Meet the Editors: Issue 7
What are you currently reading? What’s lined up in your TBR?
Elisabeth: I am reading a book called The God-Shaped Brain by Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., which is about how the brain responds to religious practices. I want to read a book called The Depth of the Human Person: A Multidisciplinary Approach, which is a more religious-based book, but it holds many theological and philosophical questions for deeper thinking.
Andrea: I’m enjoying President Obama’s new book A Promised Land. I plan on reading From Back Alley to the Border: Criminal Abortion in California, 1920-1969 written by one of my favorite history professors at La Sierra University: Dr. Alicia Gutierrez-Romine. She is an incredible instructor and really special individual…I highly recommend taking one of her classes if you can. She’s truly lovable!
Julia: I am currently reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. In addition, I have a stack of books as tall as me by my bedside for spring break reading; next on the list is The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.
Jessica: At the moment I am not currently reading anything, but the last book I read was Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, let me tell you it was quite the read. The next book on my TBR would probably be Les Misérables by Victor Hugo because I recently became obsessed with the play.
Sari: I’m currently reading Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods by Amelia Pang. I knew that cheap goods hurt the environment and reflected unsafe working conditions, not to mention inhumane wages, but I had no idea how common labor camps are in the supply chain or what the conditions are like in those camps. I hope this book will get a wide readership and will lead to change.
What are some other lit journals you’ve discovered through working with RR? Do you have a favorite?
Jessica: One of the literary journals I discovered through working with Roadrunner Review is the Taco Bell Quarterly, which shocked me because at first I didn’t think it was real but it was. That one is my favorite for sure.
Melissa: Literally all of them. Every journal I’ve been exposed to has been at least tangentially through The Roadrunner’s influence. Some that come to mind are the Santa Ana River Review, Lavender Review, and Pacifica Literary Review.
What is your favorite piece that Roadrunner Review has previously published?
Andrea: Wow! There are so many talented writers and pieces I absolutely love… It’s hard to pick just one, but if I had to select one it would be “Greydogs” by Travis Chambray (Issue 1).
Kevin: One of my favorites is “Audition Tips for True Professionals” by Joel Fishbane (Issue 4).
Jessica: From Issue 4, “Hemorrhage” by Michael Akuchie is something that I really enjoyed and resonated with. The author speaks of feeling disconnected from his heritage and the fear of slipping away from his roots. That is something that I can relate to, feeling connected to one’s heritage is a very important thing.
Sari: I have only one child so I wouldn’t have to answer this question. I’ll say they’re all my favorites for different reasons.
What are some must-follow accounts on social media?
Ciara: Most of the accounts I follow on Instagram (the only social media platform I use) are artists, and some of my favorites are @lycanium, @omegasama_art, and @onionned. I also really enjoy @nasa and @brokencattos.
Melissa: Okay this is out there but WILL MCPHAIL (@willmcphail4). He’s a cartoonist for the New Yorker and I’m obsessed with his work. I also recommend 70s Dinner Party and One Perfect Shot on Twitter.
Sari: Women’s Art: @womensart1
Dionne Warwick: @dionnewarwick
Vanessa Nakate: @vanessa_vash
What if any hobbies have you picked up during COVID quarantine? On a sort of similar note, how do you take a break from screens?
Elisabeth: I love running and I go on runs every day just to help clear my mind of things. I also love food so much that I picked up cooking and baking (which is super cliché but a way to make staying at home fun).
Kevin: I’ve occasionally been crocheting stuffed animals.
Ciara: During COVID, I’ve been able to get back to some of the hobbies that I previously didn’t have much time for, like drawing and reading. In addition, I picked up embroidery and calligraphy, which have been kind of intensive but fun to learn. In my free time, I usually take a break from screens by getting outside and going on local hikes with friends, or by spending quality time with my cats at home.
Julia: These last few months of quarantine have felt particularly isolating. I figured I would fill the suffocating silence with sweet music; although, I don’t know if the sound of me badly trying to learn riffs on a cheap guitar could be considered sweet.
Jessica: I learned to play the ukulele during the pandemic and I love playing it. When I need a break from the screens I definitely lean on music. I either play the ukulele or my keyboard.
Melissa: I actually haven’t picked up any new hobbies, but I’ve been baking constantly (éclairs, cookies, recently zucchini bread), and I’ve been working on painting with gouache. I try to get outside for a walk everyday, and my mom and I are currently planning and preparing for our garden.
Sari: I am darning socks now. Don’t judge. It’s great for the environment and it’s surprisingly relaxing. I’m also making sourdough bread. I think it’s interesting that in response to the excessive prevalence of technology in my life, I’ve reached back for the activities that my grandmothers were glad to be done with.
Where do you see this experience— working with a lit journal— taking you in life? What skills are you developing? How will they help you in the “real world” outside of university? Take this one where you want.
Andrea: I’m glad you asked this question because I am about to enter a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) program, and there’s so much writing and paper work involved as a Social Worker that I think will be a lot easier with the skills I’ve learned as an editor. One skill in particular I’ve developed is to read and comprehend quickly. I think having the ability to read faster and comprehend what I’ve read will be an enormous advantage for me as a Social Worker, and in general.
Kevin: I never really read or write, so working as an editor for The Roadrunner Review has improved my ability to understand and appreciate literature. I am always happy to improve my understanding of art.
Julia: Working on the Roadrunner Review has reinforced my long-held notion that critiquing the literary work of others is very difficult. However, it can feel very rewarding to see a piece you really enjoyed being published by a journal you took part in.
Jessica: I think the skills I learned from being an editor for a lit journal will help in my future career. I want to work in film and television as a screenwriter, so the editing skills I have cultivated from the Roadrunner Review will be essential for revising my own work and the work of others.
Melissa: As someone who wants to eventually actually work in publishing, my time with the Roadrunner has been invaluable. I’m learning to use more precise language around the pieces we get to read, and I’m learning a lot about how the publishing world works.
The Issue 7 team is beyond excited to publish every single piece that was selected this quarter! We can’t wait to share with our readers the wonderful, exciting works that our contributors create. We want to send a huge thank you to all of the students who submitted.