By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 27, 2018 at 1:03 PM Photography: Royal Brevvaxling

OnMilwaukee writers have to be prolific-yet-concise (we write five or more stories every week), quick-yet-fastidious (we often report scoops just moments after they happen) and friendly-yet-fair (because this is who we are).

The majority of the time, I enjoy writing Milwaukee stories. In fact, after 18 years (gulp) I often can't wait to write about someone or something that's uniquely Milwaukee. But there have been times when I haven't wanted to report something – a death, a sticky situation – but I do anyway. Because that's my job. And because you, readers, deserve that.

2018 was not different from any other year in that it was a series of highs and lows. Such is life and, as cliche as it sounds, I'm grateful to experience every weird and wonderful offering this life – and this city – has to offer.

Here are six stories that struck me this year, three of which enriched me as a person and three of which ... probably also enriched me as a person, but weren't very fun to write.

3 stories I loved writing in 2018:

1. The Skyglider story

Riding the Skyglider at Summerfest from open to close – from noon to midnight - was always on my Milwaukee Bucket List and it actually happened this year. Thirty-three people "took a lap" with me including Mayor Barrett, Bango the Bucks mascot (it was a 100-degree day and he was such a sport in that furry costume!) and Judge Derek Mosley. I'll never do this again, but I am pleased to have the memory. And the documentation via this story.

2. The Milwaukee Minion

I noticed this "Minion" that stands atop a Menomonee Valley building after driving by it via I-43 on my way to work many mornings and I finally stopped off to check it out. I have a history of climbing on top of buildings and I was once again granted permission to get up close and personal with something high in the sky. And the best part about this story is the story behind it. 

3. Pro women's basketball in MKE

Earlier this year, Jason McDowell and I won two Milwaukee Press Club Awards for stories we created together in 2017. This year, we created a piece on the first professional female basketball team – the Milwaukee Does – and, from the interview process to the final moments of editing, the experience was an empowering joy. 

3 stories I didn't love writing in 2018:

1. The renaming of Gypsy Taco

Creating drama is not my jam, but sometimes the truth means I gotta write something that people I respect aren't going to like. 

2. The stolen Jesus painting

This story just sucks. Who would do this and why? They never got the painting back, even though OnMilwaukee offered an award. 

3. The shuttering of a meaningful space

There are many reasons why the closing of Gibraltar music venue was disappointing. It brought live music to Milwaukee from literally around the world. It was African American-owned – which doesn't happen enough in Milwaukee – by a talented local musician. And it was a chill spot to relax, have a cocktail and listen to some really great tunes.  

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.