extra column

No not an extra column, we are setting out on vacation and I wrote my column for Jan. 12 to submit before I left. Besides, these two sort of went together in my thinking.

I have a third column waiting for the next time I have a “can’t think of a thing” time.

This writing something every week takes a constant vigilance for story ideas, then jot them down before I forget.

Other things I do here at the News-Times: every week of the school year, I prepare a special education section. Right now it is six pages. The Mini-Page and then five pages of local students doing something at school. 99 percent of this is submitted by the schools to let us know which of their students won at an academic contest. No sports – as a general rule, we had 3 men who work at covering local athletic events.

To do that, I have to scan pictures, resize, tone and tweak pictures. Enter and/or edit the cutlines for the pictures and any real story that might come along with it. Lay-out the pages, find a local teacher for “Meet the teacher” and gather up the weekly menus to type in and include in the school section.

It really is at least one day of laying out pages and another day of preparing text and copy.

Other than that I contribute to the office miscellaneous: typing in names of birthday and anniversaries for the day (our newspaper publishes a daily “Have a happy …”) typing in club news, birth announcements and military news. Plus type up PSAs (public service announcements) about bake sales, farm funds need to be applied for, community events.

Sometimes they also keep me busy working on special sections, writing stories about the topic of the section and interviewing folks for the section. Once in a while, I cover a local civic board or write a feature story for the paper.

And always, I peck away at ideas for a weekly column.
So enjoy the bonus, cause I’m skipping next week.