After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University, I joined the ranks of enthusiastic, underpaid editorial assistants working in New York City but too poor to live there. At The New York Times Syndicate, I edited columns, excerpted books, acquired published and unpublished content for syndication. Happy to report that I didn’t get coffee.
At night I pursued my master’s degree in publishing at Pace University because who doesn’t enjoy catching a bus out of Port Authority Bus Terminal late at night?
After six years, I moved to a high-end consumer start-up magazine aimed at celebrity worshippers. (Did I mention I have zero interest in celebrities and pop culture?)
I jumped ship before the magazine folded and swam to the relative safety of business publications. I edited a risk management and insurance magazine (not as boring as you’d think). Later, I worked for a nonprofit representing printing company owners (super-nice people, many of whom run family-owned businesses). As its Editorial Director, I wrote a column on environmental, health and safety regulations.
All the while I punched and kicked my way to a black belt in karate because sitting at a desk and on a bus for fifty-plus hours a week was turning me into a human pear.
The dearth of women in my karate school prompted me to write A Woman’s Guide to Martial Arts: How to Choose a Discipline and Get Started (Overlook). Later, my agent called. “I have a publisher interested in a book about column writing. Could you write such a book?” she asked. Thus was born You Can Write a Column for Writer’s Digest Books. As my first-born entered elementary school, I wondered “Why don’t kids have hobbies or interests?” So I wrote Child’s Play: Enriching Your Child’s Interests, from Rocket Science to Rock Climbing, Stamp Collecting to Sculpture (Kensington).
I wrote the She’s Probably Outside blog until publishing experts declared that writers shouldn’t spend their time blogging. So naturally I’m turning the blog into a book.
Enjoy, and get outside!