Aug 162011

I’ve been enjoying this Chicago summer with my two favorite buddies and it’s been great. There’s something about sitting outside and sucking down a gluten free beer that’s just absolutely delicious.

I also love checking out new and old Chicago festivals. They remind me of why I love this city so darn much! This year I went to Burger Fest (the new) and ate several veggie sliders. Tasty! I also visited the Puerto Rican Carnival, the Printer’s Row Book Fair and the ever-so-popular, Taste of Chicago (the old) and they did not disappoint.

Another festival I couldn’t miss even if I tried was the Wicker Park Fest as it was right outside of my window. It was certainly a good time.

If you get a chance to visit Chicago in the summertime – DO IT! There’s always something to do, see or try.

Check out what I’ve been doing this summer:


Just so you know (as if you couldn’t guess) this song does not belong to me. It belongs to the fabulous Lily Allen and it’s called, “Take What You Take.” Isn’t it lovely?

Sep 102010

Another door will open. Believe that.

There is nothing better than getting the go ahead on a piece you’ve queried out to several publications. It feels like you’re doing something right, that somebody, the universe even, is giving you the go ahead to pursue your writing career. In other words, it feels great.

Most recently, I submitted a query about Chicago Avenue between Damen and Ashland Avenue in Chicago and it got picked up by a well-read Chicago online Chicago magazine called Gapers Block. I was excited to write about a place that I both love and admire.

When I submitted the piece, I was afraid they weren’t going to like it. There were butterflies in my stomach and my hands were sweaty. But this is how I get whenever I submit something to an editor so I just sent it out. A few hours later, my editor contacted me and told me that she liked it. Joy! Two weeks later, it was in the Arts and Culture section. Score!

It was also posted on Windy Citizen, a Chicago-centric site that I am falling in love with. It is dedicated to all things Chicago – news, blogs and entertainment. I received positive feedback about the piece and it was even posted on the Huffington Post Chicago. It’s crazy how the small pieces you write end up on other web sites. This leads me to believe that people still read.

I needed that boost. I felt like GB gave me the opportunity I was looking for – a platform. I was grateful and I still am. You can read my piece here: A Hood in Limbo.

A few days later, I checked my e-mail and there was a request from a DJ asking if I would be interested in being interviewed for his radio show all about Chicago. I said yes and if you ever get the opportunity to be on a radio show you should say yes too. Why? Why not? Opportunities will always present themselves, but will you be aware enough to notice? Luckily, this time I was. You can check out the radio show here: Outside the Loop Radio.

Keep on truckin’ my writing pals.

Jun 092010

I agree with this article in saying the publishing industry in Chicago is small and fragmented. What’s going to happen next in this city? Do we become the independent Publishing Hub? Read below. Do you agree or not?

Jun 072010

Every few months I spend time updating my list of Chicago Pubs for a few reasons. One being that it helps me stay organized. It also helps other writer’s in the Chicagoland area.

I believe that as a Chicago writer it is your duty to help other Chicago writers. You should do your best to pass on knowledge of the industry here and even share what you’re doing to help them and yourself along the way. That being said, I’ve noticed that this list needs a lot of updating. Web sites randomly shut down without explanation and it’s rather disheartening, but what can I do? It’s a dog eat dog world out there and pubs are closing down left and right and not just in Chicago.

I wanted to scan the covers and mastheads of these publications and put them online, but there are copyright infringement issues as well as the coming to terms with the amount of time it takes for such an endeavor. Of course, there is one small thing I have failed to mention which is that half of these publications are missing in action. The grocery/drug stores and specialty bookstores shelves are empty. What’s really going here? Are these even real publications? Where can a gal like me get a hold of these masterpieces without spending hours scouring the internet to e-mail these publishers personally?

It makes me really think about the future of the Chicago publishing scene. You should be able to find every single Chicago publication on almost every stand in this city. These pubs should all have updated web sites and they should give freelancers the opportunities to write. I can’t even count the number of queries I’ve sent out only to receive nothing in return. What a waste of my time. Seriously folks, we really need to start pushing for a better publishing world in Chicago otherwise we’re just going to vanish.

I often think I should just forget about the Chicago publishing scene altogether and start sending my stuff to consumer magazines in NYC. I don’t want to dismiss Chicago like so many others, but I’m getting to the point where I may have no choice. Is this what I want for our city? Do I want to be a part of the demise? No, but something definitely needs to change.

I know that keeping a printed magazine afloat these days is nothing short of a miraculous feat so I’m not knocking you publishers out there. I’m just saying I want a better system for the writer’s of Chicago, a better system for us all. Perhaps this is why the Chi Zine/DIY scene is so huge.

We have the voices, talent, determination and drive. All we’re asking from you Chicago pubs is that you listen and respect us as writers.