Though Sweet Olive Writes is about sharing my work not written on assignment, I am proud of my work as a journalist and a freelance writer. Below are some samples. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are looking for a freelance writer or assistance on a project. You can email me here.
When music gets social – 225 Magazine
One epically slow Friday afternoon at my day job, I sat typing a horrendously long report—the kind that requires its own table of contents. Fridays are quiet around my office building. Rather than fall asleep at my desk, I broke through the silence with a song from Ingrid Michaelson. Then another and another. I listened to just about every song she’s ever released. Her music kept my toes tapping under my desk and my head from nodding forward in a lunch-induced coma. “If you are chilly, here, take my sweater,” she sang to me.
I don’t have Ingrid Michaelson’s entire library on my computer, but I do have Spotify, and this little desktop app lets me stream music straight to my computer. Calling itself the “lean, green music machine,” Spotify certainly has a lot going for it.
Released in 2008 in Sweden, Spotify has grown massively in just a few years. By the time it was released in the United States last summer, it was already available in seven other countries. With 1.6 million subscribers to paid “unlimited” or “premium” versions, Spotify makes music legally accessible online and on-demand for $4.99 for computer access or $9.99 for mobile capability and syncing with your home computer. The promise is that you have all of your music and all of Spotify’s wherever you go and whenever you want.
Broken Trust – The Baton Rouge Business Report
“The man sitting across the table is tired. You can see it in his eyes. The deep creases in his brow tell the story of long house and hard work. But he doesn’t complain.
Bowing his head, he looks down at the ring on his left finger and the tiny cross engraved in the silver band. He has always had faith in people, faith in his friends, faith in his family and faith in the people who promised to help him.
But in the blink of an eye — in the time that it takes to turn on the news — his life changed. His entire future, once guarded, safe and secure, vanished into thin air.”
Balancing Act – The Baton Rouge Business Report
“A refusal to participate in the recession has become the Capital Region’s anthem, the battle cry for business and community leaders, as the rest of the nation dips and dives through these tumultuous economic times.
Indeed, the nine-parish area that comprises the Capital Region — and much of Louisiana — appears to be a stoic holdout in the furious and chaotic upheaval of the American economic infrastructure.
The past 12 months have brought the failure of some of the largest and most influential financial institutions, massive frauds, the collapse of the vast majority of the capital market, bankruptcy filings, layoffs and foreclosures. But while the rest of the country was desperate to hold onto any stability it could find, the Capital Region held steady.”
Coca-Cola Man – The Baton Rouge Business Report
“The mid-afternoon spring humidity already has dampened the sandy blond hair on Darian Chustz’s brow as he walks through the newly built Coca-Cola Bottling United plant in north Baton Rouge.
He appears relaxed now, as he usually does, leaning back in his chair, with soft light from the floor-to-ceiling windows highlight the rosy glow of his cheeks. Not too far away at any time, an ice-cold Coca-Cola Classic sits in the short, retro glass bottle.
He could easily be the top executive at any major company with a command that is both easy and definitive. But there’s no question about it. Chustz doesn’t want to be anywhere else. He’s a Coca-Cola man.”
Waiting on a Bucket Truck – The Baton Rouge Business Report
“The air felt heavy on my chest as I tried to breathe through the stagnant, burning heat. No matter how I positioned the flashlight and candle, I couldn’t quite get enough light to make it past Chapter 8 of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — my only form of entertainment on day 10 without power.
The rest of Beauregard Town had electricity, which I couldn’t understand. As I walked along the street to my house at night with friends, each glowing street light made my stomach ache. I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could stand.
Going without power wasn’t anything new, of course. I’d lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Somehow it never dawned on me this storm would shake up or world. I was sure we’d lose power for a day or two, play some cards, sit and talk to neighbors on the front-porch swing, and normal life would soon resume. Obviously, I was wrong.”