It is hard for us not to sit down hard on our tailbones, breath rushing out of us as from a balloon, untied, when we stand in front of booth #902 at Wordstock at the Oregon Convention Center (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days).
We made this. We made -- not just the magazine, but the tattoos and the stickers and the totes and the mugs. (No! These ones!) We made all this to celebrate the telling of a story. A story from the heart of parenting.
And as we put our children to bed tonight, as we lie down ourselves under newly-necessary wool comforters (to dream, but perchance, to sleep? Unlikely!) we are full of those jitters that you might feel before the first day of high school. Before a new job. Before the fancy dress ball. In many ways, our booth at Wordstock feels like a great unveiling.
We are bringing our magazine to the ball.
We hope you'll come. If you've backed our magazine at a $10 or higher level, bring a bag to take home your Kickstarter goodies. They'll be mailed out sometime in the next 10 days, but in the meantime, we have them in the flesh, in boxes and bags and hanging from S-hooks on the pipes of our booth structure. If you come to Wordstock, come by, introduce yourself! we'll check you off our list and save your postage.
One of the things we'll be doing in our booth is letting you sit in the submission chair. It's very cozy. And in it you can sit and write flash memoir to submit for our "Relations" issue. Write it freehand, stick it in the jug, we'll publish the best piece and pay you, too. (If you can't make it, or your writing brain doesn't work that way, submit here!)
We wish we could introduce you to all our editors and writers and writers-to-be and writers-we-love who will be there, but our schedules are packed and only Katie and Sarah will be at the booth most every minute. If we could introduce you to everyone here, every minute, this is where we'd start:
- James Bernard Frost, Executive Director of Oregon Writer's Colony, author of a great book on a dwarf preacher who loves Stumptown Coffee. (It's really great! And, kinda, perfectly Portlandic.)
- Wendy Chin-Tanner, our new poetry editor. She's got her own poetry journal, and a book of poems coming out, we love her writing and her verve.
- Megan Stielstra, a new friend of Stealing Time. She's literary director for Second Story, a Chicago group that helps people tell stories. We're kindred spirits from way back who've only just connected.
- Robin Jennings, our non-fiction editor. She has that way, you know? Of seeing the heart of a story? And her own story needs telling, too. You've only heard just the bit.
- Cathi Hanauer, whose Gone is a thriller ("her husband leaves to take the babysitter home and doesn't return"!) and whose Bitch in the House started, sparked, launched Sarah into her storytelling career.
- Kristi Wallace Knight, our fiction editor. She's serious in a way that pierces. She tells a fast-but-serious tale. She's amazing.
- Chelsea Cain. I keep going to Chelsea's readings of murder and mayhem. She says, "I'm not a real writer." Believe me: she's real. She paints families in tragedy and triumph like any magician. If you believe in magic, it's real.
- Rebecca Kelley, whose story, "27 Ways to Wear Your Baby," keep appearing on best-of lists from readers of Stealing Time. She'll be sharing our booth from 2 to 6. Ask her what she's working on.
- Whitney Otto, writer of fiction extraordinaire. We've been wanting to meet her. We're hoping this is the time.
- Brian Doyle. A local author and dad, we keep saying, when we read his work, "oh. Wow!"
- Kerry Cohen. Her memoir about raising her autistic son is uncanny. But we just like the way she smiles.
- Christina Katz. Her work on writing and mothering inspires us; her generous spirit emboldens us.
- Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis. Never mind that we like how the Decemberists sound. What really matters is that this is some of the YA we stay up late at night, to read. More magic, because magic is where we live and what we believe.
There are lots more. Come, we'll give you pretty things and then shoo you off in the direction of someone amazing, or point you toward a great story, or give you a chance to write a piece of flash memoir or let you pick a sticker that shows your #storythief identity. We really want to hear from you. We want to see you. Come! Shake our hand, tell us your story, pick up a magazine, go home with a subscription and all our love.