Tuesday, February 08, 2005

L’art de vivre

Well, the February newsletter is done. I had a great time writing it, especially the Lunar New Year essay (The Year of the Rooster). That essay fleshed out rather well at the end. My talks with Owlmoon helped.

...and I already found some slight errors I need to fix tonight. Damn. I really missed having an Editor this time around (I'm dyslexic and while I can read without any problems, I can't edit my way out of a paper bag). However, the staff should be back full force by March, along with some new volunteers.

I just got a splendid email from Snakemoon (see below). I think she did a great job here, because she makes us all feel like a team and she gives very good directions to the new volunteers.

I love this bit, in particular:

HAVE FUN. We are not doing this to inflict pain on ourselves ...This is an opportunity to write to an intelligent and interested audience, to share information that is both intriguing and often valuable, and to occasionally share bits of our experience, wisdom, and world view

This comes from many a conversation between Snakemoon and me on the subject of volunteering and L'art de vivre. Our talks tend to range all over the map (she's well read and has a lot of life wisdom) and I enjoy these chats a great deal.

One thing we emphatically agree on is this: While it's good to do work for the community, it's vital that this work enhance and serve our spirits. If we burn out, we do no one any good. At the same time, we need to feel that our Muse is well served by our work, and indeed, the newsletter has led both of us to write more essays and think more deeply about what we believe.

The fact that we both listen to each other and learn from each other is key. We also work hard to keep stress to a minimum. We do this by communicating frequently, compromising when necessary, being organized, being honest, and by having high standards.

I choose to work with Snakemoon for several major reasons.
1) Her professionalism
2) Her belief that the work comes first (and ego comes last).
3) Her creativity
4) Her sense of humor
5) Her desire to learn and grow, which keeps her insights fresh and her Muse functioning at a very high level.
6) Her commitment to keeping her life in balance.

We've learned a lot from each other, and we make a good team.

So, now that the February newsletter is out, I can get back to the other parts of my life. Today I will do more cleaning for Imbolc, study for a test, and celebrate Feb. 9th by taking a day off, and working in the garden.

Next week: preparation for PantheaCon!

Hail, Beloved Contributing Writers and (incidentally) Pregnant People!

(Okay, so that got your attention!) Let me introduce you to one another:
* Arianna (the pregnant person of the greeting) is both a monthly contributor and our proofreader; she is currently incubating in the Bay Area (where Sia and I also live);
* Julia is a contributing writer in Washington, DC;
* Cynthia is a new contributing writer from Washington (State);
* Claudette is also a new contributing writer from North Carolina;
* SnakeMoon, the FCE Editor-in-Chief, and a person who was once able to misspell "often" three different ways in the same paragraph; also accused by a college professor of having a secret bag of commas that I sprinkled like fairy dust on each page. Shockingly enough, I actually make my living tinkering with text.
* Sia, FCE's founder and publisher, a very patient person with a expansive vision and the courage to share it.

I will be sorting through my collection of links this week and sending thematically linked segments to you all, along with deadlines. Here's some basic guidelines:

Read a few of the previous newsletters to get a feel for our style and tone, as well as the physical format. Receiving things that are close to the correct format really helps me. When possible, use Verdana 11 point; use bold for the "title," that sort of thing.

I'm assuming that you use Microsoft Word. Yeah, they may be the Evil Empire, but they are ubiquitous and we just need to surrender to that ..
When possible, insert the link into the text. This is really easy: Highlight the most logical place for the link, click the Hyperlink Icon on the Toolbar or Select Insert/Hyperlink from the Menu, then type in (or simply cut and paste) the link into the address field at the bottom of the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. Click OK, close the box, and revel in your own cleverness!

It's okay to bundle related several links into one segment: Busy Bees: Beekeeping is more popular than you may think (my last neighborhood boasted not one but two apiarists). Metroactive sends writer Sara Phelan into the heart of the hive to learn more about this interesting hobby. If you are considering starting a bee community, you might want to consider planting foliage that bees find attractive (and take a few tips on plant shopping from the Santa Cruz Sentinal).

Humor is a plus; also feel free to add a bit of personality. Just be careful not to let your personality overwhelm the information. For example: The love of letters: Writing is a solitary life. Late nights spend hunched over the keyboard, staring at the screen, hoping inspiration will strike before unconsciousness does. (Okay, enough about me … ) But now I’ve found Writers Write … or SEX (and now that I have your attention): It is confounding that while we are bombarded with images of sexuality ...

Use your grammar and spelling checker so that you can send me the cleanest text possible.

Embrace the serial comma: it's not Tom, Dick and Harry (a married couple and their straight friend, Tom), but Tom, Dick, and Harry (three guys on the town looking for a fun).

HAVE FUN. We are not doing this to inflict pain on ourselves (most of us already have designated family members who take care of that!). This is an opportunity to write to an intelligent and interested audience, to share information that is both intriguing and often valuable, and to occasionally share bits of our experience, wisdom, and world view.

Editor, Full Circle Newsletter
info@fullcircleevents.org or snakemoon@comcast.net

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