A few months ago I opened my mailbox to the most wonderful surprise. The fall issued of Carve Magazine had arrived, protected in its plastic sleeve, new and shiny and full of words waiting to be devoured.
I brought the treasure into my house and laid it on the kitchen counter, a willful effort to contain my enthusiasm. No, I must sort through the boring old mail first, I thought, resting my hand on the edge of the magazine and admiring this issue’s cover. Bills to the desk, junk to the trash, and what about dinner? Oh who cares! How about a quick peak behind the cover. I ripped the plastic and let it drift to the floor while I held the magazine — no, the journal — in my hands.
The smooth cover, the thick pages, the smell of sentences coming alive on paper. I read the editor’s note first, as always, then skipped to the back to read the contributor bios. Who would be opening their world for me this time? I study these notes with every issue. I read the stories, essays, poems and interviews. I seek these writers out on the worldwide web, hungry for more of their work. I want to know how they came to be writers, where they find inspiration, and what their journeys to publication looked like.
I have no literary accolades or MFA. I am just an accountant who has tired of creating columns of numbers, but I share a kinship with these authors. My brain is swelling with stories, themes and characters. Once a day I sit down with pencil and paper to coax these ideas from my head. I too am a writer.
Every writer defines success differently. For me it will be seeing one of my stories on the pages of a literary journal. (At least that is one of my goals.) I’ll keep trying. But even if it never happens, I’ll never stop writing. And I will continue to absorb my beloved subscription to Carve Magazine.