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Friday, January 09, 2009


Writing is More Than Words on a Page

Writing is more than words on a page. What I love is talking to new people and learning from them. I realize that I’m only learning a teeny, tiny bit of information about any given subject, but I find it interesting all the same. I also love finding out what makes people do what they do!

This week I have talked to several people from way different backgrounds, age groups and vastly different interests. They were all fascinating. I really cannot for the life of me say who the most interesting, fun was or even who was friendliest. But I will share some of the high points with you!

I interviewed a former rabbi and mother of 3 who has co-authored over 8 books written for kids 7-10. All the books involve the escapades of 4 time-travelling third graders who go back and talk to various historical figures and either dispels any discrepancies to their claims to fame or to convince them to stand pat to their coming monumental decisions so that history maintains its course. An example: since I was interviewing this lovely lady (and later her kids) for an article about a children’s angle on the upcoming inauguration, we talked about the parallels between Lincoln and Obama. Her book on Lincoln’s Legacy dealt with his wanting to quit fighting for the Emancipation Proclamation.

Heavy duty stuff-but Stacia Deutsch, two of her children and one of their friends reminded me that kids today really have a better understanding of politics that any of us give them credit for. I’m sure you’ve guessed I’ll be putting the link up here as soon as it hits the airways. So important is this story that my editor is putting it in the print edition as the lead story of the Life section on the 19th!

My favorite comment came from Jacob, her soon to be bar mitvah’d son-“Electing Obama means that anyone-no matter who they are, what faith they believe in, where there parents came from or the color of their skin can truly become anything they want to be”.

Next in line was a 67 year old neighbor of my sister. Gene Roberts has a titanium implant in his leg, he’s hard of hearing and he is both a very vibrant and shy man. I talked to him about his obsession: surfing and taking the disabled out into the ocean. He’s been doing this as often as he can for the last 9 or so years. He becomes so passionate when he talks about the joy he sees in the faces and eyes of those he takes out either on their own boards or his tandem surf rider that he made Miss Cautious here want to give it a try! He is going to be the subject of one of my city columns.

The very next day, I interviewed another very passionate woman who will be a subject of another city column-Kellie is an interior designer by trade, but her way of giving back to our community is by being a foster parent to dogs who would otherwise be euthanized. She is currently taking care of Lola, a two year old Chihuahua mix who gave birth to 4 (!!!) pups-the pups were all adopted, but poor Lola was so small and sick from caring for them after their owner abandoned her in an alley that no one wanted to adopt her. Kellie and the rescue ( came to Lola’s aid on the last day of the county shelter’s one month stay of execution. A woman after my own heart. However, I’m so much an animal lover, one of my questions to her was “How can you stand to give your foster pets up?”

With her voice choking with tears she told me it was some of the hardest choices she ever had to make and that every time they finally get adopted, she is so heartbroken that she just has to take several months to get over her grief over the loss.

While I may not be earning as much monetarily as when I was selling toilets and shower valves-I certainly feel that what I’m earning is far more interesting and emotionally satisfying.

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