About Sarah

I am a communications specialist who dabbles in design, photography and seo.

It’s not marketing copy

I like my day job. It’s not exciting like beat reporting, my old job, when my schedule could change with one call over the police scanner. Now, my days aren’t quite as unpredictable, which, I’ll admit, I’ve grown to like. Yet, I’m still learning what exactly a communications associate for a law firm does, so in that respect, every day my work varies.

Last week, my boss told me to write marketing copy for a brochure about asbestos exposure. We’re taking it to a union meeting in St. Louis later in October. This project coincided with an email from my grandpa telling me that he’d been exposed to asbestos while in the Navy. All the men in my life have always refused to go to the doctor and my grandpa is probably the worse. He wrote he didn’t seen the point of getting checked since mesothelioma (caused by asbestos exposure) is a terminal disease, several of his Navy buddies have already died from it, and he knows he’s got asbestos fibers in his lungs already. So why go through the hassel.

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Area authors to read Gangster stories in St. Charles

If you’re looking for an early start to your weekend, but don’t want to be out too late, then I’ve got the event for you. Author W.E. Mueller will be reading from his book, “Peaches & Cream” tomorrow night, Sept. 2, from 7-9 p.m. in downtown St. Charles.

I interviewed him earlier this week about the event, and the story ran today in the St. Charles Journal. W.E. Mueller, who’s known as Bill to his friends, knows how to write a good story. I’ve heard him read the story he plans to read tomorrow, titled “Uncle Albert” before at Main Street Books, and it’s one I’m looking forward to hearing again. Also, you can read another story from the collection by visiting High Hill Press web site, his publisher.

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JettRiders stop in St. Charles County on cross-country trip

Earlier this month, I spent time with the King Family who live in Weldon Spring, Mo. Their son, Tyler, has been diagnosed with Duchenne Musular Dystrophy. Through my day job, I’m constantly writing about mesothelioma, so I understand how frustrating it can be for families like the Kings who have been impacted by a rare disease that doesn’t receive much media attention.

This is why I spent four hours at their home and even hitched a ride with the cyclists’ caravan down Highway 94. Just to make sure I had all the information to write the best story I could.

The final article took me three hours to write. It was a hard topic to write about – to stay honest about the fact that DMD has no cure, but, also, present the optimism and hope, I observed from everyone there that day. I hope I succeed. You can click here to read the article or I’ve pasted it below.

From Cali to the Jersey Shore
Cyclists spanning the country for a cause stop in Weldon Spring

By Sarah Whitney, For the Journal
Saturday, August 14, 2010 3:05 AM CDT

Just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon Aug. 7, 14-year-old Tyler King pushed the joystick on his motorized wheelchair forward and raced toward “heaven.”

But the parade of cyclists whizzing down his street in Weldon Spring beat him there.

“I couldn’t go any faster. The chair only goes so fast,” Tyler said later.

Once they dismounted, each cyclist shook hands with Tyler and introduced themselves.

The cyclists, called the JettRiders, are a group of teenagers and adult leaders biking across the United States to raise money for research and awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy – the disease Tyler lives with.

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Free word processor for writers

I use Microsoft Word just as much as the next person, but when it comes to writing a novel it couldn’t keep up with me.

I’m a planner. I pre-write like a movie star pops pills. It’s a messy business, but fun. I could have eight documents each containing one chapter. But five alternate chapters or three of those eight would have a character’s name spelled a different way. I’d spend more time opening and closing documents trying to figure out what’d I exactly I’d previously written instead of writing new words.

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Q&A with Miss Missouri

The third time was the charm for Erika Hebron at the Miss Missouri Pageant.

The O’Fallon resident – competing as Miss Gateway St. Louis – was crowned Miss Missouri June 12 at Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, and also competed in the 2007 and 2009 pageants.

She won a $10,000 scholarship and will go on to represent Missouri at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas. It will air Jan. 30 on ABC.

Hebron, 23, said she’s already begun preparing, including working with a choreographer for her talent, which is dance, and fitting for a gown.

“It’s a ways away, but it’ll be here before I know it,” she said in a phone interview.

Hebron took a break from judging the Little Misses of Missouri pageant in Mexico on July 22 to talk about being Miss Missouri, preparing for the Miss America Pageant and her work as a dancer in The Muny’s “Damn Yankees” production.

Q: What motivated you to compete in pageants?

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STL Renaissance Faire lasts two more weekends

Click here to read the news story I wrote about the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire in Wentzville’s Rotary Park that ran in Wednesday’s St. Charles & Wentzville Journals.

If you haven’t gone yet, I highly recommend checking it out. Especially on Monday, as they’re hosting a special Memorial Day Tribute at 1:30 p.m. on the Jousting Field.

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Writing muscles

As of Sunday, I will officially be a free lance writer. A story I wrote about a ground breaking event Mother’s Day weekend for a Habitat for Humanity home is slated to run Sunday, provided no news breaks at the last minute.

The story was around 550 words. I was worried it would be too short, so the first comment I asked editor Jamie Quagliata when I visited the office yesterday, was how many inches it was.

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