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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 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

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

Gallipoli: The Final Wave and how it shaped my comic point of view

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

gallipoli end shot
When I was 7, I watched the final scene of Gallipoli with my Dad. So, that’s troublesome.

In case you’re blissfully unfamiliar with the 1981 Peter Weir war epic, let me sum it up as best I can: a super dreamy 25-year-old pre-anti-Semitic Mel Gibson and another hot dude are world class sprinters whose Olympic track careers get jacked by World War I in 1915. They work as runners carrying messages back and forth from the front line to the generals in the rear. In the final scene, Mel Gibson runs towards the trenches to let the soldiers know that the general has called off the fight–but he doesn’t run fucking fast enough and….

Warning, graphic content kind of:

It’s hilarious, right? Well, not really. Honestly, I was super crushed when I saw it. After the other handsome blonde runner dude gets shot running across the battlefield, the credits rolled, and I said to my Dad: “But,…why? Mel Gibson was coming to say it was OK and they didn’t have to fight!”

And my Dad said: “He didn’t get there in time.”

I was really upset. It wasn’t fair at all. Mel Gibson was REALLY running for it. Later in the evening, I braided my Barbie’s hair and lamented the cruelty of the world.

“That’s the way things work out sometimes,” a 7-year-old me said, shaking my head and making a note of it in my Ramona Quimby Personalized Diary.

I guess my point is that I learned early on that life is absurd. Or, maybe my point is that painful experiences help you shit out funny things to say. Or maybe I’m just desperately hoping there’s one other person out there besides me that thinks it’s funny to think of a 7-year-old toe-head blonde in a froggy turtleneck watching the end of “Gallipoli” with her Dad?

Survey Names Los Angeles As Most Sex-centric City in U.S.

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 9:32 am
Venice Beach

Venice Beach isn't closed. Everyone is just at home banging.

It may be time to officially change L.A.’s nickname from City of Angels to City of Strumpets.The newly released results of a survey from Match.com’s sister site Chemistry.com reveal that eight of the 10 most sex-loving cities in the country are in California — and seven of those are local to Los Angeles.

I suspect that when they picked “Eureka!” (I have found it!) for the California state motto, they may have been talking about the G-spot.

Read the rest on LA Weekly After Dark

Holy shit. I’m a sex writer.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

‘Tis a glorious day in the world of Liz Brown.

I had my first piece published on LA Weekly’s ‘After Dark’ Sex Blog today, and now even IIII know I’m a real-live professional writer.  For a sex blog.

Please God, don’t let me ever be THIS annoying:

If you know me personally, you have some idea how hilarious it is that I’m now passing myself off as a sexpert. The wildest sexual thing I’ve ever done is watch ‘Requiem for a Dream’.  If you don’t know me personally, feel free to envision me as a Goddess of Sexual Knowledge. Either way, you’d better read my shit. There WILL be a quiz.

Check out my first LA Weekly After Dark piece here:

5 Sexy Condom Tips for More ‘Pro-Phylactic’ Safe Sex

The Best Places for Homeless Sex in Los Angeles – Silver Lake edition

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Everywhere I go, the homeless are making love.

Sometimes I wonder if their sex lives are better than mine. While I don’t envy their constant day-to-day struggle for survival on the mean streets of L.A., I definitely resent their ability to eschew taboos about sex in public.

One thing that I’ve learned by observing and working with L.A.’s homeless population is that being without shelter doesn’t have to curb your sex life. I’ve observed more homeless sex acts than any former middle class white girl should. It got me thinking: where are the best places for homeless sex in Los Angeles?

L.A. is a big place with neighborhoods as diverse as the dildo selection at Hustler Hollywood. I decided to start by exploring the love dens of the shelterless in my own neighborhood: Silver Lake, aka Hipster Central.

5 BEST PLACES FOR HOMELESS SEX IN SILVER LAKE

1.   
PARKING LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM CAFE TROPICAL 

This location is a proven hotspot. I’ve personally observed three separate sex acts in this parking lot myself. There’s a mattress next to the dumpster right behind Sun Lake Drugs that serves as a popular sleeping station/fuckpad. You may get interrupted by some of the hipsters coming out of the AA meeting at Café Tropical, but they’re totally cool and non-judgmental. Also, there are a variety of pillows and blankets available. It’s not romantic, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone.


2.   
SILVER LAKE DOG PARK AFTER DARK 

By day, the park is a popular humping ground for Silver Lake’s hippest hipster doggies. By night, it’s an untapped wonderland of coital pleasures. The park “closes” at 10PM –just in time to take advantage of the low lights and do some star gazing with a receptive lover. The only drawback: doggie poop “land mines” that could harsh on the afterglow when you’re on your way out.

3. UNDER THE BRIDGE

The bridge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge” (where Anthony Kiedis used to shoot up heroin) isn’t just for bleak but lyrically inspiring drug binges anymore. Now it’s the Bunny Ranch of the homeless Silver Lake community. If you park your car under there (cause you’re late for a gig at Silverlake Lounge), be prepared to hear some coital music emanating from the mattresses nearby. There’s nothing sexier than fucking like a rock star at a spot where rock was born—except fucking somewhere that totally doesn’t smell like pee at all.

4. MUSIC BOX STEPS

When Laurel and Hardy’s historical landmark isn’t occupied with high school students smoking a bowl, it’s an optimal location for those willing to do a stand-and-bang. Plus, sometimes the high school students will share their bowl.

5. PARKING LOT BEHIND EL POLLO LOCO ON SUNSET

Most of the time, the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on a major L.A. boulevard would be a straight up no-no for a public screw, but the El Pollo Loco at Sunset and Sanborn has a cozy and secluded back parking lot with multiple dumpsters for privacy. I’ve only observed one homeless sex act at this location, but the convenience of the affordable meal right next door after a quickie is undeniable. Plus? That chicken is CRAZY man!