Creative newsroom

trying, failing, cussing, growing

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More “imagineering” at home: I replaced our boring lamps in the family room with these magical cherry blossom trees from Big Lots ($70 each).

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Already preparing for Halloween and Christmas …

My latest purchases, both involving light …

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Chauvet BOB LED — for a witch’s cauldron. Not sure how well this will fare outdoors …. will display in bay window if that’s out of the question.

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Light Flurries instant snowflake machine. Reviews are mixed on these machines …. but I got it on clearance, so I’m going to give it whirl. Might look nice out front … if the other lights are too bright, I might set it up to project on the back of the house to give our neighbors a show. And if both fail miserably, I guess I can always throw a disco party.

Here are my witch / gingerbread themes from 2013 …. I plan on building on the same themes every year with new displays, better lighting, etc. Your ideas are welcome!

Salem’s Witch House

Gingerbread house

Filed under Halloween christmas gingerbreadhouse witch

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'Deadly Spin' should be required reading for journalists.
Author Wendell Potter — former CIGNA PR exec — says he turned whistleblower after witnessing the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise County, Virginia (my backyard). He was always surprised that journalists never challenged the data they released … and reveals the tactics the industry uses to protect their profits.

'Deadly Spin' should be required reading for journalists.

Author Wendell Potter — former CIGNA PR exec — says he turned whistleblower after witnessing the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise County, Virginia (my backyard). He was always surprised that journalists never challenged the data they released … and reveals the tactics the industry uses to protect their profits.

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One of my “imagineering” attempts at home ….. here’s just one nook. The garden fairies are protesting today’s snow.

One of my “imagineering” attempts at home ….. here’s just one nook. The garden fairies are protesting today’s snow.

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Are you making important, complex info accessible to readers?

  •     Envision a general audience.
  •     Tell it to “Mom.”
  •     Slow down the pace of information.
  •     Introduce new characters or difficult concepts one at a time.
  •     Recognize the value of repetition.
  •     Don’t clutter leads.
  •     Use simple sentences.
  •     Remember numbers can be numbing.
  •     Think graphics.
  •     Translate jargon.
  •     Use analogies.
  •     Look for the human side.
  •     Develop a chronology.
  •     Reward the reader.
  •     Consider the impact.
  •     Announce difficult concepts.
  •     Cut unnecessary information.
  •     Compile lists.

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I LOVE HER: This Ph.D. combines deep thinking, pop culture in stories you actually want to read

From “Talking to Anne Helen Petersen About Leaving Academia for Buzzfeed” on Hairpin:

Buzzfeed editor Summer Anne Burton: “There’s this internet myth that you have to make this low-hanging cheap fruit in order to subsidize the “real” reporting/writing that no one reads, and that those “real” writers should never have to worry about the fact that no one reads them. Annie is the antithesis of that: she writes smart pieces about things that people care about, in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. Her Jennifer Lawrence piece got over a million views, almost all from people sharing on Facebook and Twitter, and it’s been gratifying to have such a perfect example of what we’re striving for at BuzzFeed.”