Mallory: Today is our six-month birthday. The months are “rattling inside us like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box.” Where has the time gone? (Into the past, presumably). Nicole, what were you doing last January 1st?
Nicole: Before we go ANY further, I want to make it clear that I will be truly celebrating this birthday tomorrow, as our actual launch day involved hackers and tears and being on hold with our hosting provider all day, but it’s amazing what time can do to erase trauma, is it not? Last January 1st (according to my records) I found our current, superb Kim-Kardashian-looking babysitter on Sittercity, purchased Claire Bloom’s Leaving a Doll’s House, and received an email from you saying that your New Year’s resolution was to quit your job. I had not yet thought about quitting my own, perfectly pleasant job, and I am sure I thought your plan to do so was very The Girl From Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.
I also remember that I served as a job reference for you, and when the interviewer asked me if I had anything else to say, I said “you should hire her, but if I ever start my own site, I will immediately force her to quit and come work with me,” and then the interviewer and I chuckled warmly and ended the call. Okay, what have you learned over the last six months?
Mallory: I quit so many jobs in the last year! I quit the New Year’s Resolution one sometime last February. I quit one job three weeks in. Then I quit another job before I started it. I’m not really a Job Quitter; it was just like there were all these ice floes I had to hop over to get to the solid ground of Toast Safety. And I made it.
What have I learned. I’ve learned that working with you is exactly what I thought and hoped it would be (perfect, seamless, full of Daphne DuMaurier quotes). I’ve learned that starting a website isn’t that hard if you find other people who are good at making it for you and then explaining what they did very carefully in emails. I’ve learned that lots of brilliant people are very happy to write wonderful things for you if you pay them, even if it isn’t as much money as a Real Website can afford.
I’ve learned that I can drive to Texas in an ice storm. What’s been your favorite part of the last six months?
Nicole: I think, honestly, it’s been just doubling-down on doing whatever we want? With the site, I mean. I feel like we had this great “do exactly what we want to do, see if it makes money, then if it doesn’t, we can always regroup” strategy, and it has! We’re in the black! Not that people should stop reading and clicking and donating, or anything, but I’m happy that we just started out doing what we wanted, instead of starting out trying to be profitable. And people have just been really great and supportive of us, which I appreciate so much. And we’re good at bailing each other out! For every time you’ve texted to say you’re in a ditch in West Texas, can I do a 3pm, I’ve had a morning where I say “it’s a powder day, I don’t give a shit, you do it.” Oh. Your excuse is better, come to think of it.
Okay, top five favourite Toast posts, two of which HAVE to be ones you’ve written. Go.
Mallory: “IT’S A POWDER DAY.” Do rich people really say things like that? Good gravy, that’s wonderful. Oh, man. Top five, not overthinking this, in no particular order:
- The Comment Section For Every Article Ever Written About Intimate Grooming
- The Top Ten Writers Whose Success You’ll Resent This Year
- Any issue of Dad Magazine
- Anything by Jessie-Lane Metz, but particularly Ally-Phobia
- Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton friendship fan fiction
THEY’RE ALL SO GREAT, THOUGH. I just spent an hour slowly clicking through the archives, which I highly recommend. I forgot how much great stuff is in there! You guys write the best stuff.
I resolve to write more about Toby Keith in the coming year. And to continue to spam people with Wodehouse quotes rather than get involved in arguments on the internet. And to finish the Texts From Literary Characters book, I forget what title we landed on for that, I should ask my editor. Do you have any professional goals for the next year? Any big surprises from the last six months you didn’t expect?
Nicole: Hey, we all have to find a way to emotionally cope with living in Utah, you can only pretend to be Veronica Cartwright in Invasion of the Body Snatchers for so long; after that, it’s either skiing or finding a doctor to write you sketchy Percocet prescriptions or recreational polygamy.
Professional goals: to rest my feet on Bryan Goldberg.
Big surprises: how easy it is to start a professional website, really! It’s just hosting costs, which are very manageable, and then paying writers and…end of list. We paid a little for our WordPress template, but there are lots of free ones. I don’t want to encourage people to start their own sites instead of reading ours, but it’s actually incredibly fun and rewarding. Start your own blogs, everyone! Find your own Nick Pavich.
Well, this has been an enjoyable six month retrospective. What I’d like, really, is to hear what you love reading, and what you’d like to see more of. What things would you love to see made into recurring columns? Who are the dream writers you’d like to see on The Toast?
Thank you, too, readers. You’ve been so loyal and so noisy and so open to annoying your friends by bombarding your social media accounts with our work, and we appreciate it so much. Whether you show up at nine am and camp out all day, or just tune in on Fridays for Femslash, we love and value you. We look forward to a long and productive relationship.