Too Short A Five Minutes
September 4, 2005
I first heard from Carolyn Paterson in the summer of 2001, when I'd been doing Five-Minute Voyager for about a year. It was the kind of email I love getting. She wrote to say she was getting a kick out of the site (especially the Canadian jokes I made and didn't really expect anyone to get), and she wanted to try doing a fiver of her own. Unfortunately, the one she wanted was "Basics," which was reserved for me... and she'd already written it. It's funny to think about it now, because Kira was the one who coined the term "spam fiver" for this sort of thing during her years of handling submissions. But you're at 5MV, Ensign -- ironic's part of the job.
Needless to say, we quickly found an episode Kira could do. And then another one. And another. Kira's productivity was matched only by her enthusiasm. Like any guest writer, she had to do a lot of waiting for me to get in gear; I'm sure it drove her nuts, but she took it in good humour. (It wasn't without perks, either -- because I was so far behind, she became the only person ever to have seven VOY fivers published in one day.) The more she did, the more she wanted to do, and she was definitely capable. Things snowballed; I started treating her like a staff member without even really noticing the change. Finally, when I needed someone to take over 5MV for a while, she was the one I turned to.
Barely a year in contact with me and she was already running the place.
Since that day, Kira has been absolutely essential to 5MV. Her level of involvement with the actual updating has gone back and forth over the years (years! I'm so old...), but even when I've been nominally in charge, she's been holding it all together behind the scenes. She's organized events, helped countless guest writers polish their work, prepared HTML pages to save me time, and kept her pointy stick at the ready for when I need prodding. Nor has she ceased to produce her own material -- her Star Wars fivers are now among our most popular, and she's even branched out to comic book fivers.
By now you're probably wondering why I'm saying all this. And as you've probably guessed, it's because the situation is about to change. As of today, Kira is no longer a staff member at FiveMinute.net.
I wish I could say this was purely a decision on her part, a matter of time constraints or some such. Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that. While we never really announced it on the site, Kira and I were in a relationship for some time. Like any office romance, it came with a risk: if things didn't work out, we might not be able to keep working together. Sure enough, while we were happy for a long time, in the end things didn't work out. We agreed to try and preserve our friendship, or at least our working relationship... and for a while, it worked. But it's never been easy for me, and now I've finally had to face the fact that I can't do it anymore.
I know that everybody loses this way. Kira's popular with you readers, and rightly so. That's why we tried for so long to "stay together for the kids." But it's hard, and in the end, it's unhealthy. Sometimes couples can go back to being just friends and sometimes they can't; when they can't, trying to force it just makes things worse. Believe me, I hate this every bit as much as you do. But I'm out of options.
Now, just because Kira won't be at FiveMinute.net anymore doesn't mean she won't be out there. She's very active in the fandoms of some other shows -- especially Battlestar Galactica and especially UPN's Veronica Mars, an excellent new series you've surely noticed her hyping. (Having now seen almost all the first-season episodes, I have to admit she's right to.) If you follow one of those shows, you'll likely see her around. Further, I've given her free rein with the "five-minute" concept, and I've suggested she consider doing Five-Minute BSG as an exosite.
As for this site, don't despair: Kira's departure doesn't mean I'm going to go from almost never getting anything done to never getting anything done. I intend to prove this over the next couple of weeks. Kira's been an enormous help to me, but I did run this site myself before she came along, and that was without the benefit of three staff members and other resources. We'll be okay.
But that doesn't make this easy. In more ways than I can say, I will miss Kira. Her impact -- on this site, on this community, on me -- is immeasurable. To crib from seaQuest's Nathan Bridger, she has been "my right hand... and my left." I hope she takes fond memories with her, because she's left us with plenty.
Goodbye and good luck, Carolyn. May all your speeds be ludicrous.
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