These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

girls, girls, girls

yesterday afernoon i had an assignment i first went to during my first year at the paper: Girls on the Run. i didn't attend last year. i believe beth walton covered it last year.

i forgot how tough it is for me to cover the event, which was held at holland municipal stadium. there are tons of little girls,mosty looking the same (small, ponytailed, dressed alike, talkative).

there were 700 thire-, fourth- and fifth-graders from area schools amassed on the football field. they were running, dancing, chatting.

my idea was focus on one girl and follow her along. good intention. good idea. but it's easier said than done.

with my eye sight, it was hard to find someone. they all looked the same. but i asked for help. i got me a coach and a little girl to help me out. i wrote the story around her. when it was time to follow her through the crowd as they ran off, i lost her. i had to wait until the little girl returned to talk with her.

it ws a little hard waiting for her. i kept thinking that perhaps i wouldn't be able to find her again. luckily the coach herded her over my way and i was able to extract more info. from her.

i stopped to chat with a few other girls, who were talkative. i got more stuff from them. then i had to rush out to write it. it was a simple task. and i liked the layout that went along with the story.

that was good after having had a bad thursday night at work. i had to write a story about two women who are connected by their cildren. one woman is mexican and the other is from laketown township. i tried for hours to write the story. i got up to 14 inches. then i cut it back down to 8. then i gave up.

i brought the laptop home, erased the entire story and started from scratch again. i had a much easier time getting through it. it turned out ok. i wasn't completely satisfied with it. i dunno. what i envisioned was not what came out on the page. i don't know why. that's the way some stories end up. it's too bad because i had higher hopes for the article. oh well.