Sunday, June 26, 2005

A note to our readers

So what's this summer issue talk? This edition was going to be the summer issue, right? Well as journalism majors, we're aware that once was a time when summer meant periodicals did a fiction issue. (Ms. still celebrates creative writing each summer. Others, such as Rolling Stone, have stopped doing so.)

So what you're looking at in this edition is our summer issue.

"Wait, wait, no Ava & C.I. TV review!"

Put down the billy clubs, do you think we're stupid?

Of course Ava & C.I. have a TV review this edition. They review The OC which is in keeping with a lighter, summery feel. To calm the panic that we knew would ensue were the review not in this edition and not noted quickly, we've even placed it right under this edition's editorial. You can't miss it.

We also have another "Five Books, Five Minutes." With the edition being about reading, it made sense to include that feature as well.

So what else you got?

We once again (thank you Maria and C.I.) reprint The Common Ills entry of important headlines from Democracy Now! this week, in Spanish and English.


Our blog spotlight is an entry by C.I. about Dahr Jamail's little covered but highly important report on the state of the hospitals in Iraq.

Thanks to C.I. and Isaiah, we reprint two of Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts comics.

As a PSA, we reprint C.I.'s entry from yesterday on the lack of coverage of The World Tribunal on Iraq.

Oh, you're just the reprint royals, aren't you?

Well besides the editorial, Ava & C.I.'s TV review and "Five Books, Five Minutes" we also offer up six, count 'em six, original entries.

What's a summer edition without an advice column? And what's a better advice column than one written by the person least able to give sound advice?

We've got a poem (thanks to reader Janine who caught that we put the wrong title on that entry, we've corrected it).

We also offer short stories in a variety of formats. A horror/parable, a Sue Miller-type read, a Wally Lamb-type read (we truly dedicate that one to Bill Keller), and a Jackie Collins-type read.

Ty was especially curious about how they would be received and has checked the e-mails throught the early morning. Already some are asking is it meant to be for real or a parody?
That depends on you. It's your abstract art for the day, find your own answers and don't ask someone to tell you what you're supposed to expect or feel.

Thanks go to community member Dallas, Maria and Isaiah. (Dallas hunts down our links and we'll make you an honorary member Dallas.) For input and contributions to the writing of the original pieces that appear in this edition, we thank Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Kat of Kat's Korner and C.I. of The Common Ills. All helped with each original piece (except for this note and except for the TV review which is the writing of Ava and C.I. only).

You gave your time and your ideas and we appreciate that and thank you for it.

We'll also say a thank you to our own Dona who was a stickler all week about "Have you read the five books yet?" and "Is there an idea you have? Can you get started it now and distribute it to the others so we can't get moving?" We had a lot more ideas than what you're reading in this edition. There were some short stories that we decided failed completely in the execution. They went in the trash heap. We won't claim that we had everything ready to be put in the final draft in our all night session. We didn't. Not just the editorial or Ava & C.I.'s review (which they again wrote on the fly, in twenty minutes while we were publishing pieces -- our apologies for taking so long to agree to the theme). (Ava and C.I. watched three different programs this week and took notes on all three since the theme was up in the air.)

But this was our strongest starting point ever. Dona says she feels like a "nag" and it's doubtful we'll ever be as together as we were for this edition. But we're proud of it and felt that instead of attempting to constantly find a way to "save" an idea that wasn't working, we actually were in the position to say, "No, it's not working" repeatedly (and those five other attempts at short stories may resurface in other forms later on).

Many's been the all nighter where we try and try to make something come to life. We've noted that here. And how C.I. is really good at finding the band-aid that pull the piece together, a quote from a book, a song lyric, throwing the middle paragraph up at the top. And we've all started to do the same. (Ava, who said she has to split right now to go help C.I. with an entry at The Common Ills, says to add that C.I. puts more care and thought into our entries than into ones at The Common Ills where the approach is much more in keeping with the Kat philosophy of "It is what it is.")

We have been thinking about where we're headed and what we want to say in the last months.
We think we're stronger now as a team (and that team includes all the people who assist and bounce ideas with us or add to pieces).

Our snap evaluation of this edition finds us pleased with it. There are many things we'd do differently on our theme edition on the sixties, but this one results in a higher grade.

We hope there's something here that makes you laugh or enrages you. We are The Third Estate Sunday Review, not The Timid Estate Sunday Review.

-- Jim, Dona, Jess, Ty and Ava

P.S. We welcome community member Mike to the blogging fold with Mikey Likes It! We weren't able to get together to speak with Mike due to his having a big family reunion this week but for anyone wondering, we'll be getting together with him next week.
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