Dispatches | February 14, 2009

Word has it that our stand at AWP, along with several of our competent, cheerful interns and many innocent Chicagoans, was nearly torn apart by the clamoring throngs who had poured into the conference in the hopes of meeting me, only to find out that I didn’t go.

I’d like to take a moment to apologize. 

I’m sorry, folks. Thanks for making the trip, but there’s only so much of me to go around. I am, after all, just one humble blogger. I understand your disappointment — believe me — but there’s really no need for the violence. It is my honest hope that you were able to find other fascinating people to hang out with in the Windy City. 

Besides, somebody had to stay back and hold down the TMR fort, and let me tell you, I think it was time well spent. Allow me to present a little project I like to call “TMR Valentine.”

The best part? It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Well, actually, the first phase probably won’t be ready until next Valentine’s Day, but here’s a sneak peak: TMR-themed candy hearts! Now, I realize they may be a bit hard to read here, but imagine holding them each between your index finger and your thumb an inch from your eyeball.

You may be thinking. How come nobody at TMR came up with this up before? It baffles me, frankly, because candy Valentine TMR hearts are so intuitive! Many of our subscribers and contributors are teachers, and teachers use chalk, which is exactly what these babies taste like.

I know — so obvious! The only downside, as I said, is that there’s no chance I can get them out the door (or approved) in the next eight hours.

However, since I don’t want to break anybody’s heart on Valentine’s Day, I’ll go ahead and roll out phase two: actual TMR Valentines. Just download the image to your desktop, load the image into the photo editing program of your choice, resize, color adjust, render, rasterize, and print! It’s so simple!

I’ll admit, creating this handsome image was no small task. First, I wanted the text to be some moving snippet from our magazine’s pages — a touching stanza, or an essay in very, very small font — but all that stuff comes with copyright baggage, so I had to come up with something witty on my own. Then, I wanted to decorate it with actual cover art, or maybe one of our cartoons, but, same deal — copyrights. I found an image from our web page that I think is good to go. A little somber, yes, but nothing a few clip art hearts and a flying cupid can’t perk up. Oh, and the dashed white line — I had to eyeball it. Go ahead and fold on the dashed line, but keep the scissors handy, just in case.

Also, seriously, safe travels home from AWP, everyone. Happy Valentine’s Day!