Curing What Ails You : Intern, Melissa Libbey

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Hello Sick Lit Magazine Readers and Writers,


 What a crazy first month it has been!


When I started working with Kelly almost a month ago, I had no idea how much I was going to fall in love with this magazine. Everything about the work that gets published on this site is awesome and makes my job that much easier.


To stay true to this month’s theme “The Journey,” I’m going to describe my journey so far.


Kelly has been running this magazine by herself since October; not only is she hardworking, but she has become a great mentor. She has let me dive in to the submissions and edit most of the work you have seen on the site. Getting to read your submissions has been my favorite part of the process so far!


I’m sure most of you know (and have seen) that the site recently went through some cosmetic changes.


I was really excited to be a part of that.


Sick Lit Magazine is about the writing! The old site tried to make that a focus; but Kelly and I discussed that it needed a few changes in order for it to shine.


The submissions post had gotten buried in the archive; it was an important piece to Sick Lit Magazine’s identity. We accept the out-of-the-box, weird, different types of pieces. How would anyone know that if they couldn’t find Kelly’s post about it?


Now it has its own page!


The ‘About Us‘ page features Kelly and I, along with all of the various ways you can contact us both. The Letter from the Editor page is an archive of all of Kelly’s letters. I, personally, read a bunch of them before I started my internship to get an idea of who Kelly is. If you want to find out for yourself, read through a few.


I love Kelly’s quirky and outgoing personality; and trust me, the voice that shines through in her letters is the same person I talk to everyday. It’s really her!


Last but not least: the contributors page. This is the place where we showcase all of the talented writers who write for the site. All of their/your work can be found here. If you have a personal favorite, find them there and read all of their stuff.


After two days of not moving from my computer, the new site was complete!


I appreciate all of the suggestions we received through Twitter, and all of the love for the new site. It’s crazy: every time I go to the site, I am proud of the work that went in to it; I just hope you all love it as much as I do.


Enough about the new site, I want to focus on this month’s theme!


The journey is a classic archetype used in writing. There are so many ways to describe the journey, as there endless stories and poems that can be written based on it. I think that it is such an easy prompt. Writers, our inbox should be overflowing with pieces dedicated to this theme!


I have a story for you that is a great example of a journey:


Last summer I visited California. I had never been there, I stayed with a friend at her brother’s house, which is on a marine base outside San Diego. I fell in love with that part of California; and if I ever hit the lottery, that is where I am moving.


My friend and I wanted to go hiking. Her sister-in-law offered to go with us. She picked the trail and drove us the hour it took to get there. If anyone has heard of the trail that takes you up to “potato chip rock,” then you know its one of the hardest trails in all of California. We were excited for the challenge but also had no idea what was ahead of us.


We started the trail and saw a marker that told us the trail was 8 miles long. We had a backpack full of water bottles, sandwiches, and sunblock that we took turns carrying. After the first 2 miles, we quickly realized that we had made a huge mistake.


The first 4 miles are all uphill. I don’t mean an incline that you set your treadmill to; I mean up a mountain. I found myself walking upward on my toes, grabbing rocks for support. The sun was beating down on us. A few times we contemplated turning around and calling it a day, but we knew we wouldn’t be happy with ourselves if we gave up.


Finally, after two hours of uphill climbing we reached the summit. Potato chip rock was in sight. People were gathered around to take pictures and climb the rock. Supposedly, the rock got its name for being so thin that it looks like a potato chip. (There are some amazing pictures on Instagram under the hashtag #potatochiprock).


As we were gasping for air, we found a large rock in the shade to sit on. I started to chow down on my sandwich. After the three of us finished our sandwiches and drank plenty of water we climbed potato chip rock to enjoy the view.


Feeling accomplished, we decided to head back the way we came.


However: ahead of us was four miles of downhill slope.


At first we had to go slowly, as not to slip down the side of the mountain. Once we got closer to the bottom, we could walk on our heels at a reasonable pace. I must have had a ‘runner’s high’ from all the excitement and adrenaline pumping in my veins, because toward the end, I started to run.


The sun was beating down on my shoulders, leaving me sunburned after sweating off all of my sunblock.


The wind was in my hair and I couldn’t slow down.


Now far from my friends, I’d never felt more free than I did running down the side of that mountain. As I reached the bottom and the ground leveled to an even flatness, I kept running.


I had so much energy and I had no idea why. I’m not a runner. (I actually hate running.)



I ran so far that I ended up at the beginning of the trail. I ran inside a small store and bought three Gatorades. When I came out, my friends still hadn’t caught up with me.


I couldn’t see them in the distance.


Concerned, I walked back. Even with the drinks in hand, my body felt like it could run some more.


I ran about a mile back the way I came, finding my friends sitting on a rock. One of the girls had become overheated. Her breathing was hard and she said the muscles in her legs burned.


After fueling up, my friend and I hoisted the other girl’s two arms around our shoulders as we tried to take some of her weight off of her legs. We walked the last mile back to the little building and bought water bottles before jumping in the car to head home.


The next day my legs were more sore than any other day of my life.


But thinking back and looking at the pictures I had never felt more alive and proud of myself. Not only did I push myself, but I found out that my body can do more than I ever thought it could.


Now that is the example of a journey.

Please send us your stories for “The Journey.” I can’t wait to read them.

Keep on keeping on,


 Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.11.25 PM

SLM Intern

3 Replies to “Curing What Ails You : Intern, Melissa Libbey”

  1. The new site looks great. I’m looking forward to reading more jouney stories. I really enjoyed yours, Melissa. Great work Kelly and Melissa!


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