By Paul Ford
Jim Esch Appreciation Week
Dear Subway Diary Reader,
This is Jim Esch appreciation week.
Jim has published a little magazine for 7 years, called Sparks. He gives away writing, art, music, and ideas. He runs the Orange Street Press out of the corner of his pocket with the whole
of his heart. He also works full time, and does freelance work to make ends meet. With his wife, Stacy, he takes care of his
daughter. Stacy is included here, too, because she's one-half of Jim and the Orange Street Press. So it's also Stacy appreciation
He encouraged this diary in its first days. "Keep going," he said, many times. "It's worth it."
He has published dozens of new authors in Sparks. He keeps the dialogue going. Time Magazine will probably never write a full-page
article about Jim. That's the way these things go. But he doesn't let it get him down. And he inspires the hell out of me.
So celebrate his week. Grab a beer and sit quietly, and watch the world for fifteen minutes. Take a break at work and write
a poem on the back of a memo. Sketch a picture while you're taking the train going home. Finish that short story. If you like
it, you should send him a copy. If he likes it too, he may publish it.
That's why it's his week. And Stacy's.
DIY really means others help you do it yourself
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
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0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
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