Being published is a good thing, so why do I feel a little bit?
Molecule is a bi-annual literary online magazine that publishes 50-word poetry and prose along with small-scale artwork.
It’s a struggle cutting down to a 500-word piece, but slicing to 50 words slashes to the most powerful.
My poetry and prose submissions were not accepted this time, but my artwork was. That’s a wet noddle slap in the face. I spent drafts and drafts and edits and word counts of my time to get everything where it should be. Replace a three-word description with one active verb. Remove every “very.” I discovered how little the word “the” is needed? After all my effort, it was my best, but that wasn’t good enough.
I’m a writer not an artist.
Yet, there I am: Issue 3, Page 49. I am both.
The artwork tells a story itself, written in ephemera on a Pokemon trading card canvas. Chinese food inspired the art. With dinner takeout from Ms. Lin in Millburn, I got a fortune cookie with an actual fortune on the fortune. Reading it, the words sunk into me. I got that feeling, you know the feeling, when something nags at you and won’t let go because it resonates with you. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I propped the fortune on my laptop, which is not easy to do with a scrap of paper. When I discovered the magazine, submission criteria and deadline, I discovered my fortune’s purpose.
Just like choosing the strongest 50 words, every image is deliberate. I rummaged through my ATC ephemera box and chose a few items to work with, determined to make them work. Every piece is designed to look random but is not. Every placement is precise, even the one item that stuck glued in an unplanned spot. Precision and happy accidents.
Molecule caps the contributor’s 3rd person bio at 24 words. Why? Because there are 24 atoms in a molecule of caffeine. See Page 78 for my tiny contribution to coffee.
What story do you read out of my Artist Trading Card?