Writing For A Living (For Free)

29 Jul


Writing For A Living (For Free)


To: writers@macstop.com

Ben Wilson
Editor in Chief

Dear Macstop,

Congratulations on your fresh startup. I would very much like to be considered for a news scout position on your staff, having read your notice on the Evangelist this morning. First, a few things about me, my wife, and my dog:

We have been Macsurvivalists since 1987, when my wife and I purchased our first Macintosh SE a few months after she had talked her small lobbying firm into revolutionizing the typewriter set by jumping onto the Mac bandwagon. She is the network administrator as well as the financial manager of the small office of about thirty Macs. What I don't know about the user end of the Macintosh, either she does, or within a few hours we both know what we didn't know yesterday. The Macintosh has been a fun ride.

As a freelance writer and graphics specialist for the past five years, my clients have ranged from a construction company to a bi-weekly newspaper, a horse association to a lobbying firm. Toss in a book publisher and the tall orders of small fries off the street, well, let's just say I've pretty much covered the Mac beat in all its glorious detail. My small home office (SOHO), with gleaming emphasis on the home part of the acronym, now consists of an 8500/120, a Performa 6400/200, and an old maxed-out Mac IIx with 32 megs of RAM and a Daystar turbo card kicking that bad baby up to the 68040 level, all connected to an ethernet hub for the lightening fast transfers poor LocaTtalk just can't match. This new hot connection was a fantastic boon to my senses. "Wow! How fast can that firewire be..."

Oh by the way, like my friend’s old PC, my dog of thirteen years just died. Too bad he wasn’t a Mac…
We hubbed it all together just last weekend, in preparation for converting the Mac IIx to a full fledged web server over a dedicated 28.8 or ISDN line. Of course I prefer the latter solution. The low bandwidth 28.8 modem approach is working for a lot of people these days running small businesses and personal sites, but we like the best, and the best today is a 2B 128K home ISDN connection for someone who is just a few hairs shy of wanting to operate his own ISP. And to think I've only been surfing the web for just over fifteen months. Well, yes, I still have my original AOL account, signing on way back in 1992 when they boasted a mere 250,000 subscribers, but hey, let's not blow that horn today.

Last year's prices for ISDN access locally, are no doubt rolling over in their graves as they squint at current market numbers. Alas, my own household pockets are still a mite shallow, so I still have to hold my horses, as my wife the horselover is always telling me. Oh yeah there's that Mac Classic II sitting on the floor with the ethernet hub sitting on top, just waiting to be used as a POP3 server, or some other equally slick job description, but for now I've promised to loan it to a computerless, ex-DOS man, an old E-mail friend presently living in that other Washington, in the backwaters of Seattle. His 286 died a horrible death two years ago, and you know how it is, nobody writes, telephoning is such a bore, and yet since his machine died, that thrice a week E-mail habit has vanished along with him. He is flying east to visit his mom and old pals sometime this spring. I will drive to Philly where his mother lives just to loan him the "little" Mac, which of course he should be able to carry onto the plane with him for the flight back to the Pacific. But I'll demand my machine back once he is able to save up enough money to buy a modern screamer as I'm sure it won't die on him like his last machine did. Meanwhile he wants to join AOL. We've loaded and test-driven AOL 2.7 on the little charmer. Amazing! With a 28.8 modem, while the AOL's graphic-intensive interface, of course, doesn't show up in color, it looks terrific and serves up rather quickly. It'll be great to get Kenny back in the saddle!

As a Macintosh-inclined Netsharker (my term, has anyone trademarked it yet?), I love the feeding frenzy of the Internet as my daily ingestion of Mac-oriented newsgroups and listservs attest. With thirty-five megs of systems extensions loading into my world with every reboot, there is no doubt in my mind that I can be an asset to your staff and a beacon to the world. Hosted on a virtual server, my homepage is located at:


...although currently is being given a fresh makeover, so potholes are everywhere. In closing, while literature and philosophical treatises are my first delusions of grandeur in a world full of mud, I must now proclaim in loud bold italics, "Literary pretensions of my youth, move aside. Philosophy might be an oyster on the halfshell, but everybody's got a philosophy. Not everybody's got a Macintosh running the best OS the world has ever known."

Bottom line? I want to be a Macstop reporter! Somebody with my kind of enthusiasm just might make the difference. For further information please contact me,

Gabriel Thy
xxx Eighteenth St., SE
Washington, DC 20003-1614


Oh by the way, like my friend's old PC, my dog of thirteen years just died. Too bad he wasn't a Mac...


Strike Two...

With my roots thigh deep into the Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson gonzo approach to minding my own business, I think we might very well develop a beautiful relationship here. A report a day? Mmmmm…reminds me of Bill Burroughs, hey, reminds me of myself, but let’s figure it this way: I wake up every day with an urge to do something Macintosh.
Okay Ben...I can read the signs on the goalpost. This ain't no MacWorld, or EvangeList, YET. But considering I'm working from one scent to the next, I'll accept your proposal for a tour of duty with roadstop dot com. You're looking for a daily report? Mmmm, on what pray tell? I've been told I'm an opinionmaker. Does that make me just another Mac Evangelist? Do I get a personal column or am I devoted a "news" inches status? What is news, if I scarf it up from online sources? Credentials? I have no inroads with the bigboys, except as a "rabid devourer" of many newsgroups. Frankly, I'm afraid since you are the editor-in-chief, you must offer me a twig or two to grasp.

At this point, I'm hip to YOUR needs, but I need to know what those needs are. Since this is an uncompensated position, as you point out, at this time, I want to make sure that I'm not running myself silly creating for someone else while I am neglecting my own domain. Like that last philosopher put it, "Hell I can pay myself nothing, and still do twice as much for myself as I can for somebody else who barely knows me from that stump over there."

Bottom line? I'll pitch your cause. Just dictate a few parameters. With my roots thigh deep into the Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson gonzo approach to minding my own business, I think we might very well develop a beautiful relationship here. A report a day? Mmmmm...reminds me of Bill Burroughs, hey, reminds me of myself, but let's figure it this way: I wake up every day with an urge to do something Macintosh. As far as I've been able to discern from our two encounters (let's not forget the Evangelist), all I need to do is write an undeveloped number of Macintosh-driven paragraphs in an E-mail to you. Well, sure, I can handle one more E-mail a day especially since I'll be getting a byline and helping a bunch of swell folks get ahead in the world of Macintosh web publishing. Say when...

Regards not retreads,

Gabriel Thy

Strike Three...

Maybe this guy is pulling a Tim. Maybe he should DO IT ALL, but he's just a slack jawed frog with too short a tongue to catch money flies just like me because he isn't doing anything I'm not already doing, but at least he's still silly enough to seek success in riding this speeding bullet off into the ether.

Maybe I should tell him to take a flying Mosaic, but like I said muscle-deep, what's one more piece of E-mail? After two solid queries for details, Ben has been rather open-flied about this whole pea-in-a-pod-thang. And don't get me started on word wobblies here! I'd go mad or to a mousetrap first... Face it. I guess I'll just start writing him a daily constitutional on whatever floats my own Mac boat, yippee! A few more dead end jobs like this, and I'll be SET for life...

Maybe being a dues paying member of the cyber-community will pay off in the long run, like say, Harry Dean Stanton's itch up the corporate leg, but you know, this sucks...


© 1997 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""