Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Flashing Swords Magazine


Flashing Swords Magazine has a new editor: D. K. “Dianna” Wagner.

When Sovay was 11, I divorced her father, accepted welfare, and went back to college.  A lot of the people who I had been selling articles to refused to buy anything from me, yet continued to buy from Hank/Jean.  Their explanation was “I don’t wish to take sides.”

Oh, right.  Dumping me but not him was not taking sides.  Ayup, this does look fair to me.

Anyway, I returned to college, attending Mt. San Jacinto JC.  I carried my book of clips with me to my first meeting with my adviser.  It’s a 3 inch binder.  When he saw it, he suggested (more like insisted) that I volunteer to work on the college newspaper (It started out volunteer, but was made into a credit class that semester).

The editor was an opinionated, loud-mouthed, hyper-enthusiatic woman a few years younger than I was.  She knew how to bring out the best in people and was fearless in going to the defense of her staff and friends.

Physically she reminded me a lot of the gal who played Scully in X-Files.

I had lost my self-confidence as a writer and was just coming out of a fifteen year writer’s block where it came to fiction.  To her I was Jan Frank, nobody, and yet she immediately latched onto me as her prime example of how to be a good journalist.  She took me under her wing as her protege.

Within a couple of weeks I was so embarassed by her praise and attention that I did not have the heart to tell her that I was a pro who wrote under a contraction of my real name.  I tried several times to muster up the courage to tell her the truth, and then I simply could not do it.

She had an assistant editor named Karen, who had grown up on the wrong streets just as I had.  Karen was fiesty, sometimes raunchy and crude, and always blunt.  I once saw this petite woman hit a guy who got out of line so hard she knocked him out.  She was a classic lower class woman with an attitude and a brilliant mind.

Almost as brilliant as Dianna.

At the end of the school year, I handed Karen my resume and fled.

Sovay attended school with Dianna’s two kids, Aaron and April.  Throughout that year they were over at my home as much as they were their own.  We lived only a few blocks from each other in a shabby neighborhood.  Many of us were welfare mothers, single parents, who had gone back to school to get the training that would provide us and our children with a better life.

I had not been home five minutes before Dianna arrived brandishing that resume.

That was 1995.  We’ve been friends ever since.  She now has a grandchild and another on the way.

Dianna was the inspiration for the Goddess of Cussedness and Perversity, Dynanna, in my novels.  Dynanna is one of my best loved characters. If you want to know what Dianna is all about, then read the sections of my books about Dynanna.

“Funsies” is the Goddess’s favorite praise.

She’s an amazing person and a fine editor.  We are a lot older now, but to me, Dianna will always be the Goddess.

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3 comments on “Flashing Swords Magazine

  1. CritGit
    January 17, 2009

    Ooooh, she sounds nice. 😀

  2. Johaha
    January 18, 2009

    My kind of person.

  3. Mike Brendan
    January 20, 2009

    The magazine is in very good hands. I think we’ll be seeing Flashing Swords grow to professional-rate publication in short order.

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Janrae Frank

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