Everyone and everything has a story. That’s long been a strong belief of mine. After more than 20 years as a journalist/writer, I have been fortunate to travel to fascinating places around the world, meet some wonderful people, and collect memorable and interesting stories. There’s no secret to it really. It usually starts with an assignment and an editor. From there, you do your research, possibly board a plane to who knows where, look around, ask the right questions, and – in my case at least – be blessed with an over-abundance of curiosity. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of transcribing the interview tapes, sorting all the facts and quotes in your head, sitting down to finally write the story, and delivering it in time to meet your editor’s deadline — which was yesterday.
As part of my New Year’s resolution a few years ago to write more and more often, I decided to embark on an experiment. The mission? To test a theory that you don’t have to travel to exotic and far-away places to find a good story – that in many cases, you can often find it right under your nose. In my case, this would be my cold, unfinished, and rather ordinary basement. In reality, it’s a room that has a promising and finished future, but that currently serves as a giant, walk-in, over-stuffed storage closet, which holds a winding maze of memories, mementos, milestones… and, well, who am I kidding? There is scattered evidence of plain old crap down there, too!
Metaphorically, the basement is also that place in a writer’s brain which is used for long-term storage and the collection of various bits of unrelated information that one tends to pick up here and there. Over time, even this space can gather dust and cobwebs, and this blog will provide me an opportunity to do some ‘house cleaning’ there too.