But - I learned how to do it, and I was able to make fantastic connections and investigate some really interesting stories.
I went through three computers (long story) and made my new husband more than a little nuts (though I take no responsibility for his rapidly thinning hair), but overall, I'm pretty proud of what I put out.
My first true 'freelance' piece: After LA prosecutors decided to prosecute Robert Durst for the murder of Susan Berman, I wrote about how that brought me back to my college days. A journalism professor - who happened to be Berman's best friend - tried to teach us interviewing skills by asking us to interrogate her on the details of Berman's killing. It didn't end well. The Riveter published it, and you can read about it here.
I tried my hand at op-ed writing, and had two pieces published in the Montreal Gazette, one of them even earning me a 5-minute spot on Aaron Rand's evening show on CJAD.
I continued to write about Central Asian affairs for Silk Road Reporters. I also branched out to cover international trade for Global Trade Review, where I investigated a fascinating story about the return of manufacturing to Mexico from China. That was one of the most fun I've ever had writing an article.
In May, I was back covering the Canadian mining sector for SNL Financial, and I love the freedom and wide berth that I'm given by my editor to pursue anything and everything (and also, the more regular paycheck). I did a series of pieces on the failings of tailings dams throughout Canada, and the inability? unwillingness? of provincial and federal regulatory systems to change anything. I had a ball talking to international trade specialists over how the TPP would impact Canadian mining, and returned to my (slight) obsession over the (non) development of Ring of Fire chromite resources, here and here.
I topped off the year with the longest piece I've ever written (I blame Spotlight), chronicling how one Canadian junior company signed a deal with China Railway to build a rail line from the Ring of Fire and connect it to an existing rail line. If it happens, it will be the first time a foreign power has financed and constructed Canadian infrastructure. It's a doozy, so I encourage you to read it!
In 2016, I'm hoping to branch out a bit more, and write about feminist issues on top of natural resources, economics, and international affairs. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.