So You Want To Be A Freelance Writer?

 

Freelance writing sounds a glamorous job, doesn’t it? You make a living telling stories. You set your own schedule. You don’t even have to put on shoes and leave your house! However, it takes time to really build a career as a freelance writer. Hell, I’m still trying to figure it out! But if you are serious about it, here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a topic. You’ve got all these ideas floating in your head, and so you think as soon as you sit at the computer it’ll all come out, right? Wrong! Most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer trying to think of something to say. I have a list of ideas, but even then it usually takes me three days to pick a topic I actually want to write about. Once  you finally find a topic, then you have to…
  2. Find a publication that’ll be interested. If you have a specific niche, great! Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you’re interested in a lot of topics, so finding a publication can be tough. It also doesn’t help I’m interested in something new every day. One day I want to write about what it’s like to be a non-binary trans person for the millionth time, and then the next day I want to talk about John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism. Sometimes you can find away to combine multiple interests, like the science of gender identity or how Mill’s concepts of free speech and the harm principle factor in the free speech on campus debate. Now that you’ve narrowed down your topic and publication options, you’re ready to…
  3. Pitch your idea. Sounds simple enough, but it isn’t. You can’t just say, “Hey I want to write about this thing,  you in?” Instead, your pitch has to sound like a movie trailer that gets a million views on YouTube in just one day: “In a world where chaos reigns on college campuses, one person rises to restore reason and sanity.” Hopefully within 48 hours you’ll get a response saying, “Great, gimme 800 words by the end of next week, and we’ll give you $100.” And when that happens, it’s time to…
  4. Write your article. Seriously, write your article. Turn off all notifications on your phone, close the Facebook tab, and WRITE! Now that you’ve finally gotten around to writing the damn thing, its time to…
  5. Send it to the publication. They usually tell you when you it’ll go online. Sometimes they’ll send you proofs for edits, which I prefer because when I write, it’s totally stream-of-consciousness. Ain’t nobody got time for grammar! Now that your article is finally online and you’ve shared it with all your Facebook friends, it’s time to…
  6. Get paid. Each publication is different when it comes to sending out payments. Splice Today’s checks go out every two weeks, while Ravishly has a monthly pay period. If you’re lucky, everything will go through and you’ll be paid on time. Unfortunately that’s not a guarantee; the publication’s payroll department might have a nuclear meldown like Paste Magazine, and you might not get paid until 6 months after you’re published.

So there  you have it! That’s how you become a freelance writer.

I Think I Just Went Viral

For shits and giggles, this morning I posted this on my Facebook wall:

[Image: three lines of pumpkin spice cut on a mirror like cocaine. My hand to the right holding a rolled-up dollar bill. Text above reads, “It’s September, so you know what that means…”

As of right now it’s been shared 514 times!

Does this mean I’m famous now? If so, how can I profit off of this?

The Biskeptical Podcast #26: From Russia with Love

On today’s episode, we talk about Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, and whether or not it’s enough to get his ass impeached. We also discuss the Manchester bombing, a Mississippi representative who wants to lynch people, and why that shitty social construct penis hoax article doesn’t prove the entire gender studies field is bullshit. To top it all off, the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors take a trip to Wootopia and discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #26: From Russia with Love” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel

My guest for today Charone Frankel, host of the new podcast Habeas Humor. Habeas Humor combines comedy and law to both entertain and enlighten listeners, along with interviews. Today we’re going to talk about her work, her podcast, and if the law can be funny.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel” on Spreaker.

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Why I’m No Longer a Social Justice Warrior

On my first post here on FtB, I wondered out loud if I was a Social Justice Warrior. Many things have happened since then–conversations, fuck-ups, emotional breakdowns, the election, etc.–and I’ve changed a lot since then. One of the major changes is that I am no longer a Social Justice Warrior.

I’m a Social Justice Mage!

Like many people, once I discovered the Dark Lord cursed our land into making everyone believe we live in a free society while the marginalized still get trampled on–which was around the same time I realized I’m queer and trans–I grabbed my sword and decided to fight back. I fought against every troll I could find, but the trolls ended up being stronger than me. I even attacked a few peaceful citizens who weren’t trolls. I had more battle scars than victories.

That’s when the Mages found me.

They took me in and taught me all their secret spells and ancient wisdom. They taught me that trolls often disguise themselves as genuine seekers, and there’s a spell that can help me identify who is a troll and who is just a confused human. They also taught me that not everyone can be a warrior; only those who  have the strength and proper training can do battle. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help. In fact, Mages help battle the Dark Lord’s trolls in special ways, whether it’s teaching secret magic to warriors (who have to go through a vetting process first), or hitting the trolls with surprise magic attacks.

The Mages also taught me not to get involved with every battle. Some trolls are immune to certain magic, like Rational Argument Magic, so it’s best for either a warrior or a rogue to do the fighting. Also, magic takes time to master, so I need a lot of practice before I can do battle. In fact, sometimes the Mages have to stop me and say, “You’re not ready for this battle. Let us handle it.” It’s a bit disappointing at first, but after watching the Elders fight, I quickly realize they were right.

So yeah, if you don’t see me on the battlefields of Twitter and Facebook, it’s because I’m with the Mages learning magic. Don’t think I’m giving up the fight; I’m just fighting in my own unique way.

Why the Alt-Right Should Love the Attack on Syria

Welcome to my life: I came home last night after a successful first meeting of a new local LGBTQ group only to find Trump attacked Syria. I’m currently trying to avoid social media posts about it because I know it will depress the hell out of me, and instead going to focus on being productive, including calling my reps.

But I will say one thing; I’m shocked that the alt-right’s mad about the attack on Syria! Richard Spencer, Ann Coulter, and Paul Joseph Watson all condemned Trump on Twitter for getting involved with another country’s problems, something that Trump promised he wouldn’t do. I find that odd because out of all the people in the world, the alt-right should be the most gung-ho about blowing up Syria, and here’s why:

1). Trump’s killing brown people. Since the alt-right’s whole premise is based on racism and white nationalism, they should be happy he’s blowing up more brown people and Muslims, right? Unless the alt-right meant killing brown people here in America rather than over there in the Middle East. Still, blowing up Syria means less terrorists coming here to America, right? Forget accidentally finding a bad Skittle; destroy the entire bag and be done with it!

2). War is politically incorrect. If there’s one thing Republicans love to complain about (besides blacks moving next door to them), it’s that Democrats are way too soft on terrorists and dictators. It doesn’t matter that Obama used drone strikes or Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when we killed Bin Laden, Republicans love to perpetuate the narrative that war is politically incorrect, and that Democrats want to give evil dictators tea and biscuits. And since the alt-right thinks politically correctness is a bigger threat to the First Amendment than Trump’s war on the media, they should be shitting themselves with glee over how the Syrian attack triggered a shitload of snowflakes. Hell, maybe even Dave Rubin will interview Trump and praise him for sticking it to the Left!

3). Meddling in other countries’ affairs is what makes American great. Trump supporters love to talk about bringing America back to the good ol’ days when men were men, and white people didn’t have to shit next to black people. And what’s more American than racism and sexism? Imperialism! It’s not enough that we get to enjoy our freedoms in our little corner of the world; we want to make sure everyone else does, too. That’s what makes America great!

Whether or not the Syrian attack means the end of the Trump presidency, I don’t know. (Probably not because the Trump Tape didn’t ruin his chance of winning the election.) As for now, I’m just gonna enjoy watching the alt-right scramble to find a new führer.

Your Favorite Mondegreens

A mondegreen is what happens when you mishear or misinterpret a phrase, specifically a song lyric. The term comes from Sylvia Wright, who thought an old Scottish ballad said “And Lady Mondegreen” instead of “And laid him on the green.” Some of the most well-know mondegreens are “Wrapped up like a douche” from “Blinded by the Light” (actual line: “Revved up like a deuce”) and “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy” from “Purple Haze” (actual line: “‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky”). Mondegreens fascinate me because it’s another example of how our memories aren’t always reliable, like the Mandella Effect (no, seriously, I was pissed when I found out the Berenstain Bears weren’t Jewish).

Today I thought we should take a brief break from the dumpster fire that is the Trump administration, and talk about some of our favorite mondegreens. I’ll start with mine:

1). “Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross. I used to watch that movie all the time when I was a kid, and I was convinced Cross was singing “If you get drunk between the moon and New York City.” It makes sense since the movie is about an alcoholic, right? Nope! Turns out he’s singing, “If you get caught between the moon and New York City.” I like my version better.

2). “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Now this is a bizarre one because I used to think she was singing “If I was a maid, I’d save your spoon.” Dafuq is that supposed to mean? Fortunately, she’s actually singing, “If I was a blade, I’d shave you smooth.” Which is why this song always gets stuck in my head when I shave.

3). “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan. Okay, this one is pretty controversial. For years I thought they were singing, “All those dago freaks who used to paint their face, they’ve joined the human race.” I was like, “Did this motherfucker just call me a dago?” Fortunately that’s not the case; they’re actually singing, “All those day-glo freaks who used to to paint their face.” Phew, for a moment I thought Donald Fagen was a racist!

4). “Jump” by Van Halen. Here’s another funny one; I used to think David Lee Roth was saying, “I eat the worst chips you’ve seen.” You would think Roth would be able to afford better quality chips, right? Turns out he’s actually singing, “I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen.” Ah, much better!

So what are some of your funniest or most embarrassing mondegreens?

The Hill I’m Willing to Die On–A Response to Current Controversy

This weekend was rough for all of us. Friday’s Trump inauguration ushered a new time of uncertainty and fear for our nation. Yes, Saturday’s Women’s March was a huge success, but in the aftermath the atheist community is in turmoil. Instead of working together to fight the new Trump regime, we’re fighting with each other. The lines have been drawn; you’re part of either the problem or the solution.

I tried to stay away from all of it, but after thinking about it, I can no longer stay silent. Today I’m announcing the hill upon which I am willing to die. I know I will lose a lot of friends with this, but I know what side I’m on:

Pineapple belongs on pizza.

Now I know this isn’t a very popular opinion among the Left nowadays, but let me explain where I’m coming from.

Back in high school I took my then-girlfriend to Ledo’s Pizza for Valentine’s Day. I wanted pepperoni, and she wanted pineapple and ham. I had never heard of such a thing. Of all the things to put on a pizza, why the hell would you pick pineapple? But since it was Valentine’s Day, I decided to give it a try, so we got a half pepperoni and half Hawaiian pizza. I took a bite of that Hawaiian pizza and thought, “HOLY SHIT, WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE?” The sweetness of the pineapple was a perfect match for the saltiness of the ham the same way salt and caramel compliment each other. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Yet nowadays something that shouldn’t be so controversial as a Hawaiian pizza has now triggered an entire generation of Regressive Leftists. I see meme after meme on Facebook from whiny millenials who think anyone who like pineapple on pizza is a Nazi sympathizer. What has our country become? How did we end up with an entire generation of special snowflakes who feel entitled to not have their feelings hurt? Friends, we should be fighting real issues like Islamic terrorism and post-truth America, not legislating what people put on their pizza.

You want authoritarianism? ‘Cause that’s how you get authoritarianism!

This post is hard for me to write, but I can no longer stay silent while the Left implodes over pizza toppings. Call me a Pineapple Pizza Warrior all you want, but I don’t care. Grow up. liberals!

My Top Ten Unpopular Christmas Opinions

It’s almost Christmas again, and with all the ways 2016 fucked us over, I figured it’s time for something lighthearted. So to celebrate the holiday, here are my top ten unpopular opinions about Christmas.

10). “Love Actually” is one of the worst movies ever. Okay, forget all the hot British men for a second and actually look at the movie. We’ve got Andrew Lincoln being a creep around Keira Knightley, Colin Firth trying to sleep with a woman who doesn’t speak English, an outlandish wedding scene, Liam Neeson cracking bad jokes about his wife at her funeral (not to mention playing Bay City Rollers after his shitty eulogy), and countless fat jokes. Plus, this is the movie that launched a million bad “Let’s get a bunch of celebrities together to make a cheesy holiday-related movie” movies. No thank you!

On the opposite end . . .

9). “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” should be a Christmas movie classic. If you love bad campy movies as much as I do, you will love this movie! The plot is ridiculous (Martians kidnap Santa Claus so Martian children can learn how to have fun), the acting is bad, and they remind the audience over and over again who the bad guy is (“That’s Voldar. He’s the one who doesn’t like us.”). Plus, the theme song is catchy as hell.

While we’re on the subject of movies . . .

8). “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. It takes place during Christmas, it refers to Christmas over and over again, and it has Christmas music on the soundtrack. It’s a fucking Christmas movie! Deal with it!

Moving on now . . .

7). I honestly don’t give a shit if you say either “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Seriously, you can wish me a Happy Kwanzaa and I’ll just say, “Thank you! You, too!”

6). I think the Festivus Airing of Grievances should be a Christmas tradition. Hate passive aggressive Christmas dinners with your right-winged Trump-voting relatives? The Festivus Airing of Grievances is a great way for you to finally get it all off your chest! You probably won’t be invited to next year’s Christmas dinner, but at least you were honest for once in your life.

5). I hate Christmas shopping. I love giving presents to my loved ones, but I hate the shopping part. I hate the decoration overload, I hate hearing the same Christmas songs over and over again on the PA system, and I hate the whole idea that capitalism is a Christmas virtue. This is why I either buy gifts from Amazon, buy them from local artisans, or just make mixed CDs. The less time I spend surrounded by Christmas capitalism, the better!

And while we’re on the subject of music . . .

4). “Hallelujah” is not a Christmas song. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough that Pentatonix completely ruined the song; now, thanks to these losers, it’s a Christmas song. Even though I still love Leonard Cohen, I can’t stand this song now.

While we’re at it . . .

3). I fucking hate “The Little Drummer Boy!” From the repetitive “barumpa-bum-bum” to the ridiculous line about farm animals keeping time, this song is a stinker, let’s admit it. It’s no wonder David Bowie asked the TV show producers to write him some new lyrics when he sang it with Bing Crosby.

In fact . . .

2). I hate 90% of Christmas music out there. Sure, I have my favorites, like “Christmas in Hollis,” “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” and “I Believe in Father Christmas,” but in general most of it sucks. I mean, how many fucking versions of “Joy to the World” do we really need?

And now, probably the most unpopular Christmas opinion of all . . .

1). I fucking love Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime!” Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s repetitive. Yes, Paul and rest of Wings do a weird thing in the video which I can only describe as the English version of a conga line, but it still makes me happy, goddammit!

. . .

Now that all that’s out of the way, Happy Holidays!