Karina Chronicles

Woman We Love: Monique Peterson

Did you know the internet is populated with smart, funny, interesting women? Yes! We know lots of these women so we thought it was high time we introduced them to you. And thus: our post series – Woman We Love.

Name:  Monique Peterson
Age: 42
Location: New York
Online homes: my blog // my website

These days you make indie films, but you’ve written tons of books and launched Divine Caroline.  What advice would you give to others looking to transition from one career to another?
Stay fluid, stay flexible. Look for threads of continuity in past experience, and find ways to rethink your skill set, your tool kit as it were, and repackage yourself for new and emerging industries. Every job situation or career opportunity is going to have some new element to it. We are constantly learning new things to add to our resumes and experience.

I often feel like I’m reinventing the wheel with everything I do, yet I rely on core areas of expertise that I can apply to many things. Learn to identify your core strengths—such as a work philosophy (“I am streamlined and efficient” or “I am a problem-solver”), a personality asset (“I am an extrovert and love motivating others” or “I am introverted and love doing research”), a unique or specialized ability (“I know how to live on $50 a week” or “I make ceramic pottery”), a love or interest (“I’m nuts about crossword puzzles” or “I have a weakness for medieval poetry”).

Sometimes it may seem like there is no throughline for these things, but the more we can think about how our interests, skills, experience, and natural abilities relate to one another, the more flexible we can be to adapt ourselves to new situations and start to think about new areas or opportunities of work that we might not otherwise have.

What are your top five favorite films?
Ask me a different day, the list might change somewhat, but these are definitely among the faves:

Double Indemnity, Once Upon a Time in the West, Dr. Strangelove, Chinatown,
The Shining

We heard you swear by easy-to-wear fashion.  What are some of your favorite go-to pieces?
I generally have my “daily outfit” according to the season. It’s often the same thing as my “superhero outfit.”  Basically, the winning pieces are form-fitting, non-pinching, stretchable, and can allow me to do anything, go anywhere, and be in any situation any time of day. My day can include running around doing errands, exploring the woods, hitting the markets, and having business meetings.

I love the kinds of dresses and pants you can run around in, hike in and find yourself in a restaurant at night in. I am living on the austerity program these days, so I don’t like to wear a lot of clothes (more clothes = more laundry = more expense). I like to keep things simple. I don’t like to have to think about getting dressed.

What are your every day, must-reads, online or off?
World news, local news, trade news and job boards (BBC, NYT, WSJ, and about ten or more assorted online collections of trade and news headlines and links)

Fiction research (currently it’s the Selected Writings of E.T.A. Hoffman)

Non-fiction research (currently it’s Starved for Science by Robert Paarlberg and Earth Democracy by Vandana Shiva)

Something trashy and fun (currently it’s Stephen King’s The Stand)

Something based on personal curiosities (currently it’s Greater Ethiopia by Donald N. Levine)

My Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle

Your perfect day.  What would it look like?
A run in the park just before sunrise. Homemade breakfast with a carafe of coffee. A work unit. A reading unit. A writing unit. Fresh food. Fresh air. Making art. Time with someone I love: by letter, phone, online, or in person. Today. :)

 Thanks so much for sharing, Monique! 

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