So about a year ago, I went on blog hiatus. I was thinking of a master plan, and that takes time, obviously.
Over the last 12 months, I wrapped up “What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream.” That beast was a multi-year project I was editing at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, tied to a book by two incredible journalists I can now happily count as friends and mentors, Don Barlett and Jim Steele. Their book came out in July, and promptly landed on the NYT bestseller list.
I also won a fellowship from the Alicia Patterson Foundation (yay!). I’m incredibly honored, and incredibly excited to have a year to focus on the civil court system, and the challenges of self-represented litigants. That’s something I’ve written about before, and I feel (am) so lucky to be able to dig into this without daily deadline and editing pressures. I’m focusing on one courthouse, the 36th District Court in Detroit, where I’ve been visiting on and off for about 5 years now. I’m grateful to the staff and judges at the court who have welcomed me, and to the many lawyers who have patiently explained things to me, and most of all to the people handling eviction, debt collection, foreclosure and other very real, very hard personal crises who still took the time to talk to a reporter in the hallway.
As usual, I’m going to promise to try to be better about posting here, particularly (but not only) when I write things. I’ll try.