A Day Off

It was 4 am when the puppy decided it was time to get up, followed by the cat deciding that I could not go back to sleep until I fed him, despite the early hour.

I read some submissions around 6, later tried and failed to go back to sleep (after I fed everyone at the correct time, Mr Cat)

And then I decided to do something. To take the day off. Like. For real.

For those of you who do this, you understand. You see I have two jobs: the one that pays for things; the one where I make books.

Which means my days off of one are days on for the other. And yes. One of those I choose for myself. Most of its stresses, deadlines, and todos are of my own doing.

But when I made this hobby public, started publishing, involving other people it was no longer a hobby, it was a business. One I love. One that I enjoy. One that still stresses. That still takes my time.

So I took today off. Of everything. And did something I’ve only done once this year: I read a book for fun.

So far the only novel I’ve read in 2020 is Mexican Gothic, which I highly recommend. I’ve not had time. Or energy. There is emotional labor in reading submissions. And it can drain you as you go through them.

Add on the time it takes to go through a packet of nearly 1,000, the time and desire to read can be nearly empty.

(Funny enough, I still seem to buy new books…)

I’ve had a few readers over the years and one thing I try to do with them is help manage this—it’s burnout, let’s not dance around that. The thing is, I’ve not done a great job with myself.

I frankly don’t have that luxury most times. The magazine is mine, and, for now at least, my labor is how it exists. No amount of burnout changes that.

So I took today off. No emails. No computer. No submissions. Sunlight. Some tunes and a book—The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo.

Get the well filled up even just a little to keep going because LampLight is worth it. The writers in LampLight are worth it.

On Blogging

Blogging1 is one of those thing that I’ve always enjoyed. Setting up a website and having little notes or thoughts about whatever; connecting with other writers to see how they were; having an online space that was mine.

But something that happened when blogs went from this thing we did online for a circle of friends or a web ring, or friend connection, or however things were linked, to being a part of YOUR BRAND. 

And if you are going to BLOG as a part of YOUR BRAND you should make sure to SAY SOMETHING. 

And so I have dozens of half finished drafts on my computer where I started typing and then stopped when I thought ‘who is going to read this?’  Which is, despite the public nature of the medium, not the center of blogging. The blogger is the center of the blogging. 

Add on that–despite this self-perception, I don’t really read blogs that SAY SOMETHING. I much prefer the more raw, personal side of blogging. 

Here is a thing I don’t know how to say. 

Here is a day I had that isn’t important. 

Here is a picture I made, I like it! 

“Innocent” isn’t quite the right word for this nostalgia. Perhaps “un-filtered” like the cider in front of me is the word. 

We weren’t building a brand. We were just being. 

And in being, we connected. 

  1. I’ve never been a fan of the word “blog,” even “online diary” was better in my mind ↩︎

2019 In The Rearview

2019 In The Rearview

From the desk of the LampLight editor:

2019 wasn’t a good year here. I’m not going to go into the details and sad stories, but I am going to apologize that it affected LampLight, but for the readers who were waiting for the issue, and the writers whose submissions were horribly delayed.

For the readers: The September issue came out in November. We are pushing the December issue to January, both to give a little breathing room and to ensure all the stories will be eligible for ‘…of the year’ type awards. After that, we will be back on schedule.

Issue 8.1 is amazing, by the way. I hope you enjoy it.

For the writers: all the submissions from March-May of 2019 have been read, and responded to. Please check your inboxes or Submittable account for replies. Again, I am sorry this took so long.

I made the decision once I got behind to still take the time and diligence with each submission as I normally would, rather than try to cut corners to finish faster.

For those who submitted in October – December of 2019, I’m getting to your submissions now, and the response time should be much better this go-round.

We’ll have five issues of LampLight in 2020. We will have some great classics, starting with version of Frankenstein that shows the differences between the 1818 and 1831 editions. We are going to publish some poetry, that I am particularly excited about. And that’s just the beginning.

2020, here we come.