Vol. 20 #1
The Saga Continues
NOTE: This was written in the fall of 2005 and appears here the way it does in the magazine. Obviously a few things have changed.
Our quest to continue, continues. Our thanks in part go to the Publications Assistance Program which has continued to persevere with us. This program helps with mailing costs. But the costs of mailing are a smaller part of the picture. Any of our writers who have been involved with taking any publication from concept to print will acknowledge that the largest part of the pain in production happens long before the publication slids into envelopes on its way out the door.
After having set an over-ambitious schedule for catching up on issues, and-- surprise, surprise -- not being able to maintain the bi-weekly schedule this would entail, we have settled on a more realistic schedule of monthly issues until we catch up. I have to admit that my to-do lists are famous. I sit down to list what I would like to do over, say, a long weekend. And, three months later, we are just finishing the list. Politely, it's called optimism. Realistically, call it the 'magic wand' syndrome, as in "I know it will take ten hours to do this, but I'll allocate two hours, and wave my magic wand to make it conform." Only I keep losing the wand, and have to deal with reality. We all have our challenges in life; this one's mine.
This issue is crammed full of thoughtful articles that will help you with your writing aspirations. I would worry more about the relevance of the CWJ and its being behind in issues, if the contents of the magazine were time-sensitive. The advice contained in our magazine is solid, and the internet page addresses aside, stand quite well whenever you read the piece. It may be time to consider a Best of CWJ compilation in paperback form. It would be a great way to reprint some of the most incredibly useful articles that I have not seen anywhere else. After twelve (going on thirteen) Choice Works compilations, we were discussing a compilation of those short stories. It might be hard getting the permissions from everyone after such a long time. But both compilations would certainly be worthy of the library shelf space, so let us know what you think. It may happen that we just need some persuading.
As this issue is actually released in November of 2005, we have yet again lived through the compilation and production of The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar 2006. This is our fourth year for this useful writer's tool as well. The good news is that the contest sponsors are getting used to our asking for next year's information, sometimes before they have finished this year's competition. The better news is that it is DONE, and flying out the door. DONE is my favourite word.
The results from the September 2005 Short Fiction contest will be on the website soon. And hopefully we'll be able to manage another issue next month. We're at the point where we are working on several at once, and we're even almost organized enough to keep them all straight. Thank God for databases.
Keep well, and keep writing.
This starts a new year for the Canadian Writer's Journal and we are forever changing our look, feel and attitude. I wanted this issue to be more imaginative and create something that went beyond the how-to ideology. It is always a challenge to find the perfect collection of articles and poetry that manifests the idea of the Journal in the most provocative way. It is important to us to elicit a thought-provoking sense of inspiration. Putting pen to paper is a struggle and as writers, we all need motivation. The pages of this issue have been carefully chosen to help us all keep those creative juices flowing.
The Process of Writing: A Point of View, in particular, is a departure from the regular articles published in the Canadian Writer's Journal. I think it is an interesting and creative piece that shows, in its subtle ways, what has crossed every writer's mind. So You Want to be a Shakespeare is another article that transcends the typical how-to piece. Its unique spin on the imagination tank— the well of ideas on which writers everywhere depend— is a refreshing change of pace and I think this issue is all the better for it.
I would also like to take this time to thank all those who have wished us well, giving us so much encouragement as we embark on the process of catching up the Journal. Your kind thoughts have been a remarkable highlight to the entire process. I look forward to the future and so, until next time, smile at your every turn. Keep the ink flowing.
Brian T. Daniells