The COVID-19 Series: The Apocalypse & Apocalyptic Literature


ANGELA FABUNAN: Hello, we are the Inklette editors and we just want to talk about dystopian literature related to the COVID pandemic that is happening around the world. So, I am Angela Fabunan, I’m the poetry editor, one of the poetry editors for Inklette and we’d like to just talk a little bit about it today. So, I live in Manila, we are in lockdown at this moment. We’ve been in a lockdown for about three weeks, two to three weeks now. So no one’s allowed out, no one’s allowed to go anywhere, except for to stay at home. Yeah, so let’s go to Sav.

SAVANNAH SUMMERLIN: Hi! I am Savannah Summerlin. I am a blog editor for Inklette. I hold up in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. I don’t think the Missouri governor has put a stay-in-place for the whole state*, but I think there’s one for like, Kansas City and St. Louis which are like the two major cities. I am just staying at home because that’s the safest thing to do for me and everybody around me. Before COVID hit, I was doing the Disney College program at Walt Disney world. I was a photographer, having a great time and then Disney, obviously, they closed the park so they sent us all home. So now I’m here at home, waiting for things to calm down so I can go back to Disney or move to New York or just, you know, leave my home again basically.

AF: Okay, let’s go to Laurelann!

LAURELANN PARKER: So I’m Laurelann Parker, I’m one of the prose editors for Inklette Magazine. I live in a little, tiny town here in New Hampshire. I’m full time an academic advisor for a local university that has a global campus online as well. And we’re currently working full-time remotely, kind of three weeks already and looking at another four at least so far. And yeah, otherwise, I have a small business that I run online as an e-commerce business so that’s kind of been impacted a little bit, that’s why I have slowed down on shipping things and stuff like that. But we’re only having essential businesses open. We don’t have anything necessarily locked down per se, but it’s encouraged to stay home as much as possible and only go out when needed.

AF: How about you, Joanna?

JOANNA ACEVEDO: Hi! I’m Joanna Acevedo. I’m a prose editor at Inklette and I just started this week, so I am really excited to be here. Before the pandemic started, I was a graduate student and an adjunct professor at New York University. Now, I’m teaching my class online and I’m also taking my current classes online as well. I’m in Brooklyn, I’m in New York City, so it’s the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. So everything is pretty locked down, but my area in Bushwick is weirdly normal. There’s still people on the streets, people are wearing masks, people are walking around, not in groups but you do see people out on the streets smoking cigarettes and people are still playing music on the streets. So it doesn’t feel that weird but everyone’s wearing masks so there’s like a little dystopian air to the whole thing. The traffic has slowed down. So it’s a little bit strange to walk around. I’ve been taking long solitary walks just to see what’s going on.


AF: Yeah, so I brought up the topic of dystopian lit, and post-apocalyptic literature and apocalyptic literature because, for me, in Manila, it seems so weird to go out in the streets and there’s no one there, like absolutely zero. And then everyone is in masks like you were saying, so I just thought it reminds me a little bit of like some stuff I read before, like especially when I read, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. Like, different things in that novel are just… like, everyone is online now, right? So everyone is in this cloud and then I feel like there’s a lot of paranoia in my country and I think in a lot of countries too, like, maybe you can relate, of how people are fearful of what’s gonna happen, people are dying, people are not really as well. So what can we pick up from the arts, what can we pick up from literature about this? Is there anything that we can look to?

SS: Well, for me, I thought a little bit about how with us dealing with this pandemic in all the YA dystopian fiction that I read when I was younger, because in those YA fictions, we start out with our protagonist who is going against the government. Everyone else is going with the grain and listening to what the government is saying but that protagonist is going against the government, what they wanna do is actually going to push the society forward and break them out of this horrible little world they’ve been living in. Whereas with us, the people who aren’t listening to what is being said, like we’re being told to stay inside and shelter in place. And it’s those people who are still continuing to go out and enjoy themselves who are actually making the situation worse. So I was kind of thinking about how we have those two parallels going next to each other.

AF: I think it’s also quite interesting how in these dystopian universes, there’s always, like what you said, everyone is always following a sort of leader or a kind of a government. And then their world is turned upside down by one revolutionary minded person, right? Or one upstart, you know? So I just thought that it’s interesting because like The Giver, for example,  or in Fahrenheit 451, you have these heroes who do go against whatever is imposed by the government. Usually these are tyrannical governments, or usually these are in that universe of the post-apocalyptic. Anyway, world-building: kind of funny that these people are world-building, that these authors are world-building and yet, the world that we see now is so weird, right? Like, so different. I mean, how is that for you guys? The the world is so different now. Like Joanna was saying, it seems weird to see people in masks, right? What else is different, I guess, in your part of the world?

JA: I’ve been seeing the litter has changed. This is so bizarre. Instead of seeing empty bottles or cigarette butts, I see people leaving abandoned gloves and masks on the ground. And that’s, first of all, gross, but, second of all, even something as banal as litter has changed. It’s just such a small detail that I wouldn’t have thought of when I think of the things that are changing.

SS: Joanna, do you take pictures at all?

JA: I do, yeah!

SS: Because that would be a super-interesting photography series of seeing all these discarded masks and gloves all over New York city.

JA: Yeah, I have been trying to take pictures of nice things. Um, but I do take pictures, so… I’ve been trying to take pictures of flowers, trees blooming. But I can take pictures of that as well.

SS: You don’t have to. That just immediately what came to my mind. Don’t do that! Take pictures of beautiful things. Find beauty.


AF: It’s quite funny how, for example, in The Handmaid’s Tale and in [the works by] Jonathan Lethem, like everyone is in their minds, right? And now that we’re stuck inside our homes and we’re sheltering in place, we can’t really get out of our minds. How do you guys feel about that?

LP: I find myself being online a lot more, almost to kind of distract myself from things because I don’t want to spend a lot of mental energy on what’s going on, especially because there’s nothing that I can do other than staying at home and going about my life and doing what I need to do. And I think, in turn,  I’ve been trying to kind of trying to balance that out because I don’t want to spend all my time on electronic devices because I already work full-time on a computer. I find myself trying to pursue new ways to spend time outside and coming from a pagan background as well, I think that’s a little bit easier but also kind of refreshing to be able to take the time to shift focus that way. And I think a lot of people are taking a shift toward nature and slowing down and trying to notice new things or do things differently maybe. So I guess that’s the only thing that’s changed for me, really, here. But I don’t know, I think I’m more mentally taxed at the end of the day than I would normally be, in a weird way.

AF: I mean, everyone’s worried and afraid about what’s going to happen. I think what’s important to realise is that some of these scenarios are really coming alive, especially the internet like what you were saying. Because I was thinking of 1984, and right now how everyone is worried about spies, or about someone spying on their information and we live in that world now where, for example, you have malware, and you have all these spy tools that you never really know who’s watching you. That’s very much a mark of dystopian literature, right? That we don’t actually know who’s snooping. And now everyone is online, so it’s really difficult to get offline. But at the same time, when you’re online, you don’t know what’s happening, or you don’t know who has access to things. That’s just interesting, how it feeds on people’s perspectives or views.


JA: Yeah, I got a notification that my screen time has gone up like two hours on my phone since this happened, which is like a lot.

LP: Yeah, I think I’ve seen something similar.

AF: Like, everyday? Like, two hours more than usual everyday? That’s already like ten hours more of screen time per week.

JA: I spend now almost five hours on my phone everyday. Of the, what, 14 waking hours? So almost half.

AF: I mean, work from home is hard. It’s like an eight hour day that you used to spend in the office, now you’re spending the eight hours online, right? So, it’s difficult.

JA: Yeah.

LP: It’s also become a way to connect with other people. Like, slipping on your phone to chat or have video chats like this. I think for a couple of hours last night, I was online with some friends just hanging out and chatting. Like, it was weirdly the most introverted kind of video chat I have had since this has started. Because we were all just hanging out online, not really talking much and playing some sort of game in front of us which was kind of sad, but also just really nice to have that pseudo sort of hangout because it’s what we’d do in person together.

SS: Oh yeah, like with your close friends you’d be like, “Hey, come over,” and then you’d all just be sitting on your phone for hours. And you’d look up, and you’d go, “Oh, I guess you should probably go home.” There was no quality time because like when you get really close to people, you barely have to talk. If you’re close to someone, you’re probably talking anyways. When they come over, it’s not like you have much new to say. So it’s like, do what you’re going to do at home but with me so I have company.

JA: One of my best friends and I, what we do is we get together and drink wine and we sit in the same room and we go on dating apps.

AF: We do the same, but now on Zoom! Like, me and my friends are zooming and holding like liquor or beer in our hands and it’s weird and it’s bizarre but no one is allowed to go outside. It’s stricter in the Philippines than it is, from what I know, in the US. But it’s just kind of bizarre to look at our Zoom pictures and see that we’re all holding liquor. And then, you know, stuff like that. It’s just weird. I think it’s funny in this bizarre way.

LP: Like, last night, me and my friend were the first two that got on together last night. He showed me his drink, like “hey I got wine here,” and we just did one of these [cheers] at the screen.

AF: You cheered? Haha, alright. Okay, so what other takeaways can we take from our photography, literature? What other things, do you think, or scenarios remind us of this?

JA: I’ve been thinking a lot about the YA book, Life as We Knew It. Does anyone remember this book?

LP: I don’t know if I read that one but it sounds familiar.

SS: I think I’ve read it.

JA: Where the asteroid hits the moon.

SS: YES! Oh, sorry.


JA: Okay, so it’s this book where an asteroid hits the moon and knocks it closer into  orbit with the earth and so it totally screws up the tides, and there are all these tsunamis and then there are all these droughts. It’s about this suburban family. First, things are kind of okay and they have a bunch of canned food and the family is alright and they’re doing fine and school ends. And it’s summer and the two kids are fine. And then, things start to get weird. There’s a drought, and then there’s flooding, and then there’s a snowstorm, and then the kids get sick and then the mom gets sick, and then the teenage daughter. It just gets worse and worse and worse. And I keep thinking of how things are okay right now but we don’t know how things are going to change in the future. We’re doing fine right now. And I’m personally, like, I’m fine. I have a job and I’m FaceTiming my friends and I’m doing fine and I’m getting work done and I’m pretty happy. But we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, we don’t know what the next day is going to bring. And that’s what is getting to me. That question of: what’s next month going to look like? What’s next year going to look like?

SS: We don’t have an end date.

JA: Yeah, and so Life As We Knew It is really getting to me.

AF: Especially because now we don’t know. Like, there are countries where they don’t know where to bury their dead too. Like, just so many people dying, so many people are sick that the schools are turning into hospitals and all these things. So, it’s changing and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. And that’s really difficult. But I think that if it is an indication, there are positive few changes. I know that because there’s less traffic, the earth is healing. Have you heard of this? That more of the ozone layer is healing because of less pollution in the air because more people are staying at home and stuff like that.

SS: Animals are starting to return to places they used to be in as well. I saw dolphins come back to the canals of Venice but then I saw that was fake. But I like to think that it’s true because I like dolphins and I love to imagine a situation where I can be in Venice and see dolphins in canals but I know that by the time I can get to Venice once this is over, they’re gone. Because life has returned to normal. But just all over, they are coming down from where they were because we’re not there so like what’s going on and they are kind of reclaiming all these spaces we took from them long ago. So it’s nice that they have it even for this little while and that something kind of good is coming. Not good but, you know, there’s a positive in all of this negative that can be found.

AF: Right, right. I mean, it feels like there has to be something good that comes out of this. It just can’t be all this bad. Is there anything that we can do as readers? What is the role of literature at this time? Or the arts and humanities? What is its role? How will it help other people?

JA: I thought about this a lot as a writing teacher. Because when this first started happening, I was like, oh my god, I am not a doctor or nurse. I’m totally useless. My skills involve teaching narrative structure to teenagers. Like, I can’t help anyone with anything. I sit around and think about sentence structure all day. Like, what have I been doing with my entire life? And then I had, you know, like a crisis of faith. And then I sat down and I thought, you know, this is what I can do. This is what I’ve got and I might as well just keep doing it. And I sat down with my students and we made a list of ways to write during the end of the world. And there were things like: get out of your environment, move to another room in your apartment, or think about a memory that makes you happy, or do a character study instead of trying to write a piece, or write in a genre that you don’t normally write in. So just things that could get you out of your rut.

LP: I think, similarly, free-writing could probably be really helpful. Just to kind of letting things flow, or sometimes even journalling, I think, can be really helpful when we’re stressed out. Things to kind of loosen things up a little bit. And allow you to more easily write otherwise, because if you have decluttered [your mind], it might allow you to come to the page easier.

JA: So I think that when you have no other skills like I do, that art is kind of the only thing you can do, you have a responsibility to keep doing it.

LP: I think art is also increasingly important when it comes as a form of a de-stressor for a lot of people, whether it’s writing or being able to  read and have that kind of escapism from what’s going on, or, in general, creating can be therapeutic for a lot of people. Like a lot more people lately have been saying, “Oh, I decided to do this painting,” or something. Or, like, “I am getting to more craft things.” I think that’s really cool. And I love to see more people get into that and I think it’s interesting how the arts seem a lot more appreciative these days.

AF: Actually, that’s true because I think a lot of people are turning to art because they need it, because some people feel like if it’s dark times, the first thing that they’ll turn to is art to help lift them up from it. So it’s true what you guys are saying. But also, I think that art, at least for the Philippines and for the people on the Philippines, in this country I think art helps as a witness, to bear witness to things that are happening here and to bear witness to their daily lives and how it’s changing. And I think that’s helpful. Because we do need to keep a living record of these things that are happening in our various countries and in our daily lives. What about you, Sav? What do you think?

SS: I definitely think that whether or not people realise that they are turning to art more and more, like they are picking up and going to Netflix and watching their favorite comedy over and over again, or they are re-reading their favorite book. Like you said, they are picking up a random craft: they are painting, or they are knitting. But I’m kind of torn between knowing that I should be using this time to create because my job was taken from me, I am at home. This would be the perfect time to think of something or produce something that I am proud of. But I also feel like because we live in a capitalist society, at least in the United States, productivity is kind of ingrained in me. I’m like, “Oh, I have time off where I am not working. I have to be productive.” Well, that’s not true. I very much struggle with writing when I am not inspired. I’m very much a person, like, I’ll be getting into bed and then a poem idea pops in my head and I guess I’m not going to bed. But that’s like where I do the majority of my writing. I feel very stuck when someone is like, “Oh you have to sit down and you have to write this,” which makes me go back to older ideas I had and then I kind of get started. So I am kind of fighting the battle between wanting to write and create and feeling like I have to write and create because I don’t want this to end in, you know, however many weeks or months, and people going, “Oh what did you do during quarantine?” and then if I say, “Nothing,” they’re like, “Oh you didn’t write anything or read anything?” And I’m  like, “what’s wrong with me saying yes?” Is yes or no the correct answer? There is no correct answer, I am supposed to do what’s best for me. And just because I am not creating art doesn’t mean I am not consuming it. Like, you look at my Netflix or my Hulu, I’m definitely consuming art. But I do think I want to start creating it, but not for anyone else. Just for me to start making sense of everything that’s going on. I definitely agree that we should be using art as like markers for what’s happening to keep record but I don’t think that’s going to be my vibe. Only because I am in suburban Missouri so when it’s a nice day, it doesn’t look like anything has changed. Like, people are outside. They are playing with their kids in their yard. So it’s a disconnect. I see all these things happening on the news, and it doesn’t necessarily feel like my reality because if I go to the grocery store, there are still cars in the street, there is really not a lot different yet. I am hoping it doesn’t become too different.

AF: I think what is interesting too is that we become more in tune with ourselves, like when we’re in solitude. So if you haven’t really seen as many people as you are used to seeing or if you’re just alone in your room all the time self-quarantining, and for people who live like all over the world would do that. Or who are at risk and have to self-quarantine. I think it’s important to take this time to really just think and it can be about the arts. It can be about anything. Just really think and get in touch with yourself for whatever purpose. I think we’ve been given this time to really just sit down with ourselves and just really face ourselves, and figure out what is it that we really want and what is it that we really need. And like the earth has been given this time to heal, we’ve also been given this time to heal. But I believe in new age, so maybe that’s just BS for people.

LP: I really liked what you said when you brought up the idea of getting back to creating for yourself because you are absolutely right to say that productivity and creating and having something tangible to show for your time is really prevalent in this day and age. I am part of like a really large community of small business owners who are in businesses of handmade items and I got frustrated at one point with somebody because they were super focused on the business side of things and being frustrated that sales weren’t going well. So okay, well, remember too why you’re doing this. You’re creating first for you, because this is something you enjoy doing and not for the sale. And I think the same thing can be said for writing that you come to the page first to write for you, the story that you want to read, to hear, to be able to sometimes share with others. And I think being able to first remember writing for yourself might be especially important in these times too.

AF: Absolutely!

JA: One of the questions that I ask my students is: would you rather write all the time and no one ever reads it but you get paid a check every month that covers all your living expenses, or would you rather write all the time and you’re really famous but you have to work a day job and you don’t make any money off your writing? And so that question gets to the point of: are you writing for yourself and you just have to write for yourself and that’s the only reason you have to write, or are you writing for other people to read it and to connect with other people? And I think that that answer is different for different people. And I think it’s a good question, it’s a good thing at your core to be writing for yourself for yourself and not to be writing for other people and for money. It’s a good thing.

LP: I think it makes the writing more authentic too.

AF: I mean, you are your first reader, right? You are the writer but you are also the first reader of what you are writing. So I think it’s really important.

SS: I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with wanting to write something you want other people to read as long as you kind of come first, and they are the secondary thing. When I write sometimes, I like to think of it as, “Oh, I very much want to write a book that a girl like me,  you know, five years or ten years from now is going to read, and it’s going to make her fall in love with reading, fall in love with writing or discover something about herself/himself.” I kind of frame my writing in the good that it can do, which I problematise all the time. I know that has a lot of issues wrapped around it, because I also should, again, be able to just write for myself. That’s a whole other thing.

AF: Yeah, I guess when I was talking about poetry of witness, too, that’s both writing for yourself and for others. Like what you were saying, like writing for ourselves in a way where this is our experience, this is how we see the world, this is how I see the world in particular, this is my experience in particular. And then if others can relate to that it’s like the secondary thing, it’s not like writing for others necessarily. And it’s not changing your views about what you think other people will say or what other people should do. But you know that your experience can help somehow other people. So I think I agree with the consensus that you have to write for yourself first but the secondary thing when you affect others with your writing, or when you affect the community or circumstances with your writing, I think that’s really the best thing.

SS: That’s the goal. Me first, world second.

AF: Although the world is kind of insisting on itself these days.

SS: He’s in need of some help right now. So maybe we’ll be [going along] at the same time, do it all at the same time.

AF: So I guess, just to wrap up, like what’s our takeaway in general from what’s happening in the world due to COVID-19, due to art, due to literature? What’s our takeaway? Or what’s your takeaway?

JA: My mom said something interesting to me the other day which was that previously, like during 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina, we saw communities of people coming together to help each other and band together and now, in this pandemic that can’t happen because we really have to stay isolated. And that’s what is so different that we can’t come together and we have to stay apart. And that’s what’s so difficult is that we all feel so separate. I think, finding new ways to come together and communicate and share things with each other… and for me, that’s been like sharing writing with my friends, because I have a lot of writer-friends, I have a lot of musician-friends, I have a lot of artist-friends, and for me sharing work with my friends has been a way that I have been keeping myself together. It’s just been like, “Look, what I am doing! Look, what you are doing! This is so great!” And this is how we’ve been staying connected.

LP: I was just going to say that I really liked your mention of sharing “Hey, look what I did” kind of thing, because I think the other day, I was kind of recounting what all I’d accomplished that day and it seemed like small things. But I got through a whole work-day from home, I managed a safe grocery run, I made dinner and cleaned up after dinner and then I got some rest with a nice glass of wine and did some crafting. And overall that felt like a very accomplished day even though it was a lot of really small things. But I think going back to basics in that way and the little things that make you happy can be really nice too and even if we can’t really come together as a community, looking inward and seeing where you can change in your own routine, or shift things for the better for yourself, and maybe do things for the community on a singular level can also be good. Like all the people who are coming around and making masks for other people who really need it. I love that, I love seeing that. Me and a lot of other crafters are turning to that.

AF: Sav, you were going to say something?

SS: Oh, I was going to ask Joanna, because she’s in New York, because you were talking about us not being able to come together as much during the pandemic but, like I saw in Italy, they would come out at a specific time and clap for healthcare workers, and then in New York they’re doing it too. I don’t know, you said you were in Brooklyn. But have you seen that or witnessed that at all, people coming out on the streets and clapping at a certain time?

JA: My neighbourhood is majority Mexican and not that English-speaking.

SS: Okay.

JA: So I haven’t really seen that. Because I think that people are not watching English-speaking news.

SS: Yes.

JA: But that is just my guess. Because I did look, I did put my head out at 7 when that was happening and I didn’t hear anything.

SS: Okay. I was just curious. Because I think that’s kind of really one of the only ways that we can come together right now. I hope that when people are doing that, if they are able to, they are donating to organisations that are on the frontlines. I’d love that participatory culture to be accompanied by actual monetary help because at this point, we do need it. People do need masks, they need ventilators. We do need that safety equipment for our doctors. And as heartwarming as it is to see people clapping and supporting them, they need masks more than they need us to applaud them in the streets.

AF: Even from the safety of my house, I haven’t left the house in like a long time, so ever since we’ve been locked down, officially locked down. But a friend of mine who is a doctor and a poet, Ralph Fonte, he’s heading this group that is called Verses in Quarantine so we’re a group of young writers in Manila and we’re just writing arenga everyday, like everyday we do arenga. So we each get one line and so many different topics have come up, so many different arengas and poems have arisen. We’re on like number 30 or 32 arenga already. So we’ve created 32 poems from different lines from each person. I think that’s great. And then, I have another friend who is getting donations so he’s basically partnered with an organisation. So he would ask for donations to go to this organisation and then that organisation would help farmers but that site wouldn’t release his book till there has been a donation made to that organisation. So I think in little ways we can kind of help as writers in those kinds of ways, we can help a little bit with people that are suffering from COVID or people that are not sure what to do in this situation.

SS: I’ve kind of been thinking also about the art and the movies and the albums that were going to be released in this period but have been pulled. Like, Mulan was supposed to be in theaters and they didn’t release A Quiet Place II which was supposed to come out. Lady Gaga’s album was supposed to come out but she pushed that. I’ve just kind of been thinking about the dynamics of…

AF: Like, what’s relevant now or?

SS: No, not even what’s relevant. Like, I know they are not releasing it now because, of course, they want it to make a big splash and they want people to be able to go out to theaters and see it, and they want it to have a box office debut but if they had released it or sent it straight to home? Like, with Disney, Onwards has already come out but they sent Onwards to Disney+ a couple of days ago so now anyone who has Disney+ can just watch it. So if they had sent it straight to a streaming platform, like even if Lady Gaga had just released her album… I was reading about why she didn’t want to release it and well, a lot of [her] fans are going to be really disappointed right now and that music definitely, probably could’ve helped a lot of people. So I was kind of interested in thinking about the monetary reasons why she didn’t. Because if it’s finished and had a release date when it was going to come out, why push it? Like other artists have been letting their music be released during this time, knowing it might not trend as well as they want it to because people have other things to think about. But also knowing that for their fans, it’s exactly what they need right now: listen to that good album, escape for like 45 minutes to an hour, or seeing a good movie and escaping for that hour and a half or two hours. So I’ve been thinking about the parallels between a lot of things that we had that we were looking forward to– concerts and all of those things– have been cancelled because that can’t happen. But movies coming out can happen, it’s just a matter of all the people who “own” the movie let them not do as well or not make the money that they intended just because it’ll make a lot of people feel good. So I’ve just been thinking about that.

AF: So I guess that’s pretty much it for today. But let’s just invite everyone to submit to Inklette Magazine from April 1 to April 30. So submissions are open for everyone. Let’s go around and say what we’re looking for in the genres we’re editors for. So for me, I’m a poetry editor. I’m really looking for poems that can be experimental to formal, doesn’t matter, just poems that catch my attention, of me and the other poetry editors. And really feel as though we connect or relate to the experiences on the page. How about you, Laurelann?

LP: I’m a prose editor. I primarily do fiction. I mean, I review nonfiction as well. But usually, I work to help develop the fiction pieces. I don’t know if I am looking for anything in particular. I’m always just down for a good story, you know? Like a truly well told story. A good plot, I guess, maybe. I haven’t, you know, read something that felt kind of unique in a little while. So, I guess if you feel like your story is something different, we’re happy to get to read it.

JA: I’m prose editor too. And I’m always looking for interesting language. I like using old words in new ways. I’m looking for story as well, but that’s less important. I think that if you can surprise me with your language and your form, I will be more interested in whatever you have to tell me.

LP: Also, a good, compelling character, I think. Characters are getting less focus. Sometimes in a particular story, if we have nice, complex characters, that can really make even a basic plot more interesting.

AF: Same with us. Like in poetry, the persona needs to be really strong.

SS: I’m just a blog editor. So I look forward to reading all of the strong characters and the new and old language that y’all pick out once it’s up and ready to rock and roll.

AF: Yay! Okay, well, I guess that’s it for us. I’ll get to see you guys while we’re working on this issue. And take care, stay safe. Be well.

LP: You too!

JA: Nice to meet you!

SS: Nice meeting everybody!

AF: Bye!

LP: Bye!

SS: Bye!

* This blog was recorded before April 3, 2020, as of which the Governor of Missouri, Gov. Michael L. Parson, issued a Stay at Home order that was to be in effect from April 6, 2020, and has currently been extended until May 3, 2020. For COVID-19 related updates in the state of Missouri, please keep checking Missouri State’s official website regularly by clicking here

To learn more about the Inklette staff members and read their bios, please visit our Masthead page by clicking here