Journaling Idea #28: Write about the News

Photo by Amy Wolf, the goat Thickle’s owner

When city newspapers cover an international or national story, they often publish a local news story next to it. The reporter looks for connections between what the wire services are reporting and their local community. In the same manner, a journaler can make use of the day’s news and look for a local connection.

Many people use the local news approach when they write posts for social media. A former student of mine made such a move for a post on Facebook:

Wolf’s words and photo were quite the hit. Nick Beres, a journalist for News Channel 5, reposted Wolf’s picture of Thickle looking at himself in the mirror and wrote his own clever commentary. Beres’ post received over a thousand comments and nearly four thousand shares.

I love the way Wolf wrote her post. Her pairing of the words “snomageddon” with “farmageddon” is clever. She starts with the larger event and moves to its impact on her life.

Responses to news in a journal can be as short as Wolf’s post or as long as the writer wishes. A journaler can choose to write in prose like Wolf or write in verse. I advocated for poets to write in response to the news in a column titled “Poetry Made Present,” published in The Press Enterprise on September 8, 2014.

Wolf could have easily adapted her response into the form of a septolet. The website Shadow Poetry defines a septolet as “a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.”

Here’s my septolet created from Wolf’s words:

Thickle and Friends

Snowmageddon

beat out

our goat shed’s warmth,

so farmaggedon

happened

in our upstairs

bathroom.

Wolf’s post reminded me of the pet goats named Zebu and Daisy that I purchased for a 4-H project with a friend. Thinking of how Zebu even ate my homework, I replied to Wolf’s post that I hope she had removed the shower curtain and towels from her bathroom.

My humor soon faded, however, as I remembered Zebu and Daisy’s fate.

Blizzard of 2022

Facebook shows

Amy’s goats

in her bathroom.

Mine 

froze in 

the barn 

in ‘83.

I hope you will give writing about the news a try for an occasional entry in your own eclectic journal or in a journal devoted to responses to the news.

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