I wish I was always this driven. I don’t know why but I feel like I’ve been a machine today. I sat down and cranked out the entire 44 inch Caleb hikes the Appalachian Trail story. In. One. Sitting. Now, that’s impressive. On top of that, I did an hour long accuracy check with Lauren to wrap up the Epic Mineral Beauty story and send it through to my editor. Fingers crossed the rest of my week goes this smoothly! I think after having such an awful October, I’m rediscovering why I love to write again. And it feels great. I have story subjects that interest me and people who truly make a human interest story. They are wonderful, friendly, lovable people who make writing about them so simple. I only wish this had happened earlier, but here’s to hoping it continues in the future.
I took a break over the weekend after spending all week running around doing interviews. You can’t really blame a girl. Anyway, this is just an update that I am in fact still on the face of the earth and planning on busting out two to three stories this week. My goal is to get as much as I can done before break so I can actually enjoy my week off in Florida (thank you mom & dad for being snow birds. I love you).
Here goes it.
I really don’t want to write about today. So here it is in bullet version.
- I set up ANOTHER interview with the pants lady for 4:00
- TRAX went down, deleted my photo request. So after one month of planning this photo shoot, I don’t have a photographer.
- Got there, did the interview and realized: This story really isn’t worth it.
- I just wasted a month trying to get this story to work but you know what, I don’t have enough “human interest” in this story. So it’s going to end up like a business ad and I don’t want to get in trouble for promotional writing.
- I’m tired and I have better things to do. Like three other great stories to finish instead of worrying about this one.
- Lesson: sometimes, you just have to let a story go. Not all of them work out.
Today’s Election Day! Woot! Unfortunately, my absentee form didn’t come in time so I can’t vote… but I made up for it by standing outside of Memorial Union polling from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in the pouring rain to get voter quotes for the Missourian. That’s patriotic right? Anyway, it was really fun being part of a national day and talking to people in the community about their opinions on the issues. I got a chance to talk with an election judge and write a little vignette on her. It felt awesome to be part of something, to join the nation and report on a political front. Although, I didn’t stay in the newsroom for the watch party, I did join some friends for a watch party of our own.
I was really lucky today with the photography department. I had set up an interview with Shelly, a chef who owns her own cooking class and catering company called Sorella Natural Foods tonight at 5:30. We were planning on taking photos of one of her in-home private cooking classes but alas her client declined… at the very last minute. In a rush, I asked the photography department if anyone would be available tonight to go with me to Shelly’s house and get photos of her cooking. Luckily, there was a photographer available, and one I know quite well. She and I drove out to Jeff City and watched Shelly cook one of her all-natural, vegan meals and even got to taste it too! Chefs have always been interesting subjects to be. It’s inspiring how creative they are with food and how they can mix combinations of different ingredients to come up with a new dish.
I had two stories published today: one for my beat, and one delayed one for breaking news.
Jazz pianist absorbs aural tradition, then passes it along — Jazz is a way of life for Zane Omohundro, whether he is composing pieces on a 1922 Steinway grand piano, teaching jazz improvisation or jamming with other musicians in Columbia. Omohundro works with advanced students to help them compose their own music through improvisation. When he’s not teaching, he participates in Jazz Jams, a community get-together where musicians from all over Columbia play improvisation jazz at Broadway Brewery.
Get Lost Bookshop owner returns to painting — Amy Stephenson has been painting for 21 years, but between her bookshop and her family, she didn’t have time to focus on her love of art. Now, Stephenson paints behind the counter in her bookshop and sells her portraits of families and pets online at Etsy.com.
I spent this past weekend in Kansas City, getting away from the world for a little bit and it was a fantastic break. But I left early today so I could meet up with Caleb at Khaldi’s at 5:15. Caleb is 23 and plans on hiking the Appalachian Trail starting in April. The over 2,000 mille trek from Georgia to Maine is going to take roughly five months. My interview with him went exactly how I wanted it to: it was casual, coffee conversation. I like these better because it’s not an awkward choppy interview. This way, they can openly talk to you and say what comes to mind — which usually produces the best quotes.
For instance, Caleb talked to me about the two must-haves for his trip: a journal and a camera. The journal was an Emerson and Thoreau inspiration to enjoy nature for it’s beauty and peace. Because of this, he’s considering leaving his cell phone behind and getting away from technology. He’s bringing his camera because he studied art and photography and loves to use the environment as a subject.
Today I had my second portfolio conference with my beat editor. October was a rough month between midterms and plain old exhaustion. But, I have four interviews set up next week and am getting the ball rolling on three major stories, so I’m feeling better about my progress. In the last few weeks of school I want to bust my butt and work as hard as I can. I started off strong, had a lull in the middle of the semester but am ready to crank it into gear. This is why we need a fall break, to get refreshed so Octoberitis doesn’t happen. Anyway, having the portfolio conference was a good wake-up call and motivation to try my hardest these past few weeks to make up for anything I might be behind in. Let’s see how this goes. Wish me luck! : )
There is an MU alum who works for Jetsetter, an online travel guide and membership website whom Liz mentioned her yesterday during my GA shift and showed me her Missourian bio as an example for me. I told her how working for a place like Jetsetter would be a dream and she said send me your resume and I’ll refer you to her.
I worked on updating my resume all night, even letting my roommate look it over (Steph, you’re the best!). I’m so excited to hear back from her and look into this awesome internship opportunity. Working for a travel company or publication has been a dream and to actually know someone in the industry is a blessing.
I am so glad I have gotten to know Liz, not just because of the doors she has opened for me but also because of everything I have learned from her. I think I know now what my main advice to younger grades is going to be when coming into the Missourian: get to know your editors. It may seem scary at first but don’t be afraid to mess up, they are there to help and they will teach you the most out of everyone and everything.
If you haven’t heard of Hurricane Sandy, you must live under a rock. During GA, everyone focused on localizing the storm. As Liz said, when a massive storm like this comes in, you start thinking about everyone who it affects. Even if the person is a friend of a friend of a sister’s brother’s wife. It doesn’t matter. But for me, I didn’t have to think of a friend I barely knew. I live outside of Boston and everyone I know is on the East Coast where Sandy is flooding, ripping and shredding up the coast.
While everyone else worked on localizing the storm, I picked today to work on an article about Amy Stephenson, the owner of Get Lost Bookstore downtown. She’s returning to painting by creating an Etsy.com profile. I spent the day talking with her in her shop and organizing with photo to get a shot of her. I am an art-lover so this story was very interesting and fun for me to write. The only thing is: I felt a bit bad writing about that story while everyone else was running around doing Sandy ho-haah. But part of me wouldn’t be able to focus if I were them because the whole time I’d be thinking about my own situation. I’m worried about my house and scared for my friends. While on lunch break, I watched a video from my local newspaper of all the trees down in my town and the rain pouring. I know I may have missed a reporting experience during a super-storm, but part of me feels like I would’ve been biased because I am so personally affected.