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Death of a Content Farm: RIP Examiner.com

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2016 at 8:48 pm

examiner post

The website that made me a full-time, professional freelance writer is no more. Over the weekend, Examiner.com officially closed its “doors” and disappeared from the internet, and along with it went over 3,000 of my articles created over seven years.

Examiner.com is the reason I’m a writer now instead of a social worker. It was a cheeseball website, but it was MY cheeseball website. 

I will miss it so! Check out my personal Stern Show blog at Not Howard Stern from now on….

 

I Write for Hulu Blog Now! Check Out: “Why We’re Pulling for ‘Maya & Marty'”

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2016 at 10:03 pm

hulu logo

I’m pretty durn thrilled to be writing for the Hulu Blog now! Check out my first post!

Source: Why We’re Pulling for “Maya & Marty”

Rejection Project Month 4 Report: That’s Acceptable

In Articles, Memoir Essays, Project Rejection, Uncategorized on May 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

New to my blog? Read about my Quest to Get 50 Rejection Letters in 2016 here

April was an absolute, utter, total disaster for my Rejection Project. Not only did I only received two measly rejections, something truly horrible happened.

I was accepted.

accepted stamp

An extremely personal essay I wrote about pregnancy depression was accepted for publication at a GIGANTIC media outlet–Vice.com.

VICE LOGO

I wrote the piece last September in the height of my pregnancy depression despair. I was in such agony and rage about the lack of support available I decided that IIIIIII would be THE voice on the topic. But even as I wrote it, I whimpered: “No one’s going to publish it. No one’s going to read it. NO ONE.”

But they did. I don’t know how many people–but I know that Vice has 5 million follower of Facebook, and if even 1% of them read it, that’s 50,000 people. That’s a LOT.

This rejection situation is a disaster. At least I know for SURE that no one will ever publish my awesome novel. Both rejection letters I got this month were for my novel query letters–and both of them came within 24 hours of me sending out my request.

rejected stamp.png

I’m sure getting published on Vice will be my one and only writing accomplishment EVER.

I think.

Here’s my article. Read it! Share it! I’m for sure going to send out some queries to turn it into a book that will hopefully get rejected many times over!

Maybe???

Rejection Project, Month 3 Report: 133% Success Rate

In Project Rejection, Rants, writing on April 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm

If you’re new to my blog, you can read about my 2016 Rejection Project here

It’s officially spring. Fresh flowers and rejection letters are a-bloomin’ everywhere.

spring flowers

March 2016 was an intense month for me. After the initial post-birth adrenaline wore off some time in late February, the realities of caring for a tiny, helpless human set in this month and my greatest creative fears were realized. While I did successfully accomplish keeping a small person alive, fed, cleaned, and emotionally nurtured, my creative writing accomplishments dwindled down to near nonexistence–as did my rejection letter pursuits. Three days before the end of the month, I decided to glance at my submission log to see how many I’d cranked out in March, thinking I was behind and had only submitted about ten.

I’d done TWO. I submitted TWO things.

two pic

And I’d received THREE rejection letters from things I’d submitted last month.

rejection letter.jpg

I looked down at the 10 pound, bald, pheromone secreting cutie pie suckling at my boob, and flashed forward to myself 30 years down the  still living in the same one-bedroom apartment and sobbing “My career,…my CA-REEEEEEERRRR!!!” It was clearly all over for me. All those evil “friends” and “mental health clinicians” telling me to back off and take it easy in the wake of my newfound motherhood had won. I had stopped working my ass off on writing. I was officially just a milk machine/nanny and any hopes of having my work seen and praised by anyone besides my mom was out of the question.

I half-heartedly sent out one more novel query and received a form letter rejection the next day.

Three submissions. Four rejection letters, bringing my total number of “nos” for the year to seven. I was 25% of the way through the year and about 15% of the way to my goal. And I hadn’t written anything new in weeks.

I took a few valuable moments to stare into space and reflect on my lack of creative direction, my lack of inspiration, my lack of productivity, my lack of a sense of purpose, and my desire to beat anyone who tells me that “being a mother is the greatest purpose of all” with a baseball bat. Then I cried a little.

But April showers sometimes bring May flowers.

I’m working on two articles, a spec script and a punch up project now. And my goal is to submit 20 times this month.

And, yes, I know….I know…my baby is the cutest most precious thing on Earth. No,…seriously…I KNOW…

john and liz peanut

OK,…FIIIIIINE,…you’re my greatest creation of all. FINE….

 

Rejection Project Month 2 Report: Two ‘Nos’ and a Baby

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection, Uncategorized on March 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

rejected stamp

February was quite a month over at Rejection Central (my apartment). In the second month of my quest for a year filled with rejection, I’ve already DOUBLED my success rate. If you’re new on the scene, you can read about the 2016 Ultimate Rejection Project here

In January, I scored a piddly ONE rejection off the 15 submissions of articles, scripts, videos and pitches I sent out into the world. This month? I got TWO! But they weren’t just any two. This month, I hit the crown jewel of rejections. I got a “no” from the New York Times!!!

queen elizabeth (2)

She may be Queen of England, but I bet she never got rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES!

“But Liz,” you may be thinking. “Doesn’t pretty much EVERYONE get rejected by the New York Times?”

No dude. No, they don’t. To be IGNORED AND DELETED by the New York Times may be a commonplace occurrence, but to actually get rejected by them? It takes a lot of work. I submitted a super personal essay to the NYT’s parenting blog months ago. I got ignored. I sent it again. Ignored. Then I sent it a third time with a pushy note about how highly relevant it was and tying it to a popular hard news story. Then, I got back a heart-stopping, soul-inflating personal email back from the editor. She said “I’m thinking about this one.”

Ermagerd ermagerd erma-GERD!!!! It was a “maybe!!!!”I was up for consideration. By the fancy-pantsiest news source in the world. Cut to a full week of me dance-a-brating to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory everywhere I went.

lady gaga edge of glory

Aaaaaaaaaand then I got a “No.” It was a thoughtful “no” though. It was a “no” with an explanation and a pat on the back. “Keep writing,” she said.

Some very smart, fancy pants writers I know said I should consider it a huge accomplishment. And I do. I mean,…it’s not the accomplishment I WANTED, but I do have a crowning achievement for my Rejection Project just two months in. Plus, it inspired me to send my article to a slew of other places, which earned me ANOTHER very supportive rejection letter from an editor who said she’d love to use the story, but was quitting her job in a week so wouldn’t have a chance to feature it.

I made a commitment last month to attempt to double the amount of submissions that I made in an effort to up my rejection harvest, but one week into the month I got slightly sidetracked by giving birth….

liz with peanut

In case you were about to tell me “that’s no excuse Liz!” I want you to know that the night I came home from the hospital I DID attempt to submit my drama pilot in the Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab competition, but there was this…like…BABY in the house? And he was like….CRYING and stuff, so at 11:56 PM, 3 minutes before the deadline, I had to accept that there was no way in Hell I was going to be able to pull a descriptive essay on the story arc of the entire first season of my imagined series out of my butt. Sorry Redford. You’ll have to wait until next year.

I did send out a slew of query letters for my novel on the last day of the month, and I don’t want to spoil next months post, but lemme just say things are looking good when it comes to me getting smacked down in March!

Rejection Retraction: I’m failing at failing

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection, Uncategorized on February 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm

I’m an even bigger failure at failing than I thought. I celebrated the first month of Rejection Project 2016 this weekend by boasting that I’d already scored 2 rejection letters towards this year’s ultimate goal of 50. I was wrong.

nope button

I was sure one of the sketches I’d gotten rejected from the CBS Diversity Showcase was then rejected from a showcase for rejected sketches, which seemed, in a way, to be an especially impressive feat. Unfortunately, since my first posting, I’ve received a lovely note from one of the organizers rejecting my rejection from the rejected sketch showcase, alerting me that my proposed rejected sketch was never received. I never sent it. I left it in the “Drafts” folder of my mailbox. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that I have a full-grown human being about to crawl out of my body within the next few days to weeks. It’s called “baby brain”–a phenomenon in which a pregnant woman’s brains begin functioning with the clarity of a 5-year-old high on Whip-Its.

One of my two rejections–the more impressive one, quite frankly–has been rejected. I’m down to ONE MEASLY REJECTION out of 14 submissions for the month of January 2016. That means to meet my goal of 50 rejections this year, I’ll have to do about 60 submissions a month. After living for decades in fear of rejection, I now live in fear that there are literally not enough places on Earth for me to get rejected from so I can meet my goal.

It’s too early in the project to accept that I can’t achieve the level of rejection I aspire to. I won’t accept it. I reject it.

I. WILL. ACHIEVE. REJECTION. GREATNESS.

Read about Project Rejection 2016 here

achievement

Rejection Project Month 1 Report: 2 Down, 48 to Go

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection on January 31, 2016 at 8:21 pm

thumbs down

 

I’m going to have to start working a lot harder at getting rejected. I am way behind.

At the beginning of 2016, I set a goal to acquire no less than 50 rejection letters for my writing over the course of this year. See the post here

I estimated I’d have to make at least 100 submissions to successfully rake in my required number of rebuffs. It turns out that was DUMB.  Fifteen times this month I’ve submitted articles, pilot scripts, comedy videos, sketches and novel queries this month and eagerly awaited a flood of email smackdowns. I’ve received a paltry TWO rejection letters.

One of them was from a fairly impressive website that rejected an extremely personal article I’ve been trying to get published for months. It wasn’t a total blow-off. The editor suggested some rewrite notes with her rejection and said I could send it back to her later on. And I did. Still waiting for another rejection on that one.

The second one was special. For the past three and a half months I’ve been pitching sketches for an industry showcase through CBS. By the end of the pitch process, ALL of my sketches were rejected, but my clever co-writers decided to put together a showcase of the rejected sketches, so I submitted one. And?

Yeah. It got rejected. From the rejected sketch showcase.

reject do not use

It feels like that should count for extra credit, right? But I’m not cheating. I want 50 REAL straight up rejections. I know I can do this.

It’s true I’m due to have a baby in less than two weeks, but I’m not going to let the creation of human life interfere with my rejection goals. I’m going to need to pull in at 4-5 rejection letters a month for the rest of the year if I want to reach my quota which means at this rate I’m going to need to do at least 30 submissions a month–about one a day. Maybe two a day so I can take off that day I’m actually squeezing out a baby.

giving birth rachel

Bring it on February,….

2016: The Year of Rejection

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection on January 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm

rejection no 1

2016 is going to be a painful year, and not just because I plan to squeeze a giant baby out of my delicate lady parts sometime around Valentine’s Day. The pain of giving birth is supposed to be, like, “difficult” and stuff, but I have something potentially more excruciating planned for my new year. I am making 2016 into my “Ultimate Year of Rejection.”

I’m a writer. I’ve actually made a living doing it for a few of the greatest years of my life, but it’s not exactly an easy life to sustain. Over the past few years, most of my writing has been unpaid, for spec projects that I hope will one day become things people actually read or see on TV. I’ve got a novel (it’s dark but funny), two pilots (dark, but funny), a handful of articles (yup…dark/funny…OK one of them is JUST dark), and a massive clusterfuck of pitches and proposals that swirl around my brain with the furious intensity of a drunken Tasmanian Devil.

And this is the year every single one of them gets rejected by the whole world.

I can be a pretty negative person, but not this year. This year I’m actually seeking out the thing that has crushed my fragile little artsy soul for so many years of my life: rejection. Fear of rejection has had me cowering like an ill-treated pound puppy for most of my life.

I run from it. I lament it. I wail and tantrum over my lack of success and tell myself every “no” is a confirmation that I am a talentless nobody who should give up and leave the art to the people who actually have something worth saying. But this year is going to be different. This year I will find success in my failure because I’m going to fearlessly seek it out.

I am setting a goal to acquire 50 official rejection letters for my writing this year—articles, scripts, pitches, proposals, agent queries, publishing house pleas and contest courtships.

rejected image 2

It’s not going to be as easy as it sounds. You might think that I could just find 50 places to submit my work and just wait for the negativity to roll on in, but I’ve learned something profoundly sad over the past few years. Rejection letters aren’t always so easy to come by. Most places I’ve sought to place my work don’t even have the common courtesy to tell me to go fuck myself. They just ignore what I’ve sent them and never respond at all. So, to get 50 real rejection letters I estimate I’ll have to send out my work to at least 100 places—probably a lot more.

Now, instead of dreading checking my email inbox to find out if my hopes of writing superstardom have once again been dashed for the umpteenth time, I can eagerly await the joyful resounding “No’s” of national magazines, novel agents, network fellowships and literary agents and collect them all in a pretty little binder that I can flip through whenever I need to feel a sense of accomplishment.

It’s going to be a great year.

Oh, and I’m going to have a baby.

cute baby

Liz Brown 2015: Her Year in Numbers

In My Life and Shit, Rants, Uncategorized on December 31, 2015 at 9:38 pm

(NOTE: THIS LIST IS ALMOST ENTIRELY ACCURATE)

Prescription and non-prescription drugs given up: 6
Cats euthanized: 1
Human babies created: 0.85

preggers announcement
Panic attacks experienced: 103
Pounds gained: 37
Hours spent in the basement of CBS: 4,000
Pilot scripts completed: 2
Spec scripts completed: 1
Minutes of original stand-up written: 18
Dollars paid in student loan interest: $3358
Dollars paid to student loan principal: $337
Years left in debt for a degree I don’t use: 29
Articles published in the New York Times: 0
Novels rewritten: 1
Hours spent in individual therapy: 102
Hours spent in group therapy: 96
Puppets acquired: 2
Hours spent learning puppetry from the REAL ELMO KEVIN CLASH: 36

essence outside

Commercials booked: 0
Yoga classes taken: 79
Most baths taken in one day: 4
Weeks spent pregnant: 34
iPhones broken: 1
Pounds of pizza consumed: 6 (approximate)
Hours spent listening to Beastie Boys: 195
Viewings of “Breaking Bad” from beginning to end: 1
(Cumulative total of “Breaking Bad” full series viewings: 6)
Hours spent worrying about things completely beyond my control: 3,106
Tiny newborn baby bunny suits purchased: 1

gap sherpa bunny suit

Pairs of shoes purchased: 2
Minutes spent successfully meditating: 30
Hours spent on Facebook: 934

Thank you, and goodnight,…. ‪#‎HappyNewYear‬

Magicallladies: Is This Your Card?

In Groundlings Theater, Videos on April 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

magicallladies screenshot

Remember the 90s? Back in the days before the internet became the world’s ultimate porn machine? Back in the day, our ancestors had to actually pick up the phone and pay $5.99/minute (other fees may apply) if they wanted to indulge in their ultimate sex fantasy with a stranger.

May I present the latest installment of “The Lady Series” starring myself and famous actress Kirstin Eggers as two of the most magical phone sex line scam artists in the business. TA DAAAAAAAAAAA!: