Friday, August 15, 2008

"A Child of Wonder"

“A Child of Wonder” - A Preview of the Editorial from Issue #12 of If - E - Zine(tm)

It is difficult for me to believe I’ve been publishing If – E – Zine™ for five years now. In those five years I’ve moved three times (including once across the country), watched two Olympics (just witnessed Michael Phelps win his seventh gold and heard he had already won his eighth), watched nearly every game of a World Cup, been best man in two weddings, congratulated three friends on becoming fathers, watched my country re-elect an idiot, went from paying $2 to nearly $5 for a gallon of gas, read more books and watched more movies than I care to admit, got glasses, caught the biggest bass of my life (17-½”; 6.5 lbs.), written a novel, been to two Wrestlemanias, tasted alcohol for the first time, enjoyed several fine cigars, went through treatment for Hepatitis C, hunted for the first time in my life, grew my first tomatoes, attended every event of a local Golden Gloves championship, mowed my first lawn, watched with the world as New Orleans was flooded, went to New Orleans, went to Disneyworld, reconnected with old friends I’ve not seen in a decade or more, watched Sri Lanka nearly get washed away into the sea, said farewell to Arthur C. Clark and Kurt Vonnegut, watched the Giants upset the Pats (and cheered!), watched my Angels win the World Series without me, been rejected by countless publishers and magazines, went from lower-middle class to steeped in poverty and surrounded by neighborhood violence, made new friends, been scared to say what I really thought lest my country invade my home, rowed a boat, practiced yoga, watched Los Angeles burn (some more), learned to crochet, blogged, and ate and slept and done horribly boring domestic things since I published that first issue in August, 2003.

It sounds like I’ve done a lot in five years. I guess I have. But in many ways my life has been quite pedestrian. Through it all has been my little ezine.

If – E – Zine was started so I could practice my writing, to cut my teeth in hopes of making jagged edges into finely pointed fangs.

If – E – Zine was started so I could promote myself without the aide of an agent or PR specialist.

If – E – Zine was started so I could have fun working on it between larger projects, to break up the heaviness elsewhere in life. I think the idea of having fun, of fulfilling my inner geek, of celebrating the things I love speaks to any success the ezine has had these first five years. At the core of If – E – Zine is a fan of science fiction, of horror and of Halloween. A fan that loves the material and history of zines as well as all things speculative, all things filling the world outside human boundaries and the science that pushes at those boundaries; a fan of all things creepy and brimming with wonder.

Wait a minute… creepy? Science fiction? Indeed! For what greater horror-maker is there but science? Perhaps religion? Exorcists and mad scientists abound in horror stories because they bring with them the authority of their respective fields, fields that fill our lives to give us purpose and reason… and a horrifying tale backed by purpose and reason is far more plausible, far more horrifying.

No matter where I go, no matter what I do with my life I will always be that boy growing up in Long Beach, California; watching classic movies on the Family Film Festival hosted by Tom Hatten on KTLA; venturing into books with Gumby; entering the Land of Frooze; enjoying a slice of chocolate cream pie at Millie’s on Redondo; playing in the schoolyard of Horace Mann Elementary.

As I sit here writing this on a yellow legal pad while watching some horror movie on TV just the way I wrote my first story on a yellow legal pad at age eight while watching the annual Twilight Zone marathon, I know I am still that little boy.

If – E – Zine and I are children of wonder.

Thank you for five wonder-filled years.

I’ll get to work on the next five years as soon as I can.

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