Who Run the World? Moms!

For the May issue of Parents, I got to hear from eight inspiring moms who are working to make the world a better place. If you have a problem who needs fixing, definitely call a mom. 

We featured Bethenny Frankel, who chartered her own private planes to bring disaster relief to Puerto Rico; Senator Tammy Duckworth, the first serving senator to give birth while in office; Bozoma Saint John, the chief brand officer at Uber tasked with making it a company worth supporting; Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America; Ellen Oh, author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books; Sarah Evans, who helps build sustainable water infrastructure in Africa; Theresia Gouw, a VC who made headlines recently for being a part of the #AllRaise movement for equality in investing; and Vien Truong, whose organization works to fight pollution and poverty concurrently. Phew! That's a lot of #momspiration.

Parents Magazine — October, November, December

As 2017 comes to a close, here's a look back at some of the stories I've written in the last stretch of the year.

Plus one special feature that I didn't write, but had the pleasure of editing.

New Gig: Working Mother Magazine

Part of the reason I've been so behind in posting my clips is that I've started a new, full-time job as a writer and editor at Working Mother magazine. Already, I've had some interesting assignments, including...

...showing how Mad Men's Matthew Weiner is a champion of working mothers

...finding the companies with the most extreme maternity leaves

...asking a host of HuffPost Live about naming her daughter after herself

...finding the most enviable programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

...looking into the gender wage gap for Equal Pay Day.

...decoding the Supreme Court's ruling on pregnancy discrimination.

...highlighting why mompreneurs are important to the business community and shouldn't be ignored.

...soliciting advice from an expert on what women need to do for a personal finance tune-up.

...asking a professional organizer how to de-clutter for spring cleaning. 

...talking with a participant in Habitat for Humanity's Women Build Week about how the organization benefits working moms.

...offering advice to kids—and parents—separating for sleep-away camp for the first time and taking care of pets for first-time owners.

...rounding up the best spring work/life accessories, confidence-boosting booksEarth Day board gamesCinco de Mayo books, Memorial Day cookout must-haves, and gifts for elementary school grads and high school grads.

The Daily Traveler: Meet 10 Dream Travel Job Contest Winners

Some people have all the luck. I get to interview those people.

Meet Ten People Who've Won Those Dream Travel Job Competitions

Jauntaroo's yet-to-be-named Chief World Explorer is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. Meet ten intrepid souls who have already entered contests, then campaigned, competed for, and won their dream travel jobs—filming, swimming, skiing, diving, and eating their ways around the world. Yeah, we’re jealous, too.

ASHA MEVLANA
From: Los Angeles
 
Winner: Viator's Dream Travel Job: Team Europe,July 2012–August 2012

Job duties: "Our job was to film these top-rated tours so that when someone goes to the Viator site, they can click on a tour video from our trip and get an idea of what the tour would be like."

What's one thing you learned on your travels? "Because we were only in each city for three days, we were constantly on the move and living out of our suitcases. I had a very large, heavy suitcase with a bunch of different outfits, shoes, etc. By the end, I had thrown out most of my clothes just to make it easier to run to the train, plane, or taxi because we were always running from place to place trying to not to miss our transportation to the next city. I learned to pack much lighter!"

What was the most memorable thing that on your trip? "On one of the bike tours in Amsterdam, I was filming while biking and trying to get all the shots I needed. And as I was rushing ahead of the tour one time, looking into the camera viewfinder, I crashed into a tree. I was scraped and hurting, but there wasn't time to be hurt, so I just had to keep going."

What happened after you completed the job? Did you want to stay in a related field? "I am a professional musician (electric violin), and, between tours, I have also been doing a lot of hosting work. I recently appeared on a pilot for the Travel Channel called Destination Showdown. I was hired again by Viator to film for two months in Asia and Australia this past year, which was also incredible. I even started a travel blog to start recording my journeys."

August Issue: YA Authors

Writing for the Teen Scene

A round-up of Q&As with local YA authors

Judy Blundell, Katonah
Author of Strings Attached and National Book Award winner What I Saw and How I Lied

What’s the biggest difference between the YA audience and an adult audience?

Their age. That might sound like a flip response, but it’s true—the boundaries can be so blurred now, and a gripping story that happens to a teenage protagonist can be just as resonant for an older reader.

How do you feel about vampires?

I tend to avoid vampires. Yes, they exist! I’ve met a few! They’re the people who suck life and hope out of any situation, poor things. Vampires are only glamorous in fiction.




Q&A: Ben Schwartz

I interviewed Ben Schwartz about his TV projects: Parks and Recreation, House of Lies, and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, but this was my favorite question I got to ask:

Finally, when certain people in this office are in kind of a down mood, it's possible they use this video of you and Zooey Deschanel signing "You Belong to Me" to cheer up. Can you say how that came about?

That’s amazing! That’s so sweet. That came about because my friend Sophia Rossi created a website called HelloGiggles with the talented Zooey Deschanel and Molly McAleer. Sophia asked me to do a video for them around the time when they launched, and I asked Zooey if she wanted to sing an old song that Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sang from The Jerk. Zooey is a professional singer and amazing at just about everything, so I was so lucky when she said yes. She learned the song on her ukulele in two seconds. We hit record on Sophia’s laptop, sang it a few times, and picked our favorite take. I love that people are watching it. The trick is to get someone who is an amazing singer to sing with you, then hopefully she sings loud enough to make everyone forget that you are singing, too.

 

Click here to read the full interview.

 

Photo: DISNEY XD/RICK ROWELL