Desert Oracle, Vol. 1. May there be many, many more.

Weirdos and those who love them, rejoice: Ken Layne says he’s reviving his Desert Oracle quarterly, which many of us thought had died and was buried without ceremony somewhere in the desert, like Cactus Ed Abbey.

I bought and enjoyed the first book, a collection, compendium, companion, whatevs. And I help underwrite Desert Oracle Radio, the only audio project I support, though I subscribe to a wide range of virtual and actual magazines.

My next step along this twisted trail is probably subscribing to the quarterly. In for a penny, in for a pound, as the fella says.

In his “An Ode to ‘Desert Oracle'” in Alta Journal, Layne cuts straight to the heart of the beast:

Publishing a little magazine is attractive to exactly one kind of person: a writer who doesn’t want to work for somebody else’s magazine.

My old Pueblo Chieftain bro’ Hal Walter, who didn’t want to work for somebody else’s newspaper anymore, did something similar with Mountain Athlete, which lasted about six or seven years back in the late Eighties and into the early Nineties. Denver Post columnist Ed Quillen did likewise with Colorado Central, which has outlived him.

I contributed to both efforts in small ways, once loaning Ed one of my trucks so he could make it to a speaking engagement.

“Now remember, Ed, you can’t smoke in my truck,” I told him before he motored off. The trip took him about twice as long as it would have taken me because I wouldn’t have stopped and climbed out to burn one at every other mile marker.

But the closest I ever came to “publishing a little magazine” is this comosellama you’re looking at right now. The deadlines are flexible and the audience tolerant, and I can bear the small expense without having to sell a few bikes or vintage Macs.

Not adding books, podcasts, and road shows to the to-do list helps, of course. Saves trees, eardrums, and gasoline, too.

Besides, someone’s got to rustle up the grub around here. There are only so many hours in the day.

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8 Responses to “Resurrection”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Rustling up the grub is a noble and enjoyable task! One must preserve domestic tranquility. I do likewise. Besides, it feels so good when your sweetie looks up and says, “this is so good I could eat it every week.”

  2. John A Levy Says:

    Used an Allrecipes Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Cookies substituted Chorizo for jimmy Dean sausage, made -4 degrees am tolerable. Sun out but still damn cold. I didn’t know Ed Quillen went over the seas to the Havens. Enjoyed his stuff even when he was extolling Kaypro Computers back in mid 80s. His take on Californicated Colorado was enjoyable, especially to us natives.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ed was a pisser. His book is still available if you’d like a trip down memory lane.

      My college adviser once said Ed — who also had attended UNC — was probably the only editor who would ever hire me. But I didn’t do any work for Ed until I’d quit my sixth daily after 15 years in the biz and was banging out the bullshit nonstop for various sporting rags.

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