Don’t take my word for it, though.
Lara, time to share.
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I wanted to be a dance choreographer but as a dance major at Arizona State University, I pulled one hip rotator and tore the other. I eventually found my way, earned a BA in sociology, a Master’s Degree at Portland State University, and then worked in PR for 10 years followed by another 10 in marketing.
I discovered editorial writing when I co-founded Arizona Spa Girls in 2003. AZCentral.com asked us to write monthly spa and beauty articles for its new YES section after receiving our old fashioned, paper press kit. Remember those? Ours was neatly enclosed in a glossy white folder with a custom sticker donning cartoon illustrations of the co-founder and me. I was on its Style Council which was kinda fun and I later started writing for The Arizona Republic, other arms in its print syndicate, and MomsLikeme.com, and later appeared in segments on Arizona Midday.
For many years I freelance wrote a few articles a month in addition to my day job. At first, it was a fun hobby and later it became a means to pay my daughter’s way through competitive cheer. Whot whot to any cheer moms out there!
I turned 45 last week. Leading up to this, at the beginning of this year, I decided that it was high time to pursue the love of writing that has unfolded in my heart in the past 14 years. What I enjoy the most about being a full-time writer now are the women, men, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artists, kids, and other incredible people in the community- at-large whose stories I get to tell. Then there are the editors, publicists, writers, and bloggers that I’ve gotten to know and love. We’re lucky to have such a warm and fun editorial community. I have already gained weight from attending media events (a-hem), so now I am scaling back, but when I go, it’s always a great time.
At the moment, here’s what I’m up to: I’m writing in the arts and culture section of New Times. Besides newsy items, I do the What Are You Wearing and Personal Space columns. I cover a comprehensive variety of lifestyle topics for a magazine mailed to homes in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and Anthem called Images Arizona. I write about all things lux' for Scottsdale Modern Luxury, including its Brides and Interiors magazines. I recently added Times Publications to the fold (typically travel, food, and business topics). There’s a variety of non-editorial clients that I provide grant writing, ghost writing, industry reports, social media, and related content and marketing deliverables for. And (cross my fingers) I am working on nabbing an agent for my two non-fiction spiritual books and another agent for my new adult genre novel.
On one of those twists along the way, I had the honor to work with Harpo Studios and The Oprah Winfrey crew. She had a very hard working crew that used to read everything in the heap loads of mail and emails that came their way. They taught me about humility and leaving no stone unturned. The other day I sent a bunch of writing samples to someone and noticed that nine of the 10 articles I wrote were story ideas I pitched, and I had a renewed appreciation for publicists. Freelancers get assignments, but we are expected to bring great ideas to the table as well, so thank you to everyone sending those pitches. I can’t always respond, but I do read and appreciate them, and I thank you for sending them my way!
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