A few days ago I prepared to begin an article. The story began with an email that took roughly 3 hours to take care of. It wasn't a problem on the end of the sender, it was restraints on my website.

First I put all of the information onto the website, and then I walked away and forgot to save it. I put the information on a second time and started to add the corresponding pictures, and then saved it that time. The third time I went to open it, it couldn't open because I had overloaded the story content with pictures.

So I lather, rinse and repeat.

On the fourth attempt, I decided to put the information in and come back with another plan for the photos. I started retyping and realized that the site would probably time out again, so I closed the site and opened a program where I could type directly from the email and compile all of the information. After this was accomplished, I then took a look at all of the pictures that needed to be included in the story. Opening up Photoshop, I put all of the photos in there, then cropped them all to save space and then created 9 different documents to share with you.

3 hours plus later, I FINALLY had the story loaded and hoped that I didn't just jinx that by typing this.

And that is how long just one story took, and I didn't really even write that one, I just compiled the information.

If you've seen the movie that features Geena Davis and Christopher Reeves called, "Speechless," a segment in the movie reflects what happens most days. In the movie, Reeves straps a camera onto Davis' head to do a documentary about journalism. As Davis sits at her typewriter, yes it's that old of a movie, Reeves says, "Deadline, deadline, deadline" as he narrates for the movie that he's making. That's how I feel most days as I scramble around transferring email to the website, or creating ads, or working on the business end of the website or trying to collect information for a story.

At 11:45 the other day, an obituary came in. Knowing that those are pretty quick to upload, I copied, pasted, put it on and then hit send on the daily email. I had a note from a couple of friends that said, "Umm, you have an obit on the opinion page..." At a quick glance, I just saw "O" and sent the story to that page. It's now in its proper place on the Obituary page.

I still chuckle at a half-page ad that listed 13 positions filled in a paper production of what I do. 12 of the positions describe jobs I do all the time, every day. The l3th position is filled by Jeff Holmes on the Sports page. A position that literally had me in tears a year or so ago as I tried to figure out how to do that job too.

So if the news is a little light some days, it's probably the 3 hour tour that I took to get one story ready for you to read. It could be that ads had to be created. Of course, it could be the two stories that are on the back burner and won't be ready for several more days for one and a few more hours for another as I wait for people to get back to me.

But every morning, the tape is running that says, "Deadline, deadline, deadline..."

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Comments (2)

Thanks for your tenacity, Valerie! I enjoy your online newspaper!!
By: Carol A Geater on February 2nd 12:56pm
It is easy for us, as readers of the work you do to overlook everything that goes into putting it all together. Let me say thank you! I for one appreciate the effort you always put into providing us all with quality reporting of the news and current events.
By: Gerald Bates on February 9th 9:16pm

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