Out Cold, Twelve Hours

A pleasant day of Botanic Garden meandering later, I’m ready to try again.

I had the pieces for a Fortune Cookie Friday, an emergency fortune in my wallet, the phrase copied into a word file, and an image of paper uploaded, but last night I hadn’t the energy to make a whole of it.

As Mary and I sat at my mother’s kitchen table attempting to write, I found myself disappearing and coming to moments later, sometime else, stooped and propped over my laptop. I had a lot on my mind, and wanted badly to get something from it, but there was no fuel.

We’d all had another evening on the boat. The sun had spent the late afternoon setting, cutting horizontally under the raised awning. All four of us had gotten out to swim, those three in water-skier’s belts, and me in a life vest that smelled of rotten cheese. We did three quarter laps, back and forth, around the boat and away from the light, but even through the Pasquotank’s tree tannin blackness, I’d gotten too much sun, and subsequently, poisoning.

Our boat seemed to glide over glass or the contents of a witch’s cauldron, cutting small waves into fat, murky hills along our running path, and when we passed into the no wake zone and slowed, the river was so dark, so black, as to look like jet obsidian. The water became so calm as to become a black mirror, darkly reflecting in perfect, ominous detail the tress and sky above. The imagery inspired kernels of fiction, ideas for fantasy, horror, and drama. The smell of the astringent river, the contented and filled senses, made me feel nostalgic and deep inside myself. There was a lot there that I wanted to explore, more than sadness.

It would have to wait.  I went to bed after nine and slept dreamily for twelve hours.

Switching gears, some Magazine 1785 news.  Through its partnership with Only Harrisburg Magazine, 1785 has expanded to include poetry and fiction along, with creative non-fiction, and perhaps most excitingly, the pairing will allow for physical publication of all three.

Along with the major changes above, my role in Magazine 1785 has changed.  I’m no longer the folio editor, a position which would have come with a great deal of work and very little authority, and am now the fiction editor.  I have no idea a about the difference in work load (rather, I do, given my past experiences, but prefer not to think of the potential eight hour reading shifts just yet) but I’ll have a great deal more control.

Our idea for a folio stemmed from a British magazine I discovered online. That journal was a weekly publication of a single multi-fold page. On each panel was printed a different poem or story. I thought it was a whimsical idea, taking the traditional model of a folio and combining it with the somewhat more modern idea of the zine. Their folio was exclusively flash fiction and poetry, which is probably what allowed it to work.

The idea I’d put forth, which subsequently saw me in charge of the folio (start to finish, more on the implications later) was to run a periodic flash non-fiction contest, or for Mary to collect her given number of favorite pieces to be reprinted in physical form.  Mary liked the idea but added several of her own spins, ending us with a monthly affiliated fiction contest that I was to judge, copyedit, manually typeset, hand print, number, and probably balance on my head. I was well prepared to do it, but felt that the structure seemed lacking.

With the addition of fiction to Magazine 1785, I needn’t run a contest, but a regular feature.  I can also offer print publication without severe word limits.

I’m very much looking forward to my new position.  I’ll make another post on the magazine’s webpage in the upcoming week, at which time the fiction submissions department will be officially open.  As you are my readers, however, I’m already dipping into the nepotistic and giving you an early notice.  Magazine 1785 has all the instructions on submitting and my upcoming post will give further detail on the process.

I look forward to reading your works.


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