meg edwards

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Tantramar News

Published June 10, 2012 by megdedwards

Jerome Bear joins the drumming circle celebrating his Swearing in Ceremony in becoming Mayor of Dorchester.

Up until last spring I wrote for The Times and Transcript doing local news and features for the daily paper published out of Moncton. It was a great gig and I enjoyed it.

The job began more than 10 years ago when I made a ‘cold call’ to the paper’s news editor saying that I was looking for work. We had just bought our house in Baie Verte and I knew that I did not want to drive for an hour to get to my call center job.

As an aside, an hour commute for rural people is not the same as an hour within a city. It is not just the cost of gas but the challenge of driving though major snowstorms on highways that may not be cleared.

But back to my employment story, I ended up scoring the Council Reports for three villages outside of Moncton (Hillsborough, Petitcodiac and Salisbury).

I was very happy with that even though I had to get my husband Joe to drive me to the meetings because I had foolishly let my Driver’s Licence lapse!

In later years, I took up three more villages closer to home and added freelance reports from my coastal position that included reports on new businesses and events from Sackville, Dorchester and Port Elgin.

I also began to write feature pieces for Leigh Williams, the editor for the Life section of the Times and Transcript. I really enjoyed those longer pieces but you do not want to know what you are paid for a three interview, 1000 word feature article.

Then the big cut came, a terse and unapologetic email from Brunswick News telling us that freelancers were no longer needed. They were going in a different direction, they were moving to more of a 24 hour on-line presence.

Which was fine. Well, not really, it was a kick in the teeth, but what can you do? And I went back to my Library Studies and finished my Certificate.

But in the meantime I have been asked many times during the last year to write on a subject that someone wants published. I have been asked where my articles are, and when I am returning.

And bit by bit I have begun to recognize that there is a desire for my local writing, and that I can fill that void.

If the Times and Transcript can go on-line, then so can I!

In my writing I covered everything from municipal politics to theater reviews. I enjoy writing about entrepreneurs, artists and business take overs (they happen in small towns).

I have recognized a need and identified a market, and I have already placed myself on the map as someone who can and will write about the local news and events with clarity and enthusiasm.

So I am going to start my own on-line news site called Tantramar News.

By the fall I plan to have my own website and a subscription base, however humble, of my own.

To start the ball rolling, I traveled to Dorchester to cover the swearing in ceremony for the new First Nations Mayor, Jerome Bear.

Check out Tantramar News at:

http://megdedwards.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/first-nations-mayor-of-village-of-dorchester-nb/

Jerome Bear joins the drumming circle celebrating his Swearing in Ceremony as Mayor of Dorchester.

To blog or not to blog

Published August 25, 2011 by megdedwards

I am somewhat hesitant to commodify myself. My computer is not sure if this is a word, even my computer is out of touch.

Why write a blog about Meg, advertising my thoughts and activities? It seems somehow cheap.

I feel as if I am perched on the end of a diving board hoping no one will notice if I slink away. But the other side of my discomfort is the embarrassment of riches that exists out there in Blog Land. Every last person is writing about their lives and their thoughts and occasionally they are interesting, but mostly the thoughts float around in a sea of voices.

In the back of my head is a professor with one eyebrow in the air who is questioning my motives. If I were a “Real Writer,” he says, I would sit down with a pen and paper and write “Real Literature.” Pounding out approximately 500 words on ramblings is like mass producing your art. Unless your Samuel Johnson.

But wait, do I care about all that ? Haven’t I, as a natural born feminist, said that art was something produced while women cleaned and cooked and looked after children; that needlepoint and quilting were as much of an art form as an overly regarded oil painting masterpiece?

And today, the internet is the medium. This is how we speak to each other. Another thing I have always argued is that when women pass information to each other we are empowering each other.

Sometimes it may seem like gossip, but it is power. If we learn that someone just lost her husband, we can call her over for dinner, and if we learn that someone’s kid just got a nasty rash, we can keep an eye on ours.

Talk is our underground and we, as women, are not shy to ask each other questions. We pass each other information that is considered ‘anecdotal’ to the doctors but lifesaving to us. I googled ‘tubes tied problems’  the other day just as an entry into thinking about getting rid of the dread fear of pregnancy in your late 40’s.

What I found was a discussion among hundreds of women on the years of pain they experienced after the operation. Doctors unilaterally dismissed the pain but women were talking to each other and passing on their experiences.

So I did have a realization the other day, while driving, a time when your unconscious is free to get work done as long as no one is talking away at you. I thought, well, if you are going to do it then it really has to be egotistical, all about you.

And although I struggle with the egotistical nature of the blog, I do believe in the healing power of communication. It is comforting to hear from others who are going through what you have, or read something that makes you feel less alone in your battles.

I was once a shy child that would burst into tears if a camera was pointed at me. Having survived those first 5 years, I am now the Elaine of the group. If something socially challenging must be done I am the one sent in. I am fearless, bold, and not self-conscious. I talk to the neighbors when they are too loud, I pose nude for artists for a good buck, I help strangers on the street, I organize huge parties and events in my neighborhood, that is me.

So I am going to blog now – about my observations and situations. And I will include my own photography, and possibly a mediocre poem or two if I get inspired.

It’ll all be… painfully about me.

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