Tag Archives: freelance

My Writing Elsewhere: The Lovely Bones

I have a piece in the March/April 2017 issue of DSM Magazine that I think turned out nicely. It’s a profile of Lee Emma Running, a Grinnell artist whose latest work would fit in nicely with the Des Moines Art Center’s current “Alchemy” exhibition. (Which is also the theme of this spring’s Big Hair Ball!)


Read “The Lovely Bones” or check it out in the splendid layout (pp. 88-96) here.

I enjoyed interviewing Lee in her Grinnell studio, and I’m grateful the magazine editors endured a little more back-and-forth with me to make sure it the piece had just the right tone. It’s such a privilege to tell the stories of artists like Lee. I even got to see her pieces at Olson-Larsen Gallery, including a kind of walk-in installation. The 2017 Valley Junction spring gallery night is set for April 21, if you’ve never been.


The magazine held its unveiling yesterday evening at The Republic on Grand, a new hipster Marriott in the East Village. It was so packed! They have a rooftop heated bar that looks out to Principal Park, which would be a great spot to catch the fireworks on a Friday night in spring. I am always thrilled to see friends featured and Jami Milne shot the stunning cover.


The ethereal underwater ballet shot is beyond lovely, but I’m more obsessed with the “Layers” portraits she did of high school students in the RUN DSM slam poetry program. I saw a bunch of the teens perform in a showcase last weekend and I felt like they were total celebs.


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Filed under movies/art, Side projects

My writing elsewhere: “ia” magazine 2017

It’s always an honor to contribute to “ia” magazine, the statewide sister publication of “DSM.” Like last year, I was assigned an outdoor adventure piece. This time, I got to explore Whiterock Conservancy, which is just a little more than an hour from Des Moines in Coon Rapids, Iowa.


I went out twice to report — once solo to get the background on the place and once to overnight with our little family in the Hollyhock Cottage, a converted chicken coop made comfortable with a queen bed, bunks and a kitchen and bathroom, just behind the Garst family farmhouse (now a B&B). Our visit was in the spring and looking back Eileen was so tiny!




We had a blast and I really want to go back with Joe’s whole family. Read the full story “Where the Wild Things Are” online:


Extra special fun: We got to host the unveiling of the magazine at DMU last week! Double the excitement for this writer/community relations manager.


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My writing elsewhere: DSM Magazine May/June 16

Joe and I sat next to Katie and Jay Byers at the David Wax Museum concert in January, and some friendly conversation during a break turned into an invitation to their Valentine’s Day house concert. Of course, I had to turn it into work when I thought about what a neat story it would make for DSM Magazine. The story, “Bringing Down the House” is out in the May/June issue, which was released today.


I love being a regular contributor to such a gorgeous publication, and this issue’s launch party at Hotel Renovo also featured a Mac & Cheese bar – a fun idea!

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Filed under I love Des Moines, music, Side projects

My writing elsewhere: DSM Magazine March 16

It’s always a little thrilling to see freelance pieces released into the world. My latest for DSM is on the DSM Girl Gang, a group I had already been following on Instagram before I was asked to write about them. The founders were a little cagey about describing the group as feminist, but I think it’s definitely all about girl power.


Read the story or view the spread online.

When I interviewed them, I definitely felt some parallels to what it was like launching YNPN Des Moines for the nonprofit sector. The more groups out there facilitating connections and growth, the better!


They have a spring show coming up, too, if you want to meet these ladies in person:



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Filed under I love Des Moines, Side projects, Uncategorized

My writing elsewhere

I have a few new pieces floating out in the world that I thought were fun to put together:

Gestalt Creatives: Liz Lidgett

I was first approached to write this piece on Liz forever ago (like in March, way back when I was still in the midst of first trimester exhaustion), and I’m glad it finally got posted! The funny thing is, Liz recently purchased a home and so the photos from the shoot are like a time capsule into her old place.

Liz Lidgett’s art matchmaking skill evokes the power of a prism. She considers the space, its light, the style and colors of surrounding décor and can refract that information through her catalogue of ideas and into a recommendation that fits the persona of her clients. The results are stunning.


ia architect Magazine 

This is an architecture trade publication for which I truly enjoy contributing. I’ve never been to the Czech Village/New Bohemia neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, but reporting this story definitely has me inspired for an in-Iowa adventure. I’m especially curious to see the NewBo City Market, because I’ll bet there are some community development folks in the Des Moines area eying this project to see if something similar might be feasible here.

A natural disaster can devastate a city, but it can’t wipe away its cultural heritage. In 2008, when murky floodwaters inundated Cedar Rapids—eight feet swept into the landmark National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and wiped out much of the historical Czech Village and New Bohemia neighborhoods—residents rose up and responded.

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Yummy Toddler Food guest post 

I contributed a guest blog post for my friend Amy’s blog, all about some of our favorite quick & easy foods for our allergic-to-lots toddler.

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All it took was a spoonful of hummus and, suddenly, I was an “allergy mom.”

Weaning was underway, with some early successes. Rice cereal was slurped with gusto, and sweet potato put a sparkle in my little man’s eye. So when I read about another mom whose baby adored hummus, I thought it sounded like the most genius baby food of all time. Healthy, just the right texture, and something we already had in the fridge. Yet, minutes after serving my son his first bite—and the ensuing hives and vomiting—we were booking it to the Emergency Room,

I have a story coming out in the September issue of DSM magazine, too! I’m glad I can still make time in the evenings and weekends to write. Connect with me on LinkedIn for freelance opportunities.

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Now in print: DSM Jan/Feb Issue

I have a feature in this month’s issue of DSM Magazine! “Setbacks and Silver Linings” (p.91-97) profiles three individuals (athlete/administrator, artist and entrepreneur) for whom adversity served as a crucible for their character and career.

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I truly enjoyed interviewing Sandy Hatfield Clubb, the Drake Athletics Director. I’d been around her on campus, but from a distance and hadn’t heard the story of her growing up and it was a privilege to put her experience into words.  I love writing for DSM because it keeps me meeting fascinating community leaders.

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You can read the full issue online here. Also: Put a DSM unveiling party on your local event bucket list. This past one was hosted at the Des Moines Playhouse and was bananas busy. I mostly hung out with Mike Wagner (read about him in my story) and stuffed my face with delicious appetizers.


I also ran into my friend Lesley, whose ultra-globetrotting life (she lives in Osceola but regularly attends events like the People’s Choice Awards) I can normally just follow on Instagram. Gotta love Iowans who seize every opportunity for glitz and adventure!

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Now in print

I have a fun piece in the latest issue of DSM Magazine on the signature wall Maddy and David Maxwell created in their home! (Starts on Page 128 here.)


Maddy is so much fun to interview. I was able to see the wall in person, and then because the Maxwells spend a good part of summer in Maine, the followup  interview had to happen while they were driving the back roads on the East Coast, with their dogs in the car. I was on speakerphone, and we just happened to be traveling back from Chicago, so I was feverishly taking notes at a rest stop. It was a pretty challenging scenario, but I loved hearing David and Maddy tell stories together. They were very When Harry Met Sally in their back-and-forth style.


Not MY work, but a friend-of-a-friend had a piece in Parade and because our babies were born around the same time/we follow each other on Instagram, I’ve been following Violet’s health journey from the beginning. Whenever I would get stressed about Emmett’s eczema, I would think about all Virginia was going through and it helped put my self pity in perspective.


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Guest post up on “CAUGHT”

The folks over at the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau asked me to contribute to their new blog, “Caught,” and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to revisit my days as a writer for Juice magazine.

Since it’s just a few weeks until Valentine’s Day, and one of the most popular search terms used to find my blog is “Des Moines date ideas,” I wrote “Date Ideas to Melt Hearts, if not Snow,” which went live today.


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Filed under Des Moines Dates, I love Des Moines, Side projects

Freelance fun, city love and a bike sale

I still get really nervous when a freelance piece I’ve written goes out into the world, but I was truly delighted by how my Register profile of Gong Fu Tea turned out:


The design really made the story pop. I’m not going to lie, “research” for this story was fun. (Remember the tea date Joe and I took the other week?)

If you’re free tomorrow afternoon, consider checking out the “Connect. Create. Collaborate.” event the Des Moines MPO is hosting (3 p.m., 420 Watson Powell, Jr., Way, Suite 200). I had a meeting conflict, but really wanted to go because Lee Fisher, who came to speak at TEDxDesMoines this summer, will be presenting. He’ll also be at Drake for a “Sustainability in Urban Environments” Conference keynote.


Lastly, the Bike World Warehouse Sale starts Saturday morning! That’s where I fell in love with and purchased my sweet little red Terry Prism last year. If you go, bring a checkbook or cash and they might be willing to haggle a little on the price. No promises, but you might get a deal.


They have super great deals, especially if you’re planning to do RAGBRAI this summer. The 2013 route looks like the best EVER.

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