Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One with the animals

Here's one of my recent stories from The Commercial Dispatch, the daily-except-Saturday newspaper where I'm working in Columbus, Miss. More on that later.

Kelly Tippet photo/Dispatch Staff

COLUMBUS, MISS.—Caring for a family of 300 isn't easy, especially when they act like a bunch of animals. But that's life for Kay McElroy. The 66-year-old is the owner of Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary.

Although Cedarhill was founded in 1990, the story really began a few years earlier. In 1987, McElroy read an advertisement in the newspaper for a six-month-old cougar cub. The seller wanted $1,000. Curious, she went to visit and found a malnourished animal in a small kennel intended for dogs. The man had been feeding the cub canned cat food from the grocery store, and McElroy could see its ribs. It had been passed around from owner to owner, and its paws were infected from someone's attempts to remove its claws. She offered the man a 1947 Farmall D tractor, but he was only interested in money. Two weeks later, however, he showed up at her house with a trailer for the tractor. The cougar was chained in the front seat of his truck.

Read more at The Commercial Dispatch.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

While I hop in the Delorean

I graduated.Oops. That's high school. Ah, here it is. Proof.

Now I'm out there in the hot workplace. In the words of talented children's author H.E. Hastings, "Leaving la-la-land."

In the spirit of all the recent unveilings (iOS 4, the iPhone 4, the Droid Incredible, the HTC EVO, the first private space orbit, the Good Men Project Magazine, etc.), allow me to unveil the refined focus of this blog.

I'm going to deviate slightly for the next few posts and take a more personal tone and touch on a few things going on in my world right now. This blog is still, as it always has been, more for me than anyone else, and its main purpose is to provide me with a way to produce content regularly.

I've wondered in the past if a writer revealing aspects of his or her personality is an effective way to establish a relationship with the audience and develop a sort of brand loyalty. It's now occurring to me, though, that perhaps maintaining an element of privacy is just as (or more) effective because it keeps the audience coming back and wanting more. But, since I'm more focused on creating a relationship with a prospective employer at this time, I'm going to let that whole debate slide for now.

So, here's what I hope this blog becomes:
  1. A way to develop voice.
  2. A medium to share what I'm curious about.
  3. Regular. (If I'm not writing for myself often, what the hell kind of writer am I?)
  4. Edited opinion.
  5. Concise.
In an effort to make sure I follow through with this whole "regular writing" idea, I'm going to address those new things in my life in separate posts. That'll also ensure this one doesn't wander on and on and on. Here's what can be expected over the next week or so:
  1. My latest job in Mississippi
  2. The plans for sethjputnam.com
  3. Thoughts on a daily media diet
  4. Thoughts on running without shoes
  5. Thoughts on life organization, material minimalism and personal inventories
Buuuut, it is my game, so I get to make the rules.