I got together with Jan and Jim Allen this past Saturday night—two good friends that I haven’t seen in some time.
We went to the Applebee’s in Western Hills and had a great time—and that’s all I’m going to say. Even as we were enjoying our meal and conversation, my mind was racing as to how to turn our visit together into a story.
My notes have been written. This will be a Living Out Loud column in CityBeat in the near future.
I can never quite turn it off—the writer in me. I’m always looking for something—words that are being said, something I’ve noticed about the people around me or taking notice of unfamiliar surroundings. I’m usually in search of something to put down on paper.
I feel very lucky to know Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Ford. A couple springs ago, he and his wife Kristina invited me to their home in East Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It was a small gathering of friends and college students. A catered meal was going to be served.
The idea was for me to simply go to this and not do any writing about it. I wanted to turn the writer in me off, at least for a few hours.
This lasted maybe 45 minutes. Very soon, I found myself with my reporter’s notebook out, talking to various guests, talking to Richard and Kristina and taking notes—actually a lot of notes.
I ended up writing a well received essay on my visit with the Fords called “Real People.” I’ve included it in my latest book.
So, I can never quite turn the writer in me off and at this point, don’t think I’ll even try.
While I’m not a religious man and don’t believe in heaven or a hell, I can’t help but wish that there would be a heaven. I would love to look down at people attending my funeral.
Of course, my reporter’s notebook would be right there with me.
(Photo from thejournalshop.com)