In my home there are
3 robots – one Rovio, one somewhat functional Roomba, and one experimental platform in a constant state of change
5 desktop computers
9 8 freshwater fish
and an 8-ft. whiteboard in my office
My favourite escape from the electronic hum is a lakefront cottage up north without cellphone coverage.
How did I go from a Chemistry degree to freelance writing? That’s the question people usually ask me when they look at my history.
I spent my first summer after graduation working as a lab assistant, running experiments for a chemist with a PhD. I craved a little more interaction with people and went to work in customer service at a scientific supply company where I wrote catalogue copy to sell laboratory equipment. Desktop publishing was brand new, so it was the perfect opportunity to jump in and learn.
With that first copywriting job, I felt like I found my place. I’ve been doing a variety of marketing, corporate, public relations, social media, and technical writing ever since. When the internet exploded in the 90s, I was ready with a technical writing certificate and I put my new skills to work at software companies writing on-line help and training manuals. I even worked at a web development company as a content manager, helping put together first generation websites.
I switched to freelancing when threats of layoffs loomed over a company where I was working full time. I waited and waited to be laid off and receive a severance package, but it never happened. I made the jump to freelancing over ten years ago, and it’s been a perfect fit. Writing is a wonderful, flexible career that lets me grow and diversify as my interests and the market change. I’m a curious person by nature, so learning about different industries, taking on a variety of projects, and managing my own business make freelancing ideal for me.
In my free time I’m active and adventurous. I’ve summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, been skydiving in Sydney, and backpacked in Patagonia. I often take a scuba diving vacation in December.
I’m also a novelist. I write young adult fiction under the pen name Karen Avivi. My debut novel Shredded won the Spark award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Writing runs in my family. My grandfather wrote for the Associated Press before joining a PR and ad agency. He was also a correspondent for The Stars and Stripes in Shanghai while serving in the US Army during WWII. My father wrote for several trade publications including Electric Light & Power and Power Engineering until he retired as the senior vice president of PennWell’s Global Energy Group.
If you want to know more you’ll have to meet me in person.