Sunday, April 22, 2007

The summer reads


In "Mailbag ," Jess and Wally addressed the question about our summer read editions and Jess noted that if anyone wanted to know about those, we'd note it the next week. (The hour was late and our archives screwed up when we switched to Beta, so Jess didn't want Dallas spending additional hours hunting down links.)

The June 26, 2005 edition was our first summer read. Those who worked on that edition were:

Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review;
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

You can also be sure Dallas worked on it as well. The short story content was:

A Fractured Life (the Wally Lamb style book)
K-Boy Tries To Get Back Home (a horrific parable)
The Gleeful Boy (the Sue Miller type read)
Summer poetry: "Filling the Well"
Peek (the summer page turner)
Kooky Cokie Roberts offers up advice

Those were our six summer reads. (We also offered Five Books, Five Minutes, Editorial: Mainstream Press Do Your Homework on the pre-invasion bombings and TV Review OC: The arm pit of body wash operettas as well as highlights.) K-Boy was Ty's concept (and the short story that Wally mentioned last week). All have had different levels of popularity in the e-mails. Ty guesses the top three most popular were "A Fractured Life," K-Boy and "Peek." (The latter of which popped up in e-mails last week with requests that we don't forget the page turner this year.)

2006? We had to go to the archives and let's note we read the complaints but didn't grasp the problem. Click on "2006" (since we switched the template) and you get every feature for a two week period. You then have to click "older post" to go two-week by two-week. All 957. No break down by week on the side. We read about it in the e-mails, we just didn't get it. We do now. One more thing to add to the to-do list: try to fix the archives.

Now Dallas is a miracle worker and we were running fairly ahead of time so he started out searching the links down. And quickly cried, "Help!" 2005 wasn't a problem. Key words could be Googled and the edition pulled up. 2006? Who even remembered it? (Wally's correct, no one ever went back and re-read them -- although Ty may have gone back two days after it published to correct some typos -- he doesn't remember.) Even C.I. couldn't remember anything (a sure sign of trouble). Then C.I. remembered two titles and we were able to locate the edition, via Google, that way. Those who have complained that the archives are now a huge mess, you are correct, and we will try to fix them.

The June 4, 2006 edition was our second summer read. Working on that edition (along with Dallas) were:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim;
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot.

The fiction offered:

Song of the War Hawks
Super Laura?
Once upon a time there were plenty of Baby Dumbasses
Sherman's Story
From a diary found in the Mayflower Hotel
The ones we never know
TV: TESR Investigates

"Wait!" Some scream. "Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary is there." Yes, and they often get creative (we love their 7th Heaven and Law and Order: Trial By Jury reviews to cite two other examples of when they've been creative). But the edition was crappying out. (We haven't re-read the stuff, we're just remembering the nightmare that was that edition.) So, as noted in that edition's note, we begged them to drop Pepper Dennis (Ava points out that if they had reviewed Pepper Dennis then, they'd have one more show to review now since PD is no longer on air) and write something that we could pass off as a short story as well. We'll note that the Mayflower Hotel is timely again since E!'s Ted Casablanca reported Friday that Bully Boy was back on the booze and Laura Bush was back in a hotel.

We don't remember "Super Laura." We know it is about Laura Flanders (RadioNation with Laura Flanders) and we know it was our second take (our first take was to make her a superhero and Dona hit the roof noting that Flanders is all about the power each person has -- good point then and now but it meant a piece we labored over for hours got tossed in the waste can). "The Ones We Never Know" came in a dream to C.I., the idea. Jess liked it first and then we started fleshing it out. We know that one was popular because it has popped up in e-mails frequently in the months since. No one can remember what the others are about. (The edition also contained "Editorial: The Clearing.")

Despite having few ideas and a ton of trouble, Cedric had offered a short story idea. It got dismissed through action if not word. C.I. had liked the idea and, perfectly understandable the way we work, wasn't even aware that we hadn't done it until the edition was completed. So
the following week, June 11, 2006 edition, contained an attempt at Cedric's idea teamed up with something C.I. brought to the table: Strange people (fictional recreation of reality). (Credit is the same as for the week prior's edition.)

Now there are parodies and spoofs throughout, edition after edition, but those were the designated summer reads. We do intend another summer read edition this June. (And we will try to figure out what to do about the archives.)
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