What have I been up to? Former readers of "my" VICTORIA might wonder. Well, the very first thing I did was appreciate the freedom from the monthly schedules. I adored doing the magazine; I loved my staff; I had a great respect for its readers. But I have to admit that I was drained by that ever present due date--and some of the aspects of the business of putting out a magazine.
I was asked by the Unilever Company to consult on a beauty web site for women. It was not a full-time job and my role was to guide web people by some of the tried-and-true principles of print. When I left, hopefully assignment done, I received many thanks "for the wisdom" from the hard-working staff. I learned a lot, too.
Consulting for books, magazines, and companies have continued along the way. One of my good friends and former colleagues wanted me to consider taking over at a major magazine, and if not that, an on-staff editorial directorship. But I have grown accustomed to my freedom and vowed never to take a full-time job again.
One of the special things I have done is to work with the folks at Hooker Furniture to create a collection we called Intimate Home. It was a real challenge, but I had a good time working with designers and sales people on furniture to make homes more welcoming. Furniture collections are like magazines in that they have a "shelf" life. It is no longer available, but I'm very proud of the designs that were well-priced, graceful, and extremely useful. I have several pieces in my own home, and I'll be sharing them with you from time to time.
Right now--I have just finished working on a book about women and their first best friends. I've just seen the first set of proofs and I'm very pleased with them. There are 30 stories from women all over the country, all ages, and many walks of life. Several were members of my VICTORIA family and several incredible women I met as a result of my work on the magazine. I'll let you know when it come out. And soon we will put a cover up here.
I am currently working on a book based on a cache of Civil War letters a former colleague brought to my attention. It's been quite an adventure--and I'll tell you more as it develops. All I knew about the young soldier was the family name he used to sign his letters. I've recreated his life and discovered some amazing things. It's a wonderful quest.
So we have lots to talk about--my VICTORIA life; my consulting; and my books.