Sequestration

Some words just hurt the ear. ‘Sequestration’ is one. Politics aside, I hate that word. Now my local TV newscaster uses it regularly.

When she started with it, I barked at my TV, “That’s not a word!” Just because lawyers and politicians use it, doesn’t make it a real word.

I turned to my wife, an editor, and said, “That’s not a word.” She said, “Everybody’s using it.” I maintained, “It’s not a real word. Real people shouldn’t be using it.” Not that TV newscasters are real people. But if they start using it regularly, real people will start using it too.

I finally got around to looking it up. Turns out the word has been around almost 600 years. I lose. Damn.

(If I was an editor at that TV station though, I wouldn’t let that newscaster use it. At least not as often as she does.)

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Part-Time Writer

At the beginning of this month I announced my retirement. I stopped doing my radio show on WBZ Boston and told the world I would become part-time writer, part-time beach bum (and would have business cards printed up stating just that).

Quite a few of my radio listeners have written me to let me know they would be on my case to see to it that “you keep your promise” and start churning out the pages. Well folks, you are too late. Much too late.

At the time of my retirement announcement, I already had five writing projects at various stages. One of them has been published regularly for over two years. The blog you are reading now began in January. A third project was in front of readers’ eyes a few weeks before the retirement announcement. Preparatory work on two others was started in April with the goal of first publication for both by September – and that April start was before I even began to think about retiring. I knew then that I was pushing it and had been trying to figure out if I could put one of these last two on hold. While the idea of retiring was being considered during the month of May, I came up with ideas for several future projects and began to sort out the order of priority for them with the knowledge that a couple of them were not what we used to call in the news biz, “evergreens.” In other words, there was a deadline by which these projects must either be started or completed. Then, on my first day of retirement, I came up with still another project that, if it happens, will need to happen soon and may force me to push some others aside for now.

And remember, this writing thing is supposed to be “part-time.”

So for those of you who are “expecting to see something soon,” what you see here, on this blog, is likely all you will get for a while…unless you are already reading one of the other projects and don’t realize you are reading me as they are done under pen names, in different styles, each with a different focus.

I am not out to “do” or “prove” anything with the writing. I am writing for one reason: to write. I am writing for one person: me. If someone reads it, cool. If no one reads it, cool. I am retired, remember? Well, it really doesn’t matter if you remember or not because…I do.

My Original Blog

I had a blog before they were called blogs.

It was January 1999 and I was starting a new website to use in promoting my radio activities. I was free-lancing at the time, doing news for WBUR Boston and talk for WBZ Boston. I figured the website would help my little group of fans find me on the dial and that some program director might think it was cool that I had a website and it might help me get a job. This was in a time when most radio stations did not have a website.

My site, RadioSteve.com didn’t “open officially” until May but it had been online since January as I learned how to run it, edit it, tweak it, write HTML, etc. I had a page about my WBUR work and a few pages about my WBZ work. I wanted to have a few other pages that weren’t about radio.

In March, I started, My Boston Red Sox Page, which was basically a Red Sox fan’s diary of the 1999 season. I’d just post analysis and opinion about how the Sox were doing, thoughts about any Sox issue in the news or things I’d been thinking about or stuff I’d noticed from watching the games.

In early June my radio free-lancing ended when WBZ hired me fulltime to host the overnight show. I immediately became too busy to keep up with my Red Sox page. I tried to put one entry a month up for July through September and then I killed the page over the winter. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

A few years later, blogs were in and every time I’d see my boss he’d try to talk me into starting one for the station’s website…and every time I’d refuse. He wanted me to do it basically because it was the “in” thing to do and the station’s website needed some original material (that they wouldn’t have to pay for). He’d tell me it was easy and I’d tell him it was not. I know he thought I was being anti-web but I wasn’t and never have been. I think I was only able to win this argument because I could say, “I had a blog before they were called blogs” and tell him about My Boston Red Sox Page and show proof of how I didn’t have time for a blog. If I didn’t have time to write about what everyone thinks is my favorite topic (it’s not), how would I have time to do a multi-issue blog?

What am I going to say to him when he finds out I’m writing this blog?

Punctuation

I know nothing about punctuation. After 35 years of writing for radio, I can’t write English anymore, I can only write Radio. And I don’t even care.

I did very well in English class and I used to know punctuation. Then I started writing for radio. Lots of these: …  Or even:  ……….  Commas thrown in where verbal pauses are needed whether it is English or not. Other commas removed for the reverse reason, no pause wanted. (Note: I did put a comma there. I do remember some of it. Or should that have been a dash?)

I may ask my wife, an editor, to look at this stuff and fix it up. That’s a come down for an editor, really. That’s a proofreaders’ job. If you call in an editor, you’re not just gonna get punctuation changes. Oh, no, you’re opening a whole ball o’ wax there, baby! Discussions about clauses and spelling and hyphenation and wording and rewording and then it’s, “Hey, that’s not an edit! That’s a re-write.” I may reconsider the idea about having my wife look at this stuff. I don’t think I can afford her rates anyway.

So, for now, let’s leave it at this…

I know nothing about punctuation. Not anymore. And I don’t even care. Deal with it.