Are you loving this year’s “winter” weather? Secretly loving the warmer temps but feeling guilty because you know climate change is behind it? Or longing for some actual snow? (Yes, yes, and I guess yes would be my answers!)
Questions can be great conversation-starters.
I love coming up with intriguing questions (or what I think is intriguing!). Good journalism can only be as good as the questions asked during the interview process. If you don’t ask thoughtful questions, you don’t have all the necessary ingredients for a well-rounded, complete story–let alone descriptive details.
Behind-the-scenes, I often chat with my guests for TheBurg Podcast, prior to our “official” podcast conversation, just for a few minutes, to assess how they’re doing, obtain a little background information, and bascially to set them at ease if they’re nervous. I like to come up with a couple thoughtful questions to spark our conversation.
So, for an entire year, I asked podcast guests the same question: If you could name an unsung hero in the Harrisburg area, who would it be and why?
As soon as I started asking, the answers blew me away. I heard stories about loved ones, neighbors, colleagues, mentors and more–all doing great things but not necessarily being recognized. I saved all that audio–all those special stories–until now. In a chain reaction of kindness and surprises, their stories aired this month as part of a special Valentine’s Day edition of TheBurg Podcast, “The Unsung Heroes of Harrisburg.”
Additionally, I wrote a companion print article for TheBurg:
“Unsung Heroes of Harrisburg: A yearlong project reveals true community kindness in our midst.”
Questions ultimately show curiosity and interest. One question that’s been plaguing me: I’ve been curious to know how people with long-haul COVID-19 are doing. Also, what are doctors and researchers learning? Find out, in “Help and Hope: Three years into the pandemic, we’re still learning about long-haul COVID-19,” published in TheBurg.
The next question is in the title: “Expanding their Footprints: Two area running shoe stores open new locations. What’s afoot?” also published in TheBurg.
And in a town as aligned with history as Gettysburg, can you believe new museums continue to fill gaps and relay stories previously untold? In my latest video for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, I spend “10 Minutes with Jane Nutter,” one of the founders behind The Gettysburg Black History Museum.
The February episode of TheBurg Podcast, “Head to Toe,” features three Harrisburg health experts, talking about everything from fitness to Black women’s health, therapeutic ice skating for people with special needs, how footwear influences our overall health, and one guest even explains how he’s kept a running streak alive for nearly 19 years. Tune in anywhere you listen to podcasts, or right here on TheBurg’s website.
Lastly, a truly special project:
“Best Dog-Friendly National Parks” is my latest dream assignment for Dogster magazine! But you know what’s even better? Seeing my very own dog, Luna, in the pages of the magazine too.
She’s a rescued Alaskan Malamute who didn’t know how to walk on leash when we first adopted her. And look at her now—traveling, exploring national parks and gracing the pages of the nation’s top dog magazine. She’s still a work in progress, but she’s come a long way. I’m so proud of her!
The Feb/March issue of Dogster is available at newstands, bookstores, etc. (or subscribe)! I’ve linked to the online version of the story, here.