Editor’s Desk – Week of November 13, 2015

Dear Intrepid Readers,

We’re just about at the halfway marker for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Though hitting the 50K word goal is a great aspiration and really exciting when complete, the finish line isn’t what matters. NaNo is about carving out time from the demands of your schedule to make room for your own writing, incorporating writing into some part of your everyday schedule, appreciating the words you create whether 50K or just 50. Plus, hopefully you’ve found some community (whether it’s in your physical location or online) and you’ll have someone to keep writing with, after the month-long sprint is over. Long after my NaNo project was completed (or abandoned), I kept the connections I made either directly (at a write-in), or indirectly (through NaNo online forums or social media) while bonding over wordcounts, plot points, narrative techniques, and writer pet peeves. Even though we’re just about halfway through NaNo, you can still sign up, jump in, and participate. Halfway done still means that there’s half still in front of us—see how many words you can get down in just half the time, and make some friends while you do it.

Like most people with a social media account of some kind, I read an inordinate amount of online articles. The great thing about the internet is that whatever it is you want to know, the information is out there. The downside to this is that the information may not be presented well. Precision of language is critical in arguments where the benefit of face-to-face engagement isn’t possible. While reading online articles, blogs, and op-eds, keep in mind that words, like ideas, are flexible and can be twisted and arranged to suit any purpose. That flexibility can be a beautiful thing when it educates the reader and opens their mind to a divergent point of view. But that same flexibility can also, at times, be a temptation to create a lazy argument. Reaching for clichés, making sweeping generalizations without any substantive basis, and even carelessly incorporating microaggressions are all common in articles that get shared on social media daily. As readers, we should also train ourselves to be aware of the markers of lazy writing and recognize them. In part, so we don’t repeat these missteps in our own writing, or carelessly build an argument on the back of someone else. Once we can do that, harmful ideas borne out of carelessness have less weight. Then, like Alice in Wonderland, we can say to them: “You’re nothing but a deck of cards.”

alice cards
You’re nothing but a pack of cards.

 

Speaking of Alice in Wonderland—we’re open for submissions for our upcoming Alice in Wonderland themed issue! We’re also still open for Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. I’m also happy to announce that we’re right on track for launching NonBinary Review Issue #7: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins the first week of December, as well as starting the new cycle of online Alphanumeric features. We’ve got updates to Lithomobilus and all of the back issues are being migrated to the new platform so that your reading experience is smoother, faster, and allows you to navigate directly to read more of what you love.

If you’re a publisher or editor yourself and you like Litho’s platform, shoot us a note, and get on our roster of beta testers! In exchange for UX feedback to improve the reading experience, your readers will have an extra way to access your publication’s content, you’ll be on the cutting edge of new reading technology, and your opinions will be used to improve the platform for future users.

In case you missed the live event we hosted our 2015 Litcrawl event, Mythmaking, is archived on our Livestream channel. Or if pinning writing prompts and silly memes is more your speed, follow one of our boards at Pinterest, and enjoy all the writing prompts, memes, and dream library pins we’ve traveled the internet to find for you. On Facebook, you can follow our pages (Zoetic PressLithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews as well as the Zoetic Press Facebook group to find Alphanumeric features. We’re also on Twitter (@ZoeticPress and  @Lithomobilus), & you can even see some of our authors reading their work on our YouTube channel.

We also like to promote the new work of our contributors, so if you’ve been published in our pages, shoot us a note and we’d be happy to turn the spotlight in your direction. If you’re interested in hearing more from us, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. Want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas, or to profile one of our contributors? Send us a pitch: blog@zoeticpress.com. Have a book you’d like to tell the world about, or know a writer that everyone should know? Send us your reviews and author interviews!

Until next week—
Allons-y!

Allie Marini,
Managing Editor