So, here it is, the first issue of Number Eleven Magazine. There have been hiccups and speed wobbles along the way but we got here in the end. I still don’t know where ‘here’ is but she made it in one piece and that’s the main thing. Where did it all start? I’m not sure of that either; I’ve been a storyteller since I was a child but that doesn’t mean Number Eleven came to me fully formed when I was six years old. No, Number Eleven is the creation of several little sparks (no Delorentos copyright infringement intended), three in fact, each of which I’d like to recognise in the next few lines.
EM Reapy, a fabulous writer in her own right, gave me my first publication in her beautiful journal, Wordlegs. I still have the email she sent to me to say that she was going to publish my short story ‘Maybe.’ She got my name wrong in the first email and quickly apologised with a follow up email. I told her that I didn’t care what she called me as she had just made my day. There is the first spark, the pure joy a writer feels when someone else tells them that they like their work.
Thank you Elizabeth.
Next spark please – Ms. Alice Walsh, the editor of the equally beautiful The Bohemyth. I watched as Alice built The Bohemyth from the ground up. I read with great pleasure the pieces that she published and I thought to myself, I’d love to be able to do that, to publish stories that I love and to give people, writers, that little boost of confidence to keep doing what they are doing. No matter what anyone says, we all need that little kick or pat on the back at least once, the knowledge that there are those out there who enjoy what we, as writers, do.
Thank you Alice.
My third and final spark – Mr. James Keane. In November we sat in Partridges, a coffee shop on the main street of Gorey and I told him that I wanted to put together a journal of fiction, illustration and artwork. I couldn’t do it on my own and asked for his help, as James is one of the most visually creative people I have ever met. He said yes and four months later here we are, Number Eleven Magazine, issue one.
Thank you James.
I am delighted to say that the work of all three, my little sparks, feature in this first issue. Without any of the three maybe we wouldn’t be here today.
I have also had great help along the way from family and friends, people offering advice and encouragement. There are too many to name so I would like to take this time to thank you all, you know who you are.
Back to Number Eleven, it is her day after all. Among the ten pieces selected here you’ll come across characters that you will love, characters you will hate and characters you wish you could help. I fell in love with every single one of them. I hope you do too.
The ten writers and artists featured moved me in so many different ways, the hopelessness of lost loved ones, broken relationships and facing the truth. I empathised, felt like crying, laughed out loud and silently said WOW more often than not. EM. Reapy, Sinead O’Hart, Alice Walsh, Alan Bennett, Margaret Scott, Malu Bremer, Jack Napes, Lucy Montague-Moffatt, Susanne Wawra and Teresa Sweeney – you are all WOW to me.