I found these mushrooms growing by an old stump in my back pasture and thought they were very pretty. With the sun shining on them, it looked as if they had been gilded. I wish I could have captured that shimmer of gold, but pictures I take with my phone never look exactly like the subject does with the naked eye. Still, they are interesting and I wanted to share the photo.
The changes happening at the Dallas Morning News make one wonder if the newspaper is going to go the way some other major papers have. There have been cutbacks over the past few months and a spokesperson for the paper said “We are making cutbacks to make room for more digitally inclined journalists.”
One of writers who was let go was longtime columnist Steve Blow, who wrote his final column last week, and it is with mixed feelings that fans say goodbye to a columnist who made us think, challenged us, enlightened us, and sometimes made us laugh. He shared his life, his family adventures, his travels, and his thoughts about the Dallas scene – the good and the bad – openly and with great balance.
As a columnist myself, who is now digitally inclined (smile), I have always had a special affinity for journalists who share that particular brand of newspaper work. I have been a fan of Steve Blow for as long as he worked at the paper, and especially liked his cordial, respectful debates on racial issues with James Ragland, another DMN columnist.
This one is from Pearls before Swine by Stephan Pastis. Stephen and Rat are sitting on the couch watching television. Rat says, “I don’t like this show. Give me the remote.”
Stephen says, “I lost it.”
Rat says, “Holy crap! What do we do?”
“You get up and change the channel.”
“You push the button on the TV.”
Rat can’t believe it. “You mean every time you want to change the channel you have to get up and walk all the way over to the TV?”
“Yeah. That’s how we always did it when I was a kid. And yet somehow I survived.”
Rat hold his head and rocks back and forth, saying, “Lord have mercy. What a tragic upbringing.”
This next one from Mallard Fillmore by Bruce Tinsley really isn’t very funny but it’s very telling. A young man is standing by a college and says, “Wow it feels good to be back at college. Where people can only express opinions different from mine in free speech zones. And people who write stuff that I find offensive can get kicked out! And I can call anything anybody says a microaggression and get him or her in trouble!”
And finally, with a look of satisfaction, he concludes, “As soon as we get barbed wire around the campus it’ll be perfect here.”
This one is from Garfield by Jim Davis. In the first frame we see Garfield sound asleep. John is standing beside him with a cup of coffee. Garfield wakes up and stretches and scratches some more and looks at the clock. Then he thinks, “oh oh. Its nap time.”
He lays back down and thinks, “I swear there just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
I feel like that sometimes. How about you?
Kristen Lamb wrote an interesting piece on her blog the other day about perfection, and how we need to take a step back from that focus sometimes. She used the example of her kindergartner starting to write letters that were crooked and too small and certainly not perfect. But they were letters and the child was just learning. She wrote:
We writers have to be really really careful about worshiping perfection, and I think fiction can be far more vulnerable because it is far more subjective. There comes a time when we simply have to SHIP. Just let it go. Time to move on to something new. We could edit forever. This applies to blogs, books, query letters and eyeliner.
The world does not reward perfect books, it rewards finished books.
What do you think? Do you agree? I think we do need to find a balance between obsessing over perfection and not giving a darn. Sometimes we can work a piece to death. Maybe being a little afraid to send it off. However, what we put out there for others to read reflects our level of professionalism. I want my reflection to be the best that it can be.