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Jenson71
02-03-2007, 02:54 PM
Okay, I'm not as good as Dave Barry, but I'd like to be (for the college newspaper). With him in mind, I wrote this article:

Phobia
02-03-2007, 03:08 PM
You missed a couple words - other than that it was interesting.

Simplex3
02-03-2007, 03:09 PM
I don't feel like I ever got the point. :shrug:

It kind of acts like it's going a few different places, but never seems to take me there. It has potential, though.

Count Zarth
02-03-2007, 03:10 PM
Who did you write this for?

MIAdragon
02-03-2007, 03:14 PM
I don't feel like I ever got the point. :shrug:

It kind of acts like it's going a few different places, but never seems to take me there. It has potential, though.

I agree, give the end a little more attention and it will become a good piece.

Demonpenz
02-03-2007, 03:16 PM
without reading it i think it is shitty

Simplex3
02-03-2007, 03:19 PM
without reading it i think it is shitty
Did you hear John Goodman died?

RJ
02-03-2007, 03:21 PM
Agree with Simplex. You're starting off with an interesting character and place but you need to decide where to go with it. I was still looking for a story to get started when it ended.

You write well and pick good subject matter, you should stick with it.

Jenson71
02-03-2007, 03:39 PM
Thank you for the comments so far. I'm going to have to think of a better way to end it, tie it all together. I don't want to advertise the place. My initial thought is to provide a long paragraph of what Ishtar had said about psychics stuff.

Personally, I think they're all a bunch of crap, and my feelings haven't changed after going through a session. But I don't think I made a strong enough argument of that in the article, so maybe that would just come out of nowhere...

This is for the college newspaper, btw. I'm usually just a reporter, just give the straight facts with some quotes and decent commentary, but I wanted to try something more creative this time around.

Simplex3
02-03-2007, 03:41 PM
Personally, I think they're all a bunch of crap, and my feelings haven't changed after going through a session. But I don't think I made a strong enough argument of that in the article, so maybe that would just come out of nowhere...
This is one of the three places I thought you might be going and you can certainly amend the article to get that across.

Jenson71
02-03-2007, 03:46 PM
This is one of the three places I thought you might be going and you can certainly amend the article to get that across.

Okay, I can work on it with more of that angle. What were the other two places?

Simplex3
02-03-2007, 03:48 PM
Okay, I can work on it with more of that angle. What were the other two places?
It could POTENTIALLY go a million places, but the two others I started getting the feeling of were:

1. Gullible people
2. Some personal spontaneous evolution moment

trndobrd
02-03-2007, 04:07 PM
Okay, I'm not as good as Dave Barry, but I'd like to be. With him in mind, I wrote this article:

L Jenson

Bob. Not a peculiar or otherwordly name. Indeed, it is so wildly mundane that the owner of a cramped used bookstore off Main Street in Cedar Falls has taken on a second name to match his mystical side business. Instead of a snackbar with overpriced coffee, the book store serves as home to "Ishtar’s Tarot Reading".

The name "Ishtar" evokes visions of a Middle Eastern soothsayer and a horrible Hollywood catastrophe. Bob forgoes both. Instead, he wears sweatpants, a flat cap, and a long, dark scarf.

When I met Ishtar, he was sitting in his office talking about his high dental bills as he sipped coffee and smoked a cigarette.

As we chatted, he stressed to me that some tarot readers and psychics are just full of crap. I was, of course, skeptical of this claim.

Some just want your money, he explained, like the type that say, “Oh! I see something drastic in your future. You need to come back every two weeks.”

Ishtar is not one of those. He performs readings more for his own entertainment than compensation. Most importantly, he is, most definitely, not full of crap.

When he told a psychic friend in the mid 80s that only an earthquake in Iowa would convince him to pay attention to tarot readings. The Fates responded by moving the New Madrid fault line in Iowa enough to cause a small stir (two squirrels died) that very night.

My interest was more in what Ishtar could tell me about my destiny than details of the extortion racket Bob's dentist seemed to be operating. We proceeded with the reading.

The deck of cards he uses was made by the psychic friend. She even made the book that goes along with the cards, which he assured me is a rare and particularly good thing. As he cleared off the wooden table (it had to be wooden) he told me to think of a couple of questions.

“You have to be honest, and the cards have to make sense to you, in order for it to work,” he said. For instance, you can’t ask, “Will I find my long lost brother?” when you don't have a brother. Not even Miss Cleo could truthfully say “YOU LYIN’, BABY!” about that.

He handed me the cards, and told me to shuffle them as much as I would like, all the time concentrating on a question. I decided to throw him a softball. My first question was “Will I get all A’s this semester?” Ishtar put the cards in a line in front of me. Although not a trained psychic, I was required to pick out three and place them face down in front of me.

He flipped over the cards and explained their significance. The first card flipped over was the six cups, which is good. The other two cards also showed some positive elements, such as the hermit (that’s me) on one card seeking truth and the angel (also me, of course) on the other card balancing life in a smooth flow.

By all indications, I am getting a 4.0 this spring. But unfortunately, Ishtar noted that the cards don’t take your exams for you, so it was really still up to me.

My next question was a little harder. Would get at least one of the two jobs I applied for in the past week. Again, we went through the same process as before. When he flipped over the first card revealing a dark background with nine swords ramming through a bent up body, I knew it was time to print up some more copies of my resume.

The other two cards were of women. He explained this indicated a feminist side that most men rarely get to experience. I immediately made a mental note eat a raw steak and watch The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly when I got home.

Ishtar suggested that job outlook was negative because of what he called a “bitchy influence”, although I was not clear if the influence was from within or outside forces.

During our session, Ishtar described himself as a neo-pagan. He suggested that if each person lives according to one’s beliefs, then good things will turn out for them.

I believe that I still need a job, but at least I have those grades going for me. Maybe I'll know more in two weeks.


FYP

Jenson71
02-03-2007, 04:25 PM
FYP

:D Some good stuff.

I made some edits. They are in bold.

Simplex3
02-03-2007, 04:57 PM
Better with the edits. You wrap up and solidify where you were driving to.

trndobrd
02-03-2007, 07:55 PM
Watch transitions between verb tense and using "you" instead of "I". You were there, write in the first person, it's more interesting.

Jenson71
02-22-2007, 10:38 PM
Some person from Canada wrote a letter to the editor...

--------------

RE: “Miss Cleo’s influence ...”

I think Mr. Jenson had more interest in finding a story he could mock, rather than even attempt to report. Clearly he does not hold faith in divination, but it has existed since long before the birth of many of the worlds prominent religions.

Perhaps it would have been interesting, even enlightening, to read an article about the modernization of this ancient practice – whatever peoples private views on it may be.

However, what we ended up with was a page of high-school comedy draped in a one-sided preconceived opinion.

I’m sure Mr. Jenson thought he was being quite smart with his little asides and snaky comments. I just found it sad. I hope that Mr. Jenson will take the time to reflect on this experience so that he may grow from it and become a more mature writer... otherwise, I’m afraid that a career in journalism is not in his cards.

– ------ -------

Now I don't feel like doing too many more articles like that anymore.

sedated
02-22-2007, 10:40 PM
I don't see shit

but my hand looks really weird

Jenson71
02-22-2007, 10:42 PM
I don't see shit

but my hand looks really weird

I edited it out of the thread starter. trndobrd has the basic gist of it.

Jenson71
02-22-2007, 11:49 PM
bump for simplex and friends

Simplex3
02-23-2007, 01:39 AM
Never mind.

Jenson71
02-23-2007, 01:42 AM
Never mind.

Never mind that letter to the editor guy?

Simplex3
02-23-2007, 01:43 AM
Some person from Canada wrote a letter to the editor...

--------------

RE: “Miss Cleo’s influence ...”

I think Mr. Jenson had more interest in finding a story he could mock, rather than even attempt to report. Clearly he does not hold faith in divination, but it has existed since long before the birth of many of the worlds prominent religions.

Perhaps it would have been interesting, even enlightening, to read an article about the modernization of this ancient practice – whatever peoples private views on it may be.

However, what we ended up with was a page of high-school comedy draped in a one-sided preconceived opinion.

I’m sure Mr. Jenson thought he was being quite smart with his little asides and snaky comments. I just found it sad. I hope that Mr. Jenson will take the time to reflect on this experience so that he may grow from it and become a more mature writer... otherwise, I’m afraid that a career in journalism is not in his cards.
ROFL

That is the EXACT type of reaction I would have been looking for. Perfect.

Simplex3
02-23-2007, 01:47 AM
The reason Mr. Cleo would have been interested in reading how the practices have changed is because he's a closet gypsy. He's going to be WAaaay in the minority on this one. As a journalist any piece you write is going to piss off somebody. Here you pissed off the lunatic fringe. That's ideal. This guy will read your next article and he'll keep doing it until you stop pissing him off.

Jenson71
02-23-2007, 01:48 AM
ROFL

That is the EXACT type of reaction I would have been looking for. Perfect.

I was a little surprised. Especially since the guy's from Canada!

J Diddy
02-23-2007, 01:49 AM
I was a little surprised. Especially since the guy's from Canada!

were you looking for a molson blue

Miles
02-23-2007, 01:52 AM
Do you have a version since trndobrd quoted it?

Jenson71
02-23-2007, 01:53 AM
Do you have a version since trndobrd quoted it?
http://fp.uni.edu/northia/article2.asp?ID=5776&SECTION=3

ClevelandBronco
02-23-2007, 02:01 AM
I was a little surprised. Especially since the guy's from Canada!

You'll understand the lunatic fringe in Canada better once the Penguins move to K.C.

As an Avalanche fan here in Denver, I've done more that my fair share of time on the Canucks board. A good many of those folks are nothing like us, despite what you might have assumed, given our geographic proximity and common cultural heritage.

I've come to understand that the majority of them are too far gone to care about anymore. Then again, they generally hate all things American, so they'd probably take my scorn for them as a point of pride.

All that aside, keep writing daily. Don't let a day go by without writing on a new subject. You're trying to find your voice and you'll never get there if you rely on anyone else to tell you what that voice should be.

You mentioned Dave Barry. He had to come up with something fresh (or at least readable when he was off his game) every day until he made his bones.

Miles
02-23-2007, 02:08 AM
http://fp.uni.edu/northia/article2.asp?ID=5776&SECTION=3

Congrats on having an article in the school paper. Way too late at night to say much in the way of constructive feedback, but with a cursory look your writing is very solid.

Jenson71
02-23-2007, 02:09 AM
Congrats on having an article in the school paper. Way too late at night to say much in the way of constructive feedback, but with a cursory look your writing is very solid.

Thanks Miles, I appreciate that; coming from you, especially. Although, I must admit, most people that want to write for the paper here, get their articles in the paper.

Miles
02-23-2007, 02:17 AM
Thanks Miles, I appreciate that; coming from you, especially. Although, I must admit, most people that want to write for the paper here, get their articles in the paper.

Even if you think its not that hard to get them in, its still an accomplishment. For the journalism types it may be more common but for others it stands out more.