I had the recent pleasure of watching this Spokane-based author of young-adult books as he wowed and zowied and utterly entertained my son and other gifted language arts middle schoolers from Miller South School in Akron. He read to us from a couple of his Harper Collins books, most notably "Stuck in Neutral," and the deal was clinched: This guy is someone to see, read and hear if ever he is in a town near you. He is soooo funny. He loves writing and talking about writing and can pull it off with teenagers and adults, too. We were all rolling in the floor. Somewhere along the way, he also offers writing advice, some of it standard but always worth repeating, especially if it comes from a guy who's a millionaire author: 1. Revision is the most important part of writing. 2. Creative people can make the mistake of sitting around waiting for the inspired aha moment. Meanwhile, those of us who duct tape ourselves to the chair in front of the computer, succeed.
State of Play (2009 film with Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Justin Bateman, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams)
If you ever worked in newspapers and now work for a blog. If you never worked in newspapers but wish you'd had the chance in the heydey, you are dutybound to see this movie. Some questions are never answered, like why Russell Crowe doesn't get pulled from the story for conflict of interest. Some parts are grating, like the relationship between Russell Crowe and his editor, like when Helen Mirren keeps talking about the importance of getting the story to sell newspapers. No editor EVER said that to me. But the movie does a great job of capturing the tension between the flashy newbie blog reporter and the salty, seasoned REAL reporter. The movie also captures the romance of the process, from news gathering, to writing, to going to press. Watching the presses roll out the paper and the 1A story in the pre-dawn hours, I almost cried with the memory.
I was lucky enough to catch Ohio landscape photographer Geoff Baker at his opening with McKay Bricker Gallery in Kent. Using a small aperture, a long exposure and high magnifcation, he manages to capture the tiniest bit of movement, which prompts an impressionistic tonality. He told me there are four things to consider when making a photograph. Yes, the technicality and the subject matter are important. But without lighting and composition, you have nothing. Aha! He is my new best favorite, as not only are his pictures wonderful, but I agree with him: I, too, believe a photographer can make a picture of a piece of cardboard look good if s/he has the right light and the right composition.
Excellent Web page design. Excellent content for journalists, hosted by the Poynter Institute, a school and resource for journalism in St. Petersburg, Fla. Poynter owns the company that publishes the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly. One of the Web site's most popular segments is Jim Romenesko's blog covering journalism and the media. His blog was included in News.com's Blog 100 for Media blogs.
Smart story from Editor and Publisher about how newspapers really aren't failing, brought to my attention by my former colleague, Chuck Twardy. Includes information on the new Web site, www.newspaperproject.org, which offers feature stories and commentary about the value of newspapers and how to keep them alive.
Jeff is a former colleague and a commercial/editorial/advertising photographer who brings a photojournalist's style to his pictures. Check out his quality work.
"Poetic Poraiture" by Susan Mileski. This portrait photographer in Northeast Ohio finds meaning in every face.