Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A list of ___ things

I recently read an article that touched on the topic of writing list-style articles. (I'll point you to it later.)

I have to admit that as a freelance writer, I have written list articles - 5 Ways to Bake Cookies Without An Oven During an Oregon Summer; The Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Odors in Your Closet; Three Reasons Pet Rocks Trump Pet Frogs - that sort of thing. There are advantages to the list article, not the least of which is that it can be a helpful way to group semi-unrelated thoughts.

So here's my list article for the week.

(or Random Excuses I May Want to Pull Out as a Deadline Approaches)

1. A wildfire.

Yep. I walked out my front door Monday afternoon only to discover that 600 acres of my view were in the process of being consumed. It was an interesting day. I'm a prairie girl and don't know a lot about forest fires. But I did know that if the wind shifted, we were going to be in real trouble. Fortunately, due to a host of heroes from across the state, no homes were lost in this fire and only one (that had been vacant) was lost in the sister fire down the valley.

2. Make that two wildfires.

It was an interesting lesson in crisis management. A neighboring town had a 90-acre, four-alarm fire the same day the fire broke out across from my neighborhood. And there was talk of a third fire in between. The good news is that every possible resource was in motion very quickly. But the rumors and speculation ran rife for quite some time. Why? Because the people that had the accurate information were busy doing the job that had to be done. Even now, there is still no definite word on the cause of either fire (or confirmation of the third).

3. A broken faucet.

The kitchen sink went kablooey, meaning I've had to do dishes in the laundry room. It would have been a great week to strap on the pedometer.

4. A virus.

It's the beginning of the school year and somehow that seems to amount to an open invitation for every virus in town to come visit. Again, though, there is a silver lining. Because of H1N1, students are coming home jam-packed with information on preventing germs from spreading. Which they explain to us as they pass the germs along anyways.

5. Router issues.

And I lost my favorite pencil. (You guessed it - Ms. Organization tried to tidy up.) How is this related to my router? Please don't ask me to explain. Not now that I've finished my list and am wrapping up.

In the meantime, here's the article I mentioned at the beginning of this post, "The List of N Things" by Paul Graham. I think you'll enjoy it. And in a somewhat related topic, I'll be posting on jargon later. After I find my favorite pencil.

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