I love a crazy idea. I love to take on more than I can possibly handle.
So why not? When I heard that Brain, Child magazine was closing, I had an immediate range of mixed emotions that began with "well, why not now!" and ended with "I'm going to do it!" In between there was sadness; I've loved this magazine and even hosted "salons" to discuss its content; I've pitched to the editors several times and always felt that I was one idea away from being accepted. There was also a feeling of met expectations. I often see an attitude in parents of older teens who have begun ventures based around their parenthood, that goes something like, "I don't have the energy for this any more" or "this is not who I am, now." There was the old refrain I've always kept in my head, the quibbles with the magazine, the way I would change it if I ran that particular world. And the old adage, print industry is dying, and such.
I've never believed the print industry is dying. I want to start a zine. (Yes, I know I'm 15 years too late. I'm the very opposite of a hipster when it comes to paper and ink.) And I honor the format of the literary journal, and want only more of it.
When I dream, it is not to be editor of a literary journal; it is to be a regularly-featured writer. But I am the idea person, the make-it-happen person, the kind who will leap. And I know many of you want someone to leap, too, but it can't be you.
Then I leap.
I thought of the title Think, Parent as something between a joke and a gentle mimicry. The main character in the first novel I ever started (and will finish one day, if this doesn't get wholly in the way) sends many of his parenting essays to Think, Parent, and though it was a fun-poking it is also a good name. Is it not? It lets in the other parents, like my protagonist, the fathers; oh, I don't know what else. I like it. It is influenced by Brain, Child without being a descendant of it. It says what it is.
Think, Parent. The literary journal of stolen time. -- it will be, then. (It won't, actually -- we've picked Stealing Time: A Literary Magazine for Parents as the title.) I will need help. I will need volunteer editors and those willing to be first subscribers. I may need a designer. I will need a partner, or two, to help with the setting up of the business (non-profit or LLC?) and the boring stuff, the decisions and legwork. I welcome submissions, though you will have to wait a few weeks until I (we?) decide whether to use a submissions engine, or just email.
Here is what it will be:
~ a venue that pays writers (first and always)
~ printed on paper
~ a variety of flash fiction, longer fiction, memoir and personal essay
~ a place for long, philosophical book reviews; lyric essays on books
~ quarterly, with an annual pregnancy/birth journal distributed to OB and midwife offices, birth centers, and maternity wards
But it will also be the controvert to many expected things. Here is what it will not be:
~ a business with a physical office
~ a venue for parenting magazine-style journalism
~ a journal with blown-in inserts or frequent exclamation-point-heavy subscription reminders
~ indulgent of judgment
Would you, could you, might you be a part of this? What will your role be? -- edited to say that we now have a Kickstarter campaign! Please, come and contribute!
send donations now if that is your role (we do need the patrons, the benefactors); feel free to send me your first pitches, if that is your role. You have my permission to tell me only that you will read.
Because this must be a collaboration, and not only my own voice, I have gone to the unusual step of allowing comments on this post. Volunteer, critique, tell me what you think.