Monthly Archives: October 2013

Journalism Does MATTER

I’ll admit it: My first reaction when I saw that there was a 0.99/month subscription price to MATTER was, “Why would I pay for longform journalism when I can get it for free at The Feature or Longform?” The answer was quickly apparent: Because you can’t get Matter’s content anywhere else.

The online publication’s tagline states that “MATTER commissions, crafts and publishes award-winning journalism about science, technology and the ideas shaping our future.”

In other words, it’s completely original journalism.

And they pay for it, too. Founded by journalists Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson, MATTER started in early 2012 as a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $140,000. Recently, they were acquired by Medium, Twitter and Blogger co-founder Ev Williams’ celebration of the written word, where writers and readers come together on one awesome platform.

MATTER also favors user interaction — since they’re funded by Kickstarter backers and members who pay that 0.99/month fee to access all articles (the one article per month that they release is free to the public while it’s up). They regularly issue calls for story ideas to their loosely organized editorial board — paying readers — on their blog, OVERMATTER. They run Q&As with their contributors, similar to Reddit’s AMA.

And their content is awesome. Their first story, “Do No Harm,” a piece about Body Integrity Identity Disorder by science writer Anil Ananthaswamy, is free to read. Other articles include “Uprooted,” an exploration of genetic geneology and its implication on privacy by Virginia Hughes, “In the Name of the King” about the religious factions battling to lay claim to Tutankhamun’s past and the science behind uncovering his DNA by Jo Marchant, and “Never Say Die,” which delves into the hunt for life extension, by Megan Scudellari.

So what does 0.99/month get you? Besides supporting excellent journalism…

  • Permanent access to the web edition and all archived articles
  • The e-book edition for the Kindle and iPad
  • A free audiobook edition
  • An extra free book chapter each month (this month: Writing on the Wall by Tom Standage.)

Oh, and did I mention it’s gorgeous? All the focus is on the words. I briefly wanted to grouse about the fact that there’s no iPhone app, but no matter — it reads so well in a regular old phone browser.

So go. Read. Join.


Tagged , , , , ,

A New Baby

I have an announcement to make!

Um, no. Not that kind of announcement.

THIS kind of announcement:

FrannyandFranky Etsy shop!


I’ve opened my own shop!

Because I don’t have enough to do in my spare time. You know, taking care of an 8-month-old boy, working full time, writing a book, and trying to spend time with my husband just leaves SO MUCH empty time for me to run a graphic design shop.

But I’m having the best time.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Back at my last job, when I was going through the darkest, “I hate this place” times, I talked to a friend of a friend about taking action and creating my own destiny. She asked me what, if time and money and everything else was not a factor, I would want to do. I toyed around with graphic design and started taking some online tutorials, but then ultimately decided on interior design.

You know, because looking at pretty blog pictures and rearranging my living room meant I should run my own interior design business.

So I went to night school, part time, while working at a horrible job. And after a year, I got a different job (my current job, which I’m totally not leaving anytime soon) and I took a semester off and I realized, hey, I don’t want to be an interior designer, I just don’t want to do what I was doing at my last job anymore.

The good thing about that year in school, though, despite the additional student loan debt that it racked up, was that it got me through the worst times at my previous job.

The other good thing is it showed me that I have more talents. More passions. And that if I want to do something, I should do it.

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve always wanted to get into graphic design. And you’d think having a baby would totally tank all those dreams. But instead, it’s somehow motivated me. Maybe I want to be a good example for my son. Maybe I need an identity aside from “mother.” Maybe he’s just inspiring me to create. Whatever it is, it’s a blast.

SO. What am I doing in this little shop of mine?

State heart maps

State map heart prints…

City map heart prints

City map heart prints…

State typography, slogan, and motto art prints

State typography art prints…

Wedding guest book alternative heart map from Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Custom wedding date and wedding guest book alternative art prints…

Typography art print from Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Typography prints.

Plus, I’m doing custom orders for specific cities, color combinations, and special holiday orders.

A few special deals:

  • If you like Franny & Franky Designs on Facebook and click on “My Etsy Shop” below the cover photo, you can purchase any of our prints from that portal and receive a 10% discount.
  • We also have several “print package” deals on our custom orders page — 2 prints for $25, 3 prints for $40, or 4 prints for $50.

So… what have you been up to?


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,