I hope to start blogging here again soon. For now, one of my stories has been published in Joyland Magazine.
These words are in it:
I asked the universe (Google) for images of women’s magazines and the universe offered me this:
I asked for images of women’s magazines because I wanted some photographic evidence or cartoon that would be like THIS IS A BLOG POST ABOUT HOW I AM NOW EDITING A MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN WRITERS, and because I outsourced my imagination to Google years ago. This is not the magazine I work for. It is a parody of the kind of magazine I could never work for, and since my grandmother reads my blog, a risky choice. But: “Lose 30 pounds fast! Chop off your leg!”? C’mon; that’s funny. Feminist fun activity: Paste this cover onto a stack of other magazines and secretly place them in the cashier’s aisle of the grocery store. See how long it takes anyone to notice.
I should have known that this was the kind of women’s magazine that Google would present me with. At any rate I was happy to find this sassy little critique of a photo wedged in between real covers of Cosmo and Women’s Health. But the point of this post was supposed to be that I am now on the editorial board of another kind of women’s magazine: the smart kind that celebrates women by supporting their endeavors. The kind that I wish showed up in Google searches for women’s magazines. The kind that might consider publishing found poetry from the words in this fake magazine. Our little literary zine is called Broad!, as in “having an ample distance from side to side; covering a large number or wide scope of subjects or areas; very noticeable and strong; a woman”! We publish gentleladies, otherwise known as female-bodied and female-identified people. We do this because the writing of women is not published nearly as much as the writing of men. If you didn’t know this you can start reading about it here.
This is the very classy cover of our latest issue:
Don’t worry. All of the sex and weight loss tips are on the inside.
Starting next week, I will be blogging for Broad! twice a month about issues relevant to feminism and literature, along with editor Heather Lefebvre and my colleagues on the editorial board, T.R. Benedict and Hannah Baker-Siroty. We have things to say. So bookmark the Broad! blog, read the first two issues, and email us submissions, stat, broads. You will not be sorry.
I realize that I am behind the ball on Valentine’s Day, but it’s February and I still wanted to post about something I love. One of my favorite new writer things is a website called 750 Words. I learned about this through Cathy Day’s blog The Big Thing. Day writes and teaches an undergraduate novel writing class at Ball State University in Indiana. In her recent post titled Weekly Words, she wrote about her teaching technique of having students turn in 2,250 weekly words – the equivalent of three days or a collective one and a half hours of focused writing on 750words.com. Students don’t have to use the site to write their words, but the format certainly makes it easy to write and keep track of weekly writing.
The 750 words project was inspired by a chapter of The Artist’s Way. I haven’t read the book, but according to creator of the site Buster Benson, the author recommends a daily journal of three pages, which equals about 750 words. Benson created the website as a way to do that writing digitally and have it accessible everywhere, and to build a community around the challenge of writing these morning pages. Users log in to write at least 750 words every day and collect points for doing so. Badges are awarded periodically for writing streaks (3 days, 5 days, 10 days, 30 days, etc. of daily writing), as well as collective number of words written and completing monthly challenges.
I know what you’re thinking: Points? Badges? I’m not in elementary school; I don’t write for stickers. Fine, yeah, I get it. To tell the truth, my second grade students never wrote for stickers either; I had to pay them for their pre-lunch quiet writing time in cold, hard snacks. So I know that the points and badges and the Wall of Amazingness for monthly writing challenges are all silly rewards. But they’re not meaningless, because even a silly reward can motivate us solitary, lonely writers. If you’re like me and you’re trying to write every morning anyway, it helps to have some outside accountability. If I don’t report my morning writing on the website within 24 hours, I don’t get to check off that day in my writing tracker and I blow my streak of writing for however many days straight. If I feel like giving up early one day, I remember that I need to make it to my set word count goal. Having a concrete and achievable goal also means that I’m less likely to give up later in the day: if I have to leave the house in the morning before I finish writing, I can still make up for that time by writing more in the evening.
The site is intended for informal personal journaling a la The Artist’s Way, but can be used for any kind of prose. I use it mostly to work on my fiction. Here are some things to consider about the site before signing up:
So, how about it writers? Do you use this website, or is there another tool like it that you use? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.