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Check out NEW ARTICLES by clicking on the CATEGORY HEADERS at the top of this page!  You’ll see cool stuff like this article ….

One of my favorite styles of manuscript…. Anglo Saxon Art

and this GUEST POST…

Reasons Why I Blog – Guest Post

and who knows what else. NOT TO BE MISSED!!




July 12, 2017 – Relaunched –

New Categories and Pages.

Upgrade Yourself! Stay informed.

What does it mean to be a Freelancer?

And the relaunch of


Freelancing and the Gig Economy

Today’s gig economy means a lot of people are working piece work – picking up commissions and “gigs” as they can, rather than working traditional full-time jobs. It isn’t easy. There are no company-paid benefits like health insurance and paid time off, no life insurance, and certainly no job security. There are a lot of benefits, though.

You work when you want, and you are free to NOT work when you don’t want to or can’t work due to other commitments. You are also free to turn down jobs that don’t appeal to you. That is, if you can afford to turn down work.

That’s the kicker. As a freelancer, you have to have enough income coming in to be able to turn away work. Not many freelancers have that luxury. Most of us scrabble for every crumb of work, taking on jobs that we would otherwise pass. We live on COBRA or ACA health insurance and pray every day those don’t go away. It makes politics very personal.

Eventually we hope to have our work seen enough so that we can increase our rates, get more offers of jobs and get more money coming in – and thus increase our opportunities for growth. It happens in some cases. In others, we give up and try to find full time work again.

Unfortunately, traditional employers see periods of freelance work essentially as unemployment. While untrue, freelancing is not seen as “real work” in the business community. Through some trial and error, I’ve found that putting “Contract Writer for XYZ Company” on my resume gets a more positive response from traditional employers, rather than the more generic “Freelance Author and Artist.” Employers are more responsive when they have a name attached to the work, even though the list of “Contract writer for ___” includes six or seven companies at the same time.

What about Freelance Artist?

As a freelance artist at the same time, this is trickier. I cannot list every person for whom I have done a private commission or an SCA scroll as a customer. For this, I do list myself as “Artist” and describe the work I do.

I create custom artwork for private clients, including researching their requirements, historical basis for the artwork, creating historical pigments if necessary. I also include the fact that I teach methods of creating historically-based artwork to groups at local, regional, national and international workshops.

This is true, after all. I teach within my local Shire, the nearby Barony, throughout the Kingdom, and I recently taught at the Known World Herald and Scribe Symposium. I expect I will again, given the chance.

I’ve been creating pigments

I have also begun creating my own pigments over the last year and a half, starting with the least toxic ones – mostly blues, greens and earth tones such as the ochers. I would like to find ways to make reds, yellows and oranges, but those tend to involve cooking lead. That is inherently dangerous and I am not sure I’m ready for that. Yet. Greens like verdigris are almost TOO easy – dunk some copper wire from the hardware store into some vinegar, add a little salt and wait.

I even experimented with period Brasilwood recipes, using Purple heart wood sawdust. The two trees are of the same family, and I happened to have access to the purple heart sawdust. I got some nice reddish-brown pigment out of it, but not a true red. The experiments, based off the recipes in Ceninni, involved lye. Lye is also toxic, but it is a workable toxic, meaning use gloves and common sense.

I also got a very nice celadon green out of the purple heart when I used a mixture of the lye and some of the used vinegar from the verdigris experiments. After a number of uses, the verdigris vinegar turns blue from the copper dissolving a little in it. I poured some of this over the purple heart sawdust “mash” in addition to the lye. The result was eventually the celadon.


I’ll be publishing some of these pigment experiments here as part of the relaunch of Intellectually Promiscuous, as well as some more “Scroll Stuff,” and the sciency side of scribe stuff. I will also be focusing more on the freelancing aspect of life, whether writing or art.

There will still be the occasional jaunt into other rabbit holes. After all, I’m still “intellectually promiscuous.” Things catch my eye and they are interesting. They will get published – possibly as briefs with links to outside sources. Expect a stronger focus on the art and writing, though.

I have a guest blogger lined up, so look for a post soon from Sue Gordon, fellow artist and scribe!

I hope you enjoy the refocus and relaunch of



23 September 2015

Lights at the end of the tunnels

A lot has transpired since I last blogged.

I got aseptic meningitis in August, spent 4 days in the hospital with that, bought a house in under a month start to finish, and have been off work since then still battling the meningitis and the back pain from the disc issues. I passed a trial installation of a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant, aka Borg Technology, that interrupts the pain signals between the injury site and the brain. As a result, I’m scheduled for permanent installation on 6 October.

A friend has labeled me the Cyborg Laurel as a result. I think I love him.

Currently, my FMLA allows me off work until 2 November from all of this, but I am totally without paid leave since the August illness. I’ve applied for Shared Leave but have no idea if it will be approved. I’ve had to mostly quit my freelance writing, because the meningitis has fried the nerves in my fingers. Writing by hand and typing is mostly erasing or, in the case of typing, back spacing and retyping. I also fall asleep a lot, as my endurance is nil.

Naturally, I took on more work with the SCA as RUSH (Royal University of Scir-Hafoc) Regent for Nebraska and Kansas. This position helps facilitate events and classes for arts, sciences, SCA culture, history, martial activities, etc. in a non-competitive atmosphere. In other words, lots more responsibility, travel, paperwork and so forth.

I am  still in the process of moving out of the apartment and in to the new house. Thankfully, another friend has loaned me her godson and his friend. They are working for cheap, hauling heavy stuff and mowing the lawn at the house. I just have to pack things in boxes. This means hauling boxes up the stairs to the apartment and actually doing the work.

In short, I’m worn out. This does nothing to help heal the meningitis, which requires rest. I am my own worst enemy as usual.

I have developed a closer friendship with a dear friend of decades and I believe that may be all that is saving me right now.

That, and the fact that “the boys” – the godson and his friend – have moved the heavy furniture to the new house so I can at least live here without having to deal with steps on bad pain days. 

Hooray for strong young men, dear friends and lights at the ends of tunnels.


copyright Holly Cochran 2014

2 May 2015

I’m back, Life sucks, so I might as well blog….

Intellectually Promiscuous has been conspicuously absent for the better part of a year. Partially, it’s because things were going well. I had a job I liked, I moved to a town I liked better, and a relationship that was going well. My health was decent and things were going pretty well.

Things started happening right before I moved to Lawrence. I had to put Chani, Dog of the Desert, to her final rest. Devastating doesn’t begin to cover it. That was January 2014. I still tear up talking about it.  During the period after that, my relationship with a dear friend I’ll call Bob (really NOT his real name) started…..

Naturally, every piece of shit in the world hit the fan……My world crashed around me… my world closed in around me in a bubble of hell – physical, mental and emotional pain beyond telling all at once and all beyond my control – I once again had no voice. The PTSD kicked in hard, I was in full blown panic mode almost all the time, and the depression turned the world into tear streaked black 24/7……….

After weeks of sharing my misery with my Facebook friends and being generally miserable, not getting any meaningful answers from Bob to try and put some meaning to this mess, and attending therapy every week, it occurred to me that I have a blog. A website. I can journal this mess. I can write about it, collect the articles or sayings or pictures HERE, on  rather than inflict it on people who might still care about me. If people WANT to read about it they can come here. Otherwise, they can be angst-free from me. Call it a public service…..

So, for today, with eyes still swollen shut from crying , I write this and hope for a change. I’ve sent a final missive to Bob, asking for private conversation – in writing or whatever – to answer those questions and tie up those loose ends. I explained the reasons why I don’t think every word between us needs to be shared with Mrs. Bob in their “new openness” and asked him to help me find the path I need to move on with my life. I pray the goddess lets him answer and even more to be supportive. I pray there are still positive feelings there.

In the meantime, I’m planning ahead. I’ve booked events ahead – even bought tickets to Toronto for the Scribes Symposium at the end of June. I bought my own pavilion for SCA camping events, although attending such events where I will see him and her terrifies me beyond the meaning of the word terror. I will have to find a way past that sooner or later. I have reached out to people, in spite of fear and grief, and let them know I am hurting and want to visit, to find safe havens.

I am trying to focus on projects instead of pain, since it seems at this point it is mostly picking at scabs to keep things raw and bleeding. I am not sure of anything or anyone, least of all myself…..Right now, as I write this, I feel again like I am out of happily ever afters. I feel forever unlovable and unwantable, although I don’t know if that is true. I feel as though I will be shunned and shamed if I show up anywhere….Today, I feel broken beyond repair. Even beyond the wabi-sabi concept.

Wabi Sabiwabi sabi


I’ve been changing jobs – and not getting beat up by teenagers. I’ve been rejoining society and Society, which involves traveling. I’ve been taking photos and planning some original articles for the site. Time is what is lacking – time and that creative Muse to turn raw material into finished work.

Fear not, sapiosexuals! It will happen in due time.



My Dream Bots: Tiny, Flying, House-Cleaning Robots!

Electrolux Design Contest

Mab – Flying Cleaning Micro Robots

The annual Electrolux Design Contest is always full of amazing innovations.

This year, the winner features tiny flying robots that clean your house for you.

For many of us, that is even better than jet packs and flying cars.

Read More.


The  Coolest Thing I’ve Found

On The Internet In Just About Forever

Open Culture banner

750 online college courses from some of the most prestigious universities and professors in the US and UK, available as online courses or iTunes downloads.

Read my full article here.


Mountain Climber Finds Treasure Trove of Gems in The Alps

Mont Blanc, French Alps

Mont Blanc, French Alps photo by SNappa2006 on Flickr

An unnamed French mountaineer climbing Mont Blanc in the Alps came across a buried metal box. Inside was a stash of rubies, emeralds and sapphires estimated to be worth over $330,000. The hiker turned the treasure over to French authorities, who will attempt to find the owners or heirs.

Mont Blanc reflected in mountain lake photo by by Bruno Monginoux

Mont Blanc reflected in mountain lake photo by by Bruno Monginoux

Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc is the site of several airplane crashes. One occurred in 1950, another in 1966. The gemstone trove is believed to have been part of the wreckage of the 1950 wreck. Other items including papers and letters have been found in the area over the years.

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc
by Brigitte Djajasasmita

Some of the gemstones were wrapped and labeled “Made in India.” An Air India plane crashed in the area in 1950. The gems were likely part of the ill-fated plane’s cargo, but French authorities say it is still too early to tell.

Source: Wall St. Journal/India

Mont Blanc

photo by Jean-Michel Baud

September 15, 2013
The St. John’s Bible was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University. It was created by Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office, along with a collaborative team of artists and scribes.
St. Johns Bible

1 Kings Carpet Page

This is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in over 500 years. All 73 books of the Old and New Testaments, using the New Revised Standard Version, are presented in seven volumes totaling approximately 1150 pages.
St. John's Bible

Genesis – Creation

Link to the original and project home page:
St. John's Bible

Ancient Eve in the Garden of Eden

August 28, 2013
Mars Mission

Nautilus-X Demo Ship – NASA

If you weren’t paying attention, NASA has been recruiting astronauts for a one-way trip to colonize Mars. No kidding. Sadly, they passed on hiring a middle-aged redhead (ahem) for the job. Their loss.

 Anyway, the question arises about just how the hell they are going to get people there without them going batshiat crazy on the trip. The voyage should begin in the next 15 years or so, so the selected crew starts training now for the arduous trip.

The Red Planet has been a dream for humanity for years. We’ve made giant leaps in technology and the requirements for space travel, so the colonization project may now be possible. NASA and project researchers are shooting for launch in or near 2030. In spite of how far away that seems, it really is not.

NASA-funded engineers are working on ways to put the astronauts into hibernation during the trip. No, this is not an Arthur C. Clarke novel, this is real life. Hibernation would make the Mars trip cheaper, safer, and easier on the crews, according to researchers. The plan is to induce a state similar to how bears snooze through a long winter.

Read my full post here.

August 2013
Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac
No Mas Ratas “Tired of rats, vote for a cat,” says this campaign poster for Morris, a cat that is “running” for mayor of Jalapa, Mexico. In Mexico “rats” is a euphemism used for corrupt politicians.

Sick of politicians in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, two residents entered their cat Morris as a candidate for mayor in the upcoming election. Morris, a black and white cat, pledges to “rid the city of rats” aka corrupt politicians. Jair Cuevas, one of the sponsors for the Morris campaign, gave the following statement. “Candidates here almost never fulfill their promises. Our candidate promises to sleep, eat, yawn, and play in the dirt. That is what he will do if he wins the election.”

Morris for Mayor

Time Magazine

Morris’ Facebook page has gone viral, gathering almost 100k likes in just one month. He is more popular than the traditional human candidates in the social network arena. He also has a Twitter account. Surveys show the people of Xalapa rate Morris as more “likeable” than three of the four other main candidates. His popularity should surpass the fourth candidate soon, according to Latino FoxNews. Campaign managers for Morris believe social media can give the citizens of Xalapa a creative way to fight corruption in their time. The campaign slogan “Xalapa without rats” is wildly popular in the city.

Morris for Mayor

Yes We Cat

Local Xalapa journalist Melina Zurita reports to ABC News that Morris represents indignation with Mexican politicians who win elections by buying votes and negotiating corrupt deals. Morris is appealing as a candidate for thousands who do not identify with traditional politicians, according to Zurita. Such feelings are widespread in Mexico.

Morris for Mayor

No more rats

Xalapa election authorities refuse to allow Morris on the ballot, so campaign managers are requesting people vote for him through the write-in process. Election officials threatened to invalidate ballots with pictures of cats or with Morris’ name on the write-in line. His campaign managers stated on the Facebook account that Morris becomes more important with every attack by the political elite.

Morris for Mayor

Vote for Morris


6/10/2013 Links to Freelance Writing I Have Done
I do freelance writing, copy writing and web content writing in my off hours, to earn a few extra bucks. Here are links to some of the pages I have written. Notice none have my byline on them. That’s because freelance writing often involves writing anonymously or selling the publishing rights to your articles.

Freelance Writer

The listing below is by no means exhaustive. I have completed well over 200 articles for and another 200-plus on Most recently, I was invited to be a member of the team writing travel articles for Pretty exciting!

If you are interested in having me write something for you – be it web content, FAQ pages, articles, blog posts, or even product descriptions for online catalogs – please contact me!

Freelance keyboard

Links to Stuff I Wrote: – all US states copy and the FAQ portion of the landing page listed above – all US states copy and the FAQ portion of the landing page listed above – all copy on this page, as well as the linked articles under “About the Area” heading – entire article – entire article –FAQ article,

I have written articles in English tailored to US, UK, Canadian, and Australian readers. I’m flexible like that!

Freelance Writer Books