In case you didn’t guess what the “big announcement” was by my Instagram post, I am planning on creating a literary journal in 2017. This idea has been brewing for some time and as busy as I am these days, I probably need my head examined for even considering this. Still, it’s kind of odd that I haven’t released one before and I’m itching to do one now.
So, what does that mean exactly? Well, as of this posting I’m still doing research and figuring out how the hell I’m gonna pull this off but it will be a literary journal consisting of things that turn me on – i.e. your submissions. If you’re at all familiar with my books (or me) then that will give you a good idea of what to expect, just in lit journal form.
These will be small and themed. Originally I planned on doing one quarterly but after thinking about it, semiannually is probably a better fit because it’s a shit ton of work to pull this off by myself. The first one is planned for the beginning of 2017. I’ll open up submissions soon and post guidelines etc. so you know what to expect and how to submit.
I’ve been doing research on these things and, in my opinion, there’s a need for something underground and raw. Most of the literary journals I see are stiff, haughty, sterile and way too academic – that’s not the vibe I’m going for.
I will be looking for short fiction, essays, prose, flash fiction, underground art, lowbrow comics, poetry and anything else you think would fit in a 6 X 9 lit journal. Submit your think pieces, rants and doodles!
As always, I like creating and publishing things I would buy. Most of the journals I see out there suck. That’s just my two cents so feel free to disagree with me but, as I said, they’re all so pompous and sterile and full of shit. I want to do one that is more down to earth and not so full of it self.
I’d also like it to be without boundaries and a vehicle for free speech, which I strongly support and believe in! No safe spaces or trigger warnings allowed! I’m sick to death of how politically correct everything is these days and want to create something to lash back against that whole culture, because, really, fuck your comfort zones. This will be a throwback to some magazines and books I read and admired in the 90s.
If any of you remember the chapbook I released way back in the day, that will give you an idea of what I’m looking at, but in lit journal form. I’m still considering a name for the thing – I have several in mind but if you have suggestions, I’m all ears. Fuck Your Safe Space Literary Review? Kidding…
What else..? This will be a way to keep the ball rolling and showcase talent that gets ignored. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of doing that in book form and this would be an extension of that. Plus, I think it would be fun. Themes will kick ass I think…and I have some wicked ideas on the burner for themes.
For years now I’ve gone back and forth on different mediums and wanted to get into some kind of “media” but I’m blacklisted all over the place so it’s not easy. I’ve done podcasts and even video programs before but nothing seems to gel as much as doing books does. In college, I helped create an independent newspaper for Chicanos so this kind of thing comes naturally to me. I think a BSP magazine-style literary journal that encompasses the true literary underground would be killer.
I am undecided on if this endeavor will pay or not. It might but we’ll see how things work out. As I said, I want to keep this as low rent as I can because creating books is expensive and extremely time consuming, time = money. But we’ll see. If I do end up paying for work it will not be much (or at all) and hopefully people understand that. I’ll update with all the details when I finalize them. Just know: I do this shit for fun and for the joy of doing it and sticking it to the mainstream lit world. I also do it because when I peruse the world of books and literary journals, I do not see myself represented and seek to change that.
In the meantime, hit me up with your ideas and or suggestions for this project. This might all blow up in my face but I’m excited about it and I think it’s gonna kick ass. Hopefully you do too.
But before I let you go, allow me to tell you why I’m doing this. I have so many things on my mind these days – too many – but you’d never know because I’ve detached from the digital needle again. I think I’ve finally detoxed and rid myself of the need – no, the addiction – to “share” everything all the time. Weird, right?
Yes, this is another rant about social media but bear with me here.It occurred to me that way too many of us pour our minds onto the social media pavement and then let them cook in the sun until they become unrecognizable sludge. Why are we doing this? It seems like a waste. I see “threads” on Twitter, which could be turned into great essays with some effort and editing; deserving of publication but instead they rot on Twitter, waiting for the vulture media and scavenger academics to pick them clean.
I see too many people wasting their creative energy on social media in so many ways that I thought: why not try and see if we can put some of that into a literary journal?
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had my material stolen on social media. If you’ve noticed, I do not post any poetry or stories online any more. It’s been stolen one too many times and so I reserve it for my books. I regularly delete my tweets now for this reason and others.
At this point in time, I cannot decide if social media is a disease or an addiction – probably both – but for me, it is largely dead. It is also a leech for creative energy and I’d rather focus that into something worthwhile and tangible, so sue me.
I mean, I get it. Most of us are just trying to connect to others who are like-minded and or similar but holy fuck has it gotten old! Many people have moved on into the next level of social media but I have not – I have regressed.
The atmosphere, by and large, is unbelievably toxic. It’s vile. It’s also not going away any time soon (or ever) because it’s mutated into the new “norm.” So those of you waiting for things to go back to “normal” five months from now are going to be sorely disappointed.
But so what, right? This is the norm now. Okay, cool, but that doesn’t mean I have to contribute to it or be held hostage by it either. It’s all so much nonsense and self-indulgence and marketing. Who cares, really!? Jesus-fucking-christ, what the fuck are we all doing anyway?
And make no mistake – I am pointing the finger at myself here as much as anyone else. I’m guilty of all of this. Trust me when I say that absolutely no one gives a flying fuck about your political opinions. Read that again. No one, and I mean NO ONE, gives a good goddamn about your political opinion on anything.
Try this: Walk over to your bathroom mirror, plant your hands firmly on the counter sink and look at your reflection. Now say firmly and with conviction: No one gives a shit about my political opinions.
Rinse and repeat as needed until you ween yourself of the need to vomit your opinions on everything every minute of the day. Good luck!
Aaaaanyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m over it and want to focus my energy into more productive things, one of those being a literary journal. I’ve been over it for some time now. It’s time – and I say this with care – for people to move on. At least it is for me. Godspeed for those of you still there, in the bus station, selling pencils from a cup and shouting at strangers…all day and all night long. If you wanna get one of those pencil cup rants in the lit journal, hit me up.
Oh, and I’m not deleting my twitter or IG accounts. I actually prefer IG these days because it’s slow and more relaxed. But Twitter will probably be reserved for simply sharing links and biz-related stuff from now on. If you’d rather have a conversation with me, you either already know how to do that or you can contact me here.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about the literary journal. I’m open to feedback and suggestions because I really want it to kick some serious ass. I’m still on schedule to release a couple of books this year as well and will do follow up with more info on those in a future update.
As always, thanks for reading! Help spread the word about the lit journal and let me know what you think!