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THE EMPIRE OF JAEL:     HOME  :  ALL COLUMNS

ALL COLUMNS BY JAEL MCHENRY

41 to 50 of 153 columns
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41. the stationed agents
the third annual agent blog roundup
writing - career
12.3.08 : feature column!

To start, a big fat disclaimer: I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on in publishing right now. Nobody should. The economy is having ripple effects everywhere, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set everyone screaming by announcing they weren’t acquiring books for a while (though it’s not entirely true), and bookstores are panicking in new and interesting ways beyond their usual panicking. Even the people who know don’t know what’s coming. So. If you’re a novelist who hopes to one day see your ...
42. the next-generation frugal gourmet
greens, and other foods, for less green
general - lifestyle
11.5.08 : feature column!

In food and in general, rarely have two trends crashed head-on so badly. The timing stinks. On one hand, you've got the locavore movement, advocating that we only buy humanely raised meat and in-season fruits and vegetables from the farmers and ranchers of our immediate area, for the sake of freshness and respect and flavor and fossil fuel conservation and also, y'know, not killing the earth so fast. On the other hand: food prices are skyrocketing and many of us who once had jobs and 401Ks are ...
43. women worth knowing
how reality tv is finally getting there
television - appreciation
10.3.08 : feature column!

I cringe a lot these days. I cringe when a highly visible female politician fails to complete a coherent sentence. I cringe when an article in the New York Times is shockingly rife with errors, and the byline starts with "Alessandra". I cringe when female characters in movies are props instead of people, although by now, you'd think I'd be resigned. I cringe because I'm afraid that we're going backward, not forward, on this whole equality thing. And yet, I've found an odd corner of the world wh...
44. six wrongs, half a dozen rights
taking a look at pop culture hindsight
pop culture - general
9.3.08 : feature column!

In entertainment, as in so many other things, hindsight is 20/20. And it’s often worth it to take a look back and congratulate yourself on the things you got right, as well as slapping yourself on the wrist for the things you got wrong. Although I’m still waiting for New York Magazine to apologize for summing up The English Patient in its Fall 1996 Movie Preview issue as (I’m paraphrasing since it’s been a while, but it was something along these lines) "a little movie likely to get overshadowed ...
45. vampires among us
marketing to the pop culture moment
television - general
8.4.08 : feature column!

Hey, did you know vampires are real? See, this Japanese company invented this synthetic blood, and it's being sold as a beverage, so vampires can drink that instead of attacking humans, and now they've decided to come out and better mesh with human society. They're totally among us. It hasn't been an easy transition, obviously. All over New York City, you can see competing posters for and against the Vampire Rights Amendment, with the anti-vampire side crying "Vampires Are Immoral" over a broo...
46. the drink and the ink
a primer on pursuing publication
writing - career
7.7.08 : feature column!

There's a speakeasy in New York City you can only get into through a phone booth in the wall of a hot dog joint. You step into the booth and close the glass door behind you. Two of the three remaining walls are featureless, blank. In front of you there's a phone. Pick it up. Press its only button. One of the walls will slide open. Say the right thing to the hostess and, ta-da! You're in. Getting a book published is like that. The internet is jam-packed with authors, like me, who are trying to ...
47. stay east, young man
is travel worth it?
general - lifestyle
6.4.08 : feature column!

The hassle of travel has gone off the charts. You know the factors in play. Four-dollar gas, plane delays, high prices, the works. Travel internationally and the inconvenience goes exponential. A weak dollar makes the price problem a crisis. And no matter where you’re going, the travel industry is scrambling to make do, which sometimes results in good deals but more often means an attempt make the same amount of money off a smaller number of people. The math is never on your side. So it seems l...
48. worth a thousand words?
how book trailers are dancing about architecture
writing - criticism
5.5.08 : feature column!

If you can have a radio interview about painting or a print review of music, there’s no reason you can’t make a video about a book, right? Kind of. Book trailers are what the name suggests -- trailers like movie trailers, short videos intended to pique the viewer’s interest -– except instead of promoting movies, they’re promoting books. This might sound slightly unnatural. And reviewing widely available book trailers suggests that it is. Books, for the most part, consist solely of words. It’...
49. march away from madness
when bracketology goes wrong
sports - general
4.4.08 : feature column!

I don't care about sports, except once a year for a few weeks, when I become dangerously overinvested in men's college basketball. I research every team in the tournament, from Siena to St. Joe's, the Hilltoppers to the Zags. I make my picks, obsess over my bracket, glue my ear to the local sports radio station. (Note: local Philly sports radio doesn't actually broadcast the tournament but does comment on it nonstop, with a strikingly frequent use of the word "fazool.") Over a small contribution...
50. afterlife of a milkshake
top 10 oscar-winning catchphrases
film - appreciation
3.5.08 : feature column!

We already did milkshakes a few years ago. They brought all the boys to the yard. They were replaced by the wee-yoo from "Sweet Escape", by Rihanna's umb-a-rella-ella-ella, by the patented Winehouse no, ahno, ahno. And yet, milkshakes are back in the public eye, only this time instead of a ubiquitous pop music hook, it's a ubiquitous pop culture catchphrase. "I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!" Now, I have not yet seen There Will Be Blood, but I have no doubt that we are all sullying the ...
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RAVES

re: life is too short

I don't often read things like this, but this was perfect.

re: life is too short

That is good stuff!

re: 40 weeks of a new life

Great job building up the drama without overplaying it.

re: what september means

Absolutely. And I love Facebook first-day-of-school pictures too.

re: what september means

When I lived in NYC, September was my favourite month.

re: what it feels like for an author

You're one of my heroes. But I think you already know that. Thanks for sharing your world once again.

re: the debut author's planifesto

Very helpful for being published, or life in general. Thanks.

re: who cares what you think?

This isn't a professional review, but you're right on target and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

re: who cares what you think?

I was going to rate this poor, just to prove your point, but nice job.

re: like it's your job

We writers aren't interesting, but "Castle" gives us hope that we may someday bag Nathan Fillion. Excellent observations.

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