What’s Old is New Again – Or Something Like that… – Kelly Fitzharris Coody, Editor in Chief

New Teachers, Classes, Students, Routines – New Look?  

I’ll go with New Beginnings.


I say that what’s old is new again because, as a natural redhead, I’ve been dyeing my hair blonde off-and-on since I turned 18.

And…uh…so, that’s been a long time. A friend from high school commented on my “new” color saying, “Oh my God! This is how I remember you!”

The truth is that I went to dye my hair blonde, like I’ve been doing every six weeks, for two years now, with the SAME HAIR DYE I’ve always used – except they changed up their formula.

After the timer went off and I sauntered back into my bathroom, I looked in the mirror and screamed. I expected light blonde – Instead, I was greeted by bright neon yellow hair with bright neon orange and pink stripes.

So, I did what any normal person would do.


I scrambled around my bathroom, emptying every cabinet, looking for a hair dye that was darker than what I’d just put on my head for a stupid forty minutes. I found an “Old Faithful” that I used to use back in high school when my hair got to looking dull in the winter months – L’Oreal’s Reddish Blonde. I crossed my fingers and said, “I don’t care if this turns out purple. It’s better than this disaster.”

I’ve had a rough few weeks, as most of you know, but what you may not be aware of is the fact that the Sick Lit Magazine staff has changed once again – it’s back to being a staff of two, myself and Melissa. 

The bottom line is that we value, treasure and cherish our contributors. Our regular contributors are the pillars of this publication – and I cannot corroborate hypocrisy when someone is representing SLM. They may have a different editorial eye or style / aesthetic standards than Melissa or me, but they signed up to be on THIS team. They signed up to be a part of THIS literary magazine. And this literary magazine comes with a culture, a kinship, and an extraordinarily supportive team of writers who come together every month and make this thing happen.

Someone once approached me about SLM and called us “the literary equivalent of the island of misfit toys.”

My reply? “I’m glad that you woke up today with us on your mind. We must have struck a chord somewhere within you. Thanks.”

By the way, who set this standard of “literary excellence” that is supposedly out there? Literary excellence is reading something and having a reaction to it – an emotional reaction.

Not using words like pedantic, incipient, or eutaxy – or describing something as chartreuse or vermilion (I mean, I do like *colorful* adjectives, haha) – but in all honesty, picking someone’s work apart one sentence at a time and describing exactly what’s wrong with all of it is soul-crushing. It’s enough to make people stop writing and stop reading.

Melissa and I tend to think we have a habit of “accepting too much” – but our system isn’t broken. It doesn’t need to be fixed or to fit in with the standards of other literary magazines.  The fact that we love so much of your work is what makes us love working here. We’re enthusiastic and over-eager when it comes to cutting edge writing.

We want you to know how much you are valued here – and how much you do for our literary movement.

By the way, to those of you who expressed concern about my mother, she is doing better. She went to see a GI specialist the next day, who helped her with some long term solutions and also corroborated the fact that Harris Methodist Southwest’s Emergency Room staff is lazy and inept – and that they have sent people to her office before who still had a bowel obstruction. They actually let these people leave the hospital in that condition.

But I digress – she and I thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, as well as your outrage on our behalf. It meant the world to us and we want you to know how special you guys are and how much you truly mean to me. And Melissa. And my mom.

Peace and Love, 



PS: Keep writing!!

Kelly Fitzharris Coody


Want to go Back in Time? How About for Your Medical Care? Come to Fort Worth, Texas; they don’t care one bit. Especially if you’re a woman. – Kelly Coody, Editor-in-Chief

I’m looking at and talking to you, HARRIS METHODIST SOUTHWEST EMERGENCY ROOM in southwest Fort Worth, Texas, to be exact. I just want to make sure EVERYONE KNOWS how ABYSMAL THE QUALITY OF CARE IS THERE.  

How would you feel if you showed up to an Emergency Room, with your mother on her deathbed, only to get a staff full of physicians who couldn’t care less about her? All they wanted to do was to get her out of there and I AM APPALLED.

I drove her there today because she had a severe bowel blockage – after X-rays, all they did was come in and pump my mother’s abdomen full of fluid, neglecting to fill her in on the X-ray results.

As she was being discharged, I happened to see a screen shot of said X-ray slides as a nurse looked over it while my mother writhed around in her hospital bed, screaming. And I casually brought it up again, discussing it with our main nurse on our way out.

They let her leave with copious amounts of backed up stool filling her abdomen. They didn’t offer surgical removal as an option, and, instead, made my 57 year old mother sit on a makeshift toilet until she couldn’t feel her legs. She was crying, screaming in pain, and pleading with them to just stop and help her. And let me tell you something – my mother is tough as nails. She NEVER cries. NEVER.

“I can’t breathe,” she kept telling the nurse. “My chest feels heavy.”



Putting her through such a rigorous physical ordeal that I felt could have been avoided if they would have LISTENED to her and stopped minimizing her concerns was APPALLING. IT WAS DEPLORABLE. My mom has severe back injuries (documented, multiple back injuries – as well as multiple, documented back surgeries and procedures) – all of the eight hours we were there, it seemed as though my mom was being tortured.

“I’m starting to lose feelings in my legs,” she cried weakly to the nurse.

Empathy? Solutions? Answers?


Apathetic, disillusioned, empathy-lacking medical staff far outweigh the opposite. They’re overworked, don’t care, and if you cry in front of them, they frown and hand you a box of tissues.

No wonder America HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY LAST among developed nations in terms of care quality, results, treatment over the years. And it’s only continued to get worse. I saw it today in front of my own eyes.


My mother is no stranger to traditional western medical practices – she’s been an LVN in the state of Texas and in the state of Florida since 1978. She understands that they have their marching orders, but today, they crossed a line that I refuse to let them get away with.

I received better medical care in Paris in the ’80s when I had a stomach bug. That is the truth.



Get your shit together. Care less about your pharmaceutical buddies and care more about the person in front of you who’s lost feeling in their legs and whose lips are white, while you’re looking at an X-ray full of bowel blockages.

YOU’RE BAD AT YOUR JOB. YOU’RE BAD WITH PEOPLE. You don’t have a God complex-you have an asshole complex. 

Told you I was going to shout this from the rooftops. 

Kelly Fitzharris Coody