Monday, 1 August 2011

The August Contraption Update + Poetry Library Event

The Good

The completion of the latest Fuselit yet, Contraption, is in our sights! Content? Ready six months ago. Display boxes? Check. Transparent stickers? Check. Bonus booklet ready for mass production? Check. Theme tune? Robin says he'll have it done in the next hour. Cover materials? All ready and lined up. Kindle and e-broadsheet editions? Just some gentle tweaking needed. I have set myself several missions in August, and this is the number 1 priority.

The Bad

This is Kirsty's still unfixed mini laptop, which, after a nasty fall, is missing a hinge and needs to be permanently plugged into a wall socket in order to function. It's also the only way we've been able to work on the main Contraption file, since the new computer I bought at the start of the year has had all sorts of problems running Quark. Since it's not the most powerful machine in the world and has a very small screen, this has made progress slow and difficult, particularly as the file needs to be transferred off the laptop for conversion to pdf and test printing.

In fact, so onerous has it been to continue trying to edit and fix problems this way that we're currently rebuilding the whole file in InDesign so that we can do it on the main desktop computer instead. So we've effectively made this magazine twice.

The Hideous

Here's a side-on view of the new printer we acquired in order to streamline the printing process. It was ghosting, so we bought a maintenance kit for it and replaced several parts. It then printed out a few pages absolutely perfectly (just to show that it could) before throwing up error messages. Investigations resulted in the suggestion that we buy and wire in another replacement part. This we have done, as meticulously as we could, and now when you turn it on, it fires up for a moment before dying completely.

I can't pretend I've dealt with this in the most patient manner. We have exciting projects on hand, books to write, causes to champion, poetry to review, bookshops to approach, attention to grab. Frankly, I kind of resent spending large amounts of time cluelessly tinkering with machines and posting on technical forums. Ugh.

Fortunately, I think I have a long-term solution. Will let you know if it works out.

The Event

If you want to know more about how Fuselit is put together, see a preview of Contraption at the stage we're at, or simply want to take us to task on our criminal delays, please come to Between the Sheets: How Poetry Magazines Get Made at the Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre this Wednesday from 8pm. Alongside the editors of Southbank Poetry and Modern Poetry in Translation, we'll be taking part in a discussion on ... well, what I just said. It's a free event in extremely comfortable surroundings and all the editors will be available for merciless interrogation. Huzzah!


Mike said...

How ironic that the machines are conspiring against the Contraption issue. At least, it's the Alanis Morrisette kind of ironic. Speaking of which, don't you think "ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife" is far beyond ironic, and verging on a Sisyphaean torment for the middle-class? Where's Frank Sidebottom when you need him? Dead.

Tor Hershman said...

All get along on the planet of the insane apes?!?!?!?