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Do you ever read Gourmet magazine? Many of the articles are not just about food and recipes, but the culture of that food in the lives of those who use it, and how the methods of acquiring, preparing, and eating food relate to the culture. It sounds like a similar sort of writing.


As I have told Brad many times, there is a huge difference between being a writer, which is an art, and a journalist, which is often a job that merely involves writing.

My guess would be that you are a writer, and not a journalist, and thus the dislike for the breaking news or politics. Brad is a writer, but not a reporter.

Have fun, and I hope you get some good photos of the skiffs.

Carol Anne

A couple of my most treasured experiences in journalism came when I wasn't just reporting on events.

I accompanied a church group on missions to Mexico to build houses for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to have houses. On the trips, I carried a Smith-Corona manual typewriter that had been a high-school graduation gift to my dad a couple of decades before. At the end of each day, I pounded out the day's events on that typewriter. There was no such thing as the Internet back then; faxes existed, but only for the very rich. So I couldn't file my stories right away.

But the stories needed to be told, so once I did get back home, I told them. It wasn't earth-shaking news that there were people in Mexico who were starving. But what did shake up readers was that I saw a baby with whooping cough, who died a couple of days later, who could still be alive if she had been vaccinated.

I saw a woman who was probably only 25, but who looked like she was 60, because she and her family lived in a hut with a seriously leaky roof, no insulation, and no heating, that meant she and all the rest of her family suffered from constant respiratory ailments. Because of the respiratory ailments, her husband couldn't hold a steady job, and so the family couldn't afford to have a steady supply of food.

That family, at least, did have a happy ending -- we rebuilt the house so it didn't leak, and when we came back a year later, all of the family members' health was much better. The husband was able to hold down a job, and the wife had the energy she should have. In addition, the kids were doing well in school.

I know what I learned in journalism classes in college, that a journalist just reports on stories rather than being part of them. But if you can report on stories and be part of the human side of them, that's good too.

Provided you're honest with your audience and admit you have biases, you can certainly get emotionally involved with the people you write about.


It sounds like you write things that also would be good for travel-oriented publications, like train and airline magazines. You should try shopping your work to Amtrak, Delta, United, Continental, US Airways, Northwest and JetBlue.

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