What I'm up to Lately

             I lost my job in December, becoming one of the millions who are victims of the economic downturn. Only in my case (well, perhaps all cases), it was political. At least that's what I believe. The powers-that-be at Newsday, the parent company of the magazine division for which I worked, decided to shut down all of the magazines. I had been editor of Newsday's Parents & Children magazine for nearly 10 years. It was a role I enjoyed and my readers were loyal followers. The excuse for the shut down was the economy, but a certain VP had been lobbying for it for years for personal reasons. The economy became his convenient excuse, and the other white shirts bought it. 
        After a couple of weeks of both feeling lost, and certain that now I can finally make all those changes to my YA novel All the Answers But One I've wanted to have the free time to work on, I made a decision. I have started my own magazine and Web site, Long Island Parent magazine and liparentonline.com. Because why not make a crazy decision like that in a bad economy when you've never run a business of that complexity before? I figured if I don't do it now, I never will. It has been a baptism by fire, but a manageable fire. Tomorrow I send my first issue to the printer, and next Sunday the Web site goes live. I've had the help of many others who were laid off with me, as well as my talented writers with whom I've worked for years, and a few new staffers who are already part of the team. The magazine looks fabulous and the editorial is solid. I have big plans for the future of my new company, Wordsmiths Media LLC. And I have but one regret: Why didn't I allow myself to enjoy being unemployed for a short time so I could finish my book? What was I thinking? 
    Ah, well. At least I've made time to listen to Laure Halse Andersen's YA novel Twisted during my many errands by car. A fabulous example, once again, of how a writer can draw a word portrait of raw emotion and a believable character. Makes me miss my character Beth. Maybe next week I can get back to her. We'll see.

Liza N. Burby
Liza is an award-winning journalist for some of the top publications in the country, a magazine editor, parenting speaker, children's book author and a motivational speaker/expert on getting your work published.