Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A 50-Word Story Zine: Blink-Ink

Blink-Ink, a friendly little quarterly literary magazine, was introduced to me when I announced a call for entries for Star 82 Review's 50/50-word story special flash issue last spring. Lynn Mundell, whose three pieces "Sweet" and  "Speed Dating, 2917" and "Main Street" I published in that issue, met me at our local library and gave me a copy of Blink-Ink, saying she thought I would enjoy it and that "Doug and Sally [Sr. Editor and Managing Editor, respectively] are great." Issue #22,"Cities" intrigued me enough to send some of my own stories to be considered for the next issue, "Magic." While my particular magic-themed 50-word stories were not accepted, Doug Mathewson sent me an encouraging response.


And a short while later, he very kindly sent me issues #23 and #24, "Mystery Train" and "Magic." "Mystery Train" had a table of contents like a train, listing the cars before each title and author: Coach 1, Coach 2, etc. to Dining Car, Pinkerton Car, Pullman. There is definitely a subtle book arts sensibility on the tracks here.



The stapled booklets came together in an envelope with Star Trek stamps, which pleased me. Doug wrote: "and yeah, we even care about the stamps—hope the whole thing is an art piece." Each issue contains about 20-25 stories and thematic quotes on the inside cover.

  
I highly recommend the "Magic" issue, my favorite so far. The topics are varied and surprising, the excellent writing is, yes, magical, and best of all, the humor of the stories is entertaining and delightful. It has its share of rabbits, dragons, talking flowers, and magic bracelets, but each with a twist and a relatable emotional core.

My recent submissions of 50-word stories were accepted. First, to #25 "Crossroads" and second, to the upcoming "Space" issue. Since the magazine is only available as a physical publication, subscribing seems like a good idea. On their Facebook page, if you subscribe you are also publicly thanked and receive a bonus copy of a chapbook by one of the authors.


"Crossroads" came with an interesting bonus booklet by Sally Reno, "Tom, the Henchman's Boy," that says it is "Brought to you by: The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang" and lists Doug as the publisher.


The materials and colors vary from issue to issue. "Cities" has a slick shiny cover from clay-coated stock with white printer paper inside; "Mystery Train" is gray card stock with gray paper inside; "Magic" has a color cover on semi-gloss paper with white paper inside; "Crossroads" has a warm tan cover with light tan paper inside. Each has materials that are related to the theme.

The magazine fits into a standard invitation envelope and in your back pocket, backpack, fanny pack, purse, hatband, saddlebag, evening bag, murse, and even between two slices of bread for a short, yet satisfying literary meal.


Thanks, Doug. And thank you, Lynn!

3 comments:

Sally Reno said...

Thank you ever so much ! We love you too. I recently bought your book, "Making Handmade Books:100+Bindings, structures & Forms" and am loving it. So inspiring. Don't tell Doug, but it's what I'm getting him for xmas. Look for more handmade touches in coming issues of Blink-Ink and Kitty Wang publications (Doug hand splattered the "blood" on the cover of "Tom, the Henchman's Boy") and, as ever, the very best in 50-word fiction.

Alisa said...

Terrific, Sally! So glad to hear!

eva a(r)t work said...

Thanks for this recommendation. I am going to check them out at once!