A Series of Haiku Written About a Former Job

A ProNews 7 Haiku
The news never stops
Everyone works hard each day
We are number one

A Producer Haiku
Making it make sense
Each story a puzzle piece
Order from chaos

A Reporter Haiku
Enterprise stories
Meet the people, get the facts
Tell it like it is

A Photographer Haiku
Hurry to the scene
Grab your camera, get the shot
Adrenaline rush

An Anchor Haiku
The face of the news
Build trust with unseen viewers
Communicate it

A Production Haiku
Those behind the scenes
Each position important
Making us look good

A Tape Operator Haiku
So many news tapes
Put it in, cue it up, roll
Don’t eject on air

An Audio Haiku
Pushing fader bars
Ride the levels up and down
A careful balance


I had an amazing and humbling opportunity recently to interview Toby Tanser. Runners will recognize the name, but if you aren’t a runner perhaps you haven’t heard of him. Toby is a former elite runner (sub 2:20 marathoner) who has competed all over the world. Currently, he is on the board of directors of the New York Road Runners (my running club) and Achilles International; he is head coach of the New York Flyers; running coach at the Fashion Institute of Technology; the author of three books: Train Hard Win Easy the Kenyan Way, The Essential Guide to Running the NYC Marathon and More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way. But that’s not all! Toby won a humanitarian award in 2008 for his efforts to bring shoes, health and peace to Africa.

Toby is the founder of Shoe4Africa, which has provided tens of thousands of shoes to children and adults in Kenya. Shoes are important because they keep the feet healthy–they prevent cuts, infections and hookworms from invading the body. How Shoe4Africa works is that runners (or anyone else) send their used running shoes to Kenya. Toby organizes races in Kenya and participants earn a pair of shoes by racing. In addition to providing shoes, Toby has worked tirelessly to promote HIV testing, the empowerment of women, and peace among the tribes in Kenya. He is now embarking on his biggest project ever and you can help!

Toby is raising $15 million to build the largest children’s hospital in Africa in Eldoret, Kenya. Every bit helps, even a $10 donation is appreciated! As you’re making your end-of-year donations and thinking of ways to give to others, consider making a donation to Shoe4Africa. In a country ravaged by violence and lack of healthcare, you could literally help save the life of a child.

Shoe4Africa Website

Shoe4Africa Facebook Group

Runner’s World Article about Toby’s Humanitarian Award

NaNoWriMo 2007

It seems like yesterday that NaNoWriMo was just a weird word. Now, it feels like something I’ve been a part of my whole life. That’s what happens when you join the horde of freakish maniacs trying to write a novel in one month.

Yes, indeed, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, celebrated (if you want to call it that) annually from November 1 – 30. The goal is to write 50,000 words–a novella-length work of fiction–in thirty days. I’ll do the math for you. That’s 1,667 words a day. Seem impossible? Yes and no.

It’s like running along a road that goes up and down, up and down. One day you know there is no way you can squeeze 1,667 words out of your brain. The next day, more than 3,000 pour out of you effortlessly. It’s kind of weird. Of course, if you’re an official entrant signed up at the NaNoWriMo website, you can commiserate with tens of thousands of other would-be novelists. Some are breezing right along and finish in a week; others struggle and still only have 500 words at the end of the month. But hey, you’re all in it together.

NaNoWriMo is organized by the Office of Letters and Light in San Francisco and is largely run by volunteers. Additionally, there are volunteers across the country (and the world) that are known as MLs. Municipal liasons. Those are the people that are the go-betweens between the national office and the local writers. A lot of them schedule “write ins” for their local people. That’s where you can get together with people from your city or region and write for a specified length of time. Some of them are actually a full 24 hours! There was a write-in here, but I missed it because I couldn’t figure out how to affiliate with my region. Live and learn.

If you finish in time, and have your wordcount validated by the snazzy NaNoWriMo wordcount validator, you get one of these:


You also get a certificate that you can print out and hang on your wall. It’s pretty nifty.
Yep, I finished. I adopted NaNoWriMo as a little project for when my husband was working. Thanksgiving meant he was off for a few days and my word count dipped. I was even halfway afraid I might not finish. But I did, and with time to spare! I’ve long said I wanted to write a book, be a writer, etc. NaNoWriMo showed me that it is possible to write everyday–or nearly everyday. It gave me a taste of what it would be like to have to create day after day, even when I didn’t feel like it. I’m already looking forward to next year, but in the meantime, I think I’ve gotten a little bit of inspiration from the exercise. Hopefully I can start and finish a couple of other projects between now and then.

If you’re an aspiring writer, or just crazy, block off next November on your calendar and join us for NaNoWriMo 2008. (If you want to write screenplays, check out Script Frenzy in April!)