Conventional (i.e. not experimental),
The “NOW” world. That’s what we are living in. We want everything “now” and this is evidenced in the fact that everything has sped up. We started with Facebook, then Twitter came along to give us life condensed, then Instagram so we could see life in a snapshot, and now it’s Snap Chat which is so “now” it even saves time by deleting content for you. Crazy, right? The concept of “now” is growing and Blink Ink is filling a void in our ever-changing need to do things, see things and read things NOW.
Issue No. 23, entitled Mystery Train, describes itself as featuring “bits of succinct fiction” which is true but an understatement. I would describe it as featuring “life snapshots” because for me, this handy little journal is jam-packed with an array of moments, ideas, memories and snapshots of life. Most issues are themed and they accept fiction only, no poetry. They also accept submissions of art. Be sure to follow them on all of their social media platforms for information regarding upcoming themes, open reading periods and to familiarize yourself with what they are looking for should you intend to submit.
My first reaction to receiving this small 4 x 6 print journal was “Awesome, I can stick it in my purse and read it on my break!” which is exactly what I did. Blink Ink is a quarterly journal filled with micro-fiction, Smudge fiction, snap shots and word pictures. Submission to this journal requires all work to be approximately fifty words in length.
Short attention span? No time to read Game of Thrones on your lunchbreak? Well, then this journal is for you and at only $10.00 for an annual subscription, you can’t lose. I read the entire journal several times and each time I found something fresh that I had missed previously. I intend to keep it stashed in my purse.
The artwork included in this issue was both fun and theme related. I especially enjoyed the two Hobo drawings by artist and poet Tim Staley, as they are whimsical and well placed. Gregg Chadwick’s “20th Century Limited” piece was perfectly chosen to highlight the middle of the journal. This image must be truly something full size. Artist Woody Lewis’s cover art is amazing and a perfect choice. One thing the journal lacks, which I know is due to space, was contributor’s notes, which as a reviewer, is the section I normally read first.
The micro fiction, mostly based around the journal’s train theme, is eclectic to say the least. From Roman author piece entitled, “Sibyl” to Gay Degani’s contributions of “Prayer for the Children” and “Stephen King,” the work was nicely varied. I especially enjoyed Degani’s fiction about Stephen King and her efforts to achieve his autograph, although I didn’t see a connection to the journal’s theme of trains in either of her submissions. Elvis Presley’s appearance in the luxury “Palor” car was also a surprising treat.
Other contributors include Mohini Malhotra, whose piece “Ink” was one of my favorites. I felt the fear of being plunged into darkness followed by the panic and then the dampness of the ink. Great read with a lot of imagery! My other favorite was Jennifer Davis’s “Where Trains Have Been.” This haunting piece of a mere 60 words was a compelling addition that revealed a snapshot of the total misalignment between the minds of two people. While I found the last sentence shocking, it was real.
In addition to all of the great fiction filling the pages of this issue, there was a classy postcard insert entitled “Edgar Allen Poe-Boy.” This contribution, by New Orleans photographer and writer Kristin Fouquet, was a welcome surprise. The photo, of herself as Poe, was an intriguing choice and not lost on this reviewer since historically Poe has been regarded as the “architect of the modern short story.”
My rating for this pocket-sized piece of uniquely compiled literature is going to be four stars. My reasoning is due to conflicting information on Blink Ink’s website which states that it was so overwhelmed with submissions for this particular issue that it closed its reading period early. However, several of the works included were merely sentences and some were far from the submission requirement of “approximately fifty words” while a few seemed unpolished and not based on the issue’s theme. I cannot help but think some great material was over looked due to the reading period closing early.
Nonetheless, Blink Ink is a great little read and I highly suggest subscribing as a reader and submitting if you are a writer or better yet, BOTH!