Please contact E. B. Davis at email@example.com for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for January include: (1/5) Jennifer J. Chow, (1/12) Amy Pershing, (1/19) Heather Weidner, (1/26) Marilyn Levinson.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Days of Wine and Chocolate
The summer after my senior year of college, I spent eight weeks in a copy editing internship for Newsday on Long Island, New York. At the end of the summer, my colleagues asked what kind of going away party I’d like to have. They offered suggestions from the ridiculous (the managing editor in a tutu singing my alma mater’s fight song) to the ridiculously indulgent (chocolate and champagne). I chose the second, and oh my, that party was the most lavish, rich, and decadent of my life: Bottles of champagne and chocolate everything: Chocolate-covered potato chips, a solid foot-long chocolate ruler, chocolate-covered fruit, chocolate cups filled with chocolate liqueur.
Maybe it’s the champagne talking, but I loved the news business with a passion that day, and I still love it, though my career took a sharp, voluntary turn away from the newsroom many years ago.
That celebration, though, and the way it made me feel—valued, part of something big and important, tipsy—stuck with me.
So it was bittersweet this week to raise a glass of bubbly to toast the publication of a short story that has roots in my journalism past.
In recent years, almost everyone I know in the journalism world has been laid off or threatened with layoffs. Newsroom staffs dwindled to nothing. Newspapers began outsourcing everything, including copy editing, my old job. Two years ago, our local paper outsourced printing to another nearby, larger newspaper, and all of my friends who worked with the presses and in the mailroom lost their jobs.
That’s when I began writing “Abundance of Patience,” a short story loosely inspired by layoffs in the news industry and published in the March 2016 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
The bowl’s nowhere close to full yet, but I added cork number four this week and, in a toned-down echo of that party in New York, celebrated my new publication and my longstanding admiration for newspapers and news people.
Sweet chocolate tempered with the bite of champagne.