Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Have Stoked the Fire on the Big Steel Wheels

I got this e-mail from Bookmamas the other day, because I agreed to be on their e-mail list, and it indicated that they were changing the submission deadline for the next issue of Ichabod’s Sketchbook, the literary journal published out of their bookstore. (I don’t remember the new date exactly. It’s sometime in late November, as opposed to late December. It doesn’t really matter.) The e-mail also indicated that this would be the final issue of Ichabod’s Sketchbook. I was disappointed to hear that they were hanging it up. I had my first two pieces of published writing in that journal, one very short story each in the second and third issues. I did not submit anything for the fourth issue, and I do not plan to submit anything for the fifth and final issue.

In addition to financial considerations, the editors of Ichabod’s Sketchbook cited the launching of new journals in the area as part of the reason for ending their own journal’s run. One of those journals released its first issue this past Sunday, to coincide with a Veteran’s Day event downtown at the Indiana War Memorial. The journal is So It Goes, the literary journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, which is located in the Emelie building downtown at 340 North Senate Avenue. The first issue is an Armistice Day anthology, a good jumping off point for a journal steeped in the lore of the late, great Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I’m hopeful that this journal will evolve into a more contemporary publication with future issues—because the first one looks awfully sharp.

(I was going to post a link to the journal, but it apparently only lives on the Facebooks. I don’t support that. I’m willing to accept that Facebook exists and that hundreds of millions of ADD-addled non-grammarians spend an unthinkable amount of time keeping track of their bros from high school, yo; but when something only has a Facebook page and not a real website, I get cranky. And I won’t link to it. So it goes.)

Potentially more exciting than that, though, is something new coming up from Celestial Panther Publishing, an independent small press operating out of Irvington. They just put the finishing touches on the first issue of their own journal, The Darien Gap, and plan to have a release party for it on November 24, 2012, at Bookmamas. They are also offering a 2013 Subscription to Monthly Happiness—in which you get a delightful monthly delivery of literary swag and good karma (and discounts and whatnot), along with a membership card and a complimentary copy of the aforementioned journal.

The first time I read that post on their website, I was intrigued—but I thought the price was a little bit high. I also do not recall from the first read that a copy of the new journal was included in the price of membership (but I could be wrong about that). I kept thinking about it while I was at the old juke joint Monday night, though, and I kept thinking that I would be all in for sure if they were offering a subscription to the journal as part of the membership price. Then I came back to it yesterday and saw the part about the complimentary copy. (And since it’s a biannual journal, that’s half a subscription to you and me!) So now I’m all in. Feels like another step in the right direction, don’t it?