Mud And Magnolias

20121209-154444.jpgWay back when, before I disappeared from the blog, I wrote a post about doing some reporting. It was still early on, so I didn’t mention yet what I was writing about or who I was writing for. Particularly since who I was writing for only sort of existed at that point.

Back in May, I was passing through Mississippi, and had lunch with my good friend Shannon Johnson, who asked me if I’d be interested in doing some freelance writing. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, for which she works, was going to be launching a new magazine, and they needed some contributors.

When I said I’d be interested, I had no idea just how much fun it was going to be.

During the time I’ve been offline, the magazine has gone from not-yet-published to having three issues out, so I can discuss it a bit more freely now.

Mud & Magnolias is a lifestyle magazine covering northeast Mississippi, and, in my completely unbiased view, is great reading.

For the first issue, I wrote the article I talked about in my early blog post, a feature about the rebuilding of Smithville, Miss., which was devastated last year during the April tornadoes. It was the first real journalistic writing I’d done in a decade, and putting that hat back on was quite agreeable. And, then, actually seeing the final product — this old newspaper hand has to admit that the magazine folks made my words look darned good. The M&M staff does an incredible job each month putting together a beautiful package.

My second feature, for the next issue, was about Tishomingo State Park. Research for that article involved doing a good bit of hiking, which isn’t a bad thing to get paid for at all, really.

My third story, for the current issue, is about a Christmas light display in Cotton Plant, Mississippi. You should check out both the magazine and the display.

I’m currently working on my fourth article. To be honest, it’s a bit more difficult this time due to the confluence of having a hard time getting responses from the subject and my own increased business, but, even so, I have no desire to stop. I’m incredibly flattered to be both a charter and regular contributor to the magazine, and I want to keep my run going as long as I can.

And to think I believed, after 10 years away, that my Mississippi journalism days were behind me.