Didn’t Catch it in the Newsroom

Good afternoon everyone — at least that’s where we are at in our day. Thanks to streaming we were able to listen to a church service in Quebec, part of one in Manitoba, and our own here in Sask. Now we have a brilliant blue sky and warm sunshine, the birds are dragging sticks and straws to various nests, and I’d best send out my response to today’s prompt.

Do I dare ask if you’ve tried the new editor? Yesterday I was reading several other bloggers’ thoughts and experiences with this complicated new Block Editor. Not many sweet notes in their song; so far the chorus sounds more like “Aargh…Why! Why!” My own gripe is that I have to go through my post and Justify every single paragraph — one by one — and then I can’t see that it has been done until it’s published. Aargh.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt, contributed by yours truly, is JOURNALIST. Do hop over and check out the links to see what others are posting about this subject. There’s a wide range of interpretations here.

Now, here’s my contribution:

In his book, A Way With Words, ©1979, Canadian newsman Bill Cameron takes a light-hearted look at some of the journalistic bloopers he’s seen in his day and suggests ways writers can clarify their writing. No more, I saw the fox run through the field looking through my binoculars.” 🙂

One thing he mentions is that a reporter should follow an order and always state at the beginning of the story what it’s about. Here’s the opening line of a story once printed in the Regina paper. How did this one sneak past the editor?
“An intricate breeding style, developed through a boyhood hobby, is fast turning into a full-time vocation for a Kantsay district farmer and his wife.”
The reporter does explain a few lines down that said farmer and wife were having great success at breeding and raising some type of livestock, but Mr Cameron thinks that lead-in produced many a chuckle.

Here’s another, from a Saskatoon paper’s editorial of bygone days:
Speaking of expensive frills in modern houses, the writer explains how “dining rooms were once considered necessary because the old-type kitchen was not suitable for eating.

Don’t panic, dear readers. I haven’t heard of any Canadians who actually tried to eat their kitchen.

Mr Cameron stresses that every writer “should look over everything they write with the most critical eye they can muster. Read it over. Read it out loud. Better, have a friend read it over to you.”

After all, to air is human — and your Spell checker will miss a few, too.

He admits that sometimes they get a great lead to an article and can’t use it because it would be in such poor taste. For example, When J Edgar Hoover died, a fellow editor in the newsroom suggested as a lead to the obituary, ‘The death of J Edgar Hoover has left at vacuum at the FBI’. It gave them a quick chuckle, but they knew it wouldn’t be well accepted.

Do you think journalists and editors in our day ever reject a story because it’s in poor taste?

Twilight Settles

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was SETTLE and it’s taken me awhile to settle down and respond to it. Actually, for my response I’m going to publish a poem by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman.

EVENING

From upland slopes I see the cows file by,
Lowing, great-chested,
down the homeward trail,
By dusking fields and meadows shining pale
With moon-tipped dandelions. Flickering high,
A peevish night-hawk in the western sky
Beats up into the lucent solitudes,
Or drops with gliding wing. The stilly woods
Grow dark and deep, and gloom mysteriously.
Cool night winds creep
and whisper in mine ear.
The homely cricket gossips at my feet.
From far-off pools and wastes of reeds I hear,
Clear and soft-piped, the chanting frogs break sweet
In full Pandean chorus. One by one
Shine out the stars
and the great night comes on.

I’m slowly getting used to the new editor. Some features I really like — one of them being the wide color range I can use for my type. Another is this Subscript. I sometimes tried using the tiniest font in the Classic editor, but it didn’t seem to make much difference to the size — not like this.

Promise

Ragtag Daily Prompt: THE BLUES

We had a good soaker last night; I looked out at 2 am when the storm was at its worst, flashing, crashing, and roaring overhead, and saw the rain coming down in sheets. This morning a tub left outside has over an inch of rain in the bottom.

So no more singing the dryland blues here. Rather, since I was awake in the night, I jotted down this haiku as it came to me.
Lexico supplies this definition for PETRICHOR: A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

rain in the night
the petrichor a promise
of golden grain

I had lots of opportunity to ponder life, love, and the path of tornadoes while the storm was making such a racket and debouching over our heads. Thoughts like: If a tornado hit our home, which of our belongings would we miss the most? And, Why didn’t I put my laptop away in its case, where it would be more protected? Irrelevant thoughts, perhaps, but what other kind do you have at that hour?

This morning’s Word of the Day Challenge: FORGOTTEN

I remembered all the scribbled verses on scraps of paper floating around my computer desk. They’d be lost in the storm and the brilliant thoughts (?) forever forgotten! Rather than giving in to the blues at 2:30 am, I resolved again to get the worthwhile ones typed in and saved in DropBox.

Not a new thought. When I jot an idea down, I have every intention of dealing with it promptly. However, like clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away, they tend to pile up on my desk, awaiting processing.

Last Call for Learning?

Good morning everyone!

We have a beautiful day here on the prairies, which is not exactly what we would wish for, but you don’t always get what you wish for. If we did, some people would leave well enough alone and stop “improving” things, right?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is the simple word CALL. I expect I’m going to be calling for help many times, as I try to get used to the new editor. WordPress has announced that they’re retiring the old editor on June 1st — though us die-hards can still access it and use it, apparently. But for how long?

The new editor, as I see all the complexities of it, reminds me of a Rubic’s cube — and I never was good at those. Last night, after seeing their post with the announcement I spent a good while doing a few extra posts, going back and forth to the WordPress website, trying to figure out how to operate this complex new system. I haven’t mastered inserting images yet.

Image by succo at Pixabay

Heretofore I’ve basically used two “blocks”: I write paragraphs and paste in images. I could block my whole text to Justify; now I must do it paragraph by paragraph as each paragraph seems to be considered a block. And the sidebar had all the info I needed. Last night I spent five minutes on each post trying to figure out how to access the Categories and Tags. I think I’ve got that now. So much to learn as the stream of technological advancements pulls sticks-in-the-mud like me along with it.

There are supposed to be different fonts; I haven’t discovered them yet. On the other hand, I really like the new range of colours available for the type! But you have to write the number down or you can’t get back to it, should you decide to add something.

Speaking of attractive colours, hummingbirds have been seen in our area, so I’d best get my feeders up. Have a great day everyone, and do stop over at the Ragtag Community blog to see what other folks are posting in response to this prompt.

White-Rain Morning

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: NOMAD
Jibber Jabber with Sue: TIME
Word of the Day: TRADITION

By tradition, May is the time for sunny days, blooming tulips, birds flitting to and fro as they make their nests cozy. So why am I seeing snowflakes coming down, alternately with drizzle? I look out the window at the white-dusted roof of our garage and sigh.

Gray clouds, nomads from the icy lands up north, blew in on a stiff wind yesterday, rattling our home and raining on us. This morning they’ve settled in to give us some serious WEATHER. On one hand, I sure could do without this. On the other, a prairie person never complains about precipitation in spring, no matter what form it arrives in. Wasn’t I just saying a couple of days ago that we really need rain?

It’s not that cold, though; the snow’s melting rather than turning the ground white. Which means we likely won’t have a white Mother’s Day tomorrow. For everyone in North America and whoever else may be celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow, I hope you Moms have a lovely day no matter what the weather brings.

I decided to check out the new “Block editor” on my post this morning, which is why I can’t justify this post.  I don’t know why they decided to omit that feature, but I’m going back to the “good old way” after this, if I can.