I recently sent an email to my local newspaper editor. In it, I apologized for a few small errors that I’d made in some articles I’d written for him. The articles were about local businesses that will be showcased at a local Home and Garden Show this weekend. They went to print this past Monday, and a few of the business owners were not happy with what I had written.
As I mentioned in a previous post, although I knew I’d done a good job (the editor published my articles almost exactly as I had written them), I was devastated by the negative feedback. I knew I needed to develop thicker skin, but my mistakes, especially the preventable ones, really bothered me.
Tonight, the editor wrote back. This is what he said: Continue reading →
I cried yesterday. I never cry.
Because of the weird way in which my local paper works (it’s a tiny paper), content I write often appears online before it appears in the printed edition. This can be both good and bad. It is good when I am eager to see what the editor has done with my work—usually he changes very little, of which I am proud. It is bad, however, when I have made a mistake and someone catches it, but, alas, it is too late to make changes before the article goes to print.
That is what happened this weekend. Continue reading →
I often stop and think
standing in a crowd,
when nothing seems in sync,
everything, just loud.
When everyone is talking—
nothing’s being said.
When everyone is moving—
pieces being led.
When light is eery shading:
scenes are black and white.
Familiar faces fading;
distant, lost from sight.
Yup, I don’t belong here,
anyone can see.
If only . . . Never mind, dear.
Time for me to flee.
View of the school from our office.
I was forgetting something. What was I forgetting? This was important. But . . . Ohhhh. Sigh. The others were waiting for me. I’d already kept them too long. Forget it.
I grabbed my stuff off of my desk—including the portable heater and laundry bag I carried back and forth and back and forth between work and home—and ran out the door, down the cement stairs, over the wet tile, past the sewer vents, through the mud, to the van. I could tell the others were annoyed. “I’m sorry, guys!” I said as soon as I’d slid the sliding door shut. No one said anything. Suddenly I realized why. It was my turn to drive. “Oh, sorry.”
I fumbled for my keys in my purse and moved to the drivers’ seat. The gray sky began to cry as I drove down the hill. It was just as well. The pitter patter was soothing. No one felt like talking. Continue reading →
My sophomore year of high school, about six months before I got my driver’s license. My then boyfriend (a wise-beyond-his-years 17-year-old) was driving my little brother and I home from school. School let out early on Fridays. It was a beautiful day—a perfect day for ice cream.
“Mmm, that looks good. What kind is that?”
“Gold medal ribbon—duhhh!” grinned 13-year-old Derek. Chocolate ice cream was dripping from his cone all over his hand.
“I should have guessed,” I laughed.
“What kind did you get?” my boyfriend asked, grabbing a chair in the sun. He had a strawberry cone.
“Peach.” I winked.
Image: Jason Hunt (Pinterest)
Suddenly, we were distracted. A large group of motorcyclists had just roared into the parking lot. They were dismounting their bikes and walking heavily—clunk, clunk, clunk—towards our pleasant spot in the sun. Apparently they thought it was a good day for ice cream, too.
As they approached, I saw black leather and shiny boots. Their bronzed skin boasted jagged skulls and barbed wire and other fading tattoos. Their vests said “Hell’s Angels.” They smelled funny.
I wrinkled my nose.
“Don’t be rude, Jess!” hissed my boyfriend after the men had tromped into the store.
“I’m not!” I protested, but he cut me off. Continue reading →