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.