#LitHappens: A bookish fairy tale come to life

My boyfriend’s company hosts magical holiday parties: employees and their plus-ones dress like they’re going to the Oscars, the food and drinks roll out generously all night, and software guys and gals known for being reserved in the office break into funk moves on the dance floor with holiday abandon. Among the many parties we’re grateful to attend each December, this one is always poised to be a winner.

This year’s fete was no exception, and in fact was particularly memorable for one big, hunky reason: FABIO.

Fabio

Ripe for Refactoring with Fabio (I don’t know; it’s a computer joke)

The party’s theme this year was a literary one, so different rooms in the hotel that hosted it were decked out with the trappings of different genres, authors, and other book-related motifs. There was a Dr. Seuss room, a fantasy fiction room, the Library of Alexandria, etc, and a t-shirt screening corner where you could get a custom-printed frock with your choice of literary pun on it (eg: “#LitHappens”).

And, in one room, there were blown-up, illuminated romance novel covers and a mini photo studio where The Man himself stood ready to receive his fans. We could hardly believe it, but it was not a buttery imitation—it was the real-deal Fabio!

Of course we hopped on the (surprisingly long) line and hammed it up with Mr. Lanzoni (I went the zany route, natch, while Arthur piloted the straight man trope). I can sincerely say that the Italian Stallion was a total doll, patient and affable throughout what I have to imagine was, though a thrilling night for Fabio fanciers, a pretty repetitive and boring few hours for him.

So here’s to you, Fabio! Thanks for reaffirming my love of books, sunsets, and hugs this holiday season, all in the same photo op.

Why I might stop calling myself a freelancer

As a wordie (hey, there are foodies, right? why not wordies?), I’m always interested in people’s different reactions to the same word, including my own.

For as long as I can remember, the word “freelancer” has had positive connotations for me. I associate it with independence, bohemia, diverse and interesting work. But when I read my friend and fellow wordie Suzan Bond‘s recent Fast Company article, I experienced something of a change of heart.

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Identity! (photo of a windowsill I saw in Prague this summer)

I won’t summarize her story, since Suzan did a marvelous (and concise) job of laying her premise out, but will say I’m starting to think about different ways to introduce myself that wouldn’t be as apt to connote “beginner,” “student,” or “hack” to other people.

I could say…

  • “I provide editorial services to nonprofits and small businesses.” This is exactly true, but rather clunky and perhaps a bit stuffy for a conversational entrée.
  • “I’m a writer/editor.” And then when they ask What do you write?, I say the above.
  • “I’m in business for myself.” “I have my own business.” “I’m self-employed.” Etc. Then the above.

I’m sure something will stick in time. And if “freelancing” has taught me nothing else, it’s that all is fluid! But right now, my curiosity’s piqued.

Fellow self-employed friends: How do you introduce yourselves?