Saturday, February 5, 2011

Prick of the Spindle: an online literary magazine review

I was thinking of things that represented that crucial moment, the turning point or the crux of a story, the thing that happens that changes everything.

In the classic fairy tale, when the princess pricks her finger on the spindle of the spinning wheel, it sets events in motion that are beyond her control, events that alter her future forever. I think some of the best stories are like this--they capture a moment that means everything and ultimately alters life as we know it.

It's about the way that danger, or the unknown, is always present, even when you are unaware of it.
--Cynthia Reeser, Editor-in-Chief and Founder, Prick of the Spindle
Erudite, aesthetic, passionate and compassionate. These words describe the online literary magazine Prick of the Spindle. . . . And maybe French . . .

Cynthia Reeser, though, graduated from Pine Forest High School, which, according to my research, is in either Florida, or North or South Carolina. I'm not going to dig deeper because I enjoy a little mystery. Cynthia does list the University of Oxford on her Facebook page, so that must account for the cosmopolitan vibe of Prick of the Spindle. And maybe her FB profile pic.

I was introduced to Prick of the Spindle through the writing of Julie Innis, and have found the online magazine to be a source of fulfillment in my online reading.

Here is how the magazine is described from its About page:
Prick of the Spindle was begun in March 2007 in the spirit of creating a journal whose contribution to the literary arts would be well-rounded, with an acknowledgement to the works of literary history. It is the goal of the journal both to recognize new talent and to include those who have one or more feet planted in the writing community; we are simply looking for well-written, interesting pieces which embrace the fabric of diverse voices who have something to say, say it well, and say it originally.
Prick of the Spindle publishes a variety of literature: "poetry, fiction (from flash to novella-length), drama, creative and academic nonfiction, and literary reviews." It provides author interviews, and the tab bar also includes podcasts and art. The art section provides gallery thumbnail images, a bio, and a link to the artist's website. Prick of the Spindle also publishes a Kindle version of its issues.

Ack! The magazine's snail mail address is Pensacola, Florida . . . the mystery fades . . .

A journal had been forming in my brain for a while, starting when I was an undergraduate student. I toyed with the idea of seeking institutional backing, but knowing I would be returning to my home state after graduation, I swept that notion aside. I backed away from the idea for a bit, hoping that it would germinate and eventually emerge more fully formed. A few years later, with the knowledge of web and graphic design under my belt, the idea began to once again push its way to the surface. I was scared as hell. I thought, who am I to start a journal? I think my heart was pounding the entire first year, especially when things really began to take off.

Flash Fiction excerpt from "When You Heard," by Cami Park:
Resolved to use the brains God gave you, you employed a package of spaghetti to extend your reach and blindly, haltingly, nudged several cans to the front of the shelf. You leaned back then, to examine what had been brought forth. There, among beets and stewed tomatoes, were the necessary beans, so far forward that you glimpsed, over the precipice, a sliver of tin moon underside. 
 A sliver of tin moon underside: these are the kind of gems found in Prick of the Spindle. Feel rich. Fill your hands with gems and let them trickle through your fingers. Read Prick of the Spindle, and feel free to enjoy a little bit of France in Florida.

Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved

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1 comment:

  1. Well written and I could not have said it more eloquently. I will mention, the print arm of Prick of the Spindle, is ran as flawless and Parisian/Pensacolan as the magazine itself.