Jan 26, 2008


SEATTLE, Washington – So, a travel column fell into my lap, which is a lovely way to start the year. I now contribute five or six 150-word pieces each month to MSN Daily Access.

"Briefs," you scoff.

But noooooo. Think again, monkey child!

The petite online articles get the Entertainment Tonight treatment with two presenters. Nicknamed "Diva" and "Mancandy" by the bulletin-boarders, these video puppets introduce the features, then clown around as readers explore the page.

My pod-hotel piece inspired the bloke to mime being trapped in a box. Both did "the Swim" for the scuba story. And their banger-rally "driving lost" impression only missed an Oscar nomination because of timing. We were robbed. Robbed, I say.

Full report at eleven...

(Check it out at MSN Daily Access. The whizz-bang tech doesn't let me link to specific pages. So click on "Travel Discoveries" on the far right, then navigate down. Only attempt this with a sturdy net connection, though. )


  1. Oh well done you! Let's see how many strange words you can get into them.

  2. Oh, I just learned a fun Internet trick! If you try to e-mail one of your posts to a friend, you get a direct link to your story.

  3. I never realized how hard it is to read with some widget prattling on about "did you SCUBA stands for..."

    I now remember why I browse the web with my speakers off. You may write a 150 words every few weeks, but no one will be able to concentrate enough to read them!

  4. Louche, do bad puns count?

  5. Marie, you are not only gorgeous, but brilliant. Just please don't hack the site, because I need those paychecks...

  6. Mike, c'mon, don't give up on Mancandy so easily. His vivacious personality will win you over in the end.

  7. Amanda, I think puns should probably count for double.

    This game is starting to sound like Scrabble for writers.

  8. Marie, I was all down with your genius until the MSN site wouldn't play ball with my three-year-old G5.

    The newer iBook works for comments – and thus probably for mailings. But I'm feeling – sniff – too aggrieved to stoop...

  9. Louche: we need a whole separate blog or something: a place where we can arbitrarily rule and bully on Writers' Scrabble. Because if a British bloke and an American femme – old worlde meets nouveau – don't pull rank, I can't imagine who would...

    (Rank, I should point out, does not necessarily mirror sufficient motivation.)

  10. Congrats on scoring the travel column! Diva and Mancandy, however, have got to be stopped.