by Jeffrey M. Mahr
©2001 Jeffrey M. Mahr -- all rights reserved
It's kinda nice ta be on da udder side a da fence fer once. I don't gotta worry bout my spellink and gramma. I don't even gotta do a column if I don't wanna.
[How editors really write.]
Actually, it is a nice change to be writing a column instead of trying to pull together an entire e-zine. As the new editors of TSAT will probably tell you, "it ain't easy." In fact, it can be somewhat nerve-wracking. I can't tell you the number of times when we were days -- sometimes hours -- from press time and still didn't have that last story, column or piece of art. I can't tell you how hard it is to find new ways to coax and cajole those damn creative folks -- oops, sorry -- us creative folks into relinquishing their creations, their babies, into our hands.
And if that were the end of it, an editor could give a sigh of relief and walk away happy, but nooooo. Next that editor has to -- what's it called? oh, yeah -- edit the submission. As Andy Hollis has noted elsewhere, our friendship blossomed from my audacity to question his opus magnum of the moment, a wonderful little tale entitled The Lady's Choice. We debated everything from the title to his use of the ellipsis (...) and, for the record, he won on both counts, although it was touch and go for a while. Of course, I got even. I conned him into writing more stories.
If that weren't enough, we still needed to find and obtain permission for images for the stories, create titles, check all the links, upload everything and convince a few folks to read our e-zine.
I should explain that I'm not really complaining. As soon as I stop going full steam trying to get Infinite Imagination eBooks off the ground, I'm going to miss the bimonthly struggle to get TSAT out. If anyone is wondering, I actually said that with a straight face and -- possibly even more scary -- I meant it.
Now that I'm not "tooting my own horn," I'd like to point out that TSAT is a pretty neat deal. It costs nothing, zero, zip, nada -- which should be a good price in just about anyone's book. It publishes regularly, an accomplishment that is duplicated by less than 10% of the websites out there. It actually has some great stories from some really good authors, authors I hope to see in print some day in the future and at least three that I know of who have been published. If you can be the first to guess who those three are you can have a download, in PDF format, of any novel offered by Infinite Imagination eBooks. Just e-mail your guesses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Excuse me. Commercial completed. Actually, there is a point to this ramble. The new editors of TSAT are not going to have an easy time, no matter what, but it would be really great if people did just one thing to make things easier for them. It's not a big thing; I'm not suggesting you give them your first-born or sign any contracts in blood. Well, maybe I am asking that last. I'm asking that you do what I've just done; send them a small piece of yourself. It can be a story or an image. It can be a column or a review. It can be a word of thanks (or criticism) or a suggestion. It can be just about anything except nothing.
So how about it? Consider it a challenge. Consider it a duty. Consider it a good way to get to the wonderful programming they squeeze in around those PBS telethons. Besides, now that I get to read the new stories just like everyone else, with no inside information [hint to editors -- give the guy some clues], I want to get past this long and boring commercial to the stories as soon as possible too, so submit to the collective -- er, e-zine -- so we can all keep reading great stories and seeing great images and I can shut up.