One week ago today we took our seats around two large circular tables draped in newspapers. Beckoned on by our Grand Inquisitors, we each had our turn at reading out a list of hopes and fears for the course. A top secret was also to be divulged, serving as the customary 'ice breaker'. Some secrets in fact qualified as boasts one would likely scream from a rooftop. Some people claimed to have no secrets at all. Lies, I say~! By the close of these nine weeks, we're set to know everything about one another anyway. We will all have witnessed our neighbour put their fist through the microwave in a seething fit of 27-resubmissions-induced rage. We will all have seen each other cry. We will all have seen each other naked.
(My 'secret' was an oxymoron; I share with great pride my experience of traumatic wetting-of-pants at Disneyland aged just nine. Some say that self-deprecation works well as an ice-breaker. Some say it's simply narcissism.)
We were unsure one week ago. Everyone had some inkling as to why they were there, but we just didn't have much of a clue about the how, what, where, and when. The dots were there on the paper but they weren't quite connected. Of absolute certainty, in time, was Keith's maxim of HOW MUCH (London costs) and HOW MANY (hours/resubmissions we'd work through).
It's now 14 Jan, and we're starting to pull the magazine together from various disparate elements into something resembling focus. Matt Scott, Katharina Neureiter and Daniel Kemp were elected today as Editor, Deputy Editor and News Editor of 'Vintage Retail Business', respectively. Congratulations~!
But what stuck in our minds the most from today was undoubtedly the gauntlet of articles we submitted in the space of just a few hours, all of them centred around a series of real-life murders in Nottinghamshire. Our objective was to ease into the practice of covering rolling news developments; for this to occur, Roberta drank some magic potion and became a gruff midlands police constable named Kenneth Henshaw who delivered a press conference to a gang of reporters that found the word 'trucker' inexplicably hilarious.
New information came to light with every press conference - four in total - and it fell to us to sift through the information and condense what we learned into fresh articles, referencing our previous accounts while juggling the new facts. The task felt most difficult when little knowledge of the murder had come to light and filling up 200 words with 'coming soon' just didn't seem plausible. At the other end of the spectrum, all details disclosed made for a challenging entry in which one had to cram names, events and BLOOD into a very dense paragraph. Therefore, the comfortable middle ground at around the second and third instalments provided us with just enough facts to recount the past and enough empty space to look to the future.
So much murder, though. I think I need a cold shower.
I expect my next blog entry will come at a point when the magazine has progressed even further. For now, I can sit and marvel at how much my head hurts, and how much we've all learned and achieved in such a short space of time. It's a testament to ambition, motivation and a desire to share knowledge - not just on our part, but Keith's and Roberta's too. Long may it continue, for eight more weeks at least.