Sometimes I don’t like working from home. The one thing I miss the most about being in a newsroom is hanging out in the office with all those other ink-blooded souls — knowing all the inside jokes, dishing gossip, sorting out the meaning(s) of life. It’s not as fun at a desk by yourself, even if you can wear shorts and Crocs to write.
But yesterday afternoon, a big storm came up. Fred, our old yellow Lab, can’t hear much anymore, but he can hear thunder. Nothing scares him more than thunder. He got up from his bed when the first big thunderbolt hit and squeezed past my legs and under my desk. He curled up there for a few minutes. Then he got up and leaned on my knee so I could pet him. Eventually I just reached down and put my arm around him, and he stayed there for a long time while I watched the lightning and rain through the window. When it was over, he went back to his bed and drew a long sigh and went back to sleep.
So, yeah, sometimes it’s nice to work from home.
THIS WEEK’S PIECES
Leilani Munter, race-car driver and environmentalist (OnEarth magazine)
FROM THE STACKS
Thursday night was the finals of the National Spelling Bee — it ended in a tie, which is so wrong, because a SUDDEN DEATH SPELLING MARATHON would’ve been fantastic. I went to the Bee 10 years ago to follow a Charlotte-area speller, a great kid named Marshall Winchester. It turned out to be one of the most dramatic events I’ve ever covered — more suspense than any sporting event. Here’s my story from 2004 (it has a little top on it from 2011, when I republished it on the blog I had at the Observer).
SHOW YOUR WORK!
I’m going to try to stick a little something in here every week about stories in progress, my workspace, that sort of thing — the inspiration is Austin Kleon’s great book “Show Your Work!” (If you like that, definitely go get his book “Steal Like An Artist.”) You should figure out whatever process works for you — don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right, just do it — but it’s fun to see how other people set things up. I de-cluttered my desk the other day and so I thought I’d take a picture. If nothing else I’ll remember later how I wanted things to look before the mess took over.
Yeah, that’s a crappy picture. I’ll figure out a way to light it better next time.
GREAT READS (via my Twitter feed)
IDEA OF THE WEEK
Man, I wish I knew what my old ’71 Buick LeSabre was up to.
CURRENT MUSICAL OBSESSION
Broken Twin, “Glimpse of a Time.” Reminds me of the Cowboy Junkies crossed with Kate Bush. Plus, a beautiful and creepy video.
Have a great weekend, y’all.