Jeff Chappell fixes you with the dreaded Librarian Stare.

Freelance Writer, Journalist, Web Editor, Photographer:
Jeff Chappell

Okay, no more literary humor; I promise.

About me: I’m a Jeff of all trades. I’ve spent the better part of  two decades working as a journalist in various guises, fashioning a writing career in both online and print media that spans both daily and weekly newspapers to online, high-tech trade publications. Full-time, freelance, contract — even a stint in public relations and marketing.

Name a subject, I’ve probably written about it at one time or another. Local government? Endangered species? Invasive species?  Modern midwifery? Sports? Theater reviews? Rural homelessness? World’s largest collection of four-leaf clovers? Fortune 500 companies? Ice breaking maneuvers with the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes? Wall Street? Semiconductors? The Black Panthers? GPS? I can say yes to all.

A Post-Modern Phoenix

Early in the course of this new century I’ve also been a casualty of the violent crash at the intersection of print journalism and the Internet. But like a high-tech phoenix I rose from the ashes (because I like to eat), and made the transition from crotchety, old-school journalism to the Brave (and scary copyeditor-less) New World online.

Writer? Content provider? Depends on whom one asks.

E-mail newsletters, websites, HTML, PHP, corporate content management systems (CMS), Drupal, WordPress, blogging and search engine optimization (SEO) — I’ve had to learn them all, to one degree or another and often times on the fly. These days as a freelance writer and web editor I frequently find myself concerned with the finer points of WordPress and PHP as much as those of grammar and journalism.

But such is life in the Information Age. And to think I let my college adviser talk me out of minoring in computer science. That minor would have served me better these days, coupled with my journalism degree, than the English minor I pursued (although I loved my college English courses). Notably, Michael Bugeja, said collegiate adviser, wrote this book about technology.

A tad ironic, that. But then hindsight is indeed 20/20.

The Not-So-Innocent Abroad

Cafe Sai GonSpeaking of irony, the same technology that put me out of the best job I ever had in print is the same tech that has enabled me to indulge my inner nomad, for which I’m grateful. With the exception of my English teaching endeavors abroad, I’ve been telecommuting or otherwise working remotely for more than a decade now.

I’ve taken advantage of the situation, to say the least. In that time I’ve lived in Northern California, West Virginia, Ohio, Thailand and Viet Nam, and taken frequent work-related trips to Europe, Japan and China. At the moment I’m living in Bangkok where I’m studying Thai language (with an eye towards a possible masters degree in linguistics or journalism in the future).

Writing and editing, along with my Web skills, are what currently pay the bills though.

When I’m not working I often still don’t get away from the keyboard, because I’m usually writing on my personal blogs or otherwise writing creatively, tinkering with my websites, editing photos, playing video games, or experimenting with 3D rendering.

When I actually do tear myself away from the keyboard, I’m often out shooting the aforementioned photos — photography is another passion — and exploring my new home. Or maybe just relaxing in a cafe or coffee shop with a good book (usually of the electronic variety, these days).

But What Can You Find Here?

First and foremost, many examples of my written work — news writing, editorial writing, blogging — and photography. I even maintain a current blog here, as it pertains to my professional endeavors and related subjects that interest me, such as WordPress.

Why? I’m a journalism nerd; it’s kinda my thing and has been for a long time. Except for when I left for six years to sling drinks and be a prototypical Generation X slacker. But that’s another story, as are my endeavors in teaching English as a second language.