Commentary: Other Duties As Assigned

Rochester Pride 2012 6
Photo by Randy Stern

There is an unwritten rule as a writer: Be versatile.

It is actually a rule in life. The most flexible people get a wider variety of opportunities. The more skills you have available, the more job opportunities will become available to you. The more instruments you play, the better the chance at a spot in a band.

When it comes to writing, I learned to remain flexible in case something comes up. The same goes for my photography.

This has been the case lately with my work in Lavender Magazine. It began in early June when I attended East Central Minnesota Pride up in Pine City on assignment for the publication. Their usual photographer was already committed to covering the Minnesota Lynx game that evening down in Minneapolis. Having heard I was going up there with one of my close friends, my editor asked me if I could do photos up there. I agreed and they appear on the magazine’s website.

Since then, I took additional photos of various events in and around Twin Cities Pride, another Pride event in Rochester, Minnesota and write the feature introduction piece of the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series being held next week in the Twin Cities.

If that is not versatility and flexibility – then what is?

Now, I am not "all that" when it comes to doing these "additional tasks as assigned." I do my best and try to deliver with what I got to my editors – and to this site. The work certainly comes with results. Since Pine City, I had requests for my photography. Most of them were very complimentary of what I have done. Others – well, one does not expect a simple "thank you," but it would not hurt to give one.

You may think I am deviating from my core work – automotive writing. Not at all. It will always be there, when the situation presents itself.

Considering that I have three outlets to feed, some with different needs than others, I certainly have a full plate on top of a stressful day job. As with former stressful day jobs, the writing balances out the stress with creativity, art…and so forth.

On some level, I do not being doing "other duties as assigned." At Lavender, I have a great editor, Andy Lien, who has been my guide through this extended round in the queer press. Even I come up with ideas that might add value to the magazine – the photos from Rochester Pride, for example. She has been on my side when it came down to my material – automotive and otherwise. Andy has also been given a quick overview of how we auto scribes work with the industry and our readership.

Recently, my work has also been added to It is good to see Joe LaMuraglia's site still going with its share of reviews and views of the industry from a complete LGBT lens. On, you will see more articles about the community and its relationship with the automobile along with viewpoints on the industry itself. Vehicle reviews will find a home on Lavender, but I have other more localized items ahead, if time permits.

What about Victory & Reseda? It is still here. Some reviews will be exclusive to this site, along with the Five Favorites, The Speculator and other crazy stuff you enjoyed so far on here. I do need a space to let loose, rant and express myself more about these subjects – that is if you want me to…

As for "other duties as assigned," it might not be appropriate to repost them on here. There may be subject matter that might not mean anything to you, dear reader. The Gay Softball World Series? You would rather have me discuss my initial reaction to the 2013 Honda Accord instead…

A writer's need to be experiential should always be driven by subject matter flexibility and versatility. The curious soul will always win over the crowd with a report of what he or she has experienced. This is part of the writer's craft – regardless of which topic is considered "home."

If you have a topic you want me to cover, I would be game for it. There would be some negotiation involved, right? Still – just being in the story is what we writers crave.

Just as long as I continue to write my true passion – the material you already enjoy on this site and others where my byline is seen.

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