It was about this time roughly 10 years ago when I spun around at my chair and wrote the first letter to Ellen. It was the day after she walked through the door of her dorm as a freshly minted college freshman.
To this day I am still not altogether certain why I made a 180 degree turn from my desk to face my clunky Gateway PC and start typing away. I’ve thought about the ‘why’ a lot over the years and still don’t have a ready answer. It just happened. I don’t remember what was written. The letter was not saved.
In the first ill-fated draft of my book (then titled Weight of a Single Page) I theorized that the first letter to Ellen was a psychological holdover from my days at the University of Nebraska. Every single day, without fail, I would purposefully glance at the slim aluminum mailboxes at what passed for a dormitory ‘communications’ center (augmented by a pay phone that cost a dime). There was never, ever, a letter for me. Nothing. Even junk mail and credit card come-ons – still years away from flooding college in-boxes – would’ve been a welcome sight to my lonely eyes. Deep down was some apparent determination to not let the same fate befall her.
So this week is an anniversary of sorts. We’ll let Ellen and Reid decide if what they’ve received week in and week out over the years is indeed worth a celebration.
August 9, 2010
Ellen/Reid: Not much new on the job front these days. Things have essentially ground to a halt inside the bank and now it’s on to other pastures. I drive to Raleigh first thing tomorrow for an interview with __________. Not very apprehensive about it having been in an agency setting before. As you know, Reid, the agency is all about being vocal and making/supporting your own case and hope I get the chance to do just that.
Was going over and rearranging my portfolio last night to prep for the trip, and it isn’t looking too bad. A.P., WSJ, Christian Science Monitor, Meredith, lots of marketing pieces, etc. So some parts of the puzzle are in place. My friend Jim in Des Moines gave me a caution about folks in our age group (60+) who’ve had trouble landing work or being taken seriously. I’ll stick to my guns in terms of what I know best in terms of writing/thinking for the customer. We’ll let the chips fall where they may.
Looks like my writing class at the local community college is a green-light ‘go.’ Signed up as the instructor last week so I guess there’s no turning back. I’m really excited about the possibility and already have been working on writing exercises and class structure and the like. Ellen, I wish I had your teaching credentials and you can feel free to give me a few pointers. My instinct is that we’ll work on basics, basics, basics. Since most of the students will want to get to blogging ASAP, we’ll hammer at organization of content and writing skills. I will be death on any corporate language in the event there are adults that come from a corporate background. Words like ‘engage’, ‘metrics’ and the like will be banned.
I’ve hung up the golf clubs on a hook in the garage. Stop me if I’ve told you this before, but they are literally hanging by a hook and will stay there until something meaningful comes across my plate. Totally comfortable with that decision. I wasn’t playing worth a damn anyway.
There’s one less house on the market in my neighborhood. The unit that sits diagonally across from me just sold this past week and the young couple was outside yesterday fiddling around and grooming the place. They’re a nice pair. Hard to believe the unit was unoccupied for almost two full years. Other town homes though have been popping up on the market all throughout the complex. Not a very good sign for real estate in Charlotte. My little neck of the woods has a lot going for it but units just aren’t moving very well. Totally a buyer’s market.
Reid, any suggestions for the blog are welcome. Traffic is okay but I wouldn’t mind having more subscribers. A pretty faithful bunch but it would be nice to have a few more regulars on the site. I’ll post my 100th post here in the next two weeks. Thinking of scaling it back to twice a week. If you guys have thoughts on that, let me know.
I have made a U-turn on the book and am going to revisit it entirely. My friends Julie and Jennifer were spot on with their critiques about it; i.e. more emotion and less lecture. The title is new, too. Really, if either of you have thoughts, let me know. I’d welcome you guns working on some sort of chapter or preamble that would be included.
Well, it’s off to York, SC for an interview within the hour. I’ll keep you posted. Hope northern Minnesota was good and that the mosquitoes were smaller than normal. I know they weren’t any smaller in number.