Stories that inspired me in 2014

As a writer, I’m often overwhelmed by deadlines and gloom and doom stories that no one wants to work on. I’m lucky enough to usually only be assigned feature and human interest stories .

I’ll admit it — in 2014, I had plenty of times that I wanted to drop everything — but something kept me going.

Here are a few stories that inspired me, that really fueled my passion in 2014:

1. Indiana native makes TV debut as comedian

In 2013, Indiana native Rachel McDowell quit her job to become a full-time comedian. Who does that, seriously?

Why I loved it: Anyone that has the courage to quit their six-figure job to pursue their dream gets an A+ in my book. And, she was so much fun to chat with.

2. Weight-Loss Warriors: Couple loses 320 pounds10500310_1503986999835305_2726137846150209507_n

I had the opportunity to interview Indiana couple Danny Patton and Kalean Duffy and follow their story throughout this year.

Why I loved it: They are truly one of the most inspiring couples I’ve ever met, and writing their story really felt like it could reach others who need that extra motivation to lose weight.

Later in the year, the couple got engaged on LIVE, national television! So cool.

3. Beeken has high hopes for Restless Road

19780636_16219Even though they were voted off “The X-Factor” in the semi-finals in 2013, Zach Beeken, of Indiana, and his band Restless Road kept on the path to stardom.

Why I loved it: The community really came together in support of Beeken and Restless Road. I was happy to have my chance to hang out with a new celebrity 😉

4. Father, son explore Europe on bicycle built for two

Indiana’s Stuart and Eddie Chandler rode thousands of miles through the elements over the summer on a tandem bicycle.

Why I loved it: What an AMAZING experience! I can only hope that someday I can see the world in the way that these two have.

5. Day celebrates acts of flowery kindness

Some area flower shops participated in the national Lonely Bouquet Day this year.

Why I loved it: It was wonderful to see people in the community spreading some cheer. What’s even better — After the story was written, many bouquets popped up in different areas around town for unsuspecting passers-by to find.

6. Woman expresses feelings by crafting collage art

Becky Solar’s story inspired me initially when she came to speak to a class at IUP’s Journalism Department. Becky crafts collage art with tiny clippings from newspapers and magazines — and they’re beautiful!

Why I loved it: Becky is a constant reminder to me that when things get rough, you’ll always find a way to get through them.



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