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Community Tadbitz: Stranger than fiction

If music is what feelings sound like, then writing immortalizes them. Five months ago I was given the opportunity to write independently for The Whitecourt Star. From the time I was able to hold a pen I have enjoyed creative writing. Growing up I didn’t watch TV, instead I would read books and immersed myself in fantasy worlds. Now, writing as an adult I find writing an effective tool to express my thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic way. In the relatively short tenure since I began writing for the paper I have discovered a lot about myself I didn’t realize before. I have received overwhelming positive feedback and it is very humbling to hear from people that enjoy the stories I choose to share with our community.

In November of 2015 I was contacted by the Community Lunch Box Program to start a weekly column profiling various volunteers. I immediately said yes and dived head first into this exciting and at times terrifying journey of writing for a weekly publication.

It’s been a steep learning curve: meeting weekly deadlines, editing, preparing interviews then the actual writing itself. I’ve met the challenge head on and look forward to many more. Nothing in life worth doing comes easy, after all.

On April/15/16 I got the chance to go behind the scenes at the Whitecourt Star where all the literary magic happens and bid farewell to Kathleen Charlebois who is leaving the Star as a reporter to pursue other endeavours in her life. Kathleen generously took the time to patiently show me the ropes in writing for a paper for which I’m very thankful for. Kathleen has been with the Whitecourt Star for a year. She took multimedia journalism post-secondary and mentioned that the shift towards more digital based news publications will likely grow and continue with more emphasis on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, to mention a couple examples.

Assembling a newspaper is much like a puzzle. Thankfully, it's not a Rubik's cube! A multimedia program called InDesign assembles the pieces together which insures a natural flow to the paper. The size of the paper varies week by week, on average there’s 40 pages split into various sections. The tour made me appreciate just how much hard work goes into bringing these various stories to life.

It feels stranger than fiction, honestly. I never imagined getting this unique chance to give back to the community by sharing the colourful stories of people that have made the Lunch Box successful. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kathleen and Christopher for making this all possible. There will be many more stories to share and explore, together.

*Quinn and his mother have been accepted by the Writer’s Guild of Canada and they start next week*

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