By Sami Jankins
I’m sure there’s a very specific way to go about writing an editor’s note, but if there is, it would come across as too formal for me. I’ve never been one for convention, and I think that’s never been more obvious than in the second issue of Tiny Tim. There seems to be two very definitive tropes in disability narrative – the all or nothing. The patient is miraculously cured or they’re not. The patient (or doctor) learns something monumental through their experiences, or they learn that life is just chaos. There’s never been a lot of room for grey area. Life is grey area.
I knew that given the increase in discussion on human health and disability rights being the forefront of almost every news station, there would be a lot of emotionally and politically charged pieces arriving my way. What I was pleased with was the nuance in the work for this issue—the ability to utilize metaphors to bring about a better understanding of disabled life.
When I read work submitted to Tiny Tim, I make a point to never read bios until the end. I don’t want to be swayed by people with impressively long resumes and feel that if somehow the piece isn’t resonating with me that I must be wrong because of said impressive resume. I still get imposter syndrome even though what I’m seeking to accomplish through this literary review has always been clear to me. What I do get the pleasure to read beforehand is an introduction to each author’s piece. It provides me a glimpse of their mindset when they set out to write their finished work. Having this extra bit of knowledge makes for a richer reading experience. I asked this issue’s writers if they could include a brief description of what was the impetus behind the work they submitted.
There will be pieces in this issue that I know some won’t agree with. Even the writers within this issue have conflicting viewpoints, and to me that’s exactly what a body of work put together by such a diverse group of writers should be. What excites me is that many pieces are a bit out-of-the-box. I love having genre work side-by-side with what would be considered more traditional fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. I wanted this issue to be more edgy, to push readers to think and reflect, and even at times to feel uncomfortable. The phenomenal writers in this issue really put their A-game into making this issue what it is. Beginning with this issue, we will now be including works of art.
Maybe it’s strange that as an editor I feel a sincere sense of camaraderie with the writers in each edition. I stay up-to-date with last issue’s writers and cheer for every success that comes their way. I feel a great responsibility for having the trust of such a talented group of writers feel that I can present their work in the best light possible. I feel proud of the few authors who are being published for the first time in this literary review, and I get the privilege to let more people know who they are and how talented they are. I created this literary review not only to create a message through increasing the number and variety of disability and health narratives, but to also create a community. I hope this issue interests, intrigues, enlightens, and maybe at times makes you feel a bit uncomfortable in the best way possible.
Sami Jankins holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UC-Riverside at Palm Desert and is the founder of The Tiny Tim Literary Review. Previously she was a dating advice columnist for The Good Men Project’s column - Dating in the Digital Age with Sami Jankins as well as the press and social media editor for The Coachella Review. She wrote a blog for a number of years called Chronicles of Cheerful Clotter for HemAware Magazine, where she detailed her life with chronic health conditions. Sami is also an associate producer and press manager for the documentary Invisible: The Film, which focuses on individuals living with chronic pain and invisible illness. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Hemophilia Foundation, spent time as a Senatorial intern, and was Miss Wisconsin for the ANTSO program. In addition, she has had articles published in Chronicality, Elephant Journal, The Glow (Australia), I.G. Living Magazine, The Manifest-Station, The Mighty, National Pain Report, Ravishly, and YourTango. Her interests include ukuleles and sloths. Find her @SamiDan19.