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The 10 Phases Of Being Home Sick From Work

I am a bit of a hypochondriac. So, if anyone sneezes near me, I assume I’ve got some strain of mutant cold I’ll need to go to the hospital for. Mostly, I just have a lot of internal panic, take buckets of Emergen-C, and don’t actually get sick.

However, this week the unthinkable occurred: I actually got sick. I’ve been home for two days now, and this is very close to what my life has become.

  • Phase 1: Put on pajamas. Or don’t. Mostly just think about putting on pants.

This is the part of the day where I wake up, slightly drowsy from all of the medication I’ve been on, and consider whether or not to put on clothes. I live alone. I have blinds in my apartment. Who cares anyway?! OK, I won’t put on pants. I’m doing it pantless.

  • Phase 2: Try to do some work.

This is when I sit on my couch with my computer burning a hole through my naked lap, and try to type words on the screen. But it’s slow going, and I’m starting to hallucinate, which leads to…

  • Phase 3: More meds.

Enough said.

  • Phase 4: I’m sweating profusely.

This is the part where the Tylenol does its job, kicks in, and the fever begins to break. So now I’m sweating out of every inch of skin, even though the air conditioner is on full blast. I put on extra deodorant. I drink a gallon of water to compensate for the loss of body fluid. Thank God I didn’t put on pants.

  • Phase 5: Nap time.

This is the very best of times. Everything is forgiven. All is right.

  • Phase 6: Wake up and feel refreshed.

But realize it’s now dinner time, and in a few hours I’ll need to sleep again. 

  • Phase 7: Consider leaving the apartment.

There are pros and cons. On the one hand, I haven’t left this place for two days! I miss the feeling of actual air! But, on the other hand, leaving requires pants. And pants require work, and now I’m sweating again, just thinking about all of that.

  • Phase 8: Troll Facebook and Twitter

Lust after everything the healthy people are up to.

  • Phase 9: Order soup from that Thai place down the street.

Also, mumble under my breath as I reluctantly put pants on. Bitterly answer the door, and give an excessive tip, half out of delirium and half because I’ve unintentionally been a jerk.

  • Phase 10: Pray the sickness leaves my body, so I can go back to a world where I’m not sweating while eating soup and not wearing pants.

Let’s all pray for my safe return to healthy-ville soon. Shall we?

What I’m Thankful for This Christmas

Perhaps this is a post I should have made at Thanksgiving—when you talk about things you’re thankful for—but I had an experience that made me realize something.

My parents threw their annual Christmas party and I invited a few of my close friends from high school. I don’t stay in touch with a ton of people, but those I do keep up with I make sure to keep close. My friend Janelle recently married a wonderful guy named Anthony, and I’ve known him for several years and was a bridesmaid in their wedding. We were all catching up when Anthony mentioned that he’d read a Funny or Die article I’d written and shared it on Twitter. He also discussed a section he found funny and made sure to ask me about it.

I don’t know if this is the case for many other writers, but moments like this rarely happen to me. I’ve written for a number of websites, but rarely do people take the time to tell me that they’ve read something of mine, let alone shared it with others. It’s rare, and it actually means a lot to me.

As a writer—and not the type who writes one book a year, but the online type who puts out material on a daily basis—it’s not always easy to find fans. I use the term “fans” loosely, as what I actually mean is that finding people who will read your pieces and not only appreciate them, but share them on Facebook or Twitter is difficult.

Many of my friends have been very good about sharing articles on Facebook or Twitter without me asking and for that I am extremely thankful. I don’t express it enough, but it really does mean the world to me. Believe me, there are people I’m very close to who I wish shared my pieces, but they don’t. Sigh.

I’d just like to say, for every one of my friends or readers who have consistently clicked on links, given me a “Like” on Facebook or shared something I’ve written—thank you so much. I notice each and every one of those times and I can’t express how thankful I am. Even though it’s just a read of an article, for me it’s how I spend my time and it means so much to me.

If you’ve shared, liked an article, or talked to me about my pieces, I’m really thankful, from the bottom of my writer heart!!


Week 1 of NaNoWriMo: Completed

It’s Day 7 of my commitment to writing a novel in 30 days and…I’ve learned quite a bit.


Here’s what I now know:

  1. I can write more than I ever thought I could. Like, I might be a cyborg sent from the future. I’m a full-time writer for work. Which means that my day starts at 7 am, with an hour of NaNo writing. Then starts again at 9 a.m., when I head into the office to blog for E!. The rest of the novel writing continues on my lunch hour, when I get home from work at 7, and well into the night. I’m a machine.
  2. Excuses come in many forms and flow as quickly as water. Like, I could watchHomelandagain. Or I need more tea. And what would my hair look like in a braided bun on top of my head? Maybe I should go try that out and take a bunch of self portraits.
  3. I am capable of power naps. Believe it or not, I’ve never been much of a napper. Don’t really care for it. That was before, of course, when I was getting plenty of sleep and my body wasn’t in a constant state of twitchy. Now I just luuurrrve me some power nappage.
  4. My friends are fantastic. And I’m not just saying that. I have really supportive friends who check in and hold me accountable. They push me everyday and, to be honest, I would not have started any of this were it not for their encouragement. (Thank you, my mouses!!!)


     5.  If Lauren Conradcan write a book, then so can I!

Where I’ll Be This November

No, it won’t be voting. (Though, I will be voting, but that won’t take up the entire month. Just an hour, I hope.)

I recently signed up to participate in my first NaNoWriMo and, for those who aren’t familiar with it, I’ll break it down.


This is a novel writing program that you can sign up for online and encourages participants to spend 30 days and 30 nights devoting all of their free time to writing a novel.

I’ve never done this before, because 1) 30 days is a lot of pressure to write a novel, 2) I have so many other things to do and 3) [Insert pretty much any other lame excuse here].

But the thing is, I could use a fire under me. So, I’m committing to trying this out. Even if I only get 30 pages in 30 days, that’s better than nothing.

Sidenote: I’ll have to write about 6 pages each day to meet the 50,000 word goal. Wish me luck!

Other Sidenote: Do any writers or former NaNoWriMers have any advice?!

Free Advice to Aspiring Freelance Writers: Part 2


As some of you know, I’m a writer and often a freelance one.

I’ve been working for various blogs—including Funny or Die, E! Online, Ecorazzi and Wetpaint—for a little over four years now. And, in my slow and steady climb up the blogging ladder, I’ve managed to glean some tips of the trade to pass on to other aspiring writers.

Previously, in Part 1 of my Free Advice to Aspiring Freelance Writers series, I dished out a guide on how to get jobs. What I want to go over now are TIPS—for getting, keeping and growing your prospects.

Tips for Beginners

  • Expect nothing.


When you’re first starting out, freelance work typically pays on the low end of the spectrum. Or, at least that was the case for me. My first two jobs I did for free—because I had little to no experience and needed the clippings. Don’t be above taking a free gig to get some credits under your belt, because chances are the people applying for the high paying jobs already have clippings.

  • Ask for help.

If you know someone who’s working (like me), there’s no harm in asking about available gigs or advice. But something to keep in mind is that I get approached a lot. On a weekly basis. Which means that people with better gigs are getting approached daily. Which means you need to stand out. So, if standing out means buying that person a coffee to discuss options—do it. No writer in their writerly mind would turn down caffeine. Plus, I’ve noticed that I tend to work harder for the people who invest a bit in me. (Even if it’s just out of guilt.)

  • You’re a Writer.

Someone once gave me this wonderful piece of advice: When you’re asked about what you do for a living, do not reply with, “I’m trying to be a writer.” Instead say, “I am a writer.” People won’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously. Even if you aren’t getting paid to write yet, it doesn’t matter—fake it till you make it. (Right, Neil Gaiman?)

Tips for When You Have the Job

  • Hard work pays off. Usually.

I’ve found this to be especially true at the low paying gigs. Chances are, the editors realize that getting paid $5 for a 200 word piece isn’t going to pay your rent. But, most of the time, if they see you’re kicking ass—they’ll promote you. Or give you a bonus at Christmas. Or a pat on the back. Awesome!

  • Rule of Three.


I heard this on NPR, or maybe someone said it out loud in a coffee shop and I overheard them because I’m nosy as hell, but the point is that it’s spot on.

When working in the arts, you can be 2 out of these 3 things and end up OK: Fast, Friendly, Fucking Awesome.

In other words, you can be a total misanthrope—as so many writers are—but as long as you turn in your work on time and it’s quality, you’re good to go. Or, you can be super sweet and write well but take a long ass time to submit, that’s OK too. You get the gist.

  • Give Back.

In the end, you never know who’s going to help you get your next job. I happily give advice and jobs to people who ask, because one day I may need the same thing and they’ll owe me, because karma deems it so.

Additionally, much like when searching for a job, I make a point to give actual, physical gifts to my bosses. Every man loves a good bottle of scotch, and every woman will appreciate a Starbucks gift card (or, if you’re like me, a good bottle of scotch). Whatever the case, make sure you let the people above you know that you’re grateful to have a job, and they’ll make sure to keep you there—if only for the free hooch.

Has this been helpful and, if not, will you please not tell me that?