Monday, June 30, 2008

The Waiting Game

We're in that in-between period of finishing the paper, and waiting for it to come back from the printer. Then comes distribution, when we get it out to the carriers (and mail to Boyle Street via Canada Post). I usually have to keep my schedule flexible, because distribution can happen any time after we get the paper back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Working Late

Imagine if you will, a graphic designer spent from working all day at another job plus feeling not so great from a bout of food poisoning, and an editor in her nightgown with wet hair after taking a shower. They are working together over the Internet in real time via chat and e-mail, doing some final edits to the proof of the July/August issue. This scene is taking place tonight, right here, right now. In this line of work, there is no such thing as nine to five.

Monday, June 23, 2008


My mother is BMC News' proofreader -- that is no secret. She gets a credit in the masthead and everything. Vikki and I refer to the draft my mother handles as the "motherproof." And indeed, having your mother as a key volunteer can make the process rather interesting. For example, when we disagree on a change, it can turn into a major argument that can end up being about a whole lot more than just whether or not a comma should go in that particular spot. There is always a risk of tempers flaring when working with someone you're related to or intimately involved with. Isn't it so ironic we tend to get along better with acquaintances and those we know casually, than the people closest to us in our lives? That is my profound question of the evening. Over and out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Proofing the Paper

Proofing the paper is one of the most intense processes of putting BMC News together. Vikki and I send changes and corrections back and forth until we have a working proof, which then goes to my mother for official proofreading, then back and forth again until everything is in place. It can be a stressful time, but once it is sent off to the printer it is out of our hands. A fact of the publishing business is that you can have ten proofreaders, and you will still end up with some errors in the finished product, but the goal is to produce as clean copy as possible. Of course, there are some people who enjoy hunting through the paper trying to find small errors and typos - my feeling? If that is all they have to do with their time then I am glad we're giving them something productive to do.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about commitment lately -- and not just because of recent developments in my personal life. A volunteer-driven, non-profit organization require a lot of commitment on the parts of the people who run it. Most of those people are volunteers, donating their time. I have a lot of respect for people who have full lives, and yet find the time to give to BMC News. I also respect people who say no when they have to. After all, it's better to be upfront than take something on knowing one does not have the time or resources to fulfill the duties. I am a volunteer with various organizations, so I know how busy life can get when one gets overcommitted. But I also know the rewards of volunteerism, especially knowing the impact of my work for a cause or in a community. Our volunteers rock, and I never hesitate to say so!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Production and Spiderwebs

Vikki and I are in that nebulous zone called "production." We often like to call it our monthly Tetris game, as we try to get all of the articles and photos to fit clearly and cleanly on each page. This is our July/August issue, and after we put this one to bed we have a one-month break until things start to gear up for September's paper.


Our office is in a basement, which has worked out pretty well thus far. It's a wonderful building and location. But, being a basement, sometimes we have a few unwanted visitors. Like spiders. I hate spiders. A couple of evenings ago we were having a board meeting, and I felt something light tickling my leg off and on. I looked down from where I was sitting, and there was this strand of a spider's web bouncing on me. I tried to brush it away with my leg, but it kept swinging back. I tried to step on it, but again, it would just spring back as soon as I lifted my foot up.

While John, our Treasurer, was trying to give his report, I stood up and started stomping on the thing. But still, it kept coming back. I told John just to ignore me and keep going. He said that was probably impossible. Tim, one of our co-chairs, got up and grabbed the web with his hand and sort of dangled it as Deb (our other co-chair) and I were gasping in horror.

I have no idea how long the web was there -- I had been working at my desk much of the afternoon and noticed nothing -- but I am glad it is gone!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome to Our Blog!

Welcome to the Boyle McCauley News blog! So much happens behind the scenes when producing this community newspaper, that we thought it would be interesting to try to document some of it. Every month we have a lot of work, laughs, fun, and sometimes even tears. We invite you on the ride with us!