My favorite things of 2018

Normally the freelance journalist's life is an endless cycle of pitching, waiting, scrambling, panicking and pitching again. This year I've been spoiled with ongoing engagements with select editorial and corporate clients that have allowed me to mostly avoid pitching panic altogether. I dare say it's been the best year of my freelance career so far,… Continue reading My favorite things of 2018

my ’90s music zine, or how i became a writer

The earliest sign I was meant to be in magazines came in junior high school. One of the English teachers' flagship assignments was the magazine project: Each of us had to create (in the pre-computer era) a 24-page magazine on a topic of our choosing with articles and advertising. I made mine a music magazine from 1985.… Continue reading my ’90s music zine, or how i became a writer

a magazine pitch that totally worked

Back when I was a baby freelancer, pitching felt like a mystery. I knew in theory how to write an article pitch, sure, but they were usually half-baked. I usually didn't know what the what was yet and wanted an editor to tell me what to do. In the last nearly two years as a full-time… Continue reading a magazine pitch that totally worked

grazing + finding creative inspiration

A consumer packaged goods expert recently divulged to me that she never, ever looks at her competition. That really took me by surprise, because I always over-research everything. (My local branch librarians know all about me and my extensive interlibrary loan requests.) Instead of looking at the competition, she told me, she examines parallels. What… Continue reading grazing + finding creative inspiration

Michael James Brody, Oct. 31, 1948 – Jan. 26, 1973

michael james brody jr

Michael James Brody Jr. made the news in January 1970 as he offered to give money from his $25 million fortune to anyone who needed it. Newspapers called him a "hippie angel," a "giveaway millionaire." But as the attention grew overwhelming and checks started bouncing, he withdrew from the public eye, resurfacing only occasionally amid legal problems, killing himself three years later in Upstate New York.

how to pitch a story to a magazine

While I was on my crafty book tour, I took a brief detour between Pittsburgh and Cleveland to talk to Jacquie Marino's magazine publishing class at Kent State's journalism school. I love any excuse to visit my alma mater, but I was especially stoked to talk about the current state of magazine publishing and how I went… Continue reading how to pitch a story to a magazine

Middle Class Problems vs. Robert Falcon Scott Problems

One hundred years ago, Sir Robert Falcon Scott had intended to be the first man to lead a team to the South Pole, but when he arrived, it turned out Roald Amundsen had beaten him there. To add insult to injury, Scott and his entire party died on the way back to the coast—bummer. There is but one moral of Scott’s story: Modern life ain’t so bad. All middle class problems fade in comparison to Robert Falcon Scott problems.