Cara Solomon sweats the small stuff.
After a failed career as a television news intern and eight successful years as a print reporter, Solomon left her newspaper job on the West Coast to return home to Boston. Holding down a day job as an editor of a start-up Web site, she began to devote her free time to blogging at The Small Story.
As a reporter for The Seattle Times, Solomon wrote small-focus narratives about everything from displaced survivors of Hurricane Katrina to ”Flash Mob” kissing. The Small Story has a similar bent, centering on “the lives of everyday people in Massachusetts—the challenges they face, the celebrations they make, and the communities they like to call home.”
Solomon has found most of her subjects herself but notes that on occasion, someone will give her a tip, which is how she found our personal favorite on the site. “Low Price Lenny” recounts details of the 2009 Ms. Senior Sweetheart pageant and the kazoo-carrying businessman who founded it. Solomon told us via email that she found Lenny via by posing her favorite question: “Who’s the most interesting, un-famous person you know?”
Only one or two narratives appear each month, and some months have been skipped altogether. “It’s my own labor of love,” Solomon says, noting she’s a Lone Ranger on the project for now (she hopes to involve other journalists and photographers in the future).
The site bills itself as “a slower-paced look at the everyday people who make up America.” And though the stories are created for digital consumption, there’s something nicely newspapery, even retro, about Solomon’s voice and her subjects. Perhaps it’s the narrow focus or the optimistic bent, but maybe it’s just the small story that likes to stay small.