My dad, the feminist

I was born in 1969’s ‘summer of love’ and learned how to walk and throw tantrums while women across the United States read Betty Friedan and fought for equal pay for equal work, the right to practice law or sit on a jury. For little girls like me, doors were being opened that had been […]

Molasses to honey

My first draft writing comes out like molasses, thick and slow, trying my patience and my will. The second draft flows easier, like honey squeezed out of those plastic, bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store. Will my third draft be maple syrup? I wish for words to flow like water.

Public relations as aikido

In martial arts, aikido stands out for its emphasis on leveraging opposing forces, not just for defense but also to protect the attacker from harm. Its practice demands flexibility, a calm mind, endurance and compassion. It is the opposite of a stand your ground and shoot someone mentality – it is a defense that allows […]

Dinosaurs, bottles and cans

No one in North Hollywood collects cans and bottles with more style and whimsy than this man. My Spanglish was good enough to get a shy smile and permission to snap his photo in my apartment building garage, but not enough to get the story behind the diorama featuring Jesus, dinosaurs and ponies on his […]

Streamline bloated writing

Add a powerful punch to your writing by using as few words as you can to express your thoughts. Readers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so concise writing is key to keeping their eyes on the page or screen. I’m as guilty of wordy writing as anyone. Here’s a bloated paragraph I wrote: […]

Mining for gems in your writing

Writing is not unlike mining for gemstones. It’s labor intensive, can be frustrating and sometimes surprisingly rewarding. You can write better reports, blogs, emails and tweets if you break your writing tasks into three easy steps, similar to those taken by a rock hound or gem miner. Step 1 – Dig and collect. Gems are […]

Slow down and breathe

Two minutes of running as a beginner and I was gasping for air. How did people run for a mile? I couldn’t make it around the block. I asked my fast-footed sister for advice. “You’ve got to slow your breathing down,” she said. I had no idea how to do that, but on my next […]

Communication Breakdown, It’s Always the Same

In my job at ICANN, I have the privilege of traveling around the world for our thrice-yearly meetings, and year-round I get to meet and work with people from every continent. The biggest barrier is typically and unsurprisingly language — my three years of high school Spanish don’t take me very far even in Los […]

Book Review: Worm

Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden My rating: 4 of 5 stars So, can Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, make TCP/IP and the domain name system exciting? The answer is yes and no. The 2008 Conficker worm infected millions of computers to create a “botnet” […]