We aren’t a cookie cutter publication.
We will never be.
Life isn’t like that and neither are human beings.
The fact that I don’t put each author, publication or artist in a box has limited SLM’s visibility on certain lists / forums; it’s limited our ability to be seen.
Their denial of our artistry gets me defensive and has me asking myself the question: “What makes a real literary magazine?”
So…what, exactly, is it, that makes us not real—according to their standards?
Instead of being a cookie cutter, a stencil, an outdated textbook or a detailed instruction manual, we chose to be the Rubik’s Cube.
Not being strictly managed, formatted and dated to death, we, instead, chose to be the puzzle. We don’t abide by any type of owner’s manual for a specific reason: Life does not come with an instruction manual. Life is, instead, a puzzle that we work to solve each day.
We strongly, passionately believe that instead of being taught what to think, we should be teaching each other how to think, and also be taught how to think. Only then will we discover the capabilities of our own individual cognitive abilities. Only then will we be enabled to find answers to the larger questions that seem to evade us.
We test the waters in a different way and push societal norms—we expand our minds.
Let’s re-learn together. Let’s re-learn how to think. It’s another step toward shattering the mold. Another step toward “unplugging ourselves from the Matrix.”
I don’t believe that Catch-22 was written with a target audience in mind or with a projected number of sales. Joseph Heller probably didn’t write using a strict outline, either; I’m only guessing at these things, guys. But I want us to start over. Wipe the slate clean and let the words flow from our fingertips.
Just for kicks, I’ll list below why newpages.com won’t list us:
- We feature writing from the editors occasionally (What the hell?)
- Every piece of writing and art isn’t properly dated or formatted (Because art doesn’t have a proper format!)
- We don’t have a regular or stated publication cycle (UGH)
- Apparently there’s not a clear editorial process for submissions? (There is…)
- Apparently we haven’t archived our previous issues? (We have…)
- We don’t have a masthead? Or transparency of editors and our contact info? (I’m sorry, but what the hell? I’m as transparent as you can get!)
- Editors’ work can’t be frequently included (Again, unfair)
I believe I just *might* be the most transparent person within a five-mile radius.
I am an open book; I’m here for you whenever. I’m here for you even if you just want to send me an email to check in and say hi or ask me a question or need advice. I keep in touch with our writers and I love that. It’s what makes this such a fun and unique place to be. If we had an office, it would be full of coffee, books and hammocks, beach chairs and open windows. There would be an endless supply of notebooks and pens that write well. I picture a large industrial loft-type space with an open layout, where we have pillows on the floor and a record player. [Damn—now I really want an office.]
I can’t be the change that I wish to see on the literary landscape by “going with the flow” or by “following all the rules” superimposed on us by other publications who take it upon themselves to deem who is worthy of being listed and who’s unworthy of being listed.
The older I get, the more I begin to truly understand and appreciate the world around me; and see what’s right with it but also what’s wrong with it. As humans, we aren’t built for spending 12-hour days in a cube in front of a computer.
I recently read an article that explained the epidemic of depression, self-destructive behaviors and substance abuse so perfectly and succinctly that I had the first AHA! Moment I’d had in a long, long time. It chalked it up to three things being unavailable to us who live in the U.S.: Kindness, freedom and rest.
I’ll just let you marinate in that information for a bit.
And, by the way, happy Friday, guys. All of you do such amazing work and we appreciate each and every one of you and your submissions.
Just as a reminder: our new e-mail address for submissions is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I won’t slap your knuckles with a ruler if you send something to the old one 😉 , but please try and get used to sending to the new one.
Peace and Love,
Kelly Fitzharris Coody
*Featured image courtesy of Toby Penney*