FROM THE EDITOR:
Off with their Heads!
by Linda Mojer
It seems that I’ve come to have a reputation for tearing people’s heads clean off. Now, that upsets me. Having never come out of a fugue state and
actually seen any headless torsos in my immediate vicinity, I know it just
can’t be true. There’s no evidence! A withering look, perhaps, but outright decapitation — no way!
But there is a chance that I’ve been doing this work too long and finally worn down my last nerve.
Which might explain that persistent buzzing sound. Maybe.
Nonetheless ... in the interest of public safety ... where the
magazine is concerned, please jot this down: when you just got one, the
next one is being put together. Repeat ... when this one
(well, not this one, but the one that comes to your mailbox)
arrives, the deadline for the July/August issue has just come and gone. Whoosh! Come and gone. That means that the deadline for
this one was way back in the middle of March — so the fully-developed news
in this one can only be as recent as, well ... mid-March.
Yes, yes ... okay, you’re right; we’ll drop in some later-breaking results in “ticker style” reporting just to try and keep up, but the big stuff is always somewhat “dated” due to the nature of the bi-monthly production beast (one reason we “publish” events in closer-to-real-time on
the website). And we’ll occasionally pre-plan, hold space and make an exception for larger events. But on the whole, it takes eight weeks, start to finish, for each print issue to be Frank-en-published. In house. One writer. No professional photographers in those multi-pocket vests waiting around for assignments. No graphic designers hovering over tablets creating colorful artwork to illustrate articles and help make points.
So if you’re going to make a suggestion, you’ve simply got to keep these limitations in mind ... and do your homework. For example, this doesn’t work (but can earn you a polite, glazed look, just short of withering):
“I think you should do an article on my best friend, Hal. He’s a great player, gives a lot to the sport, and should be on the cover. He lives in Detroit and I can give you the number of the club he plays
This is better: “I have an idea for an article; let me run it by you — details, details, details — I’ve never made an apostrophe error
in my life; I can email you the text and send you some photos by a friend of mine who shoots for the local paper. How many words do you want, and when’s your deadline?” For that, you get silly jumping up-and-down action, or some other unbridled display of glee on my part. If that’s what you’re looking for, of course ...
For the more mundane, if you’re a tournament director with an event in six weeks — and your sanctioning form hasn’t been filled out, much less processed — the calendar in the issue
in your hand can’t possibly (or even magically) contain that information, can it? Ask me why not, and you’ll get the withering look. I just can’t help myself.
And for the grand prize-winning stare-down — you don’t, ever, want to ask me when you’re going to be on the cover. I’ve got a beautiful one planned that just might include you. It’s a well-lit shot of the corner in my office where I keep the growing pile of heads of people who asked me that ...
Oops! Is that a siren?