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Once I had a dream…

No, scratch that.

Once I had an idea…

Eh, scratch that, too.

Once I wanted to start a magazine for new writers because dammit, I needed something else to do besides whine about my own publishing failures…

I have to admit that when I began Lost in the Dark, the online horror and dark fantasy zine, I was an idiot. I was a writer who could draw, and I’m organizational almost to the point of being anal, but those were pretty much the scope of my abilities. My computer programs have the tendency to put me in the foulest of moods, not to mention make me crazier than I already am, and I wasn’t sure I could pull off creating a magazine from scratch. I knew of a few places to advertise, but it took a lot of searching, making lists, and typing the same thing over and over to start putting the word out. Save for my days as my high school yearbook’s copy editor, and helping out my kids with their creative writing assignments (ssshhhh), I had zero editorial experience. Maybe I had no business creating a zine for new and emerging writers. Still, I plodded along, teaching myself and learning from others, scratching my head repeatedly, crying a little, yelling more, and as I did all that, I began to feel better about what I was doing, because some wonderful stories, poems, and reviews found me. That was it. That was what made it worth it (although very few people know that on the morning of April Fool’s Day, I uploaded Issue #1, and nothing showed up. Figured.).

I no longer feel so much like an idiot, although this computer and its programs are still on probation, and my brain still wobbles occasionally. I really feel that Lost in the Dark, though still small, is a success. We’ve had two great issues; the poetry and reviews/articles sections have grown; the contest is going splendidly; and our staff is expanding. Jeff Edwards, a really great writer, has been the Reviews Editor since the submissions period for Issue 2, and his help and brainstorming has been wonderful. Now we have a Poetry Editor, and she’s one of’s own: Penelope Allen. I know from reading her comments and poetry (and publishing two of her poems, with one more coming in the Autumn Issue) over the last year that she’s on top of her game, and she’ll take an enormous load off this poetry-challenged editor. We still don’t have a Fiction Editor, but I have faith that the right person will come in time.

The letters and comments I’ve gotten from fans and the writers that have been showcased in the magazine have been so encouraging and lovely. People seem to really love the artwork and layout, and it gives me the extra confidence to keep on doing what I’m doing in the same way. So, this essay/article/whatever is just a little thank you to everyone who’s supported me over there, and all the writers at Lit who’ve contributed their great pieces and helped make Lost in the Dark what it is, and what it will continue to be.

On the internet:

"S is for SUSAN who perished of fits
T is for TITUS who flew into bits..."--The Gashlycrumb Tinies, by Edward Gorey


The following comments are for "Movin' On Up"
by Elphaba

I'm thinking of a word
I have recently attended classes with a budding librarian, and she worries herself to tatters over every detail; your mention of feeling "like an idiot" reminds me of this. The whole production is very well done, and I predict nothing but great success, especially with talent like Penelope on your staff bench. The selections are top-notch, and this comes from a very choosy reader of horror.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: July 24, 2004 )

Lost In The Dark
Dear Athena, what a great piece of humble writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what the whole process has been like, and thank you so much for persevering despite the challenges your path has thrown you. I admire your stick-to-it-iveness, and I love your magazine.

You should be proud of Lost In The Dark. It is extremely professional looking and the writing is top notch.

On a personal note, I feel honored that you deemed one of my poems worthy of your publication, and I look forward to seeing it in the fall issue. I also hope to submit more work to you in the future.

Kudos on your choice of Penelope Allen for your Poetry Editor, I'm sure she won't disappoint. During my short time here on LitdotOrg, it didn't take me long to bond with Penelope, who I've found to be a very gifted poet with a talented critical eye.

Keep up the good work!

( Posted by: Odysseus [Member] On: August 4, 2004 )

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