Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Favorite Things Part 2

2012 afforded me the opportunity to write book reviews--more reviews, in fact, than my past 52 years combined.  I discovered that I rather enjoyed this:  receiving shipments of books from publishers, stacking them alongside my writing space (usually the sofa), reading them, and then offering my thoughts.  And if my editor's feedback is accurate, I should write even more of these in 2013.

I also cannot recall a year in which I wrote so many essays for publication.  And what a blend.  Among some of my stronger essays were:  a piece I wrote about the publishing industry's insatiable lust for "fame"; a memoir about my foray into the underworld of competitive bodybuilding; several essays about financial stewardship in the congregation; essays about depression, breast cancer, and smallmouth bass fishing in Indiana waterways; and dozens of essays about youth ministry.

My favorite essay of 2012, however, has to be my piece on the Indiana Beaver population.  Writing this piece took me into the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and required telephone interviews and follow-up questions via the internet. It was not reportage at the highest level, but writing about beavers was exacting and personal to me . . . as the impetus for the article began with my anecdote regarding the beavers that chewed down 40+ trees in our yard along white lick creek.  Busy as a beaver?  I'll say. 

What's next for me?  If 2013 is reminiscent of the past, I'll continue to write about anything that catches my interest.  It could be Swiss cheese or how to use Preparation-H as a wrinkle-remover.  I might write about Jesus or some jerk in Schenectady.  I could write about warts, sex, or how to use binoculars.

Two of my favorite essays that were not published in 2012 (but are still making the rounds) are:  "In Praise of Women" and "Pumping Irony".  I think some editor will pick these up in 2013.

But if not . . . I can always write something else.  Anyone out there need an essay:  "Ten Ways to Rid Yourself of Your College Student Without Feeling Guilty"?

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