August 17, 2017

Taking the S-Curves

 

Taking the S-Curves

A new literary journal finds its way into Topanga.

There are, leading up Topanga Canyon Boulevard from the sea, a group of sashaying turns. When approached at the beginning of their ascent, one gets a full view of their winding, corkscrew pattern as cars traverse first one direction, then back again the other way. It’s a harrowing stretch of road to maneuver vehicles zig-zagging precariously between mountain and cliff and, indeed, they have claimed their share of accidents while, to those who know them, they are friendly and familiar. They are the way home. They are the S-Curves.

Local writer Faith Currant knows them well and has aptly titled her new online literary journal, "S-Curves," for writing can be a twisted, meandering journey, complete with casualties but leading at last to “The End.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF FAITH CURRANT

Taking the S-Curves

Faith Currant.

“I knew the great creative and literary history of Topanga,” Currant explains. “It seemed art and music and theatre were well represented but with all the writers living here there was not a true Topanga writers platform. It seemed needed. I decided to do it.”

Currant, looking like a youthful and beautiful version of Lillian Hellman, certainly gives the impression of a woman who can get things done. Articulate and consummately communicative, she admits to being justly proud of producing the inaugural "S-Curves" issue, which was triumphantly released on December 28, 2015.

“I’m the founding editor and do all the hands-on work and interaction with our contributors, as well as the layout, art direction and outreach.“

She is appreciative of having multiple professional colleagues who help with reading and reviewing submissions anonymously without a name on the masthead.

Addressing the challenge and yeowoman’s job of actually producing the issue during a busy holiday season she says, “Next year we will publish the December issue earlier so everyone can actually be off over the holidays.”

Taking the S-Curves

The S-Curves at the southern end of Topanga Canyon Blvd.

The labor of love and creative vision of everyone involved in this first offering certainly made for a beautiful gift for the community.

Although not planned, the issue took on a spiritual theme that ran throughout, allowing a carousel collection of eleven pieces to compliment each other: a poem led into a story and a photo set the mood for remembrance.

The submissions were from both professional writers and new voices. A provocative photo essay from, Jana Cruder joined with other gifted writers, such as Barbara Powers, Vicki Abelson, Gary Johnson, Alexa James and Jonathon Oldstyle, resulted in a handsome, artistic literary journal, varied and surprising, sad, touching and funny. Like life.

Coming from a multi-layered background of working as a motion picture development executive, a political strategist and even a stint in Nashville as a Country songstress—no wonder she loves Steve Goodman’s heart and gut-grabbing anthem to America, City of New Orleans—Currant now lends her talent to work as a professional script doctor.

“I’m hired to add snarky dialogue to scripts and scenes, think along the lines of 'West Wing' and 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer.'”

One can imagine her sitting at a table between Blenchley and Parker bantering spiffy bon mots in the Algonquin hotel in New York City. Examples of her style and wit can be found on her blog, OkayYouKnowWhat.com.

Currant, who believes in that laborious and dedicated practice of showing up to write each day, regardless of how she feels or what else is happening, admits to being easily distracted. “I do my best to limit temptations and interruptions, (no Smartphone, or TV), and try to practice ‘deep focus,’ concentrating on one task to allow my mind to warm up and generate ideas.”

Her efforts appear to work as she has several projects in progress including a spy novel for and about woman over 40, (count this reporter a future reader), a literary novel exploring issues of faith and science, and a nonfiction book on animal sentience. As part of her inspiration, Currant credits Elizabeth Gilbert and her book, “Big Magic.”

“It’s a must read for any creative writer.”

The intrepid "S-Curves"editor has been sighted at local writers’ gatherings and participates and supports the admirable Topanga Author’s Group (T.A.G.), a welcome addition to our community, offering new creative exploration and valuable information to writers and readers.

The eclectic evenings are hosted by program founder Kim Zanti and Topanga Library Manager Oleg Kagan, who knows a thing or two about words, calling "S-Curves" a welcome complement to the Topanga Author’s Group.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for talented writers and photographers to share their work,” he says.

The next S-Curves, due to be published in March, is now accepting submissions for fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, book experts, photography and art.

Currant plans to publish four times a year with the possibility of a year-end print anthology.

Can a Topanga boutique publishing house be around the next S-Curve? Oh, we hope so! With Faith Currant in command of this road trip, we are in good hands. Enjoy the view!

For more information: S-CurvesOnline.com.