Saturday, April 09, 2011

Rainy day thoughts

Wow, the gloomy, rainy day on Friday was actually conducive to writing since I spent much of Thursday outdoors enjoying the warm, sunny day. With three posts published, I can continue researching another that I've been working on for several days and then turn my attention to something new.

It's either feast or famine when it comes to writing, at least, for me. The stories either flow out of my fingertips onto my laptop, or I'm stymied or distracted or just can't find anything that interests me to write about.

In 2006, after voluntarily editing various groups' newsletters for 20 years, I was introduced to blogs and jumped in for political purposes, using the platform to promote candidates and conservative causes. It was a different world, kind of a sink-or-swim, Katy-bar-the-door environment that chewed up bloggers and spit them out.

Somehow I survived with the help of fellow conservative bloggers in the SWAC area, all over Virginia, and beyond. They were kindred spirits who had been bitten by the political bug and were willing to dodge the darts and barbs shot at them from the opposite side of the aisle, and even willing to sling some of their own.

Add that to the posts at SWAC Girl where I like to put up photos of the mountains, spring flowers, fall leaves, and anything else I see through my window on the world. It's cathartic to write, something I've enjoyed since sixth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Booth at Bon Air Elementary School, encouraged me to continue writing, saying she would one day read my stuff in the Reader's Digest.

The next year my seventh grade teacher, Mr. Witthoeft at Thompson Middle School, encouraged the class to use adjectives, descriptions, and the senses to expand our writing and make it interesting and more readable. That led to short stories, longer essays, research papers, and poetry. Eventually, however, there wasn't time for writing with life and children and home schooling. I poured all that energy into my family.

I truly enjoy freelancing with the Washington Examiner and still like it just as much as the first day when I submitted a post about the Blue Ridge Parkway. Since then, there have been posts about the mountains, travel stories, human interest stories, and most of all ... politics. Sometimes I feel as if I live, eat, and breathe politics which is pretty remarkable for someone who is strictly a volunteer. I'm grateful for the day an email arrived from a WaEx editor who asked, "Would you be interested in writing for us?" Little did he know that he added a new dimension to my world. So here I am, still writing, and still loving it.

I didn't quite make the Reader's Digest, as Mrs. Booth -- rest her soul -- had hoped but I think she would be pleased that I made it to the Washington Examiner. She personified the saying, "To teach is to touch the future." Here's to you, Mrs. Booth, with my thanks for the encouragement to reach for the stars.

Below are the products of Friday's attention at the keyboard ... three posts about distinctly different subjects. Enjoy!

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for President?
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is enjoying a 66% approval rating in the latest Roanoke College poll that was released on Thursday, up from 57% in December. After a landslide win in November 2009 and after more than a year in the top position, he has been highly praised for his leadership ability. Read more here.

Jim Moran's caustic exchange with military vet
In yet another embarrassing incident, Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran was videotaped Thursday as he responded in a disrespectful and rude way to a 27-year disabled military veteran at a town hall meeting. Read more here.

Donald Trump new owner of Virginia Kluge estate winery
It's official. After months of speculation that sent a buzz throughout Virginia wine country, the Commonwealth has a new landlord in billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump who bought the Charlottesville-area Kluge estate winery and vineyard Thursday at absolute auction. The wine community will still have Patricia Kluge in its midst as well as her new boss who has indicated he will retain her to oversee the winery. Read more here.

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