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The Editor

In Fiction on February 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

There was this guy. We’ll call him Michael. He ran this small literary magazine. He tried to publish underground writers. Mostly he published bad writing. There are plenty of them out there. Bad writers. He always wrote these funny rejection letters. Most were arrogant and worse than the hacks he published. What does it take to be an editor? First of all, you have to have no talent. That’s the first step. The rest is just being an ass hole. You have to think you are doing something important. That is key. Michael thought he was important. His little magazine had a few readers. He even had a few decent writers. The good writers never submitted after they got published. They had bigger fish to fry. So Michael was left with bad writers. He’d send these pompous rejection slips each week. “I like this, but I don’t trust it.” “I feel that you are just making things up.” That is writing. More than half of it, is all bullshit. Nobody wants to read about reality. Most like reading about whores, drunks, and sex. The readers crave escape. They want an alternate reality. Michael was pretty good at publishing whore stories, but lately his magazine’s head had swollen. He started looking for art and culture. That is when you are finished. When you start listening to the voices. You start puffing your own chest out. You get away from your roots. You forget what you do best. There was one particular writer that Michael published named Tom. Tom was the real deal. He wrote about whores, boxing, drunks, and sex. Most of his stories were gross. None of them were ever boring. Tom never worried about his writing. He never cared about anything. He just wrote. It flowed out of him. He had to write. Tom had a few stories published. Michael even published one. “Tom, these are always fun to read but I feel that I don’t trust it.” Tom was doing Michael a favor. Imagine all the horrible stories Michael read on a daily basis. Tom was bringing a little joy and happiness by submitting. The years rolled by. Michael kept publishing the small magazine. His readers slowly dwindled. Part of it was that the writers were the only ones who read it. Once Michael had pissed off the talent, they took their brilliance elsewhere. Tom was no different. He took his poetry and stories to the more established rags. Michael finally decided to pull the plug on his little magazine. It had been a good run. He focused on his writing more. “Michael, I like this but I feel it’s not true.” “Best of luck placing it somewhere else.” Tom retired at 35. He published his first novel. It was a best seller. It was about whores, drunks, and sex. The End.

Thom Young is a writer from Texas. He blogs at Me and this Machine. His work has appeared in Thieves Jargon, Dagger, Surfermoon, Blowback, Buzzgrinder, and other sundry places. He has three books for sale on Amazon now in Kindle version.

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  1. Arturo Bandini would be proud.

  2. Oooh. Fresh meat.

    I like this. I think you made it up, I think it’s true *and* I trust it. Good job.

  3. Ah, so much truth about this mad, mad world, all stated in such an insightful way. I don’t think I’m worthy, frankly.

  4. ‘but lately his magazine’s head had swollen’

    nice!

    i liked this. (but not michael.) i feel like i trusted it.

  5. Good stuff. Plenty of truth in there.

  6. I think I know that editor

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