A decade ago I put myself out there on a whim. I wondered if people would be inspired by nail polish colors as titles, and if that could prompt stories of exactly twenty-five words. I prepared to be ignored, or worse, laughed at. I had been submitting short and very short fiction pieces, nonfiction essays, as well as poetry to literary journals for a few years, so I’d grown accustomed to rejection. Instead of being ignored or laughed at, I was delighted to find people excited about and enjoying the act of reading and writing nail polish stories. It was difficult to write them! But gratifying. Fun even. I was relatively new to micro-fiction, but my aesthetic had always been spare, un-flowery and emotionally bare. This idea that you need not many words but simply the right ones in the right order had long resonated for me.
What began as a weekly post on my regular blog, http://www.writenic.wordpress.com moved to a monthly post at its own home, http://www.nailpolishstories.wordpress.com. As submission numbers grew I switched it to a quarterly–four issues a year was all I could manage. My kids were 11, almost 10, and 6. I was also in the throes of intense personal turmoil with a medical diagnosis in my family. My life, as most lives are, was more complicated than most people knew. But this tiny thing, this little online world, burned bright. And I knew I belonged in it.
Many times throughout the last ten years I’ve considered what would be the “right” time to let go of NS. No one wants to keep a thing afloat past its prime. In the literary magazine world, ten is like dog years–quite old, but endearingly seasoned, well-loved, and intricately connected to everything you care about. It’s not time yet.
The thing I most enjoy about curating this tiny journal is interactions with submitters. I’ve written before about the initial motive for doing this, and it remains the same. I am consistently inspired by that thread that connects us as humans. The shared human experience, the universality of pain, longing, loss, joy, and love that is rendered through the arts. Via music, film, photography, painting, illustration, all of the various art forms, not the least of which, the written word, we truly see ourselves in each other, and more importantly, we are able to truly see each other.
I want to say happy tenth birthday to NS, to its readers and contributors. I want to thank every person who has ever clicked on the link to take a peek, even if it wasn’t your cup of tea. I want to thank those who have come back again and again. I want to thank professors who have used nail polish stories as a writing exercise for creative writing students. I want to thank family members and friends who have supported any and every writing and editing endeavor I’ve taken on simply because they believe in me, or simply because they love me. I want to thank writers, emerging and established, who have given NS a look, and who have taken on the challenge, and those who have supported from afar with a like or a comment on Facebook. I see each of you.
I make a practice of thanking submitters for trusting me with their work. As a writer myself, I see it as a unique and intimate honor to read your words and make a decision whether to publish them here. I viscerally understand the vulnerability of putting down words and sending them off for someone to make decisions about. Thank you to the submitters whose work I’ve accepted. Your talent reinvigorates me. Thank you to the submitters whose work I have not accepted. Your grace and understanding humble me. Thank you to those who just today clicked here for the first time. I’m glad for every connection. Happy 10th birthday, Nail Polish Stories, a Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.
Founding and Managing Editor, NS
Comments on: "Happy 10th Birthday, NS!" (2)
Congratulations on your 10th anniversary!! Your tiny stories and online journal are an inspiration to so many of us. Thank you for your dedication and giving back to the writing community. You’ve kicked-started far more literary careers than you may realize. 😎
Thank you! And the thought of having kick-started literary careers makes me beyond proud and grateful.