I write better than I talk, which is a good thing, considering how I make a living.
I started writing "books" before I could write, embellishing "The Little Engine That Could" with my own version, rendered in preschooler runes on the end pages of my Little Golden Book copy.
In high school I started stringing for the local newspaper, The Thomasville Times-Enterprise in Thomasville, Ga., and discovered that someone would actually pay me to write. Cool.
Now, I'm marking my first quarter-century in newspapers.
I love my job, I love my business.
Newspapers are facing tough times, but that just means there are opportunities to adapt and thrive.
We seem to have lost our way in the industry, especially at the larger papers, where emphasis seems to have been placed on the platform, how the news is delivered, rather than what matters to folks in everyday living.
It's important to be where the people are, whether that's in print or on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever new media develops.
But the emphasis needs to be on the people, not the medium.
And that's what we do better than our larger brethren.
We're focused on our community, on your life.
We show you eyesores in the community and tell you about church fall festivals. We brag about our Hometown Heroes and we tell you who's been in jail, too. We publish your snapshots and share your thoughts on Facebook.
I write for a living, but I need your help, to let us know what's going on.
You can write us (snail mail or e-mail), call us, post online or on Facebook, or come in to see us on Usher Street.
We'll come to you, too.
The editorial board of the newspaper is going to be conducting town hall meetings where you can tell us what's on your mind, what we should be covering, and what you want to see in The Covington News.
The first meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday in the historic schoolhouse in Newborn.
We've also got a session set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the city hall in Porterdale. Other meetings are in the works.
You can also talk with us at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, on the square downtown at the Christmas tree lighting. We'll have some warm cider waiting for you.
Come see us.
Tharon Giddens is editor of The Covington News. Reach him at ((678) 750-5011 or at email@example.com