It’s Thanksgiving in the United States! What are you thankful for this year? I made a list of four things I’m especially thankful for, including my girlfriend and my parents (who’ve supported me through every crazy venture) and the fact that I have people interested in my creative work. Also, TWITTER PIE!
**Quick Update: #PimpMyBio is now officially “That thing where would-be-mentees post their own Pitch Wars bios,” which is awesome, and Dannie Morin has taken on compiling the full directory–up to almost 50 at last count! If you’re an aspiring mentee, why not add your own?**
That’s right, it’s PITCH WARS 2013, and I am sending around a query and five sample pages to four would-be mentors in hope of a partnership that yields fame, fortune, and world domination. Next year, it will be me licking a sledgehammer nude on MTV! Or, you know, just a book deal would be nice.
After the hours I’ve spent reading mentor bios, it occurred to me that a would-be mentor might appreciate a similar opportunity to learn a few things about me. So I put together a little list of my own.
First, an introduction: As you can probably tell from the header, my name is Christopher Keelty. My Pitch Wars project is a 95,000-word science fiction novel (for adults) featuring superheroes and LGBT themes in a future setting. I write adult speculative fiction, usually science fiction or fantasy but sometimes tip-toeing into horror or paranormal. With that background, I present….
The Top Eight Reasons I Should Be Your Pitch Wars Mentee
8. I’m easy to collaborate with. Over thirteen years of collaborative writing in a business environment, you have to get there. I’m entirely capable of hearing criticism of my work, even if it’s sometimes harsh, without throwing a temper tantrum or declaring that YOU ARE A GATEKEEPER AND I SHALL NOW SELF-PUBLISH MY PERFECT MASTERPIECE.
Today is the first annual “Repackathon,” in which hundreds of volunteers will spend 24 straight hours preparing donated food to go to area food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other emergency food distribution sites.
A shocking number of New Yorkers–roughly twenty percent of the population–live in poverty, and almost a third rely on emergency food programs at some point each year. This holiday season will be especially rough following cuts to the federal SNAP program (aka “Food Stamps) that took effect on November 1.
Night owl that I am, I’ll be working the 9 PM to midnight shift. I’ll try to post photos, but they probably won’t show up here because WordPress is tough to update on a cell phone. For that you’ll have to follow me on Twitter or Instagram.
The United States is more divided, politically, than we have been since the Civil War–so say several recent studies. The question is: Why? I think it’s because Americans get our news from a record number of sources–and many of them aren’t nearly as interested in journalism as they are in revenue from advertisers. So what can we do to make things better?
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Liz ran the Philly marathon Sunday morning. I did not–though it didn’t stop me from eating a whole pint of ice cream Saturday night! After a series of lousy marathon experiences (getting sick and having to drop out of Boston 2012, injuring herself in Harrisburg, almost being blown up in Boston 2013) she had a terrific day and posted another PR–her third in three visits to the big Philly race. Today’s was 3:05:27, good for another trip to Boston in 2015.
I put together a little video highlight real of the race, which was pretty fun. My favorite part is the line of guys peeing between the UPS trucks, but there are some other entertaining moments too–like the young girls holding a sign encouraging their dad to not poop his pants.
Worth a reminder: If you’re a runner looking for a coach in the NYC area (or for virtual coaching anywhere in the world) Liz is not only a very fast runner but also a hell of a trainer. Check her out at Coach Corky Runs.
(This is for the 2013 marathon, on November 17, 2013. Liz is running, I’m not.)
7AM: Near start line
~7:30-7:50 AM: 18th and Chestnut
~8:20-8:45 AM: Spring Garden St Bridge (above runners)
~9:50-10:15 AM: Near Lloyd Hall along the Kelly Drive
…then meeting Liz near the finish line. This may vary depending whether I think I can catch sight of anyone else I may know.
If you’re also going to be spectating and you want to try to meet up, call, text, or Facebook. I’ll have my phone on.
President Obama: “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. Period.”
Americans: “We lost our health insurance plans!”
President Obama: “Those weren’t real health insurance plans, they were scams.”
Americans: “But we liked being scammed!”
I don’t understand why the Administration is not doing a better job messaging. Most of America seems to be under the impression people are losing cheap, quality health care plans, when what Obamacare is actually doing is shutting down scams that looked like health insurance, but never even paid back the cost of premiums, ever.
It’s not as if the information isn’t out there. Consumer Reports described the plans in question as “[not] real health insurance at all.” Daily Kos has done a great job following up on reports of people who claimed their costs were soaring, and found that Obamacare is actually getting them better plans at lower prices, and explaining how insurance companies alarmist cries “Obamacare is shutting down your plan” are pretty much–surprise–a scam. Continue Reading
My mother grew up in a multi-family house in Queens, New York City, which she shared with her three sisters, her mother and father, both sets of grandparents, and a couple of surviving great-grandparents. My father, who had four siblings, grew up in similar surroundings.
The question of “Why It’s So Hard to Get By in America Today” is something I reflect on frequently. I’ve had the good fortune to make good money for most of my adult life. Liz and I learned recently that we are, according to the Census bureau, “affluent” Something for which, incidentally, we both feel incredibly lucky.
Yet there’s always been this pervasive feeling that we’re barely scraping by, and when I see friends and relatives bringing babies into their lives, I wonder how they can possibly afford that. From where I sit, having a child seems like the economic tipping point that would knock me off this spinning merry-go-round into the Social Safety Net, from which recovery is incredibly is all-but-impossible.
So why does the America we now occupy seem so much harder to afford than it used to? Continue Reading
I haven’t posted anything on YouTube in a while, and I’m blogging sporadically. This is not because I don’t love you any more, Internet. It’s because I’m working on a new novel and trying to pour my creative energies into that first. No, I’m not doing #NaNoWriMo, but if I can finish this first draft before the end of the year I’ll be elated.
YouTube suffers most because of any of the social media stuff I do, YouTube videos are by far the most time-consuming. I do have a few videos in mind and I’d like to get something up this week, so keep watching.
We had a pumpkin decorating contest at work for Halloween. This was my team’s contribution, which happened to emerge victorious:
A group of us also took it on ourselves to “Halloween-ify” the hand-drawn chalk cityscape in our office, which was a blast. No less than ten people contributed with their own little touches–bats, fog, a creepy moon, hands reaching out of graves, and so on. I can’t show you the whole thing, but below are a few select details:
Those are Dementors circling the Empire State Building, by the way. I don’t know why I drew King Kong climbing the Freedom Tower, but maybe it’s because he hasn’t perfected the Patronus Charm yet.
I also drew the skeletal horse, which I am very proud of–even though it doesn’t look so much like a horse skeleton.