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Here's to Writing About What You Love
Notes from a Candy Girl for life.
IMAGE Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

Do what you love, write what you know—these are two things that I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to do in the past four years thanks to candymag.com. When I left the website to join the Candy print team in 2012, I knew that it would always have a special place in my heart. Little did I know that I would start writing a weekly TV column for the site, a gig that combined my love for the small screen and for writing for Candy Girls. Over the years, that column evolved to include film, music, and books—all the things that I obsess over. While I sometimes ran out of things to talk about, sitting down to write for the site twice a week always brought me joy. It really was a writing gig like no other.

But all good things eventually come to an end: This is my last column for candymag.com. I'm terrible with goodbyes—it took me ages to get over the closing of Candy Magazine last year—so I hope you can indulge me with a little trip down memory lane.

  1. A big part of writing this column was going to movie screenings held days or weeks ahead of the public premiere to see if the film was worth recommending to you guys. Two of my all-time favorite press previews happen to star Ansel Elgort. Ansel was a revelation in the YA blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars in 2014, and just a few months ago, he outdid himself in the music-driven heist film Baby Driver.

 

Another unforgettable preview was the earthquake movie San Andreas in 4-freaking-D, complete with motion seats and wind and mist effects. I was literally #shookt.

 

  1. It was also because of this column that I got to meet a few of my personal favorites, like LANY for a group interview last month, where I could only ask one question.

Full disclosure: I thought I was prepared, but the second I spoke up to ask my one question, I completely froze. Part of me is always prepared for this eventuality, so I looked down at my phone expecting to see all my questions, only to discover that I had opened a different Memo file (!!!). I took a second and recalled the question I meant to ask as best as I could, and the boys were very generous with their response. Eight years in the industry and there's still a lot to learn! You can read the interview here—try to guess at what point I got stumped!

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  1. I fell in love with the local music scene in college, and because of this column (and my current full-time job at Cosmopolitan Magazine), I got to pick the brains of a few musicians for “work.” A couple of my favorites: road trip talk with The Ransom Collective at the listening party of their album Traces, and a quick chat with Oh, Flamingo! after they played at Iris and Basti’s wedding on the set of On the Wings of Love.

 

  1. Speaking of OTWOL, remember when the whole country was obsessed with it? This column gave me the space and freedom to share my obsessions with you guys: Iris and Basti, Descendants of the Sun, Doctor Who (Eleven 5ever and ever), Terrace House, One Direction's legacy, the best teen shows in the '90s and early aughts, and the OG Pokemon craze. As a reformed binge-watcher, I also got to share a few things I learned during the height of my all-nighters.
  1. I have never shied away from writing about feelings, so when a movie or TV show ~triggers~ me, you can bet that I'll write about it. Sure, it could be embarrassing to bare your soul on the internet (what else is it for, though? JK), and the person involved could read it and figure out it’s about him, but seeing all your comments about going through the same thing made me feel like it was worth it.

It's been a pleasure and an honor to talk to you guys for as long as I have. Like we always say, once a Candy Girl, always a Candy Girl! Let's keep the conversation going—you can find me on Instagram @dyanzarzuela.

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About the author
Dyan Zarzuela
Council of Cool 9, Managing Editor, Columnist
Stalks celebrities, watches TV, marathons movies, curls up with books, and flails at concerts for a living. Also: semi-hardcore Whovian.
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