Sunday, October 21, 2007

Note from the Editor.

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.
~Kurt Lewin

We are one step closer to realizing my revamped version of Top Blog Magazine. You have all been very generous with your suggestions and comments, making some points crystal clear (see poll results below). To say the least, it is encouraging to see how invested you are in this process and the final product. Encouraging and exciting.

As we are still in transition, you will see very few of the proposed changes this week. Despite my lofty goals, it is apparently not possible to change everything right out of the gate. Believe me, I've tried. That's why I love that Kurt Lewin quote. This is absolutely a learning process. Apparently, I also have a bit of a learning curve...

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Miss smarty pants here has a few things to learn still. In the meantime, you'll have to make do with the ever-so-slight template change (bye, bye, yellow! we'll miss you!) and wait with baited breath for the new banner and other design element changes. All new buttons are on the way, as well. Who doesn't love some new blog bling?

Content changes will be more gradual. More than anything, you set the pace for that.

The poll results are split evenly between your wanting to submit content from your own blog's archives and wanting the challenge of themed creative writing submissions. I am hesitant to set hard and fast rules for content, so for now I'm going to keep it simple:

Consider this an open call for submissions from your personal blog's old archives. This call applies to current writers for TopBlogMag, as well as anyone else that would like to become a contributor. We'll iron out the guidelines more specifically later, but for now, please pull posts that are at least one month old. Do you have something you are particularly proud of or thought deserved more attention than it received at the time? Send it in.

Make your submissions strong, as they could determine the direction of an entire issue.

In short, the way the submission assignments have worked in the past is that an email is sent out to the current list of writers each week, usually assigning a particular theme to five or six writers on a rotating basis. From now on, regarding open submission calls versus assigned writers for each issue, that may fluctuate on an issue by issue basis. Depending on the backlog of republished archive submissions received, we may have some weeks where there is no open call and other weeks where there is nothing but assigned writers.

If you would like to be added to the writer's list for TopBlogMag and receive the weekly emails regarding submission calls, just send me your email address and link to your blog, along with a brief note detailing your interest. I am looking for fresh voices, men and women, all niches. If you think you wouldn't fit in, chances are you are exactly what I'm looking for right now.

And then I have to take a deep breath.

Change is risky. Growth is dangerous.

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~Anais Nin

Change. Risk. Growth. Our writers had plenty to say on this matter.

Read their stories. Visit their blogs. Along the way, if something inspires you to write, post it on your blog and send me the link to be added to the "Joining In" featured section at the bottom of the page. If the spotlight isn't shining on you this week, grab it and shine it on yourself.

Take the risk. Push your limits. Bloom. And please do let us watch.


Megan from Velveteen Mind


Lara said...

you're doing a great job, megan. :)

Mama Zen said...

I can't wait to see the new banner!

moosh in indy. said...

I'll support you like a really expensive bra.

Featured Post and Blog of the Week

You Are Here

by Amie from

You did well in school to get into college. You tried to get by well enough in college to be attractive to an employer or graduate program, and along the way you may have opened your heart a time or two. Maybe you even found true love.

With a foot in the door, the first years of work were the time to
prove your mettle once again. Promotions, raises all with the goal to secure your future will allow you to settle down, buy a house, travel, commit to a relationship, have kids or not. In what feels like a blink of an eye, your future is here.

And now what?

Read the full post...

Chance Favors Only Those Who Court Her

by Debbie from Missives from Suburbia

After a less-than-friendly divorce, I was on the market again. Seizing the opportunity, my friends scoured their address books and Palm Pilots for single men and set me up on blind date after blind date. My reaction to most of those dates was, "I call these people my FRIENDS?" One of my real friends suggested, and given how much I love the Internet, I gave it a go.

A couple months of e-dating passed by in a blink. It was fun, but so far nothing meaningful had hit my radar, and my match inventory was starting to run low. You see, "matches" you to people based on a list of your requirements, and I'd pretty much run through all my existing matches who didn't seem psycho or stoned, based on their profiles.

Then, one day, I got an email from a guy who was not a match by my standards...

Read the full post...

A Lost Opportunity

by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

Trying to break in as a writer in the comic book industry can be a bit like the one legged man in a butt kicking contest. Every step forward you make means you land on your butt after your kick forward. Comic books are a visual medium. An artist can bring a portfolio to an editor at a convention and said editor can sit there and look at it within minutes and decide if this artist is worthy of working on the newest issue of Stupendous Man or not. Trying being a hopeful writer handing over a script to this same editor at a busy comic convention. You’ll be lucky if the editor agrees to take the script and promise that they’ll look at it later. Most times the hopeful writer is told to send for their submission guidelines and mail in their proposal.

The best way for a writer is to find an aspiring artist and hook up...

Read the full post...

Jesus Toothpaste!

by Karen Rayne from Adolescent Sexuality Today with Karen Rayne, Ph.D.

This weekend I went out of town, leaving my family to fend for themselves. On Saturday, my darling husband took my two darling daughters – 6 and 3 years old – to what he heard was a fun new toy store in town. Great, right?

They walk in the door, and the 6-year-old pipes up with “Look, Daddy! Jesus toothpaste!” He takes one look, puts one hand on each girl’s shoulder, and does a 180 out of the store. It may be a fun new toy store, but it’s intended clientele does not include the under-13 set.

When I got home on Sunday, the first thing the 6-year-old says to me was, “Guess what! We saw Jesus toothpaste!” I blinked, figuring I hadn’t heard her correctly. Regrettably, I had...

Read the full post...

A biker, a green thumb, a cracked hand, and a Queen.

by Megan from Velveteen Mind, originally guest posted at Queen of Spain

A random biker on a Harley-Davidson took my picture last week. What I wanted to do was take his picture, but I hesitated. Now, instead of a photo of some random biker holding an i am bumper sticker, all I have is a lame photo of me holding the bumper sticker and the mental picture of him riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Okay, it wasn’t as romantic or dramatic as that. It was nine in the morning and there was no sunset.

This is not the first time that I have hesitated to seize an opportunity. I don’t expect it will be the last. However, I hope with each lost chance for something intriguing, I will lose a shade of that hesitation for next time...

Read the full post...