Welp, the first issue of the new Were-Traveler is out of the funhouse, running amongst the fairgoers and the festival attendees and the carnival freaks. I am happy to have gotten it out the gate, but it was the hardest magazine I ever published.
It was the first time I had to say No and reject a writer friend of mine. His story was good, but I had no room for it. It happens. It didn't make me happy, but I felt it helped me to grow on this rough path known as publishing. One of the painful hurdles I knew I had to jump over, no matter how high and difficult.
I want so much for this little magazine. So much. I hope I can grow it into something wonderful and good. I want to have writers win awards for having their stuff printed here, whether they win it from here or from being reprinted somewhere else. I would say that it doesn't matter to me if this little rag never gets noticed for anything, but I'd be flat out lying. Of course, I'd like it to be successful! I'm going to put a great deal of effort into making it succeed.
UPDATE: The Calls for Submissions for People of Color Destroy Lovecraft hasn't gotten but one damn submission yet. Just one. I hope that is because authors are busy penning stories for it. It's early yet so I won't completely lose my shit until the last couple of weeks before the deadline. At that point, I may have to pull it and put up the call for the Women Destroy Retro Sci-Fi. But I am hoping I don't have to do that.
I got a response recently from my post on future themes from someone who really wants the "My Job is Hell" theme. So be it...Jedi. I'll run that theme after Women Destroy Retro Sci-Fi.
To all of you reading this little zine, I appreciate you.
See you in July sometime, if I get some submissions for POC Destroy Lovecraft.
The new Were-Traveler has been officially released from the depths, and we are now awaiting the first submissions for the first new issue, SuperFreak! Freakpunk 2.
Freakpunk stories are ones that take place at roadside carnivals, town festivals or state or county fairs, traveling circuses, and the like. Clowns can feature as part of the horror, but they don't have to be present for the story to be considered "freakpunk." Creepy carnies (people who work at the carnivals), ride operators who enjoy terrorizing the riders, freak show people...all of these factors encompass the genre of "freakpunk."
I got the idea for freakpunk from the scary tales my grandmother used to tell me about traveling carnivals in in the country areas of the midwest and midsouth (Kentucky, Tennessee) from her childhood. Apparently, these carnivals would pop up in fields on country roads anywhere, stay for a few days and then just disappear. The whole concept seemed creepy as hell to me. I asked her all sorts of the most morbid questions after these stories. Did anyone disappear? Did bad things ever happen? Were there freak shows? She didn't know if bad things ever happened, or if people or kids ever disappeared (opportunity missed to keep a kid like me behaving if you ask me), but sometimes there were freaks. I liked to let my mind wander about the rest. Early plot bunnies that fueled the fantasy and horror writing of my youth.
For more about freakpunk, read the first freakpunk issue from the old Were-Traveler site, found here: Southern Fried Freak Show!
I hope to read your unique and special and creepy freakpunk stories soon.
I've been considering future themes for issues. Sometimes the old publisher bunnies get breeding like mad in my brain and I have to stop at some point and say..."Whoa! Only a few at a time please!"
Here are some themes being considered for future issues:
We shall see. First we need to get started with the themes we have now.
The original The Were-Traveler fiction eZine was first published in October 2011. The first issue was Hundred Word Halloween, a celebration of horror drabbles just in time for Halloween. There were fifteen drabbles published in that virgin voyage, by five authors. Not too bad for a first issue.
The Traveler grew after that. Authors and poets from all over the world have been published on this little modest speculative fiction site. The site author, publisher, and editor, Maria (M.X. or Reo) Kelly took care of everything alone for six years while working two-to-three jobs and trying to stay healthy.
In late 2017/early 2018 she had a health scare. She got sick and thought it might be cancer. She [finally!] was able to get tested [colonoscopy] in 2019 and the results came back negative for cancer...just a bit of diverticulosis.
Needless to say, she was exhausted physically and mentally for a long, long time. She put the eZine on hold and focused on surviving [financially and physically and mentally]. Recently, her main part-time gig offered a chance for a full-time promotion position. She went for it, and got it. She is now in a position to start this modest internet speculative fiction magazine back up again and make it even better. She is in a position to offer authors pay for their work now.
M.X. is looking forward to taking The Were-Traveler even further! I hope you enjoy reading the NEW and Improved Traveler!