As ANTIGRAVITY celebrates its 20th anniversary, I am celebrating my 15th with the magazine, which feels unreal. I spent nearly an entire year trying to reach out to Leo about contributing to the magazine, but 4+ years into his ambitious project, I think he was simply too swamped to notice me knocking on the door. I had built up a slew of clips at The Hullabaloo and was eager to continue developing as a writer.

When Dan stepped into an editorial role, he reached back out to me and we connected at my then-workplace, Z’otz, to discuss what contributing might look like. My first byline, in the March 2009 issue, was a local album review (The Junior League, Smile Shoot Smile, described as a “meaty musical stew of everything good about pop”), and within a matter of months I was not only contributing significant work to the reviews section, but also helping in an editorial capacity.

The road from there may have been long, but when I look back at it, all the signposts seem to blur. Along the way we’ve lost and gained many writers, editors, illustrators, and photographers. We have published things I’ve been incredibly proud of and things that made me roll my eyes into the back of my skull (I’m sorry Flogging Molly, whose title for my feature in the February 2012 issue was butchered into “From Dublin to Detriot.”).

Somewhere along the road, I gained a big brother I never really asked for in Dan. Our occasionally adversarial relationship has always kept me sharp, evolving with a depth that I hadn’t expected. It was he and Adrienne who watched my dogs when I was in labor with my first child, and they took them into their home when, weeks later, my father suddenly fell into a coma and died.

I have threatened to quit half a dozen times and wanted to quit double that many. But ultimately I am a completionist so, even when it’s been a slog—and boy howdy has it been sometimes—I just can’t seem to walk away. I’ve schlepped all over town dropping issues at restaurants that grumbled at me for putting “that junk” in their racks. I’ve edited copy from the hospital bedsides of my loved ones. My computer programmer husband (then-boyfriend) actually wrote an entire program to help me pull listings and it still took me two solid days every month to get that meticulous work done.

But I’ve also interviewed some of my favorite artists of all time in these pages: Ted Leo, Patterson Hood & Mike Cooley from Drive-By Truckers, and Shovels & Rope, to name just a few. I chronicled my journey to motherhood (the column “Writing for Two”), which has evolved into a space where local parents are now able to tell their stories (as “Raising Louisiana”). I have nurtured young writers and watched them grow to fulfill their potential. I have honed my own craft (and argued with Dan about headlines).

In the end, I have grown up with ANTIGRAVITY. So I guess I’ll stick around. To continue toiling mostly in the background and helping to keep the trains running on time. To find that one errant blue comma in the screener at 1 a.m. To make sure the lights stay on at one of the very last publications I know of where everyone is working together to create something impactful. And not for a fat paycheck or social media clout, but for the love of the written word and its power to stir something cellular and essential in us all.

Thanks for joining us on this journey; your support keeps these pages alive. While we won’t always get it right, I promise we will always give it our all.

Top illustration: “Writing For Two: The New ‘Normal,’” by Victoria Allen, April 2018 #165

Verified by MonsterInsights