A plea to editors and publishers: Do you want to attract pro writers or not?

At a party late last year, the owner of a new local web site asked me about freelancing. He’d been soliciting articles for his site from business owners and people who liked writing for exposure; he wanted to know how to attract professionals. “Well, you’re going to have to start paying them,” I said. (Too […]

Quickie: an irrepressible love for “maven”

I really really love the word maven. I don’t know why. It’s just something about the way it sounds, maybe, the drawn-out maaaaaaaaaay followed by the short ven. Maybe because there are few words that rhyme with it: haven, raven, shaven. Maybe I just like it. A maven, the dictionary tells us, is “A person […]

Time, space, and prepositions

Came across an interesting post over at Language Log about the prepositions in/on/at. The basic principles are simple: in relates to a 3-dimensional container on relates to a 2-dimensional surface at relates to a 1-dimensional location Time and space as portrayed by Flickr user: Charles Van L. The experiential key here is that a day […]

Thoughts on The Root

Well, The Root‘s been online now for two days, and though I’m not the target audience, I thought I’d go take a look at it. My first thoughts are that I’m pretty impressed with the look of the thing. It’s supposed to be “Slate for black readers” yet looks nicer than Slate. (I’ve never been […]

Tuesday’s Tools: “Things” (Mac Only)

I’m on an organization kick lately. The most recent of my experiments has been Things, a Mac-only organizer program. It’s in alpha right now, and is free for testing (though the final version will not be free), so go sign up and grab it. What you’ll get for your payment of $0 is a fairly […]

Quickie: Etymology of “heretic”

One of my favorite etymologies (this is how you know I’m a nerd) is that of the word “heretic.” Merriam-Webster defines heretic as: 1: a dissenter from established religious dogma; especially: a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth 2: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine: see also NONCONFORMIST […]

Review: Jobs That Don’t Suck (career books, part 2)

Yesterday I mentioned The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career Into Gear. I mentioned that though I can’t vouch for the book, I can totally vouch for the authors. Here’s the opposite situation: a book that will change your life, though I don’t think I like the author very much. Jobs That Don’t Suck is […]

Career books and being a mini-celebrity

On Tuesday I attended a career seminar/book signing held by Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio, author of the The Girls Guide to Business series. Their latest book, The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career Into Gear (yes, their series doesn’t have an apostrophe but the book titles do–go figure) is about how to ask for […]

Profiled: Journalism’s only working nonagenarian

Check out the Sacramento Bee’s recent piece on Daniel Schorr from NPR. At 91, the man’s still working, suspicious of blogs (and respectful of the copy desk), and a pretty interesting guy. It looks like the Bee has a registration wall that activates after you view two pages; luckily, this piece is exactly two pages […]

Tuesday’s Tools: the Slingshot Organizer

Well, it’s not a Moleskine. But for Christmas my sister went to an indie book shop and picked up the 2008 Slingshot Organizer, a move that I had previously thought was “so not her.” (Go sis!) The thing is printed by an all-volunteer collective in Berkeley and is just a tetch more interesting than your […]