One hundred weeks

Interesting. Almost two full years have gone by (two years would be exactly 104 issues) since I started this editorial adventure, I never thought it would come this far. Back from FLIP, the famous Brazilian literary festival in Paraty, more exhausted than ever, I was even more determined to hire an assistant, which, coincidentally, was also coming back from FLIP. FLIP, in fact, had been our “connection point” detected by Alex, our shared gardener.

I don’t think I might have sounded very encouraging in my first interview with… let’s call her F. “The truth is that I’m planning to move to the United States,” I said. “And our house is already for sale. Nevertheless, in the meantime, I’d like to try.”

In my never quiet mind, I was already plotting, flying too high just for a change: I will train this girl and leave her in charge of KBR’s daily operations in Brazil. And while this day was still in the future, I kept trying, kind of desperately, to find a way to start our international operations opening a company in the United States, Alan for a change blocking all my frustrating initiatives with his innate pessimism: “Forget it. Not gonna happen.”

Let’s face it: Unfortunately, what was not “gonna happen” was staying in Brazil in the middle of such a crisis. Frankly, I would have died from a heart attack if I haven’t left, sorry, folks, but things are truly tough in the motherland.

Back to the past. When F. arrived for her first day of work — having been initially established that we would have two “presential” mornings per week and the rest on the Internet — I realized that, even if I was constantly overwhelmed, there was nothing I could pass on to her immediately. I mean, nothing I could ask her to do without intensive prior training, for which I would need extra time, egg or chicken, you know. Therefore, I decided to create a new venture to give F. something to do while she was getting acquainted with KBR, hoping she would acquire the necessary skills “by osmosis” — or by miracle — as she gradually prepared herself to join me as a publisher.

This is the simple story of how I created Singles K, KBR’s weekly magazine. We had a good database, since the company’s blog has been on the air for at least two years (this week also marks the fourth anniversary of the blog, which began in late July 2011 and had already published over 2,000 posts, time rushes by). Four or five new chronicles per week would suffice and we would be in business, the rest being selected from our “backlist.”

As I always do with everything, in less than 24 hours the magazine had a logo, which I immediately applied for registration with INPI, the Brazilian Trademark Office (in Brazil one only “applies,” rarely registers, because it takes so long to get a trademark that, in my previous experience, by the time the trademark was about to be granted the “product” was always discontinued… Moment. Let me check it online, after all, it’s been only two years… Okay, it’s still “pending merit examination,” how much merit does one need?)

Singles K also had a cover design (let’s face it, in these two years the covers had improved greatly), et voilà, we were on the air. Very soon we would have our own storefront on Amazon Brazil, oba.

The rest is history. F. did not make any history at KBR, as no one else did, it looks like my iron centralizing hand is a kind of contrary magnet, repelling any help beyond a primary contact, with the honorable exception of our dear webmaster “GQP” — acronym for a “person who thinks” in Portuguese. Anyway, before she left, F. had a good opportunity to assert herself as a professional editor, as she was mentioned in the newspaper as the newest editorial assistant in the Brazilian book market, imagine that, in charge of the state-of-the-art digital weekly Singles K, after two years still the only weekly on Amazon.Br, yes, that’s correct. When did I get an endorsement like that? Right.

Anyway, although one can certainly learn new tricks one way or another (as I’ve said before, all that I do routinely today I have learned in the last six years, this, being over 60, when they say the brain no longer absorbs as well as it used to… They lie!), I believe that certain qualities must come from birth. Therefore, maybe F. was not designed for our trade. Pity.

But we’re not here to complain, we are here to celebrate: Since its creation, Singles K has given me nothing but joy! I never tire to exalt (and be thankful to) our dedicated columnists; after all, to carry on with a weekly commitment isn’t for everyone. Between you and me, it’s a hell of a job, right, guys? At any rate, I must know; even before publishing my first book, I had already written more than 3,000 chronicles. It’s a long life, and a long tale to tell. And I’m still telling it.

Happy anniversary to us all! One hundred issues are no small feat! Ad meah v’esrim! (LOL)

Ah, and while this whole story was unfolding, we were also progressing in our adventure of moving to the United States, where, not by coincidence, but by hard work and a lot of persistence, we had just opened KBR-U.S. new website, yay. I’m so proud.

Shalom! Have a nice week!

About the Author
Noga Sklar was born in Tiberias, Israel, in 1952. She grew up in Belo Horizonte and lived for 30 years in Rio de Janeiro, a city she left behind to take refuge in a paradise among the mountains of Petropolis. Noga met her American husband Alan Sklar in 2004, through the American Jewish dating site JDate. This meeting gave new impetus to her life and literary career, inspiring her first novel, “No degrees of separation” (to be published in English in 2016. She now lives in Greenville, SC, US, where she moved with her husband in October 2014.
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