Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

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CALLING SMALL TOWN GIRLS
My friend Elize Strydom grew up in a small town in northern New South Wales, Australia, where she busied herself with school, sport, friends - the regular things - all while wondering what was ‘out there’ and plotting her escape to the big city. 
Over the past two years, she has immersed herself in the lives of nine teenage girls in places as diverse as Australia’s Broken Hill and Bryon Bay, and regional Oregon and Ohio in the United States, documenting their experiences for her Small Town Girl project - “a journey of remembering and discovery” that seeks to answer the question what’s it like to grow up in a small town?

Elize will be returning to the United States in June for the next leg of the project. She writes:
"This time, I’d like to find out what it’s like to grow big in a small town if you’re African American, if you’re Native American or if you’re of Hispanic origin. I’m looking for 13-18 year old girls of diverse cultural backgrounds who live in towns with a population of 20,000 or less. I’ll live with you and your family/friends for a week and follow you around, taking fly-on-the-wall style photos that will form a body of work to be exhibited in galleries in Australia and the US.”

Sound like something you - or someone you know - might be into? Email Elize for more details at elizestrydom@live.com.au. And please, share this post on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and any of your other networks to help spread the word about this great project. 

CALLING SMALL TOWN GIRLS

My friend Elize Strydom grew up in a small town in northern New South Wales, Australia, where she busied herself with school, sport, friends - the regular things - all while wondering what was ‘out there’ and plotting her escape to the big city. 

Over the past two years, she has immersed herself in the lives of nine teenage girls in places as diverse as Australia’s Broken Hill and Bryon Bay, and regional Oregon and Ohio in the United States, documenting their experiences for her Small Town Girl project - “a journey of remembering and discovery” that seeks to answer the question what’s it like to grow up in a small town?

Elize will be returning to the United States in June for the next leg of the project. She writes:

"This time, I’d like to find out what it’s like to grow big in a small town if you’re African American, if you’re Native American or if you’re of Hispanic origin. I’m looking for 13-18 year old girls of diverse cultural backgrounds who live in towns with a population of 20,000 or less. I’ll live with you and your family/friends for a week and follow you around, taking fly-on-the-wall style photos that will form a body of work to be exhibited in galleries in Australia and the US.”

Sound like something you - or someone you know - might be into? Email Elize for more details at elizestrydom@live.com.au. And please, share this post on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and any of your other networks to help spread the word about this great project. 

"The manuscript was delivered ahead of deadline and the editorial turnaround was quick."

Surely the most remarkable sentence in this highly interesting and informative essay for anyone interested in books/writing/the publishing industry.

“I read an essay on n+1 this morning, and it featured a writer who turned in their manuscript before deadline,” I told Mr Musings when I arrived home this evening. He was equally incredulous. “That can’t have been a real writer!” he declared, with more than a smidge of irony. “It must have been a book-shaped product.”

Not because “real writers” produce all their work in Hannah Horvath, last minute, “I’m going to write a book in a day” style (although yes, sometimes that too), but because we don’t like to let go. Even when the manuscript is essentially complete, we can still find improvements to make. And as long as there is time left on the clock to make them, we’re going to use that time to make them. Because as Megan McArdle put it in The Atlantic last week: “As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good.”

A few years ago, I bought a painting by an artist friend of mine, who now runs an incredible gallery in NYC. When I went to pick it up from her house a few days later, she asked if she could keep it a little longer. There was so much wrong with it, she said, so much that could still be improved. “No,” I told her defiantly. I had purchased the painting because I liked it, and I wanted to own it as is.

I let her go over a few of the lines with black paint before I took it, and the painting is still hanging on my lounge room wall; I am looking across from it as I write this post. I still love it, and I can’t imagine what my friend would have changed about it.But let’s just say I have a whole lot more empathy for her now in that moment, than I did four years ago.