Friday, August 31, 2007

one more Husker hot spot

I forgot about Barry's.....99 cent margaritas......big screen tv' central. GO NOW!

Here's a good road trip review from from nearly 4 years ago....

Husker football kick off

Tomorrow is opening day for the Huskers. It's the first game of the year, and strangely enough, it's the first home opener I've missed in about 10 years. There's just something about Lincoln on a home game day. Guess I'll have to settle for watching it on TV.

There's just something about coming over the overpass at 9th and O....or if you're coming in on 9th street from the north, seeing Memorial Stadium standing proudly against the horizon, glancing over at Haymarket Park and - even though it's football season - your mind temporarily glimpses the spring baseball season, catching the wafts of the grill at hundreds of tailgate parties, and being bombarded with the wave of red, or scarlet, in the case of the Huskers.

There's this energy, this electricity, filtering through the air and the Husker faithful (and even the not-so-faithful) and you just want to be a part of it and feel it energize you.

And no trip to Huskerland would be complete without a trip to Sidetracks to listen to Paul and Joyce, and even if you've heard them for years, you still get caught up in the hype and the singing and the beer all over the floor....

And you can't miss the party at Embassy Suites the night before the game when the pep band plays and free drink tickets come with the room...and everybody is wired.

Heading north to the stadium, seeing scalpers hawking their tix for high prices - if it's a good season - and high prices even if it's Bill Callahan's first season - wondering how much people really pay for the chance to experience Memorial Stadium. (I pay face value, unless they're from my dad, and then they're free! Usually!)

Walk past the music building and listen to the drum line pound out that rhythm, and wait just long enough to walk along side the band as they wind their way to the field, singing and playing Hail Varsity.

Husker Vision. Tunnel Walk. Practice snaps. Gotta be there at least an hour before kick off; sometimes we're there even earlier, depending on who goes to the game with me. It's just part of the game, part of the experience.

Yeah, I'm gonna miss not being there tomorrow. But it's two weeks and counting to USC, baby!
I think I can wait!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Boy, do I need to get organized. Ok, I AM organized, but I need to organize my thoughts and put them into some semblance of order that's workable for me.

Ever have one of those days when the ideas just keep coming, and suddenly, you realize that your desk is covered in Post-it notes because whenever you hear something - a song, an advertisement, a snippet of conversation - you jot down a few notes because it's a good idea and your mind says 'hey, I just need a bit of time to flesh it out.'

That's how I feel today. I stepped back into my office after lunch and I realized that I have 19 Post-It notes - each listing three different ideas - spread across my desk. There's also the pile of books I'm reviewing, my writing bible (The Renegade Writer's Query Letters that Rock), a calendar that's beginning to fill up with scheduled interviews, a list of follow-ups I need to call, and a Christmas cactus that needs some serious attention.

Am I avoiding writing? Maybe. Or maybe today is the idea day - the day when I fill out the graphic organizer in my mind and come up with at least ten different article possibilities for each of those scribblings on the Post-It notes. Will it bring in the cash and help pay the bills? Eventually.

One of the editors of a writing newsletter I subscribe to swears by the "13" rule when it comes to sending queries. I've been working my way toward that magical number. At one point I had submitted seven queries and suddenly I had two assignments. Perhaps "7" is my lucky number. I do like her idea though, and by the end of this week, I will arrive at 13.

OK, back to those Post-Its...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Writer's Life

A writer's life is often a lonely life. You have to enjoy the solitude - the quiet noises of the house; enjoy the ideas pressing against one another inside your creative psyche, each one inching forward, trying to outwit the other character voices that are developing or the topics that randomly pop up inside your mind. You have to appreciate the "aha" moment, because usually, you're the only person who gets it.

Sometimes you have to appreciate that you're the only person who realizes that you have talent, and your SO - although proud of what you have accomplished in the past - doesn't understand that sometimes writing is a game, but it's a game you're good at. And a game that you've proven you can play. And most importantly, a game that you succeed at. It gets lonely though when you feel like there's this pressure to be able to show something tangible that you've accomplished that day, when you might have plotted or outlined a storyline or an article you're developing and what you have is a mass of organized chaos in some form of a graphic organizer on paper. It makes sense to you, but to others, it appears you haven't done anything that day. Except doodle.

Writing also takes time. And time is built into the loneliness of the writer's life. You write 24 hours a day. Your mind is constantly on overdrive, looking for a slant, molding some piece of jagged energy into a coherent work. You make up in the middle of the night when a phrase, idea, or plotline pops into your head and you frantically scribble details in the notebook on your nightstand or you rush to the computer, fingers skipping across the keyboard, trying to capture that essence that roused you from sleep.

You're caught on the fringe, eavesdropping on conversations, yet you don't directly participate. You glimpse into someone else's world and then you reinvent it.

It's lonely because your mind seems to never stop, never slows for a meandering thought. Instead, it pushes your harder, instigating a headache from the rush of words, causing you to feel like you'll never have the opportunity to tell all the stories you need to tell.

Yes, it's lonely. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Vanishing History

Where are we headed if we don't grasp our history?

I've been researching local history for an article I'm working on. The other night, we ventured to town and met up with a local - someone who I'd been told knows everything about the subject I'm investigating. Our chat was brief, but he told me more in 10 minutes than I'd learned in my other research, and he agreed to talk to me again - told me to block about three hours of time.

After he left, I began thinking about history and how every person has a story to tell. Unfortunately, we aren't recording most of these stories and the vivid memories of the past are vanishing.

My family has been pretty aggressive about preserving memories. We gave my grandparents a book filled with questions about their lives, and after they'd filled them in, we videotaped them and had them discuss stories that stood out in their minds. What a great treasure!

If our history evaporates before us, how will other generations know the true story?