One of the reasons this blog has run largely dormant for the past three years is that I’ve been preoccupied with writing for MAGIC Magazine. Beginning in January 2014, I’ve been writing a monthly one-page column called “Walkabout Soup”, about, well, all manner of magic-related things.
That was ironically one of the toughest things about it; Stan – the editor – was trusting enough to give me almost completely free editorial reign. Each month I had to run through the mental gauntlet of finding topics that ticked the three sacred boxes of A) things I know about, which B) other people don’t know about, and C) they might actually give a damn about reading about.
Finding topics was actually pretty easy. What wasn’t easy was finding topics that I could translate into 700-750 words of compelling prose. Some topics capped out at 300 words. Others needed a couple of thousand to do them justice. A few of the columns flowed easily into life, but the majority had me figuratively tearing my hair out, trying to find a way to write a page of text worthy of being read by potentially the entire global magic industry.
After 35 months – just one column shy of three full years – my run is ending because the magazine itself is ending. Deciding that 25 years (300 issues exactly) is a nice round number to end on, Stan Allen, creator and editor of Magic Magazine, and all-round wonderful guy, is retiring and moving on to other projects. Most notably, he’ll still be running the incredible MAGIC Live conventions (that linked article being the catalyst for my invitation to write for the magazine in the first place).
But first, there is going to be one final special issue. At the time of writing, Magic Magazine Issue #301 has just come on sale. Clocking in at nearly twice the size of a normal issue, and packed with very special contributions from some of the most significant names in Magic, it’s a collectors item that I can’t recommend too highly. It’s available for sale here at an absolutely bargain price.
It also features my final Walkabout Soup column. At any given moment in the past three years, I would have as many as a dozen half-written columns, each one resisting completion because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work as a complete article. This final one had sat semi-finished for well over a year; a story I really wanted to tell but couldn’t figure out how to.
Well, I finally found a way. It’s a piece of writing I’m very proud of, and I’m glad it will get to be part of the truly remarkable legacy of MAGIC Magazine.