Three Totally Amazing and Brilliant Cover Letters You Can Steal for Yourself

Dear Bob,

That’s right, I know your name is Bob. How do I know? I Googlified you, and discovered that the person who reads these things is named Robert, and Rob is a silly nickname.

But Bob, that’s not the important part. I mean, yes, I’m pretty much a wizz at the Googling, but there’s so much more to me than that. Once when I was seven I got a fish hook stuck in my nose, and I was able to remove it without later requiring major surgery. Which is just what I want to do for you, Bob. There’s a hook in the nose of your organization, and I have the skills, the nerve, and the grit to take it out.

I think once you look through my resume you’ll discover I have all the mad skills you want, and probably some that you don’t. None of that matters. What matters is that I can do it. I will do it. And you want me to do it.

Trust me, Bob.

Yours,

J.L. Scholkington

ps. I also know that you live at 145 Maple Drive in Torrington CT. Say hi to Sally and Kimmie for me. I hope her recital goes well this weekend. ;-)

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Dear Sir, Madam, Mx, or Other,

Did you see what I did there? I am not the most politically correct person in the world (screw that) but I’m no dummy. As a white-cis-heteroflexible-polyamorous-libertarian, I understand that meaning is located in all of us and it’s our job as Americans to create our own selves no matter how weird they may be.

But let’s get down to business. I. Will. Do. Better. Than. Anyone. Else. You. Are. Interviewing.

It’s a big claim, but as a white-cis-heteroflexible-polyamorous-libertarian I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about myself. In fact it’s safe to say that no one knows me better than I do. Not even my therapist or life coach know me this well. So, trust me on this one, and remember that there’s nothing as important as a self-aware person in the workforce.

Sure I might make mistakes, but I know it. I may be a little racist, but I’m okay with that. I’m okay with the fact that I don’t take orders well from women, but that awareness is what makes me so good at my job. If you can handle the real me, the raw me, than we can do amazing things.

Why don’t you give me a call and we’ll started. Together, I can do it.

Yours,

Triumph L. Johnson-Smith

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To Whom it May Concern,

For the last fifteen years I have worked tirelessly to bring about change through the revitalization of systems, people, and environments. From my multi-faceted–and fully integrated–approach to project deployment, to my holistically-based-values-driven problem solving, my skills are in high demand throughout the industry.

I’ve worked with big and small organizations across a multi-tiered layer of industry bases to insure expert levels of service located solutions, often times with highly quantifiable success rates. If you’re looking for an expert doer, who recognizes the difference between just talking about something, and moving it through the process steps necessary to launch actionable institutional events, you’ve found them.

After looking through your organization’s collateral, both online and off, I am convinced that you won’t find a better thought leader than me. Especially one who has such a long track record of bringing about revolutions in digital media spaces while keeping his eye firmly on the traditional media which still continues to drive our environmental and eschatological frameworks.

I look forward to hearing from you soon,

With generous and kind regards,

R. P. Smunchkin

Seven Things I Learned From Writing a Novel in Two Weeks.

photoBetween January 3rd and 17th I wrote a novel, which I’m currently calling Disgusting, Beautiful, Immoral. The total came to just around 107,000 words which is far longer than anything I’ve ever written. In comparison The Island on the Edge of Normal was around 60K words by the time it was published.

I’ve since sat back and thought about what the experience was like. Here are a few things that I’ve learned:

1.  I like to write in bursts. I knew this, but I had never really allowed myself to write this way. I’ve done some epic sessions before, but this time I gave myself permission to write the way it felt easiest.

 

2.  I had to let go of other things. Like cleaning, meeting friends, and generally being a responsible adult. This required permission from my partners as well as myself. But I felt guilty about writing so much, and I finally had to ignore that feeling in order to keep going.

 

3.  I overthink things. I’ve known this is true, but I hadn’t realized how much it impeded my ability to put words down on a page. Should that really happen next? Is that realistic? Can I seriously write another sex scene? Didn’t I just do that? Writing so quickly let me do far less of this than I might otherwise. I had some moments towards the middle and end where I started to wonder if I should go in a different direction and I had to decide to trust my instinct.

 

4.  Writing a whole lot is disorienting. I found myself stuck in the world I was writing, and often had trouble focusing on the people around me. I was distracted at work, at home, and everywhere else I went. At times I felt nearly drunk, although I wasn’t drinking all that hard during the process.

 

5.  I can’t control when or how ideas arise. For months I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for a new novel. I’ve started at least five different books and never got anywhere. I kept at it, and kept thinking, but when this novel started it felt completely new. It wasn’t something I had considered, but it just kept on coming and I had to write the words down. I had to let go of all the other things I thought I might write. It was nice to know that ideas do arise like this, but I can’t make it happen, and I have no idea if it will happen again.

 

6. I can write far more quickly in first person than anything else. When it comes to simply putting words on a page, I’m enough of an egotists to know that first person is key. I can write about me all day long.

 

7.  I like it. This is simple, but I think valuable. This was not a miserable, gruelling experience. It was fun, exciting, thrilling, and easy. It took up a lot of time, and it was hard work, but I enjoyed it completely. Rather than feeling exhausted and overwhelmed when I was done, I thought to myself, what’s next?

 

So, there you have it. I’m not sure if it will be helpful to anyone else, but it’s been to think about. I’d love to hear how you write, and what you learn from yourself by your process.

 

Dirty Boys Part Two

dbr_logoA week and a half ago, Jack Stratton, Gibson Grand, Daisy Danger, and I had a reading at the Magician called Dirty Boys. It was the second in what we hope will be a regular series, and it was even better than the first. More than 50 people turned out to hear us read, and the crowd was insanely supportive.

If you missed it and you’d like to listen, we created a podcast you can download of the whole event. It’s broken into two parts and can be found on iTunes or on our own Dirty Boys page.

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us!

Dirty Boys Reading Series on iTunes.

Dirty Boys Reading Series on Libsyn.

Halloween

I have some things I want to write about, but I haven’t had much time for this blog (or QNY for that matter). But last night we ended up having an impromptu halloween party with friends who all happened to be in the neighborhood. Here are a few shots, including some of my Instagram documentation of my gorilla hand doing shit all night.

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Write ‘Till You’re Hard

41+9psYUS-L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-69,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I finally got around to publishing a new book on writing erotica. It’s called Write Till You’re Hard: The Best Guide To Writing Erotica Ever. Now, the subtitle might a little contentious, but that’s just the way it goes. Who knows? Maybe it’s correct.

The thing I like best about this book is that it’s funny. I think there is good advice too, mostly concerning how to push yourself to find the sexy heart of your story, but the humor is what makes it enjoyable to read.

I have a short exercise at the end of each chapter with a hashtag so readers can do the homework and then post about it using the tag. We can then all re-tweet/re-blog it and support one another in creating more dirty books, stories, movies, ties, etc. I have no idea if anyone will actually do this. But I hope so, because I think it will be fun. In fact, maybe I’ll post a few of my own here.

As an exciting (for me mostly) side note, I just checked to find the book at the #1 spot in the How-to Write Erotica category on Amazon. Which is kind of awesome, since I’ve never had a #1 spot in any category before. Thank you!

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 2.32.51 PMHere’s a screen shot in case it doesn’t last.

Dirty Book Covers

I like designing covers. But creating covers for dirty books is still a challenge I’m not sure I’ve solved. I’ve done a number of covers for other authors in various genres, but when it comes to dirty books, I struggle to find a balance between compelling, sexy, and related to the content of the book.

Here’s a gallery of my covers (for my own books). For some of them I tried to go with typical genre covers (brorotica for example) while for others I wanted something more subtle. With Hana I tried a clever (well, I thought it was clever) text only version that is made from the first page of the story. I can’t say it worked, although I like it. Simply Smut is supposed to be simple–like the title. That books did do better once I simplified the cover. Pill X is supposed to just feel like porn, and I suppose it does. Personally I think Babysitter is probably the prettiest, sexiest, and most accurate cover (they fuck on a white couch).

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I like most of these, but I still wonder what it would take to create a branded, sexy, distinctive, and compelling series of covers. Could I come up with a distinctive Guy New York cover style that would sell more books?

What do you look for in a cover for a dirty book? Do you have favorites that just compelled you to instantly buy the book? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

ps. As a side note, I changed Camping With the Boys to Camping with the Guys, because it was getting hidden on Amazon. I suspect “camping” and boys” brought up too many boy scout related things, and they decided it shouldn’t also bring up a dirty book. It’s much easier to find now.

 

5 Things I Learned About Writing A Story Every Day for a Month

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A screenshot of September’s blog posts

I made a promise to myself (and my blog followers on QNY) at the beginning of September that I was going to write and post at least one story every day for the full month. And I did! Okay, I cheated a little. There were a couple days I didn’t write a new story, but since there were other days when I wrote a few, I never ran out. In fact, I still have four or five stories I didn’t post.

So, confessions aside, what did I learn?

1.  When I make myself do it, it happens. There were days I had to literally just start typing whatever came into my head, but it worked every time. I often wrote three of four first lines, and then continued on with the one I liked best.

2.  I get a little bored of sex. I found myself quickly wanting to write about other things. This included fairies, redneck cooch waxers, and the geological history of Manhattan.

3.  I worried less about each story. Any particular story felt less important than it might have, since there would be another one the next day. I didn’t worry that the blog would suddenly feel like a Daddy blog if I threw a few stories in, or that it would be all emo-pr0n all the time.

4.  I feel good about myself when I’m writing. I tried to write every morning, and it made my day better knowing I had already accomplished something.

5.  Writing a story every day is different than simply writing every day. I’ve been journaling every day for about six months. But writing a story required me to think differently. It also allowed me to explore sides of myself that I don’t often get to in my journaling.

All in all, it was a good experience. I pushed myself, felt good about my output, and for the most part I really enjoyed it.

If you’re curious, you can see them all here.

Barry Eisler Interview on the Passive Voice

 

“Paper distribution partners are known as publishers. They offer a bundle of publishing services: editing, line editing, copy editing, proof reading, cover design, jacket copy, marketing and promotion. All these are value-added services bundled along with distribution by those entities we call publishers. They’re important services. You couldn’t successfully reach a mass audience if no one was performing these services. These are all important, but the most fundamental of all has been the distribution of paper books. When I say these things it can make legacy publishers and agents foam at the mouth. I don’t know why, but it does. Anyway, that was then.”

Visit the Passive Voice to read the whole interview. It’s a good read.

Mannahatta

IMG_9908I’ve been reading Mannahatta, A Natural History of New York City by Eric W. Sanderson recently, and it’s been seeping into my writing for weeks now. I’ve always wondered what the island looks like without all the buildings, and the book offers more details than I would have hoped for. It’s full of brilliant illustrations, maps, and re-creations of what the Island looked like before the Dutch arrived, and for anyone who loves NYC, it’s a must have. It’s huge, beautifully written, and full of amazing images.

Here’s the latest story that was inspired by the book. I posted it to QNY last night, but I think it fits in here as well, especially with some of the images from the book.

WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?

When I close my eyes I can remember what the Island looked liked before the Dutch arrived.

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Manhattan Island back in the day

With everything that’s changed, I’m still surprised to find that the biggest is the smell. They say that the nose is the best memory trigger, and they must be right, because when I sit in Washington Square Park and close my eyes everything returns at the same time. I grow dizzy at the scent of cedar and elm, and while the sounds of birds are deafening, the earth and the air take me furthest away. Some people get distracted by the smell of rain on hot pavement, or even coffee in the morning. The perfume of an ex-wife or bread breaking takes them back to a time when they might have been happier. But for me it’s just dirt: rich, thick, dirt in its many forms. The mud smells warm and wet, and the brown flaky dust near the riverbank is salt and leaves. The dark red clay smells of fur and sex, and if I keep my eyes closed for too long I worry that I won’t be able to return.

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This is midtown Manhattan. Without us.

But when I open my eyes the visual takes over, and I swear I can see the trees rising from the earth. I can feel the wind on my skin, and when I breathe in it’s air that you have never tasted. Yes it’s clean, but the word doesn’t come close to the reality of it. We think of clean air as empty. But empty air is about as delicious as distilled water, and as unlikely as well. When you breath clean air you breathe pollen and dust. You breathe in sun and water, and your lungs hurt as the oxygen fills them. Clean air is alive.

I lick my lips, desperate for that memory, and I try not to worry about the people around me. But even they vanish as I watch—and feel—the forest grow up around me. I can smell woodsmoke and tanning skins. I can hear music somewhere in the distance, and when I touch the earth beneath me everything is connected. There are squirrels, yes, but also deer and fox darting in and out of the brush with so little fear I find I envy them. Hawks soar through the sky above me, and there are more kinds of insects than anyone has bothered to count. When I finally bring my hands up from the dirt and rub my temples, the people return and the sounds of cabs honking is deafening.

I can barely make out the smell of a burned pretzel from the cart on the street.