Start now to craft fresh, unorthodox election questions

Start now to craft fresh, unorthodox election questions Published April 4, 2024 By Jim Pumarlo, Newspaper Consultant Attention newsrooms: It’s time to get serious about 2024 elections coverage. I hear the collective groan. The reaction is likely shaded by the strident national contests and their seemingly never-ending campaign cycles.Community newspapers...

Predicting The Weather

Predicting The Weather Tom Poland Posted 3/8/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSeems the TV weather guys get it wrong more often than right. Nor do they predict the same forecast. As one fellow put it, “If you don’t like the weather forecast, try another station.”I bring up radar of the Southeast...

Put a stop to workplace silos

Put a stop to workplace silos By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Jim, who used to work with a local volunteer fire department, told me about the technique they used to keep everyone on the right roads to arrive at fire sites. “It was in the days before GPS,” he said....

Mystery Plant! #756

Mystery Plant! #756 John Nelson Posted 1/3/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhen clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;                When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand.                                                Shakespeare, Richard III: II, 3. Can we talk about leaves?Your botany professor probably waxed on and on about leaves, and how important they are for...

What does standing for God mean to you?

Living on Purpose: What does standing for God mean to you? Dr. William Holland Posted 1/3/24By Dr. William HollandIt’s the New Year and everyone is celebrating a fresh start and making resolutions. However, simply wishing that our lives would change for the better, is nothing more than a fantasy or...

Running With Ghosts

Running With Ghosts Tom Poland Posted 1/3/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI dreamed I was in a football game again. Then I awoke. Such disappointment. Other than playing in a game again, the next best thing would be watching my old game films, an impossibility. Properly stored 16mm film can last...

The Light Dessert

The Light Dessert Aïda Rogers Posted 1/3/24By Aïda Rogersaidarogers27@gmail.comThe request seemed simple enough. “A light dessert,” my neighbor Sharon texted. She’d invited us for a soup supper just before Christmas. Always happy to be invited, we accepted, and I’d asked the requisite question of what I could bring. “A light dessert”...

Mystery Plant! #755

Mystery Plant! #755 John Nelson Posted 12/28/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI remember several years ago listening on the radio in my car…YES, the RADIO… to a public interest story about the benefits of eating compost: fresh, warm  compost, straight from the garden, so full of healthful benefits, including a variety of useful...

A Way To Receive And Give Back

A Way To Receive And Give Back Tom Poland Posted 12/20/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netYou reach a point in life where you look backwards a lot. I recall my days studying Journalism at the University of Georgia. Turns out I chose the wrong discipline. I should have chosen Editorial but...

Mystery Plant! #754

Mystery Plant! #754 John Nelson Posted 12/20/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAs of the writing of this essay it is not quite winter, at least on the calendar, but it’s cold, for me anyway. No more flowers to enjoy…well, not that many. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons for taking a walk in...

The Golden Gloved Artist

The Golden Gloved Artist Tom Poland Posted 12/18/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDuring my not quite 10 years at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources I worked among talented illustrators, filmmakers, designers, photographers, and artists. I watched as they used pen and ink, paper, raw film, non-photo blue pencils and...

Understanding why we need a Savior

Living on Purpose: Understanding why we need a Savior Dr. William Holland Posted 12/18/23By Dr. William HollandThe author of this story is unknown and it has been told by many people throughout the years. The gentleman to whom I’m going to introduce was not a scrooge, but a kind, decent...

Court Gag Orders Are Serious Business

Court Gag Orders Are Serious Business Published December 2023 By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications There has been a lot of court action recently on “gag orders” that courts hearing some of the civil and criminal cases against ex-president Donald Trump have issued that limit...

There’s Just Something About A Barn

There’s Just Something About A Barn Tom Poland Posted 12/12/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOn Highway 378 between Lincolnton and Washington, Georgia, stands a barn. I say a barn. It’s a home built to look like a barn. Or maybe it’s a barn converted into a home. I’m just not sure,...

Know when to stop talking

Know when to stop talking By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Jonathan told me about his friend Dave’s sports car. They rode around in it in high school, and although it was old even then, they loved the car and didn’t let its mechanical eccentricities bother them. Through the years, after...

Mystery Plant! #752

Mystery Plant! #752 John Nelson Posted 12/6/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comOne of the nice things about moving to a new neighborhood, like we did recently, is taking new walking adventures. There’s always something to see: maybe a hidden garden behind someone’s house, or maybe a winter-time water feature, complete with late season...

Tune up your eyes & ears

Tune up your eyes & ears By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach I used to assign rookie reporters to interview mayors and police chiefs and others who might be newsworthy. Before they left, we discussed issues that might make a news story and their questions that needed answers.When they returned, I asked...

Mystery Plant! #751

Mystery Plant! #751 John Nelson Posted 11/29/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIt's a member of the tomato family, and it doesn't matter which way you pronounce it. The tomato family is also quite properly referred to as the potato family, as well, and again, don't worry about pronunciation. The take-home here is that...

Feathers Fit For A King

Feathers Fit For A King Tom Poland Posted 11/29/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI wanted to hunt birds when a boy. Problem was no one would take me hunting. Dad tried but hunting wasn’t in his blood. And so my hunting adventures lay between the covers of magazines and books where...

Capture A Country Store Christmas Feeling

Capture A Country Store Christmas Feeling Tom Poland Posted 11/27/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSigning back-road books at Mast General has become a tradition. For four Christmases now, I’ve signed books at Columbia’s Mast General. This Christmas makes five. This store, rich with memories, is down on Main Street, as Bob...

Mystery Plant! #750

Mystery Plant! #750 John Nelson Posted 11/22/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAn oak tree is just an acorn’s way of making more acorns.                                                            --an old sayingAll of the 400 or so species of oaks in the world belong to the genus Quercus, and North Americans are blessed with about 100 of them. You...

One View, Two Civilizations

One View, Two Civilizations Tom Poland Posted 11/22/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOn a November Saturday, I drove to the geographic heart of Georgia. The cool breath of autumn and a blue-sky day had pulled people outdoors. I rolled past yard sales and a classic car show into my first stop:...

The Luck Of The Draw

The Luck Of The Draw Tom Poland Posted 11/20/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDecember 1, 1969, was no ordinary Monday. It was a day when your birthday was your destiny. In Athens, Georgia’s Benton Apartments my roommates and I were glued to the TV. CBS correspondent, Roger Mudd (His name really...

Mystery Plant! #749

Mystery Plant! #749 John Nelson Posted 11/20/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comThe other day I was getting a bit philosophical…or at least introspective, I suppose, thinking about how things change, especially people. Can it be that during our lifetimes, each of us goes through a number of identities as we age? Well, sure....

Does Using Personal Devices Foil FOIA?

Does Using Personal Devices Foil FOIA? Published November 2023 By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications Most of us use our cellphones and other portable devices for a wide variety of purposes each day, such as accessing news and information, checking our e-mail and social media,...

Ordering Please, One Big Boy

Ordering Please, One Big Boy Tom Poland Posted 11/8/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDaddy set me straight. “If you want some spending money, get a job.” Thus did I work two jobs while going through college at Georgia. I delivered flowers for Carolyn’s Flowers, where I learned a bit about that...

Mystery Plant! #748

Mystery Plant! #748 John Nelson Posted 11/8/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comDuring my first semester in college, a few years back, I had a class every Saturday (true!) at 8 AM. It was a real ordeal getting there on time, and fortunately, I think, we don't have things scheduled that way now. But...

Folk Artist Leonard Jones—Giving Old Tin New Life

Folk Artist Leonard Jones—Giving Old Tin New Life Tom Poland Posted 11/8/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDuring my school days the yellow bus rolled me past chicken houses. In 1972, when I taught creative writing in Lincolnton, Georgia, I’d pass those houses each day on the way to class. At the...

Sustaining Rural Journalism

INTO THE ISSUES Sustaining Rural Journalism Published Nov. 8, 2023 By Al Cross Nonprofit newspaper journalism, until now largely a feature of urban areas, is going rural – especially if the National Trust for Local News keeps up what it’s doing and plans to do.“By December, we will be the...

Mystery Plant! #747

Mystery Plant! #747 John Nelson Posted 11/1/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI knew it would happen: it’s gotten cold here in central South Carolina, definitely sweater-weather, at least on these brilliant, clear mornings. I managed to get in one more botany field trip last week just before it got chilly. You might say...

Clawfoot Tubs Hold Memories

Clawfoot Tubs Hold Memories Tom Poland Posted 11/1/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWhen I see a clawfoot tub, which is rare, four memories surface. First, I go back to my grandfather’s old homeplace. Next I go back to an abandoned home once magnificent. Then I go back to a farm in...

Is it true we can live in peace?

Living on Purpose: Is it true we can live in peace? Dr. William Holland Posted 10/30/23By Dr. William HollandHave you considered that worry and anxiety is an issue we can control? Many within the medical world agree that stress is not a lurking monster that forces us to be afraid,...

Write your stories in your head

Write your stories in your head By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach I’ve spent much of my life writing about people caught up in perilous and life-threatening situations. Driving to the office from an accident, fire, court house or other location, I would write a provocative, short, five- or six-word headline...

Ageratum, Wood, & Water

Ageratum, Wood, & Water Tom Poland Posted 10/25/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOn a Sunday walk I spotted a splash of blue. Blue wildflowers. They say blue flowers are sometimes difficult to grow in gardens. “They say.” That was Dad’s go-to validation when he shared news back home. He’d come in...

Mystery Plant! #746

Mystery Plant! #746 John Nelson Posted 10/25/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIt would not be exaggerating to say that grasses are the most important plants, economically, in the world. For one thing, it turns out that every major civilization has depended upon one (or more) grass species as a major food source. (Consider...

The greatest love ever known

Living on Purpose: The greatest love ever known Dr. William Holland Posted 10/23/23By Dr. William HollandI stumbled upon this story a while back that has been retold many times, and as I read it again recently, it caused me to think about God’s love which cannot be measured or fully...

Treasure hunt for ad ideas

Treasure hunt for ad ideas By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Some years ago, I attended an exhibit of treasure from the Atocha shipwreck which treasure hunter Mel Fisher had located off the coast of Florida. The Atocha was the most famous ship in the Spanish fleet that sank in 1622...

Conifers’ Fragrant Pull On Memory

Conifers’ Fragrant Pull On Memory Tom Poland Posted 10/20/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI read that fragrances stimulate recall more so than any other sense. I knew from experience that it had to be true. You and I, we’re scentimental creatures … See what I did there? Think about your favorite...

Oops, They Did it Again….

Oops, They Did it Again…. Published October 2023 By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications Just over five weeks after all five justices of the South Carolina Supreme Court issued resounding statements on the importance of open court proceedings—even if they differed on the consequences of...

Workplace Friends Best Come Naturally

Workplace Friends Best Come Naturally Tom Poland Posted 10/18/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI stumbled across an old magazine feature of mine and it made me recall stops I’d made along that long, winding road called “Career.” Some memories were good; some not so great. Let’s be honest. Is there anyplace...

Mystery Plant! #745

Mystery Plant! #745 John Nelson Posted 10/18/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comThey are Brussels sprouts, obviously…but what the heck are they actually? Today, you learn.You also learn that Brussels sprouts and cooked carrots were my most hated foods, as a kid. I believe that I can speak for many thousands of former children...

Good sons, good daughters

Everything and Nothing: Good sons, good daughters Aïda Rogers Posted 10/16/23By Aïda RogersThe news came as it usually does these days – by text. Ben, my sister’s classmate since kindergarten, wanted us to know his mother, Cynthia, had been diagnosed with a fast-moving cancer. Could she visit our mother tomorrow? Our...

Like A Scene From An Old Western

Like A Scene From An Old Western Tom Poland Posted 10/16/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIt was 1985 when I spent three days in Reno. I didn’t shoot a man just to watch him die, Johnny, but I conjured up images of Old West gunslingers. And when I drove from Reno...

We cannot share what we do not have

Living on Purpose: We cannot share what we do not have Dr. William Holland Posted 10/16/23By Dr. William HollandRecently, I spoke about a wonderful man who is a member of our church, and if you recall he just turned 95 years young. His name is Charlie and since then I’ve...

Your Special Tree

Your Special Tree Tom Poland Posted 10/13/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.net When I was a boy, come Thanksgiving, we observed a tradition that’s decidedly different today. Dad would mix some two-cycle gas, sharpen and oil the saw chain, and we’d scour woodlands and pasture edges looking for a red cedar....

Mystery Plant! #744

Mystery Plant! #744 John Nelson Posted 10/11/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com Most of us have been thinking that this past summer was really long, hot one. Then they say that this has been the hottest year on record, temperature-wise. This climate change business has very important effects on our local plant life,...

My Father’s Razor

My Father's Razor Tom Poland Posted 10/4/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netNovember 15 my father will have been gone twenty years. Twenty years. Seems like yesterday when he lay in a bed at MUSC in Charleston. Seems like last night we were back home changing out his pajamas during all those...

Letting go of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul

Living on Purpose: Letting go of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul Dr. William Holland Posted 10/2/23By Dr. William HollandI dedicate much of my writing to providing positive and encouraging words of hope and inspiration, but I also must be truthful, we are growing older. I apologize for reminding us about that,...

Mystery Plant! #743

Mystery Plant! #743 John Nelson Posted 9/27/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comFrequently the leaves and stems of a plant will prove to be just as fascinating as its flowers. This is a plant like that, and it is a native, aquatic species.Except for its leaves, the entire plant grows below the surface of...

The Morning Routine

The Morning Routine Tom Poland Posted 9/27/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netCome daybreak, my preferred time to get moving, I check on my neighbor’s flag. I check to see that his place is ok after another night of living in America, (thank you, James Brown), and to see if the wind’s...

Take a quiet walk and talk to God today

Living on Purpose: Take a quiet walk and talk to God today Dr. William Holland Posted 9/27/23By Dr. William HollandJesus Christ loves you, and he desires to spend quiet time with you. Our heavenly Father beckons you to draw near to Him and promises that He will respond with compassion....

Mystery Plant! #742

Mystery Plant! #742 John Nelson Posted 9/27/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI am sad to say that one of my best friends and botany buddies died last year. Steve W. Leonard was a Tarheel from Davidson County NC, graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with his bachelor’s and later master’s degree (in 1973) in botany....

Blink Book Review #12: History Repeating Itself? Three podcasts and a book, “Against the Tide by Harriet Keyserling”

Blink Book Review #12: History Repeating Itself? Three podcasts and a book, “Against the Tide by Harriet Keyserling” Reba Campbell Posted 9/22/23By Reba CampbellThis book and the recommended podcast episodes should be required reading/listening for anyone who is or was a lobbyist, legislator, page, staffer, reporter or anyone who is...

Mystery Plant! #741

Mystery Plant! #741 John Nelson Posted 9/20/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com"The average American's simplest and commonest form of breakfast consists of coffee and beefsteak."                                                         ...

The Work Of Hands

The Work Of Hands Tom Poland Posted 9/18/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netFolks say the future belongs to “Knowledge Workers.” A so-called knowledge worker is someone who manages information within a specific subject area. I suppose I’m a knowledge worker. I’m more at home with a keyboard than I am a...

Breaking free from distorted thinking

Living on Purpose: Breaking free from distorted thinking Dr. William Holland Posted 9/18/23By Dr. William HollandWe continue the conversation about those who occasionally think about what their life might have been like had they made different choices. It’s true that if we had decided to make other choices our lives...

Have Fireflies Left Us?

Have Fireflies Left Us? Tom Poland Posted 9/15/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netAmong sedges and along tree lines, across lawns and fields they’ll soon cease blinking. Maybe they’ve already ended their nights of miraculous lights. The experts say they left in August. They being lantern bugs, lightning bugs, or fireflies. I...

Coming Full Circle

Coming Full Circle Tom Poland Posted 9/13/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI felt like I’d been tied to the whipping post. I was as low as the proverbial snake’s belly. May 30 a tornado destroyed my Athens, Georgia, home. My marriage was floundering, and I found myself with nothing but the...

Coming Undone

Coming Undone Aïda Rogers Posted 9/13/23By Aïda RogersWhen my uncle died I was confident I could get through the funeral dry-eyed. He’d suffered a long time and because I lived next door, I felt somehow I was suffering too. The funeral would be nothing compared to what had come before.Then the...

Mystery Plant! #740

Mystery Plant! #740 John Nelson Posted 9/13/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comMy plan yesterday was to get up early and prepare for a field trip with one of my former students. It was to be something of a “busman’s holiday”, as we wanted to botanize somewhere, and it didn’t really matter where, as...

Mystery Plant! #739

Mystery Plant! #739 John Nelson Posted 9/6/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhen it rains it pours, and I don’t mean that recent hurricane.Among the plant identification requests we got last week here in the Herbarium, there were three separate questions about this very odd plant. I can’t quite figure out if it is...

Glancing At Leaves

Glancing At Leaves Tom Poland Posted 9/6/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThis time of year I catch myself glancing at leaves. On walks through woods and bike rides along trails, I see the occasional red leaf. I glance again and see a few more leaves turning crimson. Soon red outnumbers green....

Catching Up With Lou Miller

Catching Up With Lou Miller Tom Poland Posted 8/30/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netNo. 87 lay on Buddy Bufford Field as still as a stone. Louis Miller, senior end, had broken ribs, but better days lay ahead. The undefeated Red Devils would beat Dade County to claim the 1960 Class C...

Take steps now to report on 2024 budgets

Take steps now to report on 2024 budgets Published August 18, 2023 By Jim Pumarlo, Newspaper Consultant We’re more than halfway into 2023, and many local governments are well involved in exploring 2024 budgets. Are your newsrooms aware of the process? Are you keeping readers abreast of the dynamics?It’s not...

Learning Along The Estuary

Learning Along The Estuary Tom Poland Posted 8/15/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe children of Sandy Island board a school bus boat for an eight-minute journey across the Waccamaw River to the mainland. There, they ride a traditional bus to public schools. A school bus boat brings to mind a floating...

Get more mileage out of testimonials

Get more mileage out of testimonials By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Back in my ad agency days, I worked with a real estate client on a series of customer testimonials. We started with one, then added another and another. The final count was more than a dozen, which kept the...

Waterfall Country

Waterfall Country Tom Poland Posted 8/9/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSeveral hikes proved easy. One proved tougher than nails. By the time we made it to the third waterfall of the day, an idea had firmly cemented itself. “Hiking to waterfalls is a grueling form of physical conditioning. Mountain terrain is...

The Miraculous Green Lizard

The Miraculous Green Lizard Tom Poland Posted 8/9/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWe call it a lizard, except it’s not. It’s an anole, and it can re-grow its tail, “regenerate” in the words of scientists. Think about that. Something else to consider, the connection between a napkin holder I gave my...

Blink Book Review #8: “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Blink Book Review #8: "The Personal Librarian" by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray Reba Campbell Posted 8/2/23By Reba Campbell“The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray was such a delightful surprise. Historical fiction isn’t normally my top reading choice, but to stay true to one of my...

Touch your readers with sensory words

Touch your readers with sensory words By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach You may remember onomatopoeic words from the 10th grade.These words express sounds such as to squeal or whoosh.There’s a different, more subtle category of words, says writing coach Henneke Duistermaat. Visual words for sight allow you to paint vibrant (or...

Ad lessons from a wall poster

Ad lessons from a wall poster By John Foust, Advertising Trainer I remember going to the opthalmologist a few years ago for my regular eye checkup. In the exam room, there was a large poster on the wall which featured a number of photographs of the same view of New...

The Ruins Of Chappels

The Ruins Of Chappels Tom Poland Posted 7/19/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netHighway 34. It’s my route east to places like Ninety-Six, Abbeville, and Greenwood. When I drive Highway 34, I’m in my element—the back roads, but some back roads don’t easily give up their secrets. I’ve written that you can...

The Air Collision Time Forgot

The Air Collision Time Forgot Tom Poland Posted 7/10/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI visit forgotten churches more than the church I call my own. I feel a haunting at an unfrequented church, a poignant peaceful feeling. I see pews, a pulpit, and the occasional piano. A hymnal now and then....

Read like a writer

Read like a writer By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach Sounds simple, doesn’t it. You are already a writer.But think about it. Whenever you read – and it should be daily – think like a writer.Pay attention to what the writers are doing, how they hold your attention and keep you reading....

Outdoor Men Of Letters

Outdoor Men Of Letters Tom Poland Posted 6/29/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netBeing a native Georgian, I didn’t grow up reading South Carolina writers. Nor do I recall reading Georgia writers, but I read a lot. Hemmed in as I was by strict parenting and Georgia woodlands, magazines and books connected...

A Scrape In The Sand

A Scrape In The Sand Tom Poland Posted 6/28/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSand washes away. Memories last forever.The year was 1982. That would have been South Carolina Wildlife magazines 28th anniversary. I worked in film then and I felt I was part of the magazine staff though I wasn’t. While...

The Beach That Was

The Beach That Was Tom Poland Posted 6/26/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netFrom afar the skyline looks like that of a city, and it is. Myrtle Beach’s skyline of hotels seems to dwarf the skyline of all other South Carolina cities. It even has a SkyWheel similar to Atlanta’s SkyView Ferris...

Keep it simple in sports writing

Keep it simple in sports writing By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach Writing about a sport for those who don’t understand the sport is a challenge. Most writers figure they are writing for fans as familiar with the game as they are.John McPhee, author of A Sense of Where You Are and...

Yes, we need white space

Yes, we need white space By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach In a black and white movie, you want shadow and light.In a color movie, you want vibrant colors.Without these, they would be unwatchable movies.The same is true of your own writing – and reading.You want short words, short sentences, short...

Stories within your stories

Stories within your stories By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach Anecdotes are a vital part of compelling storytelling. These are small stories that may open or close your larger story.They also can appear almost anywhere in the middle.John McPhee used an anecdote in a New Yorker article about environmentalist Edward Abbey.In his book, Abbey wrote...

Writing life stories

Writing life stories By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach To their families, obituaries are final chapters in the lives of those they love.For many, obituaries mark their loved ones’ release from pain.For others, it is the winding down of long and fruitful lives.For the unfortunate, they are wrenching, unwelcome nightmares, whether...

Don’t sell your clients short

Don’t sell your clients short By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Gene told me about an experience he had when he was fundraising for the Boy Scouts. “I was young and completely sold on the value of scouting because some years earlier I had earned the designations of Eagle Scout and...