The New York Times once called Ploughshares Literary Magazine “the Triton among the minnows,” which is an impressive way of saying they are the cat’s meow. Aspiring writers should, if they don’t already, read the magazine because they continue to publish some of the best short fiction today (along with other things). Personally, I have a collection of old issues guest edited by writers I admire like Sherman Alexie and Elizabeth Strout.
Last November, on a Friday where I was supposed to be grading but found myself messing about on Twitter, I discovered that Ploughshares was looking for bloggers. Maybe it was the stress level inherent in the end of the semester or maybe it was too much coffee–whatever the reason, I thought I’d take a shot in a barrel of fish and submit a proposal. It was one of this things I send off into the universe every now and then, never expecting to hear back about.
Of course I did hear back (or there wouldn’t be a story). The invitation to join Ploughshares was followed by a flurry of emails between myself and my dean as I had to get permission to take outside employment since the publication required me to sign a contract. Waiting for confirmed permission with the deadline for accepting the invitation looming was probably the hardest part. In the wee hours of the last day of the semester, I got the all clear.
All that exposition to share that today my first post went live. I’m nervous, I’ll admit, as I sit here in my Ploughshares t-shirt. I’ve watched the other new bloggers post over the past few weeks and my resume is decidedly less impressive. Their posts have been witty and often cerebral as they approach reading and writing; mine is about why we like cowboys. I definitely feel like a minnow. So, even if you don’t care about cowboys or literary journals or literature, go take a look at my post for one reason: I am just a lowly teacher from Texas who is working for someone prestigious just because I had the audacity to say, “Why not me?”