A few months ago, I stumbled onto a literary magazine called Sheriff Nottingham. I took it home, read it cover to cover. It has an artistic vibe, it’s filled with cool photographs, and great, thought provoking writing. I thought, I want to send them something to publish. I checked out their website and discovered they do holiday issues four times a year. The next one open to submissions was Collect Rocks Days – a holiday I’d never heard of it. I did a little research. I know nothing about rocks nor have I ever written anything about rocks.
So I thought about it for a while and decided to write a nostalgic piece about skipping stones with my Dad – who died of cancer in 2006. I sent it in and they accepted it. Getting accepted by literary magazines is a gold star, top notch accolade writers crave. It’s often touted as grueling, thankless work and you don’t get paid. What you get is a feather in your cap, a pat on the back, something to add to your list of accomplishments. For me, this was a major coup.
I’ve been a writer all my life, but never had the courage to submit my fiction or essay work anywhere. I wrote articles and columns online, but literary magazines are the big time, baby. I conquered my fear, sent it in, and they liked it. First shot, nothing but net. Apparently, this never happens. Perhaps the stars aligned in a certain way or it was just a lucky throw. Either way, I can’t tell you what this means to me. Not only am I officially a published writer, but it’s in a magazine that I admire and am proud to be a part of.
This issue is interesting in that, for some reason, collecting rocks, or rocks in general, seem to evoke nostalgia. Why is that? My essay is about memories and how untrustworthy they are; how we recreate them in our minds. Other stories in this issue are also about looking inward and far behind us. Why do rocks make us think about the past? Is it because rocks gives us a sense of permanence in a temporary world? Rocks will be here long after we’re gone.
Check out an excerpt of my story here and purchase the full magazine here. It’s a great magazine and it’ll look cool on your coffee table or bookshelf. You’ll also be entertained with really high quality writing.
I’d like to thank the publishers, creators, and artists of Sheriff Nottingham for including me in their fine magazine. My heart swells with pride to be included among their esteemed list of writers. I have a surreal, dreamlike feeling that hasn’t sunk in yet.