This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
OK, here are the answers to the first batch of questions. I’ll continue to add answers as new questions come in. I know you’re all breathless with anticipation so here goes:
Michelle: I became a writer because writing came easy to me and I liked having my own opinion column in college. I wish I had a better, deeper answer than that but when it came down to it I only picked English because it was the end of my sophomore year in college and I had to declare a major, and English was my easiest subject. And I started on the newspaper staff because they told me I could write a column. And if you haven’t noticed, I like throwing my opinions around.
I plan on keeping The Daddy Files going for as long as I’m working at the paper. Or until they fire me or make me shut this site down, and even then I’m sure I’d find a way to keep it going in some way. It’s easy to write about the things you love and I have no shortage of love for my son and wife.
MJ is a nickname and it stands for Martha Jean.
Badass Geek: That’s easy. I blatantly stole the Q&A idea from you and your blog! Thanks.
Melissa: I thank my lucky stars everyday that I have a fantastic and understanding wife. Truthfully, she doesn’t get that bent out of shape at what I write. Sure sometimes she says “Oh my God, you put THAT on your blog?” but for the most part she humors me. But in all fairness, I did ask for her permission at the outset of this blog and I made it very clear that I needed free range and no censorship on what I included. And she agreed because she’s awesome!
JEE: Reporters at the Cape Cod Times do not post their stories online themselves. We write them up and send them in to a copy editor, but during the day if news is breaking then we post it to the Web as soon as possible. When that happens, it usually gets run by an editor first and then we have someone post it online. And I say someone because he is just that, one solitary man in charge of putting EVERYTHING on the Web in a deadline driven environment. Are mistakes made? Sure. But he’s taking care of the whole kit and kaboodle and all things considered he does a fantastic job. And not that you asked, but a lot of people don’t realize that the reporters have nothing to do with headlines either. I can’t tell you how many times we get blamed for that, but headlines are written by copy editors. All in all this is a very good paper, otherwise we wouldn’t win so many awards year in and year out. There will always be corrections because humans are writing and editing the stories and we all make mistakes. Even the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, etc have corrections on a daily basis. But newspapers are still the best bargain around and despite what some people say around here, the Cape Cod Times is a top-notch daily.
And your concerns about user comments are a valid one. The debate in the newsroom still rages on over whether they should be included at the bottom of stories. And while I agree they can turn into a cesspool of negativity and hurtful comments at times, I think they are necessary because that’s just the path the industry is headed down. Although I’m hoping we can come up with a way to keep the comments, but make it so people have to use and display their real names. I think that will cut down on the negativity and improve the content. But again, I’m just a reporter and I have NO say in those kinds of decisions.
CapeCodGal: Will’s full name is William George Thomas Gouveia. William is my dad. George is MJ’s stepdad and Thomas is MJ’s father and brother. Definitely keeping it in the family. And we nicknamed him Will because 1) I don’t like Bill or Billy and 2) I had a friend named Will who died about five years ago and I thought it was a nice remembrance.
We were very undecided about a girl’s name. I think the top choices were Madalyn, Lily and Alexandra. Middle name would’ve been Clare because the baby was conceived while were on vacation and hiking in the Clarendon Gorge on the Appalachian Trail. Good times! =)
The baptism thing is stalled. I keep telling MJ to just go ahead and plan it and she keeps stalling. And since I don’t really want to move forward with it, I have no problem with stalling.
MJ is not going to post again. She doesn’t have the thickest skin and I think some of the comments challenging what she said really got to her. I’d love her to keep posting but it was not a pleasant experience for her.
I don’t know about keeping MJ “pampered” but I encourage her to go out and have fun. She did just that last night and attended a little girls night out party and had a few glasses of wine. She came home VERY happy!
The “witching hour” is no more. Knock on wood but the kid is just in a really good mood almost all of the time now, and he goes to bed without any issues. We’re extraordinarily lucky.
I know I should post more pictures of Will but I’m lazy and don’t always feel like uploading to Flickr, adjusting the size of the photo and then posting it to the site. But I promise I will try to do it more often.