And so it goes, maybe…

A great deal of my inspiration filters down from a writing group I belong to, a mixture of everyday bloggers and others focused more on political, religious and personal issues. All in all, it’s a pleasant mixture of personalities and shared stories, especially with a few long-distance acquaintances made along the way.

Each week there are prompts posted, some are more like challenges but, then again, isn’t writing a challenge in itself? Certain things will incite me to hit the ground running, others, well they leave me staring at a blank screen in my home office.

I went over some recent prompts, long after I’d responded with two which I combined in one post. For the past few days, one keeps jumping out at me, beckoning me to write something, anything. The prompt? If you could trade lives with any person (living or deceased, real or fictional), who would it be, and why?

My response? Put me in Linda Ellerbee’s shoes without hesitation! A longtime Washington correspondent for NBC News, host of NBC News Overnight, Ellerbee was an American journalist, anchor, producer, author, reporter, speaker and commentator. She is widely known as the twenty-five year host of Nick News, Nickelodeon’s highly rated and recognized news program for older school-aged children and teens that addressed substantive issues, including wars, disease and disasters, without condescension. Her work on NBC News Overnight was recognized as possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever by the jurors of the duPont Columbia Awards.

After 43 years in journalism, Ellerbee retired in 2015 and, from where I’m sitting, that was a tremendous loss to the world of mainstream media. Her style was unapologetic, quite literate, very smart, assertive, funny, keenly observant and irreverent. Would I trade lives with her? Does a bear poop in the woods? Without hesitation, absofackinglutely!

“I never had any desire to be an anchor, because of the air-head image for women,” she says in her smoky Texas lilt. “You’ll see a lot of people on air who look like they blow-dry their teeth. I’d prefer being behind the camera just writing, if it paid as well.”

“I can hold my head up, look in the mirror and I didn’t have to be ashamed of anything I ever did or wrote,” she said. “I fought some battles and I won some and lost some. But I get to walk out the door and look back feeling good about it.”

These are two of my favorite statements from Linda Ellerbee which came at the time of her retirement, during one of many interviews. Her sarcasm was unparalleled, something I can so identify with, along with her ability to override challenges that came her way. Had I made different choices, education-wise, I might have walked a similar path as she did, possibly with a fair amount of success. Maybe.

And so it goes.

From the Writer’s Workshop… If you could trade lives with any person (living or deceased, real or fictional), who would it be, and why?