Wednesday, September 20, 2006



Bought Myself Another Year of Freedom

My dad seems like to give me a hard time about my writing. He thinks I'm throwing away a legal career for a "very long shot." I used to write all the time when I was a little girl and a teen, but he didn't think it was "practical." So instead, I planned to be a diplomat at the American Embassy in Paris. (Apparently I was rather naive about how those placements get made...if I passed the Foreign Service Exam and made it through the oral interviews, more likely I would get assigned to an embassy in a Third World country that happens to speak French, like Haiti.)

But I digress. Anyway, for some reason, they didn't give the Foreign Service Exam the year I graduated from college, so I needed something else to do (not much of a market for newly minted BAs in Political Science and French). So I worked as a legal assistant in a law firm. Got interested in intellectual property law, and then decided to go to law school and eventually became a lawyer.

Practical? Very much so. Good outlet for creativity? Not so much.

A couple of years ago, I was back in school, this time seeking an LLM (basically, an advanced specialization law degree--done after you're already an attorney). The LLM is heavy on writing, so I had about 6 major papers that year (in the neighborhood of 50 or so pages each)--very dry and scholarly.

Anyway, while I was hacking away on a paper on the patentability of indigenous people's traditional medicinal methods, I read a lot of chick lit as an escape from this super technical subject. And then, on a whim, I decided to write my own. I wrote the first 88 pages of the chick lit before having to ask my professor for an extension on the medicinal methods paper...there was no way I'd make the December 17 deadline. But come on, people! Priorities! The chick lit was taking more of my attention!

I got the extension and ended up getting an A on the paper, which I thought was funny, because I didn't think it was that good.

Fast forward to about a month ago. My dad was once again giving me a hard time about my writing and saying that I should focus more on legal writing than on fiction.

Anyway, to placate him, I pulled out that old medicinal methods paper that I'd done well on but had never bothered to submit anywhere (I was satisfied in the knowledge that I'd already published three of the papers I wrote that year...why did I need a 4th?). I read it over, and lo and behold, it was actually not bad at all. I had my hubby read it (who actually is a patent attorney--I'm not) and he said it was quite good and a very interesting subject. So I did a bit of work on it to update it with more recent case studies (although not much had changed in the law) and sent it off to a few journals on a whim.

If nobody bit, no big deal. If one did, cool.

I'm happy to announce that I've two offers in hand right now. I get to choose!

Not bad for something I'd never planned to publish.

And it gets my dad off my back for at least the next year, I'd say. LOL! Thus, I've bought myself another year of freedom.

But I just thought it was rather fitting that it was the paper that was kicking my butt so badly that I decided to say, screw this, I'm writing fiction instead!

So, did you watch DWTS last night? Wasn't Joey Lawrence absolutely AWESOME?!?!?!?!?!?!? To borrow his signature phrase, WHOA! Talk about a classy, wonderfully entertaining, fantastic quickstep. And trust me, the quickstep is HARD! He's definitely the one to beat now after that performance.

Mario Lopez was highly entertaining to watch, but that was NOT a quickstep. The audience boo'ed the judges for their assessment, and that really kind of irks me. Same thing in So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, entertainment definitely has it's place in dance (a ver ymportant place, I should add) but when you're supposedly dancing a certain style, it's incredibly important to actually dance that style. You can get away with that a bit more on So You Think You Can Dance if you're not doing one of the ballroom dances, but Dancing with the Stars is strictly ballroom (I know, I know, bad joke).

Standard and Latin have specific syllabi that you must follow. There are rules, and they're not the type of rules that are meant to be broken. If he was doing an open routine, cool, but he wasn't. He was supposed to be doing quickstep. So why not actually dance a quickstep?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:42 AM :: 7 comments

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