Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Happy Holidays!

As you know, Freerange practices the method of literary husbandry wherein our storytellers are permitted to write, read & roam freely, traditional categories or labels notwithstanding. Our philosophy is to allow artists of nonfiction as much freedom as possible and to live out their instinctual behaviors in a reasonably natural way . . . regardless of whether or not they are eventually killed for meat. By this technique, we have presented memoirists, short story writers, journalists, political activists, novelists, poets, comedians, musicians and many others to promote the vast and vital world of storytelling. In other words, we are less concerned about genre boundaries and more interested in your version of the truth, your truth, in whatever form it takes.

And to kick off 2013, we will be embracing a new medium of storytelling: multimedia. This means video, photography, and audio . . . oh my! The first few multimedia pieces we’ll be showcasing all focus on the extraordinary stories of ordinary folks living in the state of Maine. Produced at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, these pieces, which we are calling The Salt Series, feature pigeon enthusiasts, port-o-john cleaners, small-town poet laureates, ship builders, and more. What students at the Salt Institute do has been called ethnography, cultural journalism, oral history, folklore, qualitative sociology, documentary photography, visual anthropology, and non-fiction writing. But, similar to Freerange’s philosophy, Salt is less concerned about what to call what they do than how they do it . . .

photo credit: McArthur Public Library

“Everyone hates trash, but we all make it . . .”

So. How often do you think about garbage? Where does it go after you throw it away? And do you ever think about how your trash might employ someone?

Our first in the set of Salt Series is a timely piece by Chloé Crettin, entitled “A Rising City Where the Water Falls”. The scene is set in an old mill town in southern Maine called Biddeford, where the Maine Energy Recovery Corporation (MERC), a waste-to-energy plant, is set to shut down their giant trash incinerator tonight, December 31st, at midnight, and usher in what downtown Biddeford leaders hope is a new era of economic development and vibrancy for an old mill town once dubbed “Trashtown USA”. And while city officials in Biddeford feel they’re moving this once thriving mill town forward, others (like the soon-to-be former MERC employees) have different opinions about the closing of the plant. Chloé Crettin gives us the story HERE, in “A Rising City Where the Water Falls”.



Happy New Year to you and yours.

As ever,

The Editors