Maybe you’ve just finished visiting Freelance Favorites: Part I, or maybe you’ve read my blog On Freelance Writing, or maybe you just decided to come to this page on a lark. Whatever the reason, or whatever the source, I’m glad you found it.
In my 10+years as a freelance writer, I’ve written literally hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles; some of those publications remain, some do not; some of the editors have stayed; many have not. Publishing is a business that’s ever-changing, and like any other business (for never let it be forgotten: publishing IS a business), so too are the people behind the scenes. One thing, however, has remained constant virtually without exception: every editor and every individual I have had the good fortune to work with has been a consummate professional, and I have learned something from each of them.
I have also learned from all of the people who generously gave up their time to take my phone calls, ready, willing and eager to share their stories, their passions, a piece of their life or their business. I have tried not to misuse that trust, to respect their confidences as I would my own, all the while sharing the facts they are willing to have shared with you, the reader. At the end of the day, I have a body of work that I’m mostly proud of, and more than a few highlights along the way.
Here then, is a small sampling of some of those highlights. For a PDF of the article, simply click on the article title:
Antique Trader, May 2004
This feature for Antique Trader first introduced me to collecting maps, and I became fascinated with them, not only a source of history, but as a unique piece of artwork. In THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE, the Glass Dolphin’s Arabella Carpenter sells antique maps; in a relatively early scene with Emily Garland, Arabella gives Emily a bit of a primer on maps and early cartographic errors.
Antique Trader, August 2004
Okay, for the record, this was not the title (called a Head in the magazine world; the second headline is known as a Deck) that I wrote, and I’ve never liked it. But when you pass your work along for publication, you have to expect (and accept) editorial changes.
Besides the title, this was another topic that just really grabbed my interest (I especially love the sidebar on Hazel Blake French’s jewelry). You’ll also find a cobalt blue Sandwich Glass dolphin candlestick, Arabella’s “first antique find,” and the inspiration for naming the Glass Dolphin antiques shop.
Antiques & Collecting, August 2004
It’s not very often you get to dedicate a magazine article to someone, but the editor of Antiques & Collecting Magazine allowed me to include the dedication “to the memory of my father, Toni Penz, and father-in-law, Ray Sheluk, two fine men who loved to fish.”
Running Times, October 2005
Like Emily Garland, co-protagonist in The Hanged Man’s Noose, I’m a runner, and getting published in Running Times was almost (but not quite) as exciting as running my first marathon. This feature is a behind-the-scenes look at one runner’s world, and some of the people who were part of it, back in 2005.
Hamilton-Halton Home Builder Magazine, Fall 2006
Published by the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, The ABCS of Intensification is the story behind home builders working towards developing decommissioned school properties in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The feature required a lot of research and multiple nterviews, but to this day it remains one of my favorites. And while each of the individuals in ABCs is absolutely above-board, the inherent contentiousness of such an undertaking planted the initial seed for what would eventually become a major plot point in THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE.
The Writer Magazine, May 2007
Lest anyone try to tell you different, making a living as a freelance writer takes a lot more than the ability to string words together. Some things get easier with time; after a while, you develop an interview style and a system that both streamlines the process and makes it a little less daunting. But regardless of the assignment, there’s always research, before and during the writing process. In the May 2007 issue of The Writer Magazine, I join three other experienced freelance writers in The Fine Art of Respinning, with tips on how to spin off multiple articles from one assignment.
Manitoba’s Northern Experience, Issue 2, 2011
Sometimes, it’s the people you interview that make an article special. Interviewing these eight extremely talented Northern Manitoba artists was an absolute privilege.
In THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE, editor and publisher Michelle Ellis has on her desk “a twisty-looking acrylic sculpture in shades of gold and cobalt blue,” a piece directly inspired from Linda Sonnenberg Jackson’s metallic fiber artworks.
To read more about all of the artists represented in this feature, and to view some of their work, check out the Northern Visual Arts Centre and Caribou Hair Art and Linda’s Lakeside Gallery.
PileDriver, Q1, 2012
Truly one of the greatest gifts bestowed on a freelance writer is the opportunity to learn about things far beyond your usual sphere. As the least technical person on the planet, writing about pile driving and building a new runway at Boston-Logan was originally a daunting task, but thanks to my source, Jim Beach at J.F. White Contracting Co., the feature became one of my personal favorites. And now I feel really smart about what’s involved in building a runway (well, okay, not smart exactly, but smarter).
That’s it for now, although I may add other feature articles as time, energy and interest permits. In the meantime, thanks for reading Freelance Favorites: Part II.