Oh, my. Good news. A challenge. Louisiana Life is going with their Best Of issue for Sept.Oct. Already got the Arounds in last week, but for this they’ve given me all of Plantation Country to write the Best of’s. Seven topics, one-hundred to one hundred fifty words limits, asked me if I would do it, has to be in by August 1 at high noon. One week away. Of course, I accepted! My new editor, Melanie, I really like her, thanked me for “joining the elite band of word ninjas” for accepting this last minute deal. I remember my first assignment for La Life. Errol called me out of the blue and asked if I could somehow do a large piece on sweet potatoes. Seriously. Sugar Busters diet was popular then, used sweet taters a lot and they are a state crop. He didn’t tell me the word limit, but it would be 1200 come to find out. He told me, “I need it in six days.” Okay. I promptly researched and wrote 3600 words. I even drove to a sweet potato farm on a gorgeous January day in St. Francisville and interviewed a farmer who was a wealth of info…I found out so many facts about sweet potatoes…and then set about making an article about them fun and interesting. Errol told me it was too long, but never mind. He praised it immensely and from then on kept giving me assignments until he gave me my feature. What I admired about the editing on the SP article was this. He kept the meet of the story intact, but ferreted out all the interesting facts about them into a bulleted sidebar, entitled, “Morning Glory,” because I had written they were related to the morning glory vine. That’s almost 20 years ago.
Accepting this last minute assignment is a king of walk down memory lane.