I posted a new essay on Medium.com, Advice to a Young Freelancer. Sample Q & A:
How do you find your stories?
I sometimes find story ideas in the Metro section of the newspaper, one-inch items with headlines like, “Man Nails Girlfriend’s Fish to Floor.” The short-shrift given to these stories will spark my wondering, what is this about? Usually the story doesn’t make complete sense; I want to look more deeply. I wrote about mushroom foragers in Alaska after reading one line about them in Bon Appetit. The reference started an itch that I needed to scratch; the scratch bloomed to a topic, the topic to a pitch, the pitch to a story. Follow that itch.
I am loving Medium.com, and am grateful to Hillary Johnson for the invitation, and for her brilliant essays, and for the Dymaxicon collection she built on Medium, as captivating to me as the grand department stores of my New York City childhood, the ceilings so high, and everything gleaming, perfumes and gossamar scarves and brass elevators going up.