Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28 - Lisa's Musings on (Cat Day) and Every Day Life

In addition to finishing off stories for this Thursday's issue of A2 Journal, today was also "Cat Day".

What's Cat Day, you ask? It's when all the stories and photos for the next issue of I Love Cats magazine are due to my designer, who lives in Wisconsin.

In case you were unaware, I've been the editor of I Love Cats for 21 years now, and while other cat magazines have ceased publication, this little magazine keeps chugging along. Year after year.

But, truth be told, it's actually two weeks past Cat Day. I've been so busy with stories and photos and videos for A2 Journal, that I blew up my original cat magazine deadline. Then had to beg for an extension.

My designer agreed. Maybe because I actually took my own cover photo for the September-October issue. It's only the second time in the history of the magazine that I've attempted this task.

So this double-witching hour takes place six times a year, and for the last several issues, it's like I'm cat jinxed. Or something.

Every time I clear a day to work on the magazine, a storm seems to come through. I'm pretty anal about storms and working on my laptop. The two don't mix. Ever. I don't talk on the phone during a storm, either. In fact, I run around and unplug a whole lotta stuff -- even through I have surge protectors all over the place.

For the last couple of months, the storms have been so bad that I've actually been weathering a majority of them hunkered down in the basement.

And, if it's not a storm, my stupid Internet connection decides to go ka-pooey. This has been happening a lot more frequently than in the past, too. So I'm not very happy with SBC or ATT these days, either.

Not sure why this keeps happening because it takes place in both good weather and bad. Bottomline: it's really, really annoying. And it's killing my Cat Day productivity.

But anyway, my friend/copy editor/proofreader Becca arrived today to read all the copy I'd finished late, late, late last night. (Thanks, Mother Nature and ATT.)

Although I used to be able to pay her, budget cuts have curtained, (cat-tailed?) that, so I look for other creative ways to say thank you for being my second set of eyes.

Today, she worked for food -- a roast beef sandwich, angle food cake and raspberries. Oh, and lamb for her two dogs, Tiger and Mardi Gras.

And because I have such a small budget, putting together each issue takes a lot longer than it used to. I couldn't figure out why; but then Becca reminded me that I'm writing a vast majority of it, instead of copy editing other people's cat stories.

As a result, what I could do in a day or two now takes me a week or two.

Then Mama nature likes to stick her nose into the mix and it takes a month. Or two. Working in little chunks.

And, I still have to layout the whole issue, make the corrections to the typos in the stories and figure out if I have enough copy to fill its 40 pages.

So Cat Day will turn into Cat Night.

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