A brief introduction to Taking the Lane #8: Childhood

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Dear world,

I’d like to introduce you to my next zine issue of Taking the Lane Quarterly. Volume 8 is “Childhood.” [Update: It’s out and available here]

It’s about when you rode your bike as a kid and it was joyous. Or when you rode your bike as a kid and you fell off and cried. Or when you or your friends had kids and they rode bikes. Or when you rode your bike with your kids on it and got honked at. Or when you did so in Portland and nobody even noticed anymore. Or about how riding your bike helped you decide to have kids. Or not to have them.

Or — I actually don’t 100% know what it’s about yet, because I’ll be reading the twenty or so submissions sent in by kids, former kids, parents, and non-parents on the train to California this Thursday. Then comes my favorite part — figuring out how to use as much of as many of them as possible and how to frame them each in their best possible light. Sometimes that means saying no (not my favorite part). Sometimes it means rewriting a piece entirely, sending several drafts back and forth with the author. Sometimes it means using only an excerpt — even just a sentence. Other times I write back and demand more, a new opening or ending, a clarifying paragraph in the middle to tie it all together. Once in a rare moon, all a piece needs is a tweaking a couple commas and pasting it into layout.

The idea is to create something multifaceted and fascinating that’s more than the sum of its parts, and in which people with a diversity of perspectives can find an even greater diversity of interesting things to think about.

I have 21 days to raise $1,000, most of which will go directly to the (local!) printer and (small, local!) post office. In the interest of making this as fun and easy for you as possible, I’ve made a video for you to giggle at (I apparently cannot help that I sound like the telethon).

Even better, I’ve added a bunch of one-off reward levels that involve fun things like customization of the finished product. I’ll probably add a bunch more of those over the next three weeks — drop me a line with any requests.

And THANK YOU. This whole publishing endeavor wouldn’t be possible without all of you.