rrrrgh….

Beloveds, our free submissions are once again on hiatus on Submittable. We are sorry for this. It’s fucking frustrating.

We are looking at other ways to manage our submissions so we can just offer free submissions throughout the year without them getting yanked away from us every damn month.

In the meantime, if you are eager to submit now now now, Tip Jar submissions are open for $5. If you don’t mind waiting until June 1st, free submissions will reopen that day.

 

equinox

This morning I planted a shit-ton (official) of pepper and tomato seeds. In this part of Colorado, we only have about five months for the growing season, and that’s pushing it – so if you want to pull a tomato off the vine and eat it standing there in your garden, you’ve gotta start your seeds indoors (or else buy astonishingly expensive starts from a garden shop).

Every few years we go crazy with the gardening supplies, which feels better in the in-between years when we can excavate whatever didn’t get used yet and plant a bunch of stuff without having to spend a ton of money (in that particular year, anyway). This year I got a block of organic compressed starting material – maybe coconut coir, something like that? – for all of $3 from ye olde big box home supply store, sawed it in half, added a bunch of water, and happily squished my fingers through the damp soil. Usually we buy those little compressed discs with a hole in the middle, but this was way cheaper and way more squishy fun. We already have an absurd amount of seeds (bless the basement fridge, for she carries many many seeds in her belly) and even had some starting trays left over from last year’s garden ambitions, which failed miserably.

I love that spring fills me with such amnesiac enthusiasm that I can start all these seeds with total joy in my heart. I love that this season gives me the chance to forget and forgive myself for all the seedlings I inadvertently killed last year. (And the year before that, and the year before that, and… ok, a little guilt still lingers.) I love that I retain just enough memory to learn lessons from the failures (and seedling deaths) of years past, lessons that will – I so dearly hope – allow me to stand in the hot sun this summer, slurping juicy tomatoes with abandon.

Forgetfulness is a privilege. Land to grow crops is a privilege. Money to buy gear for starting seeds is a privilege. Time to plant seeds is a privilege. So many people would love to have these things and do not, cannot, are denied access by the systems we live in.

Even as I revel in this springtime joy, I feel a need to stay mindful of the oppressive systems that are working in my favor to give me this space, this time, this means. How do I bring justice to this moment?

It’s not a question I can answer immediately, though a few thoughts come to mind. Sharing the harvest with folx who can’t have a garden. Giving some of our extra seeds to the local seed library. Making a donation to a Black-owned farming & food advocacy collective such as Soul Fire Farm. I discovered this badass nonprofit through their Reparations Map a year (maybe two years?) ago. Their work is a joy to behold & to support. I think I’ve just officially decided that they’ll be the first recipient of TPR’s donation program – we’ll be giving 15% of proceeds from each issue to a social justice-oriented nonprofit, and Soul Fire was already high on the list. All right, so we have a plan!

And we open for submissions in… an hour and a quarter. Not gonna lie, this is even more exciting than planting tomato seeds. And that, my loves, is not something I say lightly.

leaping

It’s strange to think we first started this journey in March 2013. I think I’ve lived about three different lifetimes in the past six years. But here we are again, FOR REAL THIS TIME. I sat down to lightly update a page this morning and five hours – and a wholesale website overhaul – flew by.

Interesting to consider that I surrender to the impulse to tend this dream in early spring. Terra preta, indeed. The kitchen midden in my soul yielding to irresistible, tenacious seedlings of dreams. This journal insists on coming into being. Who am I to say otherwise?

We officially open for submissions tomorrow, March 20th (spring equinox! We’re astrological like that), at noon MDT. It would bring us tremendous joy to spend time with your work. Click the Submit link on the right or up top to learn more.

Thanks, love, & may your own dreams be irresistibly sprouting ~

bliss

“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you. I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
– Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers

IMAG0266Why did I start an online literary journal? To follow my bliss, to engage more deeply in the community of writers, to give other writers a chance to follow their bliss and publish their work.

I found it interesting that soon after I started putting Terra Preta Review together, the Joseph Campbell Facebook page (which I highly recommend for anyone, not just fellow Sarah Lawrence alums) posted a couple of fantastic quotes from JC on following your bliss. Let’s not call it coincidence. Let’s just say it’s synchronicity.

“We are having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your bliss is. Grab it. No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depth …

The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy β€” not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call ‘following your bliss.'”
– Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers

charcoal & bones

…Seems like a more fitting title than “nuts & bolts” which is essentially what I’ve been doing recently. We now have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, our Submittable site, email addresses, and the bare bones of a website.

I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

Let the adventure begin.