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Asking For It

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ASKING FOR IT

Here I stand,
asking for it.

I am not a girl -
a woman.
And I am ... asking for it.

By it,
I mean a paycheck
equal to that dude's.
Commensurate
to the work I do.
It's not too much to ask.

I am
asking for it.

And by it,
I mean respect.

Recognition
that the length of my skirt
- or my size of my thighs
underneath -
is not an invitation
for your consideration
of my body
and what it needs to do
for you. Nobody asked you.

I am
asking for it.

It is the thing we all strive for,
what women continue to fight for,
what we have sacrificed
and died for.
It is what we pray for,
over the heads
of our daughters.
It is what we demand  when push the conversation further

It is what causes us to stand and speak against our fathers.

I am done asking for it.

I will create it.  I will take it.
It was never yours to give.

Men of a Certain Age

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The #MeToo campaign has dredged up a lot of memories for me. I'm working on a longer blog post that breaks down how, from early childhood, society molded my views on women and men. What was expected, what was valued, and what wasn't. And how those views informed my decisions to stay silent when men harassed and assaulted me. 

It's a lot to process. And some of the people I'll write about are still in my life. This is true for many of us. We live among our abusers. We share mutual friends. We see them at parties. We laugh at their jokes. We try to forget what they did, at least as long as they're in our presence. 
For now, I'm going to share this poem. 
Long ago, I dated a bartender. I visited him on weekend nights. This is what I endured every. single. night.
MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE
Men of a certain age always ask your name before telling you how pretty you are.
They ask for it again and again, and again.
As if your name - the brand that has gone before you and s…

Why Don't More Creative Business People Read Fiction?

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Here's a question I ask every candidate I interview: What's the last great book you read?

Catch: It can't be a business book.

It always stumps them.

Some of them are honest: "I don't read fiction. But, I just got done reading a new book about Jeff Bezos ...."

Me: (Inward sigh)

I wish this only happened when I was talking to young recruits, new to marketing, eager to show me their dedication to learning business from the greats. But it's not. I can't even tell you how many CEOs, presidents, entrepreneurs, managers, designers, developers, and even fellow copywriters that have confessed to me that they don't read fiction.

They offer a variety of reasons why. All of which I consider bullshit.
I don't like fiction.  Bullshit. Do you watch movies? Television? Those are fiction. (Even the "reality" shows are scripted.) If you don't like reading fiction, it's because you're not reading good fiction. 
Or, it's because you know

National Poetry Month Challenge

Inspired by Unthinkable podcast episode "Just Ship It," I decided to set a National Poetry Month challenge for myself. One poem every week day. I'll update this blog with new poems every now and then, so I have an archive of all the poems at the end.

4/21 ONE IN FOUR
*Trigger Warning

An argument instigates
A misunderstanding
Fueled by liquor
and bitter impotence


A challenge
I didn’t see it his way
I didn’t see it coming
The gauntlet thrown

I am facedown
Like a slap, like a shot
Choking on the sheets
We’ve shared

His weight
Crushing my resistance
His hands
Willing my submission

For a moment, a breath
I am stunned -- paralyzed prey
An eternal second
An unspent scream

Then, muscle memory kicked in:

Waking up
There is a boy I knew, I loved
Inside my bed
Inside of me

And the smell of alcohol
From his sweat
And my breath
Filling the room

A miasma of shame
and guilt
and defense
We never spoke of it

What happened
Had happened before:

Nervous, new lover
Fumblings
Moving together
Toward our destination

A barrier, …

Hey Copywriter ... How are Your Photoshop Skills?

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I've noticed an increase in the number of job posting and freelance gigs that call for a copywriter to also do some level of image creation or design work. I've been asked more than once, "How are your Photoshop skills?"

Me? Photoshop?

via GIPHY

I know sites like Canva and PicMonkey make the process of creating images a lot easier, but I still have a few issues with this trend.

#1 It seems to be a one-way street. 
I haven't run across a lot of designers being asked to write copy. And you know why? Because designers are notoriously bad at writing copy. No offense, designers. You guys are amazing at what you do. I have nothing but respect for your skills, because Lord knows I don't have them. But I've yet to meet a great designer who was also a decent copywriter. So why are writers suddenly being asked to pull double duty?

My suspicion is that people value copywriters a little less than designers. Why? Because we're all taught how to write in school, but…

When Scammers Go Fishing in Mama Bear Country

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8:15 a.m. Baby Girl and I had just started to wake up. This is my favorite time of day. She's smiling, giggling, snuggly. We're warm and cozy in bed together. The day is nothing but possibilities. And then the phone rings. The home phone. Which nobody ever calls and we have only so I can call 911 if there were ever an emergency.

"This is a notice that the IRS have filed a lawsuit against you. Please call 207-693-8051 to resolve this matter immediately."

Hubby and I do owe money from our 2015 tax returns, but a lawsuit? It must be a mistake, I think to myself, as I dial the number.

The man who answers says his name is Jack Brown. He has a thick accent that leads me to believe he wasn't born Jack Brown, which alerts me something is amiss. He is very angry, which also sets my Spider Sense tingling. He is going to explain everything to me, and instructs me not to interrupt. He says that the IRS has found "fraudulent details" in my tax records dating back t…

3 Customer Service Lessons From Delta

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Earlier this month, Baby Girl and I flew from Florida to North Dakota to visit Daddy. He's working up there while there's boom money to be made, and has been gone for two months this time. The travel time was eight hours, a long day even without a six month-old, but we were optimistic. It was going to be an adventure. Baby's first flight! 
Searching for a sign  Our first flight left Tampa at 5:00 am, so we arrived at the airport at 4:00. Checking our bags would only take a minute, I figured. Who else would fly so early?  There were no employees at the counters. None. Nada. Zip. And no one in line knew why. People finally gave up and went to the curbside baggage check-in. I did get a response to that tweet.  Awesome, Delta. Thanks for the info. This could have been easily avoided with a little planning and a few pieces of paper. Signs at the counters would have saved travelers precious time and help to avoid a negative brand experience.  Tip: Communicate clearly and often to set…