Category: Freelance

Friday Links (Chose the wrong month to go off sugar, Edition)

“What hath night to do with sleep?”
― John Milton, Paradise Lost

The links post is a text heavy one this week. Why you ask? Because I’ve spent nearly three days on a massive editing project that turned out to be much more labor intensive than anyone anticipated and was up to four in the morning reconciling drafts. I have digested a lot of text this week (including three books, surprisingly), so must you. It good for us.

This weekend I’m doing some volunteering and some napping and am pretty excited about both. Dinner this evening with Ruth and Teri also promises to be a much needed delight, though I might turn into a pumpkin and plead bed at a shockingly early hour. Here are your links, tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments!

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Goodness, are we already doing this? Live in the moment, entertainment industry! (That being said, I’m fairly intrigued by the next Pixar film…and In Heart of the Sea…and Crimson Peak…okay. Guilty.)

In related news, the first promotional images from the film adaptation of Into the Woods are out.

This woman has turned Beyonce songs into dramatic monolog. Required viewing, obviously.

Occasionally, yes, it does happen, someone needs to be rewarded for their online excellence. There’s a site for that.

Hooray, we’re doomed!

Interesting short piece on a Burmese skin/beauty product you’ve never heard of before.

A truly excellent response to the Women Against Feminism tumblr, which I will not link to here. (I initially thought I was reblogging and linking to it on my tumblr, which I use mostly for fun and to track images and stories I think are interesting and beautiful, but I didn’t realize that I had accidentally reblogged it on WordPress. The trial of too many media sites! That happened on Tuesday, and I took the post down, in case you saw it and wondered where it went. I’ve got nothing against reblogging in general, but I’ve never done it here so I thought it best not to start. Plus I want this author to get the clicks and the credit in her own right, because she basically dropped the mic.)

Congratulations. We have advanced to new and surprising levels of narcissism.

Interesting piece from The Atlantic on how we have too many lawyers…and several of them are trying to get out of the profession.




Writing Hard Things, Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about wanting to write “hard things.

This week I got the chance.

It’s an experience that’s still unfolding, but let me just say that I’m grateful to have the chance to contribute what I hope is something meaningful to the conversation. To be able to do so in the Grey Lady herself is truly a privilege.

Friday Links (slightly overwhelmed in a good way, edition)

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You people are wonderful, thank you for all the lovely comments and emails from my last post. I’ve really been blown away by how something that felt so personal and unique to one community has turned out to be a pretty universal emotion and feeling. Such is the way of all fear and trepidation, I suppose. Either way, reading through those was the most cheered I felt in a week.

In the meantime, while one aspect of life has been a pit of turmoil, others have been tripping quite merrily on without time to waste. The human experience is a strange, fractal thing… Currently I’m working on one project that might or might not have anything to do with the Miss America contest, another involves wrestling through multiple layers of online security which makes me feel much more advanced and technologically impressive than I am. Nifty things and amazing work happening over in freelance territory.

Also our five year (!) wedding anniversary is coming up Tuesday. Don’t ask me where the time went.

Here are your links for the week, add anything else worth reading about and let me know what you’re getting up to in the comments!

The tumblr find of the week reminds us that not all advice is helpful.

Interesting portraits of first year college students. We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of me starting college (clutches self a bit to realize that) but I don’t have many photos from that time period still hanging around. I’ve never been a big picture taker until we moved to London, and even then very few of myself or Jeff. I wish I had more from my college days.

Everything about this story is pretty horrifying.

Really interesting TED talk on how we as a society are using people with disabilities as motivation, which on its face seems good but as the speaker points out, has a pretty bad side effect.

Longtime readers know I simply cannot resist a good art mystery!

This American Life did another live show (their last one was one of my favorite things of 2012, so I was too excited not to share).

I bear witness of the high heel insert, personally.

A source of some confusion to various friends and acquaintances, I have never been to Disney World/Land. I have been to Euro Disney, but those in the know tell me that this is Not At All the Same Thing. So, people who know better than I, tell me what you think of Disney Land’s original prospectus?

If you are suffering from an insufficiency of cuteness this Friday, may I offer this as a balm?

I would kill to get my hands on one of these 18th century pattern books on fabrics and textiles to sift through on a rainy afternoon.

A cover letter from Leonardo da Vinci.

I loved this piece on the world of incredibly valuable but often invisible work and how much we rely on it.

Summer sales are lovely, forbidden things. Some of you go and buy something fabulous from GiGi New York for my sake, please. Let me live vicariously.

Friday Weeks (Making it after all, edition)

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
― George Eliot

Big week! Huge existing projects, potential new projects, and scheduled meetups and meetings with people for even more potential new projects. Freelancing is an interesting business, there are some weeks that are very standard and uneventful but you get good work done, and others that just set you up for leaps and bounds of growth if you make smart decisions. Hopefully this has been the latter.

This weekend I’m meeting up with a bunch of academic friends (usually scattered from London to Cambridge, but convening in the capital for food and talk), editing and updating my recently expanded portfolio, and hopefully hitting up some new museum exhibitions with Jeff. We walk on the wild side, kittens. Here are your links, share anything else worth knowing in the comments, and let me know what your weekend plans are!

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From my latest urban agriculture profile over on The Thrifty Homesteader.

The tumblr find of the week is a source of unending hilarity and delight to me. One feed, one singular purpose. (Also, he was all kinds of dishy back in the day, was he not? Insert a sort of humming, growl-y noise here.)

People. Fundamentally decent.

Even now I have Teddy, a well worn and well loved, formerly pink bear I got the day I was born. She was my best friend and partner in crime in childhood, and still beloved to this day. (When we were dating, Jeff once commented on the less than pristine state of her fur and had to spend a lot of time apologizing to make up for it. He may be my greatest, but she was my first love.)

An excellent piece on the importance of boredom, very thought provoking.

As of tomorrow it is officially summer. Would that I were not two feet too short to wear this dress in celebration.

This is my favorite headline to come out of the World Cup thus far.

One of my cousins recently got engaged in a spectacular fashion and a photographer was on hand to capture the moment. Unsurprisingly, since my cousin happens to be a model, the shots turned out gorgeous so you’ll forgive me if I shamelessly share them.

I already posted a PSA, but for those who missed it, online buddy Kim Curran’s fabulous new novel GLAZE is now available on Kindle for $.99! It’s only for two more days, though, so get cracking.

I am still supremely annoyed that we had to forgo Ascot this year, but the Fug Girls are providing the necessary hat commentary until next summer. When we WILL be going.

I sincerely love human beings seemingly innate desire to make functional things beautiful – though I doubt the wisdom of silver finger protectors to avoid harm coming from picking strawberries (possibly the world’s least dangerous summertime delicacy) out of a bowl.

Essie nail polishes are easily my favorite, but the story of the woman behind the company is just as good in my opinion.

Pretty pieces of custom embroidery.

Last week I shared a piece from the New York Times about Mormon activists facing church discipline. This week an exceptionally good post on one of the most famous stories of dissent from within the Mormon faith community, Nazis are involved.


“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I made it to a book launch? Well, this is the book! Kim Curran is another freelancer and writer I met through Twitter (that and blogs, how else do 21st century friendships began?) and finally got to meet in person at her launch, along with a whole host of other London writers. Let me be blunt, she’s fabulous. So is her book and right now it’s available for a limited time on the US site for $.99. Run, don’t walk.

GLAZE takes place in a near future and tells the story of the powerful social media technology of the same name, a girl who finds herself cut off from it and therefore everything that matters, and the desperate lengths she’s willing to go to belong. As you might expect, that’s when things start to get complicated.

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One of the posters from the launch.

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More importantly, one of the hilarious pun posters some of her friends and supporters made up.

Friday (the 13th!) Links

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
– George Orwell

Happy Friday the 13th, kittens! Hope you’re celebrating and/or trembling in fear according to what brings you the most satisfaction.

It’s been a nicely un-frantic week in freelancing and I’ve been able to get caught up on a number of projects around the house, including a major reorganization of the flat which has given us a lot more space. Steady work with steady clients and just enough free time to start a new schedule after the Franklin House. Working from home is a constant juggling act but there are good reasons to do it…but I get ahead of the links!

13th or not, it’s still Friday so find your weekly dosage below. Add anything you think the minion coterie needs to know and let me know what you’re up to in the comments!
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Celebrate this most superstitious of days with some new superstitions.

For the things you never knew you needed.

The World Cup is on, but there’s a pretty horrible underbelly to one of the world’s biggest sporting events. A Brazilian non-profit journalism group investigated the alleged rise in sex trafficking prior to the games, and turned their investigation into a powerful story along with Buzzfeed. Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Janssen over at Everyday Reading has released her summer reading list. Go forth and stock your Goodreads, minions!

Interesting read on the internet, brain chemistry, and motivation.

Seriously everyone, STOP with the “love locks!

Friend and Friend of the Blog, the redoubtable Caitlin Kelly over at Broadside, has put together a fantastically good post on the pros and cons of freelancing. If you’re considering freelance work (and these days that’s up to 1/3 of American and British workers), you need to read this.

First issues of famous magazines.

Printed cartoons are near and dear to my heart, and I remember tearing through the massive Sunday papers to get at the “funny pages” as a kid. Well, if you’re still reading them, Stephan Pastis (who draws the strip Pearls Before Swine) has had a new looking going on lately…and the story behind it is amazing. I’ve written before of my love for Calvin and Hobbes, without exaggeration I consider it a major hallmark of my personal childhood and one of the best depictions of childhood ever created.

Stand back, kids, this might be the dish I try and conquer for #6 on my list!

This looks like the most delightful, summery dress.

Tavi Gevinson has grown up from the Style Rookie to be, well, a lot of other things. She’s the kind of young woman that makes you wonder what you’ve accomplished in comparison, but I admire a lot of what she’s done so far and think she has a long and interesting career ahead of her.

These Aled Lewis pillows are giving me life: horse speaking wisdom, woodland Agatha Christie realness, and…caption this one in the comments for me.

Having just got through a period of unusual exhaustion, I can openly confess to doing at least half of these and I can see that they’ve definitely contributed.

A development that, in my opinion signals the end of the so-called Mormon Moment: two Mormon activists are facing religious discipline for their involvement in communities and causes. Not everyone will be interested, but if you are at all intrigued or follow intersections of religion and feminism/gender issues particular, this is a story worth reading up on. (Here’s another primer on this history of excommunication in Mormon feminism, for the curious.)

Emails With Friends: Education and Futility

When the less fun practicalities of writing for food rear their heads.

“Surprisingly freelance life management wasn’t ever covered in my Art History of the Northern Renaissance class.”

“See, if we’re talking about the usefulness of our university coursework, I can tell you I definitely utilize my saxophone-performance-with-secondary-study-in-ballet-performance EVERY day. You should have been more practical when choosing your major, like I was.”
– C. and Katarina

Yes. Everything is this effortless.

Friday Links (Farewell, Ben Edition)

“Remember that time is money.”
– Benjamin Franklin

It’s the end of an era, kittens, my last day at the Franklin House. It’s been a good ride and I’ve been able to learn a lot about this industry and meet some truly fantastic people who you are definintely going to be hearing more about in the future (some of us may or may not already be planning summer barbeques together). On the freelance front, work is picking up with some new projects, but I get to pay another round of taxes (blech). Here are you links, let me know what you’re up to in the comments!

Fascinating look at how news organization manage their social media.

This is brilliant (PS, congratulations to Georgina who just got a cultural heritage and education job at Kensington Palace), but I watched the entire vid with wide eyes imagining what would have happened had they dropped that thing.  This are the dark places a history person’s mind goes.

I bow to others’ wisdom, is this the most Canadian headline ever? Caitlin Kelly, please advise!

Color me mesmerized… I love ballet. I haven’t yet converted Jeff to it like I have the opera, but I have high hopes.

Speaking of the ballet, here’s a great profile on a dancer who is making history.

This girl is only six years old, but she kindly invites the haterz to eat it.

There is (yet another) reality television show for me to hate, but now with the added bonus of making me want to bury my head in the sand as an adopted Londoner. It’s called, “I Wanna Marry Harry,” and it’s dreadful. We may not have inherited rank in America, but really, countrymen? Really? The only redeeming side effect for this embarrassment is the Fug Girls’ incredible recaps. They watch, so you don’t have to. Because you really, really shouldn’t.

One last bit of royally themed goodness: emeralds. (Whispered in a voice not entirely unlike Smeagol’s.)

In case you had any doubts on the matter. But have we not all of us, at one time or another, developed resentment at a public dance? And as for being in a garden and being astonished!

This child has a future. In the J. Crew children’s section.

If you watch Game of Thones and have not yet seen Gay of Thrones from Funny or Die, I urge you to rectify this shameful lapse. (Standard warning for pearl clutchers, there is language and they discuss…well, everything that Game of Thrones does. Which basically ancient Rome on a really hedonistic day.)

Big news from my buddy Teri, the outrageously talented and designer over at The Lovely Drawer has launched her Etsy shop. Check it out! (Also, if you’re not following her blog, you should be. Not only does she keep you abreast of design and the good things in life, she’s unbelievable generous with beautiful free offerings.)

Pleases me, this does.

Hm, you mean that the ability to nurture children isn’t a strictly or even predominately female trait, but a skill? One you develop by doing? And men’s brains are just as capable as women’s to develop in the similar ways? There are are so many people (primarily former youth religious leaders with fixed ideas about gender roles) that I want to send this too, it’s almost tempting to put together a mass email.

Well shoot, I am officially out of excuses. (The NYT offers some additional information.)

Bestie and New York journalist Xarissa Holdaway’s new piece on Orange Is the New Black‘s portrayal of faith behind bars.


Friday Links

“I’m a very ritualistic, routine-oriented person, and I discovered over the years that I love working Monday through Friday.”
– Edie Falco

It’s a Friday with a busy weekend ahead, Monday is my birthday (I’ll officially be in my late 20s, and therefore entirely mature and responsible, of course), and next week is my last at the Franklin House. The times they are a-changing.

Here are your links, add any others worth knowing in the comments and let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend!

First and foremost, I wrote a post this week that went a tiny bit viral (by my standards at least). It was in response to the Santa Barbara killing and why I find it so important to claim the title of “feminist,” in spite of and often because of the price I’ve paid for it. The response I’ve gotten to this post on social media and via email has been pretty awesome. Here’s one response post from another writer.

Nerd culture and misogyny, h/t to Ellie, a friend of mine who is an editor at Marvel.

Another good link (h/t my friend Molly) about a culture of toxic masculinity. It’s not an easy read, but it’s an important one. When I say Patriarchy hurts everyone, even men, this is what I mean. And as the author points out, in the last few months alone there have been a string of events where men and boys have hurt or killed women for refusing them dates, sexual advances, or proposals. This is not an isolated event, this is the latest and most visible in a pattern.

Lastly on this topic, Laurie Penny over at the New Statesman wrote a much better post than mine on the killing, and everyone needs to read.

Okay. Other links for the weekend, though please do continue the conversation at my link or elsewhere. Our culture really is starved for better conversation about gender violence and we need to recognize that genuine misogyny is not a problem for other geographic areas of the world, or different cultures, it’s everywhere. And we need to fix it.

I’ll just leave this Instagram find of the week right here.

A question I have wrestled with for most of my life.

I’m gearing up for another round of applications and pitches, and it turns out some friends and members of the minion coterie are in the same boat. Here’s a link Alanna sent me that I’ve really been enjoying and using to gut up and stay motivated.

The inspiring and lovely Bethany over at Love Grows Designs wrote a guest post this week that I also found helpful. Which of us has not had a “long dark tea time of the soul,” to both paraphrase and plagiarize (Douglas Adams in particular. One of my favorite books)?

Tying scarves like a Frenchwoman, because summer is coming and we need pretty, breezy looks.

Friend of the blog and writer over at Riding Bitch, Niva wrote a really beautiful piece about loss and friends.

I would very much like this hat for summer, please.

Oh man…right in the childhood! Long live Reading Rainbow! (PS, they are still taking donations, and as of typing this, they were at $1.8 million.)

Another gently thought provoking piece from Maxie McCoy over at Ilo Inspired. I was lucky enough to meet Maxie at a Levo League event, which only helped to solidify my girl crush. I’ve had to “give up” on a few things recently and, to quote Frost, “it has made all the difference.”

I’d watch an awful lot of these. Submit your own mashup ideas in the comments.

My tiny kitchen and I have yet to reach an understanding, 8 months into our relationship. I never understood my mother’s complaints about kitchen spaces “not working” in several of the various houses we lived in over the years until now. Some are simply planned better than others. And I’m not even a particularly domestic woman! But I found these tips helpful in thinking of new ways to tackle that space.

I like collaborative apps, so here’s one if you’re trying to eat healthier. FoodTweeks will help you cut unnecessary calories and make food donations every time you do so. Winning!

I lied. In continuing ridiculous sexism and women’s sexuality news, this high school induces headdesks.

Friday Links

“There are two places in the world where men can most effectively disappear — the city of London and the South Seas.”
-Herman Melville

This has been one of those weeks that mixes fantastic highs with crippling self-doubt. Imposter syndrome is alive, well, and living in London, my friends. But enough with the first world problems, they’re nothing hard work and gumption won’t cure, on to links. They’re all quick and dirty this week. Share anything worth knowing in the comments and let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend.
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(Feeling rather like the goose!)

Pantone before there was Pantone. By which I mean the 17th century.

My love for the blogging pair Tom and Lorenzo is well documented, so I loved this interview with them in Bitch Magazine.

I would play the heck out of this. House rules, you cannot ask questions about physical appearance. Terrible life choices, House allegiances, potential terrible fates only.

This new cartoon find amuses me greatly: (mostly) conversations betwixt inner organs and body parts, without being nearly as gross as it sounds. For example, the irritable bowel is…irritable.

A photography project to make you smile.

Either everything is a conspiracy or nothing has meaning. You decide.

Nate Silver, a quantifiably  intelligent guy, has some interesting thoughts and data on the 2014 election. Vote, people, you lose your right to complain otherwise.

Sick of Buzzfeed quizzes? Here’s a new, kind of trippy alternative one h/t of Katarina, and it nailed us both.

Paging all book loving minions – which is the vast majority of you, let’s be honest. I’m a bit in love with this little boutique collection. Someone with an iPhone get that cover so I can live vicariously and enthuse about your purchase with you.

The greatest threat to extremism isn’t drones firing missiles, but girls reading books.”

You won’t allow me to go to school.
I won’t become a doctor.
Remember this:
One day you will be sick.

Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl