Denise Balkissoon is a veteran freelance writer, contributing to Canadian Business, Toronto Life and many other outlets. Follow Denise on Twitter: @balkissoon.

+1 What do you read to keep current on the latest trends and news? 

I still get a lot of actual paper delivered to my house–the Sunday New York Times, plus Wired and Saveur. In terms of magazines that I sometimes write for, I also get Toronto Life and Today’s Parent. I also have a digital subscription to the Toronto Star and I pick up The Grid (which I write for) every week.

I’ve pulled back from Twitter a bit, in part cause I just had a baby and in part because sometimes the drama is too much to deal with, but it’s of course amazing because I can get tidbits from all over the world. I’d say I end up at the Globe and Mail (which I also write for), Guardian, Boing Boing and Al Jazeera often enough to namecheck them. I follow individual journalists and people from all sorts of places–I’m really interested in @bintbattuta87‘s tweets about women in Saudi Arabia, and the discussions about how the ethics of journalism are evolving in the “digital age” on @Poynter. Oh, and there’s a forestry worker, @mckfor, that has taught me a lot about Ontario’s trees.

I also read Lainey Gossip at least a couple of times a week. She’s hilarious and makes me feel smart for caring about celebrity gossip. And I like looking at the complicated hairstyles at Refinery 29.

+2 If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?

I was really sad to leave Buenos Aires when I visited it…it’s architecturally gorgeous and it’s true, people outside of North America work to live, while we too often live to work.

+3 What’s your “plan B” if you need to spontaneously switch careers?

I sometimes wish I had become a dermatologist. Skin is so weird, and I can get obsessed with it.

+4 Most coveted superpower?


+5 Looking back, which moment in your career are you most proud of and why?

Probably having the guts to quit a staff editing job at Toronto Life to become a freelance writer. It was terrifying but I really enjoy the freedom of working with all sorts of publications and having the space to figure out my own particular voice.

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