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Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Never Too Late To Explore New Horizons

It's been almost two years since the opportunity was made by The News Tribune for readers to blog at "In Your Neighborhood". Prior to that opportunity I was only vaguely aware of what has now become for me - the blogging universe, and it's difficult to remember on some days how life managed to be in those days before I got most all of my news online.

So it was with a great deal of interest that I read about the exploits of a fellow Washington State blogger by the name of Lorrene Lemaster, 80, whose story was profiled in a story by Pat Muir, at the Yakima Herald Republic and then picked up by the Seattle Times ("Yakima grandma is a rarity - a blogging octogenarian", Sunday, December 28, 2008).

According to Muir, Lemaster credits "letter how she developed the style, pacing and tone that make her blog so hard to stop reading." After reading this, I stopped briefly to weigh this bit of reasoning on my own and realized that for me it makes all the sense in the world.

But this also brought a thought to mind that this question of what skills we had prior to coming to this reader site played the largest or greatest role in what has come to be our regular output. So I'd like to take this moment to bounce this idea off my colleagues on the blog. So what do you all think?

Additionally were there any other factors that led you to take up blogging for the newspaper, rather than at a later date, or independently, or at yet another site, etc. Of course, if you haven't had the pleasure of doing so (readers as well as on-site bloggers), I'd encourage you to check out Lemaster's blog by clicking the link right here.


Stephanie Frieze said...

I believe that the TNT invited me to blog because they were tired of getting my letters-to-the-editor, which I still occasionally write.

A life-long letter writer, email and computers have certainly saved my hands. My bestfriend and I used to write weekly letters to one another. Now we email almost daily, but we still write in the letter style we learned in school and from our mothers. As an educator of sorts, I know it is difficult to get young people to use grammatically correct English because they want to write the way they text. I believe that if nothing else, our blog preserves English skills.

That said, allow me to say, OMG! Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me Lorrene Lemaster! What a joyful gift to start a New Year!

Kim Thompson said...

Hi Mizu:

I starting blogging here for three reasons. One, history. My grandpa was a copy editor at the TNT before he died and a lifelong newspaperman. So, my family has a great deal of loyalty to the paper.

Also, I am fiercely loyal to Tacoma, my hometown. I really and deeply feel that the city has really done some wonderful things and I am very proud to be a citizen here again. This space gives me the chance highlight what I believe in and show civic pride.

Lastly, I love the personal essay style of writing. I adore it. This blog gives me good practice in doing the writing that I love. Plus it gave me the springboard and confidence to do Gritty City Woman (more edgy) which I really care about too!


Lorraine Hart said...

A conversational style definitely get honed over years of letter-writing, especially when corresponding with good writers who pull you to stretch.

We were a generation on the move, so we used to open letters with descriptions of where we were, who or what might be in the picture...trying to bring the recipient to our side and scenery for the stories we wished to tell.

You know I love the wildness of where I live and always wish to share this peace and balance.

The start of the IYN Blog at the TNT was perfectly timed for me. I wanted to exercise and test my writing in a more public what turned out to be a wonderfully supportive and diverse community. I'm home-bound a lot of the time, due to caregiving, and writing on this blog feels like it brings me to town, so to speak.

If you're a writer, you're just not living unless the words are dancing, live across the page...wherever, however, whatever. You'll take every opportunity you can.