Trestle Creek Review no. 32

It's no secret: I waited another semester at North Idaho College so I could be editor for Trestle Creek Review issue 32 (As a bonus: I ended up signing up for a British Murder Mystery class and got a trip overseas!).

I worked on, and was published, in TCR's issue 31. This Spring semester we worked as a team on issue 32!

The team behind TCR Issue 32! Picking out cover art!

The team behind TCR Issue 32! Picking out cover art!

We started by narrowing down cover art, finally deciding on local artist Elaine Green from Art Spirit Gallery.

Then we began working through the slush pile. Trestle Creek Review accepts submissions from the North Idaho College community, alumni (and even some Spokane-family). Our slush pile is a respectable size and we had a smaller team this year: just nine of us to take the magazine from start to finish in four months. We broke out into teams for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and collaborated for visual art. Once we fought over, sorted through and settled upon content: then it was time to lay it all out!

Laying out the magazine!

Laying out the magazine!

During the semester we had the pleasure of Maya Jewell Zeller visiting campus and reading from various poems and fictional work. She was so full of joy and humor: it was incredibly inspiring. I purchased a copy of her book (but forgot to have her sign it!) and you should too.

The staff of Trestle Creek Review (along with members of North Idaho College's English Club) went to lunch with Maya and her husband!

During our Trestle Creek Review classes, after we decided on layout and design, we discussed the pieces of work that made it into this specific issue. We had conversations about commas, punctuation, and fought over a picture of a bra.

Although Mr. Frey's handwriting is nearly illegible, it reads: 'I went to the store, and after eating 17 donuts, yerped.' Yerped is his family's word for throwing up. There was lesson in there about why the comma works--but I've forgotten it already.

Although Mr. Frey's handwriting is nearly illegible, it reads: 'I went to the store, and after eating 17 donuts, yerped.' Yerped is his family's word for throwing up. There was lesson in there about why the comma works--but I've forgotten it already.

Over Spring Break--I played two hours of video games--and the rest was dedicated to either working on laying out Trestle Creek Review or something not video games. I spent a lot of time in Adobe InDesign working on a template from last year's issue. I can't say for certain about how long it took. Hours, certainly. Days, possibly. I get a sort of laser focus when I'm at the computer working on a project (a focus akin to NaNoWriMo, if and when I can return to it). I know that I was able to work for 18 minutes and barely make a dent in the magazine layout. I made a video--because, of course I did.

18 minutes of Adobe InDesign work in 30 seconds! Original, agonizing 18 minute video here:

Eventually, after many, many texts/emails/revisions: the magazine was sent off to the printer! We were able to get proofs made! We took a trip to Millwood Print Works, a local non-profit that specializes in letter printing and community projects. We learned the intense dedication and skill involved in letterpress technology and that "Mind your p's and q's" originated from letterpress because all the letters are placed backwards and it is easy to get those two mixed up!

Then we drove over to Gray Dog Press where our proofs were waiting for us! It was such a thrilling experience to hold a physical copy of the magazine we'd worked all semester for. I was very proud at that moment (I'm proud in general but). We went over cover paper stock, color inlays and looked at various other books and publications that Gray Dog Press had managed over the last 15+ years.

After the semester ended--we had our Launch Party! Pizza and a room in the Student Union Building. We had authors read work from the issue and gave out free issues of the magazine!

Here is a 360 degree time lapse video of the launch! Move your mouse (or phone!) around to see all the room!

I'm very proud to have worked with the team behind issue #32. We argued, we laughed, we decided the fate of the slush pile together: and in the end, we made something beautiful. Since I'm moving on to Eastern Washington University--I won't have the chance to be a staff member again, but you can be certain that I'll submit something for issue #33! Keep reading, keep writing, and I hope to see you all again someday soon.

A special thank you to Jonathan Frey for two-and-a-half-years at North Idaho College, and for the years ahead. Don't think you've gotten rid of me yet!

Video! Reading "Hope in the Darkness" like a scared girl!

I spent my morning making buttons and watching YouTube videos of Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. Mason came home early from work and arrived just in time to take over button making so I could get dressed. Boo "helping" me make buttons for the launch.Boo "helping" me make buttons for the launch.

“I need to dress like I don't care, because I can't look like I'm trying too hard--”

But I dressed like I cared. Like we still live in a time where being a writer is cool, where it's still something that makes us dangerous and unique. I wore my favorite black short-sleeve “pin-up-esque” dress with a faux-corset over top, over my black leggings and space shoes. And my screw-back earrings. I thought about finding something that belonged to my parents or my sister, but nothing matched and I felt out of time.


I transformed into Michelle, the author. At least on the outside. Inside I was still shaking like a leaf. We gathered up the buttons I had made and hit the road. We got to campus and Mason turns to me, “What do I call your teacher? Mr. Frey? Professor Frey?” “Uh, Jonathan?” I honestly couldn't remember, we don't usually refer to him by name in class, and my emails always just said Jon. As soon as we got on campus though, I spotted Mr. Frey leaving the area where the release party was. He said hello, introduced himself to Mason as “Jon,” and that he was glad to see me. It made me feel a little better before heading to the launch party.



I wasn't too nervous as I went down the stairs. A table greeted us covered in pretty orange booklets. I dropped off the buttons I had made and people were pleased. I met the editors of the Trestle Creek Review, Quincee Nuffer and Danielle Combs. I met the gentlemen who was going to introduce me, Dillon Harmison. He was very nice and asked “How do you want me to introduce you? Do you want me to use the biography from the book?” “Yes, please.” I remembered it was short and sweet. I was going to go fourth—it was poetry, prose, poetry, prose.


Members of the Trestle Creek Review team.

Roger Dunsmore read first with his poem “Crew Boss,” and a few other poems. He also shared a story about the bear “Scarface” from Yellowstone National Park that was recently killed, which inspired him to read another of his poems about bear encounters. [An article can be found here from the TIME Magazine]. After the event, I approached Roger and he said I did a good job on my reading, that the fear in my voice actually added to the tension of the story. He asked Mason for the spelling of my name and personalized the inside of my book:

“For Michelle,

Keep up the good writing,

Roger Dunsmore.”


Georgia Tiffany read a few of her poems, including “On the Lost Side of the House.” Later, I met with Georgia (I believe she goes by Georgi) and she said she really liked my story and that I did a good job reading it. She told me I should consider poetry, too, and she signed my copy of the Trestle Creek Review and it reads:

“Writing – Reading – Love!

Try poetry, too!

Georgia Tiffany”


She didn't have her copy available for me to sign, which is just fine; but I did remark that I loved her signature. “My signature is awful,” I insisted. “But it's yours.” She replied with a smile. Usually, I'd have exited the conversation at that point-- “I have a story for you,” she said and put her hand on my shoulder briefly, “I had a friend, once, from Somalia, and she said 'I don't understand America, you're all taught to write exactly the same!' In Somalia, a signature is considered precious, a defining characteristic. I wonder what my signature says about me?” Then she laughed and went away.

Teacher Josh Misner reads.

I've forgotten the exact reading order—but Josh Misner, a teacher at North Idaho College, read his story “Tailgate.” He also shared his story that many years ago he had submitted his story to the Trestle Creek Review and been rejected, and it actually kept him from writing and submitting for a long time. He now felt that, after many trials by fire with agents, publishers and editors and after having been successfully published—that he should try to apply to Trestle Creek again. And he was delighted to be accepted.

I found Jois Child and asked her to sign her poem, and I believe she also read from a collection outside of the Trestle Creek Review.


I don't really remember much leading up to the reading, I remember that the last reader's poems were impossibly short and they should just keep reading so everyone would forget I had something to read... Everyone was more experienced at reading, they thanked the Trestle Creek Review for the opportunity or shared a fun story about a past experience. I walked up and said, “Thank you. Please don't make me say anything else.” And then I started reading. I could feel my stomach ache, my voice was shaking, I was so afraid I was going to lose my place in the story. I remember thinking that I had to add some attitude to the story, I couldn't just spit it out flat. My voice felt and sounded higher than normal. But then it was over: no one threw a rotten tomato at me or a cabbage or boo'd me off stage. I survived, but it did remind me that some day I'll have to take a Speech class and that's going to be really, really, really awful.


Since extra credit was offered for getting signatures—a couple of my class mates and some people I didn't know asked me to sign their copy of the magazine. It was the first time (perhaps second) that I've ever been asked to autograph anything. It was superficial but it was touching in a way. I knew my teacher had engineered the situation so we “felt” like real, established authors. It worked.



And if you don't want to watch the video, I have also made just the audio available for whatever reason:

[audio mp3=""][/audio]