We have a Jack-a-huahua. That’s right, a cross between a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua. And he hates the postman. It’s not personal, the dog’s fearsomely territorial and the postman will keep poking stuff through the front door. As far as the dog’s concerned, it’s just not on. His belly may only be three inches from the ground but he can take care of his patch, thank you, and he is NOT, repeat NOT putting up with some bloke trying to get through the letter box every morning.
At least I think that’s what’s going on. Maybe he just wants to read our letters.
The other day I heard the usual cacophony going on at the front of the house and wandered through to rescue the mail. A large, cellophane-wrapped article had thumped to the mat and our fierce, warrior-hound was busy savaging it when I came around the corner. I bent to shoo him away and saw the word Mslexia beneath the dog drool and shredded plastic.
‘That is mine, you four-legged fiend,’ I said and pulled the magazine away. The dog gave up willingly enough, the postman had gone and his argument wasn’t with me, so he trotted off to his bed without a backward glance. I carried away my magazine and stashed it away for later.
Mslexia is a magazine for women that write. I love when it arrives because under that cellophane is a literary jack-in-the-box. The instant I open the front cover, inspiration comes springing out. I save up my reading until I can sit quietly and absorb, absorb, absorb. Then I will feel motivated to pick up a pen or crank up the laptop. Sometimes we all need a fire lit under us and this magazine does it for me. I’ve only read the new writing section, I’m saving myself for the rest.
I used to feel the same way about Granta but they changed the format and I fell out of love. I rely solely on Mslexia at the moment so it’s no wonder I’m rationing myself – especially as it’s a quarterly! I should go on the website (www.mslexia.co.uk) because there are lots of extra content but I never get around to it. Never mind, I have set myself some goals (and I intend to stick to them). They are as follows;
1. Get my short stories polished up.
2. Go online and research where to send them.
3. Send them.
4. Go off to my graduation and hope the dog tears up any rejection slips that arrive while I’m away.
There, I’ve written them all down, and where other people can see. I’d better get on with it instead of just writing/thinking about it. First though, I’ll just go and read a bit more of my magazine …