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Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

11 Things All Highly Creative People Have In Common

In life, writing on August 18, 2015 at 4:21 am

Watch out; you may end up in our next novel.

As a creative person I’ve had a slightly different life than my other friends, who have walked a more traditional path. I can’t tell you how many times people have stared at my resume thinking, “That’s interesting,” or called me into a job interview just to see who I was.

But then again, as a creative person this is just one of the many parts of life we experience. To some people, the way I think is strange; to others, it’s the only way to think.

By others I mean “other creative people.” I guess you could say there’s a tribe of us artists and some folks get us, but others think we’re crazy. And perhaps maybe we are.

  1. We do embarrassing things (and usually for free).

When I started stand-up comedy, it wasn’t unusual to spot me outside a comedy club “barking,” or in other words, shouting out and wrangling in strangers to see a comedy show in which I’d get stage time and perform for five minutes for free.

It wasn’t the most fun thing I did in my life, but it had to be done for stage time, and is a comedian rite of passage. To the average Joe Schmoe, this would be absolutely ridiculous, but to a highly creative person, it’s just one of the many things you do to perfect your craft.

Of course, there was the time I did a public service announcement … and “rapped” in it. Yes, rapped, but at least I got paid for doing it and scored entryway into the actor’s union.

  1. We have endless ideas.

In my inbox, I’ve got about 90 different pitch ideas. It’s not unusual for me to pause a conversation because I’ve got to write down an idea. It’s not unusual for me to ask my friends for “quotes.”

Highly creative people have these inboxes, folders, journals, and sketch pads full of ideas that we whip out whenever the moment hits us.

Read More: 11 Things All Highly Creative People Have In Common

I Don’t Work For Free,

Laura

To My Antisemitic, Woman-Hating Bully: You’re Evil And Sad

In life, women's issues, writing on May 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm

There’s not a lot of love for us Jews these days. Whether we’re one percent Jewish or one hundred, nasty remarks about being Jewish abound all over the internet. Many regard Lena Dunham’s essay, “Dog Or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz” for The New Yorker’s humor section to be not so humorous; it’s actually quite anti-semitic despite the actress and writer’s Jewish roots.

Daily Show host Trevor Noah was also called out for some of his off-color tweets about Jews. I kind of thought that since it’s 2015, anti-semitism would be out of fashion. Apparently, it’s become more in taste to bash Jews.

Yes, Jews are known for our self-deprecation and dark humor, so (to be fair) when it comes to funny, it’s hard to say what behavior is simply dark humor, self-hating Jewishness, or simple anti-semitism.

But when sentiments are clearly anti-semitic, it is wicked.

Read More: To My Antisemitic, Woman-Hating Bully: You’re Evil And Sad

Sticks & Stones May Break My Bones But Your Words Will Never Hurt Me,

Laura

What It’s Like to Be an Evil Jewish Divorcee

In divorce, women's issues, writing on March 26, 2015 at 1:21 am

When I started writing about my divorce, I did not realize how heated readers would be over my essays and I am writing about a pretty amicable divorce. I actually have to hold back from hugging my ex-husband sometimes. Sure, we fight, but I care about the guy and I’m a squishy and sweet person. Call me naïve (that goes back to my squishiness) and perhaps this is due to me being raised by married parents, but the amount of hate, bitterness and ugliness that comes out of total strangers after reading a one-thousand word essay from me on divorce was shocking.

Read more: What It’s Like to Be an Evil Jewish Divorcee

Has No Time For Ignorance Or Women Haters,

Laura

The Person Behind The Writer

In life, writing on September 3, 2014 at 1:35 am

Power blogging tonight as I need rest but I have important stuff in my head.

Remember in the  Wizard of Oz how the “wizard” was really just some old “Joe Schmoe?”

Well, in many ways, the person behind the writer can be entirely different than the “writer” character that you read on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry »

The Inspiring Blogger Award

In writing on July 4, 2014 at 2:33 am

 

 

Thank you @surgeoninheels for the Inspiring blogger award! Head over to this blog http://heelskicksscalpel.com/about/ to learn about the two ladies who nominated me!

I have been terrible at keeping up with other blogs with all going around me personally, so I apologize for that…right now my personal life is quite chaotic, but the rules are as follows

Here are the rules;
Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

I’m only going to mention a few blogs as of today, but will add as I go…sorry ladies..I don’t get to read much these days!

http://thesavvysenorita.wordpress.com/about/

http://annstvincent.com/about/

http://dudesandshit.wordpress.com/

http://snarkysnatch.wordpress.com/

http://whispersfromgreece.com/

So here are 7 facts about myself:

#1 I was an MTV personality

#2 My first job was at Kentucky Fried Chicken and it sucked.

#3 I once got paid to humiliate a man

#4 I have been humiliated by many men before #3, and will never return to that nonsense because I love myself enough to not let that ever happen again.

#5 I think my  almost ex husband is really cute and has the best hair. I like hugging him a lot still. That’s pathetic to say. I doubt he likes my hugs that much.

#6 If a guy misspells a common pronoun, I instantly think, game over.

#7 I once punched a big 12 year old boy when I was 10 because he was picking on a kindergarten kid…what a douche!

The Seduction of Words

In life, sex, writing on January 30, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Literature lust. Dirty Talk. Thick and Big…19th century novels.

Late night conversations. Whispers. Meaty memoirs and well-crafted sonnets.

The feeling a person gets when cradling a thick novel full of endless possibilities, failures, and triumphs.

Image

There is nothing more seductive than meeting a stranger, (in the world of the novel or memoir) and seeing where this stranger will take you physically, emotionally, possibly sexually, and literally/metaphorically.

What I love most about books is someone else who shares the same passion for reading. For entering into a world in which only the author has control, and you my friend, is meant to take the trip as they set the stage.

Books and conversation. Deep meaningful conversation. Quiet whispers. Lustful statements. Bold directives. Shy questions. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Attract Weirdos Without Flashing them: A True Story

In humor, life, mental health, Uncategorized, writing on October 22, 2013 at 1:46 am

When I was a kid, I went through a phase where I thought it was pretty funny to flash people, mostly my own peers.

That’s basically because I wasn’t mentally stable,

Actually, it was because I was objectified and scrutinized for having big boobs, and it sucked to be bullied. It sucked to have people comment on your breasts in front of your teachers, or lie and tell people you stuffed your bra when the truth was, those babies were/are real.

So when I got sick of it, I found it funny to whip them out. I basically thought I was giving the world a big, “Fuck you,” because I was a confused young teen. The humor and ridiculous assumption of empowerment I got from this little trick died when one day, as I chose to flash on a dare, a car slowed down in front of me.

The man driving the car looked at me, and he was old my friends. Not old because I was a young girl assuming he looked old and was really only 25, but old like late forties, early fifties.

I ran away, with my friends behind me, fearing that the man driving the car would get out.

He didn’t, and I wasn’t abducted, but had many bad sexual experiences after that in case you’re taking score. Needless to say, I never flashed a car again.

Lesson learned.

But now that my boobs are safely in my bra where they belong, and I am a productive citizen and mother, you would figure I would not attract any weird people or men around me.

You would figure wrong.

So since I am such a gracious citizen and can’t waste those 60 plus credits of psychology coursework and research, I have decided to share my amazing tips with you!

How to Attract Weirdos Without Flashing Them: A go-to guide

#1 Be Nice.

If you want to attract weirdos, just be nice. Start conversations with strangers, and then because you have no clue how to run or can’t–trapped in a small cafe or store, just keep talking and don’t tell them to shut up, especially if you’re female. Remember ladies, being nice is the only way to be! There’s only bad karma if you tell people where to go or assert yourself.  You’re supposed to put up with it. Besides, if you want to meet a good weirdo, you’ve got to talk to as many people as possible.

#2 Smile

Smile at anyone, and the weirdest folks will find you sexy or approachable. If you find a homeless guy telling you all about the days when he played with Miles Davis, his invisible friends, and other delusions, you know you have a great smile.

#3 Go Places Alone

Weirdos like loners. It’s like cookies and milk, darling. If you go out by yourself, weirdos figure you’re weird and unlikable too, so they approach you more often. If you’re in a group of people, weirdos will shy away as they won’t have the guts to corner you and talk your ear off about their stamp collection and the time they saw Jesus while buying mums for their dead grandmother.

#4 Smell a little

Bad smells give off a sign that you are unstable, which simply attracts more unstable people. Hold off on the deodorant and antiperspirant. Besides, the aluminum ingredients in most brands is a chemical to be wary of.

*let it be known I have never tried this particular step.

#5 Bring along a child

Weirdos like to stop people with kids because they feel you will be more compassionate.

Chances are, you are less likely to tell the person to f*ck off because you don’t want your kid having a potty mouth, unless her or she already does.

Last crucial step

#6 Have no boundaries

I stranger once tried to kiss me at a cafe.

I didn’t let him.

I moved away (obviously).

But if you really want a weirdo to kiss you three seconds after you’ve asked them, “Hey do you know where the napkins are,” be sure to have no boundaries. Sit very close to them and try to hold their hands. Weirdos like that.

I hope we have all learned a little about weirdo attraction etiquette. I am so glad I can bless the world with my amazing knowledge.

Air-kisses,

Me

In the Hands of Men: a memoir excerpt by Laura Lifshitz, previously published in the Oklahoma Review

In life, memoir, mental health, sex, trauma recovery, Uncategorized, woman, writing on October 17, 2013 at 1:23 am

This is an excerpt from my memoir, and was previously published in the Oklahoma Review, a literary journal. I will warn you all before reading that it is graphic at times, and very dark, so if you can’t handle the heat, then this isn’t your kitchen.

**Background  before you read: at this point in my memoir,  I am a 14 year old girl, recently gone through puberty and discovering that suddenly, my body is more important than who I am as a person –i.e.,  my breasts, which are the focus of apparently everyone’s conversations, have now sexualized and shamed me. I have been bullied and stared at, yet I am still just an eighth grader trying to figure out what is happening to me.  In general, the confident girl I once was has gone by the way side. I have started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I am extremely vulnerable.

In the Hands of Men

Now it’s a year later, and the summer before my freshman year is dragging. I spend my time at the swim club or with friends, especially Buddy, but I never tell them about the “Newton Boys” or Jimmy.  After that one phone call, I talk with a few of the guys over the phone, even though I haven’t met them. The one guy who does call me all the time, is Jimmy.  And after talking with him on the phone off and on for almost a year, the only things I know about Jimmy are that he loves music— Jane’s Addiction in particular, has long hair, and is twenty-two. He says the word dude a lot, and has a gritty like rocks against bare feet type of voice, as if he’s twenty-two going on eighty.

“When am I gonna meet you, girl?”

“I don’t know,” I tell him, terrified.

What if he doesn’t like me?

I don’t know what twenty-two year old men want; I can barely figure out guys my own age.

“Well, I’m nervous,” I admit as the little hairs on my arms stand at attention. A man wanting to meet little old me!

“Girl, it’s all good. Don’t worry.” and that is it.

Jimmy has short explanations and opinions on everything. To me, that’s just strange considering that in my house if someone wants to tell you what he or she thinks, which is always, you better sit your butt down.  So after a long period of coaxing with short words, and claims that, “Girl, it will be all good,” at the end of June, I meet Jimmy. Read the rest of this entry »

A new Birth: Birthing me

In life, Uncategorized, woman, writing on September 19, 2013 at 1:32 am

This year I was supposed to be the proud owner of two kids.

Guess what? I wasn’t.

We did not have a baby again, in March of 2013.

Our only kid was born in March of ’11.

It sucked, basically. Roughest time, and it really showed which family and friends were there for us. Isn’t it funny how some family members can be the crappiest during the roughest time of our lives?

I digress.

Anywhoo, I blogged about this loss, and while this was easily one of the roughest years in my life, something big came of it all.

I birthed me.

Cue the new age music. Cue the Yanni. Break out the Dr. Phil and Oprah.

When you have a baby, your personality and goals can really be shoved by the way side because let’s face it, the kid’s needs are way more important, and hell, you’ve got a lot to figure out now that you’re a mom. You and Dad or you and your partner need to figure out the rigmarole of a new life. It’s stressful, however joyful it may be.

And no one can express to you how hard it will be, but it is.

I endured 3 sick pregnancies– January 2010 to August 2012, and so my goals and life were drastically different from when I had first graduated Columbia.

This year, as sad as it has been, has also brought me many great things.

A new job–a real job, one I like and can learn a lot from.

An almost finished memoir. I give myself until November for it to be done.

My comedy act is on the stage again.

I’m freelancing.

I see friends.

I decided that if I wanted to be happy, I had to do everything in my own power to make myself happy. I couldn’t wait for it to come to me. I couldn’t let life’s stressors and disappointments keep me from moving ahead. I had to move ahead no matter what was put in my path. No matter who deserted me or supported me. No matter what fell my way.

If I want happiness and some semblance of a life, I have to make that happen.

And I am.

And this is a major thing.

It is hard because I am juggling a lot, and I am missing out too,. Making one choice means eliminating another choice, and that is never easy, but it is life.

As alone as I have felt this year, I am not alone because I have myself. I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and more capable too.

I only wish I could remember this.

I feel it’s a flawless female socialized gene to doubt ourselves or feel bad for what we want.

I know that this year is already onto greater things, even if it means I am one year older and one step closer to Botox. PS. having a cute dermatologist doesn’t help the matter.

I just have to remember to keep moving ahead for happiness, even when things are low. My daughter stands to gain so much from a mother who always moves ahead with her head held high, and the rewards from my good choices will float on down to her, the most important person in my life.

 

See? I learned all that without any self-help books, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or psychotherapy (although I am a believer in therapy).

This message was brought to you by the tiniest dose of self-esteem, and ice cream cake, dairy’s answer to anti-depressants.

Cheers!

The Rough Road of the Memoir

In memoir, Uncategorized, writing on August 27, 2013 at 2:53 am

I just wrote 3 additional pages to my memoir tonight. I am close to finally finishing my baby, and I have been working on this for a long time.

People wonder why it takes so long, yet this isn’t fiction. I am not dealing with characters from my mind or imagination. If I were, I could treat them with a different perspective and emotional stance, but since I am writing my own story, it is a whole different ball game.

Tonight I was working on a section that covered a sad and dark time in my life, and after three pages, I just couldn’t keep going for the night. It is not always fun to write about these things so honestly, yet I feel in order for the book to be authentic and worthwhile in a literary fashion, I have to be distant enough to provide a perspective that I didn’t have while in the actual situation. And even though I am more than distant from the scenario I wrote about, since I am having a bad day, I find it hard to face the page for extended periods of time.

One of the things I love about doing comedy is that I can take dark moments and make light (er) of them. It is a refreshing break for me, and provides me with a different medium in which to be artistic. It also makes me happy, usually, although I sometimes find the atmosphere of comedy to not be so awesome.

Writing a book however, is such a mentally and emotionally fulfilling project, but it is one that takes time.

You need to have space from yourself in order to craft a memoir that can really bring depth, humor, and honesty, in my opinion.  From the first day I started until now, I can tell you that I have finally learned what the real heart of the book is, and where the meat of my story is. If someone asked me years ago to write a book jacket for my upcoming memoir, I would have panicked. Now that I have spent  a great deal of time writing this book along with more time and perspective, that book jacket doesn’t seem so daunting.

I know the story so intimately not only because it is my own, but because I have spent so much time crafting it, that I know what is it that needs to be told, and for the most part, what doesn’t.

But on days when I am feeling sad or doubtful, it is hard to face the page with the same expertise and skill that I normally have.

This project has been such a big deal to me, and I cannot wait to have it published, and it will be.

There is no try, only do.