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This week in 1984, Apple Computers Inc unveiled its first MacIntosh personal computer. And, as I remember, immediately started pouring those Mac PCs into schools for free (smart company, that Apple). In fact, I remember using those PCs to create our high school newspaper.
Of course, they were only used for word processing. The text editing I got to do on the computer, but the layout, believe it or not, still included actual cutting and pasting. Real scissors, Best-Test rubber cement, bits of paper all over the floor. That’s where my love affair with red pens and backward Ps began.
Since then it has continued to be a big part of my professional life. As an artist and a writer, I’ve been putting those skills to work for both verbal and visual presentation. I’ve edited content for employers such as an after-school program for at-risk kids, a lawyer, an international development agency and, most recently, a little art competition. I have often explained various nebulous titles by saying “I help people tell their stories well.”
As technology has advanced, I’ve been able to do the whole process not only on a computer but online, but I do still play with actual paper and glue when I’m telling my own story. Storytelling “by hand” is a big part of my practice as an artist: I create installations and fill journals with my visual and verbal thought processes, observing the world around me and trying to make sense of my own story in it.
When I’m not playing in my journals, I’m busy taking care of our son Anarus with my husband Massi. We started a little intentional community called the Franklin Farm, and I’m often caught out in the garden (that used to be a yard) or the kitchen (that used to be falling down): growing, putting up or preparing to eat our hyperlocal harvest.
It’s no wonder, then, that when the hyperlocal rag needed a new editor I couldn’t help but notice this just might be a good fit for me. I’ve always been a big cheerleader for building local economy and local community. Maybe this is because my roots are in a small town with a small business owner for a father. Maybe it’s because in my years working in relief and development to alleviate justice and poverty issues, I’ve learned just how important it is to have a strong community empowered to take care of itself. Or, you know, maybe it’s just because The Rapidian and the Community Media Center, right smack in the middle of the Wealthy corridor, is a pretty cool place to be. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t resist seeing if they wanted me to join their team.
So here I am, the newest member of the Rapidian team. They’re calling me the Content Editor. This means, basically, that I will be the one with the virtual red pen, scissors and glue, making sure you see the great stories coming out every day and guiding the reporters and editors to ensure they continue to be great stories.
Remember that sticky wall that George showed you last week? On the wall, I am mostly concentrated on heading up the editorial team and maintaining the daily website presentation. What I’ve learned so far, though, is that The Rapidian really is a team. I’ll be doing these things, but I’ll be working with George and Denise in many other ways to ensure that you, dear reader, get a citizen journalism project that continues to improve and flourish.
I’ll be working with our many talented volunteer reporters and editors to provide you with community news that you want to read, watch and listen to. Let me know your ideas about that, will you please? This is our community, after all. We need all of us to make it successful.
the red penner, ink slinger, storyteller, page changer. when not working as the managing editor at The Rapidian, holly is typically found scribbling in her journal, playing in her studio, getting muddy in the garden, or experimenting in the kitchen. she has a not-so-tiny boy for a son and a very patient man for a husband.