Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jim's World


Last week was our summer read edition.  It was our last, our final summer edition.

What started with so much fun and promise crashed in flames.

As a number of you have e-mailed, I had a role in it.

In "The Summer Tell All: The Death of the Summer Edition" C.I. writes (that piece is largely C.I.) of Marcia presenting an idea or trying to.  She immediately gets shot down with someone insisting that her sci-fy idea is useless because we already have a sci-fy feature.

As many of you guessed, I'm the one doing the shutting down in that tale.

And I told C.I. she could name me.  I'm really not concerned about being seen as the good guy and, obviously with most of you guessing it was me, my approach is pretty obvious.

For those concerned, Marcia and I are fine.

I tend to try to take charge.  If you don't like that, you can push back.  That's why Dona and I make a great couple, she does push back.

That is only one of many examples of hurt feelings during the writing edition.

And it took too long, it was falling apart and people were tired.  At one point, when C.I. was telling me I wasn't listening to Mike and that he and Elaine were in Hawaii and certainly had better things to do then try to help out when they weren't being listened to, even I had had enough.

The edition should have been planned better.  It also shouldn't have been last weekend.  There were too many political stories that people wanted to tackle.

The process itself is probably bet outlined by C.I.  We really do have too many people working on every piece.  Betty basically oversaw the poetry and she deserves applause for that.  But that should have been done with each story.  A group to work on it should have been declared or appointed.  Instead, everyone was working through a draft on each story and the bulk of the stories were turning to s**t.

We couldn't even agree on an editorial topic when I, thinking this would get us motivated or give us something new to think about, suggested we brainstorm on that.

C.I. brought the topic for the editorial over from her site.  And, along with getting tired of fighting me with regards to listening to people, she was getting upset over the fact that we had cut into her Saturday time for The Common Ills because we (I at least) just knew the summer edition would be quick.  So she started the edition feeling she'd neglected The Common Ills and then came Sunday where she was having to raid her writing for TCI to help us with an editorial and a feature.

It wasn't fair.

Ava pointed out that this was insane and a waste of time and that was a sentiment others began echoing.

And the next thing I knew, Ava and C.I. were declaring that if this site was around this time next year, they'd write their media pieces but they would not participate in short stories.

As they announced they were walking (in 2014), others echoed that.

And then C.I. came back with the piece about the end of the summer edition.

I really liked that we offered summer fiction.  It didn't have to be good.  In fact, if it was really bad, I sometimes felt that was even better.

For me, it was part of our do-it-yourself-ethos.

And there was always the hope that it would encourage other people to try -- maybe really talented people.

But it was one of our signature moves.  And I'm kind of sad it's gone.

Jess, however, has told me that next summer, if I really want to do it, one way would be to look back at our previous editions and pick from those to pull together one strong edition.

I like that idea and plan to do it if we're still around.  That would give it the proper send-off.

I also liked that so many of you e-mailed to say you would miss the summer edition as well.  Again, it wasn't about perfection, it was about fun.

But the writing had become anything but fun.

In closing on this topic, I will note that I have (slender) hopes that next year, when summer rolls around, people will be saying, "Let's try it one more time."  That's probably very unlikely but I like to think it is a possibility.

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