Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Did You Know….

….That Alexander Hamilton grew up on St. Croix? Who knew the guy was so much fun?

This is the best tidbit I’ve gleaned yet from the United Airlines in-flight magazine I picked up this past summer and am only now getting to. I have an embarrassing stack of magazines (and books, but that’s a different story) towering over, and, increasingly, under my bedside table. I really thought that when I no longer had a full-time job, I would have no trouble getting to these things, but somehow it doesn’t work that way. So I’m trying to get through at least one magazine a day to get rid of this fire-hazard pile.

By go through, I don’t mean just reading. Part of what’s taking so long is I’m trying to figure out what the freelance opportunities are for each, and what the guidelines are for each section. This takes longer than I expected. Reading the magazines is fun, but thinking about the tone, length, voice, tense, and reason for inclusion in the magazine is taking a while. So far my favorite in-flight is Delta’s. It’s largely staff-written, which is unusual in the magazine world, but I get the impression they’re assigning themselves articles on whatever strikes their fancy. Few of the pieces have obvious tie-ins to the airline. Usually there is some connection—that little boutique they’re featuring is in a city served by the airline, or the starlet they’ve interviewed is in one of the movies they’re showing onboard that month. But not with Delta. Most of the articles are just general interest pieces. Yesterday I read articles about a strange man who founded the first newspaper in America, and something about attempts through the years to reform American spelling. Fun stuff. The next time I have a random idea I’d like to write about but can’t think what magazine it fits with, I’ll try pitching it to them.

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