As our last issue of Space and Time went out the door, the world was plunging into chaos. Countries were sealing their borders against the COVID-19 pandemic, people were having fistfights over toilet paper and contradictory ‘facts’ were a secondary deadly plague.
I remember standing in a crowded post office trying to mail my huge stack of magazines for the third time that week and feeling the angry glares of people behind me. It was unnerving to feel such negativity directed my way. It felt like the world was ready to lash out at any moment.
If I can just get this issue out, things might be more settled by the next one…
This was my thought as I stood in line, sweating under my mask. I had doubtful hope. The world was falling into ruin and I didn’t see how we would be back to normal in three months, but I hoped.
Three months later, I find that we are not back to normal. Somehow we’re worse off. We’ve slipped so far down the rabbit hole, I think many of us have forgotten what normal is. I don’t know how many times I have read the news in disbelief. I think my ability to be shocked by current events is callused and worn out.
And speaking of current events, here I am as issue #137 Summer 2020 is due and I have done next to nothing. I didn’t forget about this issue. I have stood like a deer on a highway watching the deadline approach until it bowled over me. Now that it’s on top of me I find I can suddenly move… too little too late. I’m already under the bus.
Fortunately, it’s a metaphorical bus so I’m not actually bleeding out on the pavement… but that’s what I feel like inside. I think that’s how most of us feel. Any one of the current crises would be enough to emotionally derail me for a few days. Combined, I have been flattened.
The good news is #137 is shaping up to be a great issue. We’ve doubled the stories and taken extra poetry and all of it is excellent. The art and illustrations pair up with their stories brilliantly, as always. The S&T team (aside from me) has done their part to get this issue out on time.
The bad news is this issue will not be out on time. I need to delay this issue by two weeks to be able to finish it and get our creatives properly paid. The amended publication date will be July 4th, two weeks from today.
I apologize to our readers, the creative team that delivers amazing work each issue and our small army of editors and readers. This delay is all on me and I have no good excuse. My reactions to this pandemic have been in suspended animation. Luckily for me, the Mac truck of a deadline seems to have shaken me from my stupor.
If you are a creative wondering what is wrong with you, you’re not alone. From all corners I’ve heard the same complaint… the majority of us have been “…less than productive” to quote a friend from last night. I believe many artists realize their emotions through their creativity. Given the potential black depth of these emotions is it any wonder we are avoiding them?
I, for one, would rather spend the rest of the apocalypse in my garden watching the world from behind my peas and kale. Call me when the zombies are gone is what I’d like to say. Instead, I have a magazine to get out and words building up in my head.
To publish is an act of faith, something I’ve been light on lately. Regardless, it’s time for me to move forward into this new future. I’m not striding bold like I imagined I would. I’m limping, staggering, hesitant. I creep forward to see where I stand… and am grateful to find I still can.