"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bylined and sidelined

Yesterday marked the first birthday of my blog...and I didn't write!

When I started out, I had no idea where this was going, and then I learned  most blogs that are started just sort of evaporate for lack of continuity.

And I meant to write yesterday, for the 503rd post in the past 365 revolutions the earth has made in one trip around the sun.  But ironically, I was pooped. I'd been writing for a living.

Put out the word, "Will write for food." Given recent events, I'm trying to get money for bills for the summer when income may dry up. I've gone to work as a freelancer for the month at the Journal Record, the daily business newspaper of Oklahoma City.

I noticed they had a reporter's position open, and called the editor Ted Strueli; he hired me as a freelancer until their new hire shows up.

So yesterday, finding myself assigned energy and real estate, I scrambled to find my way to more than just the bathroom in the offices in downtown Oklahoma City. Before the day was done, I'd written a story about Chesapeake Energy's first quarter production update. The information was released at 3:35 after the stock market closed. My deadline was 5 p.m. By the time I got home about 6 p.m., I'd discovered two things, other than what "bcfe" and "mmcfe" meant. I can still report and write on deadline. And I'm pooped. So I forgot to blog, with the help of a "little something," as my friend Bob Illidge used to say.

Today, I turned out four pieces. My wife is laughing at me...now that I have to "work" for a living. I admit...being a professor is a good life. I have a renewed appreciation for journalists...most of these people are so young, but they're very good and professional, hour after hour, day after day, usually turning out at least two stories a day.

And now, as I sit down to blog, I can think back about how far this has come in a year. I never dreamed I'd be posting art, photography and more, including including long serialized narratives.

I've met lots of interesting fellow bloggers and readers. It's been a rich education in technology and ideas and people. One friend told me "I had my newspaper back," and the neat thing about this is that I can include more than I could with just black ink on newsprint. And then, to my satisfaction, I earned the best writing award in the statewide contest. It's still content!

Goals for the next year include improvement, technologically, including perhaps a web page set up. But most of all, I want more followers, regular readers...and perhaps another award.  It might happen, if my bylines as a freelancer don't sideline the blog.

"Still crazy after all these years."

1 comment:

  1. Terry,

    My son Kyle interned for The Journal Record this past spring. In my dream of dreams, it would have worked into something permanent. But, for a newbie, fresh-from-the-production-line writer, he was told to freelance. Maybe he will, until that first big novel gets published.

    I guess if 'you're still crazy', 'I'm still dreaming' -- after all these years.

    Congrats on your anniversary and the new job.

    Janell

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