Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Beat the press

August 23, 2013

Carol  award cropped (757x800)I was pleased to accept the 2012 Jacqueline Jackson Award for Creative Non Fiction on July 14, 2013, in Springfield, Illinois. This annual award is presented by the University of Illinois/Springfield Alumni Writers Collective. I was unable to clearly hear what the award was really for, but today I received the hard copy:

“[This award] is a recognition of courage in the face of the blank page; the victory in filling it with words; the wisdom of crossing most of them out; the tenacity of refilling the page; the humor and madness that is writing; the luck that conjures and cajoles the story, the essay, the memoir, the poem, or something else; and the love that is sharing it with others.”

I also received a newspaper clipping about the award that stated I spent “twenty heartbreaking years in Haiti and a few in Italy.” Now, if a news story can get away with such fiction, why did I have to promise a gathering of my peers and my sister and grandson to “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”?

The facts are I spent twenty plus years writing about poverty; and as heartbreaking as trips to developing countries are, I wrote most of the stuff in a first world office while living right here in Chicagoland with “we deliver” restaurants on speed dial.

Facts aside, here’s a factoid: even a week in Haiti will break your heart for the next twenty years. The journalist who got it wrong, also got it right.



March 6, 2010

The Daily WORD is JOBLER

Another word with a lifetime of under a year. Its gravestone reads 1662-1662. It failed to thrive because of its definition: one who does small jobs. Yesteryear, as today, no one admits to performing a “small” job. When I clean the kitchen floor, I am not a jobler; I am a martyr. When I weed the herb garden, I am not a jobler; I am a grumbler. When I vacuum, I am not a jobler; I am a bitch.

The jobler concept comes into play when dealing with people who abuse writers (PWAWs). PWAWs describe their joblets as laughably small, requiring the skill level of a baboon, thus commanding the salary of zero, but YOU WILL SEE YOUR NAME IN PRINT.

(excuse me while I inhale glue to recover from all the excitement)

As a writer, I am happy to be a jobler, as long as my name in print is on a check that does not bounce. I enjoy small writing jobs. Yes, I am a jolly jobler, but if any more PWAWs ask me to give away my writing so I can SEE MY NAME IN PRINT, be warned. You will SEE YOUR NAME IN PRINT along with insults in five languages all the way from my little blog to the farthest reaches of the World Wide Web.

Pro bono work does not apply to my rant. I am happy to do small writing jobs for no charge for causes I care about. In these cases, I do not want to see my name in print. It is not a modesty issue; it is pride. By the time my pro bono work is edited by earnest charity folks who got an A in English Composition, it sometimes reads like it was written by a baboon.  And, that is okay. If they are happy, I am happy – as long as I don’t see my name in print.

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