Be heard. Be inspired. Or…not so much?

Apologize for the lack of updates…realize it’s been seven days since my last progress report. :)

So then, what’s going on in the world of the ‘Lounge, you ask? Well, despite thinking that my designing days were over, I have managed to complete a new forum template with our new logo which will see its debut on this blog at the same time it goes on everywhere else. So the forum’s done, thankfully which now just leaves the bulk of the main website’s design which is significant…but it does progress. I am hopeful to have at least the color scheme related side of things, complete by tonight. I’ve started writing again, so unfortunately this also figures into the ‘weekend planning’ side of things.

My presence at the forums has been extremely limited to just signing in occasionally, with a precursor ‘all’s well’ and conveniently disappearing again.

Our editors are hard at work, working with their respective assignees to give you the best e-zine yet. Fingers crossed. The January 18 deadline will in all likelihood, be honored and the week following it will be my domain of going through every piece submitted, reading all the niggly bits and deciding on the end product. Meanwhile, I uphold my end of the deal by administering the site, designing the forums, designing a new template for the main site, receiving progress reports from my editors, and all along hoping that I can somehow bridge it all and have a deliverable by my own personal deadline.

Meanwhile, keeps the forums alive and well. There seems to be a strange tendency of things coming alive when the e-zine submission date comes around. The whole point of the forums is to be heard, to learn from others, be inspired by what you see, and take it from there. How can one expect to improve if you don’t let others rip into your creative process of thought before you even think of putting something solely for e-zine consideration. The polls will no longer, at least not in the foreseeable future, have as much of an impact on selection as before. So be involved, be prepared for a sense of community, help others improve, let us help you. It’s all about writing, working together to improve.

Or at least, that’s always been my perception of what the Desi Writers Lounge is. But I guess, perceptions change…or do they?

Weekend Blues

I see Clarice has started to post…well, well! Welcome! Really, she’s given me far too much credit, but I’m so taking what I can get.

Had a hectic weekend–those who live in Pakistan know this is full on wedding season–which apparently also means you go to weddings of people you barely know but work with. Hey! Society’s the bitch we all love to hate.

Lahore was…blissfully calm. No riots, no nothing. But all that’s political talk. Let’s get on on to the real stuff.

Development progresses, albeit more slowly than I would care to admit. With e-zine publication slated for the first week of January, this is as mentioned below, going to be an excruciating two months. But, do vote…if you’re a member and if you’re not, my God! That’s just tragic…after all this!

The template (our main design) is still on the rocks with the designer not quite clear on what I want despite showing him repeat versions of what goes where. That said, having talked it over with a cousin while in the City of Food, I’ve decided to revise our current Orange/Maroon color scheme primarily because they’re both from the same family. (She’s an artist. She ought to know). I should have some workable color schemes within a few days, however. Something like Maroon/Light Blue or Orange/Gray–that sorta thing. But we’ll see how things turn out.

The Podium is still under construction, but we do have a ready made gallery which means our members will actually be able to see us! Yaay! Pictures of meetings and events and anything associated with or held under, the banner. Speaking of which, although nothing has been made official yet, we’re planning on a poetry reading sometime in March in Islamabad. Not quite clear on all the details, yet but we will in all likelihood host an invitation only event for members and those people our members know. I’m looking into options for printing bookmarks with our logo, color scheme and website URL on its front and back respectively. Kudos to my artist-cousin for giving me the heads up about this option, because after all, we want people to remember us and if you don’t have some sort of remnant of the evening, our message is lost. So there’s that in the works. We might have it covered as a podcast and/or video upload for members unable to attend.

In other news, we’ve got both the event calender/bulletin board still in the works although I’ve begun to think the Nov 29th deadline will no longer hold and for me at least, it’ll be a mad scramble between work, editorship and working with the developer to prove value for money.

I think that about sums everything up.

And oh yes, I got a request from one of our new members to post on this blog…which I’ll grant, so this will become something of a medley between viewpoints, random posts and weekly updates so: Keep your eyes glued to this space.

Policies, Reborn

Ahh…it’s nice to see the site’s header and color schemes here – it gives this place a touch of familiarity – it seems a little strange that I’m writing here instead of on the forums.

I mentioned the editorial policy yesterday, which I’m going to expound upon now. When we first brought out our e-zine in March 2007, there were some problems – formatting irregularities, how pieces were sent in, whether or not they were revised, and the entire brunt of the work aside from managing the site and the people within, seemed to fall on my shoulders. So going into the second issue, I knew something needed to be done about it.

Now, we have a little panel of people who effectively moderate the site and who’ve been there from its inception, so naturally the “policy” itself needed to be discussed in conjunction with them. End result being: editors (moderators) would work with the approved writers themselves to produce an edited version of what was up on the forums, which would only make it into the e-zine if it had been given the seal of approval by its assigned editor. All documents would then be sent to the assigned editor who would then forward them to me. Neat, huh? They would of course, need to stick to a preassigned format.

I must confess however, that although the process in itself is organized and an accomplishment, it doesn’t take away from the disappointment I felt when I reviewed the edited work. Somehow I thought my editors would come up with something better. Most especially the prose pieces. The poems assigned were truly something – especially those I thought were lost forever – reborn. It was a nice turnaround.

Eventually I would like, although my moderators disagree on this, to turn this into a more professionally run amateur literary journal, which would include editors more suited for the task. People who understand that with each new issue, the bar is being raised higher. Quality was better this time around, but still not up to the bar of some of our pieces. I must confess: at this point, the original members are still miles higher than the newer posters, although improvement is a two-way street.

It can get frustrating sometimes – knowing there’s so much potential out there – and yet, still not moving forward.

Somewhere down the line, I’d like to actually open up a physical Writer’s Lounge with impromptu and planned readings, book signings, workshops and general literary awareness in the capital. Something of a budding theatrical society seems on its way to being canonized. It just seems like we’re waking up, and it’s a slow process of reawakening, like a snake shedding it’s skin.

Now the problem is: do I have the patience to sit through the transformation?