Valerie comes from a long line of DIYers and knows just enough “How To” to be a danger to herself (DIY projects are all great distractions from writing).
Among other projects, she’s:
- wallpapered a pattern on her crooked NYC kitchen walls (um, don’t look at the seam behind the refrigerator)
- fixed her own toilet (pretty much an ongoing effort)
- assembled her own furniture (we’re not talking just IKEA here, either!)
- hooked up the @#$#! “smart” TV (ah… the least said about that, the better)
- built this website…
She has a slight, working knowledge of html (see “dangerous,” above) and so relied on the folks who developed StudioPress / Genesis framework for WordPress and those who designed the Foodie Pro Theme. If you’re in need of a website and have some DIY DNA in you, she recommends both.
Valerie’s good opinion is hard-won (just ask her friends about her movie reviews) and cannot be bought.
Further, she is an inveterate “good girl” who abides by the New York Times and Washington Post ethical rules of journalism. Where she’s got any type of relationship with someone she mentions — a former colleague or a service, for example — she discloses it.
That said, as someone who writes about money and as a writer who needs to make a living, she does have associate relationships with several booksellers and service providers with whom she’s had firsthand experience (like the aforementioned StudioPress). Therefore, if readers click on books or goods or services she’s mentioned on her own websites or in her newsletters (never in her journalism), a small “clink” might be heard in her piggy bank.