Professor Tim Penning (Advertising and Public Relations) has published a book of newspaper columns he has written over a 10-year span for the Grand Haven Tribune. The book is titled “Thoughts on Thursdays” to reflect the fact that his column appeared on the second Thursday of each month.
“The paper asked me to consult with them back in 2002 and one of the things I suggested to them was to have several “community columnists”–people from the community who would write columns on a regular basis in order to give the paper more of a connection to its readers,” Penning explained. “They liked the idea and asked me to be one of those columnists. I’ve been writing ever since.”
Penning, who has a degree in journalism and worked as a journalist for a while, wrote a column for his college newspaper and for a newspaper where he worked after graduation. He enjoys the format, but says it can get challenging at times.
“People ask me what my column is about, and I say whatever comes to mind,” he said. “It seems sometimes like that monthly deadline comes up quickly, but I usually come up with something fun to write about in the end.”
He thought of quitting the column in early 2012, but whenever he mentioned it people told him they enjoyed reading it and encouraged him to keep writing. That’s when he also realized he had been doing it for 10 years and decided to publish a collection of his favorite columns in a book. He selected 65 of his favorite columns, which range from humorous observations to serious cultural commentary, and revised them over the past year for book publication.
He self-published the book, under the name Penning Ink, his freelance business name. He used the print-on-demand services of Schuler Books. “Thoughts on Thursdays” is available in Schuler Book stores in Grand Rapids and from their web site as well as from Amazon.