Through the Crucible is finished. A preliminary draft of it is, at least. This is the first time I’ve been solicited to write something for a literary journal and to start off with a piece about two women in love in Pakistan is not a typical plot point I thought I’d tackle, but if working at TMS taught me anything, it’s that acceptance and tolerance are all fine in theory. They only matter if you can back up your beliefs. Otherwise, what’s the point?
TMS has not been far from my mind. It’s just something that I’m thinking about rather than looking at it purely from an “I’m so passionate about this” perspective. I am passionate; I care, of course, I care, but I also know that that isn’t enough. That to succeed, having a financial plan in place to both pay our staff and contributors is essential to, if not turning a profit, then at least breaking even and building sustainability. Will this encapsulate print, too? I’m honestly not sure. I know only that the fire burns in me still, just not in the same feverish way that it did in my twenties. And that’s a good thing. If this is to succeed, levelheadedness will win the day. Grace under fire, in other words.
If there’s something I learned when I decided, at 16, that a graduate degree in creative writing would be my reward after pursuing a first degree in IT, it’s that the road to creative fulfillment is fraught with obstacles, mostly in the form of rejection, which dovetails nicely into self-doubt, because of course. The determination to persist despite that is what’s kept me going. In the meantime, and once TTC is in a shape I am confident with, there are other stories to write.
What I’m thankful for, though, after all this time writing and focusing on just one large piece (and the project that was TMS 1.0), I’m back to my writing short fiction and through it, exploring issues and threads that are important to me.
The road may be long, but I’m not going anywhere.