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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Lees

Thankful: The Stories that Mattered Most

The last few blog posts I've focused more on the things I didn't accomplish in the last few months (and this year.) Afterall, it's easier to focus on problems. (Our brain is constantly trying to find resolutions for things that just didn't work out.)

But when I look back again, there's a lot of things I'm really proud of, and I want to share them here.

Stories I'm Proud of

STL Sprout & About

I started freelancing with STL Sprout & About in 2021. It's a publication that primarily focuses on activities in the area for parents and children. Two pieces I'm particularly proud of are the article on the Black Forest Kaffee Haus in Fox Park and the article on how an actor gets into character in the St. Charles Halloween festival Legends & Lanterns--both stories that I pitched.

Kaffee Haus transports visitors to the Black Forest

Legends & Lanterns: What's it like to bring 'spirited fun' to St. Charles?

The Webster-Kirkwood Times

I pitched a story on the return of "Carmen" following the pandemic to the publication after having several rejections on other pieces. It was my first feature in print since working as an editorial assistant at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in Harlem. The paper actually came out on my wedding day, and I was so excited, I went to a Starbucks in Webster before the ceremony to get several copies. (Yes. I also cut out the section of the paper to save as well.) In addition, make sure to read about this version of "Carmen," for anyone who finds the old opera to be oppressive and overtly sexual.

Opera Theatre’s “Carmen” Runs Through June 25

Next Generation Radio/ STLPR

I pitched a story on disability and climate change. My story specifically focused on the July flooding in the St. Louis region and a man who had trouble evacuating his home because he was wheelchair bound. Just a few years ago, Brent Jaimes was diagnosed with POEMS syndrome, a rare blood disorder that severely affects the nervous system.

I was particularly proud of this story for two reasons: 1.) I don't think disability is really discussed much in general for numerous issues, including climate change and evacuation, but other problems as well (and that includes mental disabilities, too.) and 2.) This reminds me of the kind of reporting I did when I first started out in journalism and ultimately, the kind I want to get back to doing.

Mobility Issues Complicate a Man's Evacuation from His Home During Summer Flooding

Thank you

I'm thankful for everything I've worked on so far this year. All the experiences, good and bad, and all the chances to grow (even in my failures.) Other things I'm incredibly thankful for that don't include work: my husband Lee and all our adventures, my family and friends (especially Justyna), and my cat, Mimi.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and don't forget all the things you have to be thankful for!

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