The Latest and Greatest – September 2018

Updates on my work and writing

 

Fall has always been a time of change for me and in that spirit, I’ve decided to make this site more of a living portfolio than a stagnant one. I want to include updates on my writing, especially with my book, and share links to recent pieces I’ve written. To begin, I finished the first draft of my book!!

I started writing it six years ago (!!!) so it feels amazing to have finally finished a rough draft. It’s crazy that I’ve actually written a book! This is what I’ve dreamt about since I was five and to now hold it in my hands (printed on computer paper and held together in a three-ring binder) feels surreal. I’ve spent the past month reading through it and making minor edits, and will dive in with bigger edits and rewrites after that.

On the freelance front, I’ve had two articles published on SELF.com in the past month, both on asthma. The first piece, “Please Stop Giving All Nerdy Pop Culture Characters Asthma,” is a snarky piece I’ve been wanting to write for awhile. I had a lot of fun with it, but it also felt important to write. Asthma is life-threatening, but is often treated as a joke. Speaking of life-threatening, I also wrote a piece about a serious attack I had almost two years ago – “I Thought I Could Handle My Asthma Attacks, Until I Ended Up in the ER.” In this piece, I got to write more of a narrative, while also tying in some reporting. I interviewed an allergy and asthma specialist to get tips and advice on how people should react when experiencing an asthma attack.

For my job at Maine magazine, we wrapped up our 50 Mainers issue, which I’ve been working on for the past several months. The special section – “50 Mainers Balancing Heritage and Progress” – highlights 50 people doing amazing work around the state to make it a better place to live and work. I wrote 35 of the 50 profiles and got to interview authors Lois Lowry and Elizabeth Strout, as well as activists working on issues of race, immigration, gender identity, and comprehensive sex education. Maine is a very homogenous state and I’m proud that we featured people who are disrupting the status quo and working to create a more inclusive, welcoming Maine.

Also for Maine magazine, I wrote two profiles recently – one on the artist Jane Dahmen and the other on rare apple farmer David Buchanan. With Jane, I was able to look at the deeper meaning of her work and explore what it is to be a mother with a passion that isn’t her children. Society expects certain things of a woman, and putting her own creative interests first isn’t always one of them.

So, speaking of putting creative interests first, that’s what I’ll continue trying to do myself. I’m currently working on editing my book as well as writing and sending pitches to publications with ideas I’ve had floating around in my head for awhile. Those freelance ideas are also competing against essay ideas, residency applications, and blog ideas I have. Time to write.

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