If you were to ask me what my life purpose is I would tell you it is to inspire people. One way I strive to do that is through my writing, although I am ever so aware that I often fall short of that mission. At the same time I am also a person who doesn't get inspired very easily - so when it happens it's a peak experience for me!
Imagine my delight then when I had not one, but two inspiring encounters today and both times via a couple of good, powerful storytellin', hometown journalists - James O'Byrne of The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) and Rick Portier, a television news photographer here in Baton Rouge. Since I seem to have a lot to say on the subject I am going to break up this post into two segments - consider this post Part I of a an ongoing series about inspiration, and I'll begin by talking about Rick.
What inspired me today was not just the really nice post that Rick Portier wrote about me and Beyond Katrina at his personal blog - here. It's mostly that Rick has managed to elevate blogging into an art form for great storytelling - check out his post "HELP" here - I am forever amazed at how he can transform something as mundane as a brief encounter at a convenience store into an amusing tale that kept me scrolling. This should come as no surprise though, for a guy who says storytelling is his passion.
Now, this segues me into another thought. Maybe it's about Rick's background as a journalist - because in general, we bloggers tend to be conversationalists rather than storytellers. However, Rick's approach to the medium has inspired me to consider my own blog as a medium for better storytelling. I know that stories have the power to heal, and Beyond Katrina is afterall a blog about disaster recovery.
So I'll end this post with a story about Rick. The night that Rick came out with Channel 9's Greg Meriwether to interview me about Beyond Katrina, I had all of about thirty minutes notice they were coming. I had burned up dinner, the family was in flux, and I was still in the same clothes I had worn to clean out the garage earlier in the day. I think I did look like the Pookie, lil bit, or Scooby that Rick mentions in his blog post about me!
I gave myself 30 seconds to have a melt down and then I pulled a rabbit out of the hat. When Greg and Rick arrived they found a happy- homemaker- blogger lady- with a seemingly perfect, orderly household - ya know like one of those Stepford wives! We did the introductions and then I brought them into the library - You know that one room you set aside for when company comes.
Well Rick wasn't in that room 5 seconds when he immediately saw through the ruse. He took one look at my shiny, barely used lap top laid out all nice and neat on my Liquid Gold polished coffee table and said, "okay. Now I want to see where you really blog". Whoops! I was BUSTED!
Suffice to say we ended up in my studio with the papers piled a mile high, the crumpled candy wrappers scattered all over the desk, and the dust standing an inch thick on my computer tower - I think I had to even wipe a dustball off my pants before the camera started rolling. The point is, Rick nailed it. As chaotic, dusty, and disorganized as it might be, my studio is the place where creativity and inspiration happens for me.
So what's the lesson? It is this: You can't fool a crafty veteran holding a camera and lookin' for the real story! - How is it that a storyteller always knows?! Oh, and Rick in case you're reading this, I have to tell ya it has taken me a while to really "get" what a turdpolisher is or why you named your blog that. But that's what you are. Here's to good storytelling!