Sunday, February 27, 2011

Other John Platts in History # 1

The Hungerford Virtual Museum -- a museum that only exists online but still serves its community of Hungerford, England -- provides the 19th Century history of the area's Platt family, including several generations of brewers named John Platt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I'm up to...

A month? A month???? Four weeks since my last blog post here? Bad Platt! Bad!

Oh well, I'll forgive myself. It was a crazy-busy January, made all the more crazy by this really wacky winter we're having. Today pretty much caps it. We have so much snow piled up in front of our front door that there's almost no way to get outside, let alone start shoveling. Oh well, I guess I'll just wait for the snow guys to come in a few hours and let them do most of the work...

So as to the crazy-busy part... work is awesome. Yes, one of my major clients had to cut me loose (tough times), but I did so much writing in January that I didn't even notice it. I turned in at least six major feature articles, including three that will actually be in printed publications -- yes, paper hasn't quite gone out of style yet!

The Extinction Countdown blog had a great month. My story on Tasmanian devils was quoted by dozens of other news outlets. Jeff Corwin named me his "global citizen of the day" for my writing about Borneo's clouded leopards. And several other stories got major linkage on the social networking sites. Not too bad for a topic that is so overwhelmingly depressing.

I also started writing regular news stories for Mother Nature Network, which fits quite nicely into my goal of doing a lot more environmental writing this year. They're a cool outfit to work with, too.

February (all two days of it so far) has involved sending out lots of new pitches to magazines and other publishers. So far this week, I have sent out 11 pitches -- and I have already received one yes and one maybe. I guess I'm doing something right here.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a lot in my free time -- if just so I can get some books out of my "to be read" pile and out of the house if I decide not to keep them. I'm a lot less sentimental about keeping books after three moves in seven years, so I don't feel too bad about letting them go.

(Here's a tip: If you have anything you're not sure you want to part with, take a few photos of it. You'll remember the item, such as a well-loved book, without needing to own it any longer.)

Most of the books I'm parting with are being donated to the local library. A few get listed for sale as used books on Amazon. Sales there aren't great, but they did pay for my new printer a few weeks ago. Every little bit helps, right?

Hmm... you know, that's really about it in terms of what I've been up to. It probably doesn't sound like much, but I've really been heads-down for most of January. February should be a lot more varied and interesting. It has 26 more days to prove me wrong.

Well, I think that's about all of the writing I can do for today. I just might do do some shoveling. Either that or take a nap. Yeah, a nap sounds pretty inviting right about now...