And Everything Else (12/7/20)

Life updates you didn't ask for.

Hi, friends! It’s been a whirlwind of a week here, between the tons of custom crosswords I’ve been making (get yours here!), holiday present shopping, and my very fun-but-time-consuming decision to finally join TikTok after months of watching the videos on Twitter like the lame millennial I am. Follow me at @rsimon113 if you’re on there, too! I’ve only posted one video so far (naturally, it stars Ellie), but that’ll likely change before long.

TikTok aside, here’s what else I’ve been up to this week, in the latest edition of And Everything Else:


#1. I wrote about Billie Eilish’s insanely popular annual Vanity Fair interviews

Last week, Vanity Fair dropped “The Fourth Year”, the newest installment of its annual interview series with Billie Eilish. Every year since 2017, the singer has answered the same set of questions while listening to her younger selves’ answers, and the resulting videos are so fun to watch—not to mention crazy popular. For Shondaland, I wrote about why so many people are drawn to these videos, which basically feel like a real-time Boyhood featuring a super-famous celebrity. What’s not to love?

#2. I finalized the syllabus for my upcoming Writing for the Internet course

There’s only six weeks left until my Writing for the Internet course begins! If you’re interested but haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late—you can still reserve a spot here. I’m super excited to get this eight-week, Zoom-held class going, and I just finished building the syllabus, which, IMO, is filled with interesting readings, helpful talks, and fun writing exercises. Sign up now!

#3. I (finally) figured out the elevator pitch for my novel

In what should be no surprise to anyone who knows me, I often have trouble being succinct with my words—I’m kinda the queen of rambling. With that in mind, it’s been hard for me to briefly summarize my novel-to-be, even though it’s important to have a few-line pitch for your book that you can refer back to while writing and eventually send to agents.

But… I think I finally got it down! It’s a Prep-meets-Perks of Being a Wallflower coming-of-age story about an insecure high school sophomore whose world opens up when she befriends a group of cooler, more confident seniors.

And there you have it! Pitch down, actual book to come.


That’s all for this week! Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t yet subscribed to get regular emails for this newsletter, what are you waiting for?

Love from me and a sweater-wearing Ellie,

-Rachel