By the time there was a decision for me to make about leaving news, my mind had been made up for months.
On March 17, I’ll report to a 20th-floor office in downtown Atlanta, start my career in public relations, and leave a whole life behind. It’s completely what I want and there’s no part of me that wants to stay. I wouldn’t be doing it if that wasn’t true.
I started my first post-grad job a little over a year ago in small-town, print-over-breakfast news. When I started, I thought it was going to be forever. Not the News-Topic, not Lenoir, maybe not even newspapers, but I defined myself as a journalist. Completely.
I first read Allyson Bird’s “Why I Left News” sitting in the office late at night. “I finally came to accept that the vanity of a byline was keeping me in a job that left me physically and emotionally exhausted, yet supremely unsatisfied…” Continue reading
I’ve written these before, but it’s always worth doing again (and again, and again, and again). I’m also grateful that everyone who reads this is going to forgive me for ending the title of this post with a preposition.
So. I am grateful for… Continue reading
I’ve written about this a little before but, when my dad was teaching me how to drive, he repeated one phrase over and over: Little adjustments, he’d say. Just little adjustments.
It was like a mantra he needed to keep himself from grabbing the wheel and returning it to the hands of a licensed driver. Little adjustments. He meant that turning wasn’t a matter of flipping the entire wheel over itself, but I’ve thought of the phrase ever since as a good piece of advice for living, not just driving a car.
There is no such thing as overhauling your life in one giant push of effort, no such thing as a smooth, consistent journey toward whatever goal you’re reaching.
You keep going. You stumble. You walk ten miles and fall 15 back.
But you keep walking, you keep learning and hurting and pushing and being alive. You keep stumbling forward, making little adjustments along the way.
This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.
In a classroom-style building tucked into the corner of one of the old Shuford Mills buildings, all chipping paint on brick walls, 10 sixth-graders from Granite Falls Middle School wearing safety glasses put parts and pieces together, making robots.
The students spent their half-day on Friday making what they called eggbots — basically, robots capable of drawing on spherical surfaces the size of eggs — at Foothills Community Workshop. In this case, the spherical surface used was ping-pong ball.
Each eggbot can be connected to a computer and is driven by two motors — one that turns the ball (or egg) back and forth, and one that moves an attached pen across the ball’s surface. The machines can take any design made in a drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator — or Inkscape, an open-source version that the Foothills Community Workshop folks like to use — and recreate it on the surface of a spherical object. Continue reading
This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.
A 10-year-old boy crafts bird feeders out of peanut butter, birdseed and bagels. A cancer survivor plans a yearly golf tournament. A teacher creates handmade coasters.
And it’s all done with one thing in mind: a cure for cancer.
In Caldwell County and elsewhere, most people experience one night of Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s primary fundraiser. But that night of walking and camping out around a track is the culmination of months of fundraising.
“We Relay all year,” volunteer Christina McLean said. “We’re thinking and trying to do something all year long.” Continue reading
These are the words I’ve got scrawled on sticky notes on my bedroom wall, propped up around my desk at work and (in some cases) committed to memory, all on standby for the times when I forget why all this clicking and scrawling and immersion in words is worthwhile. I thought they might inspire you as well.
The passing of years is insignificant in the world of real things, a creation of structure-craving humans who invent calendars and mark the ripping of pages in an effort to pretend the real change doesn’t happen in minutes, doesn’t take us by surprise.
There’s plenty I’d like to change about my life as 2013 staggers to a close, and I will probably try to catch it in words and lists, but I want to remember, too, that all the best things in my life have been unplanned. Continue reading
I still have some thinking to do about my broader goals for the new year, but here’s a collection of writing-related things I’d like to start (and stop) doing in 2014.
1. No more stale phrases. No more headlines with the exact same inverted, counterfeit-New York Times structure. Find a new way to say it.
2. Stop bogging down anecdotal leads with too much who, what, when, where and why. Become comfortable with saying it later and letting them wonder for a graf or two.
3. Enter more situations that make me uncomfortable, for the purpose of writing about them.
4. Write less emails, make more phone calls, knock on many more doors. Continue reading
Here’s a quick list of what I read today and where I found it:
- A New York Magazine story on New York City’s soon-to-be-named schools chancellor, linked in an email newsletter on education
- A story about the “sriracha-pocalypse,” posted on Facebook by The Atlantic Cities’ social-media staff
- A collection of writers-on-writing anecdotes in The Atlantic, Tweeted by a journalist I follow
- A Nieman lab roundup of predictions for media in 2014, ditto
- A Salon piece, also writers-on-writing, one I’d posted a year ago that resurfaced in my daily Timehop update
- Four local stories in the newspaper I work for, accessed through our online e-edition
I went to no home pages except for my employer’s. Everything else surfaced, randomly, on social sites and apps. Continue reading