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  • Issue 2 is Live!

    Issue 2 of 3Elements Review is now live! We have some great stories, poems, non-fiction pieces, and artwork in our second issue. This was our first issue that accepted non-fiction, and we accepted three great pieces. The new elements are up, as well, so we hope that you’ll consider submitting some new work before the next deadline.

    Magazine Issue No. 2, Winter 2014, by 3Elements Literary Review

    We took a bit of time off from blogging over the holidays. We spent time with family and friends. C.J. welcomed the newest member of her family at the tail end of the holiday season. I learned I am going to be an uncle soon and spent much of the break researching for the novel I’m writing. To say that we were busy is an understatement.

    Despite it all, we still manged to finish going through the submissions for issue 2, select them, go through edits, and put them into the format you see online. That’s the great thing about a journal that is online-only: we have the journal up a month after we close the deadlines for the pieces. This issue was a dream issue–it came together beautifully, and we had the experience of issue 1 to help guide us. We were able to get through the editing process quicker and more succinctly.

    And, like that, it’s 2014. A new year, a new 3Elements issue in the early stages of production. With that, I’d like to share a New Year’s Resolution with you. I’m one that writes in spurts–I’ll go weeks with writing every day, hundreds and thousands of words each day, and then I’ll stop for weeks at a time. Well, I want to write everyday. I bought a year calendar and I hung it next to my desk. I decided that every time I write 500 words, I get to make a slash through the day. If I write 1000 words or more, the slash becomes an “X”. The goal is to have mostly X’s on the calendar, and any time there isn’t one, I get to shame myself. I thought it was an attainable writing goal, and I think for anyone that writes, it could be easily implemented or modified. We ask that you write material using our elements each submission cycle, and I think that writing at least 500 words a day can help you attain the goal of a brand new piece inspired by the elements in the time we allot for writers to deliver their new work to us.

    Enough said. Happy New Year, 3Elements readers! I hope you all have a happy and healthy year, and I hope that many of you submit to our journal.

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    A Soft White Damn

    “Is it snowing where you are?  All the world that I see…is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns.”                           

     –Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs

    I braved the softly whitening world to run a couple of errands today.  The falling snow (of that fluffy, fat, slow-floating variety) fooled me into thinking the streets would not be slick, that I would not find myself in an obverse little snow globe (the flakes swirling outside the dome of my windshield rather than inside) repeatedly slipping through intersections or, even more often, in consistent peril of other vehicles sliding through them into me.  I should have known better.  As E.E. Cummings said, “The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches”–or, I might add, whose tire treads it renders ineffective and suddenly sled-like and spinning.

    Despite the accurate forecast, the city had yet to plow the streets.  After my tense drive to and from the grocery store, I surrendered all other goals and returned to the safety and comfort of home.  The snow is gentler, prettier from this vantage point, conferring upon the day a silence and solemnity that no other weather can.  The errands will wait.

    As snow blankets the world in its pristine hush, a writer’s mind, awestruck by the simple beauty of the season’s first accumulating snow, might suddenly blizzard in words and phrases a-flurry, storming against its own cliched tendencies and reaching for fresher description.  Or it might explode in the icy fireworks of remembered fragments of poems about snow or winter that suddenly tumble and swirl and collect in drifts and settle their crystalline lace on branches and against the windowsills for closer contemplation.

    What poems do you think of when you think of snow?  Two occurred to me: “Snow Day” by Billy Collins and “The Snowfall is so Silent” by Miguel de Unamuno.  I read them aloud in the white mask of the afternoon.  Whether or not it is snowing where you are, perhaps they’ll pitch and glide a little for you, too.

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    How to Write When Life Gets in the Way

    This has been a struggle for me over the last couple of weeks. Things are changing and I seem to forget to write. It’s not even that I forget to but the creative spark is nowhere to be found. Successful writers figure it out. Louise Erdrich has six children and they haven’t stopped her success. Andre Dubus lost the use of his legs when he was struck by a car and yet he wrote. How can we follow their examples?

    Most importantly, you have to want to find the time to write. A professor of mine used to work as a delivery driver and wrote at stoplights. Now, that’s dedication. He has published seven books. Where can you find the time to write? On the bus or train? On your 15 minute breaks and lunch break at work? Instead of reading before bed, try writing. Wake up thirty minutes early. Sacrifice that drink with a friend.

    Stop letting yourself be distracted. Turn off the TV. Turn off the wi-fi. Delete the Facebook app from your phone. Are all of those pointless statuses more interesting than your voice? No. The answer is no.

    Don’t beat yourself up over how much you’ve written. It’s great to have a word count goal in mind, but if you don’t reach it, there’s no need to punish yourself. If you only wrote one poem or two paragraphs, pat yourself on the back. Get back at it tomorrow.

    Is there chaos in your home? Rent a room at the library. Hightail it to the nearest coffee shop. For some reason, it’s easier for me to write amongst the hum of voices and espresso machines at a coffee shop than it is to write at home. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need.

    What’s that? You found twenty minutes to write but have nothing to write about? Please refer to this: Showing writer’s block who’s boss.

    My last advice is don’t go anywhere without a notebook and a pen. Now that I’ve shut down every possible excuse of my own, it’s time for me to go write. Good luck!

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