Monday, October 24, 2005

Life of a Freelancer

I'm still having fun with my burgeoning freelance career. Last night I submitted three stories to the challenger I'm working on. Tonight I go interview a playwright and director for a local award winning theatre troupe and I still have a few stories in the hopper.

My latest story to appear in the Enquirer was on a Katrina Fundraiser at Northern Kentucky University. It's here. I was asked for a longer story and gave them one at 620 words, but this one is a mere 320. I'm fine with that. I liked what I did with the original, but maybe space limitations ruled and it had to be cut. Although the cutting doesn't bother me, I do have two concerns:
1. Why don't I care? Shouldn't I be offended by my work being mangled? Shouldn't I throw an artist's hissy fit? My attitude is oh, well. As long as the check comes I'll be happy. Is that wrong?

2. I do get much feedback and I could be off base making my clients (the paper) work harder. Whether it's my investment clients or my writing clients - I feel a deep obligation to them. So I fret about it, but The Divine Mrs. M says that unless they bitch, leave it alone. We have a saying around our house - Don't poke the bear. I'll just leave this alone.

In case your interested, below is the original story as submitted. It's fun - at least for me - to compare to the one linked above.
When Toni Sheffer received a call that a scheduled performance for the Northern Kentucky Children's Ensemble concert had been postponed, she didn’t realize that it would lead to a large-scale fundraiser for hurricane victims.

However, this Sunday NKU will serve as the region wide gathering place for donations to help those that are still in need on the Gulf Coast.

It was unfortunate when the Overture Awards had to postpone, but since the event was already scheduled and the children were already practicing, Ms. Sheffer who serves as director of NKU’s Music Preparatory Department decided to go ahead with a concert and turn it into a fundraiser.

She called Dean of Students Kent Kelso for support. He readily agreed and a date was set.

Ms. Sheffer then went about planning a small event with some other performers to attract a larger crowd.

At about the same time, stay-at-home mother of four Christi Hoehn felt helpless. She had just dropped off another load of donations headed for the Gulf and thought, “it just isn’t enough.” She did some soul searching and the Newport resident decided to become an activist for the first time in her life.

“I thought, ‘If all the cities in Northern Kentucky just pulled together, we could really do something that makes a difference,” she said.

Ms. Hoehn formed an organization named “One for All, United We Care” and made phone calls and sent e-mails and letters to all 39 cities in Northern Kentucky calling a meeting to see how they could address the problem collectively.

“I never gave a speech in front of city officials before and I fumbled a bit, but everyone was wanting to help.”

Her plan was to have a massive 1-day food and clothing drive and somehow manage to get it to the hurricane victims. The first step would be to designate a central location for each city to bring their donations.

That’s when luck raised its hand. NKU Dean of Student Kelso also serves as a city councilman for Independence. Mayor Chris Moriconi had asked him to represent their city at the meeting. Mr. Kelso suggested the NKU campus as a staging point and combining the cities drop offs with Ms. Sheffer’s concert and fundraiser to make for one large event.

“At NKU, part of our job is to figure out ways to bring people together whether it’s with fundraising or issues that need to be debated in the pubic forum,” Dean Kelso said.

The event, the Northern Kentucky Gulf Coast Benefit, will bring people together this Sunday, October 23rd.

While the cities will be hauling in the donations that they have raised, individual donation booths will also be open as attendees are entertained by games, food, music, and a bake sale.

At 3:00 in Greaves Hall, Norma Rashid will emcee the concert organized by Ms. Sheffer. Fittingly for a fundraiser focused on helping New Orleans, the concert will include a number of jazz standards.

The NKU Vocal Jazz Ensemble will sing “Now or Never” and Miles Davis’ “All Blues”. The Northern Kentucky Children's Ensemble will perform “America the Beautiful” and “Deo Gracias” by Benjamin Britten. Other groups performing will include Metropolitan Opera Bass/Baritone Richard Cowen, the NKY Opera Troupe, and the Northern Kentucky Youth Sinfonia.

Completing the concert will be two survivors of the New Orleans flood, Ashley & Mike Lemmler. A husband and wife team, they have been staying in Northern Kentucky since Katrina devastated their home. Ashley is a singer and Mike is pianist. Together they will be performing “Basin St. Blues” and “Moon River”.

The grand finale will include a special jazz arrangement of My Old Kentucky Home arranged by Jay Flippin of Morehead State University.

And just an FYI. No I didn't attend. We were recovering from Daughter #1's sleep over.

Stay You.
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