The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the July 20, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.
From the Editors Desk
by Martti LahtineChronic procrastinator shifts out of idle
Here's how procrastination works: put off something long enough and people will be put off. Such is the case wherein the Low Down editor mismanaged to shuffle an important literary review to the Things To Do pile somewhere on his desk.
Yes, back-burnering a preview of Vol. 37 of Up The Gatineau! has earned him reprimands - from Carol Martin, the outgoing editor, and Louise Schwartz, who is incoming. His ears are burning as he prepares a wee silly defence.
It's said that procrastination affects 20 per cent of people and manifests in behaviour that elicits empathy from chronic sufferers and knowing nods from indolents in training. They fail to pay bills on time, file income tax returns late, and leave Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve - about 4 p.m., to be on the safe side.
Manana - tomorrow - rules their day. We'll get to it is their calling card. Which never gets sent.
They've categorized types among those who slough off what you can do today until tomorrow. This editor fits the pattern of decisional procrastinator - deciding something is painful - and inaction absolve him of the responsibility for the outcome of events. Immediacy is near anathema. Don't do anything, it'll get better. It'll go away
In the case of reviewing Up The Gatineau!, this procrastinator has run of of wiggle room, and he has dusted off the familiar "better late than never" catchall to discourage further rebuke.
Vol. 37 is on the shelves at the usual locations - depanneurs, bookstores, libraries - but this editor's attempt to obtain a copy hit a snag, which might elicit smiles from the transitional editorship and their Gatineau Valley Historical Society wordshapers. All copies that were placed in the Depanneur M&R in Chelsea two months ago have sold out.
But, not to worry, proprietor Ron Pigeon's book carousel carries the whole set, which prompted this rehabbing procrastinator to purchase Vol. 1 to explore the initial periodical that launched a run of 36 more issues of Up The Gatineau!
The plan now is to collect them all, read them and learn about an adopted region. This June marked the editor's 30 years' residency on Mill Road in Chelsea, and reliving area history might help him better understand the outcome of future events - as well as take some responsibility in shaping them.
So what's to leaf through in the 52 pages of the latest issue? It contains articles by six authors with stories about the area that are dear to their hearts. It includes short sketches by Barry Wilson, Gavin Hudson, Peter Mulrooney, Margaret Coleman and Rick Blanchard, who are first time contributors. Incoming editor Louise Schwartz's article, meanwhile, is her third.
The publication signals Carol Martin's adieu: "Volume 37 marks a very special time for me. I've now edited 21 volumes of Up the Gatineau! and this is my last as Editor. My thanks to (the GVHS), the authors, and to everyone who has helped with this and every volume."
With that, we welcome Louise Schwartz, who won't be a put-over for procrastinators. Not now, not later.
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