Considering how inconsistent my updating habits are, the lag time between this post and the last is shorter than usual. I wrote last on Sunday, which means I’ve only got things that happened on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at my disposal. I’m not really sure what your preference is — i.e. less talking or more talking — but on the off-chance you savvy shorter, more to-the-point posts, you’re in luck.
Actually, even though this one probably won’t end up as long, I don’t know who the fuck I’m kidding when I say “more to-the-point.” For some reason, I don’t have any problems keeping my focus when writing articles, stories or what have you — but it never really translates here. Oh well, just treat it as a one-sided conversation.
If you were to take all the days I’ve had so far in NYC, sort them into groups of three consecutive days each and ask me which 3-day period has been the most eventful — at least in terms of being busy — I wouldn’t bat an eye before picking this one. It’s been good, though. I told you last time about how our managing editor, Katy, was gone on a trip with her family from Thursday until Tuesday. She’s been the one who’s showed me the ropes thus far and has given me things to do. I’m one of several people who handle the editorial aspects of the magazine and we usually get done with each issue on Wednesday and Thursday. So when she left last week, I would encounter a few lulls during the day where I wouldn’t really have anything to do. The people who do all the designing would start preparing page layouts, and granted that I usually wasn’t doing anything of importance, I would start working on them and try to get them done as fast as possible. It worked out pretty well — Katy and I have sort of tag-teamed each page thus far, but since she was gone and I knew how to do the things that needed to be done, I was able to keep the pages we’re usually responsible for on schedule for the next issue.
In our weekly meeting on Monday, Tim, our executive editor, gave me a little shout out and told me that he appreciated the work I’d been doing. I felt a bit like a deer caught in headlights because I wasn’t really expecting it — don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely got an ego, but I try pretty damn hard to bottle it when I’m given opportunities like this — but it felt tremendous. To be honest, it wasn’t that I was happy because I was being commended; I was mostly stoked because I’d earned some trust with the whole magazine team. I don’t think that there’s really been a point where they didn’t trust me, but you’ve got to look at it this way: this magazine has been in the making for so long and HPMG’s put so much effort into it. It’s gotta be hard at first to feel comfortable asking a 20-year-old kid from Kansas to do something that, if done wrong, could spell big problems for everything you’ve been bending over backwards for in the last year. I know that, if I were them, I would have been scared handing me a fucking pencil. But now, I feel like I’ve proven that I can do what they ask and I can do it correctly. That was half the battle.
So I think that’s why Katy put my name on the masthead today. Try finding a writer who doesn’t love seeing their name on paper…or in this case, an iPad. I should probably get used to that.
In other news, I also told you about the story that I gave a re-write to last week. I did the same thing this week — only instead of a contributing byline, our culture editor, Danny, put my name in the primary byline spot with the original Patch editor who wrote the original story. I didn’t even know that was going to happen, either. I just saw it when I went to check copy on all the pages this afternoon. It’s awesome. It’ll be my first byline in a magazine.
I’m really happy with the story, too. The interviews with all three sources went flawlessly and when I sat down to write it on Monday night, it kind of flowed out seamlessly. I love it when that happens. On a side note — this has been the first story I’ve written for HuffPost or Huffington where one of the sources has been a KU student. I didn’t even plan that, either; I was just re-interviewing the sources from the original story and when I asked her where she was going to school next year, she said “the University of Kansas.” It was pretty funny — when you consider the odds, it’s pretty rare, too.
Also, I copy-edited the cover story for Friday’s issue, which was written by David Wood — the man who won the Huffington Post its first Pulitzer prize a few months ago. It was an easy edit because he’s a storytelling juggernaut, but the few times I ran into something that I questioned, I was scared shitless to change anything. Luckily John, one of the editors, was around and was able to answer the few questions I had about any edits. The story’s absolutely tremendous, though, and I’m not just saying that to kiss this guy’s ass. There’s a reason he’s a Pulitzer-winner and you can see that when you read his stories. If you’re looking for just one reason to buy this issue ($0.99) — his story is it.
On the off-chance you’re looking for multiple reasons to buy this issue, you could do it because you want to read my article. I don’t think that they’re going to be accessible on the website for a while and I’m pretty sure I can’t post a JPEG of the article on my blog because, technically, that’s republishing something for free that you’d normally have to pay for. So if you don’t have an iPad, convince your friend who has one to download the magazine if you want to read it, or if you’d like, message me on FB or tweet me and I can probably email you a .pdf. I just don’t think I can publish it, unfortunately.
I think that’s about it. We’ll talk soon. BUY THE ISSUE FRIDAY.
All the best