Friday, July 8, 2011

Keeping out of trouble

Ever since I was a child, I've had a hard time keeping out of trouble.
My teachers in the primary grades used to write on my report cards that I like to talk too much.
When I got older, I would get called into the principal's office (or the local ward bishop's office) because I was creating so much havoc in my classes that the teachers were at their wit's end.
I was either talking too much or writing too much down to share.
(I actually started my writing career with a novel that I wrote in home room one page at a time. I would send off a page as it was finished and start another. The pages worked their way around the room until everybody was reading the latest installment instead of doing their classwork. The only reason I escaped without punishment was because the teacher got caught up in the story and needed to know who had Page 12!)
In my inevitable career as a reporter, I often got called to task for a story somebody didn't like or didn't agree with.
Once in a while it involved bringing in my supervisor and the big bosses.
Usually I was OK because I had done my research and my editors know that writing for a newspaper was like working in a mine field. Anything can explode on you at any time.
The ones that got me into the most trouble were the fluff stories, the little innocuous stories that I would do as a favor for somebody, a groundbreaking or an advance for a minor event.
Somebody would see their name in the paper and freak out. Didn't I know this person was hiding out from an ex-husband, the mob or a bill collector and how could I print this trash?
It's been an interesting life as I've gone along, never a dull moment.
And you'd think I'd have learned something about the printed/published word.
Sharing the word
That's why it was a surprise to me when several people reacted to a recent blog, calling me to task for being mean.
I thought I'd been careful with my words.
I hadn't set out to hurt anybody or malign.
I really thought I was simply entertaining the valiant readers who check into "Grandma's Place."
I thought what I was writing was totally benign but possibly interesting.
But I was wrong and so here I am, 60 years old and still talking too much. I apologize but I'll probably keep blundering on.

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