File Under New Things: A Newsletter

Posted by melissa kandel on March 3, 2019 in Newsletter | No Comments

Inspired by a Saturday morning conversation, I’ve decided to start a weekly newsletter. You can sign up to receive these regular updates to your inbox HERE but I wanted to post the very first edition, in case you’re not yet on the list. (*Wink wink, nudge nudge.*) The plan is to send these messages out every Monday morning. Here’s the first one, reposted on the blog …

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The Incredible Lightness of Cleaning

Posted by melissa kandel on March 2, 2019 in Personal | 2 Comments

I recently attempted to #KonMari my house to make it a more inviting, simple, joyful place. In reality, I have no actual idea how the method goes (full confession) but instead, just asked myself with every item: “Does it spark joy?”

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Love Lessons with The Bachelor’s Seinne Fleming

Posted by melissa kandel on March 1, 2019 in Interview | No Comments

If there’s any time my friends and I resemble the precision and ritualistic exactitude of a Japanese bullet trail, it’s Monday at 8 p.m. When the clock strikes, we unwrap the cheese and uncork the Cabernet. Then we affix our eyes to the glossy TV screen for two—sometimes three!—hours of romantic mishaps and milestones as The Bachelor unfurls with wildly dramatic abandon and we wine-buzz our way through the entire 120+ minute thing.

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The Oscars Were Fun

Posted by melissa kandel on February 25, 2019 in Hollywood, On Writing | No Comments

(But here’s how to get inspired by how Hollywood screenwriters write)

There’s a spot in my living room that undeniably catches the best morning light. A leather armchair is catty-cornered into it, and if you sit there by the window, you only see my neighbor’s big, leafy tree and not much else, which makes you feel like you’ve temporarily fallen into some tropical oasis of leather chairs and sunlight and leaves. Then you open the window and hear the sounds of waves crashing footsteps beyond, seagulls squawking, palm trees rustling. So this is where I write, right?


As I type these words to you now, I’m half in the dark on the other side of my living room—the one with the worst possible light—hunched over my computer, knees tucked behind me, sitting on top of a way-too-expensive Pottery Barn pillow (yay adulthood!), eating half a carrot I found on my kitchen counter five minutes ago and wondering why I don’t sit in that idyllic armchair literally ten feet to my right. The truth is, I have no idea. But at least I’m in good company. On the morning after the 91st Academy Awards, I present to you a selected bunch of crazy-successful writers, who explain the weird and wonderful ways they produce their award-winning work:

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Sincerely and With Feeling

Posted by melissa kandel on February 22, 2019 in Fiction | No Comments

As the black crow flies, so too does the luck of anyone brazen enough to steal from the Painted Desert for the sake of a vainglorious because I can. Such a creature of inordinate vanity cannot, by the laws of moonlight and the writs of sunshine, remain unpunished for very long.

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Writer’s Life

Posted by melissa kandel on February 21, 2019 in On Writing | 1 Comment

Hi. Today is my birthday and I’m spending it working (mostly) and picking up an ice cream giveaway gift card for a charity event I’m organizing this Saturday, so that’s pretty interesting. Anyway, in re-reading some older posts on writing last night, one stuck out in my mind. As I depart for the dreary sameness of the mall (and its ice cream vendors), I’ll just leave this here, written by me about a year ago, to make of it what you will.

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Romance in DTLA

Posted by melissa kandel on February 21, 2019 in Fiction | 2 Comments

The Uber’s door fluttered open, a bright flap of blue against the sluggish February wind.

One last look to the driver with graying teeth and corn-husk hair and Simon Plinkers peeled himself out of the car. (This after sitting for an hour and forty-seven minutes on the ride from Newport Beach to downtown Los Angeles. Now, his elbow ached from not one but two brushes with fast-moving bicyclists. “Screw you, man!” Ah, L.A..)

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Creative Sources of Inspiration

Posted by melissa kandel on February 20, 2019 in On Writing | 3 Comments

A few days ago, my name appeared as a contributor in a Forbes article about creative inspiration. But no, this post is not a shameless plug for that; it’s actually a jumping off point to take what I wrote about and go even deeper into the subject.

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Let Me Tell You a Story

Posted by melissa kandel on February 18, 2019 in business journey | 8 Comments

He had the kind of face you’d forget if you tried to remember. Really. I can barely picture it now. His skin was a pale, translucent white (I know that) and his hair was a dullish gray but his features? I don’t know. They were shadowy, vague, general in the sense that he had a nose and eyebrows and a mouth but I couldn’t tell you their shape or what his lips look like when they formed the word “failed.”

The man (let’s call him John) sat down next to me after a meeting I attended last week at a business center about thirty minutes away from my house. I drove there in the rain expecting inspiration, finding John.

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A Note on LOVE

Posted by melissa kandel on February 17, 2019 in Magazine | 2 Comments

Hello, friends. So this past week I published the second edition of West Oceanfront Magazine, a project I’m working on with some creative friends of mine to share stories from Newport Beach.

You can find the entire magazine here (or check out some of my favorite spreads below) but I wanted to republish my Letter from the Editor because it’s on a topic that often finds itself swirling inside my mind.

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