What is this thing they call a journey…. ?
Happy July, Sick Lit Magazine readers/writers/enthusiasts!
What an exciting few months we have ahead of us—I just got through reading a few submissions in our inbox, and let me tell you, you will not be disappointed. Some very talented writing has made its way to us; which will continue to set SLM apart from the masses. Instead of focusing on sales-driven advice or strict formatting, we’ve opened ourselves up to an entire world of untouched, albeit groundbreaking literature. Melissa covered “The Journey” as a theme pretty thoroughly in her letter, which I really enjoyed reading. She is such a great asset to this team, it’s crazy.
If you may have missed some of my past letters, or are new to Sick Lit Magazine, I’ll briefly fill you in: I like to think of SLM as the grown-up version of Liberty Lit, from the short-lived series “My So-Called Life.” The episode about Liberty Lit ended in a way that made me so angry and sad; because it was disturbingly close to reality.
A substitute comes in and takes over an English class–he shakes things up and makes these kids think–and write–like they never have before. And he gets them questioning the world around them, the environment in which they live and this thing we call the “corporate machine.”
“Liberty Lit” ends up prohibited (by the principal) from distribution around the campus, as its contents are scandalous, outrageous and “inappropriate.” So, the substitute quits the school, walks out on the job. He’s so angry with the staff’s censorship of these children just for censorship’s sake.
The next day, they get a new substitute, who holds up a piece of poetry, citing that it has impeccable FORMATTING, GRAMMAR and PUNCTUATION (IN A POEM?!!!). Her square glasses, monotone voice and badly permed hair just drove the viewer even crazier. Because she cared NOTHING about the poem’s content, meaning or emotion. This is happening everywhere in American schools! Their days are planned down to the MINUTE; and it smothers students and constantly shushes and over-corrects them.
It’s a prime example of teaching students what to think instead of teaching them how to think. Of how to go with the flow instead of having the courage to chase your dreams, be who you are and go against the grain.
Okay! Let’s talk about July and Rob True’s theme “The Journey!”
The Odyssey is a book I reference quite often when talking about any particularly arduous trek with both of my kids in the backseat.
i.e., Me: “Oh my GOD! That was like the Odyssey—I thought we’d never get home!” after sitting in an hour and 45 minutes of traffic.
Or, Me: “Jesus, there’s the end?! I’m so tired! Why would you do this to me?! This was like the Odyssey, but WORSE!” after taking a five-hour canoe trip with my husband and two kids. And failing to be forewarned that it was a five-hour trip.
A journey can be a sleepless night’s 8 hours; it can be a 24-hour trek to a hotel. On the contrary, journeys last lifetimes and still never quite become resolved; they never get to the end. And, that, is the beauty of this theme: the focus is on the process, the learning, the large and small victories, overcoming adversities–not the finish line.
*Most often, on the journey, we find our real journey, instead; we realize that we’re worthy of receiving praise and kindness. Sometimes we stumble across a reminder shouting, “Hey! You! Yes, you! You have intrinsic value!”*
Or maybe you get a reminder that someone likes you “just as you are.” (Thanks, Bridget Jones’s Diary)! SLM wants you just as you are.
*Editor’s tip: Even though I’ve said to make the body of your e-mail as simple or as complex as you want it to be, at least introduce yourself! Maybe write how you found us and what compelled you to submit to us? I love those e-mails. What inspires you to write?
So, what’s your journey all about? Tell us. Drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY: Rob True’s The Journey
AUGUST: Santino Prinzi’s Perceptions
SEPTEMBER: Voima Oy’s What if?
For those of you who may not know a lot about me, the reason I started SLM is because submissions processes and specifications ARE A BITCH. And, the subsequent rejection is a literary bitch-slap. No one wants that. Or needs that.
After 14 revisions, countless rewrites and editing, my first book, Unhinged, is finally available for pre-order from Snow Leopard Publishing, LLC. Here’s where you can order a copy of UNHINGED! HUGE shout-out and thanks to SLM contributor, TOBY PENNEY, for designing the cover.
Write without abandon; write something out of your comfort zone–Melissa and I have plenty of surprises in store for you after September’s theme is over–maybe even before then–that will definitely push you out of your comfort zone in a good way. In a way that will make your writing grow and improve.
It’s what we do here. We’ve been told we’re sorta sick.
Peace and love,
CEO, found and Editor-in-Chief,
Kelly Fitzharris Coody