Seriously though, that kind of absence is not something I’m proud of, and I don’t plan on doing it again until the summer, when I can run
nearly naked through the streets in a sunbonnet, sipping Dark N Stormy’s out of a Camelbak, not draped in beaver pelt pajamas, and not listening to the weatherman use phrases like, “a white, wintery, altogether dreadful, dreadful day tomorrow.”
This week is somewhat of a lull before an intense writing storm. I’m waiting for edits to come back on the Globe Magazine piece I complained about last time, I’m building up an interview list to strategically plan a Boston Mag piece coming out in May, and I’m actually ahead at my day job with Thrillist.
What I should do, of course, is take advantage of said lull to get in some desperately needed time with my novel re-write, but that just feels like it won’t happen, mainly bc I’m so focused on other things right now that not only can I not see the forest for the trees, I can’t even definitively say I see any trees. So where does that leave us, friends?
I’ll tell you exactly where it leaves us — in just the right frame of mind to get our education on about some sweet journalism termzz!! Here’s the deal: because I spent several thousand euros on an education in journalism, I regularly throw journalism shorthand into the mix of my daily conversations. Not only does this annoy the people trying to make my turkey wraps, but it makes me sound confusing, and possibly insane… which is why it’s so damn fun! Now I know most of you smart, aesthetically pleasing, modestly well-off readers already know what these things are, but just in case you don’t, let me break down a few of my faves so that you, too, can use your journalism shorthand to pick up potential love partners in hot clubs, or, better yet, social networking sites. Added bonus: I’m experimenting with changing font colors!
TK: To Come, meaning more info will be added at a later date. I use this term at least seven times a day, mostly to signal to my editor that I’m too lazy to Google something. Popular usage: Casey lost his virginity when he was TK years old, which seems weirdly young.
Hilarious verbal usage: “I seriously don’t know if I DVR’d The City, probably because I’ve had like TK beers.”
Lede: Not to be confused with the Belgian municipality of the same name, the lede is the intro, or “lead” to a piece, and can be a straight newsy style telling of the biz at hand: hard lede; or a creative super awesome never-been-done-before move that puts you right into the heart of the story and immediately signifies to the reader that you spent money on post-graduate work, use the term “mettle,” and enjoy Tom Wolfe’s early journalism: soft lede.
Popular usage: (often in a note to my editor) This isn’t the best lede, but this is the one I wrote.
Hilarious verbal usage, usually following someone taking forever to get to the point of a boring story: Wow. You really buried the lede on that one, didn’t you?!?
Nut Graf: One or more paragraphs that explain why exactly you’re supposed to want to stop texting your cousin to read this story; a considerable source of angst when you really have no idea why you’re writing a story, even after 4000 words and several expensed meals. Often shortened to “the nut.”
Popular usage: (often in a note from my editor to me) Yes, I understand you think a rhino going to the bathroom is hilarious. I get that. But what is the nut of this piece, exactly? And no, James isn’t going to expense your second trip to the Franklin Park Zoo.
Hilarious verbal usage: Um… nevermind.
Comments should be placed in an airtight container, and stored in a dry, safe setting.
The Ting Tings