Former editor of Smile Politely, Lindsey Markel, has her hands in almost everything. She's a modern-day Renaissance woman. Her newest project called, You Are Among Friends, is a magazine to empower girls and young women alike. It can also be found as a free podcast featuring local musicians and thinkers.

So, here's to Lindsey and all the work she does. We miss you here at Smile Politely. Let us begin:

Name: Lindsey J. Markel Sparkle

Location: downtown Champaign, Ill.

Consumed by: words, dresses, summer, and all things creepy, pretty or hilarious.

You can catch me sitting at: my house, starstruck by the glow of my Macbook screen. As summer comes closer, the chances are upped that you can catch me sitting on my front porch, on the swing, starstruck by several beers.

Won't leave the house without: Burt's Bees, a tiny Moleskine, my cellular telephone and my keys, if I'm lucky.

During the summertime, I'm always looking forward to: scandalizing the locals at Spalding Pool. Open already! Also, Saturday morning trips to the Farmers Market. John Hoeffleur, upon seeing me on the street once, said "Shouldn't you be riding a bike to the Farmers Market right about now? With a puppy in the basket or some shit?" Verbatim. Anyway, guilty as charged.

When did you first start performing on the stage?: First grade, I played Jill (of Jack and Jill) in a wacky modern spin on classic nursery rhymes — Jill rode a Harley (red tricycle with sound effects) up the hill while wearing a tiny leather jacket. My mother had to take me home sick afterward because I was so shaken from the exertion of my premiere performance. I started at the Red Mask Theater in Danville shortly after that, in Hansel and Gretel.

What one role do you wish you could have?: I really don't approach it that way. When opportunities show up, and the role is something fun or challenging enough, I try to strike.

Can you tell us Volition's newest top secret project?: Sure, but I hope it doesn't affect the sales projections for "Saints Row 3: Why Don't We Just Stay in and Play Scrabble Tonight."

What are two things that Champaign-Urbana offers you that no other city does: The Station Theatre and Old Main Bookshoppe. Oh, and Exile on Main St. And the Farmers Market and Boneyard Arts Festival. The Great Cover-Up (my favorite). Mike & Molly's at 2 a.m. Oh, and Cafe Luna. Also, That's Rentertainment. And Pygmalion. West Side Park. The Blind Pig. WEFT. Brunch at Radio Maria. Is that two? Numbers aren't my thing.

If you had to save one building in C-U from being engulfed in flames, which building would you choose?: My home! Failing that, I'd settle for sleeping under my desk at Volition, a la Costanza.

Podcasts are: the future. An easy, cheap way to immediately and infectiously share information with a large group of people. Zines are: the embodiment of hands-on, empowering DIY culture. Think of something to say, pound it out with your own two hands and then pass it on.

My hope for You Are Among Friends is for it to be a lightbulb switching on for many secretly radiant girls, letting in a heap of assurance and encouragement despite the cloying self-doubt and second-guessing that often comes with adolescence and its aftermath.

A particular piece of C-U history that makes you nostalgic: I've only lived here for a little under four years, so there is much history to the cities that I'm ignorant about, but C-U is filled with nostalgic memories for me personally. One of my favorites has been watching Barack Obama being elected last fall, at Cowboy Monkey with a room full of both dear friends and total strangers. Everyone was crying and cheering and celebrating together; it was just wonderful.

A particular piece of C-U history that makes you nauseous: The infamous Night I Courted Whiskey of '06. "Night" will stay forever singular. Woof.

Lindsey Markel can be found behind the front desk at Volition, on the stage of The Station, in the crowd at a local music show and online at You Are Among Friends or her personal website.