OMG, an Update!

Hello! Well, we’ve been quiet for a while, but we are still around for sure. Issue 14 had a couple of setbacks, but it has been at the printer’s for a week, and we should have the new issue in our hands soon. When we receive the physical copies, the .PDF issue will go up on the website as well. We are so excited for you to see it.

Some announcements: We are actively reading for issue 15. Right now that is just feedback submissions, but we will open to regular submissions on June 21st. This is where we hit the big exciting news – we will now be a paying market! Not a lot right now, but something. Contributors will receive $7 each, and if we do ok by the time we go to print we will raise it to $10. This is a little bit of an experiment, so if you’d like to help us out, consider making a feedback submission, (where you get feedback from one of our talented editors,) or tossing a couple of dollars in the tip jar on the sidebar.

As always, with the changing of reading periods, we have some editor movement. Thank you to Abigail Rabishaw, Rose Wunrow and David Midkiff for your work on Typehouse, and welcome back to Lily Blackburn! We are also looking for a couple more prose and poetry editors. The time commitment will be through this reading period, culminating in preparing the magazine for publication in September, with the option to continue for future reading periods. If you are interested, email typehouse@typehousemagazine.com for a position description. Right now it is a for the love of it position, although Val will be willing to provide letters of recommendation, work with college requirements for credit, etc..

This is exciting movement for us, and we are glad you are along for the ride!

Val & the Typehouse Team

Notes on Note-Taking

The following is a guest post by Jim Naremore, whose short story “The Bleeder” appeared in Issue 12 of Typehouse.

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I’m a compulsive note taker. I think all writers should develop that as a habit. When I get into that wonderful place of creativity, it can feel like I’m a kid again, running through backyards on those never-ending summer evenings, chasing ideas and observations like fireflies, and a trip to get coffee can be like a trip to the Paris flower market for inspiration: a line of dialog, a character, a setting, a mood, a description, whatever. The novel I’m currently wrestling with came from piecing together three of those random single-sentence thoughts I jotted down at different times.

I try to carry around a notebook. I say “try” because Inspiration seems to get bored and gets its jollies by sneaking up on me when it sees I’m unable to write something down easily. Because of this, my notebooks also tend to be stuffed with random bits of paper torn from things or folded bank deposit slips or some such scrap of ephemera, with cryptic messages scribbled in the margins. I’m currently working on three of them, small pocket-sized things. What goes into them is usually no more than a single sentence or a fragment, sometimes just a single word (I run across some really killer words). My novel takes most of the ink, but I have ideas for new short stories and bits of potential poems and even character names scribbled in those notebooks.

Sometimes I’m forced to carry the idea in my head until I can get someplace and do something with it. This is like carrying water in your hands across a busy street. I cannot tell you the number of fantastic ideas I’ve had that I’ve lost. I know I had them. I have no idea at all what they were. In fact, I remember distinctly having the last line for my novel drop from the sky on me one day in the car. It was exquisite, but I have no idea what it was now.

Then there is the note that is now meaningless to me. As an example: written on the bottom corner of a page full of plot outlines and other good thoughts is a small note: “HIT IN THE CHEST WITH A JELLY DOUGHNUT!!!!”

That’s all it says.

I try to go all Sherlock Holmes on it and deduce the meaning by looking at the other notes I wrote around it with the same pen (pens are like flirtations in a crowded bar… they come and they go…), but nothing around it in that blue ink makes it any clearer. It’s got four exclamation marks. Obviously at the moment I wrote it down I thought this was genius. But now, I’ve got nothing.

I cast my mind through the great mental rolodex of characters I have created, searching for one who either would find being hit in the chest with a jelly doughnut to be a moment of great personal transformation or growth… or who at least deserves it. I get nothing. Taken from the other end; who have I written that does doughnuts? Who is the potential lobber of said doughnut? No one comes to mind.

A different angle perhaps? Was I thinking of doing memoir? I do recall being hit in the chest with a tuna sandwich once. Here, I am certain, is the naissance of the note. But a tuna sandwich is not a jelly doughnut. It doesn’t take much postmodern literary criticism and deconstruction to see that the underlying essential artistic gestalt of a jelly doughnut is not that of a tuna sandwich. Its like orangutans and goats.

So, there it sits: the jelly doughnut note. I run across it periodically when I’m going back over my notes, combing for good ideas when I’m stuck or looking for a new direction to take, or just the right line or phrase. I’ve never come to a point where I’ve said: “Eureka! Lay that doughnut upside his chest!” It’s like a needle in a haystack I keep finding, over and over again. Normally I’m pretty possessive of my ideas, most writers are I think but you need someone to be hit with a jelly doughnut? Be my guest.

“I’m nobody… Who are you?”

The following is a guest post by Mahdi Ahmadian, whose poetry appeared in Issue 12 of Typehouse

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And each line I breathe I find myself again, as people judge my poem as me and believe the poem is the way inside me, to my head and my being. I confess and I do not want to confess, but I express emotions that are far detached from what I am. As a poet, or better to say a maker, I find myself becoming a non-entity with poetry, with writing, with creating. I often reflect on Things I know but I do not know, subjects, mere things shrouded by the eternity of everyday. It is better to say: “I gush words like a geyser.” However, this geyser, this stream of words, poured on a page of a paper, is the result of accumulation of raw material (boiling words and ideas) inside the maker’s imagination. Making a poem can lead to a state of being that is ahistorical, atemporal, aspatial, and one can feel the inwardness of nature while making. It is this inwardness of the poetry that shapes the poem and Things in it. This gift of writing makes the creator feel redeemed each time the completion of making occurs. However, the urge to make more and make better makes it unbearable as one feels castrated by the inability to make more and better. The maker in poetry is dominated by the language. However, this self-chosen domination leads to recognition and makes the one find his/her own nature and heritage anew, one which lies in the collective unconscious of the ones from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In the poems published by Typehouse Literary Magazine, the subjects are real, but they are not. Imagination is the essence of these works. Imagination is the gear that turns the wheels of these poems. You can close your eyes and find your being transmuted in different forms and shapes, as though your being is a non-being, and that is what the essence of the making is. You turn to an alien, an outlander, and become the one who can feel the nature of the ones that occupy the space of your imagination. This unconscious process of crafting poetry creates identities and deconstructs them over and over again. Once you find yourself becoming the beggar on the bridge and once the man who died in a car crash in another part of the world, changing roles and forming new masks, or better to say new realities. You leave the boundaries of the flesh and turn to reflect on the experience of the self as the Other— the one you do not know. This representation sutures your being with the supplementing reality inside/outside and merges it with what is essentially beyond perception, what is concealed in an ever enunciatory mode of existence which we call writing, leading to a better understanding of being in the world.

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You can find Mahdi at his Website, or on Instagram or Twitter.

Before “A Fireball for Edgar”

The following is a guest post by Brandon Jenkins, whose short story “A Fireball for Edgar” appeared in Issue 11 of Typehouse.

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While reflecting on this past year, the first year I actually started submitting my stories to publications, I began pondering why I’m a writer and why I chose to write about the things I write about. I found myself reminiscing about the first story I ever wrote a long time ago. Although the details of that first short story I ever wrote are foggy at best, I can recall the circumstances surrounding that story as if it were yesterday.

The assignment from our third grade teacher, Mrs. West, was to write about the moon then read it aloud to the class. I can vaguely remember a few of my classmates reading their stories to the class: My best friend Justin talking about eating ice cream on the moon; my friend and little league teammate Lance talking about a neon green moon that would drip radioactive ooze; and my friend and teacher’s pet C.B. who ingeniously created a world on the moon and used the earth to light up its sky at night.

I can remember taking my turn immediately after C.B. because I had a clever plan to one-up him. I had decided to use everybody in the class in my story. Since it was a big class (there were about thirty of us), I had to group a lot of people together to make it read faster but at the very least every student would get a mention. Those who were close friends of mine, however, got prominent roles in my story.

As I mentioned, I don’t remember too much of the story itself but one thing I am certain of is that it was titled The Remote Control Moon and the premise was simple: our class had the remote that controlled the moon. I was a few sentences in when I remember all hell breaking loose both figuratively and literally.

As I read about Lance accidentally smashing the side of the Empire State Building with the moon, or Justin nearly killing himself while trying to control the moon, the actual Lance and Justin were convulsing with laughter on the floor at hearing their names mentioned. I remember at one point my friend Matthew actually injuring his elbow when he fell out his chair from laughing so hard when he smashed another classmate into the ground with the moon.

All of the girls in the story were broken down into several “gangs” which I based on their real life cliques. I couldn’t help but notice Mrs. West getting a special kick out of this. Their job in the story was to find the “special” remote that controlled the room.

When I was finished, and nearly out of breath from both reading and laughing, there was maybe one or two boys still seated properly. The rest were scattered around the room hyperventilating as if they just ran a marathon. I handed my story to Mrs. West and got a polite applause from those able to do so.

Maybe that’s what made me want to be a writer: The fact that I was able to entertain thirty of my classmates while just being myself. Maybe I would’ve become a writer regardless of how the story was received. All I know for sure is my friend Matthew was still in considerable pain when we went to recess later that day.

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You can find Brandon on Twitter.

Issue 13 is at the printers!

And we are so excited. Here is a sneak peek at the new cover.

We should have the issues in our hot little hands by the 25th, and the online issue will go live then as well.

We had a couple of weeks off from Friday essays over the holidays, but check back on Friday for a new essay from Brandon Jenkins, an issue 11 contributor.

And finally, say hello to our new poetry editor, David Gilmore, and a big thank you to retiring editors Lily Blackburn and David Midkiff!