Igrew up in the Evangelical Church believing that God had my entire life planned out. He knew what career I’d have, who my one lifelong soulmate would be, and what city I should live in. All I had to do was ask God to reveal his plans, and then I could simply follow them. When I eventually left the faith, I realized I had to make my own efforts to achieve my dreams. But through those efforts, I learned that I don’t have to wait around for ethereal symbols from God to know what to do. Everything I need is already within me. Still, some occasional guidance would be nice, such as figuring out my business taxes, or how to make a girl swoon as I enter the world of non-monogamy and explore my bisexuality.
Yet when we accomplish things by our own means, our self-love and self-worth begin to grow. And doing it yourself doesn’t have to mean doing it alone.
We live in a city where the DIY creative community is flourishing. If you can dream it, you can do it, and we at Suspect Press are here to connect you to the resources to make that possible. In the second installment of his new column “Making Art, Making Money,” Paul Bindel shares tips from local artists who have funneled their creative juices into a side hustle. Also, check out his list of art, music, and literary residencies in Colorado you can apply for.
With the reopening of Rhinoceropolis, we hear from director John Gross in his interview with Josiah Hesse about how to run a DIY venue while still complying with bureaucratic regulations. This issue also features the blood, sweat, and staples history of the Denver Zine Library, by Denver’s beloved Do-It-Yourselfer, Kelly Shortandqueer.
In Eliza Beth Whittington’s piece, “It Goes By So Fast,” we get a bluntly honest take on the existential highs and lows of parenting, and in Roseanna Frechette’s “WTF!!! (In Red)” story, we’re reminded that we are the only people we can truly count on.
Self-transformation is another form of DIY that pops up in this issue. In Adrian H Molina’s poem, “Dualistic Tendencies,” he entreats us to bring him a sad story and a black heart that he can alchemize into laughter. In Dylan Edwards’ comic, we see the adversity a trans man faces while becoming the person he’s always seen himself to be.
Lastly, I’m especially proud to present this issue’s cover by our own Lonnie MF Allen, who’s been busting his ass to follow his passion of creating a new comic book series. Check out an excerpt from the first issue inside these pages, and give his Chrome Seoul page a follow on social media.
By Amanda E.K.
Editor In Chief
Amanda is a memoirist, short fiction and freelance writer, and a member of the Knife Brothers writing group – a small collective of short fiction writers. Her work has been featured on the Denver Orbit podcast and on Mortified Live. She has stories in Suspect Press, Birdy, Jersey Devil Press, and the Punch Drunk Press Poetry anthology. She’s currently working on a memoir about the damaging effects of growing up in evangelical purity culture – available late 2020 through Suspect Press.