Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inspired by My Small Town Newspaper - Thursday's Children


My small town newspaper is a gem. It comes out once a week and is always loaded with beauties. It's a wealth of name resources, story ideas, and weird trivia. For many years in the fall we'd have the photo of the "potato that looks like ___________ (insert random thing here)". There'd be the smiling face of some elder with a lumpy looking potato that rarely looked like the mysterious thing. (My favorite was potato in form of modern art!)

In hunting season there are pictures of young children proudly displaying their first kill. My favorite, though, was a picture an artist friend of mine sent in of a mouse he'd captured in his studio. He held it by the tail and wrote an article that matched the "young children kill large animals" articles, even going into detail about the type of mouse trap used to bag his game and how safe his wife now is.


Our letters to the editor page is always an eye-opener. There are the usual letter writers, far right and far left politically, and the maelstrom happening over whatever the current issue is either locally or nationally. It's hard to take either side seriously, though on occasion some new writer will lend their voice, inevitably making us all question "who are they?", "do we know them?"  Luckily our paper does not have the Rants & Raves column like the neighboring county's does. This anonymous column is kind of like a print version of Twitter for Haters (Rants), and the rare Complimenter (Raves). Shudder. They are always bashing the school system where I teach.

This is the image that's been inspiring me of late. It's one of those five-generation's photos. Aren't they beauts? Anyway, my next story is about a mountain crime family and because I haven't written a word yet I can't say more at this point. But I will say this photo is tacked to my story board. And it's taken on a whole life of its own. (And yes, I love Justified, and yes, I might be inspired a little by it)

And if you're a playlist person, here's the play list I'm currently listening to for it, keep in mind it's still a draft playlist - Alabama Chrome is the song that is setting the overall tone for me if you only have time for one song. I'm looking toward summer to start drafting.


Finally, don't forget to pop around and visit the other writers talking about what inspires them this week. You'll find the list HERE

23 comments:

  1. Hello! It's wonderful that you're finding inspiration right in your hometown. I love the heart shaped potato and hunting season pictures. I'm listening to Alabama Chrome as I write this. It does have a certain appeal. I like it.

    Good luck with your latest WIP. :)

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    1. Current hometown :0) - I can't claim to be a true Appalachian (and that's ok) - glad you like Alabama Chrome - that song totally got the feel for me.

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  2. Okay, that photo of the good ol' boys makes me think of "Deliverance" and banjo music. *shudders* Unfortunately our local paper has been all about the prostitution ring which has cast a pall of seediness over our quaint touristy little part of the world.

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    1. Well we had the child porn thing with the owner of our local hamburger grill a few weeks ago. It's ugly in all sorts of places.

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  3. I love small-town newspapers! When I was a teen, mine was almost infamous for its lack of editing. One of my friends and I would make a game of reading through it, trying to spot all the typos.

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    1. I worry my blog is like that too often!
      Our paper definitely fits that bill.

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  4. Oh yes, the "mountain crime family" gave me all the same feels as DELIVERANCE. Good job! And your town paper sounds really fun :) Great post!!

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    1. Yep, this won't be so much of a "get the tourists" story - and no squeal like a piggy for sure. Because the reality is, these folks are probably genuinely nice people, just living in poverty.

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  5. I'm with the others on the Deliverance feel. Sounds interesting!

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    1. Thanks Michaele. We'll see, still sorting out the structure I want to use.

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  6. I love the local paper too. Funniest thing I saw was a man who'd written a letter to the editor ranting about the way people were flaunting the give-way rules right outside out local police station. I read it three times because he took it upon himself to explain those rules in detail... and he had it wrong. (Bit like the person driving the wrong way down the motorway and complaining about all the other idiots).

    Great post.

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    1. That's great! Yep, we get those sorts of things on our editorial letters page.

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  7. Hehe. Your (current) hometown looks a lot like my (current) hometown. You're right. They're (we're) extremely nice people. :)

    Nice soundtrack. Very evocative. Oh, and THANK YOU for introducing me to Grooveshark a few posts ago. It's been lovely.

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    1. Isn't Grooveshark awesome? I know some people like Spotify better, but I'm happy with the shark!

      Now I'm curious about where you live!

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  8. Interesting!

    That paper seems like a gateway to all of the interesting people and stories that are happening in your town at any one time. Could almost be a weekly novel in and of itself.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the paper itself inspired a future novel from you! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I think you are perhaps intuitive John Krissilas ;0)

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  9. That is so cool :) Sounds like a true gem of a paper! Love the potatoes, haha!

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  10. I heard the banjo plunka-plunka as well. Great little newspaper, I'd say.

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  11. Your local paper is *much* better and far more interesting than mine! :)

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    1. Ha - well I suppose you could subscribe from afar :0)

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  12. Local newspapers are the best. China Daily has provided some of my best giggle material living in Beijing and Shanghai. It usually involves a chicken of some kind ;-)

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Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'