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November 23, 2017: The Writing Life: Figuring it all Out

I have never before embarked on a project in which so much forethought and/or rehearsal was involved. Maybe I’ve just gotten more practiced at it. When you Come to a Fork in the Road is a challenging project. Every good piece of writing presents a problem to the writer. Maybe, just maybe, I have dealt with so many problems that I am feeling unfazed by the challenges this one is posing.

I have not done any journalistic work in some time, so interviewing people does makes me anxious. I worry about getting things right. I am countering this by working with those who contribute information and allowing them to read what I’ve written. This is a no-no in the

world of magazines and newspapers. This is a team effort, so I am sharing. If I was focusing on controversy, say the problem of co-mingling, that is the mixing of recyclables and non-recyclables, I would feel less willing to share what I am writing.

I also now have a writerly framework that is going to one that I going to hold up. My story line in Part I is dictated by my work days at the Fair. The accompanying interviews are directly related to what went on during my work day. Part II – the story line is dictated by where the non-recyclables and recyclables go.

I am the narrator, and as such, I have a story to tell. This story is the path of my thinking. Early on a literal fork in the road brings to mind the fact that I have come to a metaphorical fork in the road in terms of my writing career. In following the route of the recyclables, I pick up that metaphorical fork.

My voice is one of an individual who is curious about the Alaska State Fair and those who deal with recyclables. I have to strike a balance in providing technical and personal information. I am dealing with this to a large part by writing out technical details by hand. This then better enables me to understand them. I later go back and simplify. Umpteen pages of material are often condensed into a single sentence.

I’m also the sort of writer who needs a very close audience when working on a project. In this instance, I am relying heavily on two individuals who I am calling my guiding lights – Carole Henry who works at VCRS and Pamella Meekin who works at the Alaska State Fair office. I know that if I hit a stuck point, I can call on either one of them and they will give me an assist. It also helps that they are both very enthused about this project. And Mollie Boyer is an LED light in that she has a great deal of information to impart. And then there is Pete, who now that I think of it is also a guiding light. We usually have breakfast meetings in which we talk about what our plans for the day are. Lately, we’ve been talking about the ins and outs of recycling. I am blown away by the fact he knows so much.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for many things. But I will write about today, tomorrow.

Next: 325. 11/24/17: The Horse Life: On Horse Time

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