Volume 13 Number 4
Volume 13: 2011
14 February 2011
by Robert Whitsitt
Publishing a literary magazine like Amarillo Bay means that we are quite conservative: we publish works that meet the standards of traditional literature and are well written but likely couldn't be published elsewhere. That is often because they are downbeat or have subject matter that is not comfortable for a general audience.
In this issue, though, we break somewhat with that conservative tradition. We are publishing four "poems" that are not recognizably poetry by traditional standards. The poetry editor liked them, though, and we all agreed that these are more like poems than like fiction or creative nonfiction, and we wanted to publish them so we're calling them poetry. Take a look at the first four poems in this issue and see if you think they are poetry. And if not, then what are they?
We've broken with tradition before. In the first issue of 2005 we published a work called Resting Place that is flash fiction, a genre that is still in existence.
Mostly, of course, we publish what we always do: what we hope is the finest modern literature. We hope you agree.
16 May 2011
by Robert Whitsitt
This is an amazing issue. The fiction is magnificent, the creative nonfiction is great, and the poetry is fantastic. See the Contents and start reading!
What, still here? Okay, consider this: how is it that Amarillo Bay continues to have readers in its 13th year of publication? I believe it starts with our selection process: we consider all works submitted, both by published authors and by newcomers, and choose only the best. We then work with the author to improve the work. Finally we put the work up in a private place so the author can see the work exactly as it will appear when the new issue is published. It's amazing how often the author (who no doubt has read the work a zillion times) sees something that needs to be changed when the work is "typeset."
The result is a literary magazine that, while not always free of typographical errors or even the occasional misplaced modifier, is as good as the author and we can make it.
And we have something else that the average literary magazine can't claim: even after publication, we can make changes! We sometimes get corrections, both from readers and authors, after publication. If we were a dead tree publication, of course we couldn't make changes. But being an Internet publication, and being responsive to all communications, we can and do make fixes even after publication.
Life is good.
Life is good for other reasons: I recently upgraded to an Android Incredible 2 cell phone from Verizon. Every phone I've gotten since my first in the late 1980s has been an improvement, and this is one greatest improvements. My main use for it isn't even as a telephone: it's for e-mail, chat, and surfing the Web. I looked at the Amarillo Bay Web site with it, and was pleased to see that it looked quite good! I've tried some friends' smart phones, and some of them showed a disappointing view. I have made some changes to technical files that make Amarillo Bay bay look good in more phones, but there is only so much that can be done. Still, if you have a moment, you can probably read a story in Amarillo Bay on a recently made smart phone. I'm pretty proud of making that happen.
What, still here? Go to the Contents!
1 August 2011
by Robert Whitsitt
Excellence is rare. Really good is common, quite acceptable is easily come by. But true excellence is not something you run into very often.
I thought of that truism because recently I had occasion to find some true excellence. One was a meal, with my wife and her sister, at a restaurant called Ocean's Edge. It is south of the Carmel/Monterey area in the Big Sur part of California. It is on a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean, which is enough to make it spectacular. The service was friendly without being irritating, the sommelier knew wine and quickly found a relatively inexpensive one to go with our orders, the food was magnificent. (My mouth is watering at the memory.) Of course with food, you get what you pay for. I heard that each time the cost of a meal doubles, the quality goes up 10%. However it works, this was a meal worth savoring and thinking about repeating the next time we have anniversaries and birthdays that come together to justify the expense.
The second excellence event was much less expensive: just the cost of two tickets to see The Pirates of Penzance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. (Plus, of course, getting there, getting a room, eating while there, and so forth.) We enjoy nearly all of the plays here (for I am writing to you from Ashland, Oregon), but some stand out. The Hamlet last year, a Macbeth some ten years ago, and this year's Pirates. If there is some way you can get here and see it this year, I strongly recommend it.
(An aside: For the first time I finished creating and then making live an issue of Amarillo Bay while traveling. In the past, I have delayed new issues. With a modern laptop computer, good Internet connections, and a bit of planning before the trip, the technology now exists to do it. Will I ever do it on my phone or with a pad? I doubt it, but until recently I wouldn't have thought I could do it on a laptop.)
I am well aware that even excellent places sometimes have clunkers. Lana and I left at the intermission of one of the Ashland plays (the first time we've ever done that in Ashland). Was it just us or was the play really not up to par? I can't say for sure. The plays are so overwhelmingly wonderful that we'll be coming back for all of them for many years to come.
I do know that the works in this issue of Amarillo Bay are as good as we can make them. I hope that you find some of them memorable, and don't feel like walking out on any of them.
7 November 2011
by Robert Whitsitt
Another good issue. I think you'll enjoy it!
You may not have noticed, but current workers at Amarillo Bay cannot have their works published. Amarillo Bay is not a vanity press, and to avoid even the appearance we decided on that policy. (We have published works by people who later became volunteers.)
On a related note, my co-founder of Amarillo Bay, Dr. Jerry Craven, has created a literary press that publishes the best in contemporary literature. Ink Brush Press, which he created in 2009, actually prints books, as opposed to putting them on the Internet as we do at Amarillo Bay. He describes print on demand, the innovative way in which he prints the books at minimal cost, on this page.
As I write this Jerry is in the process of publishing Agave, a Celebration of Tequila, edited by Nathan and Ashley Brown. I was priviledged to have a story of mine, Old Man, included in that anthology, which is listed on the page.
If you are in the market for fine literature, which is likely since you read Amarillo Bay, I hope you consider works by Ink Brush Press.