Making the Cut

It seems I might have to upgrade one of our website’s more important, if not the most important, component since a newer version seems to have hit the market. Really, I just upgraded the damn thing a few months ago. Technology! What else can I say?

In other news, however, pieces for the e-zine have been finalized although I might not necessarily deliver on my Feb 1 publication date. I will try, undoubtedly, but my work schedule seems to have thrown itself into a bit of a loop…an absurdly hectic one, unfortunately. And I’ll confess: I haven’t been to the site in days, as in properly gone through the plethora of new pieces that seem to have hit the forums.

I do have something to say, however, and I should take the opportunity of saying it here rather than people finding out later and being all “wha? But-but I thought…”

Remember how I’ve been mentioning for several entries now, that not all pieces that have been edited will make it into the finalized list? Out of the 20 or so pieces we narrowed down, only 15 of them have made the cut. Three were cut because the writers failed to make the deadline, and three were additionally cut from the edited work I received about a week ago. Do not doubt that I went through each piece with the utmost precision and caution, but the three that I did strike from the list didn’t, I feel, represent this issue as appropriately as was necessary. I ask the writers who will be contacted accordingly, to accept this decision and honor it. It isn’t personal, I assure you. It’s just the business of being an editor, I suppose, and it was especially difficult in the case of one piece I felt had tremendous potential if given enough time. Unfortunately, it had to be cut.

This is the first time I’ve really exercised my power as being editor of the magazine, primarily because I never felt I had the right, but now it seems, “the board” feels I’m something of “The Editor”…I, more than anyone, know what we’re looking for. And it seems this issue has given me somewhat of total control. Again, not something that’s particularly pleasing but it does allow me to control the outcome and to focus on that elusive term: quality.

Because a written piece is so very subjective, I ask the writers again to not think they’ve been rejected for publication, just that it didn’t agree with my particular brand of digestion. As it is, you will receive your letters. I think it’s only fair, especially after having been contacted by the editors. This is something I feel I should explain: making it to the editing stage doesn’t mean you necessarily have made it into the e-zine, it means you’ve got a chance because often an editor decides to take a particular piece (and writer) under his/her wing arguing that so-and-so can be totally transformed. Whether the end result is indeed all that was asked for, is entirely open to interpretation. My interpretation, unfortunately.

As it is, what’s done is done and there’s no going back on things now. For those who weren’t contacted for the editing stage, and are eager to find out just who did make it in, you’ll have to see when Vol 3 hits the presses.

And remember to leave your thoughts here, on what you thought.

Till then, au revoir my little children!

The Importance of Being Objective

Now that I’ve received all pieces for e-zine publication, the troublesome task of deciphering the ones that will represent our magazine for the quarter past, begins. There will be pieces that were selected for editing but will not make it into the e-zine, and since I have been apologizing for this for several entries, I won’t present that argument again.

The alignment problems have been eradicated, and Internet Explorer now displays all things as it should. Thankfully…this was something that had been eating away at me for days. But it’s all gone now, so ha!

Publication will be somewhere in the first week of Feb, instead of the tentatively set Feb 1 date. I feel I should give myself an appropriate amount of time to go through everything, deciding the fate of all writers concerned. It’s not a very nice feeling, oddly. Not having worked with the writers personally, my take on each piece remains objective. I am not comparing the piece to what it was like before, either…I am looking at it from the angle that it has been edited and therefore, it’s complete as opposed to the rawness it displayed prior to editing. My decision will be entirely unbiased, but that said, you do have reason to fear that pieces will be cut from the final line up. Don’t look at me like that…you have no idea how hard it is to be “Editor-in-Chief”, as it seems I now am.

Of course, I must have all author profiles etc., and especially those who left their profiles incomplete last time, must give me their profiles or their names will be slashed from the ‘Authors’ line up until their profile is complete. We simply cannot have a ‘coming soon’ in that area. So things will be taken care of in this way. It was bound to happen, though. I do hope, however that no writer will force my hand on this. I sincerely want all writers who have their pieces in the e-zine to have complete author bios, thus giving a complete picture.

Just wanted to lift my head up from the pile on my desk and wave furiously: I’m right here, buried under a boatload of paperwork.

Taaaaaaaaaaallyyyyyyy Hooooooo!

Wish me luck. I think I’m going to need it.

A Case of Misalignment

So those of you viewing our newly designed site in Internet Explorer might have realized something is seriously wrong with the alignment of things. The gray navigation bar is huge and the logo and textual ads above are being significantly hidden. Firefox (God blessed OpenSource), on the other hand, is displaying everything as it should be.

This is a fault on our side which we are trying very hard to correct. So at Monday at the very latest, this problem should be resolved. We marvel at your patience to overlook this unbearable eyesore. Kudos! But rest assured, we are working hard trying to fix things.

Meanwhile, it seems our little ‘Invite People’ feature in the forums has begun to attract a little buzz with members inviting their friends and the friends actually registering. So yaay.

E-Zine publication dates have been pushed back to Feb 1 as mentioned in my previous post, and the editors are as always, hard at work with their writers trying to make things right. Once I have all pieces, the task of compiling and finalizing the selected pieces will make the rounds. If your piece was edited and worked on but did not make it into the e-zine, I apologize profusely now. But we have limitations and the highest, utmost focus on quality. Some pieces were put on the back burner subject to heavy edits, and if the editing virtually transforms the piece into something amazing and brilliant, especially when taken into consideration, its earlier look, it will find its place. Of course, the editor’s own recommendation counts. Is he/she satisfied at the end of the day with the way things turned out, or could they have been a little better…etc, etc. All this will be taken into consideration with the final selection.

When the website looks as it should including the e-zine layout, etc…we’ll formally announce the reading with an absolute date. We won’t be giving out venues, however since as mentioned earlier, for the first reading we’re asking our members residing in Islamabad to invite their friends and people they know. An invitation only event, so to speak. With the next in the series, we’ll open things up depending on what the turnout for the first will be.

Till then there are still things left to resolve, and trust me, we’re absolutely busy with that! Judging by our site’s statistics, the number of people visiting with Internet Explorer only narrowly override those with Firefox, but because the majority still uses IE and the alignment problem is showing up there, it needs to be resolved immediately.

Meanwhile, the forums’ new look is very much functional and very much us, so head on over. Join us–be heard, be inspired!

It begins

So, if you’ve been to the website or forums recently you may have noticed something in the way of a facelift. Yes, it’s finally happened. The new design has been fully incorporated. You may also have noted the new design of the blog in one of the fading images, but for some reason it can’t be seen here…there’s a reason for that. Let’s just say, it looked better as a screen shot. But I’m trying to see if I can capture the same gist of color here with this format, so let’s see how this works out.

Our e-zine publication date may see a slight flutter from its original conception, with the deadline being pushed back from Jan 18 to Jan 25. The reasons for this are the resolving of some personal issues of one of our editors. Publication will be one week after the administrator (yours truly) has received all pieces, to take that time to go through each in full and see if I can’t spot a few last minute fixes. So we might be seeing it going live around Feb 1, which if seen in a certain light, might actually work for us being the start of a month instead of the end or middle of it. All’s well that ends well, right?

Moving on, the next stage of our plan kicks forward after all pieces have been edited or at least after some of the editors have been relived of their editing duties. We do indeed plan on going ahead with the posters, fliers and bookmarks that will advertise our website. The reading as such, won’t be advertised since, at least for the first one, we’re limiting it to members and those invited by members. There still do remain certain issues to iron out, however, but it’s very much a part of our agenda.

We do have something else up our sleeves as well, something we’re not going to put up yet but will in all likelihood announce during or after the reading…so all the more reason to attend if you’re in Islamabad sometime in March or April.

In addition to the small announcement put up on the main site, we’d like to remind anyone who’s interested to help out with the marketing aspect of the site, to let us know. We will be distributing posters, fliers and bookmarks to be distributed in bookstores and possibly some “intellectual” cafes, though whether such places exclusively exist…may be debatable. But that’s us! The incurable optimists! For anyone who’s interested, you can email in at

Now my friends, is when it really begins…

What’s This About?

If there was a way to debut the logo before everyone else sees it, I would…but that wouldn’t be right. And we’re all about doing the right thing. So here’s a little adjustment to the colors and template, to allow for a taste of what might be expected.

The electricity’s going to go in a minute and so will my laptop. Details later.

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?

Lanterns All Over The Place

I’ll admit: I was a little worried that the new design and the fact that it may or may not materialize. However, after extensive work on it on both Saturday & Sunday, both new designs are coming along quite well. The forums are done, but of course, have not been uploaded yet. So you’ll just have to wait for both to occur together before you see the new logo and design.

Editors are hard at work with their assignees and the publication date of Jan. 18th seems a likely and largely welcome one.

The quicker and better looking our website becomes, the larger chance we have of retaining our audience as well as keeping our existing members happy. Layout still remains a concern, and there will be a lot of testing in the two weeks ahead. Two weeks. What a ridiculously short period of time! However, I am also confident enough in my own abilities…another weekend is all I’ll need. But you won’t see anything tangible until the e-zine hits our virtual shelves. Sorry! All updates must occur together…a little thing I like to call homogeneity.

Then of course, there’s bringing the audience to our website…which is where the marketing (posters, fliers, bookmarks) comes in. Still have to locate a suitable designer for the work, and the budget is naturally not fixed although given the logo considerations, I think it’ll need to be substantially high to cover both design and printing costs.

Once these things are out of the way, I can turn my attentions to planning the reading. We have yet to set a workable date, but I suppose it all depends on coordination and a ton of hardcore planning.

And that’s a wrap for tonight. You’ll forgive me for not writing more, primarily because a) there isn’t much else happening 🙂 and b) my shoulders are killing me!