Freelancing-wise I had a very busy beginning of the year and then things got disturbingly quiet over the summer. The upside of that is that I streamlined how I hustle so I always have something to do when it's quiet so I at least don't feel useless. But in between the time I spent looking for work, I did publish some pieces that I'm quite proud of--I think these were my best of the year:
- Beginning of the year biggies: "Where to Live Now," a real estate cover story for Chicago Magazine was a ton of work but in the end I do like learning about why people live where they do. Similarly this story "Good and Upsetting?" for the University of Chicago Law School on freedom of expression on campus seemed newly relevant after the election. It involved legal discussions with important people at the school. It was a big project but a great experience both in terms of the work and also the critical understanding of a very timely topic.
- Love story: "Small town, big impact" is a piece I did for the University of Chicago's gift planning section which may not sound very sexy but it's about a Chicagoan who died young and left behind a grieving husband and a big gift to the University, where he worked and was beloved by his coworkers. Interviewing his widower was sad and beautiful and it was a privilege to tell their story.
- Biography and health: I was asked to write about Marion Mahony Griffin, Frank Lloyd Wright's illustrator, for Curbed. I love reading history but hadn't gotten the chance to write any myself. I really enjoyed the process of figuring out how to get to know Marion and tell her story. I also felt like I got my first serious health reporting clip with "How Therapy Can Cure Overeating" at the Atlantic, which is a subject that is very close to my heart that I think needed some light shined on it.
- "Write what you know": This is something I never thought about before I had two boys but it gave me a bit of a complex to get kids' clothing catalogs and see the predictable, palty selections for boys. I wanted to find out why this became the norm and got into sartorial gender stereotypes for kids in "Shopping for Boys' Clothes Is So Boring" at Racked.
- Finding my religion: I was raised Catholic and am raising my child Catholic but where I am and where my child are in our journeys are very different locations. I explored how to make sense of this in "When doubt creeps in for parents, can they still raise faithful kids?" for U.S. Catholic.