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Why Taking Chances is the Key to Happiness

Dear readers, these recent months have been tumultuous, for me and for many of those closest to me. My brief dismissal from – and subsequent reinstatement to – the ranks of the Kensington Chronicle has inspired me to look back on how much my personal and professional life has changed since we first launched the online edition of the Chronicle three years back. With that in mind, I’ve re-read all of the online editorials that I’ve written (with the exception of some of my recent pieces that don’t really fit that description). And this trip down memory lane has made me come to a startling realization: I had no conscious idea of how much of my life up to this point had been driven by fear.

Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. For a while, even fear of acceptance; specifically, with regards to my sexuality. On that front, we’ve born witness to incredible milestones, rousing opportunities to declare loudly and proudly that “love won.” But my biggest stumbling block in finding a romantic partner has not been my sexuality. While I’ve been alone for most of my life, and feared on some level that I’d end up that way, a part of me has also been afraid of falling in love in the first place. It’s taken me 30 years, give or take, to learn that it truly is better to have loved and lost; that rejections and setbacks are survivable, and are in fact the only way for us to grow as people, the only way to find that person with whom we want to spend the rest of our lives. A proper paring truly does make two people better than the sum of their parts. I’ve seen it with my parents, George and Mary Darling. I’ve seen it with Wendy and Peter; Michael and Lily; and now, I think, with John Smee and myself.

John, woefully, has already found himself on the receiving end of my relationship hang-ups, and I am so grateful that he has elected to give me another chance. I realize now that the way I treated him in the aftermath of the Chronicle sale had nothing to do with him and everything to do with me. And I’m happy to report that now that we’re over that hump, we’ve emerged all the stronger for it.

I’m also grateful for my siblings, Wendy and Michael. That sibling relationship can ebb and flow, but I now know that it will never break. As different as we are, they will well and truly always be my best friends. And that knowledge alone is enough to get me through even the most difficult of days.

In the past, I’ve buried myself in my work, sometimes at the expense of every other aspect of my life. Now, this was in part because I’m a workaholic, and always will be; I’m simply wired that way. But it was also a way of distracting me from the other parts of my life that I found lacking; anything to avoid staring into the abyss of crippling loneliness that my self-imposed isolation was driving me inexorably closer to. But if I’ve learned anything from my recent brush with unemployment, and my blissful reconciliation with John Smee, it’s that being a newspaperman isn’t everything. Our jobs don’t have to solely define us, any more than our sexuality does. Being assistant editor in chief of the Kensington Chronicle is something I do. But John Darling is who I am.

I once wrote that “Growing up isn’t what it used to be.” And I do believe that our generation has some obstacles in our path that no prior generation has ever had to deal with, obstacles which at times can seem insurmountable. But I also believe that nothing is truly insurmountable. That we cannot allow fear, or a culture that undervalues us, to disillusion us into inaction. That we must be steadfast in our refusal to let anyone tell us what we can’t do, least of all ourselves; life is hard enough without putting roadblocks in our own path to happiness. We have to not get so hung up on finding “the one,” but at the same time be open to love when and where we find it. All at the same time striving for balance between all of these different pieces of our lives.

Growing up has never been easy. And it was never meant to be. But I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends and family with whom to muddle through it. And I couldn’t have asked for a more tolerant, nurturing, magical place to do it in than Neverland. I love you all, Neverlandians, each and every one; and every day, you find a way to remind me of just how much I am loved. As long as we all continue to fight for that feeling, then Love truly has won. And if people like us have anything to say about it, it always will.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on April 18, 2017

Hook is Back

My fellow Neverlandians: longtime readers will be aware that our editorials are traditionally written by John Darling. Well, you may have heard that Mr. Darling is no longer with the K-Chron. A few other familiar faces have been let go as well. Honestly, ever since I took the reins from George Darling, I have had struggles with some of our legacy employees. I’ve been trying to take the paper in a brave new direction, and some people were just a little too entrenched in the old way of doing things. Sometimes taking a ship in a new direction means manning it with a whole new crew.

You may have also heard that my engagement to Wendy Darling is off. I want to say, I truly believed everything I wrote about Wendy in my last piece. I thought she felt the same way, but apparently I was wrong. It appears that no matter where I go, or what I do, people wind up finding reasons to hate me. I’ve tried to be everybody’s friend for so long; it’s things like this that make me wonder why I bother.

I tried to strike a balance between the way George ran the paper and the way I wanted to run it. I tried to ask my employees what they wanted to cover and our readers what they wanted us to cover. But I was fought every step of the way, to the point of insubordination and outright contempt. Suffice it to say, I’m done asking for people‘s permission for me to run my newspaper my way. Hook is back, ladies and gentlemen. The Hook who built a media empire out of nothing, all by himself. I didn’t need anybody then, why would I need anybody now?

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on April 10, 2017

8 PIZZA TOPPINGS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!

This week I’ve been tasked with writing a listicle that’s at least (relatively) wholesome, if still not in the strictest sense actually news.

8. Butternut Squash and Sage

With garlic oil, homemade ricotta, roasted butternut squash, fresh thyme and crispy sage.

7. Rhubarb Basil 

With Apple Honey BBQ Sauce.

6. Shrimp Scampi

As good as a pizza as it is a pasta.

5. Deep Dish Reuben 

Topped with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut.

4. Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Dangerously delicious.

3. Hummus and Grilled Zucchini

I think this one speaks for itself.

2. M&M’s

I’ll bet you can guess which Neverlandian submitted this one.

1. Fairy Dust

This one is a Neverland original!

And speaking of pizza, remember that there’s no better place in Neverland to get it than our local Shakey’s!

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on March 20, 2017

Welcome to OpenWindow – Hooked on Love

Are you looking for love or friendship in Neverland?

Well JHMedia and the K-Chron have your back!  OpenWindow is here, a place online where you can connect with other Neverlandians.  Rate whether you want to open your window to them or close it!  Those with Twitter accounts shared allow you to connect with them.

You can join up or just rate!

Click here to begin.

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Posted in Editorials, Tech Updates
Posted on March 3, 2017

Say Neverspeak Three Times…

…and it shall appear! I, Morgan Skylights, have once again returned from walkabout, this time to the frozen tundra of Alaska! We may be undergoing a regime change at the newly re-forged K-Chron, but one thing you can expect to stay the same is my weekly coverage of all the Neverland rumors that are fit to print. So keep your eyes glued to this space, dear readers: starting next week, Neverspeak is back in earnest. Same Neverspeak time, same Nevesrpeak channel.

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on February 21, 2017

Caveat Emptor

Neverlandians, by now you have no doubt heard that my father, George Darling, is stepping down from his position as editor-in-chief of the Kensington Chronicle. When Father made a deal with Mr. Hook to sell the paper to JH Media, we were assured that he would continue to run the day-to-day operations at the Chronicle, and that the paper would not be substantially changed going forward. But, from what little he’s told me about it, to all appearances my father’s resignation is a matter of creative differences between himself and the new management. That being the case, I can’t help the nagging suspicion that the winds are about to change here at our local paper, and quite possibly not for the better.

Though my father’s separation from his beloved local newspaper appears on the surface to be entirely amicable, the fact of the matter is George Darling is a man of far too much integrity to air his dirty laundry in a public forum. If there is something more contentious underlying his departure, we may likely never know about it. And the whole situation is further complicated by the fact that our new editor-in-chief, Jas Hook himself, is inextricably entangled with the Darling family on a personal level; it’s no secret that he and my sister Wendy have been happily dating since her time working at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have used this very space to sing Mr. Hook’s praises in the past. My respect for him as a self-made media mogul knows no bounds. And he has given me no reason to believe that he has anything but the best of intentions when it comes to my sister; Mr. Hook and Wendy are, I think, a coupling to which we all could aspire. But I can believe all of those things about him and still have reservations about some of the decisions he’s made re: the Chronicle, even in the short time he’s been at the helm, not the least of which being his decision to take the paper global. For a paper that has been about hyperlocal news since its inception, that sends up a big red flag.

And it is with great regret that I report that this article you are now reading will be the last of the John Darling editorials, such as they have been. And perhaps I don’t have quite as much integrity as my father, because I feel compelled to say that the cessation of this feature is in no way a choice that I have made; it is, rather, an edict that has come down from up on high. It is my sincerest hope that the demise of my longtime column is in no way connected with my vocal equivocation about the direction of the Chronicle under the new management (though, to Mr. Hook’s credit, he has allowed me to run this piece unedited, in its original form). I had hoped to one day be the top newsman myself here at the Chronicle, but I have in effect been demoted from assistant to the editor-in-chief to merely a staff writer. As of this moment, I do not know the type of content I will be expected to produce under the new regime. I would love it if my instincts about all of this were wrong; but they so very rarely are.

Dear readers, I cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support over lo these many years. And I am not going anywhere! Not yet. The Kensington Chronicle as we knew it may be dead, replaced instead by the K-Chron, but some things never change. As long as I’m here, you, the people of Neverland, will have a voice. And don’t hesitate to tell me on Twitter what you think of this new direction in the days and weeks to come. The Kensington Chronicle has always been a paper of and for the people; and if I have anything to say about it, the same will hold true for the K-Chron.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on February 20, 2017

The More They Stay The Same

People of Neverland, Jas Hook here. My darling Wendy recently brought it to my attention that her family’s local newspaper has been floundering. This news kicked me back on my heels, and spurred me on to do something about it; not just because the Kensington Chronicle matters to Wendy but because it matters to me. I, too, read John’s editorials week in and week out, and take no small source of pleasure from Michael’s Dear Darling videos. What’s more, even though I’ve spent the better part of my life far from the town I first called home, an important part of my heart has always been in Neverland. For a long time, I was the only out-of-state subscriber to the Chronicle. Shipping a copy to New York on a daily basis is not the cheapest proposition in the world, but being the CEO of a massive global conglomerate like JH Media does occasionally have its privileges. Honestly, my advisors recommended against acquiring the Chronicle; “It doesn’t make any sense,” they told me, “Not from a financial standpoint.” Well, I’ll tell all of you exactly what I told them: JH Media is about more than just what makes “financial sense.”

I didn’t really know Mr. George Darling very well in high school, but I’ve spent a great deal of time with him on my most recent visit to Neverland. And I’m happy to report that he’s every bit the charming, local hero that the paper makes him out to be. His passion for the Chronicle is unmatched (except, perhaps, by that of his son John), and I’m proud to say that more than a little of that passion has rubbed off on me. Like George said in his last editorial, the Kensington Chronicle is a Neverland institution. And as such, I want to inform everyone that JH Media maintains a commitment to making as few changes as possible. With that in mind, for as long as he’s willing and able, there will always be a place for Mr. George Darling at the helm.

I know that John Darling, editor of our online edition, is a prototypical Neverlandian in his reluctance to embrace change. It’s my understanding that he’s not been taking the paper’s sale particularly well, which is why he hasn’t written any editorials for the past several weeks. But I want to make it clear that I know John’s aversion to the new status quo has nothing to do with me or my company; John and I have enjoyed nothing but the most cordial of relationships since I came into his sister Wendy’s life. I think John is just having trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that the family business is no longer all in the family. But I have no doubt that John will come around, and his position will be waiting for him when he does. Because, as a longtime reader, I understand that the Kensington Chronicle needs John Darling as much as he needs it.

So take heart, people of Neverland: your beloved local newspaper isn’t going anywhere. If anything, I’m committed to making the Kensington Chronicle better than ever. I’d also like to invite your input during this period of transition, to make sure we’re putting out a paper that meets, and hopefully even exceeds, your needs. Despite my complicated history with Neverland, in my heart it’s always been my home. It is an incredible honor to shepherd my favorite local paper into what I know will be a new era of prosperity, and I’m fully aware of the great responsibility that that entails. Your stories are the heart of Neverland, constant readers, and we’re going to keep telling your stories. Because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on September 9, 2015

Dear Darling – SELF HELP!

Dear Darling,
Hey Michael it’s Michael! How are you? Never mind I know exactly how you’re doing – you’re freaking out! Everything is changing and I don’t know what to do! Today I saw John wearing a wrinkled shirt. A WRINKLED SHIRT!!! If that is not a clear sign that these are the end times than I don’t know what is! So I guess my question to me is…How do you stay calm when you have no friggin’ idea what will happen next, and down is up, and right is wrong, and good is bad, and you’re completely OUT OF CHEESY POOFS!?!?!?!!1

Sincerely Michael Darling.

Well, Michael I can tell by your punctuation that you are A) very handsome B) very cool and C) super stressed out.  And my advice to you is…I DON’T KNOW!  And what do I do when I’m lost?  Watch cartoons!!! So please enjoy this advice:

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on September 9, 2015

Work vs Play

How do you manage work and play? My personal experience has been a bit sketchy, especially nearing exam times, and I would like to hear your advice.

-Zoe

This is an awesome question Zoe my darlingite!  Especially when everyone is getting ready to head back to school!

We all have important things that we have to do.  You have to do your homework, you have to clean your room, you have to organize your dvd collection by ability to make you laugh so hard milk comes out your nose.  But it’s also important to LIVE!  It’s important to go outside and play tag with the squirrels, to try every ice cream flavor they have at the Jolly Roger Soda Shop , to puke rainbows because you ate 40 pounds of ice cream, to have FUN!

But you have to have balance.

Many of you know my brother John.  A while back, he was in a place where work was his number one priority.  He would work 25 hours a day, yes 25.  He was so efficient that somehow he managed to get an extra hour out of every day!  It was driving him crazy!  And then you have my, old friend, Peter.  Peter was so focused on only doing things he thought were fun that he lost his job.  If you give work too much time, you’ll isolate yourself from the rest of the world.  But if you abandon all your responsibilities, you’ll disappoint the people who are counting on you and end up just as alone.

Later in life, you can find work that actually makes you happy!  I love talking to all of my darlingites, so work and play are sorta the same thing!  For now, while you’re in school, just make sure you keep that balance!  Try rewarding yourself for spending an hour studying by drawing a picture of your teacher and his goofy tie!  Or maybe read the chapters your assigned outside to get some fresh air!   Whatever you do, keep it balanced 🙂

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on September 2, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 8/25/2015

New Paper. If you haven’t already heard, JHMedia has bought the Kensington Chronicle. It’s definitely a little weird around here, but we are optimistic that the new merger will allow the Chronicle to keep both its integrity and its place in the hearts of Neverlandians. It’s pretty well known around town that the paper has been going through some hard times. While it’s difficult to imagine the paper being run by anyone but the Darlings, the important thing is that it’s still here.

Reapply Your UnBlock. The members of the local band Fish Girl Pond were seen with some friends at the Jolly Roger taking a break from touring and songwriting for some much needed R&R. Nanny Ams, Mia Rivers, and Rowan O’Connor joined them over plates of nachos and bowls of ice cream. Word has it the band is working on some new material. Perhaps they will debut a new song at Sarah-Jane Lakewood’s engagement party this week?

Sign Language. Wendy Darling started her book tour here in Neverland last week. Locals lined up outside of Neverland Books to get their hands on some of the first copies of her new book “Ask Wendy!”. The local, soon to be national, celebrity was gracious and charming as she signed books for everyone who showed up and a few extras for those who couldn’t be there.

Beyond the Pale.  Even though it’s the end of summer and most of us are sun-kissed or just downright red, there have been a few new residents of the paler variety. Maybe they’re Scandinavian? But I never knew Scandinavians to have such a thirst for tomato juice. Well, thankfully, Teresa Delacruz seems to know how to keep those Scandinavians in line.  And don’t worry, she’s back from her vacation to Chicago with Neal.  Even Scandinavian wranglers need a little fun in the sun.

Bagha Tricks. Local entrepreneur Lily Bagha is having a bad week. Just as word leaked that she and Peter Pan were all but finished, her company was taken over in a hostile move by JHMedia. Bagha Industries had gone public earlier this week, flooding the market with its stocks. Apparently, this was a gamble. The company stood to make a huge profit while they risked someone buying up all the stocks and have the controlling share of the company. This is exactly what happened when Jas Hook swooped in and immediately booted Lily Bagha out.

Star-crossed. Sarah-Jane Lakewood and fiance Alfie will be celebrating their engagement this Friday. It should be a swanky party – the only catch is that it is taking place in New York.  The couple’s families and circle of Hollywood friends will be in attendance.  Word has it they are flying in Mermaid Lagoon for the occasion. The party will be a throwback to 1920s glamour with New Orleans cuisine and endless champagne.  So, if you can hop a plane (or convince Sarah-Jane to share her jet), you probably should!

Boy in Blue. Neverland couldn’t be happier with its new Deputy Sheriff G. Harrison Lestrade. One resident said, “I feel safer knowing that Deputy Sheriff Lestrade is on the case, keeping our town safe. And it helps that he’s cute.” Another pledged to make him her famous chili cheese tacos stating, “Well, that’s his nickname isn’t it?” Yes, yes it is. Thanks for your constant vigilance, Deputy Sheriff Tacos! Let us know how those chili cheese things turn out!

Trending
Social Medium
#FirstDayOfSchool
Ice cream
@RandomActsOrg
#AustenBiopic
No More ‘Hot Piece’ Roles
New Lost Boy
Theodore the Snake

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on August 25, 2015

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