Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween is good for the soul...

Halloween is good for the soul... so I added a few fun pictures from around my neck of the woods. I might add some nice pictures of the Saline foliage later. But for now... enjoy a few of my Halloween housewarming decorations. Also, yes, the pumpkin that looks impaired is mine. Chris did the "good" one. I have never and will never be good at carving pumpkins. Don't make fun of me. Also I bought the cutest gourd known to man.

on the eve of a massive project

So rather than counting down the days, I'm actually counting down the hours now... until the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) officially begins. I somehow decided this was a good idea (because I obviously don't have enough to do...) since I haven't written any lit-type pieces in a while and that's the writing I believe I'm best at and enjoy the most.

I think I mentioned before that there are over 700 Ann Arbor participants this year... that includes some people from Saline and Milan. More specifically it's closer to 750 and if you're one of them then great! We'll all be working to write 50,000 words of a novel from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. No editing allowed along the way and the idea has to be one you haven't started working with before.

I have yet to narrow down my idea, although I did finally narrow down my genre (that was a tough one for a while) to mainstream fiction. It was too much effort to land on one of the most general genres out there, but it's a start. Before I was considering young adult (which I mean the difference here is really only the age of the main character), fantasy and satire/comedy. I opted out of comedy because I'd rather save those juicy ideas for a more non-fiction type book or a parody of a lifestyle. (Side note: Waiter Rant is an awesome book about the life of a waiter/waitress... came together from a blog... check it out)

I will try to update the blog periodically either with excerpts or updates on my progress. I may speak with a few Ann Arbor residents for a newspaper story, too, if they'll allow it. It's too late to join NaNoWriMo, but I encourage all to join next year if you can. Not everyone finishes, but that's ok. The point is that you're trying. At any given date in our lives we can always come up with a handful of reasons why this isn't a good time to start working on that novel. But that kind of attitude isn't going to get you anywhere. Just buck up and do it while you can. You never know what the end result could be... many writers from this contest have even published their books.

That's all for now.... UofM football will be on soon and I need to start journaling some good story ideas and catching up on my matronly magazines. Hopefully there will be a Halloween movie in there someplace too. I watch Nightmare before Christmas every year for Halloween, and although I already watched it a week ago I might drag it out again. I'm addicted to Tim Burton. Hoping to put Caroline and perhaps Corpse Bride on in the background today, too.... and if only I can find a copy of the Halloween Charlie Brown movie and Hocus Pocus. Those are favorites.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spooky Halloween fun for all this weekend!

Halloween has arrived and this weekend there will be plenty of opportunities to find some holiday fun. And let’s not forget all the classroom Halloween parties that will be held Friday in honor of the spooky holiday. I stopped by the Saline American Legion's Community Halloween Party last night, so I thought I would post some of the photos I took of kids in their costumes. I will have a story in this week's 10/29 papers on all the Halloween events taking place within Saline and Milan. Happy Halloween to all!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glory shall rain down on me and smite my procrastination

The time is finally here for me to get my butt in gear. You know all those people who talk about how they're going to write a book one day, and they have the idea, and they have a chapter and blah blah blah? Yeah, I'm one of those people.


I have officially joined the National Novel Writing Month organization. It's free and stuff, but basically you have Nov. 1 (can't start early, no cheating) until Nov. 30 to write 50,000 words on a new novel idea. It can't be a story you already started, and the word count basically boils down to 175 pages. It sounds kind of scary, but then I calculated that I actually write about 25,000 to 30,000 words each week for this job and journaling... so 50,000 over the span of a month might not be so bad.

I'm actually kidding myself. It's going to be hard because it's going to mean less Judge Judy, less Dota, less Twilight (I really wanted to re-read the series before the New Moon premiere Nov. 20) and less lazy me time. We'll see how it goes.

Also, we are supposed to sign up with local "regions" so that we have a network of other writers who are taking on this crazy task... then they can console with you and group write-ins can be set up and stuff. Basically the Ann Arbor chapter has almost 700 participants. I just think that is REALLY great. After connecting with a few of them I realized the range is extreme, because there are some high schoolers, some recently graduated kids, moms, journalists, novelists, professors, handymen, etc. Very cool.

If you are at all interested, it's not too late to join. And it's free. So check out for more details. Several people have actually turned their pieces into published works, but the main prize is finally doing what you always say you'll get around to. Good luck (to me, mostly)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Brothers, Big Sisters doing great things!

So last week, I spent a great deal of my time working on my regional piece for this week. My topic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County. I'm pretty familiar with the topic due to the publicity that the organization gets, I've covered events on BBBS back home and plus my dad was once a Big Brother himself. So I guess you could say I have a bit of a soft spot for this organization. I've heard stories from my dad about being a mentor to a child and honestly, if I had the time to make the committment the idea of becoming a Big Sister does appeal to me. I think this program does a lot of great things for area youth and to talk to the matches that I talked to last week it was nice to hear how committed these mentors are to these kids. I'm sure I'm being a little sentimental, but honestly, after hearing the stories I heard I don't see how I shouldn't be. To see what I mean, check out my story in tomorrow's 10/22 paper. I hope more people will consider being a Big! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Opening Day at Wal-Mart!

As many of you know today was the grand opening of Wal-Mart in Saline. I decided to stop by earlier today and check out the store and talk to some of the residents that braved the crowd to see what the new Supercenter offers. I was curious to see what the turn out would be like. As I approached the store, I quickly noticed the completely filled parking lot with shoppers going in and coming out with carts filled with goodies. With all the good responses that I heard today, I'm sure word will spread and the community will enjoy the new venue.

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