Fun With Photoshop

You may recall a blog post I submitted earlier this year, titled “Change the Channel.” In it I discussed the importance of channeling your creativity into a medium that isn’t writing. Simple enough. After some deliberation, I feel it’s time for another round of off-the-wall Photoshopped images.

Please keep in mind that these mocked-up images are playful takes on the originals. It’s all about having fun during your down time, right?

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Spotlight on Demand with Reina Glenn

ReiReiLet’s get the basics nailed down first. Who are you and what do you do here? *Bonus points if you write in third-person!  

Challenge accepted…

Reina Glenn is the Associate Editor working in the Studio. She has a degree in English from UCLA, and is consequently a certified bookworm. She (not so sarcastically) calls herself a grandma, because she loves to bake and falls asleep far earlier than is acceptable for her age. Fun facts: she spent most of her adolescence onstage dancing and singing, she has a cat named Big Red, and she can beat box. Continue reading

Take a Breather

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to pay a visit to one of my favorite spots in Southern California: The Huntington.

Located in Pasadena, The Huntington boasts an expansive library and eye-catching art collection, as well as a variety of botanical gardens. It’s the latter to which I am most drawn. I can spend all day strolling through The Huntington’s sprawling, 120-acre specialty gardens.

There’s something about recharging in nature that really fuels my creativity as a writer. Whether it’s hiking on a nearby trail or biking down the beach, taking the time to unwind outdoors rejuvenates the mind and body, which does great things for writer’s block.

For a dose of inspiration, here are some photos I snapped at The Huntington: Continue reading

Writing About Tech to a Beginner’s Perspective

matrixOne of the trickiest parts about writing tech articles is figuring out the best way to explain beginner-level tasks, for which we can’t assume the reader is familiar with proper terms and seemingly obvious steps. In trying to work around that problem, I’ve found that the best solution is often to approach the task from a completely different angle. Continue reading

Introducing the DMS Visual Community Awards

visualawardsHere at DMS, we don’t always get a chance to shine a light on the contributors working within our Photo Studio. You may not know it, but we work with an entire community of photographers, photo editors and photo auditors who help us ensure that every single piece of content we publish gets the best visual treatment possible.

These dedicated community members are the ones who take our amazing Studio articles and give them that extra special something in the form of visuals. So to recognize them for their amazing, behind-the-scenes work, we’re happy to launch our first ever DMS Visual Community Awards.

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Tech Steps Forward, One Step Back

1111After my grandfather passed away in 2006, my grandmother — who had very little computer knowledge — needed to learn for the first time how to send email, browse the Web and save the photos that friends and relatives regularly sent her way.

As the “tech guy” in the family, she naturally leaned on me for training. But she taught me something important, too, as I helped her find her way. Her experiences in trying to master Windows XP and a DSL modem and a finicky inkjet printer helped me understand that the best coaching comes not just in answering the present question, but in framing it such that it also covers the next, unasked, question. Continue reading

Do Slack Off

chaos-office2__final_2The Demand Media Studios office can be a hectic place. The day to day operations of keeping the Studio running require a boatload of hard work and teamwork. It involves a cast of characters that can range into the dozens who can be spread out across multiple departments. Needless to say, communication is important if we want to keep this operation running smoothly. Continue reading

A Balanced Writing Portfolio

gfgfgfgOne of the most difficult problems for a freelance writer is to develop a level and flow of work that will provide a balanced, regular income. Spend months working on a book and wait for advances and royalties; write a magazine article in a couple of hours, then wait for payment on publication; work on website copy over a fortnight for a company, and sometimes wait months for them to settle the invoice … frustrating isn’t it?

There is a better way, and it comes from the world of financial investment: the “writer’s portfolio.” We’re not talking about a display book showing your magazine cuttings or book covers — this is an approach to getting more income from your writing and getting paid more regularly. Continue reading

How to Juggle Freelance Work and Parenting

futurefreelanceI didn’t always understand why my work priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities, especially when I managed nonprofit volunteers and needed them to meet their deadlines. Then I had a baby, and suddenly, I got it. Volunteers often had full-time jobs plus the best full-time volunteer opportunity of all: being a parent.

After leaving nonprofits and spending several years as a flower shop owner, I decided to stay home with my kids. That’s when I dived headfirst into freelancing. I thought it couldn’t be simpler than freelancing part-time while the kids played quietly.

Right. Continue reading

Nine Ways To Survive the Workday

Each day at the office is filled with its share of to-do lists, deadlines and stressful moments, so the last thing we need when attempting to stay on top of it all? Not having our heads on straight.

Life is all about balancing out challenges with the decision to remain upbeat, determined and poised. Happiness is a choice, after all. Here are nine daily routines that help me remain positive and energized.

1. Begin the day with exercise.

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