Yes, it’s another “Paul’s been to busy to photograph anything” week, so here are some spider-plant babies that will need potting up now that autumn has arrived … the poor things never do well in the low light of a Velcro City winter.
So, what’s been keeping me so busy I couldn’t take the camera out of the house then, hmm?
Delegation – the first principle of editorship
Over the course of the last week, I’ve been doing something I probably should have done la long time ago – I’ve recruited a bunch of new bloggers at Futurismic.
Futurismic was the first website to take me on as a writer (besides my own VCTB, of course), something like two years ago – and I’ve been posting there as close to daily as possible ever since.
In case you weren’t aware, Futurismic is a paying market for sf short stories, though this part of the remit has been on hiatus for a while for various technical and logistical reasons.
The former was an increasingly troublesome and bug-ridden installation of Moveable Type (horrible engine, and not worth the fee, IMHO); the latter is that which afflicts pretty much every genre small press enterprise – namely a scarcity of time as a resource.
Things are moving ahead slowly. We changed over to WordPress as our engine a little while ago, which has made things ten times easier, and now we’re just waiting on getting a new visual theme and template fixed up before we start publishing fiction and non-fiction pieces again.
But the strain of being the only person able to blog daily and keep the site ‘alive’ has been considerable, not to mention chewing up a good three to four hours of every single day.
So, as self-styled (but unopposed) Non-fiction Editor, I finally put out a call for volunteer bloggers last week, and have spent this week easing my four new recruits into the process of posting once a day – which they have taken to admirably.
I can’t describe how nice it is to see a regular stream of posts on relevant subjects appearing there every day – or how relaxing it is to be faced with a personal daily routine with two or more free hours than I had previously.
Now I’ll be a lot less hurried over my other writing jobs, and will have more time to concentrate on my own poetry and fiction … and blogging here more than once a week, which is a cause for celebration if ever I heard one. Ahem.
Plus, Futurismic has gained a sense of vitality from the influx of new blood, which is great to see. If you like the stuff I collect in my daily link-dumps at VCTB, you’ll enjoy what we put out over there, so why not sign up for the Futurismic RSS feed? I promise you won’t regret it … and when we start running fiction again, we’re going to be kicking arse and taking down names, yes sir.
Editing at Interzone and TTA Press
Of course, Futurismic is only one of my two editorial posts (how this has happened in such a short career of writing, I still cannot comprehend), and the realities of my job as Interzone‘s Reviews Editor are slowly starting to settle into a shape I can grasp without panicking.
That said, there’s still a lot to learn – but it’s mostly a case of developing procedures with multiple layers of redundancy so as to avoid missing out important tasks. In other words, keeping a lot of lists as current as possible.
The extra burden comes from my plan to invigorate T3A Space – the TTA Press website – and simultaneously expand Interzone‘s review coverage; in other words, I’m now commissioning reviews that will go straight to the web, enabling me to cover twice the number of titles per issue-period.
So watch closely at T3A Space for more material (available via RSS, naturally), which I hope I will maintain at the same high quality that the magazine is known for. It’s a lot of extra work, but it’s pretty satisfying – and I’m learning a lot about discipline and personal organisation.
The barrage of music writing shows no sign of slowing – in fact, I appear to be doing even more than before, and I’m starting to plan the launch of a dedicated music reviews site of my own – working on the theory that if I’m going to spend this many hours a week writing about music, I might as well be seeing some financial comeback from it.
Plus it’s a better idea than going cap-in-hand to the increasingly beleaguered music press in search of paid work; it’s an industry that is firing way more than it’s hiring, so I might as well strike out on my own. The added bonus will be that I’ll never be told what I can or cannot write. Watch this space – and if you’re interested in becoming a contributor, feel free to drop me a line.
A lot of work that I’ve done over the last month has gone live this week, and I’ll relink to a few items that may be of interest to readers here:
- My interview with Tony “Terrorvision” Wright, and a review of Mercury, the second album from his new band Laika Dog.
- My interview with the delightfully well-spoken and self-effacing chaps from history-obsessed Leeds post-rock band iLiKETRAiNS, plus a review of their recent live show in Southampton.
As may be plain from reading those pieces, another part of my urge to go solo with the music journalism is that it really is a whole lot of fun. I’ve been hanging around with musicians of one stripe or another (and at times attempted to be one myself) since the early nineties, and I never tire of talking shop.
[Plus, the free albums and gig tickets are always nice! :)]
Books and magazines seen
Another slow week, but that’s not something that bothers me at the moment (as the above may go some way to explaining).
The only magazine to arrive was Interzone #212 (with my brief editorial on the contents page, as well as the first print instance of my status as reviews editor … if the thrill of seeing that is even a quarter as big as the thrill a fiction writer gets from making it into print, I can totally understand how they get addicted).
In the last nine months or so, Gareth and I have become pretty good buddies, both online and off, but I still maintain that I’d like his writing if I didn’t know him from Adam, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with poetry.
So, there we have it. A busy week, but a week whose busyness should ensure lower level of busy in weeks to come – which is a fine thought from where I’m sitting.
In light of the cold I seem to have acquired, when I head off to get The Friday Curry, I shall be requesting that extra chillis be added to it in the hope of burning the bad bacteria from my body (don’t laugh, it has worked before). Here’s hoping your weekend is enjoyable, and as devoid of phlegm and mucus as is possible. Hasta luego!