>Weather report loaded with storiesPosted: November 11, 2008
>It’s raining by the bucketful outside—6 inches predicted today and another 6 tomorrow. That’s why when you fly over the border from California into Oregon, it suddenly looks green. We’re expecting high winds, giant waves and the rivers rising near flood stage. Typical November in Newport.
Weather is always of interest to readers; it affects everything we do. In yoga class earlier today when I was supposed to be clearing my mind, I suddenly thought about how two months ago, I was sweating through my clothes at a conference in Salinas, California. It was miserably hot, the kind of heat that nails you to the pavement and makes you want to do nothing but seek a building with air conditioning. Now we were freezing.
Here in Oregon, we have more water than we need, but my dad in California keeps telling me about rationing because they haven’t had enough snow or rain for too long. The dams and underground channels are near empty. Big problem. Last summer’s fires burned off so much vegetation, landslides are a big danger when it does rain. Really big problem.
What does this have to do with freelancing? Plenty.
Weather is a story. Everyone wants to know what it’s going to be like; staff writers will take care of the numbers. But there are other stories begging for freelancers to jump in. Examples: What do you wear to keep warm or cool or dry, depending on the location? What kind of plants can handle your weather? The roses and geraniums I enjoyed in San Jose keel over at the first freeze here. How do you keep the mud out of the house when you have rambunctious dogs who can stay in for a while but eventually have to go out and relieve themselves? How do you keep them from digging in the nice wet soil? What do you do with bored kids who can’t go out and play?
What do you do with your hair? What do you wear on your feet? What kinds of food fit the weather? How do you dress for success when it’s stormy or hot and humid? If you’re traveling, what do you pack to look and feel good in whatever weather is happening at your destination? What do you pack if you’re visiting several different climates? One March we started in Seattle–raining–landed in Tucson—hot—and drove up to the Grand Canyon—snowing.
What kinds of traffic problems arise from the weather and is there something that could be done about it? What does the weather do to a person’s house over time and what can you do to prevent problems? What’s the most earth-friendly way to keep your house warm or cool?
How about a story on “snow birds”, those folks who head south when the weather gets cold? A friend of mine is leaving for Costa Rica this week. She told me about all kinds of advantages to living there, including incredibly cheap healthcare provided by American-trained doctors. She doesn’t even have insurance here. She gets everything taken care of in Costa Rica. Is that a story or what?
Your turn to brainstorm. Weather happens, especially as winter approaches, and you can surely find a story to sell, whether it’s too hot, too cold or just right.