Friday, December 18, 2015

A Wee Blog Post About All The 'Merry Christmas' Kerfuffle ...

May I point out that Christmas is a day? December 25th is Christmas. Why all the consternation that folks don't say "Merry Christmas" for weeks leading up to December 25th?

We don't wish people "Happy New Year" during the six weeks leading up to January 1st.

We don't wish people "Happy Valentine's Day" during the six weeks leading up to February 14th.

We don't wish people "Happy Easter" during the six weeks leading up to ... whatever day Easter falls on that year.

We don't wish people "Happy 4th of July" during the six weeks leading up to July 4th.

We don't ... well, you get my point.

Christmas is a day. Yes, stores start decorating for in July now, but it's still a single day. That's it's been commercialized grossly doesn't change that fact.

And yes, there is a wintertime holiday season, during which other holidays occur, which is why some folks, some years ago, started saying "Season's greetings" and "Happy holidays."

It's inclusive. Inclusion is nice.

If you're a Christian and you'd like to say "Merry Christmas" for weeks on end, feel free. But if someone says something else, it's not meant as an offense. Really.

Well, some people might meant it as an offense. Some people are jerks.

But most of us don't mean it as an offense, OK?


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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Seriously, This Is The Most Beautiful Cover Letter Ever ...

I'm not in the market for a "real" job these days, though who knows when something fantastic may appear on my radar. But it occurred to me yesterday that it would be fun to write a cover letter in Trumpese. Trumpspeak, if you will. I posted my idea on Facebook, which prompted a fellow wordsmith friend to reply, "DO IT!" "I might write it as a blog post, if nothing else," I replied. So here I am. And hey, if a fantastic job opportunity comes along, I'll be ready to apply.

December 17, 2015

To Whom My Concern:

This very excellent letter is in response to your job posting for an editor. Nobody edits as well as me. Seriously. My editing is so beautiful. Also, I have the best command of the English language in history. See where I wrote "Nobody edits as well ..."? Most people would have written "Nobody edits as good ..." because they're losers and dummies. Why would you ever consider hiring them? I'm the best. Everybody says so. Especially my mother. My mother is the best mother of all time. Seriously. Mother Teresa was a hack compared to my mother. That lady always wore the same outfit. You know why? Because she lacked style, that's why. I have great style. But I digress. "Digress." See? That's a smart word to convey "I got off the subject," though, really, no thought of mine is ever off the subject because everything I think is important. That's why you're still reading this. Because you know I know more than you. You're lucky I'm still writing this. Someday, you'll be able to sell this letter for a lot of money. Seriously, so much money.

So you should hire me because I'm great. And I know a lot. My I.Q. is really, really high. My intelligence is so great, it really can't be measured. Those I.Q. tests, they're for losers. Except for the ones I've taken that have revealed my huge intelligence. Those tests were beautiful.

Of course, when you hire me, you should start cleaning out your office immediately. Seriously. I learn everything very fast. I will learn everything about your loser business in a day. And then I'll take over. And then I'll sell the company and make a huge profit. That's what I do. My huge intelligence compels me to make so much money.

Really, you should just sign your company over to me now. That way, your employees won't see you move out of your office when I take over. You see, I am a very, very compassionate person. I knew the guy who invented compassion but he was a loser, so I deported him. I knew I could make compassion huge. So huge. And gold. Gold is the best color. Silver would be gold if it could be, but it's too low energy. Silver will never be gold.

But loser people need metal, too. See? Huge compassion. I can't believe how nice I am. I probably shouldn't be so nice. You don't deserve it.

You know what? I don't want to be an editor at your loser company. But you can still have this letter and sell it for a lot of money. If I were you, though, I'd frame it and hang it up in your loser office. People will be very, very impressed that I took the time to write this letter to you.

I'm also shipping 1,000 framed head shots for you to hang up in your loser office so everyone will know you know me. The gold frames are the best and very, very classy. Of course, I expect you to pay the enclosed invoice immediately.

You're welcome,

Beth Kujawski

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

All I Want For Christmas, 2015 Edition ...

Running errands the other day, I found myself behind a woman headed to the same store. As she neared the doors, she noticed an older woman on her way out, using a walker. The woman in front of me opened both doors in an effort to be helpful, but, of course, was then standing in the middle of the open doors, blocking the older woman's way. "I've got this one," I said, and we each stood aside and held a door. The older woman, as adorable as you can imagine, looked at me and then my door buddy, a bit surprised, and said, "Thank you! Thank you very much! Happy holidays to you both!" We wished her happy holidays, too, and everyone went about their ways.

And that is all I want for Christmas, please. More of those simple moments of kindness among strangers, taking a few seconds to extend a hand or a smile or a holiday wish.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Wee Tale About A Wee E-Book ...

I come from a long line of bakers and writers. Not professional bakers nor professional writers but women in my family have a knack for both. And I, thankfully, have been granted both knacks. Which I took for granted for a long time.

I thought about becoming a pastry chef, but a couple of days spent in a professional kitchen cured me of that notion. And I thought about opening a bakery, but I really don't want to have to bake every day.

But I wrote. And I baked. And I shared what I baked. And one day, one of my editors asked me to write a holiday-cookie story. So I did. She dubbed me The Cookie Queen. Which is why my other blog, The Cookie Queen's English, is named as it is. And the reason I created that blog was to chronicle my holiday baking that year. And then I wrote more holiday-cookie stories in successive years. And then I baked for Angelo's blog for three years.

And then, last year, I thought it might be fun to publish a little something related to cookies.

And so I did.

A year ago today, December 9, though Amazon lists the publication date as December 8.

I've joked with folks that my wee e-book – or wee-book, if you will – has earned me tens of dollars. (So much for self-publishing being my path to fame and fortune.)

But this morning, on the anniversary of its publication, I took the time to call up each month's royalty report so I could add up the past year's sales.

The grand total, to date?


I love that number. I love it because it is, indeed, tens of dollars.

But I also love it, truly, because it's seventy-four dollars and forty-one cents that I earned from something I wrote and put into the world.

Not a freelance assignment (which pay far better). Not a blog post (which pays nothing at all).

But evidence that I can, indeed, sit at this machine and clack words onto a virtual page and package them in some form and some people – some of whom aren't even related to me or counted among my very dear friends – will happen upon it and plunk down two dollars and ninety-nine cents.

And a month or so later, Amazon will transfer a royalty payment into my checking account.

Very small royalty payments.

But royalty payments nonetheless.

And if I earn small royalties, perhaps one day, I will earn slightly larger royalties. Or even much bigger royalties. Perhaps royalties large enough to pay my bills.

Who knows.

But my weebook has been a trial balloon of sorts, the kiddie pool of publishing, the means by which I have begun to wrap my brain around the idea that thoughts in my head can become words on a page that can become a commodity.

I know that writers have been earning money for a long, long time. This is not a new concept.

But it was new to me. Freelancing is a different animal. Freelancing is still a form of a job.

This is solo. And it's scary. But it's also cool.