I Might Have Some Explaining to Do, or: How I’m Learning to Stop Worrying and Admit My Mistakes

December 2, 2011

It’s been nearly ten months since Paper Nautilus went live back in February, but I’d like to introduce myself, officially: Hi. My name’s Lisa. As far as writers go, I’m a fairly private person.

I’m 26 years old. I work full-time proofreading legal contracts for an insurance company. I’m also a full-time graduate student working on my MFA in creative writing. I have a wonderful partner, who currently lives a six-hour’s drive away, working on his PhD.

I am the entire staff of Paper Nautilus: I maintain the websites; read and respond to all the submissions; format, proofread, and design the layout of the issue’s contents and cover; coordinate with the printer; package and mail each copy sent out; and pay for any costs of production from my personal bank account. If that sounds like a complaint, let me stress that it’s not: Paper Nautilus is a labor of love that, despite all my other obligations, is not going anywhere, and I am just as committed to producing a literary publication with an eclectic range of powerful work as ever.

But I also owe some of you an apology.

It has been brought to my attention that there have been several errors in the form of omissions. Today I discovered that at least two bios under the contributor’s notes were accidentally excluded. I’m going to wait a few days to see if anyone else comes forward with any more glaring errors on my part. I’ll then address all of the necessary corrections at once. Did I mention yet that I’m beyond mortified I didn’t catch these mistakes in time? While there is no excuse for this, I would like to offer a bit of explanation.

In late August, right after the 2011 issue reading period closed and right before the start of the semester, I went for a routine check-up that resulted in a string of medical investigations that are still ongoing. I have gone to several specialists, had dozens of blood samples drawn, and had everything from the waist up imaged piece-by-piece through varying forms of medical technology. After studying English for nearly eight years at the post-secondary level, I still cannot tell you for sure if it was ironic – or just plain coincidence – that the cost of my first of two MRIs in this ordeal was only six dollars off from the cost of printing Paper Nautilus, both in the four-digit range. And, out of the blue, I landed in the ER two days ago for a ruptured ovarian cyst.

Even though they’ve ruled out anything life-threatening, I’ve been admittedly a little distracted and overwhelmed lately. If I had any idea that these health issues would still be a demand on my time three months later, I would’ve just postponed the release date until January. Instead, I tried to stick as closely to the original timeline as possible and made some mistakes in my hastiness to get this issue to completion.

Public admissions of this sort might be seen as unprofessional or too personal. They’re certainly way out of character for me. However, I felt compelled to offer the readers and writers of Paper Nautilus some insight, and to try and reclaim some of my credibility. When a small upstart literary magazine is entrusted with celebrating and distributing fine creative work, and then said magazine’s first issue is released late AND has several significant errors, some damage control is in order. This was the most sincere way I could think of to accomplish that, so that anyone who wants to read or submit to Paper Nautilus knows that – despite a few very unfortunate errors – the 2011 issue has received lots of positive feedback, is full of engaging and skillful work, and will be followed with an even more impressive issue to be released late in 2012.

I’ll upload the missing contributors’ bios and any other missing sections in a few days. They will also be included in the forthcoming eBook version of the 2011 issue. I’ll continue reading the current submissions awaiting review in the next two weeks or so. And no matter how much work that I say I put into helping pull Paper Nautilus together, all of you folks and your support as readers and writers of the magazine are really what made this possible.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send an email to: paper.nautilus @ mail.com



2 Responses to “I Might Have Some Explaining to Do, or: How I’m Learning to Stop Worrying and Admit My Mistakes”

  1. april said

    That’s a lot you’ve been dealing with and it makes sense you’d be overwhelmed. I admire your being so upfront and honest.

  2. I enjoyed the issue despite the mistakes and liked where you put my poem etc. I was a bit surprised at first by the staple binding (not having seen the mag before) but I decided it was kind of quaint. And I like the cover.

    Ian Ganassi

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