It all happened accidentally. The editor/publisher/chief paperboy of the Broad Ripple Gazette asked if he could write about me - it was shortly after the coffeehouse closed. I told him I'd rather write and....viola! It was that easy. I've been on page 6 ever since.
I love writing the Gazette column, even though it is a volunteer project and spend at least six hours a week writing, researching and going to shows. And I attend most shows on my own dime. But I get total freedom on what I write - I get to infuse a good dose of my personality and cheerfulness in the piece. I'm not given a minimum or maximum word count or told what I can and cannot cover. I write with the "if you can't say something nice talk about the weather" credo.
The column has morphed (and hopefully matured) in the last three years. I've had good advice along the way. One thing that I took to heart was a comment that I was writing too much about how I was older than everyone else and attending the shows alone. I've toned that down, an occasional "I'm old enough be their mother" comment slips out and I do want people to know that it is okay to go to event by themselves. But I've dropped the whole woe-is-me thing. I save that for this blog :).
I've had two writers from the Indianapolis Star tell me recently how much they like my column. One said it's the "most honest writing in town." I'm not sure about all of that, but I'm grateful for the opportunity. I post all of the Gazette columns here.
That lead to me being in the panel of the Top 10 Live list in this paper each week. I'm one of a handful of people that votes. It is published in Indy.com, a division of the Indianapolis Star each week.
I waited on the editor-in-chief of NUVO at the Red Key one night. He made an off-handed comment, "send me something some time." I was totally innocent in the ways of submissions and such. I interviewed Susan Cowsill, had my dear brother-in-law Ron edit it. Ron not only corrected the grammar, but pointed out that I hadn't mentioned what her music was like. I Whoops - thanks Ron. I sent the completed unsolicited article in. NUVO was kind enough to find room in the next issue and actually pay me for it. I was so excited that I hung the check on my bulletin board) and forgot to cash it for months)!
Everyone loves the Gazette, but the other two papers might have a bit of a rivalry. I try to fly under the radar with them.
I'm not quite sure how it all came together, but I know I get geeked-out when I walk by the rack at the Northside News Cafe that has all three papers available. I have to stop myself from jumping up and down and grabbing innocent bystanders and making them look at my name in all three.
You should have seen me when I drove by paper boxes with my cover story. I'm surprised I didn't cause any accidents.