I am... Saturday

What do I have in store for you today? Well I decided to give you all a peek into my former professional life. For nine years, I was a reporter/photographer at a local newspaper. It was in my hometown, so I knew a lot of people and networked wonderfully because I knew these people.

I am... an award-winning journalist.

For Indiana, there is a Hoosier State Press Association. This is kind of the "governing body" of newspapers if the publishers want to participate.  Each year reporters and photographers are offered the chance to submit their work, from each calendar year, to be judged in various categories - deadline news, sports story, in-depth feature. News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure is the toughest! I have won three "lower" awards - third place in in-depth feature for my article on a hometown woman's fight with ovarian and breast cancer...and her miracle baby; a second-place for coverage in our small town after the September 11 terrorist attacks; and a third place for a deadline news article about a heavy storm that flooded a nearby town. and then...

FOUR YEARS IN A ROW. I am still in awe looking at these plaques now. I even bested my mentor Nancy Wright one year. We were sitting at the banquet at a table together and they called her second place and then me first...I couldn't move. I just sat there. Jim had to nudge me to get up to accept my award.

One of these years, I can't remember which, is for a story about a motorcycle crash which killed a local man. The accident happened at around noon on a Monday, which was a press day for us. I went to the scene before we knew it was a fatality, and that was my first time seeing a dead body...anyway, I digress. Our press deadline is 5 p.m., so I figured I wouldn't get anything at all for the article. But, because of great networking, the Sheriff called me about 3:45 p.m. and gave me all the details I needed for my article.

It really is kind of surreal to think I devoted nine years of my life to that job. By the end I wasn't happy. I was disenchanted with newspapers in general, and my work environment deteriorated so much that I hated going to work every day. Then I had my accident. Nearly dying really puts things into perspective. It only took me a few months to realize I needed out of there.

At any rate, even tho I ended up ultimately hating the job, I came away with some experience (which I will never use again), friends (some of whom I still talk to lol) and these nifty plaques (which used to hang on the wall, but we had to take them down).