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Aol sells Gadling to Skift

Gadling logo

Based on the emails I receive and this website’s search engine traffic, some visitors here are interested in the travel blog Gadling. (I edited it and contributed to it for a spell after joining Aol and MapQuest in October.)

Today, Aol announced it sold Gadling to Skift. Appropriately, you can get the details on Skift. Or Gadling.

And if you were emailing me via a Gadling account, best to use zach.everson@mapquest.com now. Thanks!

Flashback: That time I reviewed a stay at my parents’ house

My parents' house

A few years ago, I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house for the now-defunct UpTake. (Executive summary: I enjoyed my stay, although the barware could have been better.) As I’m staying with my folks again next week, bookending my visit to Boston to research an article for MapQuest, I figured it was time to resurface my review (because evergreen content):

UpTake: “An objective review of the accommodations at my parents’ house”

In which I explain in two sentences how to balance freelancing and family

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Earlier this week, The Write Life quoted me about how to balance being a freelancer and a parent:

The Write Life: “Freelancing with a Family: How to Balance Your Work and Your Kids”

Too lazy to click through? Happens to the best of us. Here’s the blurb:

Zach Everson, a father of two-under-four who writes for AOL Travel and Gadling, suggests “blocking off family time like any other project. If a client asks for that time, the answer is always no. It’s non-negotiable.”

(I had almost four years of experience juggling kids and freelancing before joining MapQuest and Aol Travel full-time last fall.)

‘Inspirato’ magazine just published my final article as a freelancer. That it was about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail will not surprise you. But it will restore your faith in humanity. Or at least good Kentucky bourbon.

Inspirato, Spring 2014

Inspirato magazine’s spring 2014 issue included my final article as a freelancer. Titled, “Kentucky Gold,” fittingly it’s a feature on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Obligatory joke about how fun researching an article on bourbon is goes here ______________________ . Actually, it’s not a joke: it’s damn true.

Anyway, read the article on Inspirato’s website or enjoy the magazine’s hardcopy layout in this .pdf. Or, right now for a limited time, the spring 2014 issue is available for free on Inspirato’s website. The choice is yours.

I also contributed sidebars on Kentucky’s favorite bourbons, bourbon 101, the best pours from the Bluegrass State, and where to enjoy a drink or two in Louisville.

Inspirato with American Express is a private, members-only destination club. Its 180-page glossy magazine is published three times a year. It’s distributed to the club’s members, sold on newsstands, and available for iPads and Android tablets.

And thanks to Chea Beckley and Stephanie Greene at 21c Museum Hotel and Proof on Main for their assistance.

Photo: Courtesy Inspirato

Richard Marx (probably) sent me hate mail too

Richard Marx

Been meaning to share this story for a while:

In January 2010, Richard Marx pulled out of HullabaLOU, a music festival at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Upon hearing the devastating news, I wrote an article for Louisville.com: “Sorry Louisville, you don’t have Richard Marx to kick around anymore at HullabaLOU.” If you don’t feel like selecting the link, executive summary:  it wasn’t flattering to Mr. Marx.

My article led to hateful comments from Marx’s dedicated fans (since lost after Louisville.com switched its commenting system), as well as a nasty thread on a Richard Marx-dedicated online forum (since defunct, because of course).

About two weeks after I published the article, I received this email:

Zach..That last “anonymous” post wasn’t me [a commenter on Louisville.com claimed to be Marx], but…THIS is. Turns out, having zero to do with putting you in your place..whoever you are…I have these insanely loyal and protective fans who not only post online, but then alert this kind of mindless crap to the woman who runs my website (Yep, I do have one…makes me SO cool) and then I occasionally hear about it. I’ve weathered these kind of nasty attacks for over 20 years. Mostly by over-achievers like yourself, who have “Air Canada’s enRoute” as the headline of their resume.

I was actually looking forward to playing HullabaLOU but it was just one show and I was offered a tour in China that, while only 4 shows in country over 8 days, will compensate me in numbers that would fill you with even more envious rage than you already seem to possess, if that’s possible.

Oh, yeah..I’m also still really happily married to a kind and beautiful woman after 21 years; have 3 amazing sons who are great human beings; and I still not only tour and make my own records, but write and produce with a ton of great artists for their records. I love every second. I realize it’s not on par with being editor-in-chief of Louisville.com, but…

See, like or hate my music, I have, for 20 years plus, put myself out there and given 100% to my craft. I’m a pro. I never phone it in and I’ve never taken the 30 million records and slew of hits for granted. I wrote “Right Here Waiting,” which you denigrated, not to be a hit song, but a musical love letter to my wife years ago. Luckily my friends persuaded me to record it. People all over the world sing that song to each other. I just got a letter from a young lady whose husband was killed in Iraq and the lyrics to “RHW” were his screensaver. She wasn’t the first who told me stories like that.

So…upon looking at what’s available about you…and seeing your photo…dude, your photo is so grim…all I can assume about you is that you’re a bitter man who either never got a break, or never had the talent to deserve one.

Vivian will certainly grow up to be so proud.

Richard Marx

Vivian, by the way, is my daughter. Who was then not even 1 month old.

Using the sender’s email address, renegadestudio@aol.com, I did some online research (I forget the specifics) that made it appear likely the email was in fact from Marx. It wasn’t conclusive enough though to share publicly.

Then, in January 2013, Salon.com published “Richard Marx hates my guts” by Edward McClelland. The subhead:

I made a snarky comment about the 1980s soft-rock balladeer on my blog. And now he won’t leave me alone. Really.

Well call me a hipster: I got hate mail from Richard Marx before it was cool.

Photo: Flickr/skyobrienpics

525 invoices sent, 525 invoices paid

Freelancers complaining about not getting paid seems to be a common theme on the Internet, or at least the Internet that I see. So I just wanted to share a little evidence to the contrary*—during my nine-plus years as a freelancer, I submitted 525 invoices. And effective this past weekend, all 525 were paid. And almost all of them in a timely manner. Thanks!

*Possibly relevant tidbit: My job during breaks in college was with a hospital, collecting on past-due accounts from insurers.