When I was a kid my mom and dad would take off downtown to window shop. I didn’t think that was fun. I’d follow along or run ahead, stopping now and then to press my nose to dark windows. To me, it was pure misery. Why were they looking at things they couldn’t have? First because the stores were closed and secondly because they didn’t have the money anyway. I’ve never liked window shopping, though I admit, I do browse occasionally through catalogues, circling every item I’d like to buy.
My friend Jan Rider Newman had the same dream and we decided to go for it. We met in coffee shops again and again and again planning, dreaming, creating our roadmap. We didn’t want to embarrass ourselves and we wanted the experience (the magazine) to be … wonderful, perfect. I would have backed out at any time. I was pretty much “window shopping” but Jan challenged me to step forward.
We accomplished our dream because we did it together. We encouraged, challenged, worked hand in hand to grab something we both truly wanted. We made it happen even though, along the way, we had fear and doubt. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. We cringe every time we have to send a rejection slip to a friend. We panic every time we miss a deadline because we don’t have enough material for an issue. We’re still brainstorming and dreaming.
I’ve learned that owning a literary magazine is responsibility because while we’ve accomplished our dreams, every time we read a poem, a short story, view a photograph or receive some creative nonfiction, we’re “judging” someone elses dream. I’m not sure I’m having fun yet … but I sure do like the title I toss around. I’m co-owner/co-editor of Swamp Lily Review – a beautiful literary magazine with some fine work inside its digital pages.