Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Summertime Story

This is the story of four friends, 120,021 balloons and 3,924 fellow Cougars who wanted to be in the Guiness Book of World Records for the world's largest water balloon fight.

Sarah, Michelle, Marie and Katelyn are so excited to get started
they can't keep from jumping for joy!

The four friends are divide into their teams.
Sarah is so excited in her protective eye wear on the orange and blue team.

Michelle decided it would be most effective if an assembly line was employed.
She would hold the balloons and feed them to Sarah.
Look how many water balloons she can hold.
She looks so happy.

Sarah and Michelle also ran into a friend they only knew from afar Cosmo!
The friends were excited to have their first picture with Cosmo.
Now Cosmo, Sarah and Michelle are real friends now.
With Cosmo on Sarah and Michelle's team, you know blue and orange were victorious.

Without cell phones, the four friends eventually reunited.
They were a little more wet and had an abnormal amount of little rubber pieces all over them, but they were happy.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Battle between the Screen and Paper

I've been working as a writer for the external relations department at the Marriott School for almost three months now and I LOVE IT!

As a writer it should come as no surprise that I also put on an editor hat frequently; scrupulously evaluating my own writing and that of my co-workers. A question that has plagued my mind over the last couple months is:

"Why does printing a story make it easier to find mistakes and generate ideas for improvement when it's in hand opposed to the screen?"

After writing an alumni highlight for the magazine about an alumnae working to make her city greener, I thought about what I could do to be a little more eco-friendly.

So I tried something different - I self-edited my completed first draft on my computer, instead of printing it. At first I was all aboard and felt pretty good about myself. With a half smile my thought bubble was something like this, "yeah, I just saved another sheet of paper."

But after a few "greener" self-edits, I realized the edits I got back from my peers had errors I would generally catch. Simple punctuation mistakes or repetition of words in a paragraph, to name a couple. I also recognized my complete inability to edit on my co-workers screen while helping her with a specific question. It was as if I couldn't even see the words - I just couldn't connect with her screen. So I went back to printing and things seemed to go back to normal.

Which leads me back to the question, what makes the same words and punctuation stand out more on a printed page? And why?

I'm not the only one who has asked the question. I found this e-mail discussion among professional writers about the topic. I related with many of the writers comments, but felt particularly aligned with Robert's:
"I still find the printed word of a different texture than the word on CRT (cathode ray tube). I find this neither good nor bad. While I cannot read large amounts of text on the screen, I can write them. And edit them. A different kind of fine tuning comes when I hold the words in my hand."
I believe my style can be labeled as a paper heavy hybrid. Here's the process:

I edit on screen while the story is in development, until the first draft is complete. The words hit ink for the first time and my green or blue pen comes out and I see the story with new eyes. After changes are made it's printed again and sent to begin the official editing process, with a peer edit. Penultimately a printed copy goes to one of two supervisors and after as many revisions as it takes, a (hopefully) final printed copy goes to the head of the department.

How do you edit what you write?

Do you find a difference in editing on screen versus on paper?

Do you find certain types of corrections through a particular method?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recalling Rosenblatt

At an Omaha Royals game from the press box courtesy of a client while working at Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc.

As the reign of Rosenblatt stadium comes to an end this summer, Hannah Karp from the Wall Street Journal submitted a query, through HARO, for their favorite Rosenblatt memories. I couldn't resist the opportunity as an Omaha native and College World Series fan to submit my favorite memory. Although it wasn't published I enjoyed writing something outside of work and about a happy memory with my dad.


Just recently my dad revealed he took me to my first College World Series game because he felt sorry for me. It was the middle of my softball season and instead of a glove on the end of my left hand, I sported a blue cast all the way up my arm.

We were late for the game, and I can still recall the aluminum “ping” that cut through the air as we made our way to Rosenblatt’s entrance. It was Game 10 of the 1998 College World Series, USC vs. Mississippi State. Our seats were even with the bag on the first baseline about fifteen rows up, just barely in the shade.

Although I can’t remember details of the game I cannot forget the feeling in the stadium. I could easily say it was the thrill of America’s game in the heart of its country. But for an eleven-year-old tomboy, it was the most majestic and breathtaking way for my dad and I to share our love for baseball.

With the final out, I squirmed my way toward the USC dugout. I leaned over with my cast dangling in perfect view, with the hopes of receiving some Trojan sympathy in the form of an autograph. To my dad’s surprise my plan worked and the third baseman, Morgan Ensberg, came my way. He was quick, but sincere in his well wishes for my speedy return to the field. Then we began the trek to the car, whilst I examined my autographed ticket stub, grinning ear-to-ear.

And that’s when it happened – I fell in love with everything about Rosenblatt stadium and the College World Series.

The excitement cannot be contained while waiting to go into a CWS game in 2007.

2007 College World Series Game
Click here to read Hannah Karp's article, "The Last At-Bat at Rosenblatt."