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My Artist’s Statement

When I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, they asked for my artist’s statement. I’d written one once before for a grant and I’ve written bios galore. But never an overall artist’s statement. I loved the idea. Should have done this long ago. Of course, I think every artist of all sorts … Continue reading

Speaking of old novels you should (re)read…

Finally, I guess, everyone’s re-reading 1984. Good! I re-read it this past summer and did my part to advertise its application to modern day. Glad to see the appreciation of this classic dystopian novel alive and well again. Here’s a list of other must-read classics (or re-reads) to put on your list after you finish … Continue reading

Journalists working hard for you right now, even if you don’t appreciate it (yet)

Some spend an awful lot of time these days worrying about “the media” who are there for all of us as our eyes and ears. Maybe because it isn’t dead and it isn’t going anywhere no matter how hard certain people wish it. Keep ALL politicians accountable. Keep journalists in statehouses and in bureaus and … Continue reading

Letting myself click on The Falling Man, a story of 9/11, 15-years later

I could not have looked at this picture or read this story before. But 15 years after the last day of the “before”… Before 9/11 changed how the world can be seen, I can look. I did. I let myself. I froze, seeing it in my feed, in horror. Then swiped past it quickly. I … Continue reading

Adaptations of the scifi kind – 10 great short stories that have been adapted for the screen

I love science fiction. I also love short stories. When short scifi is turned into a film, it’s all roses, as they say. I’ve linked all the brilliant short stories below to a free PDF copy of each online. Philip K. Dick (PKD), my all-time favorite writer, is the brain behind many great scifi adaptations … Continue reading

5 Short Stories You Should Read This Month

May is #ShortStoryMonth. And why not. Seems a perfect way to follow the #NationalPoetryMonth of April. Also, with the weather what it is in May, short stories are perfect little “snacks” to digest outside during a little pick-me-up from office indoor weather. Below is a list of five of my very favorite scifi-y short stories. (I’ve included … Continue reading

Open Letter to Chris Carter

Open letter to Chris Carter, creator of The X Files   Dearest Chris Carter: I realize that Lord Kinbote may be inhabiting your body and that you may not receive this letter due to being at the Earth’s molten core; however, I felt the need to reach out to you after the conclusion of The … Continue reading

On the why would anyone care to read about you question

On the why would anyone care to read about you question…I would say what I say to my journalism and film students when they tell me that they have no story ideas… Everyone has a story to tell, this is what journalism is to me at its heart – the stories of all of us, … Continue reading

Advice for students who want to work in any media industry

I’ve been asked to participate in a mentoring program for students about to graduate from college this coming weekend. In preparation for the event, I was asked to share the most important advice I have to give young people who want to work in the media industries. So here’s that answer… The advice I give to … Continue reading

The Truth Is Out There

  It was July 1997. A hot, humid night like all of the others in a Fort Worth, Texas summer. My friend and coworker, Anita, and I were enjoying a night out at the AMC Palace 9, the newest downtown movieplex, packed elbow to elbow in front of the largest screen the theatre had, the … Continue reading

Exploring truth in storytelling through The X Files’ Bad Blood

I was recently discussing what it is to tell a truth, to write about truth, in story telling with some other writers. We talked about the possibilities for multiple truths to co-exist, the possibility of believing something making it feel true and other such writerly arguments that you’d find in a Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop. … Continue reading

Ode to TV News

You’re brave and strong and gutsy You’re fierce, thoughtful and wise You’re jaded and harsh and a punch in the stomach You’re a jab in the eye and a dart in the throat You can be so much to so many people You can truly make a difference in this world You shine a light … Continue reading

Chasing Connections Down Rabbit Holes of Inspiration

I love the internet. I love how it connects things I didn’t even know were connectable. In a few keystrokes I am down a rabbit hole chasing ghosts and echos of words, thoughts, ideas gone by but not forgotten. An example: I decided to do a little research on a movie (Midnight in Paris) and … Continue reading

Top 125 movies everyone should watch

Talking with students in various classes of mine recently, I’ve noticed that far too many young, cool people haven’t seen so many awesome classic films. So with that, I share my current list of 125 films everyone should see. Let the debate begin of what else to add! movies everyone should see, in no particular … Continue reading

On being inspired to write (and report) people’s stories

I am inspired today. And I have news and journalism to thank yet again. And I want to share the trigger to my excitement with the world. It’s an amazing story that deserves the word amazing, when most things we read that have that word attached to them probably aren’t. But this is: A man … Continue reading

Breaking Bad’s Story Design Applied to Journalism

Check out this great article from Inside the Story Magazine: http://www.insidethestory.org/preview/breaking-bad-stories-a-manifesto-for-story-design-in-journalism/ It sounds pretty much like “New Journalism” to me. And great ideas for all types of storytellers… though a team that large working on any one story is pretty rare in the “news” biz – but why not use this as a classroom approach! (Sundance … Continue reading

Dear News, Please consider rebranding yourself

Dear #News, I advise you to read the following report on you and your likeness: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/225139/pew-surveys-of-audience-habits-suggest-perilous-future-for-news/   Now, I’d like to point out that we can change this by showing your importance to society AND by being better everyday, giving people news they need disguised as news they want. Let’s give them a reason to want … Continue reading

What makes a good TV News Story?

What makes a good TV News story? Click the small photo above to see my presentation or click HERE. Let me know if you’d add anything else and why. Also check out my presentation Finding News Stories HERE. And my presentation the Video Story Process HERE.

What does j-school need to be?

There is lots of talk on what j-schools need to be, should be, shouldn’t be and could be. Take, for example, this new article: http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/08/do-journalism-schools-really-need-to-be-teaching-hospitals/ in response to articles like this: http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2012/8/3/journalism-funders-call-teaching-hospital-model-education/ No matter which school you are in, I believe we can all agree on this quote from the new Nieman Lab piece: “The important thing for … Continue reading

Snow Fall and The Jockey

There once was a little newspaper who thought big and tried new things. Overtime, they started a following. It turns out that solid reporting, interesting stories, and innovation was what “the people” wanted. Enter The New York Times multimedia stories “Snow Fall” and “The Jockey.” Read/watch/investigate them here, if you haven’t already: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/the-jockey/?pagewanted=all&_r=0#/?chapt=introduction It is … Continue reading