Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Claire's Farewell

Readers, Please check out this goodbye post from Blog Editor Claire Harlan-Orsi.

Dear Prairie Schooner Blog Readers,

Farewell! It’s been a whirlwind year at the keyboard. Now that I’m done with my tenure running this blog I can go back to the quill and ink pot and my trusty pigeon, Thunderbird, who can ferry documents across the country faster than those invisible air tubes they call email. It’s been a great year. I’ve gotten to interview many wonderful writers, worked with fabulous guest bloggers, collaborated with a truly fantastic journal staff and brought an enormous array of exciting Prairie Schooner initiatives to the web reading public’s attention. Plus, I’ve written blog dispatches on e-reading, War and Peace, the perils of discipline and more.

What have I learned from making things for the web, you ask? I’ve grouped my insights into two categories: Fortunate and Unfortunate. I’ll start with the latter.

Unfortunate Insights
•My professors here at UNL like to remind me that if I actually want a real job teaching writing and an office with a window, I’ll need to publish something. But I have published something, I think to myself—look at all the blog posts I’ve written! Then I realize: once again the Internet has tricked me into thinking I’m being productive, when actually I’m just being productive for the Internet! If that isn’t the logic of late capitalism, I don’t know what is!
•Related: because the Internet is “just” the Internet, it’s sometimes tempting to make Internet writing not my best work. But then I remember: more people read the Internet than anything else! Get cracking, Claire!
•My need for approval has a tendency to get displaced onto “likes” and “shares.” The folks at myyogaonline, where I do my sun salutations, would not be pleased. When will your sense of self worth come from an internal solidity untouchable by Facebook? my imaginary yoga teachers ask me. But then I remember that the people on myyogaonline don’t know me, and my Facebook friends do. So which worldview is actually crazier?

Fortunate Insights
•Not only is it super fun to interview writers, they actually want to be interviewed! Even the famous ones! Who knew?
•HTML isn’t so hard (though it takes longer than you think)! I can

  • make things bullet pointed

open links in new windows and create those pesky anchor tags. This is the most technical know-how I’ve ever had!
•There are so many things to be said about comics, video games and Indian writing—and we’ve got a bang-up group of experts saying them.
•People really like talking about how the Internet affects your writing—of all my posts, this one seemed to strike the deepest chord!

In Conclusion: I know I’m leaving the blog in good hands. Fellow UNL PhD student Jordan Farmer will be taking over as Blog Editor (stay tuned for his introduction). And Web Editor Eric Jones has taken the Schooner website to new heights (have you seen our new app, LitRagger?). I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with/for the best literary journal around. Thanks to all Schooner readers, writers and fans!

Writerly Yours,

Claire