12 March 2015
This magazine (In Other Words: Merida when we started it) wasn’t meant to be run by one person. We started out with a group of creative people working together and a mission to chronicle the burgeoning art scene in Merida and surrounding environs in the Mexican Yucatan peninsula. We were ambitious and driven, and though we weren’t as successful as we could have been, we presented in these (virtual) pages a literary effort we were extremely proud of, and had that glow from doing something we thought was worthwhile.
Meanwhile, though some writers were happily committed to what we were trying to do, others were less enthusiastic. Many Mexican writers couldn’t figure out why they would want to be translated into English and shared on an English speaking site. Some expat authors who we would’ve dearly loved to include thought we were too small and insignificant to contribute to. Perhaps they would honor us with one piece, but definitely no more. Ouch.
Our outlook, therefore, became more international in scale. We’ve printed translations of some super Spanish speaking Yucatecan writers, and we’ve had some great pieces by English speaking writers living here, yes, but in general we’ve published the best writing we could get hold of from wherever it came from. And still do.
As years went by, some folks moved on, not all of them as harmoniously as they could have, other folks came to the realization that Fuck! This is a lot of work to keep doing month after month! (You don’t think we get paid, do you?) And at one point there was only one stubborn editor left, who wasn’t bright enough to know when to quit. Me. For awhile I kept trying to keep things going the way they were, but without the others, I was getting to the point of having mini nervous breakdowns after every issue came out.
Thus the change. A severe money crunch motivated the move from a paid site to a free site, and we changed the name while we were at it because In Other Words: Merida confused the hell out of people. Everyone understands The Merida Review.
I’ve had lots of help from people here and there, I haven’t done things totally alone! I have all sorts of more technical friends who’ve helped me through emergencies. And volunteers have drifted through.
Moving the content from one site to another was a massive undertaking – perhaps there was an easy way to do it, but no one who was helping at that point knew how. We moved each post one at a time. All 200+ of them. And somehow got them entered onto this site backwards. Oldest to newest. Oops.
And then the art disappeared. WordPress did an update and poof! it was gone. Apparently we hadn’t transferred it correctly. The old site was gone and the old art editor, who might possibly have had the files on her computer, had moved far away and was incommunicado. So, slowly, in my spare time, I’ve been tracking down artists and getting new art from them and inserting it where their old art went in the old posts. It’s a slow ongoing process.
One volunteer (Bill) is attempting to go through all the old posts and correct glitches that happened when they were transferred. Another slow ongoing process.
And we keep moving forward the whole time. Cause forward is the important direction. It’s what we put the most effort into.