My tugboat man called last night.
When he’s near land, he tries to call at least once a day. I know he’s concerned about me being here alone and a phone call or an email eases his worry.
I spent about ten minutes blithely chatting away about my car that slipped a little on the wet streets because it was raining and everything else I did: went to the gym, how I was planning the menus for my son/DIL’s visit and what kind of birthday cake the Angel Boy requested (chocolate), and how we were hoping the weather would be nice for them.
When I stopped to take a breath,
he told me what was happening on the tug –they played cribbage,
he lost–he was tired and
going to sleep, and oh, by the way, the assignment was winding down and he’d be flying out in a couple of days.
WHAT. THE. HELL. DID. HE. JUST. SAY?
“What did you say? You let me chatter on for all that time and never stopped me to say you’re coming home? YOU BURIED THE LEAD? Who does that? You’re supposed to LEAD with the important part of the story. Geez”
“I was planning to, whenever you stopped talking.” he said. Oh SUH-NAP.
What every writer should know
Every writer, every journalist, EVERYONE knows that you never bury the lead!
Once upon a time, there was this thing that was made out of paper that had words printed on it. It was called a newspaper. People just like you and me read them every day to learn about the world around us. That was before television even, and well before the internet. Writers and journalists were a key element and held in high esteem. (This is MY story, right?) Those of us who took journalism and writing classes in college learned the old adage: Never Bury The Lead. In the pre-blog paper based publishing world, page space held a premium. All writers knew their magnificent five hundred word story might get hacked up on a busy news day. If the shortened version didn’t “have legs” on its own, the piece could be killed. That’s why news writers are concise. The survival of their by-lines depended on it.
Our conversation would have taken an entirely different path if my tugboat man had started with “I’m coming home”.
Barring more delays (entirely possible), he’ll be here early next week!
Picture me spending that time finishing the spring cleaning, grocery shopping, and baking — oh, and planning what to wear to pick him up at the airport. I think it’s time for another new outfit to match my new and improved face, don’t you?
Happy International Women’s Day and Happy Friday, everyone!
For your enjoyment, another Cure song (of love and sadness) along with one of our favorite Bob Marley songs (of love and joy).
- Lead With Your Strongest Info (terrywhalin.blogspot.com)
- International Women’s Day (llblog2010.wordpress.com)
- Literary Ladies We Love (bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com)
- Fifteen Tips for Writers from Ernest Hemingway, Anne Lamott, and Stephen King (enotes.com)