It took a big push from my fella Doug to step up the game and commit to a shared office, though. But in November 2011, a group of us signed on a space down Ballard Avenue in Seattle. OK, it does shake periodically on Fridays, when they cut steel next door. But the cobbled street outside charms enough to compensate — not to mention the bonus key to a nearby dock with a tiki bar...
We named our office co-op "Monkey Barrel Media," riffing off the Buddhist term "monkey mind" (restless, capricious, whimsical). It seemed to fit an enterprise involving four writers, a graphic designer and a web-dev guru.
A year later, we're still going strong. And our first holiday party rolled around on the unspeakably awful day of the Sandy Hook massacre, when semiautomatic-rifle fire tore apart an elementary school across the country.
We gathered together, on a day of national mourning, and found the smiles that had faded under the barrage of news. Nothing could erase the horror, but at least we drew comfort from the community we'd built, battling off the isolation that can plague freelancers.
Thank you, monkeys, for that day and every other we get to share.
|The co-working line-up has finally stabilized after our first year: Christy Karras, Eric Thomas, Chelsea Lin, Mike Keran, Christian Silk and Amanda Castleman|