Forewarn: Physically uncomfortable as I began this post, I finally removed the snorkel and umbrella from the chair I have been sitting on too long. Which is to say, my youngest son is coughing on the sofa where he has been sleeping for the past 14 hours, the cat is screaming out the window at the oldest two for walking outside without her, and I have probably had less than 5 hours of sleep (nightly, not total) for the past week. Being an insomniac, this last is not really news.
THE SURVIVAL OF THE FISH KING matters now more than ever. If this post is goofy, it is because I am barely here.
About the fish king, I can say this: she has become a story. I never know when or how this happens, but at some point, certain characters you had not previously given much credit simply come alive. They start to show their past, their future. Others remain always in the present—these are the characters that do not matter. The fish king matters. I especially admire the gender fluidity.
A note on format: the numbers I am using for this section sometimes appear on the same page, front to back… does this make any sense? It is a magazine. The list sometimes has “7” on the front of a page and “8” on the back, in precisely the same place. When this happened to “5” I used the opportunity to begin a “notes” section in the gallery to explain the missing number, poetically.
This time, I rather messily improvised a see through window which allows 7 to be on the front of a page and 8 on the back. Of course that meant that 8 appeared on the left hand page. So, I put the image on the right hand page, and the poem on the left.
PROMPT: this one is easy.
Make a little poem. Make a little image. Put them side by side.
In other news: my story, We Are Persistence Runners, was published at Electric Lit’s Recommended Reading a week ago today. I cannot begin to recommend the journal enough, in particular Halimah Marcus—the editor I worked with.
This story is the first chapter of a novel in progress. Halimah’s gentle and perceptive suggestions not only made the story stronger but have helped direct certain plot points and clarify areas that need more depth.
What can we say about the value of a good editor? Not enough, I’m sure. Oh, and her introduction? Sure beats my first “review,” which read in its entirety: “Eww. Gross.” (I admit to being somewhat proud of that.)