Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday, 14 May 2008 - Jim Sheeler

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for Jim Sheeler.

I owe my early writing career to Professor Bauer in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. When he urged Jo to write from her own experiences, I knew that he was also speaking to me.

In recent years, Denver journalist, Jim Sheeler, has inspired my writing. After he won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for feature story writing, I sent him a congratulatory email. Long story short, my email was one of four that later appeared as a "letter to the editor" in the Rocky Mountain News.

Mr. Sheeler turned his winning story into a full-length book with the same title, "Final Salute." Last night, his book tour brought him to Colorado Springs. I attended, of course. I don't have many opportunities to meet a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Here's my letter to the editor and the link to the prize-winning story.

When I read that Jim Sheeler and Todd Heisler of the Rocky Mountain News had each won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their story “Final Salute,” I just had to write to say, “Congratulations! Well done!”

In particular, I am one of Sheeler’s most loyal fans. I’ve studied his writing and use his articles as models for my own essays and poems. He is one of the reasons why I continue to subscribe to the News.

About his writing, I love:
-The quiet undertones of emotion and empathy.
-The concise yet elegantly worded sentences; the language never flowery or forced.
-The telling of a compelling and often memorable story no matter the topic.
-His compassion for the person or subject — I can feel it, yet it doesn’t interfere with the facts or event.
-The delicate balance of objectivity and intimacy.

Thank you, Mr. Sheeler, for your marvelous pieces. They’ve changed my life and view of the world.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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