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An End of Sorts

As most of you may know by now, our venerable editor-in-chief Maria Schneider is leaving the magazine to pursue other options, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words about her. Maria was the one who--as an assistant editor-- originally "discovered" me, reading my pathetic query for submission for "Writing a Literary Masterpiece" and inviting me to submit work. For years she worked as my editor, prodding and poking things in an appropriate direction and using her skills to help turn the somewhat pathetic into acceptably average, and the acceptably average into good.

As we both grew--she moving up the editorial ladder, and I in several directions at once-- our relationship became strained, mostly because the burden of dealing with me became too much to bear, as I can be arrogant, lazy, and unabashedly random, and she could be (to me, at least) infuriatingly stubborn, and the combination boiled over like a pot of water you originally wanted to make Annie's Shells in, but forgot to take off an extremely hot stove, because you passed out watching Reno 911. We moved apart as she reached the top editorial rung, taking over the editor position from our dear friend Kristin Godsey, and she smartly passed me off, which cooled our temperamental relationship and allowed us to work in a more fruitful and productive manner for the rest of our time.

Despite our own head-butting, Maria will (and should) be missed by everyone involved with WD. She brought a deliciously wry sense of humor, a passion for books, a blunt, honest approach, and the open, intelligent mind to be welcoming to any and all new writers. She helped make and shape my writing career, and she ushered a fresher, newer, less self serious tone into the pages of the magazine. These are the pillars she has left behind, and she should feel good about them. Or--at the very least-- she should bring them up alot.

And while we're doing the farewell thing, this feels like a good time to also announce that this month's WD contains my final column within the magazine, ending my streak of columns somewhere on the sunny side of 3 years. Now don't pretend to freak out-- I will still have the weekly blog, and will occasionally contribute to the magazine-- but it just felt like a good time for us to wrap that part and for me to move on and pursue my first love-- amateur back-up Hip Hop Dancing.

So we've got a lot of semi-goodbyes. Maria, you will truly be missed, and Kevin's column, you will also be missed-- but mostly in hindsight. Now don't you all start leaving your jobs-- it looks like I'm going to need a Sugar Mama:)

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See Me and Julio Down,
By the Schoolyard

Paul Simon

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