Saturday, October 04, 2008

Three Word Wednesday

Thrash -Vindictive - Effortless

I recently had a reporter from the local paper come out to the house. I wanted to promote my ALS walk and ALS awareness in my community. The reporter and photographer were very nice and put me at ease. I gave her way more information than she needed as she tried to keep up with me on her trusty notepad. I wanted her to get a feel for who I was as a person. My story flowed from the heart and it was effortless. When the article came out it was on the front page and half of a later page, with a really good picture of me, Dave and Nikki.

As I read the extensive article it was a laundry list of things I've done since having ALS. Unfortunately there was not much room left for the emotional connection I had to the events. Considering I talk with a slur, most of the mistakes were no big deal. Some of the words, however, were just not me. "He's got my butt" referring to my connection to God made me cringe! God has held me up during my darkest days and has always had my BACK. I had also expressed my wish for a "living funeral" like in the book "Tuesdays with Morry." It was expressed as I told it, but she ended the paragraph with "There will be a line out the door of ladies waiting for Dave." Ugh! I had said that in jest in a whole other conversation explaining what a wonderful man Dave is. It was an awful place to put such a jest.

The article did not capture who I am and it made me realize I had been naive. I didn't ask to proof read it before it came out, she never asked me to repeat myself (red flag) and I gave her too much information. I had to thrash it around in my head before I could get past the disappointment and move on. My biggest ALS walk supporters have been my family, friends and blog buddies. They know me best through my own words.

I can't even link you the article or picture unless I subscribe or buy copyrights. The Internet is making it very tough to compete for small papers. If I get permission and the link, I will share it with you. I'm not keeping any copies but I'm saving that picture. I am very grateful that this article did do what was most important, spread ALS awareness. The paper did not link my personal ALS walk page, but instead referenced my blog. I'm not sure how many readers know about blogs, but at least I got ALS awareness out there.

On a side note, I have been shocked by vindictive comments on a few blogs that have expressed their political passions. Non political blogs have stepped out of their comfort zone in these scary times, only to be slammed with negativity and name calling. I'm keeping my argument's for Dave (lucky him!) and won't believe everything I read. ;) You can agree to disagree with respect and debate with kindness. I'm anxious to vote and move forward.

Photo - Fort Bragg from Jess


ThomG said...

Tammy, nice post. (Not all reporters are that frustrating - and I say that, since I am a reporter.)

Queen-Size funny bone said...

The people that know you will understand it was not a true vision of you and your triumphs.

tumblewords said...

It was nice that you did get some public awareness for your ALS walk.
I'll watch for the link, if it works out that you can post it! Take care and keep smiling!

emmapeelDallas said...

I'm sorry you had that experience with the reporter, but glad you got some awareness for your walk.



daisies said...

i was interviewed once for our city paper but was lucky in that both the photos and words felt like me ~ my blog was also referenced and suddenly all kinds of family and old friends started reading my blog, that was a bit disconcerting, lol ;-)

i think it is fabulous that you are raising awareness of ALS, you are so my hero!!

i pretty much steer clear of politics on my blog though i might have a post later this week though between my twitter and blog reading, i really feel like our canadian election (vote on oct. 14) voice is lost in the noise of my lovely neighbours though i am of course interested in that election as well ...

congratulations on the article even if it didn't go exactly as envisioned :) xo

Giggles said...

Hopefully the readers of the article will visit your blog and discover the true essence of Tammy! Being misrepresented is a bit frustrating, but quite common from what I hear. I guess that's why we should be way more discriminating about what we read!

I am extremely politically aware, yet I hesitate to talk politics or religion on my blog. I agree to disagree, but must say I would have rather not known some bloggers political preference. It does make me see them in a different light...A few people have gone on scary tirades and seem so misinformed. Shocking really. But I zip not to offend. Everyone has their own reality!

I'm certainly glad you mentioned it though! I should stick to my own side of the border. But of course they are a little more dull here!

Love and hugs to you!!
You're my Hero too!

Lucy said...

It's disappointing to be mis-interpreted, but like you've said.. the most important thing is the awareness you are creating.
Keep on spreading your love and your fight Tammy! Your inspiring spunk should be sprinkled on the world like rain! xoxo

anthonynorth said...

The public awareness is good, but I'm afraid reporters always put their own slant on a thing.
It has always been thus.

Geraldine said...

I am sorry about this negative experience with this reporter. How tacky that your words were twisted and misinterpreted for other people to read. I think it might be a very good idea to share your thoughts on this experience with the managing editor of this paper. If they are a reputable organization, I don't think they'd condon this sort of BS!!!

I've done quite a bit of freelance writing for newspapers and many profile stories. It was always so important to me to portray a person and their thoughts as truthfully and accurately as possible. People like this reporter give the media a bad name.

Hugs to you and Dave, G

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Oh, no! (Well, I guess God has ALL our butts). But she should've been more careful! You just never know what's going to come out of an article....

Amber said...

I agree with you about how crazy these times have made people. I have always said what I want on my blog, and let people say what they want...But it got so I realized people can't always keep perspective or be respectful. Makes me sad, actually. :(

That was a small town "journalist" for you. Sorry that is didn't go the way you were hoping, babe. But it was still good to do! Don't feel bad about it. You know, you should write an op-ed for the News and Review yourself. Yours is just the kind of story they would like, and it may get more people out fo rthe walk, seeing that it is a Sacramento paper...Look it up. ;)


gautami tripathy said...

Entirely his loss. You take care.

evil is objectively effortless

tinker said...

I'm glad you were able to make more people aware of ALS, even though the article wasn't as good as it might have been. I hope it still leads to more people becoming aware of your ALS walk - and getting to know you, since you're one of the most inspiring people I know -- and everyone can use more inspiration in their lives.
I haven't been around the blogosphere as much lately, so I hadn't been aware people were getting nasty - which is just sad. We all have our opinions, and each person's entitled to voice them. That's what makes America - and on a world level, this blogosphere, so great. I hope people can get past their differences, and act civilly - and as you said, just agree to disagree. As always, you're one wise woman warrior~XOXO

Kay said...

An insensitive reporter who just didn't take the time needed to think it through - just wanted get the story out in double quick time is my guess. But I am glad that you got a lovely photo and some promotion for ALS.

Chris said...

WOW, I can't believe she put the "line of ladies" part in there even if you did say it jokingly.

Sky said...

i am so sorry that the article misprepresented you. how disappointing! she should have asked you to proof it herself if there was any chance she misunderstood you. you are right - at least ALS got some needed attention.

political leanings and feelings are so personal. with so much at stake right now, people are often sensitive and aggressive. comments can seem personally directed even when they aren't. i feel more strongly than i ever have about an election and am more open about those feelings than i usually am about political issues. i suppose it is because i believe so strongly that we have much to lose if we make the wrong decision. i will be glad for the election to be over - i am feeling weary.