Rigorous Literary Magazine is “A journal by black, indigenous and people of color,” that can be found here.
I’m honoured that Rigorous published my story ‘I Am Black‘. It’s a story about race. Simply, it’s a story about race, but there is nothing simple about this topic.
Why Am I in Rigorous?
To the point, Rigorous is a journal by black, indigenous and people of color. And I’m published in it. So you might surmise from that that I’m one of those groups noted in the tagline, and you’d likely think that I’m black as a result. I’m not. But I am a person of color. So perhaps this is a bit of a coming out for me. I don’t publish photos of myself. I don’t talk about myself much, if at all. But yes, I’m a person of color.
Given that I am a person of color, that may add some context to why I wrote ‘I Am Black’. And it may lend context to why the story ends the way it does.
Who is Trent Lewin?
So who is Trent Lewin? I’m an impostor. I don’t know why I picked the name Trent Lewin. But it is a name I picked. It’s not real. He’s not real. I’m not even sure he’s a he. It’s a spirit, and a craziness. It’s utter madness at times, the way I devolve into rants. Or try to subdue all that kinetic craziness to write something constrained. I’m a blog. I’m social media. I’m fake but real, not to be believed but very earnest in that at least. I spin fiction, and tell other made-up stories. The few times I’ve entered international short story writing competitions, I’ve placed really highly on a consistent basis, though I’ve not yet won.
Trent (he or she) is just another writer. A serious writer. A fiction himself/herself. Committed to this craft. Committed to writing something the likes of which people have not seen before.
How to Extend Your Voice
For years, writing was a cathartic element for me. It’s something I need to do. Many people feel like that. It has been a hobby. I have a job. I make good money. I have a family. I have friends. I have other things I do with my life. Writing was always sequestered into the dark corners of early morning or late night, coupled with coffee or wine depending on the sun’s status.
But it’s not like that anymore for me. There’s so much risk in being bold about your intent. You can fail easily when trying to publish your writing. You can make yourself look like a fool. But you have to extend your voice sooner or later, if you believe in it. And you can only hope that others respond to the stories that you have to tell – preferably many people, possibly searching for something different. For I am different. And I am new. And I will be bold.
And So On…
And so I Am Black. But I am not. A person of color with a made-up name that doesn’t sound like it’s of color. A writer growing more and more impassioned by the day about getting my voice out there. About reaching many people. About trying to make people feel the way really good writers have made me feel. That’s the journey.
So thank you, Rigorous Literary Magazine. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak a bit about who I am. I still haven’t figured it out. The truth will be in the words somewhere.
33 thoughts on “Rigorous Literary Magazine”
So … I guess that picture I found that I thought was you, wasn’t really you. This makes me sad.
It’s likely not me. Sorry Mark. I don’t recall why I made this separation way back when, but now it feels a bit inauthentic. And I wonder if I haven’t permanently disrupted my brain by trying to be different people depending on where I am. But what I need to do is give this an immense try, whatever that means.
Well, it’s a picture in connection with a story you submitted to the CBC short story contest.
I will neither confirm nor deny anything. There, it seems that in addition to being a writer, I’ve also become a politician.
I don’t recall.
Or maybe it was you. Or maybe. I’m sooooo confused now.
What have you wrought?!?!
Chaos and madness! I figure when you live an orderly live for the most part, you can devolve another part of your life into sheer weirdness.
I’ve thought of creating an on-line alter ego. Even have a name and an email account. I use it now to comment on political blogs, but maybe I can use it to create a whole different person and writer.
As long as you never lose who you are, it’s all good. And you’re by far one of the best, most supportive people I’ve ever met in my online world, Mark. I’m really glad to know you. One day, we’ll meet and have those beers together.
Yes we will!! It is a day I look forward to.
Hmmmmm…you have me thinking now. I do love that image and it does look familiar. I do also, love your writing. You have yet to let me down.
It’s from a game called Machinarium. Weird strange game full of puzzles and riddles. Quite love it. and thank you, Michelle. You are so incredibly supportive and I’m glad I haven’t let you down.
I will have to look for that. It might help keep some of the cobwebs out of this addled brain.
Always fucking with our heads, this one.
No matter what your name or what form you take – you are the still the words you share, the inspiration you bring, the joy, the delight, the jackass.
Messing with my own head on this one too, Fay. I can’t describe the sheer thrill of being labelled as bringing joy, delight and jackass… that should probably be my new tagline, cause that is pretty much what I strive for. So… when can I read something you’ve written? Dying to.
I tried to post this comment yesterday, but it kept failing to log me in.
Congratulations, Lewin. I’m so impressed by you. You’re a fucking genius, you know?
Nah Jones, not a genius, but I’ve given up on giving up (a friend said that to me not long ago), so this is it. Time to get to the hard work. I figured you’d know Machinarium. The amount of time I’ve spent playing that game… the riddles, the music, the images, the gorgeousness of that world… love it.
I only ever did the free version — but even that was a delight.
Is it weird that I always assumed you weren’t white? I have a guess about where you’re from (or your family was), which I am not going to ask you to confirm or deny.
It is weird, because my name is totally white. I am curious though about your thoughts, feel free to challenge me with your guess.
Well, if you don’t mind me guessing, I’m going to guess that the name of the country you or ancestors were from starts and ends with a vowel.
You are absolutely correct, X.
…but absolutely racist?
You? No way dude. But you are funny.
(fyi, not that it matters, right…)
Well, I see the image has already been identified. I thought it was an illustration of a scene the film ‘City of Lost Children’, a movie filled with such dark, mechanical imagery….
It was about stealing dreams, I believe.
Anyway, it’s great to read your words. I look forward to all of it. 🙂
Thank you, Holly. I don’t know that film, but it sounds like something I would like to watch. Stealing dreams… yes, definitely something I’d like to watch.
It’s French. La Cité des Enfants Perdus. It’s dark, dark, dark but filled with visual whimsy. 😉
Hear, hear. Huge congrats on your published piece – and stay real. Your voice holds.
This is very cool, Trent. One of my favorites of yours, congrats on getting it published.
Also, really dig the new design.
Thank you, Walt. Great to hear from you, my friend.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You are the wind beneath my claws.
Maybe someday, with you to look up to, this Crab will fly…..
I would do anything to see a flying crab, man. Let’s do it!