Whiplash: the film, the writing, the life you’re living

film, Lifestyle/Personal


Last weekend, Alex and I watched Whiplash. He’d seen it before and said to me, “when you watch this, think about your writing”, so I kept that in mind as the opening credits rolled out. There’s no denying that Whiplash is a time-bomb of emotion, a story that depicts what it really takes to be one of the greats. There’s a part in the film where the band teacher (Fletcher) says to his student (Andrew), “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job”.  Why? because it promotes mediocrity. It promotes that just because you’re good, you don’t have to push yourself beyond the capabilities that you don’t even know are there.

I was there to push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that’s an absolute necessity

If you’ve watched Whiplash, you’ll know that Fletcher is a little insane in the way he pushes his students – especially Andrew. But it kinda worked, didn’t it?

Andrew: But isn’t there a line? You know, maybe you go too far, and you discourage he next Charlie Parker from ever becoming Charlie Parker?

Fletcher: No, man, no. Because Charlie Parker would never be discouraged.

This line moved me beyond belief. It inspired me to sit down every morning and evening this week; to write all of the words I could let out of my head. It inspired me to start trying again, to believe in myself, and to push myself harder when the words won’t flow as well as I hoped they would. Because, the next Dorothy Parker would never get discouraged.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

*Quotes from Imdb*

Bursting the Bubble [Week 7]

Bursting the Bubble

Every person I’ve met in publishing has an interesting story to tell. A story that often starts with a lot of work and no pay, a lot of learning, a lot of growing, and a lot of MAKING a place for themselves in whichever publishing house they come across. This week I went to CanBPA’s Mentor Mash at Cadillac Lounge. CanPBA is The Canadian Book Professionals’ Association: providing professional development and building community within the Canadian book industryThis particular event was like speed-dating for interns/publishing students, where publishing veterans went from table to table to tell their story, to answer questions, and to give us an inside scoop to the publishing industry.

The mentors were:

Production: Valentina Capuani (Random House of Canada)

Sales: Sarah Labrie (Scholastic Canada)

Agent: Ali McDonald (The Rights Factory)

Publicity: Evan Munday (Coach House Books)

Design: Ingrid Paulson (Ingrid Paulson Design)

Digital Marketing: Lindsey Reeder (Random House of Canada) — Yay Lindsey!!

Editorial: Alana Wilcox (Coach House Books)

The event was a great eye opener and the perfect way to learn more about each sector of publishing. I found Ingrid Paulson’s story and talk particularly interesting. You don’t often think about how important a book cover is, or how it has to convey the novel’s entire message and a world of emotions. You don’t realize that authors write in colour, in shades, in night versus day. You don’t think about a book cover as an emotional experience for the author either, but it’s the first time they really realize that their book is being published.

Mostly what I gathered from the Mentor Mash is that publishing is full of hard work and pretty long hours. It’s important as a student or intern or someone who wants to get into publishing to make yourself an asset, to use whatever creativity you have to help the company, to get a book sold. It really helps if you’re passionate about books and reading.

jennie-rooney-port_2516546bAlso this week, I met Jennie Rooney, the author of Red Joan. I was lucky enough to tag along while she and my colleague, Dan, went to sign stock. I find it extraordinary to meet authors — particularly if I’ve read their book. I hope I’ll be in their shoes someday and I find it interesting to meet the person behind the story. I had a great afternoon accompanying Jennie, she a wonderful person with quick wit and she has great taste in music. Jennie is an inspiring novelist (from what I can tell by Red Joan) and I am thoroughly interested in picking up her other books.

This week was a great one for me and I’m feeling really positive. I had the chance to ingest and digest a lot of information, to interact with many different people in the industry, and I even took the time to ask questions. I’m understanding how important it is to put yourself out there as an intern, how important it is to ask questions. Thanks to all of this information, I’m finally starting see where I want to be in the world of publishing. When I started this internship I wasn’t all that sure about Publicity, I wasn’t sure if I had the personality for it, but now I’m almost certain I could do it. I would also love to try my hand at Online/Digital Marketing — I love the combination of interacting with people online AND in person. I love the idea of spreading the word about a great book.

I love that this internship is opening my eyes to a world of possibilities that I didn’t know existed.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Effort Makes it Work. SO Work it.

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Effort now means results later.

Such a simple sentiment, huh? I know that it reigns true for many aspects of life, from working out, to homework assignments, and even when it comes to getting the career you’ve always wanted. Doing the work (taking the necessary steps to get somewhere) now means profit later. Simple enough. I’m sure I’ve even blogged about something similar before but I never realized that it relates to relationships as well.

Relationships and friendships require effort, compromise. Give a little, get a little. Happiness in relationships, happiness in friendships derives from hard work, love, and honesty.

Effort = results. Fascinating. 

P.s I have  Pinterest account – follow away!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo