Monday, December 27, 2004

Do a little dance........

The image of an overjoyed writer dancing, skirt flung high over head in the middle of an otherwise empty south-western Ontario street,* feels like two huge fistfuls of shiny, flawless diamonds.

I am now among the ranks of Americans who can say with unequivocal certainty, that issuing acceptance letters to writers is the most fun you can have indoors on a rainy day with your socks on.

Congratulations to Jess Stuart, Max Sparber, Diana Marie Delgado and Rick Castaneda for having their work accepted for the 2005 inaugural issue of Lorraine and James. There are many more spots available, so dig through your closets and dust off your Capizios. In the very near future, you too might feel the need to do a little dance.

Lorraine and James

*This scene has been embellished (only slightly) for the sake of great storytelling.

Monday, December 20, 2004

For a Cheap Thrill

Go check out Now of course you’re not going to see anything except a tiny unassuming welcome and reminder that Lorraine and James: Global Urban Literature will be coming soon. Literally, that’s exactly what it says. I guess now you don’t even need to go, but why not, you’ve done more for less I’m sure.

Thanks for coming, you’ve been a great audience!

Lorraine and James

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Dear Writer,

Many of you have been penning stories for a very long time and even more of you, I assume, have only recently struck out on this venture to become the world’s next literary Nobel laureate. While on this journey, I recommend taking along the following very important device: Great Openings. I repeat, pack and employ Great Openings.

In no particular order and for no other reason than the fact that these stories and the images they provoked made me want more, here are a couple of great openings that made me fall deeper in love with words and the writers who weave them.

Papa explains the war like this: “When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.” The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and thumping loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens. I think of baby chicks I can hold in the palm of my hand, flapping wings that are not yet grown, and I am frightened.

Tess Uriza Holthe, When The Elephants Dance

This is a love story like every other love story I had always known, like no love story I could ever have imagined. It’s everything beautiful – bright colors, candle-scented rooms, orange silk, and lavender amethyst. It’s everything grotesque, disfigured. It’s long twisting wounds, open and unhealed, nerves pricked raw, exposed.

Asha Bandele, The Prisoners Wife

I’m Dead. You want to talk about my family and here I been dead to them for fifty years. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. They want no parts of me and I don’t want no parts of them. Hurry up and get this interview over with. I want to watch Dallas.

James McBride, The Color of Water

By our second day at Camp Crescendo, the girls in my Brownie troop had decided to kick the asses of each and every girl in Brownie Troop 909.

ZZ Packer – Brownies from the short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.

Zora Neale Hurston, There Eyes Were Watching God

The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility. Just like our marriage, I could have said, but why ruin everything right now?

Meg Wolitzer, The Wife

We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter has been broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my father, Jacob and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother. On those rare occasions that I am remembered, it is as a victim. Near the beginning of your holy book, there is a passage that seems to say I was raped and continues with the bloody tale of how my honor was avenged. It’s a wonder that any mother ever called her daughter Dinah again.

Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn New York.

Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Keep in mind, unless your story has been recommended to a reader, you get two minutes tops in a bookstore, to make a great impression. If I were you I wouldn't waste a single second.

Truly and deeply,

Lorraine and James

-read something

Friday, December 10, 2004

For those of you who are just joining us - FAQ: take 2


Do you accept unsolicited submissions? And if so, what types of manuscripts are you looking for?

We accepted unsolicited submissions. We consider short stories (3,000- 12,000 wds), creative non-fiction, essays and poetry. We avoid genre, popular formula or commercial fiction created for the sole purpose of entertainment, without the capacity to illuminate.

What is Lorraine and James’ reading period?
We accept submissions on a rolling basis at this time. Feel free to send your very best work as soon as it is ready.

Do you run any contests?
We are not running any contests at this time but intend to in the near future. Check back for updates/details.

How much can I submit at one time?
Send as much as you’d like as often as you’d like. As we are not sure how long we will be able to maintain this volume, we would suggest you take advantage of it while it lasts.

Can I submit work via e-mail?
Yes. It is the only way we accept it. Please e-mail all submissions with Bio to Lorraine and James

Can I submit work simultaneously to another publication?
Yes, as long as you indicate that a submission is simultaneous and notify us immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Do you accept previously published work?
No, we do not publish any previously published work. Our definition of "published" is material distributed in any way (print or electronic) to the public, meaning more than a workshop, or friends, or family. Material that has appeared in any publication, print or web, would be considered previously published.

How long will it take to get a response to my submission?
We typically respond within twelve weeks. If you have not heard from us please email us

Do you pay? What rights does this buy?
We pay $50 - $200 for published submissions. For this we acquire First Rights which revert back to you upon publication and one-time rights to publish in an anthology.


What is your contact information?
We can be contacted via email

Are there any Job opportunities available at Lorraine and James?
We are currently looking for a Poetry Editor. All interested parties should submit relevant experience and Bio to Lorraine and James email

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Perfect Gift or The Gift That Keeps on Giving

For the record, I sit perplexed, eyes crossed hard every time some clever writer sends me a story with this kind of dual-action title. What am I supposed to do, choose? Is there a huge market for the twofold designation? Just checking.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post……….

What do you get the person who has everything or nothing, as the case may be?

This holiday season I am recommending that you, yes you, get that hard-to-shop-for, hard to-fathom-spending-too-much-money-on, hard-to-really-get-along-with-but-she’s-my-mom-so-now-what person, the gift of great storytelling. The gift of far away places and unexpected experiences, homespun tales with surprising endings and impact. A gift that gives more each time you use it, conveniently totable (According to Word spell check “totable” is not a word. Go figure.) and never loses its appeal. It is even acceptable to re-gift these priceless treasures that you are going to purchase promptly following my last bit of punctuation. And although it will cost you next to nothing, its procurement will mean the world to both creator and recipient. You can’t beat that wit a bat!

So, for your bleeding intellectual of a niece or that inconceivable but obligatory Secret Santa charge, I suggest a subscription to any of the following literary journals:

Small Spiral Notebook
Cake Train
Glimmer Train
Zoetrope: All Story
One Story
The Georgia Review

Any and all of these will make wonderful gifts that will speak volumes about you. At the end of the day isn’t that why we’re all here, to have volumes spoken about us? Do it and don’t be shy about it.

Lorraine and James

-read something

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Everything Is Everything

I’m back. I’m good. Life is good. I’m scouting printers and contacting reviewers and selling Lorraine and James – the myth and the mag - to all of the appropriate people and outlets. Everything is in fact, everything.

*Today’s lesson comes courtesy of our beleaguered but dogged leader, G.W.:
“Being president," or in this case editor, publisher, copy machine queen, "is hard work!”

But I, like him I’m sure, wouldn't have it any other way.


Lorraine and James

-read something

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Blues

You have GOT to be kidding me! I just wrote this sweeping soliloquy about how yesterday was such a boom and today pretty much a complete bust (that over-the-head-with-a-Heineken kind) It was eloquent and perfectly styled - this now hopelessly gone entry was. Everything that I wanted to say entirely conveyed. And then as I was highlighting it, getting ready to move it to Word to spell check - because NOTHING is worse than not - I inadvertently pasted in its place an email that I had written to a photographer. So now of course I am crying real "oh my god is mommy crying?!" tears and nothing but a new day is going to salvage this one. So I hope your Saturday was better than mine and I will see you tomorrow. The inevitability of tomorrow is the very best thing about days like this.

You take care and be well.

Lorraine and James

Friday, December 03, 2004


So, this may be completely self-serving - really, what part of this isn't - but we have just nailed down the cover format and a mock of the first issue and I have to say that right next to the writers who have written such great stories, a couple of which are definitely IN, the cover designer is my newest greatest friend, my dream weaver, my genie!!!

Keep the stories coming guys, you will not want to miss this!

I will try to put up something soon. We are still getting our house in order if you will.

I hope to see you all between the pages of the now beautifully laid out Lorraine and James Issue 1.

Lorraine and James

-read something