Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Take a Picture it Lasts Longer

Super Agent Mama has been blogging since September 2005 so admittedly, I'm not going back to read everything Mishelle has ever posted. I did meander through the years and read the sum of what she has defined as her best work which consisted of fifty posts. If the fifty posts she highlighted as her best work are not representative of the blog as a whole well then smack my ass and call me mommy. Sorry, a little of my day job slipping through. Anyhow, Secret Agent Mama is first and foremost a photographer, a good one but her 'best of' did not bode well.

I found bad poetry, memes, a tweet from Dave Mathews, a chronicling of an allergic reaction that makes her look suspiciously like the Octomom. Really, is this some of your best work? Are we supposed to take an interest in the contents of your purse? These are you epiphanies? I wouldn't ever think of posting something like this unless I artfully wove it into an interesting story.

Please never, ever use sentences like this:
My life, people; you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Unless of course you have narrowly escaped death by zombie and seriously imploring as a warning that you would not make this up, then by all means. For the rest of you, sentences like this are practically cliches of cliches.

One word kept popping into my mind as I read this, inane.
Now for the good news. The photography is beautiful. I would edit a little to highlight your best work but your pictures are top notch. Your blog design is clever and tidy. I don't think I've written Haiku since third grade where we got to ink it on gossamer onion skin paper but this along with the accompanying picture was nice. Though you know it's bad when I start pointing out the Haiku as the bright spots. This needs polishing but at least your voice came through.

Michelle, you are grateful and kind, a sweet mother and a top notch photographer but your writing needs help. Great photography seldom happens without study and practice, the same can be said of writing. Perhaps even more with writing because there are so many more rules. Your pictures are evocative, spare, lush; your writing is not. If you want your writing to equal your photography you need to educate yourself. You need to get the basics of construction down first. Then you need to learn how to tell a story with your words the way your pictures do. Your writing isn't compelling but it could be.

For your body of work in the realm of photography, I give you





For the writing, you get this









56 comments:

  1. Let me help you hate me.

    I judge people who carry Coach. Her wallet was Coach.

    I'm sure she's very nice.

    I want to shove a Coach wallet up an ass.

    If anyone here carries Coach. Sorry. So does my sister, I let it slide.

    Carry on. This meant nothing to anyone but me.

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  2. Did you like how I worked zombie in there Betsey? That my friend, was for you.

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  3. I read through the first three pages and found two posts with words and one poem post.

    I agree, the photography is gorgeous, but I couldn't find enough writing to confirm or deny your assessment of inane, although if the photo subjects are any indication of the content, then I'd agree.

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  4. MM - Thanks for that. Me and my Coach hating cross appreciate a good zombie reference.

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  5. It's fake coach. That's gotta say something, Betsey.

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  6. You called me Super Agent Mama at first, too, so that means you really love me. :P

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  7. I love that your big comment about why writing may be such a challenge for Secret Agent Mama...

    Perhaps even more with writing because there are so many more rules.

    ...is a fragment. Well played.

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  8. I have a Coach wallet but it's spelled Couch, did I get bamboozled?

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  9. Elizabeth, Miss Missives uses fragments all the time because of my terrible fragmented childhood and my equally fragmented personality. It just feels like home.

    Now don't even get me started on run-ons because I can't stand when people try to cram so much information into one thought thereby appearing to be smarter by making the world's longest sentence ever and saying like five different things that really should have their own space.

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  10. I like pretty pictures and fake Coach wallets. Score.

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  11. Lovely photos. I think it would be best served by a photoblog layout. I guess I mean with fewer entries on each page and the photos as the focal point.

    I'm having trouble with cogency today.

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  12. I have a Coach pill case. I have to take the contents to realize how irrational I am.

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  13. Calamity, I'm thinking about that, actually. I just love my template too much.

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  14. FFS. i just realized have lost my meds. DAMMIT. This is why i need you in my life, betsey booms.

    Carry on.

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  15. Also, MM, I keep trying to reverse the order of the posts today so as not to steal your thunder with the whiny vaginas, but GOD DAMMIT blogger will not allow this change no matter what I do.

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  16. Ummmm, anyway, am fucking retarded without medication and have just now realized that. Off to take my pill. Toodles.

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  17. Wait, I haven't taken my pill today either, I'm sensing a pattern.

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  18. This might be a really good day to acknowledge how safe it is that we aren't all in the same room, physically.

    You know, with the lack of meds and all.

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  19. Secret Super Agent Mama, way to take it like a woman. Really, the photos were so great which also may be why the writing stood out. I really like your template but Cal is right, maybe you can tweak it so that you can keep the same look but highlight the photos more.

    As for the writing,I took a few composition and writing classes in college('twas not my major)and having someone critique several pieces of my writing helped me immeasurably in part because most writers make the same mistakes across all of their writing and once you see it, you can move past it and get better. I'm not saying you're so daft that you cannot form a sentence but as your pictures show, you have artistic sense, the skills are the easy(easier) part.

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  20. Seriously, Super Secret Undercover Mom has awesome stones. What a trooper!

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  21. BB - I'm the same way with Coach purses. I don't understand why they have Coach written all over them. Oh, I know. So people will know they are Coach. Which is cool why?

    Didn't we already learn that anti-cool is cool, so it's cool to hate on cool?

    Oh fuck this, I'm not gonna be a sell-out, I'm gonna buy me a coach purse and show the world that I'm anti-anti-cool.

    Just kidding, BB, I really hate fucking coach.

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  22. The Coach thing is because my husband has a gaggle of friends of their gaggle of significant others sit around and will fucking talk about their Coach bag and the next Coach bag they are buying for hours. I end up sitting there drinking my beer, eating all the food and then hanging with the guys. Wondering if the strap of their precious fucking Coach bag will support my weight while I hang myself with it.

    On top of that? I can't see spending more money on a purse than the fucking tiny ass purse can even hold.

    And the big bags? Are fucking hideous!

    Seriously, who REALLY thinks Coach bags are attractive?

    I call BULLSHIT!

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  23. I will! Fuck. This is me, officially giving up for the day.

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  24. All I'm saying is, pass the fucking pills on the left hand side.

    Peace.

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  25. But you know what's more hideous than Coach? Louis Vuitton. I hate those ugly, over-priced bags with a passion.

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  26. I did a piece on this Texas oil wife/blogger with her collection of Birken Bags(yes, the $16,000 purses). Awww yeah, I hated all over her. First time I ever got hated on in my comments. Cried for about five minutes, then I took a pill. The end.

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  27. Secret Agent Uber Secret Mamma Shhhh should be a lesson to the Askers who don't like what they receive and want to be big baby bitches about it. She took it with grace and no whining. You don't have to agree with everything we tell you but don't complain about what you got. Super Agent Slick Mama, you are a woman among whiners and when we finally come up with a super secret handshake, you in.

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  28. More than one Birkin is just tacky.

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  29. You ain't shook a hand like mine, yet, Miss Missives. Of course I'm in.

    I'm a lot of things, but a titty-baby I am not! (at least not in public)

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  30. put ya'll back on my twitter feed until my web site is fixed and running all over the place again you're back on my twitter feed the hungry and poor lest you live without knowledge of pain can be treated with medication is what a lot of people who sign up their blogs for review need.

    thanks.

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  31. I had a bitch offer me a coach purse to let her into her storage unit.

    Bitch, please! She should have offered me some food.

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  32. we aren't going to start shitting all over Burberry, too..are we? Because seriously, then I will have to throw down.

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  33. I have to be honest, I judge anyone who carries a purse that cost more than $20. That shit is retarded, y'all.

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  34. Unless you're talking about a fake coach that you bought on the streets of Atlanta or Manhattan from some shady Nigerian dude. Then we're aight.

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  35. LoveBites, I used to carry this bag that was made of all these strange little fibers, all woven together, that I got in a little Japanese shop for like $8.50. I've never had a bag get compliments like that one.

    My mom, oh you guy would *love* her. If she blogged I'd submit that shit b/c it would be pretty funny to read your reactions. She's all about "the Come on it's $$$" or "the Blahblahblah" or "the Oh Look It Costs $400".

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  36. Cal and I have had this discussion. She's a purse person. I'm not. I'm a shoe person. Now, the shoes I'm rocking today cost me $12 at the goodwill down the road, but I've already had 3 compliments on them because they are badass. I'm cheap, but I have decent taste, although I must confess, it leans to the slutty side.

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  37. Fuck that, I make my own accessories.

    Not shoes. But I'm teaching myself leatherworking right now, so let's see how that goes.

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  38. I love your solid midwesternness, Rassles. It probably flies right in the face of your urban hipster coolness, but fuck it. You gots to be who you are.

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  39. Also, you would probably love this magazine I now get as a handmedown from the boyfriend: Ready Made.

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  40. They once showed how to make a chandelier out of old clear plastic hangers, and I WANT ONE. So? Collecting discarded clear plastic hangers.

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  41. I love Readymade, oh and I lean toward the trashy too. I have a whole arsenal of Candies and Candiesque shoes. A little trasy but my husband loves them.

    There is a goodwill by my house that must get the drop offs from swanky Newport Beach because I find designer shizzit there all the time. Wipe them down with a little tea tree oil and good to go.

    I found three pairs of newish ralph lauren short for the man--I have learned to just throw them in the wash and not tell him where I got them b/c he wrinkles his nose up. I have been positioning it as a 'green' thing rather than a cheap thing and that's getting him more on board. I'm all like baby why are we contributing to the production of too much shit when we can get shit that people gave away that is still usable?? Goodwill=ultimate in recycling

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  42. As America's Only Unofficial Boobfarmer, I must tell you that Boobfarming is the ultimate in recycling.

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  43. Key, stop contaminating the chick threads with your potty mouth.

    Have you seen the chandelier made out of frosted glass bottles? OMG. I want the chalkboard/wine rack in my kitchen, too.

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  44. Stop contaminating the Potty Mouth threads with your Lilith.

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  45. Dammit, key, you fucked up our "readymade" and/or purse discussion.

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  46. SAM - I think your written entries are actually better than many personal blogs. Mercifully short.

    Here are two things that I would consider.

    1. Before you start writing a story, figure out whether the point is to tell readers about yourself or to tell readers about something else. If the point is to tell about yourself (or your family), know that you have to work really hard to write a post that strangers can relate to or at least be interested in. If the point is to tell about something else, make sure that other thing gets its due. Resist the urge steer our attention back to your own personality.


    2. Don't waste words characterizing the story you're telling: This is so crazy, this is so funny, this is so sad, this is so painful, this is so awesome. This week sucks. This day sucks.

    I violate both of these pretty often myself, but I know they are factors that strongly affect how much I like a blog.

    The photos are beautiful.

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  47. Erin, are you bucking for a guest reviewer slot? hmmmm?

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  48. No, I just liked this one because she actually seems to want to do better. And she already had the good sense not to make it awful.

    I bestow my pearls on worthy students only.

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Grow a pair.