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Opinion / Beyond The Typewriter

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A few parting thoughts

After nearly two years at the Fountain Valley News, I am moving on to a full-time editing position with another publisher. I want to thank everyone at the Fountain Valley News for... — Updated 12/22/2021

 

No, it's not a baby stroller

I think at some point, each of us has had a job that we don't know how to explain. Maybe it was too short to get a sense what the job was really about it; maybe it was so difficult... — Updated 11/9/2021

 

What happens when our skills aren't enough?

In my second year of college, a friend named Luke loaned me a book. Luke was an accomplished writer who had won a contest to have his first novel published. Unlike many students in... — Updated 9/1/2021

 

Thoughts on surviving a fire

The trees were black. Soot covered them all the way to the top, and the branches were burned away. Set against the red-orange soil, they looked like a thousand black toothpicks... — Updated 7/28/2021

 

To pen name, or not to pen name?

I have the kind of last name that people struggle with. Salter is pronounced like it looks ("salt with an E-R," as my mother puts it), but many have found a multitude of ways to... — Updated 6/9/2021

 

The discerning listener's guide to on-hold music

The thing about being a journalist is you spend a fair amount of time on the phone. I can do lots of initial research through Facebook and even conduct interviews using Facebook... — Updated 5/11/2021

 

What makes a good story?

Perhaps the oldest question that writers get is "Where do you get your ideas from?" When someone brings that up, I remember something: When I was 17, my family was camping with... — Updated 4/6/2021

 

It's not always safety first

"What kinda lies you tellin' this boy?" he croaked. The man's eyes were a cold blue color. They reminded me of shotgun barrels, and fit very well with his cowboy boots, denim jeans... — Updated 3/9/2021

 

'Evil' drums and guitars

Church is an interesting topic for me, because I didn't have a "normal" church background. My family moved to Germany when I was three years old to do missionary work with the... — Updated 2/2/2021

 

A lesson in sign language

"This space left blank intentionally." I stare at the words painted on the fender of a bright green car covered in psychedelic designs. This car has been parked not far from my offi... — Updated 12/29/2020

 

Strange new friends

"Well, that was odd," I thought. I was standing on a cold concrete sidewalk outside my local library, 13 or 14 at the time, and had just attended my first writer's group. My parents... — Updated 12/1/2020

 

Of goats and men

Editor's Note: In the interest of maintaining privacy, people's name, street names and other identifying landmarks (including house colors), have been changed in this story. One of... — Updated 11/4/2020

 

Of typos and unicorns

Note: Kurt Vonnegut wrote in one of his books, "No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent. Angels protect the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine."... — Updated 9/30/2020

 

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