Tuesday, February 17, 2009

There is no Joyland in childhood . . .

{Photo by rocketlass.}
When he wasn't torturing animals, he was actually a pretty nice guy. We usually talked girls. Our tastes in them diverged considerably. He was an ass man, and preferred blondes. I, on the other hand, hadn't yet formulated an opinion on what I liked. Besides girls, we also shared an interest in the Steve Miller Band. We loved his sound, and his lyrics spoke to us where we live: I really like your peaches want to shake your tree. It was a music that was surreal, low key, and cool all at once. We'd play Steve Miller tapes, and hang out in his garage where his father had a device for making shot-gun shells. We spent hours hand-making twelve gauge shot gun shells.
That's from "Berkowitz," by Joe Peterson, a conversational, rough-hewn, moving story of boyhood longing, risk, and violence that's one of my favorites among those I've published in my brief tenure as Chicago editor for Joyland.

Which is my way of reminding folks that I'm still happily taking submissions from Chicagoans and/or former Chicagoans; if you fit that simple criterion and have a story you think well of, drop me a line. {In particular, I'm looking for some female contributors--surely all writers who've passed through Chicago in recent years aren't male, right? I know the whole "city of broad shoulders" thing, but seriously . . . )

Meanwhile, Joyland in general is definitely worth checking out, if you've not yet done so. It continues to grow--a London editor, Benjamin Wood, has just joined the stable--while offering more than half a dozen good stories online every month for free. In the midst of the New Austerity, what more could you reasonably ask for?

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