Small towns are great communities. They come together in times of trouble, disaster and death. Just like families.
So it was nearly 20 years ago when I lived in Rifle, Colorado, a city of around 6,000 people at the time. The night before Independence Day 2001, Rifle was rocked by the senseless shootings of seven Latino residents by a white man with a long history of mental illness. Four of the victims died.
Steven Michael Stagner, then 42, did not know any of his victims, who ranged in age from 17 to 44. The tragedy was national news for a while.
I was reminded of something that happened days later Continue reading “Small town values are what we need now”
Every writer has been told at least once to “write what you’re passionate about.” I guess I’ve always been somewhat of an exception to that advice, although not really intentionally.
Another piece of advice along the same lines is to develop a niche, something you know very well and have been able to write about successfully. Back in the day, natural gas development was one of my niches. Not really by choice. The newspaper I worked for at the time had the bureau I worked in right in the middle of intense gas drilling. It made sense to focus much of my efforts on that topic.
I don’t live in the same area and haven’t written about natural gas in many years. Maybe some people Continue reading “Getting to some important stories”
Detours. Roadblocks. Hurdles. Challenges. Life.
Whatever term you use, everyone has to deal with things that come up. A lot of times when they do, you have to slog through and continue to move in what you hope is a forward direction. But it can be hard.
I experienced — and am still experiencing — this over the last few months. My brother passed away in another state and I was appointed the personal representative to his estate. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve had to undertake, Continue reading “Battling back to my passion”
One of the things I’ve always tried to keep in mind as a journalist is the role the profession plays in recording history. That sounds a little high and mighty, doesn’t it? But in a lot of cases, it’s true.
News by definition is something out of the ordinary, the unexpected, the tragic. Yes, it can also mean something interesting without any of the more “hard news” aspects as a story. Feature stories fall into that category. Telling how something happened that may not have affected thousands or millions of people, the planet or any other species we share the earth with can still be important and worth reading.
I recently spent a lot of time looking back at some local history. Where I live on Colorado’s Front Range, Continue reading “History can be a blast”
There’s a lot to be said about doing what you love as your profession. Not everyone does just that or is lucky enough to find a way to make a little money as they progress through life by doing something that excites them and keeps them motivated.
I’ve been one of the lucky ones and I have been reminded of that fact many times in my life. Most recently, I had a little downtime in writing assignments. I used that time to do some personal organizing and downsizing, other activities I find I like and look forward to when I get the chance.
But two assignments since then reinforced my love for writing. The subjects are interesting and the people I interview and facts I research for the stories are Continue reading “Passion comes with doing what you love”