Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New adventure

Hello, Blogger world. You can now find me at my new writing/blogging/posting space:

Thanks for your readership, and please continue to follow me as I tumble down the rabbit hole.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Blog is a Toddler

Happy blogger birthday to me! Today this little blog of mine turns two years old. Since its conception in 2009, LFTRW has seen a number of layout and design changes, and more recently a name/URL change. I've stubbornly resisted categorizing my blog, so the content has been diverse, opinionated and always original. Thank you to those who have stumbled upon this page and read even a single entry. My gratitude is genuine and I hope you'll stick around for more.

Looking forward to the not-so-terrible twos and beyond,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Idol Worship II: All Hail Haley

Idol's Top 3: Haley, Scotty & Lauren (from

Anyone who knows me knows that American Idol is my longtime guilty pleasure (see last year's entry, Idol Worship). Year after year I follow this show semi-religiously. From January through May, the cycle goes something like this: watch, vote, repeat. It's like karaoke to me: I just can't help myself.

This latest (and Simon-less) season of Idol has featured a number of oddities: a revamped judges panel that doesn't quite know how to judge. The long-awaited addition of online voting. Jacob Lusk's mouth. I could go on. All in all, Idol Version 10.0 just hasn't felt right.

I knew this was true when presumed frontrunner Pia Toscano ended up finishing in a distant ninth place back in April. It was the fifth week in a row that a female contesant went home, showing that even the most musically gifted Idol women don't stand much of a chance these days against the overwhelming power of the boy-hungry tween girl vote.

To my pleasant surprise, another Idol lady stepped up to the plate and made me forget all about Pia. Haley Reinhart broke away from the pack at the perfect time with her growly version of Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" (one of my favorite Elton songs of all time - I was practically raised on my mom's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road cassette). She followed it up with strong performances of "Rolling in the Deep," "You and I," "The House of the Rising Sun," songs that perfectly fit her raspy howl of a voice.

It was her brazen rendition of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be" that gave Haley Reinhart true rockstar status. I'm so tired of the Idol women recycling the same old power ballads and teen pop songs year after year, so it was such a breath of fresh air watching Haley take on a classic rock legend with confidence and absolutely kill it. What a tease to have her go all the way to the Top 3 only to come up short, but I was genuinely glad to see the darkhorse Idol contestant make it as far as she did.

I don't want to imply that Haley stood alone this season, since there also were a number of other quirky performers with unique styles and sounds like Naima Adedapo, Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald. Casey's haunting take on Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy" was one of the best performances of the entire season. Yet their fanbases proved no match for the ever-growing Army of Tweens. Reggae, jazz and blues-influenced artists can only last so long in the Idoldome, a sad but consistent truth.

Sugary-sweet country-pop teenagers Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery are the final two standing, and until last night I would've said that Scotty had it in the bag. Some last-minute pimping from the Idol underworld has given Lauren a slight edge over the lovable Mad Magazine lookalike, but I won't underestimate the voting capacity of Scotty's rabid fans who undoubtedly called, texted and Facebooked their votes well into the wee hours of the morning. No one can deny that the kid has talent and poise, but it's Scotty's baby face and cornball charm that will ultimately win him the Idol trophy.

Whoever takes the crown, I'll be glad it won't be another brooding soft rocker (Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen...), but disappointed that the best singer and/or the most interesting person got left behind as usual. My winner is the girl with the growl who was too fiery to appeal to Tween Nation. Thanks for the memories, Haley.

Links recap:
IdolWorship 2010
Haley rocks Led Zep
Scotty vs. Alfred E. Neuman

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Interviewing 101

My second and latest contribution to the Young to Publishing Group (YPG) is now up on the group's website. It's a collection of interviewing tips for young professionals trying to break into the publishing industry (something I went through just four months ago). I also got in touch with several employees from a number of publishing houses to hear about their own interviewing experiences, both good and bad. It's amazing how many of us interviewed at house after house, facing rejection after rejection until the right opportunity finally pulled through.

You can find it here:

Acing the Interview: Tips for Young Publishing Job Seekers

Since the comments feature is disabled on the site, please leave any feedback on the article in this post. What's your single best tip (or warning) for current entry-level publishing job seekers? Feel free to share.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ode to a Bunny

In all honesty, there was always something slightly more magical about the Easter Bunny than Santa Claus. I'll admit that the idea of a rabbit going door-to-door giving out gift baskets seemed even more outrageous than a fat man squeezing down a chimney. A thick cloud of mystery surrounded E.B. even more than S.C.:

1) How big was the bunny-- pet-sized or human-sized?
2) Did the Easter Bunny speak, or simply make cute rabbit noises?
3) Girl or boy bunny? The option was open.
4) Could E.B. disappear into thin air? (and subsequently reappear)
5) Why did my cousins always get video games in their Easter baskets?

Snug as a bug in a rug. Err, bun in an egg.
These questions had no definite answers, but it didn't really matter. I envisioned the Easter Bunny as a 4-foot-tall, gender-ambiguous talking rabbit that could appear at will and had an infinite supply of chocolate items hidden under its ears (when you don't have a sleigh with reindeer, what else can you do?) who lived in a giant egg (far superior to Old Mother Hubbard, who lived in a shoe). That's my Easter Bunny, who exists deep in the back of my childhood memory pile, and I still enjoy the colorful quirkiness and total absurdity of it all.

Hoppy Easter, peeps.