about the words

See education and energy writing, other features and essays 

essay -- garbage croppedThe first toss…

I’ve been a writer for a while — I guess since 7th grade at School Street Junior High when Ms. Ivancic, a very nice woman with very big teeth, very long hair and very thin legs, said something like this: “You know, you are a pretty good writer,” and I began thinking I was, not realizing that one day I’d say that same thing to students over and over, often even if I didn’t mean it.

I’ve written menus, political speeches, obituaries, copy for national cell phone advertisements, copy for major theatrical presentations, copy for a federal safety campaign, copy for a small family print shop and copy for a lost dog flyer. I’ve written feature stories for the biggest newspapers and magazines in the country and for a small magazine about middle school and a newsletter about sculpture. I edited  the primary publication for the biggest association in the country and a the primary daily newspaper for a small rural county.  I’ve written a lot about energy and the environment — and education.

My favorite wrting (and, I think, my best) comes in self-indulgent (I guess) essays — and I’ve written a lot: weekly for a small daily newspaper and a major parent information network, frequently for the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor and from time-to-time for USA Today. I’ve had regular columns in a parent magazine, a greeting card magazine, a daily newspaper and a neighborhood newsletter that a friend of mine started soon after Ms. Ivancic, through her large-toothed friendly smile, started all this.

On this Web site, you will find examples of both writing and illustration, which I took on as joint enterprises because the writer I admired most, James Thurber, had.  (Oh, and the “other perplexities” name is a reference to one of his remarkable books The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities)

More samples are easy to send: jamespaterson7@gmail.com



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