by Jessica "Potoooooooo" Sexton, Managing Editor
I heard the legend of Lupe Vélez through Frasier. Vélez was a film star in the 1930s who lived a glamorous life. For several reasons, Vélez wanted to be remembered in her death. She had a night out with her closest friends, ate one of her favorite meals, dressed up in her best dress, laid down on her satin bed, took a large amount of sleeping pills, and gracefully awaited her picturesque death.
That is, until her final meal disagreed with the sleeping pills. Supposedly Vélez ran to her bathroom and slipped on her way to the toilet which caused her to fall headfirst into the toilet, causing her to drown. Vélez was remembered for her death, just not how she initially planned it.
When I first heard the story, I just took it as the parable that it was meant to be, but while we were making Grub Street, I always had that story in the back of my mind. No matter how it was planned, something was bound to go wrong; this world is not without fault. If I tried to make the journal perfect, it would end in disaster.
There were moments when the class was not collaborative with one another, and it made us suffer. We lost time because of our miscommunication, and we had to rush things that needed close attention. As the semesters continued, I learned that this journal would only grow with communication and cohesion.
Since we were working together more frequently, we made connections with each other. We made new friends. Since we were friends, we could be more honest with each other about submissions. We were less afraid of hurting each other’s feelings. When someone had rose colored goggles on about a piece that fell short, we had no fear in telling them. This helped Grub Street become even more amazing.
We also lost some of our favorite pieces. Submissions were accepted elsewhere and were withdrawn from Grub Street. There was a period of a few weeks where we kept losing many of the pieces we loved. We mourned together, then we moved on together. And we still produced an amazing literary journal despite the losses.
We frequently talked with our designer, and since we worked so closely with her, she was able to create what we could barely dictate to her. Essentially, a mind reader; potentially a wizard. She used her magic designing skills to produce our dream. Communication everything that we could to her is what made it possible.
If I had tried to do everything on my own, if I tried to make Grub Street mine instead of everyone’s, then it would have failed. And we would not have the amazing journal that we have today. As I am holding this book in my hands, I can say that I am truly proud of every single person who worked on it. Through our collaboration and communication, we published something that will never be published again.
Do not go through life trying to make things perfect, because they will never turn out. Work with others, do not dismiss their opinions, and your goals will turn out better than you ever expect them to.
Grub Street is Towson University's award-winning literary journal, run by undergraduates enrolled in "Editing the Literary Magazine."