I was privileged to take over editorship of Lunch Ticket after the first issue. I’ve worked at other publications, but this was my first venture into literary publishing. I’d like to thank each and every person who has ever contributed to this publication, and to the hundreds of others like it. Even if your work is not published, you are providing a service that you may not even know about. You’ve taught me what really matters when publishing a literary journal.
I don’t care about your credentials or your connections or your alma mater. What matters to me is the story. Too many writers are afraid of offending. Afraid of bad words, negative emotions, family secrets, public opinion. But those writers who don’t want to make their characters ugly or stupid or stubborn won’t go on to write great works.
David Foster Wallace wrote “…writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don’t want to see or let anyone else see, and this stuff turns out (paradoxically) to be precisely the stuff all writers and readers everywhere share and respond to, feel. Fiction becomes a weird way to countenance yourself and to tell the truth instead of being a way to escape yourself or present yourself in a way you figure you will be maximally likeable.” (Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, p. 191)
Anna Karenina was vain and foolish, and we love her because we can be that way too, sometimes. Achilles had anger management issues, but we never tire of him. Even The Little Prince was a bit of a dictator with his demands for sheep, but he was beautiful.
Our featured essayist, Yuvi Zalkow, lets us know that even our darkest moments are worth examining and mining for material. We are also proud to announce our very first winner of the Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction, Josie Scanlan, whose essay “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” does not shy away from pain and anger.
Ultimately, what negativity offers the reader is the chance for redemption. These characters changed their lives: you can too. These characters paid the ultimate price: learn from their mistake. These characters never saw it coming, but you’re smarter than that, aren’t you?
If you’re reading Lunch Ticket, you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.