Ladies & Gents:
Freelance writing is a roller coaster. Some weeks, I’m twiddling my thumbs wondering what to do. The next: BAM! More work that I can handle in a normal workday. Last week was one of those weeks. I was busy with my daily writing tasks and woven around all that work, I picked through the copy edits of the book. That meant reading every single mark the copyeditor made, approving and rejecting, and also answering her questions. In places where I disagreed with a change, I had to explain why (unless something is obviously wrong, I make the final call – but I still need to justify my reasons). It’s an incredibly important stage in the process, but an incredibly tedious one.
I’ve been through this twice before, but it’s like running a marathon: you forget what that pain is like until you’re just about done and it hits you like a truck and you swear you’ll never do it again (but of course you do).
The downside of all this is that for five days, the only live humans I talked to were movie ticket takers and the woman who sold me an end-of-summer pass to my town’s pool. By Friday night, I was gasping for human interaction and talked the ears off any neighbors and friends who were around. They were kind enough to oblige.
Elsewhere in the Miller universe, my mom did her second triathlon of the summer. She’s the best. If you think it’s too late in life to start new things, know she didn’t run her first 5k until she was 58. She’s 60 now (sorry mom – but I already put your age in the paper so the damage has been done).
To the clips! And movies! And books!
“The stick shift: a love letter to a fun but fading American driving style,” for The Guardian. Hooray! This is the story I’ve wanted to write all summer. Fabulous experience. Expect more from me for The Guardian with a multi-part series I’ve been hired to do in January
“How the tech industry is greening its data centers” for CIO.com
“BYOD – the tech revolution that wasn’t” for CIO.com
“7 fall races that can give you an instant PR” for The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Running Was Ideal Training for This Vacation” for Zelle (this may be the last of the Canada stories)
What I’m Reading
Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine by Maximilian Potter. With a title like that – and author name like that – how could I not pick it up? Found it at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, N.H. I’m too soon into the book to make a judgement, but if you like wine books, try To Cork or Not to Cork by George M. Taber, which about the history of what is used to stop up wine bottles. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be.
What I’m Watching
So I didn’t go batty with work, I took myself to the movies for lunch twice (!) this week.
First up was The Man From U.N.C.L.E., as showcased in the picture used for this week’s newsletter. It features gorgeous people in to-die-for-clothes driving fast cars around 1960s Italy. Throw in the intrigue, and it’s the perfect end of summer movie. I had no idea Armie Hammer was a giant (he’s 6’5″!), and Elizabeth Debicki continues to be one of the most stunning actresses on screen today (she also played Jordan in last summer’s The Great Gatsby, and is in that photo above). Everyone I know who saw it loved it too. I’m bummed that it didn’t do so well at the box office. I really want that sequel.
My second movie was Mr. Holmes, which was a quiet, lovely, contemplative film where Ian McKellen shows why he’s an incredible actor. This is also your official reminder that the new season of Vicious of now airing on PBS. He and Derek Jacobi play two long-time partners in this very sharp, funny but cheaply made sitcom – and the cheaply made part adds to the comedy since these two are dramatic lions, and have both been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
At home, I watched the documentary Casting By (now streaming on Netflix). For someone who always logs onto to IMDB after she watches a movie to see who also tried out for specific roles, Casting By was fascinating, and shows how much Hollywood changed once in the 1960s and beyond. I started Dancing on the Edge (also via Netflix), a BBC miniseries set in the 1930s London jazz world. I stopped with Magic City. This is so much better. Also helloooooooo Matthew Goode. Both of these were found through this list of what was new to Netflix in August. If you’re a Nick Cage fan, you’ll want to cycle through too (and I KNOW you are out there).