Last Sunday, Paper Darts supplied me with one box of Pizza Rolls and one bottle of RumChata and locked me in padded room to read fifty submissions from their slush pile. Here are some of the thoughts I had as I read through the stories.
This first story is okay, but how come the writer doesn’t know that whenever you have a tornado in your story you need to make sure there’s a dead Shetland pony in a tree when the storm clears? That’s a total amateur mistake.
I don’t want to join the chorus of editors who harp on writers to actually read some content in the magazine/journal they are submitting to, but this story about a cyborg hooker detective who plays tenor sax in a New Orleans jazz band probably would be a better fit at some place like Ploughshares, wouldn’t it?
I haven’t liked most of the submissions so far. Is this RumChata making me extra catty? It’s certainly making my Skoal Bandit taste way less minty.
I know I need to pick my battles here, but for the life of me I’ll never understand why writers don’t think eating an ice cream sandwich can be just as sensual as eating a popsicle!
Maybe it’s the Pizza Rolls talking, but these sexy tollbooth operator poems are way better than those sexy soup poems I read twenty minutes ago.
Pro tip: If your character needs to find evidence that they’re being cheated on, you should always have them find a half-eaten chicken quesadilla in their lover’s garbage can and that chicken quesadilla should have some frosted lipstick on the edges of the tortilla and the jilted lover should be lactose intolerant and named Glynnis.
The more drunk I get the more I want to make this recipe for RumChata Bananas Foster that’s on the side of this RumChata bottle.
In the death bed scene in the story called “The Drug Dealers in My Town Love to Go Foam Dancing,” the character pulls a feeding tube from his neck and liquid carrots shoot across the room. While that scene was well-written, can we see if the author would switch it to liquid beets? I just think liquid beets would be more poignant there, don’t you?
John Jodzio is not only Paper Darts’ very first guest editor—he is also one of four writers contributing a Choose Your Own Adventure story to our upcoming Third Thursday at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. There will be music, drinking, a giant game of exquisite corpse, improv actors, and so much more. Be there, January 17.
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