Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Season's Greetings!

Photo courtesy of contributor Justin Hamm
Hi, all,

Signe here on behalf of Stoneboat.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, Mery Festivus, et cetera and so on.  Please insert your preferred holiday greeting here.

Whatever your belief system might be, there are probably a few underlying themes that you notice during the holiday season once you look past the flashing twinkle lights and the mall Santas.  The holiday season is all about humility and forgiveness -- and love.  Let's not forget about love.

Our journal is a labor of love.  We don't make a dime by working on Stoneboat -- in fact, my fellow editors and I often end up pitching in a few dollars to pay the printer or the post office so that we can send our contributors' poems, essays, stories, and artwork into the world wrapped up in the beautiful little packaging that our journal supplies.  

Most of us work more than 40 hours per week and squeeze Stoneboat in between parent-teacher conferences, soccer games, grading papers, and after-hours work functions. Sometimes we want to tear our hair out because it's midnight and the dishes are piled up in the sink and there's a sick kid sleeping upstairs and the credit card bill is due and grades are due and we are way behind in reading Stoneboat submissions get the picture.   Life would be a lot easier if we didn't have this second evening job competing for our time and our resources.  Life would be a lot easier without Stoneboat in the mix, no doubt.

Of course, life would also be a lot less rewarding. 

We don't publish this journal for the glory of it.  We publish this journal because we firmly believe in supporting writers and artists, both emerging and established.  We know that if it wasn't for journals like Stoneboat, our own writing careers would be nonexistent.  We see our journal as a way to pay it forward -- a way to give others the opportunities that we've been given, a way to help make the literary landscape friendly for writers who are just finding their voices and beginning their careers. 

Publishing Stoneboat has helped us to better understand the time, effort, care, dedication, and sacrifice -- and love -- that editors have put forth in order to give us our own publication credits.  Now that I've made a few copyediting mistakes myself, for instance, I'm able to forgive the copyeditor who failed to notice that the final period had been omitted in one of my first published essays. 

So far, we've only put out five issues.  It seems like a lot to us, but next to our mentor Karl Elder's almost fifty issues of Seems, we can see that we're still at the beginning of a long journey.  We've got a lot to learn.  We make mistakes.  And with every mistake (as embarrassing as it is, and as badly as it makes us feel for not presenting someone else's work in the best possible light), we learn and we move forward.  One of our downfalls as editors is that we're human, but it is that humanity that gives our journal its spark.  

The holidays are about forgiveness.  And humility and love.  And lastly (but least importantly), the holidays are about giving gifts, too.  For your literature-loving friends and family members this holiday season, consider the gift that keeps on giving -- a Stoneboat subscription.  Think about it like this: by giving the gift of Stoneboat, you're helping to make the world a better place for writers, poets, and artists by helping to sustain a venue that gives them the opportunity to share their work with the world.  It's good stuff, even if there is an occasional typo...

Happy Holidays from the Stoneboat team.  May your season be filled with family, friends, food, and...fiction?  Or poetry, or nonfiction, or whatever your favorite literary delight may be.

Jim, Lisa, Rob & Signe

1 comment:

Lisa said...

What Signe said. Thank God (Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Ganesh, Zeus, and all the rest) she said it.