Retraining accomplished… now what?

May 11, 2013 2 comments

Yes, I know it’s lame to post something after a year of radio silence. What can I say, priorities. Now that I’ve got that off my chest… The big news is that my “retraining” is nearly complete, at least officially. Just a month away from holding a shiny piece of paper in my hands proclaiming […]

Slacking in a good way

June 20, 2012 No comments yet

I have committed blogger’s sin No. 1. I have abandoned my blog for four months, leaving it floating among the heaps of discarded digital junk. Major events came and went.  I reached the one-third mark in my degree completion. I (gasp!) switched to a Mac. I’ve started tinkering with video. But my digital life took […]

A die-hard ‘PC person’ (me) converts to a Mac, and the world spins on. For now.

February 22, 2012 1 comment

The world didn’t end the day I switched from a Dell PC to a Mac. Granted, that was only last week — and the world is more likely to end from a slow, ongoing event like global warming than a catastrophic occurrence like a hit by a comet (or my switch to Mac). Which is […]

Crowdsourcing: An exercise in psychology

February 2, 2012 2 comments

After more than a month of sharing some details of my life “with the world,” my crowdfunding campaign is over. Although it didn’t reach its funding goal — which I knew was lofty from the outset — I wouldn’t say it wasn’t successful. And, it certainly did bring me closer to my tuition goal, for […]

Crowdfunding a growing trend for funding projects, causes, startups

January 21, 2012 No comments yet

Originally pubslihed in Gig Harbor Life  Independent filmmakers, artists working on an installation and entrepreneurs with a startup all face the same challenge: funding. Thanks to a trend called crowdfunding, which saw huge growth last year, these creative individuals now have a better shot at getting a financial boost. Crowdfunding has been described as a […]

Duels are illegal (OR, a few simple tips for saving your words from certain death)

January 13, 2012 No comments yet

Of course we’ve all seen this poster about poor Grandma. But it could be worse. Here’s a one-sentence email press release I received a few years ago (with names removed to save embarrassment):  “By a vote of 42-3 with 5 abstentions the [District No X] Democrats voted for a Duel Endorsement of [incumbent] and [challenger ] […]

A funny thing happened on the way to defeat… (Or, why it’s OK to not give up)

January 12, 2012 No comments yet

Question: How many times do you get knocked down before you stop getting up? Or, how much knocking on those doors can your knuckles take? We humans are wired for self-preservation. One too many slammed doors and we give up. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to try one more door… you never know. If you’re […]

Crowdfunding, four weeks later: Pounding the pavement

January 9, 2012 4 comments

It’s been close to five weeks since I decided to experiment with the idea of crowdfunding for tuition. I knew from the beginning this is not one of those “if you build it, they will come” endeavors, but I didn’t realize it would turn into a part-time job! The biggest lesson I learned so far […]

How to lose a reporter in one day (OR, what not to do if you want your story covered)

December 27, 2011 2 comments

If you’ve seen the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” you may remember Kate Hudson coming up with one outrageous dating faux pas after another to make Matthew McConaughey dump her as part of an experiment for her advice column. Her task was to break up the relationship in 10 days and […]

A few ‘obsolete’ things that are worth hanging on to in 2012 and beyond

December 22, 2011 2 comments

If you’re one of the few people who don’t live on Facebook 16 hours a day, you may still be catching up on the list it released recently of the 40 most-shared articles of the year. No. 33 on the list, ahead of CNN’s story about the death of Steve Jobs, is a MoneyTalksNews article […]

Crowdfunding 101: Read the fine print

December 20, 2011 No comments yet

It’s been a week since I decided to take my college tuition dilemma to the masses and I have to say so far I have mixed feelings about the idea’s success. But the day is young, as they say, so I’m not giving up just yet. One thing I learned immediately: Read the fine print. […]

$9,000 in 49 days? It doesn’t hurt to dream

December 14, 2011 No comments yet

Yesterday, I set off to “make” $9,000 in 49 days. Crazy, right? If you’ve come here to read about a “get rich quick” idea, keep surfing. But if you want to read about a grad school student looking for creative ways to fund college tuition, read on. After much talking, hand-wringing and pride swallowing, I […]

Personal blogging is not for the meek… and a few other conclusions so far

December 8, 2011 No comments yet

It’s been more than two months since I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the blogosphere (I explained my trepidations in an earlier post) and I launched my first official blog, Sandwiched In. That doesn’t make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did come up with some conclusions so far. […]

Grad school perks: Things on the wish list become class assignments

December 8, 2011 No comments yet

During our group presentation in my MCDM class, the professor asked whether it helped to push us, ie require us to set up a blog in a hurry and syndicate/create engagement, all within two months. I’ll admit it was quite a stretch but the irony is, I’ve been thinking about blogging for a couple of […]

Never say ‘no’ to a rebel

November 3, 2011 1 comment

My last year of undergrad eons ago, I had two jobs that added to 46 hours a week while taking three semesters’ worth of credits in two. My two kids were preschool age. I got a 4.0 GPA both semesters. “How do you do it?” people asked. About three years after I graduated, I took […]

Top 10 reasons you know you are in love with grad school…

October 25, 2011 4 comments

10. You brag about it more than you do about your children. 9. You no longer make small talk during a dinner date with your spouse. 8. You look forward to the long, excruciating commute you refused to do previously. 7. Your brain is so wired after the evening class, you lie awake for hours […]

In search of a BIG IDEA (OR, is my life an open book in the digital age?)

October 11, 2011 No comments yet

First, a confession. I have been a blogless writer. The notion surprises some people: Isn’t that what writers do – like, write? It’s not like I didn’t try it. Twice. Or so. I even tried to explain my blogless life in the first blog post of my would-be writing blog (which I started, note the […]

Hello, World 2.0 (OR, why someone with a complicated life would be crazy enough to go back to school)

September 22, 2011 No comments yet

(Reposted from my now-defunct “journalist in retraining” blog) When I received my journalism degree more than 10 years ago, I told myself I wanted to have a master’s  by the age of 30. Of course, I also told myself that to build my career, I would hop across the country from Alaska, moving east geographically […]

Hello, World! (or why a writer may be the last person to take a ticket for the blogging bandwagon)

July 16, 2010 No comments yet

Today I surrender. I have resisted becoming a citizen of the blogosphere for some time, though in the interest of full disclosure I should mention I did throw in the towel once, a few months ago. The euphoria lasted for five posts, and then I went about my daily business. Someone I met recently wondered […]


Freelance journalist, writer, editor and multimedia producer Rodika Tollefson creates and plays near Seattle, Washington. She welcomes assignments from publication editors as well as work-for-hire from anyone who needs writing, editing, video or communications/media consulting work.

words of wisdom I try to live by

“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.” ~Jonathan White

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~Michelangelo

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." ~George Elliot

creative writing break: from the essays file


Memories are like birds.

They fly, fast and free, with their wings spread open.
They are swarming, loud.

Once in a while, they stop still.

They nest in our hearts.

Unlike a bird's nest, memories are less exposed to the world. They are concealed deep inside our hearts and soul, often time stuffed there by a mind that does not want to remember a painful sensation.

Other times they are lively and ecstatic, laughing out loud or just smiling contentedly.

These are the memories that we put into pictures and keepsakes in order to capture them into something more material, something more feasible that we can touch and see over and over again, something that would live through generations to tell the happy story.

Those are the memories of a first bouquet, wedding bells, first charming baby smile, the long gone dear friend…

They are the memories we try to hang on to, try to grasp them with our fingers and clutch them in our fists… too precious to let go.

Among them is a picture of the sunset and a tree in full bloom.

What is the soul trying to tell by captioning these serene moments onto the glossy paper? Are these part of the memories that will be shared with generations to come, or are they just a trace of lost happiness, an attempt to recreate a smile of the nature itself?


a few of my favorite quotes

“To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong.”
~Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.”
~Henry Ford

“I couldn't wait for success... so I went ahead without it.”
~Jonathan White

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
~Hellen Keller

“It's never too late to be what you might have been.”
~George Elliot