Monday, April 03, 2006

Insert clever headline here

I hit Craig's List every now and then when I get especially worried about money, or start wondering about career opportunities for when the kids are in school.

Pegasus News, a new Dallas-based online news service, has been listing unpaid positions on Craig's List for quite some time, and I'd been tempted to contact them, but they always seem to want in-house people.

Now Pegasus News is spawning Texas Gigs, and looking for people to write blurbs in their comments section about restaurants and bars. It's mostly a music-driven e-zine, and as I'm tragically unhip and out of the music scene, I can really only help out with the restaurants. Here's what I wrote this weekend about one of my favorite haunts in Grapevine:

The thing I like about Big Fish is that no matter how busy and bustling it is, without exception, two seats at the bar magically open up for my husband and me no matter when we arrive.

Speaking of the bar: Hefeweizen on tap. Impressive, says my husband, but I generally order a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. The popcorn shrimp? Tasty and filling at $4.95, but since we hired a sitter anyway, we stayed for dinner. It was the 8 P.M. hour and the hostess warned of a forty-minute wait; I think we were seated in twenty.

It's a cozy downtown restaurant with about 25 tables. The red brick walls are old, genuine and uncontrived. Last night, two members of Me & Pooch (www.meandpooch.com), were strumming out some light rock on guitar and bass. This could have been the Phat Tire talking, but they were so cute and so sincere and so thirtyish, and the guitarist was so blonde in that John Denver way that I just wanted to take them home and bake them some cookies.

Anyway, I'm not a big fish eater, but a few weeks ago, I about died over my husband's pan-crusted rainbow trout with chipotle honey cream sauce. Last night, he had the crab-stuffed flounder with blackened shrimp cream sauce at $17.90.

I probably bored the cook with an order of the shrimp marinara ($8.99); I liked it better than a similar dish I ordered at Fish City, if that's any help. Do not -- I repeat -- do not order the chocolate cheesecake. You do not deserve it, not if you haven'?t been to the gym this week. No, I take that back. Have the chocolate cheesecake but skip Halloween candy in October. You can'?t do both in one year.

Of course, I had to add a second comment because I meant pecan-crusted rainbow trout, not pan-crusted. Sheesh.

When Pegasus is ready to staff, they may look upon me kindly, but right now they're all about citizen journalism. Free words.

I don't know how to market myself as a freelancer, how much I should ask for, and should a pitch go unanswered, when I should pitch the same article to another magazine. For instance, I wrote a conversational 900-word piece on looking for a gym in my town for a new magazine called Flower Mound Woman, which has this to say on its homepage:

Flower Mound Woman is an informative and interactive forum covering topics women want to hear about, in an easy-to-read magazine format. Flower Mound Woman creates an atmosphere of openness in a resource where all women can learn, live and come together. Meet your neighbors, find common ground and stretch to reach new heights in every area of your life!

Whether itÂ?s from our contributing experts or from peers with firsthand experience, this magazine offers women tips to live their best lives. Imagine the buzz behind 25,000 women coming together to reach their full potential.
Italics added. That's me. I sent you a introductory letter with resume and clips, then my article, and then I called you. Alas, silence. Onward ho, I suppose.

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