get to see the office environment you are considering for employment at its’ best (it is, after all, recruiting day), and you get practice interacting with the business professionals you will one day call your peers. Since you would prefer for your visit to end with a happier result than mine, however, I thought I would share my thoughts on important things to keep in mind for on-site interviews:

  • If you are being hotel-ed for the night, make sure that you pack your bag the night before you leave. If you are a breastfeeding new mom, don’t forget your breast pump! The nearby drugstore will not have one available for purchase (trust me, I tried).

dtwdt_phototour19

  • Bring along mints to freshen your breath, especially if you are being served some type of food. Pizza and onion-y good food is often served, and you do not want to feel like “pizza-breath” all day.
Having fresh breath helps you feel more prepared - or, at least, not gross.

Having fresh breath helps you feel more prepared – or, at least, not gross.

  • If at all possible, get a full night’s rest the night before your interviews.
La_Belle_au_Bois_Dormant_-_Sixth_of_six_engravings_by_Gustave_Doré

Seriously – how cool is this Sleeping Beauty pic I found? Also – get enough sleep!

  • Avoid filler words such as “um,” “like,” etc. Practice speaking, and conscientiously try to pause and think before giving a response. It’s an interview, not a race – you don’t get points for getting through the questions as quickly as possible.
I'm sorry, Mr. Owl - you used the wrong interview strategy. (Though you're super cute.)

I’m sorry, Mr. Owl – you used the wrong interview strategy. (Though you’re super cute.)

  • If you are a new mom, bring a shirt that you can fully button, to avoid any possible cleavage mishaps if you forget your breast pump.
Avoid unintentional cleavage.

Avoid unintentional cleavage.

  • Give yourself more time to get to the interview than you think you need. When you get there excessively early, do not go to the interview site yet. Wait at the coffee shop a block away and do your homework until 15 minutes before they want you at the site.
Watch the clock; don't be too early!

Watch the clock; don’t be too early!

  • Try to be confident without being cocky.
No one likes a cock-y person.

No one likes a cock-y person.

  • For the love of peanut butter, do not forget your breast pump! Seriously – being uncomfortable, and feeling like your breasts are enormous while trying to interview is not a fun task. I would wish it on my worst enemy, but not many others.
Forget it, and you'll regret it!

Forget it, and you’ll regret it!

Those are some tips gleaned from my recent interview experience! Any other tips/tricks/jokes I should hear? Or better yet – are you looking for an accounting intern this winter (*wink,wink*)?

The Obligatory Image Attributions from people who are totally awesome & let you use their pics for free:

By Karlavasquez16 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga Commons)(Lmbuga Galipedia)  Publicada por/Publish by: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-es (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/es/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Because the goo…

Because the good news is that we learn just as much about writing from awful books as we do from top-notch books. That’s why we’re encouraged to read everything. So with that spirit in mind, I’d like to look at some of the glaring mistakes of No Name Book that no author should make and no self-respecting author should allow to be published with their name on it.

First, my personal pet-peeve, copious backstory dump. For those unfamiliar with the term, backstory dump is when the author packs the first couple of pages—or first couple of chapters in this case—full of block paragraphs of exposition. Not just any exposition, the life-story of the main characters including all of the important bits of their pasts that will play a role in the current story. No! There are so many ways you can convey that sort of information without dumping it all out in explanatory paragraphs at the beginning! Let it unfold gradually, through dialog and action, and as part of the natural arc of the story!

This quote is from Merry Farmer’s blog, which deals a lot with reading and writing and is often pretty entertaining at the same time. Some of her blogs are romance-specific, and I’m not generally a romance fan, but I still highly recommend reading her blogs – especially since she writes much historical romance, and so a lot of her posts are about “what the hell were these people thinking when –“

But on to my perspective. First of all, reading her blog post, I completely agree with her opinion of the copious backstory dump. Exposition tends to be boring. BUT while reading this particular blog post, I began to wonder – does it have to be boring?

There has to be a way to make even large chunks of information highly entertaining.

One of my favorite novels, ever, is Northanger Abbey. NA begins with a lot of exposition, but all of that exposition is also a parody of gothic novel beginnings. The author (Jane Austen) covers a great deal of time (birth to marriageable age) in a few pages, and writes clever, pithy lines that always make me giggle.

Is that the trick, then? Humor? If you make me laugh while reading, I don’t tend to notice the format of the reading – I just let the ab workout take over and gleefully turn the pages.

What are your thoughts? I feel like this topic is pretty relevant since many people are beginning novels today (NaNo for the win! I’m not doing it this year, but I will cheer for you).