Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Gurney Journey

Several of you have asked what goes into the making of this blog. How is it possible to do all those groundbreaking, authoritative posts on a daily basis?

Of course it would be impossible without the help of my production staff, so I thought I’d introduce them to you.

Here’s Clifton, our Art Historian and Image Sleuth. He is an expert on obsolete traditions and hot new trends, which in the art field are one in the same.


Jonathan is our Writer. I keep telling him to keep it brief, cut out adjectives, and eschew obfuscation.

Donna, on the right, is Manager of Comments and Analytics. She tracks reader response and compiles the weekly Boredom Index to remind me which posts fell flat.

Margie, on the left is in charge of Blog Revenue. Or I should say "was in charge." Because of the economic downturn, I had to let her go last week, so she's sniffing around for a new job.

That’s about it. I don’t do much on this blog, just let it run itself.

22 comments:

Steve said...

Jim,

I have wondered how you sustain this day after day. Thanks for making it clear. My favorite line was about obsolete traditions and hot new trends being one and the same. I retired a few years ago from teaching elementary school. Amazingly, the same truth pertains to swings of the educational trend pendulum. All this leaves one question. What is the job of the employee sitting on your shoulder in the picture on the top left each day? Looks like a high level advisor...

Erik Bongers said...

But seriously (if it's not too private) which is more close:

A. Once a month you take a full day to browse your sketchbooks, search the net to compile 20 topic that you just have to post (5 min. work). And the other 10 topics to fill the month will popup along the way (reader's suggestions, news item, weather).

B. You try to spend one hour every day to create a topic. Sometimes you manage to create up to 5 topics in that one hour - a stock for days when you have little time.

C. A combination of the two : along the way you have compiled dozens of written out topics, not to mention the list of topic ideas.
But nevertheless, you try to create each day's topic on the fly.

Bill Guffey said...

"...keep it brief, cut out adjectives, and eschew obfuscation."

Ha! Love it.

Frank P. Ordaz said...

Jim,

I'd keep an eye on that chimp. They tend to go ape and attack their owners on a whim....gives new meaning to E CHEW...:v)

Susan Adsett said...

"He is an expert on obsolete traditions and hot new trends, which in the art field are one in the same."

I nearly snorted tea all over my keyboard reading that one. Made my day. Thanks Jim!

Jeremy Elder said...

Mr. Burns: This is a thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters. Soon, they'll have written the greatest novel known to mankind. (reads one of the typewriters) "It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?!" You stupid monkey!

twilightcat said...

lol! I knew you had help!

Bowlin said...

Charlton Heston is rolling in his grave. :P

Kristy said...

i KNEW something strange was going on.

Lalquier said...

That's two monkeys... three with the one on your shoulder.

How many more do you have in the back trying to come up with Shakespeare for you ? :)

Michael said...

Let us all hope that this blog never becomes a monkey on your back.

Victor said...

As Mr. Ordaz suggested, don't turn your back on Jonathan.

Some day he might take offense at one of your editorial suggestions and bite your face off.

Dan Gurney said...

What about your skateboarding parakeet?

Johan said...

Ah now I get it. Well that just about explains it then. And here I thought you did that yourself.

Stevo said...
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Stevo said...
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Stevo said...

I trust you would treat these employees well--I hope the same goes for whoever really worked with these animals to get these pictures taken. I imagine it takes a lot to get a chimp into a suit, and there are more and less pleasant ways to achieve this end.

I see your Art Historian has not only a cloth collar but also a chain around his neck--these aren't merely his eclectic fashion choices, are they?

I'm not easily amused by animals put in contrived situations for the sake of entertainment, though I wouldn't chafe so strongly at your use of these photos if you weren't the person who introduced us to a place where dinosaurs, humans and dolphins (the last two being present-day species whose intelligence and emotivity I presume are being presented in your books without any fantastical embellishment) coexist in utopia, and also a man who instructs us to compassionately examine the stories that are suggested in the details of visual images.

James Gurney said...

Stevo, I share your concerns about mistreatment of animals, and I understand if you're not amused. But please keep in mind that I didn't take these photos; the one of the chimp at the typewriter was taken decades ago. I am fascinated by the history of how humans have identified themselves with animals, and on this blog I've done other posts that identify the captive chimp smile as a grimace, and that explore animal characters.

Stevo said...
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Stevo said...
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Stevo said...

Thank you for your response, Jim. I only wrote because I assumed you did care about animal treatment. It seems almost impossible for anyone not to identify with animals to some degree or another, and I am certain I responded negatively to this post because of my own indentifying with animals as fellow creatures with their own creaturely interests, although I hope in this case I haven't anthropomorphized them in doing so.

I very much appreciated the past posts you just linked to (I had to delete the last forward-slash in their URLs to see them); in fact I'd recalled the information about the grimacing chimp as I was writing you about contrived monkey poses, but I had forgotten that I'd learned that information from you in the first place!

David Apatoff said...

Jim, Bravo for having the integrity and honesty to bring your ghost writers out into the open and give them the credit they deserve. They produce a fine product. Now are you prepared to go the rest of the way and tell us who paints your paintings for you?

This blog is a delight. Every time I stop by here, I wonder why I bother looking at anything else.