Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Toot toot toot - there goes my horn

On July 31st, those of you who acquired the print version of the Jerusalem Post may have received a copy of a brand new magazine – The Diplomatic Post. As a writer, I happen to think it's rather interesting when something new hits the newsstands, and indeed, I enjoy hearing about all of the wildly different publications that are out there, allowing me to muse over the various (and often unusual) target audiences, as well as the potential writing opportunities available.

Even more exciting than hearing about the birth of a new publication is actually taking an active role in the process, and no one was happier (not to mention more surprised) than I to receive a phone call in early May from the editor of a certain, yet-to-be-named-at-the-time magazine, several months after I'd sent in my initial writing sample (and promptly forgot having done so). One planning meeting later, and I suddenly found myself responsible for two monthly columns in the newly branded Diplomatic Post, both involving commentary on current events and political issues, which must come as a huge shock, given how infrequently I tackle such topics here...

Since becoming a writer for this mag, I've managed to get myself on all sorts of fascinating mailing lists, and have even started receiving telephone calls from local embassies asking to confirm my contact information. I've discovered that saying "my editor" takes the same amount of getting used to as saying "my husband", and I haven't decided whether or not I can actually call myself a journalist, or if I'm simply a writer, or maybe a columnist. I feel rather silly referring to myself as a journalist when spending time with my friends who really are journalists and have been for years, but on the other hand, it sounds infinitely more exciting than telling people that I'm a technical writer (though, in all honesty, most things do sound more exciting than that...). Telling people that I'm "a writer" allows them to think that I'm far more interesting than I actually am, and hey – we all want to be perceived as being interesting, don't we?

But I digress... The magazine. Unfortunately, The Diplomatic Post isn't available online at this point, though I'm hoping that will change so that I won't have to grab another six copies at the next editorial meeting (to be fair, only one is for us – one copy goes to my parents, another one goes to NRG, and three went to another friend on-staff who wasn't able to make the last meeting). The next edition should hit local newsstands on the 31st of August, and I can be found writing Headliners and the Page Before Last.

So all in all, it hasn't been a bad summer as far as freelance writing goes. I'm finally getting paid for my efforts, and the added pocket change (which is really all that it amounts to) from this gig and another gig have allowed me to upgrade to the 16-shekel grande-sized latte. Toot toot toot – there goes my horn again!


Rami said...

Congratulations! I know how much this means to you and I am glad to read about it.

Nicole said...

Didn't get the paper though - how about scanning your bits and sending them to me?

lisoosh said...

Congratulations. And I think "columnist" has a nice well rounded ring to it, a journalist has to run around getting sweaty while a columnist gets to sit in the shade sipping a cool drink and imparting nuggets of wisdom. No comparison.

How is it though, having a deadline and all?

the dame said...

Congratulations! Keep us posted and let know if it becomes available online.

tafka PP said...

As one of the lucky few to have seen the mag in the flesh (page? print?) I am particularly impressed- toot away!

nrg said...

you so rock the house, Liza!! I have to side with lisoosh, columnist is a good title. Sounds very up-scale. Which we all know is you in a nut shell, dear!

Benji Lovitt said...

Holy cow!!! Unbelievable!!! Mazal tov, Liza!!! Can't wait to see i

Sarah said...

Congrats! Sounds like something to be proud of. And maybe it will lead to more paid non-technical writing?

Anonymous said...

This is great and I am so happy for you. I read your blog often and I'm always impressed by your insights, humor, blending of current events and memories, and right-on writing style. As a regular American visitor, you're one of my links between Israeli and American points of view. All the best to you Liza, and I hope to visit with you during my upcoming August-September visit.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Hey, good stuff (as the Aussies say) and congratulations - it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Yeah, them not being on-line is a downside, hope it will change and you will let the public know.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

P.S. And do not go to no meeting with no Anonymous ;-)

Anonymous said...

Columnist sounds great!!

Liza said...

Rami: Thanks!

Nicole: I'm too lazy to scan, especially since it would require finding a scanner somewhere at work... Remind me to bring it along the next time we get together!

Lisoosh: I like the way you think!

The deadline isn't a problem - I'm used to them from work, plus when I force myself to do 80s Music Video Sunday every week, which doesn't always flow so easily.

The Dame: Thanks! Will do!

Tafka PP: You were just under the influence of fabulous salad. I took you for lunch first because I thought you'd be more impressed on a full stomach. :-)

NRG: Moi? Upscale? You must be thinking of someone else... I do indeed rock the house, though. The Little One told me so!

Benji: Thanks! Remind me to bring it along when we meet for coffee after you return. Just promise that you won't actually say "holy cow" out loud, please. :-)

Sarah: Thanks! Boy, do I hope so... :-)

Anonymous: Thank you! I'm blushing... Hope to see you too!

Snoopy: Thanks! I'm flattered by your high praise. I'll definitely let everyone know if they go online.

Don't worry about Anonymous. She's anonymous only to you. I know who she is! We can trust her! :-)

Beth: You think so? You don't think that "writer" sounds more interesting, has more allure and mystique? Hmmm...

RR said...

How cool, how totally cool! Congrats and enjoy that bigger latte :-)

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Oh wowza. That is beyond fantastic. A columnist! (She says, lost in reverie at the very amazingness of such a thing.)

Anonymous said...

Hooray for you! I am truly happy for any writer who gets any writing job (that pays!) :-)

Though, I have to put my two-cents in on the publication itself (and this probably should be directed to the editor in chief, but I didn't see a handy email address at the bottom of his page where he asks for feedback!). I'm a former diplomat and scanned the Diplomatic Post for my diplomat non-husband. I told him he wasn't missing anything. It is mostly a rehash of recent events, which we already read about in Haaretz and the JPost (which diplomats should be reading daily) or in summaries our embassies provide of the non-English papers. The rest of the articles and snippets just did not meet his threshold as a busy diplomat. The only potential value for a high-ranking diplomat that I saw was the pictures of ambassadors (so that one can recognize them if you haven't met yet).

I think the only article I actually read was the interview with the Ambassador of Cameroon (and that's because I have time on my hands).

The Crossroads feature would have been better if it introduced a less well-known place and if it had more specific information. For example, I would have loved a little city map of Acre with recommended restaurants and shops marked. Anyone can find Acre and know the basic history, but what diplomats need are insider secrets and more detailed info for our day trips.

Hmmm...maybe you can pass this along to the editor? Or if not, maybe suggest that he include an email address for feedback in the next edition? :-)

ofer said...

dear anonymous.
i didn't leave an email address because there was some doubt as to the future of the magazine and mine in it.
i would very much like to publish a shortened (for brevity only )version of your comment but need your consent (i am guessing they may want your name, but maybe not necessarily for publication). please contact me at