As of Thursday at noon, I submitted two stories that I worked on this week for the local newspaper here. Monday morning I went in to meet the head editor and she assigned me two pieces to work on. She gave me a sheet up paper that had all I needed to get started. Who to contact with phone numbers and questions to ask.
The idea is that depending on how well they are written, they will be published in the newspaper and a decision will be made to hire me.
The first of the two stories I worked on was an incredible one. I called the person that was listed on my outlined sheet and we talked for close to an hour. She helped publish a book with an old man in town, that is based on memoirs that the man’s older brother wrote in the early 1900s.
After I spoke with her, I did my best to write a story on it and emailed it to the editor. About an hour later she had a few suggestions for me to work on and also introduced the idea of me meeting the man in person to get a better report.
So we set up a meeting that afternoon at a local church. This guy is 90 years old and back in 1986 (four years after his brother’s death. And before I was even born) his brother’s wife gave him a stack up papers that amounted to memoirs that were written early in his brother’s life. Well he’s basically been sitting on them for years and somewhat recently decided to get them published.
What I found fascinating was that, the sheet that I was given in the beginning with my lead for the story. Whoever put it together for me didn’t really know who wrote the book, how it came about and what it was about. For me not really knowing any historical background of where I’m living, I felt like I uncovered a hidden gem of this story that took place at the turn of the twentieth century. And the old man gave me his incredible history lesson of this area, spitting out names and occurrences like it all happened yesterday for him.
For my first assignment, this was really cool. I completely rewrote this one and felt like I turned what was probably a solid 4 for my first draft into a 9 or 10. This was the better of the two stories and I feel that if either of them get published, it’s this one.
The other one, I wrote about the cross country ski trails just outside of town. I spoke with the head of the Nordic ski club here and he gave me the run down of all the places that the club maintains. This one, in my opinion, is up in the air. I think it was better than the first draft of the other story, but definitely not as great as my final submission.
But we shall see. I spent the rest of Thursday and all of Friday patiently waiting to hear back. Just as I was leaving to go out to dinner Friday evening, I got an email saying that my stories will be looked over this weekend and I will find out sometime Monday what the final verdict will be…
As I write this, frost is collecting around the frame of my window and the wind is howling. Snow flurries have dusted the town over the past few hours.
The weather this past week has been perfect for running. Everyday I ran I was in shorts and a t-shirt. The rest of the days I spent in my usually attire, flip flops and shorts. Even though I was constantly getting weird looks and people asking what I was thinking. But mid fifties is paradise for me.
Last night’s cold air decided to stick around and inhabit for what looks like the coming week. Today’s run was a battle of fierce head winds, and a biting chill that stung the ears and dried the Vaseline I applied to my lips before leaving. It was a short run but it started to get me accustomed to what a real winter will feel like compared to the Deep South, where I am from.
This lead to a relaxing day in a warm bed spent alternating between reading Twenty-Four Years To Boston by Jim Brennan and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. When I would come to the end of a chapter or a page break my eyes would wonder to the tv I left on with some of my favorite childhood movies playing throughout the day, Stand By Me and The Goonies.
The run today was a much needed recovery run. I took two Insanity classes at the YMCA in town this week. They luckily only offer two a week, otherwise I’m sure my ego would have taken the bait and tried to push myself to doing more. Two was plenty. Surprisingly the most sore muscles are my calves, I guess from all of the plyometrics the instructor had us doing.
And by “us” I mean me and one other guy. That’s small town for you. If you don’t know what Insanity is, just think of it as a really intense core class at a fast pace with barely any rest breaks. The class I am taking is 30 minutes long which I believe is normal.
From the beginning to about halfway in the classes I’ve been in, I thinking I got this. This ain’t too bad. Then by the end, with five minutes to go, I’m sweat drenched, red faced and gasping for air feeling like I can’t make it to the end. By the time I’m home all I want to do is take a shower, which is difficult in itself because your arms are way to tired to life up to shampoo your hair, and then just face plant into my pillow.
Now, as the day and the weekend come to a close, I’m about to open back up the books I was enjoying today. Hoping my work from this week pays off with good news tomorrow.