Popshot Magazine was one of the first literary magazines I’d ever read. I remember flipping through the incredible writing and beautiful illustrations, imagining how I would feel if I could get a story published there too.
Today, I can tell you what it feels like.
It feels amazing. I set a goal and I reached it. People talk about publishing in your dream journal, and now I understand.
Younger me would have never believed it. I want to go back in time, shake her by the shoulders and say, “YOU’RE GONNA DO IT! DON’T STOP WRITING!!!”
Here’s a bit more on how this story was born:
Spoilers below for “What Nobody Knows About Josephine”
The victims of these crimes were often described very aseptically. Height, weight, eye color, and so on. Authorities need to make it easy to find and identify people, so they distill each person to their most basic features.
But as I listened to these stories – some of them truly gruesome and devastating – I wondered what it must be like to be the family, friends, or even acquaintances of a victim. To know not only the color of my missing sister’s eyes, but also that they are often full of tears because she holds them in until she can go to her secret place to cry. It’s an awful reality that a victim must be reduced to what they looked like, or what they were wearing, or where they were at a single point in time. But people are much more than that, and no one would know better than their loved ones.
So I wrote about it. “What Nobody Knows About Josephine” is about the loved one of a person who has disappeared.
Special shoutout to Silvia Stecher, who has helped bring the story to life with her art. It’s the first time one of my stories has ever been accompanied by an illustration, and I’m honored that it’s one of Silvia’s!
Fun fact: Josephine is named after Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
“Patched” by Aaron Menzel is a very wonderful, scary read from Popshot Magazine, and it’s available online in full. It’s about eyeballs, fyi.