CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog











{August 31, 2006}   Dinner, Snack, the Cosmic Joker

Dinner: Chicken breast, salad, carrots, two bowls of cereal, soy milk.

Midnight Snack: Food poisoning.

If anyone’s ever had food poisoning, I’m so sorry. Now I know how it feels. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t even wish it on my partial enemy. Even my cats looked at me confused. I’m sure they were thinking, “What the hell’s the matter with you, ew, gross Mom, let us outta here, for real.”

What’s even stranger is that I was just bragging about my manly stomach the other day, how it’s made of steel, how I can eat anything, how I’ve never had food poisoning. My exact, bold words were “I’m immune to it.”

Never say never. Sometimes I think God is a cosmic joker.

C.A. MacConnell

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jill-o says:

chicken breast………salad……….carrots……….cereal……….soy milk.

you still have a stomach made of steel.



Jim Stanton says:

Was it food poisoning or over eating? You have quite a stomach, C.A.



Karen says:

food poisoning is awful. been there, done that. i hope you’re feeling better.



Matt says:

I know you’ve mentioned in other posts that you once trained horses. Do you eat like one too?

Just kidding around 🙂



Jeff- or-ly says:

You must be a big girl!!



Eddie says:

Yep. God is a cosmic joker. Look what he did to New Orleans.



Geri says:

There is nothing quite like food poisoning. Once I had some hamburger helper and I guess the hamburger was bad. I had it coming out of both ends of me for two days!

I hope your feeling better. the combination of the foods you ate might have also had something to do with it.



Stephanie says:

Gee, Geri, thanks for sharing.



C.A. MacConnell says:

Ha. Yes, I’m a big girl. Mammoth.

No, wasn’t the combo. It was the chicken. I’d describe it as my body was rejecting all of my organs. yeah, that about gets it. Anyhow, turns out, the girl I was talking to before it happened, when we were bragging that we never had it, she informed me yesterday that she had food poisoning on Saturday. Go figure.

Like I said, cosmic joker.



Heather says:

My husband and I got food poisoning from movie theater nachos once. I’m glad it happened because my husband wanted to go to the hospital, and I told him that it wasn’t even remotely bad enough to make it worth the misery of sitting in the E.R. and going through all that.

It really made him realize how terrible my migraines are because they land me in the E.R. several times a year.



C.A. MacConnell says:

oh, sicko, heather, you win.



Larry Gross says:

I want to point out that I know C.A. and yes, she is mammoth. That meal is light compared to what she usually eats. Sometimes when we meet up at Sitwell’s, I’m always afraid I won’t have enough money in my wallet to pay the bill.

The reason ZA closed on Ludlow? They ran out of food. C.A. was there everyday demanding more.

Mammoth? Indeed.

(for libel purposes – the above was totally made up)



C.A. MacConnell says:

this gives a new meaning to the term, laughing out loud



Karen @ the hood says:

You the girl who writes the music pieces right? How do you get to do that? I would like to do that someday. What can you tell me?



Heather says:

Karen: I know you’re talking to C.A., but I’m just putting my two cents in here (I don’t want to arouse the ire of Stephanie for answering someone else’s question).

The trick to writing for any publication is to send them something you wrote. Include a brief letter to the editor telling him/her how fabulous his/her publication is, and what an honor it would be to write for them.

Make sure you share your writing with someone else FIRST! That will help catch any typos or sentences that aren’t as clear as they could be.



Stephanie says:

“The ire of Stephanie”

Again, you take over. This question was directed to C.A. – have some respect for that.



Larry Gross says:

Let me step in here before – as one reader said a few days ago – a CATFIGHT!! begins.

I seriously doubt if Karen cares who she gets advise from as long as she gets some. Heather knows the ropes, as well as C.A., and every writer is a little different on their approach.

All good stuff from Heather but I seldom show my work to anyone else except my editor. When he sees it, it’s as good as I can get it. It’s not always possible, but I try to catch my own typos (except on comments here!) and the one thing that is a must for me is to read what I have written OUT LOUD. If it flows as you do that, if you don’t get hung up on a sentence or the wording, then you’re on to something.

That’s my two cents.



Heather says:

The only problem with reading your own work is that you often read what you meant to say rather than what you actually said. My solution is to download a FREE program called ReadPlease http://www.readplease.com

The other problem with reading your own work is that you already know what you’re trying to say, so it may seem perfectly clear to you, while someone else may not quite understand a particular sentence.

Larry is an established writer, so when he shows something to his editor, and good friend, he is more likely to get the benefit of the doubt when there is a mistake. An inexperienced writer whom the editor doesn’t know from Adam is less likely to get the same amount of wiggle room, so do whatever you need to do to make sure you send a clean copy of your work.



Larry Gross says:

I’m just going to say a few more things – then I’m DONE!

My editor at CityBeat, who is my good friend, doesn’t offer me the benefit of the doubt at all. If anything, it’s worse. If I make a dumb mistake – and we all do – I’ll hear about it forever.

Any good editor, even if you don’t know them, will find something that’s good in a story even if it needs a little work. Most good editors work with writers. That has been my experience. As far as my book published last fall, believe me, those editors were not my good friends! I had to fight to keep that book the way I wanted it.

Good advise from Heather but again – every writer is different.

Just one more thing. You want to write? Write! And also read. Reading is what makes you become a writer.

Off this blog. I got my own writing to do.



Karen @ the hood says:

Thanks guys – for the education.



Heather says:

Nope. Sorry. Send a clean copy.

Every writer is different, and so is every editor. Most editors probably wouldn’t condemn a good piece for a few typos, but there are plenty of editors (particularly those at larger publications where they have to sort through tons of submissions), that say openly that they will toss something right in the trash, even if it’s good, because they don’t have time for a writer who didn’t take the time to send them a clean copy.

Once you have have a publication or two under your belt, an editor is more likely to have confidence in your abilities. I’m sure any good editor can tell if a piece is good regardless of the language mechanics, but why allow grammar and punctuation to be an issue at all?

Send a clean copy. (clean doesn’t mean perfect, by the way)



Larry Gross says:

I’m not saving not have a clean copy. I’m not saying not to spell check your work. I’m not saying to have grammar and punctuation errors. I’m SAYING make it the best you can on a professional level and send it to a good editor you can learn from. They are out there. And start at small publications. Get some experience under your belt.

Wasn’t this blog about C.A. and her food poisoning?



Heather says:

Yeah, but arguing with Larry is more fun than food poisoning.

Arguing with Stephanie is too easy.

And just as a matter of common sense, anyone should listen to Larry over me because he IS an editor. (an editor who I thought had to go do some work).

😉



Larry Gross says:

My computer always lets me know when new mail has arrived to this blog and I always feel like I should look at it in case it needs editing. And for what it’s worth, Heather is one of the few people I’ll show work to in advance of an editor. Karen, send your work to Heather!



C.A. MacConnell says:

Hi, Karen. Perhaps I can be of help.

My answer for you: What has been key for me is school, then grad school. And I go to book signings, The Mercantile Library, etc, introducing myself to authors and editors. I ask advice, take notes. In submitting, the key is relentless persistence. I mean relentless. Focus on what you want to write, write it, ask for and take suggestions from other professionals. Then focus. This is important. Focus on a magazine that fits your style/subject. But keep writing, regardless.

Sometimes, I let grad school friends read my stuff and give suggestions. Or I give it to other authors I know…always people I know are mature writers. I never submit something I’m “working on.” I always strive to submit something polished and clean.

I’ve edited a ton of work, my own and others, so I have experience and can critique my own stuff. Most of the time, I edit and send without someone looking at it. (of course the mags edit it) If it’s something big, for a contest or a longer, personal work, I’ll often get feedback from another professional first. I use my gut on this. Basically, if somethin’ ain’t workin’, that means I need help.

This is all just my experience…and I am always trying to learn and grow from other writers, always asking questions, always taking suggestions, always wanting to push it to the next level. Thanks for asking and good luck to you!!



C.A. is right about school, but I think I’m done with it for a while. I think a B.A. is necessary, just be an educated person, but I’m undecided about the whole Masters thing. I mean, it’s good to spend a few more years practicing your craft under the guidance of professors, but one thing I learned from graduate writers is that you can either write, or you can’t.

The most important thing is to read, read, read. The thing about college was that I had to read things I wouldn’t have read on my own. It really broadens your mind, which is what a writer needs.



sally says:

where’s the “for lunch” post?



o.k. says:

how does one get a writing job for city beat?



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