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I’m a writer who does some designing too. I was raised in Texas, raised again in Savannah, Georgia and now I live in Los Angeles.

I’m passionate about progress: ventures in the social economy, life-improving gadgets, progressive apps, and all that reinvents processes that were once overlooked as “just the way it is.” My curiosity and affinity for the “more than meets the eye,” school of thought might derive from many life lessons learned from The Twilight Zone and Shel Silverstein.

Right now, I'm strategizing and writing for start-up brand design strategy studio, Honor Roll. We're building a service for young entrepreneurs to create focused, socially-minded companies. I'm also Freelance Editor for Brit.Co where I write mostly about Technology and Food (but seldom both simultaneously).

I'm also a Brainlabber for Soul Pancake and regularly contribute to hitRECord.

Also, I have a little film blog reviewing movies I should have seen but haven't: Better Late Than Never.

I'm available for freelance work. Email me: katelanalivia[at]gmail.com

Please look around the site at some of my work and get a feel for things. You can also see more of my byline elsewhere:

Brit.Co
SoulPancake
Medium
HitRECord
LinkedIn
The Branch
Electric Literature
GOOD Ideas for Cities
Drawl Magazine
Arlington, Texas Magazine
Well FED
New York is Boring
District Quarterly
District

If you're into pictures of LA, food and the most adorable dog on the planet, I'm worth checking out on INSTAGRAM.





The new writing/reading platform Medium is a breath of fresh air where people can read and write about things they're passionate about. I'm passionate about technology and culture.


It’s time to outgrow the generation gap



I’ve read so, so many lists and opinion pieces full of statistics, assumptions, and generalizations explaining why the people of my generation are the way we are. Why myself and my friends live in limbo between feeling like we deserve so much and still feeling like children, and most of all: why we won’t shut up about it.

Yes, many of us received at least one participation trophy in our lifetime. Many of us were told we can do anything. A lot of us got degrees we can’t use in a meager work force and paying off those degrees is proving to be, well, near impossible. But another Top 20 List of observations getting to the bottom of why we spend so much time on our smartphones and how to handle us seems to be beating a dead meme. Read more about young folks who are changing the game.



No more spoon-fed technology:
A eulogy to skeuomorphism



If you’re unfamiliar, skeuomorphism can be defined as nostalgia by design. Faux wood paneling on the side of a station wagon. Cute but immovable wooden shutters. The sound of the shutter click your phone makes when you take a picture. What once was a necessity of function in generations past, becomes an embellishment solely for the purpose of touchy-feely familiarity—a baby step in our understanding of what’s new. But Apple’s event tomorrow could be a big step (one that Google and Microsoft have already taken) in moving technology’s functionality into a world of its own, independent of its tangible counterparts.
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This upgrade is long overdue, and at this stage, a moot point of controversy. It symbolizes not just an evolution of design and user experience, but also an evolution of perspective. When we no longer tie our technology to the expectations of its tangible counterparts or older generations, then the possibilities are unbound. We can see past the limitations of the physical world and envision the potential of the digital one. Read the whole piece



Tweet by tweet, we're making history




In the past five years or so, tech innovators and laggards alike have been able to go to Twitter for the latest news before seeing it anywhere else. Taking into account excusable, and not-so-excusable fallacies, we take the bad with good, choose who to listen to and piece together our own story as it develops. Our views, likes, shares and retweets gauge the impact of major historical events, and the impact of the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla. was massive.
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Through the lens of social media, major events that were once considered regional turn national, global, even. Online petitions have taken the place of door-to-door efforts. Lawn signs and bumper stickers are being replaced by a temporary change of profile pic. And actually, I don’t think these conceptual skeumorphs are less effective given the amount of time we spend online. They’re well-intentioned and if nothing else, gain attention for things people care about. But we all care about so many things, it’s difficult deciding where to dole out one’s thought, much less, real empathy. How are we supposed to really feel it all? Read the whole piece
Brit + Co. is a creative community of makers who love color, technology, food, fashion and all things DIY. As a Freelance Editor, I focus on food and tech, curating lists and spotlighting the best of the best in what's new.

Don’t Waste a Minute: 9 Apps for the Long Commute



Having a long commute is one thing, but taking that commute by public transportation is a whole other beast, and it has its fair share of perks. 1. You’re doing your thing for mama nature. 2. You don’t have to deal with all that frazzled bumper-to-bumper traffic and parking drama. 3. You just get to sit down, kick back and let those wheels go round and round.

And if you haven’t noticed by now, all that sitting is prime time to get stuff done. And that’s why we’re sharing our favorite apps for the transit commute. Some are perfect for productivity and others for preoccupation. Read the whole list here.


8 One-Pot Miracles Perfect for a Stag V-Day



In case you haven’t heard, Valentine’s Day is on a Friday. Which means your regular Friday night single ladies highjacks may be squandered by the likes of starry-eyed couples everywhere. And getting a table at a restaurant? Forget about it. How about you stay at home? Not to sulk in singlehood but to celebrate it! Indulge in any of these easy one-pot wonders (no reservation required) and you won’t even have to share with anyone. http://www.brit.co/one-pot-dinner/


The #1 Phone Case For People Who Frequently Drop Their Phones



Most of us are risk-takers. We carry around $300+ smartphones in our hands, purses and pockets all the time and seem to forget that they’re not indestructible. We carry them in the same hand as a full cup of coffee. They bob up and down in shallow pockets when we walk. They sink to the bottom of our purses with that tube of open hand lotion. Gross.

Trust us, we’re fluent in phone cases and we know it can be tough coming across one with a nice design and the hardcore protection our pocket investments (slash addictions) really need. But we may have found one that does just that. Get all the nitty gritty details.


Beyond the Box: 18 More Recipes for Those Extra Girl Scout Cookies



As Girl Scout Cookie Season crumbles to a close, you may find yourself in one of three predicaments. Maybe you ate all your cookies and you’re wanting more. Maybe you haven’t found any cookies!!?! (There’s an app for that.) Or maybe you’re part of the few who still have some left. Who knows why? Maybe you just bought too many or you’re saving them for a weekend binge. Either way, we have 18 more recipes for those cookies that go so far beyond milk-dunking. You know you're curious.
At SoulPancake, I'm part of the Brainlab. We give feedback on the site and write prompts to get the community involved on answering some of Life's Big Questions. These are some of the questions I've asked.


When Will You Be Your Future Self?

image source

The person I aspired to be was a mirage. Not a figment of my imagination. Not an idol I aspired to mimic, but a mirage. I could see her, always in the distance with details I could never quite make out. This person who I wanted to be was waiting at a benchmark on the timeline on my life. I thought that when I was ready and worthy, I would approach her, my future self, able to see all the details up close. Able to pass her the baton and say, "Take it from here."

This imagery had always sulked in me beneath the skin, a cumulonimbus cloud hovering just above the heart--it's only recently surfaced itself. And as silly as it may seem, at 23, I'm just now realizing that I've been living beneath the shadow of my mirage. I thought that becoming her would be something I'd approach quite literally by passing on the very thing I've existed to build. But she doesn't exist without me. I am her.

Who are you? When are you going to turn into who you want to be and how are you going to do it?

People shared ideas and aspirations.

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The Past: Revisited



@thisistheilliad "I long for New York City on the daily. That has never left me."

My friend posted this on Twitter and it struck a resounding chord with me. I miss Savannah, Georgia all the time in a way that makes me feel like maybe I never experienced it enough. Like maybe there's more to see and I'm missing it.

It's a place of grungy alleyways, vocal cats, historic statues in parks, bars always within walking distance and people always on porches. It's a place kept alive with stories and nostalgia. My boyfriend says that nostalgia is a longing for a feeling that you can never have again, which I think is true. But you can't miss something until you leave it.

The energy of Savannah, though often Southern-slow and contained, is the very thing that makes it, for me, a place worth missing. It's something worth holding onto.

What memories does it feel good to have? Is nostalgia bittersweet or just bitter?

Tweet and photos of Savannah by Adeshola Adigun, @thisistheilliad

People shared memories.

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Where Do You Congregate?



image source

Whether you're religious or not, you have to admit, that religions have a knack for bringing people together. In a temple, mosque, or church, like-minded folks gather and share their faith. But it doesn't have to be a house of worship. It could be the pool, a coffee house, a park, a mountain, a bowling alley...

Is there a place where you spend time with like-minded folks that's uplifting and makes you feel part of something larger than yourself?

Go there. Take a photo. Share the space with us.

Upload a photo of the coolest place where you congregate.

People shared photos.

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One-Word Year in Review

As people weighed in with one-word summaries of 2012, I saw many similarities and patterns. So I looked beyond my SoulPancake word role and created an infographic of users' responses. Infographics usually represent solid, black and white statistics, so playing with words, concepts and emotions seemed like it could be an adventure...and it was!

Click here for a larger, zoomable version.


The Outlet is a blog hosted by Electric Literature covering literary events and happenings across the country. I cover some events happening in Los Angeles.


Irvine Welsh on Politics, Poop and Skagboys


LOS ANGELES–While Obama and Romney had their first night of face-to-face opposition in Denver behind their respected podiums, Scottish writer Irvine Welsh also stood behind a podium, but at Book Soup in Los Angeles. As he walked into the bookstore he announced (to whom I don’t know), “Romney’s kickin’ Obama’s ass.” Turns out, his observations were widely agreed upon.

Before we start on Welsh’s new novel Skagboys, I’m going to say something that would probably lead to my exile in many cliques of trendy people. At the time of this reading, I’d never read Trainspotting or seen the film. There was no reason for this, like someone who accidentally lived their entire lives without eating macaroni and cheese. You can be sure it was not intentional neglect but rather a horrible mistake that I have since remedied.

Things you may not know about Irvine Welsh:

—He’s ok with you answering a phone call during his reading as long if it’s from your coke dealer.
—His wanderlust is motivated by the guarantee that any place can become stale and he doesn’t want to think of himself in one place.
—He lives in Chicago and feels like it’s like New York City without the jerks.
—The film adaptation of his 2008 novel Filth is anticipated to come out in 2013. He’s had more involvement with its making than any previous adaptations of his books.

Go on. Keep reading at Electric Literature.

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In an Old Police Station With and Unplugged Microphone: McSweeny's Quarterly Concern #41


LOS ANGELES–Going to the release of the 41st McSweeny’s Quarterly Concern on Wednesday night is the closest I’ve ever come to being arrested. The event was held in Venice at the SPARC building, which is a decommissioned police station. Our host in this repurposed precinct was 826LA, a non-profit organization helping kids improve their writing skills with tutoring, field trips and workshops. (You might have read about it here.) Some people feel like being in school is like being in jail, but with bad-ass storytelling going on it didn’t feel like school or jail. In the classroom setting from behind a long wooden table, with a mic that wasn’t plugged in and wasn’t needed, we heard samplings of fiction and non-fiction from four writers throughout the night.

It gets better. Finish reading at Electric Literature.

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At Vroman's You'll Learn: You Don't Know Gypsy


LOS ANGELES–Tuesday night at Vroman’s in Pasadena, CA, Oksana Marafioti had her audience entranced with stories told not just from the pages of her book. American Gypsy: A Memoir is your typical coming-of-age tale, mixed with a coming-to-America tale, told by a woman who’s half-Russian/Romani and half-Greek/Armenian, whose family may or may not be burdened with a curse from her great grandmother, due to Marafioti’s out-of-wedlock birth. You know that story, right?

Her dad moved the family from Russia to Hollywood in 1990, right before the fall of the Soviet Union, in hopes of escaping her great grandmother’s curse and getting the chance to perform with B.B King. Her mother had left her husband to follow the two loves in her life: Marafioti’s father, and her passion for performing.

That's just the beginning. Read on at Electric Literature.