Who’s the wildwoman?

Right now, I’m gazing at treetops out my front window. I live in a converted cabin outside Los Angeles–the best of worlds, surrounded by pines, oaks and birds yet less than an hour’s drive from tall buildings and traffic. It snows here, and the southwest wind carries the scent of the ocean. Look forward, and on clear days, the Pacific shines on the horizon. On really clear days, Santa Catalina Island studs that shining ribbon. Look behind, and the Pacific Crest Trail winds through the forest just a few miles from home.

This place has been my home off and on since 1991. Sometimes I had to leave for jobs, but it remained my refuge – an escape from life below 5,200 feet elevation. I’m a do-it-yourselfer. I cook, bake, sew, garden and make alleged music on fiddle, guitar and congas. I’m handy with a hammer, basic car repairs, cement, a shovel and a ladylike chainsaw, the type whom folks around here call a mountain woman.

What they don’t know won’t hurt them, because behind the front door, I’m also an independent writer and editor for magazines, websites and newsletters. That’s the result of many years on staff as a news reporter, feature writer, columnist, section editor and department head at major metropolitan daily newspapers. On the side, I’ve taught journalism courses since fall 2002 at a state university in civilization.

My specialties aren’t so much topics as they are techniques: translating complexity into layman’s terms; untangling convoluted issues; digging up the best sources, not the easiest or handiest; providing customer service; and helping my editors to reach their own customers with warmth and practicality. Within these, I’ve written most often about entrepreneurship, higher education, veterinary medicine and Hispanic life in the United States (my family name comes from Puerto Rico).

There’s more to it, as you might suspect, and for this you can visit my LinkedIn profile.

I detest writing about myself — but I’m using the 2015 FLX/WordCount Blogathon to stretch and knock off rust, and sometimes this will mean writing about me, or at least about something I do. At the end of 30 days, who knows where the trail will lead? Thank you for joining me on this section of it.

Holly Ocasio Rizzo, June 2015


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. awrestlingwriter
    Jun 25, 2014 @ 00:32:41

    Just checking in again because I’m finished the section of the book with your words included. So, if I don’t hear from you, these are the details I’ll include with your words: Holly Ocasio Rizzo, USA.
    Feel free to let me know if you want a different name and an age to appear but will be looking to finish up by July.
    Thanks heaps,


  2. Holly Ocasio Rizzo
    Jun 27, 2014 @ 09:04:20

    Hi, JD, looks good! Being ageless, I’d prefer no age. Take care!


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