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Kiss Journal
5/13/00

Well, I dropped off the electronic file for Kiss 2 at the printer on Thursday night, and picked up a proof back-to-back copy of the zine last night. Just for the heck of it, I bound it when I got home, complete with covers, to get a good feel for it. Lordy, is it heavy! ;^) And does it look good!! Over this weekend I'll look for any last-minute corrections, and then give it back to the printer on Monday and tell them to run with it. They said that they could definitely have it done within the week, so I expect to pick up the entire print run no later than Friday, and then my team of volunteers and I will be binding our little butts off on Saturday and Sunday! So with luck on our side, contributor and preordered copies of Kiss 2 (those not arranged to be picked up at MediaWest Con) will be in the mail on May 22 or 23. Whew! And not a moment too soon because I'm hitting the road for the Con on the 25th!

Oh, and I did get a big batch of orders in the mail yesterday, so hopefully those were all of the ones that came over the week that I was gone. That brings up the total of presold copies to 61, plus the 28 contrib copies. In other words, 89 of the 150 I'm initially printing are already spoken for. I've printed up 200 sets of covers, but I'm planning on stopping at 200, simply because of the cost of the covers without the volume discount and coupon. Because of demand, I also printed up 15 more copies of Kiss 1 yesterday. If you've recently ordered a copy, they're already in the mail today. Busy, busy, busy!

Sue

 

5/8/00

I'm afraid that I'm going to have to apologize once again for the continued delay in the release of Kiss 2.

There was a death in my family on the 28th of April; I flew home that same day and I only returned yesterday. Things are still not settled on the home front and there are some tough decisions to be made, but there's not much more I can do from 1,000 miles away except worry and work toward moving back soon. There's a very strong possibility that I will be relocating in the fall, in which case the third issue of the zine will definitely have to be put on hold. It's too early to say yet--but frankly, right now my enthusiasm is at a low ebb. Between this loss, and the bad news about a close friend's recent cancer diagnosis, I've got to say that mundane life has really packed a punch lately.

To those who sent inquires or orders and are still awaiting a response, please bare with me--I will respond ASAP. Also, unfortunately, my irresponsible roommate (who gives a whole new definition to the word "inertia") neglected to empty the mailbox while I was gone; thus the mail stopped coming and they removed everything I'd received. Now I'm in this bizarre game of tag with my Mailman and I'm afraid that some things might return to their senders. If your order does come back to you, PLEASE try again.

Anyway, now I'm just aiming for a general release of the zine over Memorial Day Weekend (May 27th) at MediaWest Con. Provided no other catastrophes happen between now and then, **knocks on wood** I still plan to attend the Con this one last time.

If nothing else, I guess this all just goes to hammering home the need to stick to original deadlines. I could've had this book all wrapped up and out of the way by now--God, I hope I've learned my lesson!

Sue

 

4/23/00

Okay, we're in the home stretch now! I picked up the color covers from the printer on Friday. They're beautiful, and will last forever with the nice lamination. Even that careless nonbeliever who sets his coffee mug on your treasured copy of Kiss will be foiled now. ;^)

I'm currently performing the very last read, hoping to catch any lingering typos or other errors--it'll never be perfect, but I'm giving it a thorough inspection. I spent Friday night and Saturday night punching the covers in order to get a head start on the binding process--it's extremely time-consuming since you can only punch about 12 pages at a time. If you'd like to see some pics of what binding the first issue looked like, click here.

Because of the last-minute shifts in lineup, I found myself asking two of my fastest artists if they still had the energy and time to illustrate a couple of stories that otherwise would have gone without artwork. Not only did they eagerly accept the task, but they did so in record time and produced some of the BEST I've seen, period. My thanks, appreciation, and unending awe to you both! This zine is now PACKED with illustrations!

Unfortunately, because of the still-unavoidable delays (computer problems, holidays, and helping some friends move into a new home have also contributed), I'm going to have to push back my original release date to a more realistic date in the first or second week of May, rather than May 1st. I'm very sorry about this slight delay, but I'd rather take a few extra days than rush and sacrifice quality. I hope you'll understand. So please, don't be waiting anxiously at your mailboxes quite yet! If you've already sent in your order, it'll still be in your hands before MediaWest at the end of May, to be sure.

Oh, and some good news of sorts. Due to personal circumstances, I WILL be attending MediaWest Convention after all! I'll be arriving Thursday afternoon. Finally, I'll be able to see people's reactions when they see Kiss--it's the best payoff, I'll admit. I can't wait... And, with any luck I'll be able to meet some of you.

I'll keep you posted as more develops.

Sue

 

4/6/00

Finally, the zine is back on track! I ran into a snag for a few weeks there, but things have been resolved, there's been some shifting around, and I still think I can make my original May 1st release date. **crosses fingers**

In the meantime, lots of things are happening here. First of all, if you haven't already noticed, I've now made it possible to order Kiss online with a credit card. (Oh no!) I'm going to give it a try, anyway. I believe you'll still have to contact me directly via e-mail and let me know you're planning to use a credit card and give me all your vital statistics so that I know where to send the zine, etc. But I believe that PayPal.com will handle the transaction itself. It's totally free of charge, it's free to sign up, and in fact they even give you $5 to sign up! It's used extensively on sites like E-bay and is very reliable and safe. This is only good for within the USA at the moment. (It is not available for foreign orders, but they predict sometime in 2000.) Please contact me if you have any questions, or click on this button. Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!

I'm also just about ready to take the color covers to the printer--finally! Again, I'm crossing my fingers that the printer will still honor my coupon that's several months old now. I really think you're going to be amazed by what I've got lined up. I'm still excited whenever I look at the artwork and collection of stories, etc. So get those orders in now to avoid any delay! If you enjoyed the first issue, you're going to LOVE this one.

Sue

 

3/13/00

Well, things WERE going very well for a while, but at the moment the zine has come to a practical standstill as I wait for all the over-due artwork. I just knew I'd be pulling my hair out at the end again--looking back in the journal here, I wrote that in the future I would be a tirant with deadlines...and yet here I am, two weeks past the due date and four of my artists are MIA. ::sigh:: Such is the life of a fanzine editor. I guess I should just get used to it.

I've got all but one of the stories now ready in one document, but I'm stalled with the layout until I have the rest of the artwork. I've been having great luck with scanning, resizing, and printing the artwork, so I've high hopes for excellent reproductions in this upcoming issue. What I've seen of the artwork so far has been stunning, I must say. Gerald has truly outdone himself this time with his color cover (his best, I believe, and I'm not being biased here). I've also got some new artists that will raise the bar of fanzine artwork to a new high. Kate & Cate, as I call them, are doing some amazing and original works. I can't wait to see this baby once it's all together.

For the record, I'm going to state now that this zine is going to exceed 300 pages! While I'm sure that none of you will be complaining (unless you try to pick it up), but the concept of getting this zine all together in one month is frightening me. ;^)

Sue

2/24/00

Whew, is it busy now! I'm anxiously awaiting the several art packages that are at this very moment somewhere in transit. This issue is really going to be jam-packed with artwork of all kinds and styles. I'm dying to see it, myself!

Just wanted to give a heads-up--I'm about to leave town for a few days. I'm going to harass a friend in San Diego (woo hoo!) and I won't be back until next week Tuesday, so please be patient with e-mail from me. I'm hoping to check them once in a while, but no guarantees I'll have time to answer everyone immediately. Then I'll be back, fresh and ready to wrap this baby up!

And to those who have already inquired about Kiss 3--are you insane??!! (Just kidding!) Actually, thanks for the vote of confidence and the obvious enthusiasm. It's nice to know I'm providing something that folks love. At the moment it is indeed still in the plans, although it's really the last thing I want to think about at the moment. I am accepting submissions (and even have a few things in the folder already), but I'll say now that because I'm still in the thick of Kiss 2, it might be a little bit of a wait before I can give back an edited copy for review. In the meantime, however, I would highly recommend that you try out the Workshop. They're willing to help you refine your skills and stories, and we'll have a head start for Kiss 3.

Sue

 

2/8/00

I've added a new poll, if you haven't noticed--I know you've read that monstrosity of a book, so be honest!

I've added another story and description to the Table of Contents of Kiss 2--it's a late entry, but I've got just enough room for it and it's too good to make everyone wait a year. I've also revamped the blurb for "The Heavens That We Have in Hand" at the request of the author--it was still being rewritten until recently and the story's changed a bit.

Just a reminder--if you're still considering submitting original artwork to be considered for Kiss 2, the deadline is at the end of this month (March 1st). Please see the Submission Guidelines for more details.

If you would like to write an Letter of Comment for inclusion in Kiss 2, the deadline is also March 1st. You can e-mail an attachment or send it snail mail, but please indicate in some way that it's meant to be printed. Remember, once it's in print, it's permanent. Did you like what you saw in Kiss 1? Then show your support by giving the contributing authors and artists some well-deserved feedback!!

Oh, and a happy birthday to John Williams, our favorite composer. So, where were you in 1932?

Things are progressing well on Kiss 2, I must say. I was quite worried about falling behind on my schedule. January saw me either prostrate with the flu, or nearly in traction with two misplaced vertebrae and a rib that was wandering--the muscle relaxants and Percocet were enough to leave me nearly incoherent for two weeks. To those who knew about my plight and sent warm wishes, thank you--it made me feel all warm and fuzzy-like!

As I was saying, the zine is at full steam now--I've already got all but four of the stories formatted. Then it's just a matter of waiting for the rest of the artwork and I'll start arranging the stories proper. Here's where the fun begins!

Sue

 

1/22/00

Howdy again. I've added two new web pages to the Kiss site. One is the Kiss Workshop. It's an idea that came about during the first round of major editing that we went through. It occurred to us that this could be so much easier if only we could catch authors while they're still in the process of writing, and teach them the proper way to do it from the start. That way, not only would it save us work in the long run, but it would benefit the author and save him/her time and effort as well. So consider us on call if you'd like help. In fact, we encourage you.

I've also reintroduced the glossary page I'd made a year or two ago. I thought it helped some folks so here it is again. Let me know if you'd like more added, etc.

On the zine front, all but one late comer story has now been edited and sent back to the authors for rewrites and/or approval. If you don't have yours yet by next Friday, please e-mail me ASAP. Most of them are also already in the hands of artists. Things are also really shaping up on the production end. I've already done pricing on the color copies and covers--I'm now on a first-name basis with my printer and they're cutting some great deals and discounts for me. You're going to be seeing the first laminated-cover SW fanzine. ;^) This upcoming issue is going to break ground, I must say.

Sue

 

1/12/00

Well, I've done some more site-wide updates and changes. I've added some new links, included some new info regarding submissions, and posted some new LoCs. Please note that I hadn't necessarily posted them in order of arrival, so the new ones are a little scatted. You can't miss the biggest one, though.

Due to the nature of one or two recent comments made by readers, concerned with whether or not the stories in Kiss 1 were in the PG-rating spirit "George's universe", I've decided to reinstate the age rating and age limit requirement for the zine.

In defense, I must point out that, first of all, we're very plain in stating that content will involve and revolve around the relationship between two consenting adults (namely Han & Leia). The contributions were created by adults, portraying an adult relationship, and had no intentions of allowing children to see or read it. I feel that adult fans, as a whole, have been purposefully ignored by Lucasfilm. Some of us are tired of trying to read material aimed at prepubescent boys that weren't even born when the films first came out.

IMO, everyone's free to have their own opinion, and they're also free to exercise discretion. If you're easily offended or don't care for adult situations, then be warned that these zines may contain material that you might find questionable.

Caveat emptor.

Sue

 

1/3/00

Well, we've reached the year 2000. I apologize for taking a month to update the site, but between deadlines at work, the holidays, a week visit at home with my family and new additions, and a good case of the Creeping Crud (still in full creep!), I've been swamped this past month. I must say that my new niece is as adorable as I'd expected, if a bit fussy--it runs in the family. ;^) I'll maybe post a pic later if anyone's interested. Let me know.

On the zine front, things are finally coming to a head. Illness has been sweeping through me and my staff of assistant editors, causing delays, but we're catching up now. I've just shipped out galleys to a few authors, and the rest should be on their way in the next week or two. I've also found a few more new contributors that I've no doubt will thrill you with their writing and artistic skills. Also lots of updates throughout the website, including new links and changes to the Kiss 2 ToC. Plus, if you haven't noticed already, I've also finally gotten around to finishing my own fanfic pages. There are just about 4 pieces that have yet to be scanned in--whenever I get the chance.

Although it's old news now, I just thought Id mention that the mystery revolving around that missing package of artwork has been resolved--with an unhappy ending. After over two weeks of hounding the US Post regarding the package, which was SUPPOSED to be traceable and delivered in 2-3 days, they "found" it and it was returned to the artist. It had been sliced open, the original artwork shredded, and--surprise!--the only thing missing was the money order she'd included for a copy of Kiss 1. It's my firm belief that the package never left that post office; it had been stuffed right there in public, and it's obvious that whoever did it knew what was inside. (Not that it did them any good.) The USP claimed that it had got caught in a machine, but it looked like someone had used an exacto knife and cut it open. Anyway, the artwork was ruined and she's trying to reproduce it. The moral of this story? Do NOT trust the USP. Heck, don't trust ANYONE. If you're going to send me artwork, PLEASE use a traceable, reliable, and RESPONSIBLE service like Fed Ex or UPS. I will reimburse for expenses.

Sue

 

12/1/99

Welcome back. First of all, on a personal note, I wanted to announce that I've just become an aunt. A not-so-little 9 lbs. baby girl, Kaila, was born last night! Both baby and mother are doing fine and I can only hope the same is true for my brother. I'm still getting used to the idea, myself. I am excited and looking forward to getting home and meeting both my new sister-in-law and niece. Talk about an instant family! ;^)

Initial proofreading is about to wrap up; it was delayed due to illness and other priorities, but now we're back on track. In the meantime, I'm also going to work at revamping and finally completing my personal fanfic page. I'm resisting the urge to just rewrite while I'm at it, but then I think of all the work that would involve! Maybe after May, 2000.

Sue

 

11/21/99

Yes, I've decided to redesign yet again. I loved the postcard and may still use it somewhere, but I found that I was no longer getting ranked on some of the search engines due to the placement of the text, etc. (techie talk!)

I hope you like the new layout and find it more enjoyable. This also gives you just a sample of what you'll be finding in the upcoming issue of Kiss. You like? I like!

Ciao for now,

Sue

 

11/8/99

Still fine tuning, but a general listing what you'll find in the upcoming issue of Kiss has been posted. It's still in the works, mind you. I've got a couple of authors who asked for more time--and since I've got a few more volunteers helping out with proofreading this time around, not to mention another speedy illustrator, I'm being a little more flexible with the deadline (watch, around March I'll be yelling about the fact that deadlines are meant to preserve my own sanity...you'd think I'd learn!). I'd also hate to have a zine without contributions from them, so I'm willing to wait. As soon as I know it's on the way, I'll add them to the listing.

Anyway, many of the contributions have not yet been assigned to an artist, but that will happen soon enough. I just prefer to wait until most of the editing is already ironed out--I'd hate to have an artist draw a scene, only to find out later that it's been axed or altered. Just ask Kristin--she's already had to change one she did nearly two years ago for my story. (Don't blame me! I told her it wasn't finished yet.)

All for now,

Sue

 

11/5/99

Just another update on the weeks events.

Noone can ever say that putting together a zine is boring! I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a package of artwork from our newest artist. Unfortunately it's nearly a week late and feared lost! The Post Office is dragging its heels on tracing the package, even though she paid for the service. This is why I stress that the US Post should be avoided at all costs. Please use 2nd Day Fed Ex or some other traceable, reliable, and accountable service. You'll be reimbursed. Anyway, I'm keeping an eye out for it and I'm praying that it'll still show up. Since one of the illos was for my story, I'm doublely upset. Sigh. Patience, little cricket.

In the meantime, except for two or three holdouts, all the written submissions for Kiss 2 are in. We've got quite a roundup--many new names and some very original ideas. I think you'll be pleased...I sure am!

Tomorrow I'm also going to begin setting the masterpage templates for the layout, etc. It's probably a little premature, but since I'm still waiting for edited copies to come back from my proofreaders, I might as well get a headstart.

I've fixed the Questions/Comments page, so with any luck it'll work now. Sorry about any inconvenience. I'm still working out the bugs with this new domain, and the CGI needed for that still baffles me. If you send a note and don't get an answer within a reasonable amount of time, email me directly and let me know. Thanks.

I'm also hoping to get a contents page and a flyer done within the week so you'll get an idea of what we've got lined up. But don't hold me to that. ;^) I've been working on the final version of my Ord Mantell story, and fiddling with a few other mundane things There's never enough time in the day.

Sue

10/30/99

Happy Halloween!

That's right, folks. It's deadline time! Heh heh! Don'tcha just love it? It's certainly an exciting time for me at any rate. Today alone I received a big story and four filks for consideration. Looks like I'll be reading later tonight.

Lots of things happening on the computer end as well. Just upgraded my RAM to 128 so things just zip along now. Also just used the discount I get as a faculty member at an educational institution to buy full versions of DreamWeaver and PhotoShop 5.5--that means lots of new and nifty things coming your way in the near future. Just as soon as I can figure out how to use them properly, that is. :^)

In the mean time, we've got some exciting things happening with the zine. Lots of new names and talent that are promising to make Kiss This! at least as good if not better than Kiss #1. I've got another new artist that I think will blow everyone away. We've got four color covers (inside and out) planned, plus lots of wonderful illos. Soon I hope to have a sampling of artwork posted here so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about. Don't be surprised if these sites are different each time you visit--call it growing pains.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I'm actually a little disturbed by the results so far on my little quiz. Folks, you gotta get out more if you think the pro stuff is that good! Ouch! Buy this zine! ;^P Anyway, I'll be putting up a new quiz, just as soon as I can think of something to ask. Any suggestions?

And sign my guestbook, folks! I'm sorry that I've lost the entries from the past--blame Solcities! Let's start this over again and I promise it won't disappear this time!

Happy Trick-or-Treat!

Sue

10/9/99

Surprise, surprise!

All I can say is that I could live without all these surprises... Obviously, Kiss has moved yet again--this time unwillingly. About a week ago, Solocites, which hosted the last site, suddenly decided to revamp some of its policies (including an incredibly ugly banner!) and an avalanche of problems befell many sites. My account was one of the many that suddenly disappeared with no explanation. After three days of harrassing and begging for an answer, I was only told that my account was deleted because I had "hotlinks to/from other servers." That's got to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard. Since when was hotlinking illegal?? You get what you pay for, I guess.

Well, after spending an evening searching for another free webspace provider and getting more and more frustrated with ugly banners and silly restrictions, I decided to look into getting my own domain and screw the rest. It's meant some money upfront, but I'll consider it part of the zine expense and now I have the option--and space!--of someday posting the zine online. Besides, it's just so COOL to say, "Check out my site at www.useakiss.org!"

Anyway, lots of other news on the zine front, as well. Got a couple more submissions over the past week or two that I've already accepted or am still reading. I promise to get back to everyone before the end of next week. I've also got the color backcover for Kiss #2. It's wonderful! A color pencil piece by Liz that will feed your fantasies for years to come. ;^) Not to mention a second b/w piece that's yummy. I'm also within sight of the end of my Ord Mantell story (was working religiously on it until everything came to a screeching halt with the website-- blame Solcities!). It WILL be in Kiss #2--that's a promise!

And hey, I've already got five orders for Kiss #2!! That's so awesome. You guys are the greatest!

This reminds me--those of you who've ordered reprints of Kiss #1, the zine is at the printers at this very moment. I'll pick it up Tuesday night and should have it in the mail no later than Friday. Even better, my printer (I LOVE these guys) agreed to honor the original per page price that they quoted me when I brought in the higher volume. We're talking a savings of close to $0.04 per copy! It hadn't occured to me when I started the print-on-demand idea that I might not get the same per copy price--whew!

Oh well, just another gentle reminder that the deadline for written submissions is fast approaching--November 1st. Please contact me sooner if you think you might need more time, etc. As for artwork, there's still lots of time unless you'd like to try illustrating a story, in which case you need to contact me ASAP.

That's about it for tonight. My eyes are blurring from staring at this screen all day. Fly casual!

Sue

9/18/99

After some consideration on what we've got so far for submissions, etc., and some serious debate, I've been forced to change the price I originally stated for the upcoming issue of Kiss. I'm getting the feeling that this zine is going to hit at LEAST 250 pages! I hate raising the price, but I'm afraid I might not have a choice. I can't count on getting the bargain I got last time (I smiled nice and the guy threw in free covers, and he didn't change his original estimate when the print run went over, etc.), plus we're going with color covers, etc. So please see the Order Info page for more details before you send your order.

Sue

9/10/99

As you can see, the webpages are coming along. Naturally, with the next issue deadlines looming and various other projects coming to a head, my long-dormant urge to write has resurrected! Now I'm trying to fit in quality writing time among all the other projects. Arrgh!

After some serious thought, I've decided to start accepting reservation orders for Kiss #2. I just couldn't think of a good reason to wait at this point. The first issue was so popular that starting earlier might attract more fans who're just discovering zines. Plus, this will give me a much better idea of how large the next print run should be, so I can avoid under- or over-printing. Just check the Order Info page if you're interesting in reserving a copy now, or e-mail me if you have any questions. It's going to be a little different this time around, however. I think it got too confusing with $10 deposits, etc., so this time I'm just asking for the full price if you'd like to reserve a copy. That way there's no waiting or question of what might still be due--when the zine comes back from the printer, it's going straight in the mail to you! You'll probably agree that it's the best method.

I'm also making arrangements to attend MediaWest in 2000! I'm going come hell or high water at this point... It's been too long, folks! Hopefully I'll get to meet some of you there and hand you your zine in person.

Sue
9/3/99

Hi folks! Unless you're new to this site, you can see that I've been playing. I hope you like the changes and find them a little easier on the eye.

On the techie end, I'm testing out my trial version of DreamWeaver; the fact that I've been able to knock many of these pages in only a few hours is testament to the wonders of this program. And it's sure made creating and updating these pages much easier for me!

I've plans to totally revamp everything, so be warned that pages may be periodically unavailable.

If you'd like to read earlier journal entries, including my running commentary throughout the creation of the first issue of Kiss, please check out the Archives.

If you're still hoping to order a copy of Kiss #1, it's sold out, but I am taking names and orders for a possible reprint run. If I get enough to outweigh the cost buying more supplies, etc., I'll print more. Please snailmail your order, including your email address, a check or money order made out to Evil Twin Press for the amount of $25 (domestic only!), and a SASE in case I need to return your check, to:

Evil Twin Press
c/o Susan Zahn
6007 89th Avenue
New Carrollton, MD 20784
eviltwinpress@yahoo.com


Please follow these directions carefully. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me.

Don't forget that Kiss #2 is still accepting submissions. The deadline is November 1, 1999. You've got 2 months! Deadline for artwork is March 1, 2000, but if you'd like to try illustrating a story, please contact me ASAP so that I can send a submission to you for illustration. I may ask for a sample, so please be sincere.

Catch you on the flip side,

Sue

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