Wednesday, January 17, 2007

First issue of the ninth year

Whew. Now the 93rd issue of the paper is at the printer, and I get to do yet another update to the website--er, once I get my internet connection hooked up again. It'll take a bit.

Here's the cycle of paper publishing:
1. late in the month, the early authors start sending me stuff. I see them around and they ask me what I think of their article/photo/poem, and I look at them blankly for a moment and say, "Huh? Oh! Oh, I haven't managed to look at it yet, I'm still cleaning up the last issue's stuff. I don't look at anything until after the first." The contributor looks faintly disappointed, and I walk away feeling guilty. So I go check my mail, if I can (a problem this last month). And maybe read some of the contributions.

2. It's the 2nd or 3rd, and I realize that I haven't read all the contributions I've received so far. I'm usually reminded of this because I get an e-mail or a phone call from some conscientious person letting me know that their piece needs a correction or addenda, or that they're really sorry they're late. I feel guilty.

3. I read the stuff I've got. "Hmm," I say to myself, "So-and-So hasn't got that thing in yet. And wow, look how nifty this unexpected beauty is. And omigod, I forgot to answer whatsizname!" I'm immediately buried in work. How did that happen AGAIN?

4. I send off a bunch of articles to my noble, long-suffering, hard-working, really really talented second editors, Lisa Sporleder, Jackie Stormer, and me mum, Carla Helfferich. Whew. Outta my hair. Oops. Forgot that one. And that one....

5. It's the 9th, and I'm getting antsy because I don't have any ads yet. Of course, they're not due until the 10th, but I start nagging my poor ad guy anyway. He's very patient. I start layout.

6. Somehow it got to be the 12th, and the paper's due at the printer tomorrow, and I haven't finished editing, and I don't have all the ads, and I don't have a cover photo, and I can't find my jump drive and where the heck is my checkbook???...AAAAUGH!!!

7. the 15th. I'm trying to shoehorn all the articles and photos and ads in. I hate this stupid thing. this is it, no more, I'm never doing another dingnabbed issue ever. I'll sell it. I'll throw all the papers in a bonfire and dance around it naked getting drunk and laughing hysterically. I'll run away to some impoverished tropical island and die of malnutrition and cockroach bites.

8. the 16th. IT'S LATE!

9. Later on the 16th, or maybe it's the 17th. It's late, but nobody notices. We pick up the paper at the printer and it's beautiful. We take it to the Eagle and people up and down the bar snatch up a copy and bury their heads in it. Conversation mutes to a quite rumble. I'm delighted, exhausted, all sniffly. Guess I'll do this again.

10. 17th or 18th. Update the website, deliver papers. Enter sales invoices. Mail out subscriptions and ad copies and contributor copies. Still buoyed by the paper's arrival, though. At least for a few days. Looking forward to the next batch of articles (and forgetting the frenzied pace of three weeks' worth of paper preparation).

Probably a good thing, huh?

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